A dislocation of what we see around us and what we hear; inviting into our lives the voices of people who are not physically present with us.

Even if you don’t suffer from it, your children probably do:  encased in the audio world of their earbuds and headphones.

Two types of hearing:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Passive Hearing

Two types of listening:

  1. Reductive Listening:  Listening “for,” reduces everything down to what is relevant and discards everything else.  Guys listen reductively
  2. Expansive Listening:  Listening “with” not listening “for,” no destination in mind.  Women listen expansively

For your health, seek out silence.  Move away from silence with intention.  Seek out the sound of wind, water, and birds. Design soundscapes around you with a foreground, a background—all in balanced proportion.

  1. Listen consciously
  2. Protect your ears
  3. Befriend silence
  4. Train your voice
  5. Make music
  6. Design the soundscapes around you
  7. Speak up for quality sound environments around you

Source:  Julian Treasure’s TEDGloabl 2010 presentation on Sound Health

My personal favorite earbuds have been the Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10vi Noise-Isolating Headset from Ultimate Ears.  They are not inexpensive, but they produce a beautiful sound quality and isolate noise effectively.  (I simply tune the screaming brat(s) right out of my field of hearing on the plane as I fly.  They were actually purchased as a reaction to the unforgivable Owen incident.)  I therefore find myself listening at reasonable volumes even in very loud environments, like an airplane.

Additionally, this small headset produces a very nice quality bass response and includes a microphone in the wire.  I love them and have blogged about (reviewed) them before here.  Perhaps the next time I purchase earphones, I will spring for the rather expensive and completely personalized Ultimate Ears Custom In-ear Monitors which sell for almost $1,400 and contain 6 proprietary speakers per monitor.  You go to an audiologist who creates an ear mold which Ultimate Ears uses to create the body of the Monitors so they fit you perfectly.

Of curious note:  Ultimate Ears has an iPhone App that measures the SPL (sound pressure level) around you and promotes their products and the bands that use them.

As a trained musician, I’ve always been very attentive to my hearing and find that to have paid off significantly.  I am frequently told I hear things other my age no longer can hear at all, including the annoying ticking of the HU’s watch.  I have routinely avoided listening at high levels all of my life or even being in loud environments.  In fact, I’ve even attended concerts with my fingers in my ears as the sound was unquestionably unhealthily loud.  Call me a fanatic:  I greatly enjoy my sense of hearing.