How To Use AirPods 3 Controls (Conversation Boost Missing!)
Looking to learn how to use AirPods 3 controls? You landed in the right place! Apple has released the 3rd AirPods generation during the Unleashed event. The upgraded Bluetooth earbuds come with a force touch sensor. It allows a whole range of new controls when compared to the AirPods 2.
AirPods 3 Controls
There are five controls available on the 3rd AirPods gen. Four of them involve gestures and one requires voice control:
- Press Once to answer phone calls or play and pause music playback.
- Press Twice to skip forward and go for the next song in a playlist.
- Press Thrice (3x) to skip back
- Press & hold to invoke Siri when you want to perform voice commands.
Fact: This is different from the AirPods Pro for which the press and hold gesture is used to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode!
- “Hey Siri” allows you to summon the virtual assistant without touching the AirPods. Continue with your command. Anything like play [song name] or call [contact name] works.
How To Control AirPods 3
To apply the above mentioned gesture taps you have to press the lower part of the left or right AirPod, where the force sensor is located.
The area is highlighted in the image embedded nearby.
AirPods 3 Features Missing
The 3rd AirPods generation have similar features when compared to the AirPods Pro. However, as mentioned above they’re missing:
Active Noise Cancellation Not Supported
This feature uses microphones and speakers to reduce any background and surrounding noise to enhance music playback experience. Unfortunately, it’s not available with the 3rd AirPods generation.
Transparency Mode Missing
Is the opposite of ANC. It allows environmental sounds to be heard naturally. However, this option is not available with the AirPods 3.
Conversation Boost Not Available
Apparently the AirPods 3 lack the hardware (beam-forming microphones) used by the AirPods Pro to provide this important accessibility feature.
Conversation Boost helps users with mild hearing problems to better listen and understand what the person in front of them is speaking!
It’s been enabled with the released of the 4A400 AirPods firmware version!
Are you owning the AirPods 3rd gen? Do you intend to buy them? Do you have any questions about them? Use the comments section and share your feedback!
Related: For the complete AirPods 3 features and specs please read our extended review.
The sound is great but I can’t keep them in my ears for more than 15 – 20 minutes. They start to hurt. The fit isn’t great :(
Thanks for the feedback Darko. You might want to try wearing them a couple of minutes more each time, until your ear will get used to them and pain will permanently go away.
We’ve opened a discussion regarding the AirPods 3 fit. Thanks for the inspiration. You can check it out here!
I’m super bummed they no longer support tap controls.
Instead, you need to actually grasp the tiny stem s (which are now 33% smaller) which is a major backstep. I suppose they will reintroduce tapping in future revisions as an upgrade, recalling MagSafe. What were they thinking?
The fit is good but because they are so small now, I drop them just trying to put them in my ear. Why on earth did anybody think the stems needed to be any shorter, especially if controlling functions need finger-grasping?
As always, one step forward. 3/4 steps back.
Thanks for the feedback Bill. Your comments make sense. I do feel too that sometimes changes are made just for the sake of changing and will not always improve the user experience. Did you own the AirPods 2 before?
I don’t like mine, its a gift from my mom and I’m grateful for it but it just doesn’t fit me will. My head is small so are my ears, if I just make any head movements or clench my jaw it’ll definitely pause on its own. That’s why at first I thought its broken. I can’t return them either because mom bought it abroad.
Thanks for the feedback Kai. Too bad that they don’t fit you!
I just picked up a pair of these and I’m constantly tapping them out of habit. I cannot get used to the little tiny switch, my fingers just cannot grip it easily enough to press due to how short the AirPods are now. If I try to use the button, I keep accidentally knocking them out of my ear. I love the sound quality, they fit well, don’t fall out no matter how much I shake my head but I’m trying to decide to return them or just pull my phone out to play/pause and continue to use my watch for Siri.