Headphone Buying Guide: First Steps, Headphone Etiquette and How to Deal with Messy Headphone Cable.


Hey Audioholics, today we have brought to you an ultimate guide (call it the headphone bible if you will) where we have covered from the different types of headphones and earphones to noise cancellation theory, to how to deal with messy headphones cables, to ever-rising headphone prices!

The days of using that same pair of in-ear headphones that came with your iPhone or iPod nearly a decade ago are over. If you take a look around or scan your news wires, you will notice an explosion of new lines of headphones, and many are both affordable and extremely stylish. Of course, there are GRADO GS1000e, including the new HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 headphones, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. And, for a little more than you would shell out for a month, you can purchase a set of cans that will radically change the way you listen to music. If you are looking for just such an experience, dive on below just beyond the break into peep our initial guide to buying a quality set of headphones. If this is your first time on the market, we’re more than happy to be the ones to gracefully introduce your eardrums to the world of real headphones.

We have divided this long post into following sections:

Section 1: Understand the options and varieties

Section 2: Total Guide to Earphones – types and options

Section 3: How to Deal with Messy Headphone Cables

Section 4: Headphone Prices Inch up – Why and How High Will You Go?

Section 5: Headphones & Etiquette – Your Guide to Etiquette Inside the Can(s)

Section 1

Understand the options:

First and foremost, any attempt to buy a superior set of headphones begins with an understanding of the various types. For starters, most sets that come with small-time electronic devices are in-ear phones. These are the kind that fit directly into your ear canal, pumping your tunes much closer to the head than other varieties of headphones. However, they’re still fairly cheap, and because of the cone size involved, they usually don’t deliver the same level of performance as an on-ear set of headphones. These are typically constructed with a thick foam pad that rests directly on the outer ear. This provides for a much fuller listening experience, but it’s still miles away from the ultimate, studio-ready over-ear design. This completely cups the ear from top to bottom, silencing the outside world and blasting in a monumentally impressive musical expression. For the ultimate in the bass, fat middles, and glistening high-end, there’s nothing quite like an over-ear headphone set.

Shop Well: 

So now that you know how a superior headphone set is constructed, we are guessing you would like to actually buy a set or two. The best way to do so is to first start by reading headphone reviews. As noted stereo headphones are in abundance, and thus, breaking down the offerings with scores, rankings, comments, and even photos will help you to narrow down the competition. Next, bring along an iPhone, iPod, or other such Hifi portable players with a single song you genuinely know by heart. If you’re in a quality shop, the headphones will be on display and available for you to use. Simply plug up the cans, play the song, and listen hard. Take that as a baseline, and then move to the next pair. How are they better? Are they worse? Keep track of what sounds good in each pair, and ultimately, we’re guessing you’ll find one or two that truly redefine the way you hear the song. The perfect set of headphones will absolutely scream quality to you, and in a way that’s quite visceral.

There’s nothing like hearing a song you’ve heard a million times before through a set of real, high-end speakers. If the tune’s been mixed right, a world of sonic possibilities opens up before your eyes. And that is what a nice set of headphones is really all about.

We talked a bit about the proper way to shop for your first set of headphones, as well as a few of the reasons why this is a good idea. We also talked at length about the various kinds of headphone available on today’s market. However, all of that is really just the icing on the cake: The real meat in our sandwich lies another layer down, with the deeper cuts. So if you’ve successfully bought your first pair of headphones, and are now thirsty for the truly awe-inspiring musical experience, we’re ready to help you out. Below, you’ll find another in-depth look at buying a new set of cans, with a deeper focus on the finer print. Starting with:

It’s in the Brand, Dapper Dan:

Take a deeper look at y0ur headphones. Before, we simply talked about the various models of headphones you’re likely to find in a specialty shop. Now, though, we feel it is our duty to deliver you the real, straight skinny on a few of the choicest brands in existence. For starters, many hold Bose as the best headphones in existence. The company has been in the business longer than Cher has been alive, and that’s saying something. They’ve got one heck of a reputation, and are particularly popular with studio professionals. For the kids growing up in the Memphis recording scene, there are particularly fond memories of those old, analog Bose headphones resting on father’s chair.

