Pause, change songs… All touch controls on AirPods

AirPods touch controls

AirPods are a product that in any of its models offers a fantastic user experience. This is possible for different reasons, but one of them is the ability to perform actions without having to touch the iPhone or the device to which they are connected, using only the controls that they provide.

What are the touch controls on AirPods for?

The purpose of these controls is to give AirPods users the ability to perform certain actions without them having to take the iPhone out of their pocket, touch the screen of the Apple Watch or use the iPad or Mac. Having this possibility is really useful, especially when you go down the street or you are in a certain activity and you want to carry out that action quickly and comfortably.

You have to know that not all AirPods models have the same controls, since not all of them are interacted with in the same way, nor do they all have the same functions available to the user. However, below we leave you the actions that you can carry out in the different models.

  • AirPods 1, 2 and 3
    • Use Siri.
    • Play and pause audio content.
    • Move along.
    • Go back to the previous track.
  • AirPods Pro and AirPods Max
    • Use Siri.
    • Play and pause audio content.
    • Move along.
    • Go back to the previous track.
    • Control noise cancellation.

How to use them

Depending on the model of AirPods you have, not only do the functions that you can carry out with them vary, but the way you can use them also changes. However, despite this, they are all really intuitive and, above all, very comfortable to use, prioritizing that the user does not have to spend much time learning to use the AirPods.

Touch controls on AirPods 1 and 2

The first and second generation of AirPods not only share exactly the same design, but as a result, they also have in common the way in which users have to interact with them. And it is that the Cupertino company decided with these first versions that users had to tap on the headset in order to perform the available functions. These controls are the following.

  • To activate “Hey Siri” on first-gen AirPodsdouble-tap one of the AirPods.
  • To activate “Hey Siri” on second-generation AirPodssay “Hey Siri.”
  • For Play and pause audio content, press twice.
  • For Move alongpress twice.
  • For go back to the previous trackpress twice.


As you have been able to verify, all the actions you want to do are carried out by giving two taps on the headphones. But nevertheless, you will not be able to have all of them accessible at any timesince you will have to configure your AirPods in such a way that when you do the double taps on one of them it does one action, and when you do them on the other, another one is carried out. To make this configuration you have to have the AirPods connected to your iPhone or iPad and follow the steps below.

  1. Open the app of Settings.
  2. Click on Bluetooth.
  3. Click on the icon “i» located to the right of your AirPods.
  4. Go to the section «Tap AirPod twice«
  5. Choose the action to be carried out on each of the headphones.

AirPods 1 and 2

But the possibilities of interacting with the AirPods through gestures do not end here, since you will also be able to perform different actions with the headphones at the times when you get a call on your iPhone or iPad. Next, we will tell you what you have to do to carry out the different available actions.

  • To answer or end a call: Double-tap one of your AirPods.
  • To answer a second phone call: To put the first call on hold and answer the second, double-press one of your AirPods. To switch between calls, double-press one of your AirPods.

Touch controls on AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro

We leave aside the first and second generation AirPods and go with the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, which in the same way that occurs with the aforementioned, having a body that is not the same, but similar, share the same way of interacting with itwhich is through performing different pressures on the pin thereof. Below are the controls you can do with them.

  • For play or pause the audiopress and hold the pressure sensor on the earpiece of the earphone.
  • For resume playback audio, press and hold the pressure sensor on the earpiece pin.
  • For move alongdouble-tap the pressure sensor.
  • For backtap the pressure sensor three times.
  • For control ambient sound and use noise cancellation, transparency mode or off mode on AirPods Pro, press and hold the pressure sensor for a few seconds.

AirPods Pro or 3

This last control mentioned in the AirPods Pro can be customized to your liking. By default Apple has established that after that long press on the pressure sensor, it changes from ambient mode to transparency mode, but you can switch between the three ways to deal with outside noise. To do this, you just have to follow the following steps.

  1. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, open the app Settings.
  2. Choose Bluetooth.
  3. Click on the icon «i» located to the right of your AirPods Pro.
  4. Press “Noise Cancellation”, “Ambient Sound”, or Off.


In the same way that different controls were available for interact with calls incoming when you have the first and second generation AirPods in, there are also for the AirPods Pro and third generation AirPods. The difference lies in what, now you will not have to touch the headset, but perform the following actions on the pressure sensor located on the pin of both headsets.

  • For reply with AirPods Pro or AirPods 3, tap the pressure sensor.
  • For to refuse an incoming phone call and send it directly to voicemail, double-tap the pressure sensor.

Touch controls on AirPods Max

We turn to the Apple headband headphones that have generated so much controversy, the AirPods Max. Obviously, it is a quite different device from those mentioned so far, since the size of the headset shows it. This change is also reflected in the way users will be able to interact with the device in order to change songs, activate noise cancellation or simply take a call.

In this case, there are two elements with which users will have to be in contact to carry out these actions. On one side is the DigitalCrown, yes, the Cupertino company has taken the digital crown of the Apple Watch and has introduced it in the AirPods Max, and the truth is that it is very useful. It also has the noise control button, which, as you can imagine from its name, will allow users to switch between the different modes of dealing with external noise. Here are the gestures you can do with the AirPods Max.

  • For play and pause audio content, press the Digital Crown once.
  • For move alongdouble-tap the Digital Crown.
  • For backtriple-click the Digital Crown.
  • For switch between active noise cancellation and ambient sound modepress the noise control button.

AirPods Max

Evidently, you can customize this last action to your liking, since there are three possibilities that Apple provides you to manage external noise, Noise Cancellation, Ambient Sound, and Off. To configure it you have to follow the following steps that we indicate.

  1. Open the App of Settings of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
  2. Choose Bluetooth.
  3. Click on the icon «i» located to the right of your AirPods Max.
  4. Press «button toggles between«.

Apple AirPods Max

Obviously, the AirPods Max also have different functions that you can use to manage incoming calls that you can receive on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch while you are using them. The way to interact with these is really simple, and above all, it gives you a wide range of options. You have them below.

  • Press the Digital Crown once to answer or end a call.
  • Press the Digital Crown twice to to refuse an incoming call.
  • Press the Digital Crown once to answer a second call incoming call and put the first call on hold.
  • When there are two active callspress the Digital Crown to end the current call and go to the other call.
  • Press and hold the Digital Crown to reject a second incoming call.
  • Press the Digital Crown twice to stop listening through headphones and send the call to your phone.

Can these controls be customized?

As you well know, the Cupertino company is not very given to letting users customize aspects related to devices a lot, and this is no exception. Except in the First and second generation AirPods that you can choose what action will be carried out in each earphone when you make that double tap, in the rest of the models, the gestures that are carried out cannot be changed, beyond modify the way external audio is treated to switch between the two choices you have made, although by default it will always be between noise cancellation and ambient sound.

AirPods Pro Gestures

Surely Apple should consider the possibility that users could choose the function that is carried out through the different actions that can be done with the AirPods, that is, that each person could choose that by pressing once on the sensor of pressure of the AirPods Pro to carry out a certain action to choose from those that currently exist. In this way users could adapt much better the way of interacting with your headphones. Although unfortunately, it seems that this movement is not in the plans of the Cupertino company.