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Why an iPod?

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Why an iPod?

Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:26 pm

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Re: Why an iPod?

Postby annis » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:41 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Assume I don't like wearing earphones since I like to preserve my hearing, and assume also that I would like to avoid watching movies on a small screen for the sake of preserving my eyesight — what other uses might I have for an iPod?


An overpriced but stylish portable storage device.

An iPod Touch can be turned into a portable PDF-reader with a little trickery.
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Postby Kyneto Valesio » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:57 pm

Luke

Don't use an IPod but rather a more generic and far cheaper .mp3 player.

It has a volume control. So far as I know if you keep the decibels in the safe zone, such devices don't pose a threat. At safe volumes they are good for listening to books on tape (well not on tape, but you know what I mean) and also good for language acquisition -- especially for those persons who are learning independently.

I haven't heard about the possible negative effects on one's sight. Has this been studied?
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Postby jk0592 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:04 am

If you have a mac, you will have your calendar and contacts available. This is way cool at meetings...
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:48 am

I appreciate the responses, guys, this is an important issue for me.

I do have a mac, and those contacts and dates could be useful.

As for eyesight, nearsightedness is caused by reading or looking at anything within 7 feet (the point at which the eyes are relaxed) for an extended period of time without giving the eyes a break. I used to be nearsighted, badly too, but now I have 20/20 or better. I recommend the Vision For Life eye exercise programme, which I used very successfully.

Language acquisition: how would an iPod be more useful than merely my home computer?

Anything else?
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Postby Arvid » Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:10 am

There are cheaper mp3 players on the market and if all you want is to use them like an old-fashioned Walkman they're more than fine. When you buy an iPod you're paying for the design, the ease-of-use, and the seamless integration with iTunes and Mail and Address Book, etc. If that's not worth it to you, then it's not.

I've been seriously dismayed by the rise of the iPod culture. I was eagerly awaiting the outcome of the format war between SACD and DVD-Audio. Imagine my chagrin when they were both eliminated in favor of music downloaded at a compression ratio that makes my ears bleed to listen to! Now I'm sure Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will both bite the big one and be replaced by 320 x 240 downloads on 2.5-inch screens.

As far as nearsightedness goes, I wish! I'm about 4 powers farsighted, so I'm going to need glasses to look at them (or read) anyway.
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Postby Agrippa » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:56 am

Arvid wrote:I've been seriously dismayed by the rise of the iPod culture. I was eagerly awaiting the outcome of the format war between SACD and DVD-Audio. Imagine my chagrin when they were both eliminated in favor of music downloaded at a compression ratio that makes my ears bleed to listen to!


Are you serious? Not only are there many lossless formats, but in most instances you cannot tell it's been compressed unless you're playing it off of some rather sophisticated equipment, and even then it's hard. 256 kpb is hardly going to cause bleeding of the ear.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:39 am

The problem with headphones is that one often has to raise the volume in order to hear it properly, particularly when one is outdoors or in traffic. Thus most people who do use headphones regularly are also listening regularly at dangerous levels - otherwise they wouldn't be able to hear the music or whatever properly. AND it's combined with the noise of whatever is outside. Also, even when, say, a regular speaker and a headphone are set at the same decibel level, the headphone will do much more damage since it is much closer to the ear. Thus I would only use headphones if I really had to (i.e. if it were essential to my work), and I would carefully research all of the tricks and techniques to counter the damaging effects of headphones.

I also have a philosophical objection to headphones. I want to stay connected to my surroundings, and I don't want to be cut off from the world around me by constantly having music playing in my head. Even when I'm in my car, I never listen to music - I want to keep my ears open to the cars around me, to all of the bumps on the road, and to my own engine. Especially the engine - it would be difficult for me to drive if I couldn't hear my engine - I have a manual transmission without a tach, and without the hum of the engine I'd have to guess everything.

