Office equipment
Sep 24, 2007 at 9:34 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

avriette

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I've been using the Etymotics ER4S for quite a while now, and as I mentioned elsewhere my wife is interested in getting the newish Shure 535's. But I've run into a problem at the office. More and more people are showing up and asking me questions, without realizing I can't hear a thing they're saying. I reach up, plug the cans out, and then ask them to repeat. I guess the *big black cables and red and blue nubs sticking out of my ears* are a little too subtle.

So, I'm wondering, what is a better setup? I have Sennheiser 650's at home, which I love, but they have this overwhelming presence at the office. People, strangely, assume that I cannot hear them because I have cans the size of a Fiat Punto on my head, even though they're open. Is it perhaps possible to take underwhelming cans and make them sound better with a capable amp? (e.g., cutting out the static or noise, making quiets more quiet, and handling complex music such as bass/vocal/hihat stuff) That opens the range up quite a bit in terms of what sticks out as "I'm not listening" at the office. Is there some reasonable compromise between in-ear cans and open external cans? I'd really like something that isn't quite so obnoxiously hifi gear including being able to hear what I might not elsewise want to hear.

The other problem I've been having with the in-ear units is that after a few months (I guess six?) of using them, I start to get intractable ear-itchiness which goes away if I stop using them for a while.

The thought occurs to me to just get some speakers, rather than headphones, but the problem with that is I can't turn them up when I want to hear it a little louder (or I can, but it's inadvisable), and other people (I work in an office where most of the employees are twice my age) can't distinguish between Massive Attack and Utah Saints. I'd rather they didn't think I was into that "ecstasy and electronic music crap"... or whatever it is they think of it (there's a lot of nose-turn-upping).

Thoughts?
 
Sep 24, 2007 at 9:51 PM Post #3 of 8

LaBreaHead

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Yeah -- pretty good canal phones that insert and that can be taken out more easily than the Etys could do the trick (although there's not that much difference, once you get used to IEMs, as I'm sure you've found).

Look into the new Denon canal phones, for example. I would think that anything using silicone comfort tips rather than flanges or foamies would isolate a bit less -- but without any noise leaking outward.

Or maybe something as simple as a light, comfortable set of Sennheiser PX100 portable headphones would send enough of a visual cue, while providing an acceptable level of sound (without isolating you from your surroundings too much and without looking too radically weird, if you were to wear the black ones vs. the iPod white ones).
 
Sep 24, 2007 at 10:25 PM Post #4 of 8

MonolithTMA

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LaBreaHead /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Or maybe something as simple as a light, comfortable set of Sennheiser PX100 portable headphones would send enough of a visual cue, while providing an acceptable level of sound (without isolating you from your surroundings too much and without looking too radically weird, if you were to wear the black ones vs. the iPod white ones).


Heck, even the Koss KSC75s would work. I love wearing mine at work, especially because if I want to, I can hear what people say when they approach me.
 
Sep 25, 2007 at 2:23 AM Post #6 of 8

Logman

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You could always purchase one of the Shure PTH devices from the For Sale forum. They work with most IEM's that have a 1/8" jack and would let you hear the questions without having to remove your IEM's. Of course, this won't stop people from talking to you with plugs in your ears. You could also try earbuds like the Yuin PK1's or 2's.
 
Sep 25, 2007 at 3:50 PM Post #8 of 8

avriette

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Low Fidelity /img/forum/go_quote.gif
put up a warning on your office door?


This is really the best suggestion I've heard yet. Educate my coworkers. Seeing as they've not really picked up on the "don't open email attachments" and "Lotus Notes sucks" and other prospective... education, I don't have any special hope that they'll pick up on "Headphone Identification for Dummies."

Cheap cans it is. Sigh.
 

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