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AirDrives (Hardware Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000139393
Added by: Rich Goodman
Added on: 7/2/2011 16:02
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    Love Your Ears

    8 / 10


    The headphone. Once the preserve of Dads who wanted to listen to their records in the corner of the lounge. But for more than 30 years, many of us have been attached to our "personal music devices" via headphones.

    I've been plugged in for over 25 years. I'm plugged in right now. I've always had something to listen to music on the go with. From a big old chunky Walkman with added radio (still going to this day), on to a fantastic tape based Walkman that was not much bigger than a tape (a bit fragile but a fantastic thing), a Discman that's still going (remember them?) and two mobile phones with in-built MP3 players.

    We often see stories in the news about headphones, and how much damage they can potentially do to your hearing. And we've all been on a train/tube/bus near someone who has their music so loud you can hear everything that they are playing. And there are countless comedy sketches based on this.

    So now we have the AirDrives, launched in the UK by the Noise Abatement Society as part of its 'Love Your Ears' campaign. AirDrives use "InAir" technology, and the headphone sits outside of your ear. Here comes the science bit...

    The ear is made up of three parts: the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear filters and passes sound waves to the middle ear where they cause the ear drum to vibrate. The vibrations pass through three tiny bones called the ossicles. Then the vibrations are passed to the oval window and cochlea where tiny hair cells convert them into nerve impulses that the brain interprets as sound. Noise induced hearing loss is caused when theses tiny hair cells are damaged. InAir has patent pending technology that delivers sound to the outer ear so the three parts of the ear can work naturally. Other headphone designs bypass the natural filtering mechanism of the outer ear.

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    Sound Quality

    I listen to something with my headphones nearly every day of the week. I tried these out and was pretty impressed. Having used them every day for a couple of weeks, I'm definitely a convert.

    The important thing is that they still allow you to hear what's going on in the world around you. You notice a marked difference in what you perceive in the outside world and this is a good thing. You can still hear your music or your podcast but you are also more aware of what else is happening.

    This is where they differ from most modern in-ear types (the ones with little rubber buds). They block out the outside world. You might think that's a good thing, but if cycling or walking around busy cities I've found it to be better to be able to hear the outside world.

    Inline Image


    A very good idea that's been well executed. The AirDrives are comfortable, and perform well. You can listen to your choice of audio whilst maintaining contact with the outside world.

    The sound quality is good. They lack a little bass but that is to be expected. I would argue that if you are using these when out and about then you are not looking for audiophile quality sound. The sound they provide is more than adequate.

    And if you're concerned about protecting young hearing they fit that bill very well.


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