Mind you, philosophically I wouldn't mind listening to headphones in a quiet room. But I could also listen to regular speakers.
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Postby Arvid » Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:14 am

Agrippa wrote:Are you serious? Not only are there many lossless formats, but in most instances you cannot tell it's been compressed unless you're playing it off of some rather sophisticated equipment, and even then it's hard. 256 kpb is hardly going to cause bleeding of the ear.


You're right--256 kb/s is not as bad as 128, but let's be honest: that's what most people are storing on their iPods. And...I have some rather sophisticated equipment, which makes the limitations of even regular CDs quite apparent a lot of the time. I was really ready for the higher resolution of SACD or DVD-Audio. I don't care about the five channels or the higher sampling rate. All the five channels does is substitute ten arrival times for the four that were already hopelessly confusing your auditory cortex with regular stereo. When my Carver equipment with the sonic holography quits working, I'll have to go to headphones full-time, I guess. I'm just a dinosaur, consigned to the dustbin of history, as I keep hearing even CDs soon will be.
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Postby Arvid » Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:19 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Especially the engine - it would be difficult for me to drive if I couldn't hear my engine - I have a manual transmission without a tach, and without the hum of the engine I'd have to guess everything.


I agree with you on this. I have one car, though, that has an automatic with a tachometer. Could someone explain this to me? What are you supposed to do with this information? I just like being able to hear any malfunctions that might take place before they become serious--developing a good ear has saved a couple of engines for me over the years; and I wouldn't have heard the signs if I were listening to music!
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:16 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:The problem with headphones is that one often has to raise the volume in order to hear it properly, particularly when one is outdoors or in traffic. Thus most people who do use headphones regularly are also listening regularly at dangerous levels - otherwise they wouldn't be able to hear the music or whatever properly. AND it's combined with the noise of whatever is outside. Also, even when, say, a regular speaker and a headphone are set at the same decibel level, the headphone will do much more damage since it is much closer to the ear. Thus I would only use headphones if I really had to (i.e. if it were essential to my work), and I would carefully research all of the tricks and techniques to counter the damaging effects of headphones.

I also have a philosophical objection to headphones. I want to stay connected to my surroundings, and I don't want to be cut off from the world around me by constantly having music playing in my head. Even when I'm in my car, I never listen to music - I want to keep my ears open to the cars around me, to all of the bumps on the road, and to my own engine. Especially the engine - it would be difficult for me to drive if I couldn't hear my engine - I have a manual transmission without a tach, and without the hum of the engine I'd have to guess everything.

Mind you, philosophically I wouldn't mind listening to headphones in a quiet room. But I could also listen to regular speakers.


I feel exactly the same way (except for music in the car — can't an iPod be linked to a car's radio input?).
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Postby jk0592 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:04 pm

To listen to your iPod in the car radio, you need a special accessory that you attach to the ipod and which then emits the music on a radio channel that your car radio will play. Sometimes it is noisy due the the frequency proximity of other radio stations.

Or if you are lucky, your car will be "iPod ready" by design.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:48 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:I feel exactly the same way (except for music in the car — can't an iPod be linked to a car's radio input?).


My car doesn't have a radio, a stereo, or any music-playing equipment, so it's a pointless issue for me. This always seems to shock people, since they claim they would die if they couldn't play music in their car (I suspect some hyperbole). But the engine would interfere with the music, and I will not raise the music level high enough to drown out the engine noise (which is also very dangerous for the ears - car stereos are another major cause of hearing loss, since the volume has to be high to be clearly audible over traffic and engine noise). So even if I did have a music player in the car, I would probably never use it. I do sometimes sing to myself when I'm driving on the freeway, but that's about it.

Even when I'm talking to passengers, I'll often drop out of the conversation for a moment if I have to do something complex and/or risky.
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Postby thesaurus » Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:23 pm

Regarding volume levels, headphones are actually better for your hearing than speakers provided that you use them intelligently. If you're listening in situations with lots of ambient noise you need "closed" or noise blocking headphones. Personally, I use Shure E2C, which are "canal" phones that go into the ear and block out almost all external noise. These are safer because you can hear your music at a lower volume. For home listening I use larger "open" headphones since there is no ambient noise, Sennheiser 580.

