Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Headphones On, World Off.

Some time ago I made a very big mistake.

I was out somewhere or other and had a while to kill before meeting with someone who was doubtlessly going to tell me something fascinating about industrial level products (I know, it's very rock n roll isn't it?), so I went to buy a coffee and a sandwich. I ate them and was still too early to turn up at my meeting so I went for a wander round the shops.

They had a Bose shop and, like a sailor being lured onto the rocks by a Siren, I went in.

Now, I love a gadget but the world beloved of audiophiles has long been closed to me. Sure, it's got all the boxes ticked in that it consists mainly of electronics in shiny boxes with eye-watering pricetags and I can appreciate the difference between the really cheap end of audio kit and the next step up, but try as I might I just have never managed to tell the difference between kit costing £50 or £500. I clearly have £49.99 hearing so I have always been sure that I can go into these kind of shops to fondle the gadgetry and pull faces at the pricetags, safe in the knowledge that I won't actually want any of it.

after a couple of minutes of poking about I tried on a pair of their noise canceling headphones, safe in the knowledge that I would not be able to tell the difference between the shiny £280 items in the shop and the ones I'd bought from the interwebz for, ahem, considerably less a couple of years ago.

Under the watchful gaze of the wildly enthusiastic (and technically astute) sales johnny I put them on and sure enough there appeared to be no difference at all. Until I switched them on.

The sound of the crowds milling through the shopping centre disappeared, and I was just left with, well, silence. It was astonishing. The music sounded great too. I was blown away.

Since then I have spent the last few months telling myself that £280 for a set of headphones that I'll mainly use on flights a couple of times a year is ridiculous and trying to ignore the small voice at the back of my head telling me they're worth every penny.

On Sunday I found myself winning an auction on ebay for a pair of the very same headphones. Oops. Even though they were considerably less than new the Beautiful Mrs A almost fell off her chair when I told her how much. She pointed out that I could have bought a pair of headphones for a fiver at Tesco (her expectation of audio quality is even lower than mine). Although she doesn't understand my love of expensive technology, she gets entirely the want of a thing - see here - so all is well.

They're due to arrive today and as long as they're not knockoffs and are functional I think I'll be quietly pleased...



  1. You know, I sit next to you on planes. If you keep telling people you need them for noise cancelling, they'll wonder about the state of our marriage

  2. I would like a pair... I want noise cancelling. They should also be powerful enough to cancel the small voice at the back of my head.