Why does anyone need a noise-cancelling headset?

For a long time people have been telling me that family, love and happiness are the most important things in life…At present I realise that I can take or leave all that so long as I have this headset in the world.

We’ve all been there; you wake up one day to steady, repetitive scream of a jackhammer scuttling the tarmac on the pavement, you cover your ears with the quilt , but alas, it’s to no avail .

Bleary eyed and still mostly asleep, you stumble towards the window, hoping to catch the source of this cacophony. You pull the curtains back and there, right in the middle of the street is often a team of blokes in hardhats who’ve clearly been living on cold coffee and greasy food since about 4AM. They’ve erected a bright yellow barrier in the midst of your road and now two of them are idly chatting whilst a 3rd noisily lays waste to the road outside your house.


As the jackhammer CHUGGAS away, you catch small sections of conversation, the men talk very loudly indeed, as people who have spent a career shouting over loud machinery are wont to do.

“So I said to him, ‘listen mate, if you believe for one second that I’m gonna-‘


“Nah, I haven’t seen that one yet, but the second was an enormous pile of—“


At first you believe it could be The Ghostbusters, re-enacting that hilarious scene from the 2nd movie, but no such luck exists I’m afraid.

You head out to clear your (by now officially ‘splitting’) headache, only to find that the entire street is subject to this mammoth street mining operation, suddenly that series 2 episode of ‘Black Books’ stops being so funny and becomes bitterly resonant.

If the above scene is anything you can relate to, then your issue has now been answered, if not; allow me to get a bit more technical. Headsets can be either active or passive noise cancellers. Using this term, any headset is noise cancelling. The second type is much more high tech; active noise cancellation actually blocks out outside noise using a low field of white noise, which creates a ‘sound vacuum’ that blocks all sound (sadly including train announcements, enraged motorists and oncoming lorries).

So, to return to our previous scene, the workmen are planning on being here a while. If you ask them, they’ll say something like

“Yeah, busted gas main, you’re lucky we found it, actually because—“


And, even if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up making things up if anyone asks you why the road needs digging up. If that is a case, listed here are several suggestions:

Does anybody want a noise cancelling headphone?

“They found Jimmy Hoffa down there”
“They found a sequel to the Bible here”
“They’re filming a new Ghostbusters movie”
“It’s a pain, but at least the dragon eggs are gone now”


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