As long as you listen to your music at a reasonable level you have no risk of hearing loss whether using headphones or not.

Also, if you want music capability without the price of an ipod there are lots of other affordable options. Creative Labs makes some good models.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:14 pm

Many thanks, all, for your responses.

I'll tell you my dilemma.

I brought this question forward because my sister, dearly generous as she is, bought me an iPod for Christmas. She even had my name engraved on it. Although I thought my feelings on iPods — that I would never want one ever, for some of the reasons mentioned above — were well known to all, apparently not within my family.

I feel deeply embarrassed for my feelings now. So I am desperately seeking to find some personal use for this valuable piece of technology so thoughtfully given to me on Christmas from my beloved sister. I feel terrible. Of course she'll never know. I still haven't even registered it or syncked it to my computer.

This will certainly clarify my initial question. Thank you, all, for your thoughts and suggestions.
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Postby jk0592 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:36 pm

You can get a base for the iPod, with connections to your regular sound system, and therefore you do not need to use earphones. You just listen to your music library, and to the way you have separated it into your own lists or grouping.
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Postby klewlis » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:39 am

jk0592 wrote:You can get a base for the iPod, with connections to your regular sound system, and therefore you do not need to use earphones. You just listen to your music library, and to the way you have separated it into your own lists or grouping.


yep, this might be your best use of it. you can load as much music as you could possibly ever need for long nights of language study, then organize it into playlists, etc.
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Postby edonnelly » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:46 pm

I don't want to threadjack, but I have an iPod question myself. If you are listening to a file, will the iPod remember where in that file you were when you last stopped it? I had borrowed a friend's (non-iPod) mp3 player once and I was listening to a long (several hours) lecture that had been stored as a single file. I was trying to listen in 45-ish minute "chunks," but I found it rather annoying to have to find my place in the middle of the file the next time I wanted to tune in (the mp3 player of my car, for example, always remembers where I am). Anyway, how does an iPod handle that?
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Postby annis » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:15 pm

edonnelly wrote:Anyway, how does an iPod handle that?


As you'd want. A number of my favorite podcasts would be very annoying if it always forgot where I was.
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Postby edonnelly » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:59 pm

annis wrote:
edonnelly wrote:Anyway, how does an iPod handle that?


As you'd want. A number of my favorite podcasts would be very annoying if it always forgot where I was.


Awesome. That may tip the scales for me and I may end up getting one of these.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:10 pm

klewlis wrote:
jk0592 wrote:You can get a base for the iPod, with connections to your regular sound system, and therefore you do not need to use earphones. You just listen to your music library, and to the way you have separated it into your own lists or grouping.


yep, this might be your best use of it. you can load as much music as you could possibly ever need for long nights of language study, then organize it into playlists, etc.


What advantage does this have over simply using my home computer for these long nights of language study?
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Postby klewlis » Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:16 am

Lucus Eques wrote:
klewlis wrote:
jk0592 wrote:You can get a base for the iPod, with connections to your regular sound system, and therefore you do not need to use earphones. You just listen to your music library, and to the way you have separated it into your own lists or grouping.


yep, this might be your best use of it. you can load as much music as you could possibly ever need for long nights of language study, then organize it into playlists, etc.


What advantage does this have over simply using my home computer for these long nights of language study?


better sound.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:33 am

Really? How is the sound better? We're talking about a computer with speakers versus an iPod with speakers, right?
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Postby Amadeus » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:58 am

Let's say you're at the park taking a long walk, and you'd like to listen to a little Latin: the iPod would sure come in handy, no?
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:09 am

I like the idea, though there remains the aversion to headphones (for the disconnected isolation alone!), and the fact that there aren't any parks to speak of within a few hours of here.
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Postby klewlis » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:23 am

Lucus Eques wrote:Really? How is the sound better? We're talking about a computer with speakers versus an iPod with speakers, right?



the stereo unit that you would plug the ipod into is much better quality than any computer speakers (I have yet to hear computer speakers that actually sound good).

http://www.apple.com/ipodhifi/
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:39 am

Really? Mac speakers are excellent for desktop models, and I have some fine external speakers for my iBook.

