September 21, 2000

Gotta Have It!

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College life has a lot of perks — no parents telling you to go to sleep, late night parties in your room, and just general debauchery 24/7. However, there does come a time (usually around your first prelim) when you just want to do your work and channel out the extraneous noise your roommate is causing by putting on the headphones. Headphones can hide all the noise away as you put Dark Side of the Moon into your CD Player or Braveheart into your DVD player while still allowing you to partake in equally distracting fair. The headset technologies have changed considerably over the last few years with three sets currently leading the pact in fidelity, sound and comfort.

Bang and Olufsen, known for their art-deco view of technology and equally high prices create this beautiful creature. However, when it comes to comfort, nothing can beat the two pieces that are ergonomically designed for the ear. They weigh only eight grams (about the weight of one sheet of paper) and literally feel like they float on your ear. ($160)

The perfect set for Braveheart. The Sony MDR-DS5000 Virtual Dolby Digital Surround Sound Headphones deliver true 5.1 channel sound out of two channels. How? Most likely due to magic, but Sony claims its due to a transmitter which connects to the outsource (i.e. DVD player, television, computer) and then decodes the signal in such a way that it can simulate theater sound in this technological breakthrough offering. The downside? Well the price is a tad high, but that is to be expected for this luxury item. The real annoyance is the large set you have to wear on your head and that you have to be within 20 ft. of the transmitter. However, if you really want to find a reason to avoid studying and watching T2: The Ultimate Edition, then these are the puppies for you. (Sony, $364.99)

Okay, I give. You probably don’t need a 5.1 channel theater for your ears, and most likely you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for the lightest earphones available. So what should the common man to do? Well without sacrificing style, Aiwa HP-J30’s are a beautiful set that won’t break the bank. They are commonly referred to as “Swoops” or those earphones that look like they are falling off the guys head as he walks in front of you to class. The design and performance from these phones are extremely good for the price and, for those worried about their curly locks on the way to class, the style won’t get in the way of your hair on the way to school. (Aiwa, $25.00)

Archived article by Ryan Silbert