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What’s the Difference Between Ambient & Noise-Canceling Sound?

Updated: Dec 10, 2021


What’s the Difference Between Ambient & Noise-Canceling Sound?


If you’re having trouble hearing and want to do something about it, you’ve probably already investigated your options. No doubt, you’ve come across terms like “PSAP,” “ambient sound,” and “noise cancellation.” But you may ask yourself, “What’s the difference between ambient and noise-canceling sound?” Read this article to find out.


What Is Noise Cancellation?

Devices with noise cancellation abilities are designed to stop all external sounds from leaking into your hearing. For devices like headphones, this is possible with padding, cups, and other noise-canceling materials. Using noise-canceling devices, you won’t be able to hear birds chirping or dogs barking. You won’t hear anything at all. For people looking for peace and quiet, devices that can cancel out noise are very useful.


What Is Ambient Noise?

Background noise, or ambient sound, includes all the day-to-day distant noises people tend to ignore. Rain, traffic, bees, and the ruffling of leaves are all sources of ambient noise. Personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) amplify all ambient sound, allowing for greater exposure to the desired ambient sound. A PSAP system amplifies ambient sound with:

  • One or more external microphones that capture ambient sound.

  • One or more internal microphones that capture residual noise from inside your ear canal.

  • A headphone speaker that can play back the augmented sound.

Through this system, PSAPs can enhance desired ambient noise. People with and without hearing impairments can benefit from these devices and their ability to give them more exposure to ambient sound.


What Is the Difference?

People who want to know the difference between ambient and noise-canceling sound need only to understand that noise-canceling eliminates all sounds, from the noise in front of you to the birds chirping far away. Meanwhile, ambient noise refers to distant sounds.


If you’re starting to encounter the hearing problems that often come with age, make sure to take a look at sound amplifiers for the elderly at SuperEar.

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