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Adventures in Head(phone) Hunting

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As some of you may know, I’m a music nut and a really big fan of my iPod. When I bought it, I tried the stock headphones for a while. I soon discovered that they hurt my ears (they also didn’t sound very good – particularly in noisy environments).

So, the hunt began for a new pair of headphones. After lots and lots of research, I decided to try “earplug” style headphones. The idea is that these actually go into the ear canal. This serves two purposes: 1) blocking out a fair amount of external noise, and 2) much improved sound quality (paricularly increased response across a wider range of frequencies). I finally settled on a pair, bought them, and after some fiddling to get them to fit propoerly in my ears, fell in love with them. They sounded great, they were comfortable, and I didn’t have to listen to 62 other conversations while I was on the train, or go crazy listening to white noise while I was testing rats.

Last week, however, my beloved headphones decided to stop functioning at an optimal level. The right side worked fine, but the left seemed to be operating at only half-power (making everything I listened to off-balance (a very annoying experience). I could live with the fact that the headphones weren’t working properly. They’re designed for a portable device, they get  banged around and beat up, I shouldn’t (and didn’t) expect them to last forever.

So the hunt was on for newER headphones. I read several reviews and narrowed it down to 3 models. Yesterday on my lunch hour, I went to the nearrest big box retailer and was met with a big, fat surpise. Said big box retailer had closed up shop and moved 5km down the road. Even though I was quite annoyed, I wasn’t about to get on a bus and go all that way when there was a big, giant shopping mall across the road. Over to the mall, into the Sony Store to procure one of the 3 models on my list. Sure, I had to pay the Sony Store Premium, but I got my new headphones.

How do they sound, you ask? Pretty darn good, says me. While they do go into the ear canal like my previous pair, they don’t quite seal it up like earplugs (as the previous pair did). Overall, I’m pleased with the sound, the fit, and the comfort level.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

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Written by The Canuck

December 22, 2006 at 11:46 am

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