There are a few other brands that hold just as high a reputation, however. To start with, Sony is often held in particularly high esteemThe brand isn’t just responsible for the PlayStation, but also makes some truly incredible over-ear cans that will rock your musical socks off. As for a few more, Klipsch & Sennheiser are two names with a lot of clouts. We also feel we should mention the endlessly popular Beats by Dr. Dre which command an impressive low-end but are somewhat disputed in terms of actual musical quality and overall tone.

Knowing What You’re Hearing:

Now that you’ve got a few of the big names under your belt, you’re likely ready to hit the store to do some shopping. We mentioned in our previous post that you should bring along a track you’re extremely familiar with. This is still a great idea, but this time around, listen more carefully for a few key characteristics. First off, how is the low-end? What we mean is, does the bass sound full and present, or is it taking a backseat to the treble? On that note, does the mid-range sound warm and wholesomeYour treble should also shine like a Buick with a new polish, but no particular part should be so overbearing that it muddles the entire experience. You’re looking for fullness all around, and if you aren’t enjoying the experience, it doesn’t matter what brand name is on the label: You’re not likely to want the headphones, and there’s no reason you should, either.

Test the headphones for sound quality

Go to an electronics store to personally test the headphones, Crank up the Volume and really test them.  Become familiar with the stores return policy in case it’s not the right choice.

Set limits for spending, and determine your needs

If you purchase good quality headphones you should get your hard earned money’s worth.  $300 is an above average limit, and the headphones in this price range will allow you to have excellent sound qualities, as well as an excellent listening instrument. For example, Bose, Sony, and so many other proven brands all sell well-constructed headphones in that price range and even below.  Pick headphones that let you hear your preference whether its base or other qualities which give you the most enjoyment.

Determine the headphone style that fits your needs

If you are never home and always moving because of a hectic lifestyle or athleticism, or job demands, factor in your activities and decide which style of headset meets your needs.  If you select earbuds, make sure to spend an amount of no less than $20 if you don’t want to be replacing them constantly.

Being trendy and fashionable is fun, and it feeds your ego, which isn’t all bad because you work very hard and deserve to spend a bit of your discretionary income on pleasurable pursuits.  However, in these hard economically challenging times, every dollar you spend wisely, stretch and or manage to save, is a winning situation for you and the ones who count on you.  Defining your headphone needs and meeting them with a frugal and informed mindset will get you the look you seek and the sounds you desire for far less than one million, $8,000, $1000, or even the $400 you were thinking of spending.

Section 2

Total Guide to Earphones Unveiled

Earphones!! (2)

For you whippersnapper readers amongst us, we in-fact remember a time when there was no such thing as in-ear headphones. At least, not the kind designed to produce sound, though we had plenty of the bright orange variety that kept it out. You see, headphones were once a lot more like miniaturized editions of speakers, speakers you could hang off your ears while sitting in your study spinning an LP. However, as time has moved on, and technology has improved, an even smaller edition of headphones has emerged—fueled in large part by the immense buying power of the iPod-enabled market. Our gripes aside, earphones (or earbuds, as they’re commonly called) are truly brilliant pieces of technology and deserve the in-depth look we’re prepared to give them here.

If you’ve never looked twice at the meek little in-ear headphones that came with your latest iPhone, go ahead and skip on down below the break. We’ll be hammering out a few of the distinctions between various styles of earphone, as well as what each variable means for you, as a consumer. Starting with:

Why the Heck do Earbuds Matter?

First and foremost, you may be asking why in the heck you should even care about earbuds. As we’ve already pointed out, people got along fine without them for quite a long time. So what changed? To answer simply, technology itself changed. Gone are the days when lounging in a private room with an LP collection is considered chic. In fact, they’ve been dead quite a while—Or at least that’s what we’ve been told. Instead, they’ve been replaced by an age where every piece of electronics has been miniaturized and brought down to pocket size. Most people take their music with them, using either an iPod or smartphone to port their favorite tracks around. As such, earbuds have increased in importance over the years, matching the strides mobile electronics has made.

