A while back, one of my "finds" was a pair of headphones. When the List Price was 120, the "refurb" price was originally 60, and you can find them for 16 it's worth buying. Especially since money is tight and I spend most of my day with headphones on and music in the background.
I picked up a pair of Sony MDR-NC7 headphones, put in the battery, flipped the switch and was immediately impressed. Noise Canceling was not perfect but for $16 they didn't have to be. Then I plugged in to the MP3 Player and noticed that I didn't have to run the volume quite as high to get the same effect. Yes, a pair of noise canceling headphones can actually save your hearing.
For a while, I would walk around the house with the music off because the effect nulled out droning noises like the computers or the air handling units and I was transported from the Noisy Quirky Island of Wilton Manors to the inside of a library. Once the novelty wore off, I took them for granted and used them like any other pair.
Not outdoors, because if you were trying to cross the road, you may end up being road pizza. Just enough silencing to be dangerous.
About two weeks ago, I was given someone's old iPhone 3GS. Since I don't have ATT or a Data Plan on my cell phone contract, I use the thing like an iPod Touch. It watches my professional email account, plays music, and allows me to do limited surfing. Sure, all of that can be done on the laptop, but this slips in my pocket and I can listen to music too pretty much all day if I need to.
That would be one of the drawbacks. I caught myself listening to this iPhone all day and didn't realize that the iPod applet had a nasty habit of resetting the volume. I haven't gotten a good idea where it does the reset or why but I'm watching now. All the sudden its volume slider is "in the middle" where someone at Apple decided it should be and not at 15% where I wanted it, and I'm listening to Armin van Buuren's dreamy trance music a bit louder than I'd prefer.
No, not that "Hey Get Off My Lawn and Turn Down That Noise" kind of volume, but more of a "you are enveloped in A State Of Trance and you can't hear a bloody thing" kind of volume.
When the washer sounded off it's beeper, I didn't hear it.
When the phone rang, twice, in an hour this morning, I didn't hear it.
Or at least until I slipped off the headphones slightly bending over to pick up my cargo shorts after using "The Facilities" and I heard the phone in the other room sing out that I had a message.
Hmmm.... Not one but two I had missed... in 30 minutes. OOPS!
Ok, I'll be more careful. The music's back on, I've got on Armin van Buuren again and it's down where I like it, around 15%.
Gees, Mom was right! I really should turn that damn thing down!
Anyway, the headphones are highly recommended. You can find a pair for around $16 as a refurb, and if you pay more than $20 come here so I can tell you how you messed up. The iPhone you'll have to get on your own. Since it's locked to ATT (at least this one is) when they swallow up my T-Mo, I'll be able to use it there. For now, it's a pretty good little iPod even if I am forced to use that horrendous iTunes.
Personally, I think iTunes should die a horrible death and I want to do a Dr Johnny Fever with a baseball bat on the source code of that piece of crap, but hey, WKRP in Cincinatti aside, it gets the job done. Badly.