Sorry to play devil's advocate with some of these suggestions — don't let me shut you down! I really want, and need to find a way to enjoy my iPod. Everything each of you has said has helped bring me closer to that goal.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:01 am

klewlis wrote:the stereo unit that you would plug the ipod into is much better quality than any computer speakers (I have yet to hear computer speakers that actually sound good).


But as far as I know, computers can hook up to any speakers. My dad has his computer hooked up to a high-quality stereo system which he's had since before I was born (and it still sounds great after all these years).

But then, my dad's stereo system is hooked up so he can like convert LP to MP3, audio cassette to CD, and even MP3 to audio cassette (I once had to do this, astonishingly enough). But it is a complex system, and things often have to be adjusted, so I can see why most people don't have this type of setup.

However, my computer (or rather, the computer over which I have the most exclusive use because it's 40 miles away from my parents) doesn't have any sound at all. I like that, since it encourages me to keep my room relatively quiet. And when I really need sound, I find ways to get it (such as using my dad's computer when I'm at my parents' home).
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Postby annis » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:22 pm

Lucus Eques wrote: I really want, and need to find a way to enjoy my iPod.


Turn on the maximum volume limiting and use it as it was designed to be used?
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:56 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:Sorry to play devil's advocate with some of these suggestions — don't let me shut you down! I really want, and need to find a way to enjoy my iPod. Everything each of you has said has helped bring me closer to that goal.


Well, if you don't want to use earphones and if you never plan to listen to music/etc. anywhere except in physical presence of your computer, then maybe you should consider that an iPod might not be for you.
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Postby Kyneto Valesio » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:26 am

Don't know if anyone has already mentioned that you can sometimes play these devices through the car's stereo system. I drive and 89 volvo stationwagon. I bought something that is adapted to the slot the casette goes into. I plug my mp3 player into that something, which works fine. What I don't know is if there is a way to do something similar with a CD player.

Moreover, its been proven people can get used to a lot of things. I bet with proper conditioning even earphone-adverse subjects could be trained to accept earphones. Then by-and-by they, if they are language nerds like us, may come to appreciate the importance of such devices for modern language instruction. Cheers to all.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:50 am

Kyneto Valesio wrote:Don't know if anyone has already mentioned that you can sometimes play these devices through the car's stereo system. I drive and 89 volvo stationwagon. I bought something that is adapted to the slot the casette goes into. I plug my mp3 player into that something, which works fine. What I don't know is if there is a way to do something similar with a CD player.


That's my main goal right now, getting that device — but I see it's something like $90 on Apple's site. That's just for the FM radio one.

Moreover, its been proven people can get used to a lot of things. I bet with proper conditioning even earphone-adverse subjects could be trained to accept earphones. Then by-and-by they, if they are language nerds like us, may come to appreciate the importance of such devices for modern language instruction. Cheers to all.


I used to use an mp3 player with headphones, in Italy back in 2005 actually, and I noticed a distinct loss of my once extremely acute hearing — and that was with extremely moderate use and low volume. I learned my lesson soon enough, but I'd be a fool to repete that event.
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Postby edonnelly » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:45 am

Kyneto Valesio wrote: I bought something that is adapted to the slot the casette goes into. I plug my mp3 player into that something, which works fine. What I don't know is if there is a way to do something similar with a CD player.


I used to have a portable cd player connect through a cassette adapter and it worked very well. I have heard from others, though, that the FM devices do not work nearly as well (but since fewer cars have tape players, the FM devices seem to be much more commonplace). They say the sound quality is noticeably degraded. I'm sure there are different quality FM transmitters, though, so it's probably worth researching these if anyone is planning to buy one.

