The demand for noise-canceling headphones is higher than ever, and Skullcandy is not falling behind either, with some great ANC headphones in the budget segment. It’s been only over a year, Skullcandy released their Hesh ANC wireless headphone, and they quickly became a crowd favorite due to their excellent features at an affordable price.
However, one thing that surprised me was the addition of ambient mode at such a low price. So, today I’ll discuss this whole ambient mode sound, how this feature really works and how well ambient mode Skullcandy performs in real life. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
What is the ambient sound mode?
Ambient sound mode is no rocket science, and it’s as simple as the name suggests. Depending on the ambient headphones or earbud you use, you might also recognize the ambient mode as transparency mode or transparency hearing too.
While using headphones or earbuds, the listener might need to listen to the ambient noise around him. It can be for a conversation, on the street, or just to be aware of the surroundings. This ambient sound mode lets those ambient sounds inside as you turn it on.
You can turn off once you feel like you don’t need the ambient sound anymore now that a conversation is over or you are not on the street anymore. With ambient mode, you won’t have to take off your earbuds or headphones anymore. That’s right; there is the key benefit of the ambient mode.
Ambient mode vs. Adaptive noise cancellation:
What’s the difference?
Now that you know about the ambient mode, this whole feature might seem familiar to you. That’s because there was adaptive/ ambient noise cancellation in place long before ambient mode came into play. Both adaptive noise cancellation and the ambient listening mode have a similar function.
Usually, the noise cancellation is the exact opposite of the ambient sound mode. While one allows the ambient noise, the other’s job is to block that completely.
However, the idea of adaptive noise cancellation is that it allows some ambient sound in. The AI in the headphone usually decides which noise cancellation is more suitable for a particular scenario and uses that mode.
So, the difference here is that the ambient sound is totally under your control, while the adaptive noise cancellation needs the AI to determine when to function.
How does the ambient mode work on Skullcandy headphones?
The way Skullcandy ambient mode works is quite interesting. When I first learned about the ambient mode, I wondered how a headphone/ earbud could suddenly let the ambient noise come in despite being on the ear. Well, this trick is actually done by using microphones on the headphone.
All these headphones or earbuds with ambient mode have separate microphones that pick up the ambient noise surrounding you and play it back to you. Not only does the ambient mode play the sound back, but it also amplifies it to make it easier for you to listen. That’s how the ambient sound mode works in any audio device.
However, don’t expect the ambient mode to be like your ear because the microphones might sometimes fail to pick up the ambient noise, especially those with distant sources.
SkullcandyHesh ANC ambient mode: Performance and Control
That’s all for now about the ambient sound mode; now, let’s see how well Skullcandy has implemented it on their Hesh ANC headphone. I have to admit; I was a little skeptical about the performance of the Skullcandy ambient mode as this is a budget headphone.
However, I absolutely loved the ambient mode SkullcandyHesh headphones when I got to test it. Despite the low price tag, the microphone was high-quality and did a great job of picking up the ambient noise.
As I mentioned earlier, the ambient mode also amplifies the noise too. This amplification is also quite well implemented on this headphone, especially when it’s the human voice. The ambient mode perfectly amplifies whether it’s a real conversation or an announcement.
Lastly, switching to the ambient mode on this Skullcandy headphone is pretty easy too. On the right side of the headphone, there is a button above the volume control. By double pressing it quickly, you can switch to ambient mode.
Here we are at the end of our article. I hope I have shared all my knowledge about ambient sound mode and how it works. As for my experience with the SkullcandyHesh ANC headphones, the manufacturer has successfully implemented the ambient sound mode.
If you are looking for a budget headphone with perfectly functioning ambient sound mode, look no further and get these Skullcandy ANC headphones.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.