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Here are some of the headphone options available to improve the listening experience of portable music players.
rnrnEtymotic Research’s 6i Isolator Earphones offer a sound-isolating option for $150. These include enhanced bass and can reduce outside sounds by an estimated 35 decibels, according to the company. Two types of tips are provided, including a foamlike material you squeeze before putting them in your ears, and they slowly expand to form a seal.
A wireless option from Plantronics is the Pulsar 590A Bluetooth Headset. The device, about $250, has an adjustable headband that wraps over your head and a puck-shaped transmitter with a wire that connects to most standard 3.5mm audio jacks, including those on iPods, laptops, computers, portable CD players and minicassette players.
The wireless iMuffs, are about $130 and are compatible with many iPod models including the Mini, Photo and third- and fourth-generation models (but not yet with the newest iPods, like the Nano and video iPod).rn
rnButtons on the right earpiece control the iPod’s volume and song selection, even when the iPod’s hold feature is enabled, and the headset has a battery life of up to 16 hours of continuous use before it needs recharging. The transmitter, a white plastic enclosure, plugs into the top of the iPod and extends its length by about 1.2 inches.
Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod cost about $120. The headset wraps around the back of your neck and is a “one size fits all” dimension.
rnNoise-canceling headphones, such as these QuietComfort 2 Acoustic Noise-Canceling Headphones from Bose, are an option for reducing sounds in noisy places. Instead of simply blocking sound, they include electrical components that actively cancel out noise; the device produces inverted sound waves to offset sounds detected in the environment. They require power sources like batteries, and they filter out sounds mainly in the lower ranges–the drone in airplane cabins or noise on trains and buses.rn
rnThe QuietComfort 2, at about $300, are bulkier than Walkman-style headphones but comfortable, and the fit is snug. The padded headband wraps over your head, and the earphones, also padded, totally enclose your ears.