You’re probably familiar with noise cancelling headphones from the likes of Bose. Their QuietComfort series practically created the category single-handedly. But a pair of QC2S will set you back $349+tax. May we suggest a more modest alternative…
Typically, when you hear the word "convergence", it means the merging of technologies like the Internet and TV or Internet and telephone service. But there’s another example of convergence out there and it’s taking the entertainment world by storm: Yard work and Digital Music.
At the heart of this revolution is a product being offered by venerable Canadian retailer Lee Valley – a name synonymous with high-end carpentry and gardening tools. No fancy initials or mixed upper and lower case letters for this item; it’s simply known as "Electronic Hearing Protectors with FM Radio & Input Jack".
But don’t let the grass-roots, plain-spoken nature of this gadget fool you. Under its racing orange exterior you’ll find features that aren’t available on even the most expensive noise cancelling cans from Bose or any other manufacturer.
The EHPwFMRaIJ (I guess that explains the lack of an initialism in the marketing material) is the ideal companion for noisy environments. As the name suggests, it contains a built-in FM Radio with an external antenna for improved reception. It also features separate control knobs on each ear-cup to let you fine-tune the amount of volume and noise-cancellation – perfect for those who find themselves in a window seat next to a particularly chatty person on the other side.
Now I know there will be those who mock these headphones for their garishly unfashionable colour or for their enormous size. Others still will declare their sound-reproduction to be below-par and hurl abuse at me for even daring to compare this unit to those offered by Bose.
But consider this: you won’t find a pair of noise-cancelling headphones anywhere for the price of these industrial-strength speakers. At $45.00 plus tax, they are a stunning value. Lee Valley even throws in a 3-foot extension audio cable for use with your iPod or other audio source.
For those unafraid of making the bold statement "I value function over fashion!", these are the noise-cancelling headphones for you.