Turn It Down

Treat yourself to better headphones or earbuds. Higher quality will let you enjoy just as much at a lower volume and help you to preserve your hearing.

If you use your headphones as fake office walls at work and things get pretty noisy around there, make sure to look at the noise-canceling headphones.

Author: Dinah from Kabalor

Author. Discardian. GM. Current project: creating an inclusive indie fantasy ttrpg https://www.patreon.com/kabalor

2 thoughts on “Turn It Down”

  1. Right on!
    Even better than noise-canceling headphones are noise-blocking earbuds. Noise-canceling headphones work by playing the inverse of ambient sound waves right into your ears, so they require their own batteries and need lots of computing power to work. (And they don’t always work well; wearing them on the subway, for example, is sometimes worse than nothing at all, since they can’t deal properly with the loud screechy noises.) The noise cancellation frequently messes up the sound of music slightly, too.
    Noise-blocking earbuds are the love child of iPod-style earbuds and earplugs. Rather than using a computer to acoustically cancel out sounds, they physically block outside noise by sealing your ear, which results in much better reduction in outside sound then noise-canceling headphones. Because there’s no outside noise to compete with, music seems louder at much lower volume levels, which helps your ears a great deal.
    I use Etymotic ER6 earbuds (http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6.aspx ). They sound incredibly good and are more comfortable than most earplugs. They’re a little expensive at $75-100, but that’s a small price to pay to preserve your hearing and get sound that’s as good as a $500 set of speakers.
    For the full range of in-ear sealed monitors, see http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-headphone-type/in-ear-monitor-type/ .
    If you’re really serious, you can use in-ear monitor headphones with custom-molded earpieces that allow for an even better seal and more comfort. These molds can be used as high-quality earplugs, too. The molds cost about $175 in addition to the cost of the earphones, and must be ordered through an audiologist. (If you’re in San Francisco, call Lisa Tannenbaum, My ears are getting a set for their birthday.


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