My headphones are unreasonably important to me and as such I have a bit of a tendency to take them for granted. I have however, definitely evolved with the changing trends in headphones. I distinctly remember my first pair of headphones; they were practically airplane headphones given the quality of work and sounds, but I loved them nonetheless. They were those shitty plastic over-ear headphones that just lay on top of your ears, as if that is an effective way to focus sound. The soft foam on each earpiece is already wearing despite the fact that I have never worn them. Overtime the foam condensed and the earpieces got kind of crunchy. All of this greatness was attached to a red and black Walkman (a colour scheme that is still embarrassingly prominent in my life) which had no effective way of actually being carried. At the time this was unbelievable – I could listen to Avril Lavigne as loud as I wanted and no one was the wiser (I mean… mostly). As I think about it now through it is archaic, I would almost rather not listen to music at all than use that thing ever again, and that is if I even I had CDs to use it with. Now my main source of music are over-ear (the good kind) noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. Not only that but I almost exclusively listen to music from a streaming site. These are things I would have literally never dreamed of as a kid! While my love of Bluetooth headphones mostly stems from my inability to walk around without cord getting stuck on things, it is still something that I have really come to value, but also ignore. I have come from the shitty airplane headphones, to the uncomfortable skull candy headphones, to the classic apple headphones and all the way up to now without ever really appreciating the evolution.
Not only have headphones evolved a shit ton in my liftetime, but so has Bluetooth technology. The first Bluetooth enabled phone hit the market in 2000 and now, 17 years later you can get Bluetooth for pretty much anything (like sunglasses, TVs, watches etc.) I never considered myself to be interested in Bluetooth but the more I think about it the more I see how much I value this technology. While it may seem like it’s mostly and easy way to play music it has so much value beyond that. Hand-free capability is actually hugely exciting and not just made for Business Dads.
For me headphones create my own space when I often feel I don’t have any. I dread walking around campus without my headphones on and I cannot study without music. As someone who often gets stuck in their own head a little too much it is nice to have a gentle distraction (and a way to guarantee avoiding people). When I rode the bus (pre-car days) it was a nice opportunity to sit down, relax and listen to music.