As the iPhone’s and iPods have become ubiquitous, so have a more portable variety of headphone. Earbuds are easier on the commute, easier to store once out of it, and typically cheaper on the front-end. All in all, they’re the perfect compliment to the modern lifestyle. But, so far we’ve only discussed the theory of the earbud. What in the heck actually is an earbud style headphone? We hear your please, so let’s dive into the meat and potatoes of the matter before you have a hernia.

The Dread Clip-On: 

There’s no secret around here that we (sorta kinda) hate clip-on headphones. We haven’t got a particular reason, aside from the shoddy design and often cheap nature of the beast, but no guide to earphone headphones would be complete without them. This strand of design are nearly indistinguishable, thanks to a few defining factors. Firstly, they’re often round as the moon, and feature a large, plastic clip that slips over the top of the ear: Hence the “clip-on” part of the name. This creates a more secure fit for the headphones, but it also tends to make them bloody uncomfortable for long periods of time. However, they’ve still got a significant leg-up over standard earbuds at the gym, though the speakers are hardly ever guaranteed to add-up to quality sound performance.

Standard Earbuds: 

These we have a feeling you’re more familiar with. Any of the stock headphones that ship with common electronics, like iPods, Creatives, Zunes, etc. typically come with a pair of earbuds. These are the sort of headphones in an ultra-minimalist package, often shaped like an upside down music note. The large, circular end of the earcap is designed to fit just inside the outer ear. The distended look of the headphones is aimed at keeping the earbuds inside your ear, though this can often make them quite uncomfortable over extended periods of time. Typically, headphone manufacturers offset this by including a fair amount of rubber or foam padding.

If you haven’t guessed by now, most earbuds are fairly cheap, clocking in at usually no more than $50. That being said, we have seen a few freak models emerge over the years, allowing financially-endowed consumers to spend as much as they’d like on these bad boys.


No, we aren’t talking about mobile phones on boats in Venice—Come on, that was clever and you know it! Instead, we’re talking about the earbud taken to the next level. If you’re looking for seriously good construction and sound quality, there’s really no other way to obtain it with an earphone model. Canalphones take the same basic shape as an earbud but refuse to leave the speakers resting in your outer ear. Instead, they come loaded with a soft tip that is pushed directly into the ear canal. This puts the sound waves much closer to your eardrum, and typically (pretty much always, actually) produces a much better sound than you’re likely to find with any pair of earbuds. Additionally, the seal is infinitely superior, providing what we call noise-isolation. This means the headphones naturally seal off your ear from ambient noise, producing a quieter atmosphere in which you can listen to your tunes. However, some users do have problems obtaining a proper seal with canal phones. If you have oddly shaped ears, or needs that go beyond the ordinary, these headphones may not be the best for you.

Over-the-Ear Headphones:

Lastly, we have the over-the-ear. This is a sort of compromise between the lightweight nature of the earbud and the security of the clip-on. These earphones feature an earcap that’s nearly indistinguishable from an earbud, in addition to a large plastic piece that wraps around the back of the ear. The idea here is to keep the headphones in place during heavy use, providing a more pleasant listening experience, as well as a higher degree of musical reproduction. Sadly, we don’t see as many of these headphones as we might like on the high-end range, and speaker sets are usually lacking.

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Another devil in the town: Noise-Canceling Headphones

The idea with these sorts of cans is that, since we have the technology, we might as well block out the ambient sounds while funneling in music. In essence, your headphones’ job is two-fold: First, the set must provide you with music at an incredibly rich and accurate frequency range. But secondly, it must also work to block out all the extraneous noises that keep you from enjoying the latest Katy Perry single to the utmost. Noise-cancellation is really a basic concept: You know all of that ambient noise you listen to on a daily basis? Yeah, we figured not. You see, during our daily lives, there’s a ton of sound waves being pumped all around your ears that you’re not typically aware of.

