Monday, August 6, 2007

Silence is Golden

"Enjoy the silence" goes the Depeche Mode song, and with the Bose QuietComfort2 Noise Reduction headphones I got, I can do just that. After reading about, hearing about and seeing them many times on planes, I went to a Bose store and tried them (next to a speaker issuing airplane sounds). What can I say? Until you put them on, you have no idea how much noise you're exposed to on an airplane.
These headphones don't come cheap: they cost $300 ($299 in American :)). They work for 30 hours off a single AAA battery. They come with a nice carrying case (that has a place for my iPod Mini) and include plugs for an airplane headphone socket and a stereo system.
Basically you can enjoy 3 levels of noise reduction:
  1. Just by just putting these ear covering headphones on, you block some of the noise around you.
  2. Turn them on, and white noise (such as airplane engine, train, car etc.) will be actively tuned out. You can even disconnect the cord and use this mode for sleep.
  3. To achieve maximum noise reduction, attach a sound source to the headphones, which will enhance the sound and block the white noise around.
Couple of facts:
  • A newer model by the name of QC3 exists (retails for $349) - It has an on-the-ear design and a rechargeable battery. I tested both and went for the QC2 for comfort, and the fact that it's easier to carry an extra AAA battery than a power plant :).
  • I tried using these at a dentist, to block the annoying drills. Mixed results - apparently if the source of the sound is in your mouth, it gets in your head in a different way :).

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