Thursday 29 September 2011

On my ears being a normal shape

On Saturday night (Sunday morning, actually) I got a cab from Victoria Coach Station in London (which is the capital city of the UK) to Vauxhall, just over the Vauxhall Bridge. Luckily my cab driver was one who would go saaaf of the river after dark, mate. Although I've never really understood that. Why wouldn't you go south of the river? Do the bridges only work in one direction?

To be honest this doesn't have much to do with anything but as I was getting out of SAID CAB, my right earphone died. This was a very sad occasion indeed. I had the choice of getting Phil Spector to remix the 1200-odd songs currently on my iPod into mono overnight from his prison cell (tempting) or blooming well having to revert to the faithful back up, the standard iPod headphones.

Sadly for me, I elected to do the latter. Bloody hell.

Apple have now sold 138 billion iPods. It is estimated that at any one time, every person on earth has at least 13,000 songs in mp3 format in their trousers. These are made-up statistics. However, you'd think that after a decade of pretty much cornering the personal mp3 player market in the way that Tannoy cornered the public address system market, Apple would manage to provide something APPROXIMATING to a half-way decent earbud.

But they haven't. In fact, whoever designed the iPod earbuds has no idea of the SHAPE of a human ear. I doubt that they've ever even seen one. For me, a bud earphone should fulfil three simple criteria. Firstly, they should fit inside the human ear canal's external opening. Secondly, they should try to limit the amount of sound that comes into the earhole that they are in. Thirdly, the thing you want to play should come down the wire and out of them into aforementioned earhole.

Now I will admit my old ones (Sennheiser CX300II) failed me somewhat on the third count. However, the pissing, shitting, wanking Apple ones successfully managed to fail on the first two. Dismally. I would like to hear from anyone who finds the Apple standard ear bud to be a perfect earphone, fulfilling all my three criteria. Because I would like to tell them that they are a freak-eared weirdo. They probably wouldn't even hear me, because there's so much outside leakage of sound you have to turn the volume up full until your ears actually bleed. Which they will be anyway, on account of how misshapen the bloody things are in the first place.

Today I got myself some new earphones. They are the same ones as I had before. Yes, I know. But that's how atrocious Apple's own earbuds are. They made me question my own will to live. Or at least, to have ears.

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