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Audiophiles can attest that any quality pair of headphones worth their salt will be noise-cancelling headphones that can block out all the sounds, voices and cacophony of the outside world so you can blissfully enjoy your tunes as you navigate through the noisy world. Still, there are downsides to every great invention. Sometimes, it can be a little dangerous to completely repel the sounds of your environment – for example, it’d be good to hear a car’s brakes screeching to a hurried stop before hitting you while you cross the street. It’s also convenient to hear and know if someone is calling out your name. Thanks to Amazon’s latest patent, we may be able to have our cake and eat it too.

The delivery titan was recently awarded a patent on a design for a pair of noise cancelling headphones that can actively listen and identify specific sounds, such as someone shouting out your name or the howl of sirens, and then turn of the noise cancelling function within the headphones so you become aware of what’s happening in your surroundings. By analyzing incoming noise that noise cancellation headphones mute and reject, Amazon’s patented headphones can pick out specific words or sounds and transmit those important ones into your ears. After all, while tuning out the rest of the world can be a magnificent thing, sometimes it behooves you (and your headphones) to just shut up and listen.

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