I installed a CD player for my car, and one of the things that came with it, but which I didn't have a need for, was a little connector that would attach to an iPod on one end, and the typical red & white audio connectors on the other that would attach to the aux input on the back of the CD player. I would suspect such a little device would work very well and wouldn't be very expensive (since it was just included with my rather inexpensive CD player). Of course, the car stereo would have to have the input jacks on it, and the little device wouldn't do anything to power the iPod, like some of the combo units I've seen.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:21 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:I used to use an mp3 player with headphones, in Italy back in 2005 actually, and I noticed a distinct loss of my once extremely acute hearing — and that was with extremely moderate use and low volume. I learned my lesson soon enough, but I'd be a fool to repete that event.


Did your hearing improve after you stopped using the player?

My hearing is pretty good now - but my father's family has a history of hearing loss, so I doubt it will be very good 30 years from now (and I think I'm going the way of my paternity since I already have a slight case of tinnitus).
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:33 pm

Well, from what I understand, hearing loss is permanent. However, with all diseases, like hearing loss that might run in the family, do yourself a favor and don't exspect it — if you do expect it, then you predispose your future to bringing about that end. Just protect your hearing, and exspect good hearing your whole life.

That goes for all health.
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Postby jk0592 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:14 pm

However, with all diseases, like hearing loss that might run in the family, do yourself a favor and don't exspect it — if you do expect it, then you predispose your future to bringing about that end. Just protect your hearing, and exspect good hearing your whole life.

I do not think that by expecting an illness your predispose yourself for it, now or in the future.

But the ancient Greeks had this idea that you cannot escape from your destiny, merely can you delay it somewhat. And we do not know what is our destiny, since the Oracle at Delphi, the Pythia, is not really at work any more.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:23 am

jk0592 wrote:
However, with all diseases, like hearing loss that might run in the family, do yourself a favor and don't exspect it — if you do expect it, then you predispose your future to bringing about that end. Just protect your hearing, and exspect good hearing your whole life.

I do not think that by expecting an illness your predispose yourself for it, now or in the future.


All disease is the result of one thing: stress. The body is constantly bombarded by illness, but only acquires a disease (read: dis-EASE) when it is not at ease, and is stressed — then, the weakest link in the chain is the one that breaks. Stress occurs mostly through a poor state of mind. In this way, we recognise that the mind is what can provide, or withhold, the catalysts that produce disease.

As for hearing loss, if I choose to exspect this, then I will have predisposed by entire psychology to achieve the end that my subconscious mind has accepted as fact. I will find myself in situations that might cause damage to my hearing, and I will end up subjecting myself to those affects. This is merely how human psychology functions.
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Postby annis » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:49 am

Lucus Eques wrote:All disease is the result of one thing: stress. The body is constantly bombarded by illness, but only acquires a disease (read: dis-EASE) when it is not at ease, and is stressed — then, the weakest link in the chain is the one that breaks.


Ah! I had no idea we could include Christian Science among the faiths represented on Textkit.
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Postby Bert » Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:27 am

Lucus Eques wrote: As for hearing loss, if I choose to exspect this, then I will have predisposed by entire psychology to achieve the end that my subconscious mind has accepted as fact. I will find myself in situations that might cause damage to my hearing, and I will end up subjecting myself to those affects. This is merely how human psychology functions.

You're saying that if I think I likely will suffer hearing loss I am more likely going to stop using earplugs or start using earphones? GGG must be an exception to your "rule."
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Safer Headphones

Postby metrodorus » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:27 am

Those little headphones you stick in your ear hole are really quite unsafe - especially outdoors, where there is ambient noise, you need to set the volume too high to be able to listen above the sounds of passing traffic,wind,etc and this results in hearing damage.

I have switched over to bigger and clunkier isolation headphones - the 'old fashioned' ones with pads that fit over the ears. These isolate the ambient noise, meaning that you can listen to the ipod at a significantly lower decibel level.

I enjoy listening to my ipod while I walk - I find walking and studying are conducive, and sitting too long does not suit me. I was getting slight tinnia from the old ipod headphones - the little ones that you insert in the ear. I don't get any problems at all with the isolation headphones.

Evan.
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