Recommendations for cordless headphones?
March 28, 2005 11:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm about to get a roommate, and she's warned me that she tends to play her music loud, and late (she's a bartender, so she works until about 2am). I'd like to buy her some cordless headphones; any recommendations?

In the house I have an 802.11b/g wireless network and a cordless phone, so obviously I'd like to find headphones that don't interfere with those things -- or, indeed, are interefered with by those things. Would I do better just buying a pair of wired headphones with a long cable?
posted by littleme to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This doesn't sound so good to me. Corded headphones would only work if she is relatively stationary, and if she's getting ready to go to work or to bed, it doesn't seem like she'd be able to stay put. I know I'm not answering your question, but just saying that it is a hard question. There may be other solutions out there.
posted by scazza at 11:46 AM on March 28, 2005

I'm with scazza. I also play my music loud and late, and while I have very good headphones that I use for studio work, I prefer to listen to music on speakers.

If you don't want her to listen to music loudly at 2am, you should talk to her about it, and not just buy her headphones. When she told you about her listening habits, did you say you were okay with it, or not okay with it, or...?
posted by Jairus at 11:57 AM on March 28, 2005

To preface, the 802.11b/g wireless networks operate on the 2.4ghz spectrum band and if your cordless phone works without cutting off the wireless network when you talk, then it's probably operating at 900mhz. Since you've got the two major bands utilized, you've got pretty much no options for wireless headphones from a technical standpoint (wireless radio headphones use either 900mhz or 2.4ghz). While there are some infrared wireless headphones, these require line-of-sight for reception which is IMO unacceptable.

Subjectively, a pair of corded headphones sounds much better and is generally cheaper (mentioned since you were buying them for her). If her room isn't too large, a long cord shouldn't be a problem.
posted by junesix at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2005

All posts tagged with headphones is a good resource. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous mention of is bumping up against a bandwidth limit message at the moment. But is currently operational. Depending on the way they're presented this lovely gesture might not be taken as such, and you may find a pair of comfortable earplugs for yourself to be less expensive and less of a possible point of tension in your budding relationship with the new roommate. Some may question the safety of sleeping with earplugs in.
posted by safetyfork at 12:38 PM on March 28, 2005

I think Junesix's assertion that your bands being taken is mostly a myth. I've never personally had problems with using two devices that run on the same band at the same time, and if you live in a built-up area it's not like you have the bands to yourself in the first place, so adding one more device isn't going to hurt.

Can't help you with headphone recommendations though.
posted by cillit bang at 12:55 PM on March 28, 2005

Also good to remember that none of these suggestions will eliminate the problem if she tends to sing along to her music. The earplug suggestion might be your best bet.
posted by heatherann at 1:18 PM on March 28, 2005

I sleep with earplugs in all the time (due to a crying baby in the apartment downstairs: non-stop cannot-be-pacified throw-it-to-the-dingos-type screaming) and they work great for a roommate who comes home late and tends to be unusually noisy. She's brought guests home and they'e stayed up talking and I haven't heard a thing. Of course, in the old apartment, one night the fire alarm in our apartment went off and I didn't hear it. Neighbors were standing on the street outside our windows shouting at us to turn it off and I slept blissfully through it. So I'm sure to die if there's a fire.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:38 PM on March 28, 2005

I think you want to make sure she is fine with headphones over speakers. I have a pair of really fantastic headphones, Sennheiser HD600, and they are no substitute for speakers. I like to feel the music.
posted by caddis at 2:51 PM on March 28, 2005

I have a pair of Sennheiser HDR 85 cordless headphones. Very light and comfortable. I can wander throughout my home and I don't experience any intereference from my wireless network or B&O wireless telephone system.

But, hey - spending $249 on behalf of your room mate would be very, very generous.

A compromise could be considered (e.g. limiting the time/duration of "speaker music").

The earplug suggestion would help...and/or the use of Sound Screen to generate white noise may help. In college I used a fan to "mask" the late night "stereo wars".
posted by ericb at 3:53 PM on March 28, 2005

Even if you forget the 'feel' of the music, headphones sound nothing like speakers. In some ways they are better, of course, but not in ways I'm interested in. Not at all.

And just imagine the crappy RF circuitry in any regular set of wireless headphones. Ugh!
posted by Chuckles at 3:56 PM on March 28, 2005

*preface*i worked at bose at columbus circle for 3 weeks and i was fired*/preface*

the bose tri-ports, and especially the quiet comfort 2 headphones are expensive but fantasic. im swear im not saying this because i worked there. from what i remember, the triports were $150, and the QC2's (they do noise cancelling which is, in itself, wonderful) are like $300. i fully endorse them, just dont buy them at columbus circle as the manager is a stone cold bitch.
posted by Mach5 at 4:11 PM on March 28, 2005

I was just going to mention the exact same Sennheisers that ericb recommended. There are really very good, although expensive.

As everyone else has said, though, make sure that you set necessary ground rules BEFORE she moves in. Don't think that everything will "work out."
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:12 PM on March 28, 2005

For god's sake, haven't you seen "Coyote Ugly"?! Women bartenders are crazed, sex-starved individualists who just happen to all act alike. Headphones? They doan need no stinkin' headphones!! They need jelly shots and loud music by which to dance on the nearest table or bartop to.

Really, I think before you go off and spend your hard earned cash on headphones (which your new roomie might find insulting anyway), you need to have a heart to heart with her and lay some ground rules. Having had unsuccessful and successful room mate matchups, I've learned (the hard way) that it's best to have a set of rules and/or expectations that are clear and unambiguous. Trouble usually starts when both parties' expectations are different.

BUT, if you're decided on headphones:
As for frequencies, 802.11b/g are around the 2.4 GHz frequency (which is also shared by your microwave). I'd recommend getting yourself a 5.8 GHz cordless phone. I personally have the Uniden PowerMax and am very pleased with it. That leaves the 2.4 GHz freq. free for your microwave (okay, so your microwave doesn't need it to be free, but rest assured that you don't want to be downloading that critical file while nuking the nachos) and wireless network. Then you have the 900 MHz freq. free for your headphones.

Expect to pay a lot of money for a pair of good sounding headphones. I got a pair of wireless headphones about 2 years ago for about $60 and have used them quite infrequently since they are quite staticky. I've heard that the really expensive ones are much better, but will never beat wired.
Perhaps an iPod Shuffle instead? :-)

posted by Lactoso at 4:52 PM on March 28, 2005

is a really go resource, and if you want to go ubergeek audiophile, scroll around be careful they are NOT kidding when they say their motto is, "sorry about your wallet"
posted by stratastar at 7:37 PM on March 28, 2005

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