It was a sad day. My headphones died. My headphones that I’d always yearn for when I needed to shut the world out. It was only softened by its predictable death. First one arm dropped only be to be superglued back together. It was such a shoddy job that it’d often detach itself while I’m out. And that moment when you leave the blissful security of the headphones and collapse into the real world was one that rankled me every time.
They were only a pair of Sony MDR-V500 – full of crisp middle and treble although the bass often lacked punch – but anyone who’s owned a pair of headphones for an extended period will understand the relationship you develop over this seemingly humble item. I was going to describe it as inanimate but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
As first, perhaps they are. Certainly, I haven’t warmed to its successor (the revered Sennheiser HD 25) despite its near perfect balance. And that’s they need time before their innate character is revealed like a timid friend who gradually becomes more exuberant as the weeks progress. The Sony’s had over eight years for its tone to soften and warm.
To be honest, I know the Sennheiser is the better headphone. It’s more rugged and dependable. Yet like all things, there’s a subtle charm to something that has niggling flaws. I also know that the Sennheiser will sound infinitely better once I’ve invested more one-to-one time – it’ll be richer and more engrossing. But while that time passes, I’ll mourn the loss of a good friend.
Fortunately, though its decrepit body dangles off my head, its soul is still intact. So I’ll sign it off with something ambient that glows at the edges. ‘Friend [Lover]’ and ‘Babe’ by Evenings.