Tuesday, November 02, 2010

In One Ear

A little over Three years ago I ended up with a strange sequence of events that ended up with having two brand new midrange headphones: a pair of Bose noise canceling, and Shure SE 210 sound isolating earbuds. I never really used the noise canceling headphones all that much, because the active noise cancellation seemed to give me headaches. The Shures on the other hand were awesome.

I use them all the time, especially once I got a newer ipod that could hold all my music. And not just on those plane flights for work, but also frequently on the bus, especially if someone around me is loud.

Anyways, the Shure headphones were awesome, but all that use took its toll. About six months ago the left heaphone's rubber wrapping started coming off. It didn't seem to affect the operation, so I just kept using them. But then on the flight to India the right earphone stopped working, or was playing sound so soft that you couldn't hear it.

This had happened once before when some junk got in the earphone and was blocking the sound chamber, but either that wasn't the case here or during my attempts to clean it out with makeshift found-on-an-airplane equipment made matters worse. In any case, the right headphone has never worked right since.

It is hard to describe how annoying it is to listen to music or a movie in one ear only. I'm disappointed because even though I got so much use out of the headphones, I was expecting them to last more then three years. And it's hard to justify spending a bunch of money on new headphones when I have plenty of other pairs, including those aforementioned never-used Bose headphones and lots of various earbuds.

But while they all sound better then one ear'd Shure headphones, they don't sound as good as the Shures used to.


Reuben said...

I wear headphones a lot - for several activities each day - jogging, riding my bike to and from work, and again while falling asleep each night. I go through a lot of headphones. Usually I'm listening to podcasts (not music) so I'm less concerned about sound quality. I'm always grabbing any old pair of earbuds I can get my hands on for free - they last a few weeks/months, then I toss them and move on to the next cheap pair.

Steve Eck said...

I've been using cheap ear buds lately and there is a huge difference in audio quality versus my old headphones. I had previously scoffed at how much 'better' more expensive headphones actually would sound (I bought the Shures for their sound blocking), but there is a huge difference.

I agree that it wouldn't make as much difference for podcasts, though.