This article was published on December 28, 2009

Silence is golden. These headphones are phenomenal.

Silence is golden. These headphones are phenomenal.
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Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.

dead_silenceSo, I recently ditched the office, doing what I do for a living now, I just couldn’t see the point. Instead I decided I would join a membersclub/workspace and when not there, I would just work from home or my favorite coffee shop, a local one with gorgeous views and wonderful coffee.

So far so good but one of the most obvious frustrations with working in public spaces is noise. Now don’t get me wrong, I rather enjoy the sound of people and conversation, but occasionally you get the over enthusiastic laugher, passionate phone conversation or in coffee shops especially, crying babies. I still think there should be baby-free coffee shops, but that’s for a different post. So my immediate remedy, a pair of noise reduction headphones.

Determined not to have to spend a fortune, the search began, after hours of research I found a gamers headset with good reviews and paid almost £80 ($150). Excited, I waited, unpacked, and tested but sadly they just didn’t cut the mustard and were quickly back in their box.

Next up, in ear headphones, ones that dug deep into your ear canal. I’ve never really liked them, mainly because they were border-line painful, but for the sake of the cause I was willing to give them a try. Sadly, still not up to scratch, I could still hear nearby conversations and children’s cries, along with the irritation of the headphone itself. I’d spent almost £150 already. Sure, all wasn’t lost, I could still recoup some of the expense via eBay, but needless to say, this was getting frustrating.

Gradually I began to accept I was going to need to spend upwards of £250 for a pair of noise canceling Sennheisers, I had one last look and stumbled upon these, Direct Sound EX25 Extreme Isolation Headphones. Thinking “third time lucky” I went out an bought them for an extremely reasonable, £50 ($90).

Picture 36They arrived 48 hours later and at first sight, I wasn’t convinced, but the minute I placed them over my ears, I was a convert, a believer, the silence was golden. You’re well and truly in your own world and there’s not a drill, scream, cry or laugh that can intrude. You’ll genuinely have people waving at you to get your attention and what’s more, it works both ways, the person sitting next to you can”t hear a note of whatever it might your listening to. I’ve worn these in bed watching Die Hard and had my fiance lie next to me peacefully.

Furthermore, the sound quality I couldn’t be more satisfied with. Sure, there’s bound to be crisper sound quality headphones out there with deeper mind shattering bass but for your average Joe, there’ll be no complaints, I guarantee it.

So if you’re in the same boat and considering forking out a small fortune on a pair of headphones, take my word for it – and it’s not often I say this – just buy these. For what they’re designed to do, they are simply the best headphones I’ve ever come across, irrespective of price.

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