Your brain tends to tune things like cars, appliances, lights, even background conversation out.

All of this cacophony we call ambiance. And for the most part, this stuff isn’t a problem. However, when you’re trying to listen to your tunes with the latest pair of headphones you just picked up at RadioShack, all of the distractions can add up to a solidly unpleasant experience. How does one correct the issue? By purchasing a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

How is this done? you might be asking. Solid question, Grasshopper! Typically speaking, there are two ways in which you can block out the environment with a pair of headphones. But no matter which option you choose, they both have—

Passive Noise-Isolation:

Now, this part of noise-cancellation is really a mixed bag, but before we go there, let’s talk about the idea here. You know how stuffing cotton balls into your ears blocks out some of the noise? Yeah, that’s the same idea used in passive noise-isolation. In contrast to active noise-cancelation (which we’ll talk about below), all of the ambiance reduction is done through sheer, brute force physics. Any set of headphones that completely plugs up your ears comes with at least a little bit of noise-isolation. Obviously, this is because the headphones are keeping sound waves from reaching your eardrum. The usual suspects in this method are closed-back over-ear headphones, in-ear buds, and even clip-on. Essentially, anything that covers the ear counts, which makes marketing noise-isolation a bit tricky of a subject: We mean, what pair of headphones doesn’t offer at least a little ambient reduction due to the plastic hanging off your face? Which is where the second bullet comes in.

Active Noise-Cancellation:

We won’t go too far into the science of how active noise-cancellation works (read more here, if you will), but a quick way to describe it is this: When a set of active-enabled cans “hears” the ambient sounds around it, it automatically creates an equal and opposite amount of “white noise” to cancel it out. In essence, you are knocking out all those sound waves with a proportionately sized trough for each crest, and vice versa. In a sense, it’s like drowning out the environmental noises with super-specialized distortion. That being said, we’re only scratching the surface of the technology here, which means if you’d like to know more—and have the time to do a bit of studying—Google would be your best bet. But either way, the end result is a set of technologically advanced headphones that allow you to listen to your music at lower volumes without little to no ambient noise.

Bose was the first company to introduce this technology way the heck back in 1986. Since then, every major company under the sun has introduced their own pair of noise-canceling headphones, including Sennheiser, Sony, and Panasonic. It’s been refined since the 80s, as well, and has even been ported to in-ear headphones. Still, most noise-canceling headphones are either larger on-ears or over-ears, though you can expect Sony to release a standalone set of in-ears with noise-cancellation arriving later in the year.

Do You Need Noise-Cancellation? 

All of this is great, but it really begs the questions: Do you really need this sort of technology to listen to your music? The short answer? It depends. You see, noise-cancellation tends to put a bit of pressure on the inner ear, just because of the physics involved. For some consumers, this pressure can be maddeningly irritating, though, for most, it’s hardly noticeable. Obviously, if you have sensitive ears, a passive set of noise-isolators might be best. Otherwise, the decision largely depends on your lifestyle.

If you travel a lot—especially on airplanes—a set of noise-canceling cans can be a real asset. Depending on the amount of enjoyment you garner from quality reproductions of your music, you may find a pair of noise-canceling headphones quickly becoming your best friend. They’re a great way to go about your day with less distraction, but if you never listen outside the home (a typically quiet area) or simply don’t travel much, you could save a lot of money by instead purchasing a more traditional set of cans.

–>> Read our guide on best headphones for airplanes and travelers! <<–

Section 3


How to Deal with Messy Headphone Cables

Don’t worry, we completely understand. Headphone cables are messy, tangle-prone, and just about the biggest pain around. Sure, a couple of manufacturers are starting to sport the tangle-less model of flat cables, but for the most part, dealing with knots worthy of an Eagle Scout is just part of the territory. However, just because you’re sick and tired of the hassle does not mean yours without options for dealing with it. In fact, with a few of our handy headphone tips below, you may find that killer set of in-ear headphones bothers you much less than you ever thought possible. So without further ado, use our solid options below to reduce the clutter, getting you closer to the perfect listening experience with your favorite pair of cans.

