In Aware mode, Bose® proprietary technology uses one of the microphones within the earbud to pick up surrounding sounds and send them to the user’s ear. This makes it possible for the user to hear what is going on around them while still listening to their audio. At the same time, Aware mode enhances the listening experience by maintaining a minimal amount of noise reduction to block certain background noises while still allowing the user to be aware of most ambient sounds.
As with any headphone, the signal from the audio source can dominate the ability to hear your surroundings. If the source volume is at a moderate level, Aware mode will provide the user with the ability to hear their surroundings.