When you want to increase your situational awareness--while jogging, for example--you can increase the amount of ambient noise that leaks into the headphones, so you can hear the cars on the street. When you're in situations where you want to concentrate on the music, you can reduce ambient noise with active noise cancelation. Unlike other earbuds that offer active noise cancellation, the JBL Reflect Aware don't need batteries, but you'll need an iOS device to take advantage of this: They draw power from the Lightning port on an iPhone or iPod. The JBL Reflect Aware are priced at $149.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.