Buy Carrying Pouches:

Alright, for the bigger, over-ear headphones, we’ve just got one question to put to you: Have you ever considered springing for a set that comes with one of those handy carrying pouches the high-end models tend to tout so much? If you’ve never cared about these before, it might be about time you started. You see, buying a pair of cans that comes with a portability accessory may be just the thing you need to reduce cable clutter. These pouches are usually custom-tailored for the headphones and offer some sort of pouch for storing those messy lengths. Not to mention the physically chic appeal of a leather bundle to house your high-end model of Bose on-ears. Just saying—turning heads on the subway has to start somewhere.

Use a Chapstick Cap:

 If you found that subheading a little confusing, stick with us for just a second. No, we aren’t kidding about this. See that chapstick tube you’ve got sitting around? Take the cap off it, and then throw the rest right into the rubbish bin. Why do we say this? Because that cap will ensure you never again have to fight to untangle your headphone cables. First step: Wrap the cable like you normally would, so that it ends up looking like an oblong football. Then, take one closed end of the bundle and shove it directly into that cap. You should now have a lot of extra cable dangling out the front like spaghetti noodles. Because the cable is tied off at one end, there’s no chance of it coming undone and getting tangled. Voila! It’s an instant solution to a world of hurt.

Use a Paper Clip: 

A similar method is to use a paper clip to get the job done. First, clamp the jack end of your headphones down within the clip’s clamps. Then, extend the little metal arms and start wrapping. By wrapping the headphones around in this way, you’ve created a closed loop that cannot come undone, and will never get messy. Again, we’re betting you would never have thought of that on your own. In other words, you’re welcome!

Section 4

Headphone Prices Inch up – How High Will You Go?

Have you been reading, or perhaps dreaming about, owning your own HifiMan, Grado, B&O, V-MODA or even Bose?  Yes they are $300 plus, and they are everywhere.  They have become the new “cool” fashion accessory for some musicologists whose need for self-expression is only tamed by the dollars in his or her wallet.  How much is too much to spend on headphones and what are people really looking for, a good musical sound or a fashionable accessory that screams “status symbol” and swallows most of what you thought was your infinite disposable income?

Headphones – About too Much?

Your headphones are your own subjective choice of course.  This means that you have your own personal mental or written wish list which is inextricably linked to your prejudices, comfort level and expectations of your own head music.  Some listeners do want their headphones to be travel-ready, lightweight, stylish looking, heavy or light on the base with the purest quality of sound, and of course, a design and price point that says affluence and star quality.  This is somewhat music/love and the rest is ego driven, of course, but is that a bad thing?

Status Symbols headphones

Beauty in form and function is probably what a musicologist wants from his/her headphones.  Grado PS1000e is made by that little Brooklyn, New York company that manufactures what they call handcrafted headphones and they look as if they were made by your own personal stylist.  They have big mahogany ear-pieces that are comfortable and lightweight. They manage to have great sound quality without killing your eardrums with too much bass.  They are a thing of beauty and will relieve you of $1000+ big ones. They do have the open headphone design which leaks some sound for more clarity, so anyone around you gets to hear what you’re listening too if you care and are into headphone etiquette. Seems like you would have to use them in the privacy of your own personal spaces, just to be polite. But then people do stare at the 70s rolling Mustang Shelby not caring about how much sound they make, don’t they!

From the Land of the Rising Sun


Japanese technology is always superior. It’s what they do very well, and Final Audio Design headphones, for example, is offering, in about three weeks, their latest headphones SONOROUS X Dynamic Driver and even the old Muramasa VIII were like Rolls Royce of the audio world.  Not much is know from this company other than the little blurb they’ve offered the media which hints that their newest headphone design/ technology includes a headphone which is cut stainless steel and weighs about two pounds, a little on the heavy side for such a sleek look.  These headphones have no padding that is visible and offer 8mm tweeters with built-in constructed 40mm  speakers. Not only do they look like a modern sculpture, (if they don’t slice into your cranium), the technology is cutting edge and the price is an astronomical $5000 – $8000.   Surprisingly, many bloggers were responding as if they would be receptive to coming up with that amount, to have warp 3 sound (a fake label for a sound) which exists in the mind and heart of all music lovers.

