Monday, October 13, 2008

Have Headphones, Will Use iPod When Travelling

Thanks to the Mrs., I've had an iPod for some time now. I must confess, though, that I'd not used it very much. It's those darned ear buds: even with the little marshmallow add-ons, they just wouldn't stay in my ears--and when they did, they weren't comfortable. Much as I wanted to use the iPod for my June trip to Mobile, the discomfort and the fussing with them rendered music-listening both a masochistic and a potentially-dangerous experience. Talk about the Law of Diminishing Returns.

So anyway, whenever I found myself near the electronics section of a store and it'd occur to me to think about it, I'd look for some suitable option. The prerequisites: headphones that would sit on or cover the ears (preferably the former); wide frequency range; a price that would allow me to retain my arm and leg. Moreover, the search had acquired some recent urgency: our flight to Mexico City leaves from Dallas, and on long road trips I like to listen to music while the Mrs. sleeps. I wanted to take the iPod along so I wouldn't disturb her, but it was beginning to look as though that would not be an option.

So at Target yesterday, it was as though the clouds had parted and angels sang to me via a crystalline mp3 file when I saw these Philips Neckband Headphones.

They sit on/over the ears? On--and as an added bonus, loops running from the neckband to the actual phones loop over the ears, holding the phones in place. They're designed to be worn while moving about, but I used them for several hours last night and found them very light and comfortable; and/but I could also hear other noises in the apartment, such as Scruffy in the living room whining about neighbors outside the apartment door. I even fell asleep while I had them on in bed. Even better: they have a warm but not mushy sound in the low end and precise, clear highs. Sharp but not brittle.

Wide frequency range? 12-24,000 Hz. Any lower or higher, and you'd have to be either a reptile or a bat to hear them. The listening experience is very much like listening to a really good analog stereo system from back in the day.

Price? Just under $16. Where do I pay?

The one (very minor) disadvantage is that on me, the neckband bumps into my shoulders just below the neck whenever I raise my head up, thus moving the phones off my ears a bit. But this is something I can more than live with when the alternative is constantly trying to re-wedge little Star-Chamber-Seal-of-Approval earbuds into my outer ears. So: call me a satisfied customer.

1 comment:

Kári said...

Congrats on finding a suitable solution. I'd never had a problem with earbuds until I started running this summer and then they really didn't stay in. I have in the past had a pair such as the ones you describe (Sony, though), but the problem with them is that I have quite a large head and after a little while they start to hurt.

So instead what I've got are earbuds that wrap around your ears. Work like a charm.