A Tale of Two Headphones

Yesterday, Beck and I went shopping. We really shouldn’t do that on holidays, as we tend to spend waaaaay too much. But, we always have a great silly time, and I suppose that’s a fair trade off.

My travels took me to the Apple Store at West County Mall. This is one of two Apple Stores in town (the other’s at the Galleria Mall), and the one at which I bought my iMac. I went in looking for a durable case for the iPod and a set of headphones.

The case I ended up with was a silicone sleeve from XtremeMac (whose logo looks an awful lot like Handspring, the PalmPilot cloners). It’s nice, but…. (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) With the sleeve on, my iPod won’t fit in the dock. And it is hard to get in and out of the sleeve. So, the sleeve may go back to the Apple Store, and I may opt for something that either supports being in the dock, or allows for easy removal for docking. I like my dock!

I also picked up a set of Bang & Olufsen A8 Earphones. These are just about the sexiest earpieces I’ve ever seen. They’ve been getting rave reviews, and I thought I would complete my iPod experience by adding a pair. Now, I’d read that they were complex to get set up correctly, and that you really needed to dedicate some time to configuring them for your ear properly. Yesterday, I did that, and found them to have great sound, really reproducing the highs extremely well. Nice, nice, nice.

Until today. I took the A8’s and my iPod to work. At work, I listen to music most of the day (when I’m not in meetings), and pop my headphones on and off frequently to answer the phone, handle walk-up traffic, etc. The A8’s just werent’ made for that. It takes a few minutes each time to get them “just so” in the ears again, and after a while, I felt like all I was doing was playing with two things sticking in my ears. Ugh.

At lunch, I went to Circuit City looking for earphones, and found a set of Sennheiser PX 100 collapsible earphones that were nice. I’ve always loved Sennheisers, and have owned since the yellow earcup days of the early 80s. As my home headphones, I have a pair of HD 570s that I just love. I had no idea that Sennheiser made headphones as compact and portable as the PX 100, but I had high confidence that they would be terrific.

I wasn’t disappointed. These things sound great! I guess the lesson here is not to be distracted by sex appeal, and to go with what you know. Sorry B&O!