h a l f b a k e r y
Idea vs. Ego
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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.
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.
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?
||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).
||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.