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Being able to mute a call is sometimes vital. If you need to speak to someone else without the caller hearing, or you've just stubbed your toe and can't resist the urge to swear loudly, being able to quickly mute yourself can be a real lifesaver.

In the past, if you were making calls on your AirPods, there was no quick way to mute a call; you'd have to fish around for your iPhone and mute the call from there, by which time it was probably too late. Thankfully, you can now mute a call with just a single press of the stem of your AirPods, providing you have one of the compatible models. Here's how to mute and end calls on AirPods.

How to mute and end calls on AirPods

Apple has introduced new touch controls for AirPods with iOS 17 that allow you to mute and unmute calls just by pressing the stems of your AirPods or the digital crown of your AirPods Max.

  1. When on a call, press the indented section of the stem of your AirPods or the digital crown of your AirPods Max to mute yourself.
  2. The person you're speaking to will not be able to hear your voice whilst you're muted.
  3. To unmute yourself, press the indented section of the stem (or Digital Crown) again.
  4. The call will unmute, and the person you're hearing will be able to hear you again.
  5. When you want to end the call, press the indented section of the stem of your AirPods (or digital crown) twice.
  6. The call will now end.

What AirPods are compatible with muting calls?

The mute feature is only available on specific models of AirPods and your iPhone needs to be running iOS 17. If your AirPods aren't one of the supported models, you won't be able to use the mute/unmute feature when making calls.The compatible models of AirPods are:

  • AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, USB-C
  • AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, Lightning
  • AirPods Pro 1st Generation
  • AirPods 3rd Generation
  • AirPods Max

What do you need to do to mute calls on AirPods?

In order to take advantage of this feature, all you'll need to do is ensure that your iPhone is updated to iOS 17 and that your AirPods are updated to the latest firmware. The firmware for your AirPods will update automatically; if they are not updated, ensure that your AirPods are in their charging case, and connected to power, and that your iPhone or iPad are within Bluetooth range of the AirPods. Your AirPods should then automatically update.

How to end calls on older AirPods

If you don't have AirPods that are compatible with these new touch controls, you can still end calls using your AirPods. For first and second generation AirPods, you'll need to use a different gesture.

  1. To make a call, double tap either of your AirPods to activate Siri, wait until you hear the chime and then ask to make a call to a contact or number.
  2. When you want to end the call, double tap one of your AirPods again to hang up.
  3. If you're on a call and receive another, you can double tap one of your AirPods to answer the second call, which puts the first on hold.
  4. Double tapping again will switch back to the first call.