Friday, August 08, 2003

Attn: audiophiles - sound isolation earphones

So I just got my first pair of very fancy sound isolation earphones, and they are amazing.* You can't hear anything but the music, even when it's being played at really low volumes. You hear little threads of music you've never heard before, even when you've listened to a CD a thousand times. Very cool.

There's a debate over which is better: sound isolation vs. noise cancellation. Sound isolation ear phones fit in your ear, like the orange plugs they hand out at concerts to prevent you from going deaf and block out all noise -- I mean ALL. My colleague scared the crap out of me by tapping me on the shoulder after I failed to respond to her calling my name at top volumes. I have learned that I have to listen with only one earphone in while at work, otherwise I would never hear the phone ring. Unlike sound isolation, according to one Web site: cancellation earphones work by examining outside noises like mechanical engines or other music and creating an inverse sound, a reverse sin-wave of noise designed to perfectly interfere with the ambient noise around you.

I would love to do a compare and contrast. Anyone use noise cancellation headphones before?

*I didn't mention the brand because I work with this company too, and didn't want to be guilty of shameless self-interested promotion twice in one week. However, if you're willing to drop a $100 on a pair of earphones and need a recommendation, drop me an email and I'll give you the Web site where you can get the ones I have. They are definitely worth the investment (especially for me, since I got them for free :) Now I just need to buy that iPod I've been saving up for.

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