Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones: Worth the Price?
I’ve always believed noise-canceling headphones were designed by and made for one particular group of travelers: dudes. I mean, sure, I like to block out annoying travelers as much as the next person, but I couldn’t get behind the $300 price tag. How good could they really be? $275 better than my current headphones?
But as far as I can tell, men don’t think this way. From the moment my pair of QuietComfort® 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones arrived, the men in my office were on high alert. Just this morning I looked up and three of them were hovering outside my office, pointing at the box. “Did you get a pair of noise-canceling headphones?” “Can we try them on?” “Did they change your life?”
To answer that question, I’d like to tell you about my most recent trip to London. I have a knack for looking around the loading area of my departure gate and singling out the people we don’t want to sit near. “Do you see those two?” I whispered to my husband. “That’s who we DON’T want to sit near.” He studied the couple for a second and agreed. They had their shoes off and were watching some kind of comedy on their laptop, howling and laughing at an ear-splitting volume. In short, they couldn’t wait to get their vacation started–and that meant the party was kicking off on the plane.
You can see where this story is going, can’t you? Well of course we were seated right across the aisle from them and let’s just say my instincts are very very good on these sorts of things. They proceeded to get really drunk and talked at top volume all night long while the rest of us desperately tried to get a little sleep. This could have been a seriously grueling 12 hours that put my Southern manners to the ultimate test.
Needless to say, at the first signs of trouble with these two yahoos I pulled out my fancy new headphones. They have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that powers the nearly imperceptible white noise playing in the headphones. Now, I’m really into white noise. I have a white noise iPhone App and have owned many of those “sleep machines” so I can sleep while noisy neighbors rock out to hair metal. But this is different from any white noise I’ve ever heard before. You put the headphones on and suddenly it’s like you’re inside a super-quiet cave–not like you’re listening to a noisy fake rainstorm. And they really work. My husband and I took turns wearing them and talking to each other. It was like the mute button to life. I couldn’t hear a word he said, though his mouth was clearly moving.
Needless to say, the headphones did kind of change my life and I finally saw what men see in them. Not only are they a must for people who are driven crazy by noise (like me!) but I’m beginning to think they should be a mandatory present for new parents, right up there with the Exersaucer and the Boppy pillow.
My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.