Why Are Headphones so Pricy These Days?

Over the years, we’ve noticed a lot of trends in the realm of headphone design. Some of them we like—the higher quality seals on the in-ear headphones are certainly in the ballpark—and some of them we hate: Yes, we’re looking at you, Snooki-branded headphones. However, one trend that’s undeniable is the increase in pricing over the last few market periods.


Beyond a doubt, headphones have been shooting up and up at the store, costing more at the register than ever before. Sure, there was a time when one could easily shell out more than $1000 on a brilliant pair of Bose over-ears (amplifier not included) but that was an experience kept best with the dedicated audiophile. Now, we’re seeing the average consumer—the teenager on the bus to work, or the regional manager at Walmart—spending upwards of $500 on a pair of high-dollar headphones.

In fact, a truly decent set of cans these days will cost you at least $200!

especially with all the celebrity-branded options running amok. And though the plethora certainly keeps us in business, we’re left with one overwhelming thought: What in the heck happened to headphones?

When we stop to think about it, though, the answer is relatively simple. You see, it’s not just headphones that have progressed in the last ten years, it’s technology itself. Think about it. How many MP3 players, tablets, and smartphones do you see on the streets now, as compared to several years ago? If you’re like us, we’re guessing about ten times more than previously spotted. The near ubiquitousness nature of these devices has, over the years, driven a mass exodus back to music. More people are listening to tunes on the go and with higher and higher expectation.

Furthermore, with services like Spotify and Pandora driving the train too, we’re seeing even more music consumption now than was previously ever heard of. Where once a Napster binge was a risky and illegal affair, a Spotify rampage is completely free—and won’t get the Feds knocking at the door.

All of this is great, but really, what does it mean for the headphone industry? In our humble opinion, it means this: Headphones are experiencing a truly validating resurgence, and in a few more quarters, you can expect to be living in the Golden Years of headphone listening.

Our reasons are straightforward: As more companies like Beats, Monster, and V-Moda step forward, offering consumer-oriented and high-quality cans, the market will only expand. The demand for low-powered and superior sounding headphones is already massive, and as smartphones, tablets, and music players grow over the next few years, it will only continue to blossom. Expect to see a features war, in which headphone manufacturers compete for the title of chicest and vaguest. Expect prices to skyrocket, and designs to get sharper. In other words, hang on tight—it’s going to be one wild ride from here on out.




Section 5

Headphones & Etiquette – Your Guide to Etiquette Inside the Can(s)



Whether you wear your headphones for work, recreation, or both, there is a proper etiquette for listening to your favorite music (and we mean it), whenever you listen in public spaces.  When you’re fully engaged in hearing every note the rhythm, texture, bass, and melody within the composition, or your trying to tune out the sound of elevator music or someone’s conversation, your headphones function to provide the best possible sound quality, that can be achieved.  However, your personal music preferences are your own, and in public spaces, such as restaurants, standing in line at the post office or bank, or taking up chair space in your doctors waiting room, no one else should have hear your idea of good sound as it roams into their own personal airspace – yes, believe us, there are few, very few people around you who want to listen to what you are listening, that’s when all they could hear is a mere leaking sound which is rather annoying for them while you are enjoying the drum rolling at absolute high.

Sounds so Good to You – To Others Not So Much

If you purchased on-ear headphones or open-back headphones with padded cups that are made to lay over your ears, creating fewer pressure points (for comfort,) then it’s a “no-brainer” that some sound is going to be transmitted to your surrounds, if you work in a fairly open environment such as a cubicle and you love to bump up the music.  Closed-back headphones (Audeze LCDX shown on the image at right side) are made to encase your ears in soft padding and make sealed areas where the sound is contained and its quality is enhanced. No sound transmits to others but you can easily get so distracted that if someone needs to speak with you, it won’t be easy for them to get your attention.

