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Change (in two Acts) May 1, 2006

Posted by boltzmann in Uncategorized.

Act I

Geoff is leaving for America very soon. Chelle and I attended his leaving do at the Defector’s Weld in Shepherd’s Bush last week. A sad occasion indeed, but it was a good laugh, even if the painfully-cool DJ wouldn’t play a “rubbish” Underground Masker tune for him, despite it being one of the last few days he’ll spend in this miserable country. Oh, I’m going all Morrissey now. Please, please, please, etc. But Geoff is gone …

… which means I will have to inherit his Guinness World Record! I will be the fastest around all the Tube stations! And only THEN will I write another album about it! Still, Neil remains, and, in true Wile E. Coyote style, will stop at nothing to prevent me from beating the record. Well, in my fevered cartoon-like imagination, at least.

Act II

About a week ago, I lost my headphones. They were Sennheiser MX-500 earphones (or “earbuds” if you’re an idiot), bought to replace the standard earphones that came with my Creative MuVo2 MP3 player. The Creative phones were just too big for my small-but-sticky-outy ears, and kept falling out.

MuVo2 5Gb (I have the 4Gb in black) MP3 player with offending headphones

The Sennheiser MX500s bought to replace them were smaller and fit better, but had less bass and weren’t as loud. The sound quality was fine with the bass EQ boosted a little. Then, something happened. Something… horrible.

I sat down after lunch one day last week to prepare a Powerpoint project p-p-p-presentation, and began to empty my pockets, as I do when I sit down, to make myself comfortable. I removed the player but the earphones were nowhere to be seen! How could I have lost them?! They were wound around the player in my pocket! I tried to find them but to no avail. Still, this gave me an excuse to splash some cash on a new pair.

I love it when I buy a new gadget. I always become obsessed with it for a while beforehand, reading reviews and looking up stats and pictures and that.

And so, like the river joins the ocean, as the germ in a seed grows, I began to investigate some ear-canal models such as the notoriously-fragile Sony EX71 and its more-durable-looking brother, the EX81. The 81 has ear-loop-clip-things which would appear to make the connection between the earphone and the cable a bit more durable, but inspection of accounts of other people’s experiences showed that the behind-the-neck wire sheathing had disintegrated on a couple of occasions, and the bass was apparently “muddy”, and the earclips didn’t fit many people, and the rubber bud things cost £8 each to replace, and another pile of badness.

Someone else’s Sony EX71s disintegrating, Sony EX81

So, my wariness of Sony and their badly-designed hardware reinforced, I turned back to trusty Sennheiser and their in-ear-canal phones, the CX300, which appeared to have received glowing reviews across the board. Noticing that Micro Anvika‘s site showed them as being £39.99 (the recommended retail price), and that Harrow Audio was selling them for £5 less, I went out to Micro Anvika to do a bit of bargaining. Not only would I have bought the Sennheisers with the 2-year guarantee, but I’d have bought them from a shop, making it much easier to go and have them replaced! Glorious.

Tottenham Court Road. I entered the shop.
“Excuse me, these Sennheisers… I see that they are £40, but Harrow Audio is currently doing them for £35. Would you be able to beat that?” I ventured.
“Ok, let me just check. There’s only so much I can take off … ” The assistant typed some stuff into her computer. “Yes, that’s fine, £35.”
Blimey, that was easy! I paid up and eagerly opened the earphones at the counter, replacing their fiddly medium-sized rubber earpieces with the small ones included in the pack (because my ear canals are “small”, of course) and squeezing them into my lugholes. I plugged the phones into the player, put on some Underground Masker and stood there for a while, grinning, absorbing the glorious bass, mids and trebles in all their wonderful loud clarity. Beautiful!
“Thanks!”, I said, beaming. “Bye!”

And with that, I made my escape. To the trains!

PS. The background sound attenuation is excellent. The volume is easily loud enough with these phones. The bass is loud and clear. The mid and treble is all there.

The phones come with no case, which is bad. The smallest interchangeable earpieces are still ever so slightly too big for me, but the phones fit comfortably and all that. I just get the feeling that they could do with being a little smaller. I doubt many of you have abnormal ears though.



1. Neil - May 2, 2006

So what was stopping you beating our record BEFORE Geoff went to America then?

Being rubbish, maybe? 🙂

2. boltzmann - May 2, 2006


I blame Adham – it was his route! 😉

Beware, Neil. Your days of Tube domination are numbered!

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