Posted on August 1, 2011 by Jingles | No Comments
Good music is subjective, not everyone likes the same music or even good music. My taste in a certain genre of music, breakcore, has been likened to an episode of will it blend in which they blend a cat.
Breakcore is like ox tongue, it’s an acquired taste (a taste which I have acquired), not something I’d expect everyone to like.
I wouldn’t unwillingly subject people to breakcore, yet plenty of people seem to think it’s ok to subject others to their taste in music by using the standard earphones that come with an Apple iPod for example. Well IT’S NOT OK! I don’t want to hear your crappy music. It’s just not good etiquette anywhere.
The problem with the mediocre earphones you get with an iPod, or pretty much any PMP (I only pick on Apple because they still command a 70% market share in the PMP market. Oh and I don’t like Apple anyway.), is that they are open earphones and offer absolutely no isolation at all. The only way to isolate noise if you are in a noisy environment like a train is to increase the volume.
A safe listening volume for headphones is around 40 dB, the ambient noise on a train is about 50+ dB, so if you were to have the volume level set at 40 dB on the train you wouldn’t be able to hear or enjoy your music without increasing the volume to hazardous and annoying levels. Not only is it hazardous it’s also annoying because other people can hear your music as well because the sound leaks out of the headphones since they offer zero isolation. Furthermore the sound quality, or lack of, that generic earphones offer is appealing.
Some people think it’s ok and just crank up the volume to drown out the ambient noise, well IT’S NOT OK! Not only is it obnoxious, rude, annoying and proves that you are just a noob, it can and will damage your hearing. Not that I care about your hearing, I hope your loud music sends you deaf.
Trend whorish iWhatever users are the worst. More often than not when there is some annoying SOB playing their music too loudly it’s coming from some twat with those unmistakable white iPod earphones. If I wanted to hear from an arsehole I would have farted. What is it with Apple users? They don’t seem to be that intelligent. Anyway I digress, get some proper, some real headphones or earphones!
By proper I mean canal phones AKA In Ear monitors (IEMs) or closed headphones, although I would choose IEMs over closed headphones for a number of reasons:
- They will offer better ambient sound isolation by giving you a better seal in the canal of your ear which means less sound leakage, i.e. you won’t hear much of what is going on around you and others won’t hear what you are listening to.
- They are more comfortable for extended use.
- They are more portable.
- They will offer much better sound quality
- Probably the most important reason is that the better sound isolation means you won’t have to have the volume up as high which will save your hearing.
When I got my first pair of IEMs I found that the excellent sound isolation meant that having the volume maxed out was way too loud and that setting the volume to a quarter of the maximum was more than sufficient for me to enjoy my music without being able to hear much if any ambient noise.
So if you like to enjoy your music in public do yourself and everyone else a favor and invest in some good IEMs or closed headphones. You will piss off a lot less people and be able to enjoy your music more while you save your hearing.