New Headphones, New Problems

I recently been thinking about how my studies are affecting my life.  My approach to decision making has changed drastically.  I am finding I invest a lot of time into accomplishing simple tasks and I am possibly making big tasks more complicated than need to be.  As I approach a problem, I now carefully consider all of my options, research those options, and consider the potential affects they might have before I finally make a decision.  This involved process is not usually to resolve world hunger but was recently employed while trying to decide on a new pair of headphones.  It’s amusing and somewhat embarrassing how I am making simple things difficult and complex but I am wondering if this deep consideration of my actions is having a negative affect on my life.

It took me almost a whole week to make a final decision on my new headphones.  Unfortunately the right ear of my current headphones is going out.  This is mostly due to the fact that I thought the fabric-reinforced chord would allow me to free my headphones out of sockets simply by tugging on the chord instead of release them by pulling on the plug.  However there is some elasticity in the fabric reinforcement and my rough handling of the headphones has caused the wires to begin to fail right where I am tugging my headphones free.   Now I need new headphones.

I have an opportunity to explore new headphones: insert the design process.  I thought about all of the things I liked about my current headphones, what I would like improved, and how much I wanted to spend on new ones.  I knew I did not want to spend more than $50 which  I thought that was a good price point to find something that works well, while still being wallet friendly.  It might seem steep for some earbuds for a grad student but I wear these things more than I wear a jacket.  I also just sold my old macbook so I thought I would splurge.

My current headphones are UrbanEars Bagis.  They have been pretty solid with good sound quality.  They have all the necessary functions a grad-student would need.  They transmit sound, have a mic for hands-free calls, and the two buds even snap together to help prevent tangling.  My biggest problem has been keeping them in my ears.

During my daily commute I have to restrict my head movements to a minimum because of how easily the earbuds fall out.  This isn’t the best restriction for someone commuting to school on a bicycle who constantly needs to scan around for traffic.  The headphones did originally come with a variety of fittings for the ear pieces to allow a more personalized fit.  The best size to get these guys to stay in place is not so great for someone on the move.  This set the the most important criteria to be met for my new headphones, something that stays in my ear!  Of course you could then make the argument that I can always get over-ear headphones but I can’t wear those with my helmet.Enter Marshall Minors.  These little guys look pretty promising.  I searched for all sorts of variations of headphones.  I found wooden headphones that claims the wooden assembly enhances the sound.  I found earbuds designed by a doctor that come with a price that certainly resembles something from a doctor.  Finally, I found the Marshall Minor’s.  These have a unique feature called EarClick.  The design includes an extension from the earbud upward that sits outside of the ear canal.  This helps keep the headphone secure in place while listening.  I like to think this is the answer to my ears’ prayers.

The Marshall website lists these guys at $59 which is right outside of what I was planning on spending.  Fortunately for me there is this thing called the internet where anything is possible. Naturally, I was able to find my headphones under budget with free shipping (the total came to about $42).

What I want to know is where am I going to draw the line?  It took me a whole week to decide on these headphones.  Was it healthy to devote so much time to researching headphones?  This is a single example of a simple task that could take someone about 30 minutes and a trip to the apple store to resolve.  What am I going to do the next time I run out of peanut butter?


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