Ambience refers to the background atmosphere or environmental sounds that subtely enhance a podcast episode. Ambience creates a sense of space and location within the audio environment.
Common types of ambience used in podcasts include:
- Room tone – The natural ambient sound of the recording space like soft white noise.
- Outdoor atmospheres – Sounds of nature like birds chirping or crowds in a city.
- Music beds – Soft instrumental music playing under a voice.
- Sound effects – Sounds relating to the topic like cars passing for a road trip podcast.
- Textures – Background audio like gentle waves lapping or crackling fire.
Ambience in podcasts helps set the mood, transports listeners to a setting, brands a show’s vibe, smooths edits, and improves overall production value. Too much ambience can be distracting though, so it’s best used subtly.
Podcasters record or source ambience tracks to layer into their shows in post-production. Both royalty-free and licensed options are available. Ambience helps tie together podcasts as one cohesive, professional-sounding experience for listeners.