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White Noise Ear Plugs

Keep them in your pocket in case of bad piped music.
  [vote for,

A lot of public places have recorded music piped in, presumably because it's cheap and makes a good impression on the customers. In some cases it's forgettably inoffensive orchestral elevator music, but a lot of places have started getting "hip" and putting on a mix of radio fodder. Which usually means a lowest-common-denominator mix of girl-group R&B, adult-contemporary rock ballads and the likes of Phil Collins. (This is particularly bad at certain railway stations in Melbourne, where the uniform speaker coverage means that there is no escape until the train arrives.)

One solution is to carry a Walkperson (or MiniDisc player or MP3 player or what have you) at all times. However, that has some problems; firstly such devices are somewhat unwieldy (even if it's small, there's the tangling-leads problem), and secondly, if it plays music, you've got to carry a collection of music around, or else listen to the same thing over and over again.

A better solution would be a set of small earplugs. Each one is an earphone bud with a battery and a sound generation circuit. You can keep them in a pocket, and when the bad piped music strikes, you can pull them out, switch them on and put them in your ears. No leads to worry about, and no listening to an album until you get sick of it.

The sound generator could be designed to emit spread-spectrum noise, designed for pleasing natural qualities, such as those of wind or waves. There are such noise generators already on the market, though (AFAIK), none have been miniaturised to this scale.

acb, May 10 2001

Bose http://www.bose.com..._headset/more.shtml
One of the competition (though not small, they do work) [Isis, Oct 04 2004]


       What's wrong with the low-tech but more effective solution of simple mute-it-out ear-plugs?
lobius, Jun 02 2001

       to completely muffle out the sound you have to really work hard, but to simply make some covering white noise seems easier (and can be done with smaller earplugs) and probably more comfortable too (they are placed externally over your ears rather than into them).
pashute, Nov 13 2002

       When I first read the title, I thought it was going to be a set of earplugs that would filter out just white noise...this is cool too, however.
catfish25, Nov 13 2002


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