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.


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  
Anonymous Anonymous 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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