Where is the force sensor on AirPods

Apple has been at the forefront of introducing new and efficient technologies in the market. Force sensors are a prime example of that. AirPods are already tiny in size, and it can be hard to believe that you could fit such excellent technology in such little space.

However, Apple has managed to do the impossible and fit force sensors in the stems of AirPods. The branch of an AirPod contains a dent even more minor than an inch; this dent is where the magic takes place. You might remember that in older headphones, there used to be buttons that served various purposes. 

AirPods, due to their smaller size, couldn’t afford to have buttons. Instead, Apple rolled out the force sensor feature, which serves the same purposes and more without feeling the need for a control. If you are confused and want to know how to utilize this fantastic feature to the fullest, keep reading. This article contains everything you need to know to get the most out of the force sensors.

What are force sensors on Airpods

What are force sensors on Airpods?

Let’s start from the basics; what are force sensors? But before getting into it, understand that the selling point of Apple’s earbuds is the convenience that comes with them. However, if you are doing yoga or involved in anything where your phone is not in your hands, it can be a bit inconvenient to go to the phone every time you need to skip the music or pause it. 

Also, in wireless earbuds, it is physically impossible to put buttons. Even if someone managed to put buttons, earbuds would get shoved in your ear every time you push a button. This is even beyond inconvenient; it is outright disgusting. 

Apple found a genius solution for this dilemma, as expected. In previous AirPods, you must tap the stem to pause/play music. However, with AirPods Pro, Apple rolled out force sensors where you will have to squeeze to get a particular function performed gently. Understanding how you can perform various functions with simple squeezes can be a bit complex. But no need to get confused; we have explained everything below in detail.

The best thing about force sensors is that they are on both sides. So, if you lost one or want to use a single earpiece, you can easily access the force sensors.

How to use force sensors?

Using force sensors may seem complex, but it isn’t. Various functions will be performed depending on how often you squeeze your earbuds. We have explained everything in detail below.

  • A single squeeze will result in the pause or play of the music. It would help if you also pressed only once to answer a call. And when you have responded to it, press it again, and the call will end.
  • If you listen to Spotify and don’t like the song, you can skip it by squeezing the stem twice. 
  • Also, if you liked the song and want to listen to it again, you will need to squeeze the stems three times, and you will skip back.
  • If you want to activate Siri, just press and hold your force sensor for a few seconds and start asking questions.
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With these options, you can take your playlist to the next level. You won’t have to listen to a boring song just because you can’t access your mobile.

These features are pretty unique but this is just an appetizer. The main course is yet to come. You must wonder what will happen if you keep the stem squeezed for some time. No need for you to experiment because we will explain to you in the following lines.

Transparency and Noise Cancellation mode:

Sometimes, when you are working in a cafe or in your office where your coworkers are making too much noise, and you can’t focus, you increase the sound of your music to cancel out the noise. It works to some extent, but it can be pretty dangerous for your hearing. 

Also, sometimes there is an exciting conversation going on, but sadly you are left out because the songs banging in your ear stop you from understanding anything. So, what is the solution here other than increasing or decreasing the sound of your songs?

This is where transparency and noise cancellation mode comes in. When you keep the stem of your AirPods squeezed for 3-5 seconds, you can go back and forth to either of these options.

With noise cancellation mode, your earbuds will act as a noise counter and cancel the outside noise with white noise. You won’t need to excessively increase the volume of your song, sit back and enjoy your music without any interruption whatsoever.

The opposite is true in the case of transparency mode. If you want to listen to the outside conversation, press the force sensors for 3-5 seconds. Your earbuds will start working like a hearing aid and let in outside noise. 

Pretty awesome, right?

Will force sensors work on Android?

Apple is not too inclusive. Most of Apple’s features are only functional on iPhones. iCloud, airdrop, and drag and drop are some of many features that are applicable on Apple devices alone. 

But fortunately, force sensors are functional in Android devices too, but with certain restrictions. You can use the essential functions like pause/play or skip the song; however, you can’t customize your settings with Android. And if you are wondering whether you can use Google’s assistant on AirPods pro, rest assured! You can access GA via AirPods on your Android.

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Can I customize my force sensors?

There is a possibility that you might not like the settings of your pods. If you are wondering whether or not you can customize the basic settings of force sensors, the answer might be a bit upsetting. You can’t change the basic settings of your force sensors. They will play/pause with one squeeze, skip ahead with two contractions and skip behind with three squeezes no matter what you do. 

However, you also have some options that you can customize according to your needs. All of them are explained below. You have the freedom to choose between noise control and Siri. To customize these options to your liking, you should;

  • Go to the setting on your device
  • Navigate to the Bluetooth option
  • There will be an option with the name of your AirPods on it. Click on the small I button on its left
  • There will be a press and hold option in the menu. Go there and choose between Noise control or Siri. You can also customize whether the left AirPod will answer the call or correct!

Besides this, you can also choose the duration and speed of your force sensors. To customize these options, you will have to;

  • Go to setting apps
  • Navigate to the accessibility tab
  • You will find the AirPods option at the bottom of the menu
  • You can customize the press speed and hold duration from there.

Why my force sensors aren’t working?

Sometimes, force sensors stop working without any reason. In most cases, this can be solved by resetting your AirPods. If your force sensors are also not working, follow the steps below;

  • Open the lid of the case and place both earbuds inside. Make sure that the issue is somewhat charged.
  • Place the case near your device. There will be a button at the bottom of the case. You will have to press it for a few seconds.
  • There would be white light flashing at the start. When that white light turns into amber, your AirPods will have been successfully reset.

There is a high chance that your force sensors will start working. However, if it still isn’t working, it means that there is something wrong with the firmware of your AirPods. Firmwares are updated automatically, and Apple hasn’t rolled out a way to manually update the firmware. In this case, check the firmware of your AirPods and ensure that it is updated to the latest update.

Just keep in mind that Android won’t be able to update your AirPods!

What is the future of force sensors?

Don’t get too attached to force sensors. Apple just filed a patent for a “Portable listening device with sensors,” and it is rumored that the next AirPods will ditch the stems entirely. Since there won’t be a stem, there won’t be force sensors. Instead, Apple is opting for touch sensors that you will be able to customize with a single touch.

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It is a bit disappointing, but knowing Apple, the next version of AirPods will be even more exciting. Fingers crossed.


It can be pretty hard to imagine such excellent technology confined in the stems of the AirPods. Technology never ceases to amaze. You can play or skip songs with just a single squeeze. Yes, they might stop working temporarily due to some issues, but as explained above, they are pretty easy to resolve. We hope that this article answers all of your queries regarding force sensors on AirPods. If you still have questions, you can comment below or reach our team directly. We will surely help you out.

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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.