What is ambient noise? Defining background noise.

Woman wearing QuietComfort Headphones listening to music in a living room

Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re missing until you lose it. That’s true for ambient noise, the background noise that fills your space all day long, such as neighborhood dogs barking, horns honking, construction machinery screeching, and people chattering. It’s only when you remove ambient noise that you realize how much it’s a part of your waking life and impacts it in a negative way.

What is ambient noise? Ambient noise comes at you from all directions and at all frequencies. At the high end of these daily background sounds are things like air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, and police and ambulance sirens, while the low end includes running water, large fans, and motor engines. All can impact you in negative ways, breaking your concentration, increasing stress, and impairing critical thinking. In fact, when these ambient sounds cross 85 decibels — as urban noise pollution often does — it can damage your hearing permanently.

Thankfully, noise cancelling technology — which eliminates most discernible ambient noise — offers a way to control the ambient noise around you and create a bubble of silence that benefits concentration, communication, and relaxation. Here’s how.

Ambient noise vs. noise cancelling technology

One of the greatest remedies of ambient noise and the issues it causes is headphones and earbuds with active noise cancellation. What is active noise cancellation? Rather than simply muffling ambient noise as traditional models do, active noise cancelling models like Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds remove the sound signal almost entirely by emitting its opposite, effectively “cancelling” it out. The effect is instant — and surprising for first-time users — creating a bubble of quiet that includes only you and the audio you want to hear. Better yet, with noise cancelling headphones and earbuds, you can bring that peace and quiet with you wherever you go and for whatever you need to accomplish.

Noise cancelling in action

Any given day offers ample opportunity to witness how noise cancelling technology can fight off ambient noise, including these common moments.

Working at the physical and digital office

In physical office spaces, employees work alongside all types of ambient noise, from the heating and air conditioning systems to the activity of teams working together on projects or blowing off steam during breaks. While the remote work environment removes many of these distractors, it adds new ones, sometimes right outside the door. Removing that ambient sound then becomes particularly important during online meetings with colleagues and clients. In fact, noise cancelling goes two ways in Bose headphones and earbuds, as the microphones inside use the technology to filter out the ambient noise that would prevent your voice from being heard and transmits it in crystal clarity.

Traveling on public transport

Transportation produces the largest amount of ambient noise for many people, with planes, trains, and buses ranking highest among the culprits. In fact, traditional headphones and earbuds often cannot cope with these noise levels, even when the volume is turned up to the max. Not only do noise cancelling headphones and earbuds save your ears from this audio assault, they also clear the way for a relaxed trip that makes entertainment audible and concentration achievable. In fact, you don’t even need to be playing anything through the headphones and earbuds to find peace in the noise cancellation bubble.

Listening to music

Perhaps nowhere can you hear the impact of noise cancellation on ambient noise better than when you listen to music. Even songs and albums you’ve heard umpteen times will sound fresh and new with noise cancellation, as it removes everything but the music itself. This opens the way to hearing sounds, notes, and tones you never noticed before, increasing the sense of intimacy. In fact, it may even feel like the musicians are sitting all around you in the same room, especially if you’re wearing spatial audio headphones.

Ambient noise when you need it

One of the above-and-beyond features of noise cancelling headphones is their ability to adjust the levels of noise cancellation. This means you can allow whatever level of ambient noise you wish. That’s particularly good for situations where you need to remain aware of your surroundings, such as when jogging outside or waiting for incoming phone calls while doing chores around your home.

And if noise cancellation is not a priority, you can go even further with OpenAudio technology, available in the Ultra Open Earbuds. These newly designed earbuds from Bose allow you to hear your surroundings, making it easy to multi-task when staying aware is necessary.

Life in the foreground

When background noise is eliminated, life shifts to the foreground. That’s great for both business and pleasure, enhancing performance and experience across the board. Without ambient noise constantly intruding and distracting, you can focus fully on the things right in front of you. What is ambient noise? Nothing you need to worry about with noise cancellation.

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones tdt
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
$379.00 $429.00
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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds tdt
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$249.00 $299.00
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Bose QuietComfort Headphones tdt
Bose QuietComfort Headphones
$249.00 $349.00
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Bose Ultra Open Earbuds tdt
Bose Ultra Open Earbuds
2 Colors
2 Colors