I am so excited! Late last February, near the beginning of my westward expedition, I purchased a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless “noise cancellation” headphones, and I must say that they have significantly changed my life for the better!
Through sophisticated electronic cancellation of surrounding ambient sounds, I am now able to enjoy my immersive binaural field recordings even while eating in a restaurant, taking a break in a coffee shop, or hanging out in a motel room with the air conditioner roaring away. While they do not entirely suppress ambient sounds, the reduction is quite impressive (on the order of 90-95%), allowing me to edit recordings under conditions where normal headsets or earbuds do not provide nearly enough isolation.
What’s more, I have discovered that the headphones allow for a supremely relaxing and meditative listening experience. For example, while at a laundromat the other day, I headed over to a nearby city park and sat on a bench overlooking a stream that was surrounded by trees and shrubs. A beautiful natural scene lay before me, but the city noises were overwhelming, with cars going by, kids yelling as they played in the park, and a dog barking incessantly just down the street. Visually, I was “surrounded by wild nature,” but the city soundscape was annoying and unsettling, distracting me from what otherwise would be an uplifting interlude.So I donned my new headphones and then navigated via my iPhone to my website, where I enabled a binaural recording of a gurgling brook with gentle bird songs. The effect was instant and transformative. Suddenly I was cradled by a pristine and spacious natural soundscape that meshed with the scene in front of me … and I effortlessly relaxed into a quiet and nurturing meditative space.
I find this very exciting indeed! I now have a large collection of spacious atmospheric soundscapes, all recorded binaurally, which makes them perfectly-suited for listening with noise-cancellation headphones or earbuds. I think there is great healing potential here … for people working in office cubicles, for people in hospitals or the waiting rooms of doctors and dentists, for anyone who is stressed out by the incessant barrage of unwelcome sounds from their human-dominated environments.
Noise-cancellation headphones clearly encourage a new dimension of listening and offer a great solution to bringing beautiful and healing natural soundscapes into your life, no matter where you happen to be.