Your good intentions towards having a positive listening experience show already because you purchased your headphones to use mostly in public spaces, and of course, at home. However, it’s important that you create positive social interaction for yourself at work in other public venues, and in social situations with your family, friends and significant other too.  Therefore, these simple guidelines of headphone etiquette are a great tool for keeping the music playing and the happiness factor of others unaffected as well.

Here are some Dos & Don’t of Headphone Etiquette

In the Work Place:

If you need to speak to someone who is wearing headphones and working, get their attention by standing in their line of peripheral vision and gesturing, text them, or send them an e-mail (and probably say – Aye aye captain)

If you get the greatest enjoyment from listening to your music loudly, choose the kind of headphones that are closed backed, or the buds that fit snugly in your ear canals so that others won’t be exposed to your personal music choices as they try to work.

Be aware of your environment, and if you engage in conversation while wearing your headphones, don’t talk loudly. It’s not only annoying, it’s obnoxious for everyone.

In Other Public Places:


At school, the bank, on a bus or on an airplane,  the etiquette you use depends upon the situation you find yourself in.  You made the right choice to listen to your favorite jams by using headphones, and it is very considerate of you as long as:

You always stay aware of what is going on around you in case someone needs to communicate with you, or you need to move or interact because a change has taken place in your immediate environment.

When you are engaged in conversations, be in-the-moment and talk to the person.  Don’t let music be your first consideration when people are trying to communicate with you.

Walking down the street, keep safety as a factor for yourself and others.  Zoning out can be careless you and others around you.

In Waiting Rooms or confined areas like the Post Office, Restaurants, DMV, focus on the business you need to get done and remember to listen for your name or number to be called, or any problem your headphone may be making for others if you have it pumped up, and people can hear it.  Turn it down a bit.  This is good for others, and your ears will thank you in years to come. Else, people in the queue will pick you and put you in place, better you pick your headphones off your head in time.

When someone speaks to you, take your earphones out of your ears. This applies to people on the street, the person you are paying at your favorite In and Out, or anyone who engages you in conversation.  It’s the polite way to show respect for others, and your own personal respect for yourself. And if you feel otherwise, go buy a pair of Active Noise-canceling headphones! (kidding – you have to be polite)

On the bus, try to sit away from the most crowded areas, if possible.  The bus makes a lot of noise already and anything else is just added to that like of ear-chaos. That is definitely no good mixing, I tell ya!

On an airplane, try to keep the sound level down.  Conversations of every kind are already polluting airspace, and your consideration will be greatly appreciated. Ask me about it while sitting to rock and roll heads at times!

At Home with the People You Care About:

Never make the people you care about less important than the music in your ears and headspace.  Make the time to engage with them, and let your recreational listening be done when it does not take away from quality time with family, friends and that special someone who thinks you “rock”.

Be available to listen to the people you’ve chosen to be socially interactive with on every level.  Really hearing them, is a win-win for both of you and when it’s your turn to vent, they’ll be there for you in return. Believe me and see the miracle, oh yea!

Making good headphone etiquette a positive part of your everyday persona and enjoying the music that brings joy to your life via your headset, is mutually inclusive and beneficial for you and the other inhabitants of the planet whom you share space with every day.

“Being aware of the feelings of other people is the necessary component needed to enact proper etiquette in every social situation.”  – E. Post

The Bottom Line

Do you want to be so trendy, so manipulated (if that’s what this is) that you spend thousands of dollars for just a bit more clarity and richness of tone?  Doesn’t urban and suburban noise factor in here somewhere, or can it truly be canceled out with just the right noise canceling, or noise isolating headphones?  Many people follow a handy checklist when considering a purchase of headphones which will affect the quality of the experience they have in listening to music.

We sincerely hope that the above post would help you in some way to, choose and keep your first, second or tenth pair of headphones with utmost care and flaunt them with a hint of class! Till next time, keep listening to good music and make this world a musical place!

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