Headphone users have never had as much choice as they do today. From budget but brilliant true wireless earbuds to wired audiophile-grade headphones, knowing what will best suit your needs can be difficult. Those looking to stay aware of their surroundings benefit most from using open-fit headphones or transparency mode-capable earbuds. That’s because open-fit earbuds and transparency modes allow ambient sound into your audio feed. This has a wide range of handy applications we’ll delve into later in this article.

But before we continue any further, it’s worth noting that open-fit earbuds are different to open-back headphones. The purpose of open-back headphones is to allow air to pass behind the speaker drivers. This helps to reduce unwanted resonance and excess low-frequencies. On the other hand, open-fit buds leave the ear canal free to allow ambient sound into the audio feed.