Monday, March 06, 2006

A New Lease

In 1989 I was given a pair of headphones for graduation. They were a welcome companion during study sessions, amateur recording events, and numerous road trips. They faithfully reproduced my music collection as it evolved from cassettes to cds to mp3s.

However, after about 8 years of use, the fake leather that covered the ear pads disintegrated leaving the foam exposed. This destroyed their ability to block outside noises since they could no longer form a tight seal around my ears.

In the land of cubicles, where I work, it is often necessary to block out the ubiquitous conversations of co-workers. For this task I daily call upon my trusty headphones. To counteract their inability to deter outside noise I increase the volume.

Recently, I decided that I needed better headphones—not because mine don’t sound good, because they do—but because I have to crank them up so much to keep out the unwanted noise. While I was searching for some new headphones to buy, I stumbled upon a discussion about replacing worn ear pads. Soon I was on Sony’s website and without hesitation I bought a replacement set. One week and an easy installation later, I am pleased to report they have never sounded better. It is as if they are brand new.

If only everything I own could be revitalized with such simplicity. Imagine if my 20 year old car could be revitalized with a new set of seat covers. Or if a $10 part bought at radio-shack could make my television picture as clear as it was the day I bought it. What about a washing machine additive that could keep my clothes from becoming worn out.

And, what does it say about a piece of electronics that can still be enjoyed after 16 years? Possibly more amazing, is that the standard for delivering sound from a personal device to the listener's ears has remained constant.

Here’s to simple fixes, unchanged, industry standards, and my uncle Russell for buying me these sweet headphones.

6 Comments:

Blogger Johnathan M. Thomas said...

Farout! I have to think if I even have something 16 years old that I can still use. I'll have to think about it.

Thu Mar 09, 08:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger CJ said...

An added bonus is that 16 years later those headphones have some serious retro-coolness. Very nice!

Fri Mar 10, 12:17:00 AM PST  
Blogger Carol said...

Hard to believe you can still get parts!
"the standard for delivering sound from a personal device to the listener's ears has remained constant."
That statement is indeed amazing considering the different formats and devices that have come and gone.

Sat Mar 11, 04:20:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Kami said...

Hi Jason!!!

It was great to see you guys today and SORRY I talked your EAR OFF!!

Sun Mar 12, 06:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger rebecca marie said...

that was particularly fun to read for some reason. i enjoyed every bit of it, and finished smiling.

Mon Mar 13, 08:40:00 AM PST  
Blogger Leo said...

And they are working great right now -- thanks for letting me borrow them Jason!

Thu Sep 12, 05:21:00 PM PDT  

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