Customise and Tune AirPods to Sound Better on iOS

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The AirPods Pro sounds pretty awesome right out of the box, at least for a true wireless earbuds. However, there is actually a way to tune the AirPods to sound better on iOS. I’ve tried this and it does make the sound slightly “wider” to my simple non-audiophile ears.

Apple AirPods Pro on an iPhone 11 Pro
Apple AirPods Pro on an iPhone 11 Pro

How to tune the Airpods to sound better on iOS

TL;DR, here is a video that walks through how to find the settings.

Tune Apple AirPods to sound better on iOS

The option to tune the AirPods is actually “hidden” somewhere within the iOS settings. You will find the Headphones Accommodations option in the Audio/Visual section of the Accessibility settings.

Headphones Accomodations settings in the iOS Accessibility Audio/Visual settings
Get to the Headphones Accomodations settings in the iOS at Accessibility -> Audio/Visual

When you click into the Headphones Accommodations settings, by default, it would be turned off. Turn it on and you will see all the available customisations you can set for the AirPods.

Custom Audio Setup in the iOS Headphone Audio Accommodations settings
You can set the default settings or use the Custom Audio Setup to guide you through the customisation.

I recommended you to start off with the guided “Custom Audio Setup” option. It would guide you through a simple 3 steps to tune the AirPods Pro.

Intro screen for Headphone Audio Customisation on iOS
Intro screen for Headphone Audio Customisation on iOS
Getting started instructions for the AirPods audio customisation step
Put on your AirPods and be at a quiet environment to start the audio customisation
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Step 1: Tune the AirPods for speech

The first step of will tune the AirPods to sound better for speech. If you are using an AirPods Pro, it will automatically turn on the noise cancellation mode. In this step, the volume is also set to 50% to see how well you can hear the the spoken speech.

AirPods audio customisation - Step 1 - Noise cancellation test
Step 1: Tuning the AirPods for speech

Tap the Yes button if you can hear the speech clearly. Otherwise, Tap No and iOS will tune the vocal ranges louder and you should be able to hear it better.

Step 2: Tune the Airpods for music

AirPods audio customisation - Step 2 - Music test
Next up – Tuning your AirPods for music playback
AirPods audio customisation - Step 2 - Tune the AirPods to sound better for music
You will get 3 comparisons the choose which version of the playback sound better to you
AirPods audio customisation - Step 2 - Select the final recommended settings
The choices you make will end up with a recommended custom settings based on your preferences

When tuning the AirPods to sound better for music, it would playback two or three tunings of a tune that boosts different tonal ranges each time. You will then be asked to choose the version you prefer better. At the end of the tuning, you will get to compare the custom recommended settings. Here, you can select to go with the custom settings, or just use the standard settings as per normal.

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Step 3: Customised Transparency Mode for AirPods Pro

For AirPods Pro users, there will be one last step to customised the transparency mode. If you had use a customised settings for the music tuning, you will notice that the transparency mode audio is also enhanced. You can go with that, or customise it further to your liking.

AirPods audio customisation - Step 3 - Customise Transparency Mode
The final step is the customisation of the AirPods Pro’s transparency mode

My personal AirPods Pro tuning preference

Personally, I preferred the Balanced Tone tuning settings with the soft sounds boosted slightly. That seems to be a best for me. But if you like your music playback to be “brighter”, you can definitely set it to sound as such as well.

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