The following frequently asked questions and answers will help you become more familiar with the products GRiTworks offers.



Sound Quality


Care and Maintenance



What is Ambient Sound?

Ambient sound is the sound that we hear all around us (when we don't plug our ears with normal earbuds). That can be anything from warm, welcoming sounds like a child's voice, wind in the trees and birds singing, to more urgent sounds like approaching footsteps or vehicles. See also: 'How does it work?'.

How does it work?

With normal noise isolating earphones the earbud has a good seal into the ear, which is how a tiny speaker can produce high quality sound. But a byproduct is that ambient sound is blocked out. We believe that being able to hear the world around you is as important as good sound quality, so we set out to design earphones that provide great sound quality but still let you hear ambient sounds. We do this by designing very high quality earbuds with powerful, full range speakers (we call them drivers) and excellent in-ear sealing. On its own this is no different from any other high-end earphone design, but then we also add a microphone and an electronic mixer to add ambient sound into the music channel. The volume of the ambient channel can be adjusted independently so that you can block out a lot of ambient noise or just a little to suit your environment.

Do GRiT earphones and AMBi make me inherently safe?

In short the answer is "no". Your personal safety and the health of your ears are in your hands. Here are some further tips for safe listening.

  • With regards to personal safety, the use of AMBi does not replace the need to exercise personal judgment and vigilance when using earphones. Depending on the particular situation and environment you find yourself in, take the safest and most appropriate action to protect yourself. This could include, but is not limited to, selecting a different AMBi setting, removing the earphones entirely, and removing yourself from an environment altogether.
  • For use in public, always verify and obey the laws and regulations regarding the use of mobile devices and their accessories in the areas and during activities where you live and/or plan to use GRiT earphones and AMBi APPS. And be careful, attentive, and responsive at all times, regardless of your activity.
  • With regards to hearing preservation, AMBi APPS in itself does not provide hearing protection. It is highly recommended that isolating type earphones be used with AMBi APPS. AMBi works by allowing you the user to select what you deem to be the best relative balance between the ambient and digital audio sound levels. By using sound isolating earphones, the overall listening volume can be deceased to a more comfortable level, thereby allowing greater freedom and range in which to create that balance. Consult the user manual of the earphones you are using to see if they may provide any measurable ambient sound reduction. Adjust the AMBi volume setting appropriately in consideration of the level of actual ambient sound. The higher the actual ambient sound level, the lower an AMBi volume setting will be required.

How do I get the best performance from my AMBi earphones?

The most important thing to remember is to make sure the earbuds fit well in your ears. Try the different earbud tips supplied with your earphones. Select the size that provides the best seal in your ear without becoming uncomfortable to wear.

Are my GRiTworks earbuds waterproof?

No, the GRiTworks ROC line of earphones are not currently waterproof. Do not immerse them in any type of liquid.

What products are compatible with AMBi Apps?

Check out the compatibility tab for the particular AMBi APP you're using.

What products are compatible with GRiTworks earphones?

Check out the compatibility tab for the particular earphones you're using.

Will ambient sounds degrade my sound quality?

The simple answer is no, but the reasoning behind the answer requires some explanation. 

In the last few years, noise isolating and noise cancelling earphones have become very popular. The idea behind them is to make sure that the earbuds seal into the ear canal, ensuring the maximum level of sound pressure from the small speakers in the earbuds. Without a proper seal, much of the pressure is lost, in turn reducing volume and distorting frequency response. Cutting out ambient sound is really just a byproduct of this process.

Unless you are in a VERY noisy environment, ambient sound is not damaging to the sound quality. Imagine listening to a big fancy hifi in your living room, any ambient sound does not actually impact the hifi's sound quality and you can still hear the phone ring or a knock at the door.  So 'noise isolating' is really a misnomer because noise isolation is not the prime function of these designs. A better name might be 'acoustic enhancing' or 'sound optimization'. Of course, in really noisy environments the noise isolation is an advantage, but then noise cancelling earphones are even better. For most normal day to day applications, you don't really need or want noise isolation, just 'sound optimization'. See also 'What is Ambient Sound?' and 'How does it work?'.

