Experts' Comments

What are Ambient Noise Headphones?

What is Ambient Noise?
Ambient noise is any background sound that isn’t the original music you want to listen. It can include the noise of traffic, weather, animals (birds) waves, alarms, people chatter, and noise from devices such as air conditioning, fans, refrigerators, etc.

It’s also known as background noise (or noise pollution) and is generally an unwanted part of listening to music. It takes away from the listening experience, makes details harder to hear, and causes miscommunication during a phone call.

Also, it encourages listening to higher volumes, which might lead to hearing damage.

Ambient noise reduction is important in aviation, where the first active noise-canceling headphones were massively used.


Why Might You Still Want to Hear Ambient Noise while Wearing Headphones?

The only time you want to hear ambient sound while wearing a pair of headphones is when you want to interact and be aware of your surroundings.

It’s useful for runners (and cyclists) who are jogging on the streets where they need to be aware of the traffic (to avoid accidents because lack of awareness can be deadly).

Also, it’s useful in business environments where you need to talk with people over a phone call and in office as well.

For everyday situations, hearing ambient noise is important when you want to communicate with people, like talking with a store clerk or other service people. Trying to listen through loud music is often impossible, thus making pause necessary.


What Effect Does Ambient Noise Have on People?

There are no health hazards caused by background noise unless you crank up the volume and damage your hearing (which is more of your own fault).

But it can take away from the listening experience, especially if you’re listening in a loud, public place. It can make you miss the music details and hear distorted sound signals.

In other words, it makes your music sound worse by covering and blocking it.

Nonetheless, ambient sound helps some people relax and fall to sleep easier. When the noise mimics a different, more relaxing environment, it gives you a sense of being in touch with your surroundings.