Ambient Noise Headphones (Beginner's Guide)

Ali Abdaal

Wondering what ambient noise headphones are? Find out what ambient sound headphones are in this guide. Learn more about these headphones that let you hear your surroundings.

If you love using your headphones when you are in the office or powering through an intensive workout, then you know how important it is to remain connected to your surroundings. You definitely want to know when there's a car or a person around you. And you want to be aware of any important announcements or conversations happening in the office.

The good news is that there are a ton of ambient noise headphones on the market today. Ambient sound headphones allow you to hear your surroundings while still having the headphones on and active. Let's learn more about ambient noise headphones in this article.

Table Of Contents

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Ambient Noise Headphones  

There are several factors to consider when purchasing ambient noise headphones. They include:

Best Headphones with Ambient Sound Mode

Here are some of the best headphones with Ambient Sound Mode:

1. Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5 is one of the best headphones on the market. The headphone is known for its excellent noise-cancelling capabilities. And its impressive ambient sound mode. Sony WH-1000XM5 is stylish, comfortable and lightweight.

This makes it perfect for extended listening sessions and on-the-go use. It comes with eight microphones, which work harmoniously to deliver outstanding noise cancellation and improve ambient sound mode.

Key Features

2. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the next earbuds with Ambient Sound Mode on our list. These earbuds come in three colors:

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has the best sound quality and a sleek design that fits comfortably in your ears. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro gives you up to 5 hours of playtime with the ANC activated. And when you turn off the ANC, the battery life extends to up to 8 hours.

Key Features

3. Apple AirPod Max

When it comes to quality and luxury, Apple AirPod Max takes the lead. The over-ear headphone is available in a range of luxurious finishes, including:

AirPod Max is best for iPhone users and works with iPhone 8 or later models. It promises you up to 20 hours of play time, talk time, and movie playback with its ANC and spatial audio activated.

Key Features

4. Sennheiser HD 600

If you are looking for ambient noise headphones that are very comfortable and deliver outstanding sound quality, you should definitely try the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones. The Sennheiser HD 600 has garnered a reputation for offering an impressive blend of:

The Sennheiser HD 600 is also known for its remarkable durability, making it perfect for:

Key Features

Ambient Sound Meaning

Ambient Sound Mode, often referred to as Transparency Mode, Transparency Hearing or Ambient Mode, is a feature commonly found in modern headphones and earbuds. Ambient Sound Mode allows external sounds to pass through your headphones.

As a result, you'll be able to hear and be aware of your surroundings. When Ambient Sound Mode is activated, your headphones use their built-in microphones to record ambient noise. These sounds are then played back into your ears through the headphones.

What is the Importance of Ambient Sound Mode? 

When you are jogging, commuting, or working, you want to hear when something is happening around you, from the sound of dogs barking and the buzz of traffic to the sound of rain and people talking.

However, you don't want to take your headphones off every time you need to hear these background noises. Fortunately, with Ambient Sound Mode, you can stay connected to your environment while still listening to your favorite tunes.

Pros and Cons of Ambient Noise Headphones

Ambient noise headphones have their own advantages and disadvantages as well.

Pros of Ambient Noise Headphones

Cons of Ambient Noise Headphones

What Is the Difference between Ambient Noise Headphones and Noise Cancelling Headphones?

Both ambient noise headphones and noise-cancelling headphones aim to enhance your listening experience but are very different. Noise-cancelling headphones are focused on reducing or eliminating ambient noises. Noise-cancellation headphones use a built-in microphone to pick up ambient sounds around you. They then generate sound waves that are the exact opposite of the incoming noise.

When these opposing sound waves combine, they cancel each other out. Ambient noise headphones, on the other hand, allow ambient noises to be heard alongside the music playing through your headphones. Ambient sound headphones are perfect for those who want to remain connected to their surroundings while listening to music.

Do Headphones Have Both Active Noise Cancelling and Ambient Sound Mode?

Yes, many headphones have both Active Noise Cancelling and Ambient Sound Mode. Having both of these features in your headphones provides you with the flexibility to choose the mode that suits your needs. If you want to reduce unwanted external noises and focus on your audio content, you can use active noise canceling. And if you want to be aware of what's happening around you, you just need to turn on the Ambient Sound Mode.

Final Words

When you want to stay safe while jogging, commuting or even doing house chores with other people around, ambient noise headphones are the best. Ambient noise headphones let you hear your surroundings while still listening to music. They allow you to converse with other people without the need to remove your headphones or pause your audio. If you are looking to buy ambient noise headphones, check out the various options we've mentioned above. Whether it’s AirPods Max or Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the headphones will enhance your listening experience while keeping you connected to the world around you.

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