Bose Acoustic Noise Canceling Headset


An oasis from noise

This gear has managed to turn my many long-distance airplane trips into peaceful journeys. It turns out a lot of the fatigue of long flights is the constant drum of the airplane’s engines. With this magical headset on, that noise completely vanishes. Gone! In its place you can listen to music (whatever source) or just pure faint silence. For sleeping on planes, there is no better technology, including chemicals. Because of the smart design of the generous ear cups there is no ear cringe from wearing these for hours on end. In fact, they are far more comfortable than the flimsy lightweight Walkman-style earsets. Even though these weigh more, they feel better. I put them on when I board a plane and I sleep with them on, too. Tuned low to some innocuous music channel, they coo sweetly. (It’s a shock to take the phones off because you can then hear how incredibly loud the plane’s rumble really is.) This works so well for flights that Bose makes a special aviation set just for pilots, and a military issue helmet for soldiers working in high-decibel environments like a helicopter. All this comfort comes to you via some very clever chips that cancel out noise signals. This pricey set make perfectly wonderful earphones for land as well, particularly if you need to listen anywhere there is a lot of background distractions. I haven’t yet tried it in a shop environment, or while mowing the grass, but I will.

This is really one of those things you have to hear to believe. Bose has a thirty-day free trial period. Take them up on their offer next time you have a fourteen-hour flight and see if it works for you.

-- KK 04/20/04