Wireless earphones are small, compact, and don't have the most tangled dread - wires. That makes them popular and convenient today. Apart from that, features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Ambient Noise give them an edge over others. Ambient Noise is also known as headphone transparency mode. It helps you focus on listening to songs and podcasts by canceling out the ambient sounds. That's quite useful when jogging or walking in a public area which has a lot going on.
Until a few years ago, Ambient Sound was only available in a handful of wireless earphones. Things have changed for the better, and this feature is now available in almost all premium wireless earphones. The best part is that you can enable it with a tap of the button (or touchpad) on the earphones.
Here are our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds with the ambient sound feature.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is one of the newest wireless earbuds from Samsung. In this iteration, the Galaxy Buds Pro packs Active Noise Cancellation and Voice Detect apart from the Ambient Sound feature. Also, Samsung has adopted an in-ear approach instead of the one-design-fits-all approach of the Galaxy Buds Live.
The ANC feature works its best to seal the ear canal to remove any noise and distraction. The degree of ANC is customizable and you can select one depending on your preference. The Ambient Sound feature can be turned on/off right from the touchpads on the earphones, and this is a huge plus.
As long as you find the right fit, the Galaxy Buds Pro is comfortable to wear even for long periods. The best part is that the IPX7 waterproof rating makes them suitable for the gym, and the lightweight nature helps its cause. The compact charging case is the cherry on top.
Last but not least, the audio delivery is balanced. While you may not get a thumping bass, but it gets the job done. At the same time, it comes with added perks like wireless charging, voice detect, and spatial audio.
If you want a slightly better soundstage than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is the best fit. They are not as expensive as some of their counterparts, and yet deliver detailed audio and impressive Active Noise Cancellation performance.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 is not a discreet-looking pair. And you can attribute that to its slightly dated design. Nevertheless, the buds are lightweight and are comfortable to wear. One of the main highlights is that Sony ships six pairs of ear tips (form-based and silicon-based), and they add to the comfort in the long run.
They pack touch-based controls, and the companion app can customize them. Like most ANC earphones, the battery life is on the shorter end. You will get around 5-6 hours of constant playback time before the buds need a top-up. Thankfully, this can be taken care of by the charging case, capable of providing up to three charge cycles.
The WF-1000XM3 has a few limitations. This pair of earphones don't have a dedicated IP rating and lacks support for wireless charging. On the upside, you can enable the ambient noise with just a tap. Also, the soundstage is quite impressive.
The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW wireless earbuds are the one for you if you love mellow beats in songs. Unlike some wireless earphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3, which delivers a slightly bass-heavy audio, the ATH-ANC300TW delivers a bit of neutral output. That means you can listen to songs from pretty much every genre.
The ANC is almost in the tunes of Sony's WF-1000XM3. The companion app allows several customizations, and the ability to switch the levels of ANC and Ambient Noise is probably one of the highlights. Both these options give you the flexibility to pick the noise level (or no noise) as per the scenario at hand.
However, not all is hale and hearty. With ANC, the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW lasts for only 4.5 hours, with the charging case providing around 13 hours as a backup.
The Jabra Elite 85t brings the best of both worlds. Not only are these wireless earphones better priced, but they also bring you a world of features. Above, all the audio delivery is one of the best in its price range. You will love the thump of bass, whether you use the earphones while working or in the gym. The ANC is fairly impressive, and the same holds for the ambient sound (named Sound Transparency).
The app comes with pre-built soundscapes, which means you do not need to open your music app separately if you want to listen to white noise or rain sounds on loop.
The only drawback is that the Elite 85t comes with physical buttons. Now, when most wireless earphones are moving to touch-based buttons, the physical buttons seem a bit of a downer. On the upside, the buttons are soft to press and do not jam into your ear canal when pressed.
The battery life is decent for earphones with ANC. On a single charge, they will last around 5.5 hours with ANC, and you can buy around 2 more hours if ANC is disabled. While the battery life is considerably decent, they are shorter than the Sony WF-1000XM3's duration.
But, the attribute that leaps up is its instant connection process. They connect as soon as you open the case and put the earphones in your ears.
With the Momentum True Wireless 2, Sennheiser makes a comeback to the true wireless world. These wireless earphones are second-generation buds and bring the iconic fabric look associated with their predecessor. You'll get impressive audio delivery and comparatively decent battery life.
The folks at the What Hifi state that the Momentum True Wireless 2 delivers an impressive soundstage and can be compared to the likes of Sony WF-1000XM3 or the much-popular Apple AirPods Pro. Now, that's something, right?
At the same time, the ANC quietens the environment so that you can pick every detail in your favorite songs. You can enable ANC and ambient sound feature using the buttons.
The Momentum True Wireless 2 walks the line between large earphones and discrete earphones like the Galaxy Buds Pro. Well, they do protrude less from your ears, but aren't entirely invisible once you prop them up.
That said, it brings an attractive package for the price, and if you want to listen to great music with clear vocals and music, you shouldn't miss this one.
If you want the best of Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds is an excellent bet. Though these buds cost more than their counterparts above, they prove themselves to be worthy to deliver good ANC and decent soundstage. Unlike its predecessor, this time Bose has worked on the design and the QuietComfort Earbuds are smaller and lighter on the ears.
The highlight of these buds is the long battery life, considering that these are ANC earphones. They last up to 7.3 hours before needing a top-up and the charging case delivers two charge cycles.
These are IPX4 buds means you can use them in the gym or when you are working out without worrying about water and sweat damage. At the same time, they come with Bluetooth 5.1, which ensures fewer connection issues.
Lastly, the QuietComfort Earbuds delivers dynamic audio with deep thumping bass. Moreover, the ANC lends a quiet and distraction-free background. You can also pick from different levels of noise cancellation, and a 0 level means a sound transparent mode.
It also has a few limitations like these buds do not have multi-device pairing. That means, you can't pair them with several devices at once.
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Today, ANC and the ambient noise feature go hand-in-hand. This gives you the flexibility to switch on the feature as you deem fit. The only limitation of this combo is that the battery life is on the shorter end. But on the bright side, you can pop them back in the case for a top-up. Win-win, right?
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