What is Ambient Sound?

Last Updated:
Photo of author
Written By Bruce






If you are a regular music listener or use headphones daily, you must have heard the term “Ambient Sound.” The main clause is the latest trend of the year and quite a helpful feature.

The ambient sound in the background or nearby noises, such as traffic, rain, the blare of horns, the chirping of birds, the barking of dogs, the chatter of passing pedestrians, etc.

While listening to music, I would have a little disturbance to no interruption until an emergency arises. So it is essential for us that while listening to music, we can hear the important sounds, be aware of our surrounding environment, and never miss anything.

Now let’s go deep into Ambient sounds and see what type of headphones or earbuds we should buy:-

Ambient sound vs. Noise cancellation: What is the difference?

You must have heard both terms before and might think that these words have the same meaning, but the reality is they are miles apart.


The actual job of noise-canceling headphones and earbuds is to stop leaking any external sound, and this is done by adjusting the design of the padding and cups.

The noise cancelation headphones and earbuds don’t let you hear the chirping of birds, barking of dogs, etc., in front of you. In contrast, the ambient echo lets to hear the sound of playing kids, the chirping of birds, the barking of dogs, etc., but it won’t disturb the audio frequency and let you hear your favorite music well-adjusted. Thus you can enjoy the music and hear the outside sound as well.

What is the Ambient sound mode on headphones and earbuds?

It is advanced and clever technology helpful while listening to both music and the outside sound in earphones and headphones. By activating the ambient mode on your devices, you will be able to hear the surrounding noises and be able to hear your favorite audio with great clarity.

But keep in mind, it is not necessary that if you turn on the ambient mode in your headphones or earbuds, you will be able to hear your music clearly and every sound in your surroundings.

What is Ambient sound all about?

The ambient sound mode doesn’t annihilate background noise as the noise cancellation feature does. Still, it provides a great help, especially when I roam in a busy and crowded place or the house doing all the household chores and listening to music, and yet I can hear the doorbell sound or if someone calls me.

The best thing about this is that it’s been proven very helpful when we are looking to merge two different shots in any video to make it much smoother and more realistic. Thus it adds satisfying background noise, like a shower of raindrops to add vitality to the listening experience.

Ambient sound mode on Sony headphones

I have used SonyWH 1000XM3; it is one of the best headphones for ambient echo. Several Sony headphones come on the market with a noise cancellation function and ambient sound mode.

In a social environment, this feature comes handy you have to put on your headphones, and the noise cancellation function turns on by default. To turn the ambient sound mode on, you have to tap the NC button a few times.

With each tap of the button, the following things activate:

  • With the first tap: the ambient mode in headphones is turned on.
  • With the second tap: the noise cancellation system is turned off.
  • With the third tap: the noise cancellation feature and ambient sound is activated.

I’m quite impressed with Sony’s headphones to connect app, which allows us to adjust the ambient sound level.


Ambient sound and the Samsung Galaxy Earbuds

Samsung has a great range of earbuds that provide ambient sound features. I have used some of them as the Samsung galaxy buds live, Samsung galaxy buds+, and the Samsung galaxy buds pro. In all these devices, the way to activate ambient mode is the same.

Whenever I’m in a surrounding situation I need to be aware of what’s happening around me, it can only be done by ambient sound mode. Samsung earbuds can be accessed from the Galaxy wearable apps. Another feature that I love about Samsung is its ‘Voice Focus’ that helps detect conversation and provides clear audio.

There are other advanced features in Samsung earbuds like an ambient echo while calls and Relieve pressure with ambient sound. It can be activated by just tapping on the toggle switch towards the right. The only drawback about the Galaxy earbuds is that the ambient sound mode is not available to iOS users.



The ambient sound mode in headphones and earbuds provides us great help in awarding the surrounding situations. So whenever you go to buy a pair of earbuds or headphones, keep in mind not only the price, battery life, durability, and comfort but also check the active noise cancellation and the ambient sound mode feature, which is a combination made in heaven in my device.

And thus, I get an advantage while doing many things and concentrating on music simultaneously.