How can I make sure I'm getting the highest sound quality?

Numerous factors affect sound quality. Although many are out of your control, such as the bit-rate of your source, there are a few things which can be controlled to improve sound quality.

  • Select an earphone that reflects the kind of performance you want. With certain models, GRiTworks offers two different types of drivers to fit your listening style. Refer to the GRiTworks models that offer Dynamic and Balanced drivers, and then determine which is most appropriate for you.
  • Make sure your earphone and eartips provide a good acoustic seal in your ear. This seal is critical to obtaining the highest quality audio performance. See the EarbudFIT page for guidance.
  • Select the highest bit-rate source for your audio. Generally, the higher the bit-rate, the less the sound has been compressed, and consequently the closer it will sound to the original source.
  • Use a high quality media device that possesses a high quality audio player.
  • Adjust the media device’s equalizer settings to match the style of music and to suit your particular preferences.
  • Regularly download upgraded media player and equalizer apps to your media device. Many of these apps offer considerably greater range of adjustment and sound effects, which can in turn ensure that your earphones are performing up to their potential.
What can I do if there is too much wind noise?

A number of possible solutions could help reduce wind noise.

  • Remove microphone bodies from direct contact with windstream.
  • Select a lower AMBi volume setting.
  • Cinch up the earphone cables behind the neck/head using cinch (GeM series). This will help to remove the microphones from the wind stream.

Why can't I hear any ambient sound?

The answer to this question can depend on the type of GRiTworks earphone you're using. 

  • If using a NeK earphones with AMBi BUILT-IN:
    • Verify that battery is charged and power is turned on.
    • Verify that the audio volume level is not so loud as to be overpowering and drowning out the ambient sound.
    • Verify that the selected AMBi volume setting is high enough for the actual ambient sound level. The lower the actual ambient sound level, the higher the AMBi volume setting that may be required.
  • If using GeM earphones with AMBi ACTIV APPS:
    • Verify that media device is charged and power is turned on.
    • Verify that 3.5mm plug is properly plugged into the media device.
    • Verify that the AMBi ACTIV APP is running.
    • Verify that the audio volume level is not so loud as to be overpowering and drowning out the ambient sound.
    • Verify that the selected AMBi volume setting is high enough for the actual ambient sound level. The lower the actual ambient sound level, the higher the AMBi volume setting may be required.
Why is the ambient sound too loud?
There may be a number of issues causing the problem. 
  • Verify that the earbuds are fitted properly and providing a good acoustic seal.
  • Try selecting a lower AMBi volume setting.
  • The actual ambient sound level may be too high for safe and comfortable hearing. If this is the case, remove oneself immediately from the situation and prior to re-entering, replace headset with suitable hearing protection device with higher noise attenuation rating. 
What can I do if the earbuds don't fit my ears?

Please consult our Earbud FiT page for more information. 

What's the proper way to clean my earphones?
There are a number of steps which will allow you to effectively and safely clean your earphones. 
  • The silicone eartips should be cleaned regularly. Remove the eartips from the earphones and wash them separately in a gentle cleaning solution like dish soap and warm water. Use the provided cleaning tool to remove any earwax that has entered the sound channel.  Then thoroughly rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Allow the components to dry completely before reinstalling them on the earbuds, so as to prevent any liquid from entering the sound channel and to ensure that the eartips stay fastened to the earbud.
  • For the earbud bodies and cables, start by using the supplied cleaning tool to remove any earwax that may have entered the sound channel, being sure to point the opening downwards to allow any debris to exit the earbud. Then clean exterior surfaces with a soft dry cloth or damp (never “wet”) alcohol free wipes.  Be sure the earbuds are completely dry and clean before reinstalling the eartips.