Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Auditory Sensory Deprivation device

Hear the sound of nothingness.
  [vote for,

In a specially-engineered "silent room", there are literally no vibrations of the air that are perceptible as sound, with the notable exceptions of the sounds made by your respiratory and circulatory systems. A fascinating experiment would be to place microscopic microphones in one's inner ears to determine what vibrations actually reach it when you are in such a room, and then place microscopic speaker elements (piezo?) inside the ears, computer-driven to actively cancel these sounds. What is it like, for a hearing person, not to hear anything at all? This experience (in a non-traumatic setting) may actually be very pleasant - the effects of a sensory-deprivation chamber come to mind.
dsm, Jan 16 2001

Noise cancelling headphones http://www.sel.sony...dphones/index.shtml
They don't work perfectly, but they do help a lot. [rmutt, Jan 16 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Etymotic ER4S http://www.headphon...EtymoticER4Sasp.asp
These earbuds are very close to what you describe. The 23db of sonic isolation isn't quite complete silence, but it's amazingly close. [egnor, Jan 16 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I would like this set to neutralize all sounds except the music I'm listening to... I like to concentrate fully on the music.
badoingdoing, Jan 16 2001

       Public transit application--a person wearing those headphones could enjoy the looks of disgust on every face in sight while smiling back.
reensure, Jan 17 2001

       <b&m>ok, fine, but why can't they manufacture such wonderful headphones with more substantial wires than these woefully frail little copper-and-rubber strands? if a set of headphones is *designed* to be used in a non-stationary manner, no doubt somebody is going to inadvertently get caught and yank vigorously on the wire, likely making your new phones useless (get out the soldering iron ;) ) The wiring to the 1/8" jack *always* seems to crap out early and your left to jiggle it in the jack and get spotty sound, at least until you get fed up and go buy a new set of headphones... >( </b&m>
absterge, Jan 17 2001

       If you buy better headphones, they'll have a proper strain relief and that won't happen.
egnor, Jan 17 2001

       What we really need is a set of headphones that dont hurt and mishape your ear when you try to listen to your music, cuz thats REALLY annoying!!!
Darth Carvey, Jan 17 2001

       I miss the big old cans with the padded rings, for both of the above reasons. They took more power to run, so weren't really much good for walkman type things, but they were comfortable and I never had the wire go bad on them...
StarChaser, Jan 18 2001

       you know, the drug DXM does something very similar to that...
Malakh, Jan 19 2001

       You can certainly still get "big old cans with the padded rings". I have a pair myself. You all need to go read more audiophile magazines or something.
egnor, Jan 19 2001

       <grin> If I want to read humor, I've got the Internet...
StarChaser, Jan 20 2001


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