When I was little my sister and I were given our first walkman. It came with some 80s style headphones – the ones with the metal hairband and the fuzz-covered speakers that neither covered your ears like cans or latched on like earbuds. The sort that are probably due an ironic revival any day now until everyone remembers that they were rubbish.
Anyway, our headphones were *especially* rubbish. The fuzz discoloured, the speakers snapped off the headband and the headband could never be adjusted to fit our tiny childheads. And most importantly, the sound was terrible.
But it didn’t matter that the sound was terrible. All that mattered was 1. we finally had a walkman and 2. we didn’t play the music loud enough for my mother to be able to hear it.
My mother was convinced that using headphones would send us deaf, and if she could hear the music then we were playing it too loud.
Skip forward to today, and even now I’m genuinely shocked at how loudly people listen to their music on headphones. Clearly, I’ve lead a very sheltered life; I always assumed that everyone got the same parental lectures as my sister and me.
And yet, there they all are, on the train listening to their crappy music on their crappy headphones.
My mother would definitely not approve.
It’s not just that people who listen to their music too loud are always the people with the very worst taste in music, it’s the fact that they have paid all that money for a music player and then they’ve just gone and used whatever useless headphones it came with in the box. It drives me spare.
Being a thrifty sort (clearly, I get that from my mother), I would never normally advocate the wanton spending of cash, but if you’ve paid good money for your iPod, you should pay good money for your headphones.
After all, the headphones are the bit that make the most difference to the sound quality – and they’re the bit that you are shoving in your ears.
Yes, you have every right to expect that manufacturers would provide you with adequate hearing aids with your magic box of songs, but sadly that’s not the case. If your headphones are leaking noise all over the place, they’re not very good headphones and it’s time to treat your ears – and the people in your train carriage – to some decent ones.
Some decent headphones include:
If you’re buying yourself an iPod, check out the Apple Store for much better headphones than the ones that come with the player as standard.