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Sun, 29 Feb 2004
Noise intolerant
One way of describing me is that I am noise intolerant. I have pretty good/sensitive hearing, and this sometimes causes problems for me. I think that I'm probably all the way at the totally whacked by noises end of the spectrum. It's one of the reasons that I am a night person -- things are quiet at night. I find that I just think better in a quieter environment.

I've been working out of my home office since 2001, and for the most part noise hasn't been a problem. As the girls get older, they are getting more expressive and enthusiastic in their expression. So sometimes during the day, I'm starting to notice the noise from the rest of the house.

Last week, via one of the Mac news sites, I discovered that MicrophoneSolutions.com was offering a coupon deal on the Shure E3c in ear headphones, which are supposed to block out all kinds of sounds. I've been using as set of Sennheiers HD545's that are a number of years old. The sound is good, but the open over the ear design isn't much help in blocking out noise. So based on a number of reviews on blogs, the desire to reduce the noise, and a 30 day money back guarantee, I decided to try the E3s.

So far, my feelings are mixed. The sound is wonderful, but the noise reduction and comfort are less than I expected. The sound quality is truly impressive, much better than the Sennheisers, which were pretty good when I bought them years ago. I read some complaints about the bass in some of the reviews, but for the music that I'm listening to, it seems adequate -- I don't really want the glass in my office windows to vibrate from the earphones anyway. The noise reduction is mixed. It definitely cuts out noise, and many conversations in the rest of the house disappear when I have the phones on. If I insert them right, I can barely hear myself type (when no music is playing), sometimes not at all as Scoble is experiencing with his Etymotics. I have a feeling that this has to do with fit. I seem to be having trouble with the fit. I'm not sure whether it's my technique or whether my ears are too small. I've tried the various small sizes of tips that were included with the fit kit, but I don't really feel that the fit is quite right. I wonder whether the flanged sleeves (not included) would make things better. Comfortwise, they are mostly comfortable, but I've noticed that my ears felt sore after using them. This sensation is dying down though, so it may just be a matter of getting used to wearing something in my ears for long periods of time.

So after a few days, the verdict is that these are very nice headphones, they definitely cut the noise. The only question for me is whether they are cutting enough noise to make it worth the price. For me, "silence is golden".

[23:40] | [gadgets] | # | TB | F | G | 3 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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