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Chris Boyle

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Headphone recommendations please [Jun. 25th, 2008|01:34 am]
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[Mood | frustrated]
[Music |Neuropa - Control]

Further to my previous post, I now have convenient portable 3.5mm stereo output of music (phone/FM/PC) switching to phone calls (with a microphone for those). What I don't have is some headphones suitable for outdoor use. Quoth Wikipedia: headphone formfactors can be divided into four separate categories: Circumaural, supra-aural, earbud, and in-ear. I have several complications:
  • I find circumaural headphones comfortable and good at delivering sound; at work I've been using a Medusa USB headset (and at home its older brother the SL-8790). Unfortunately these and most others of this type are clearly unsuitable for wandering around Cambridge, especially on a bike (they'd fall off, and are big enough to be awkward to transport when not in use).
  • The few supra-aural (mostly band-at-back-of-neck) headphones I've tried have sounded tinny and been very susceptible to the wind whistling in my ears (possibly due to slight gaps through which air can rush). Some of them also lacked a sufficiently long band for my head.
  • The many earbuds I've tried so far have all made my ears ache within an hour (mostly within 30 minutes). The few I've tried while moving around a lot have also fallen out at least once each, except some Nokia pop-port ones with a clip around the ear which served to keep the earbuds in a sensible, consistent position. Even those were a bit uncomfortable, being made of insufficiently soft materials.
  • In-ear monitors are largely unknown to me, except that some of my colleagues use them and are pleased with their noise-exclusion properties. By all accounts the sound quality would be excellent, but I'd be worried about comfort and about whether I really want to exclude all external sound on the road. Can anyone (dis)recommend these?
Therefore, oh wise and generous friends-list, what should I use for my outdoor listening? Goals are comfort, sound quality, portability and road safety. Bonus points if they score sufficiently well on the first two that I'm happy with them for indoor use as well.

Edit: I bought the Philips SHE9600(s?).

From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-25 02:04 pm (UTC)


Um. Yes. If you're cycling, listening to music is generally really not recommended except by stupid people. For all the obvious reasons.
[User Picture]From: [info]shortcipher
2008-06-25 04:17 pm (UTC)


I'd generally agree with that sentiment, but as I said on IRC earlier, I'm mainly thinking about my journey to and from work here, which is a somewhat safer route than the average cycle journey, full of segregated cycle lanes with good visibility. I can trivially hit pause and/or take the headphones out of my ears for busy sections. Also, I don't find music nearly as distracting as some people do.
From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-06 07:27 am (UTC)


Aye, but the issue isn't so much the distraction as the being unable to hear other road noise. Fair enough if it's a reasonably safe route, though - I don't *actually* want you getting squished, despite all evidence to the contrary :)