The figth against noise on long flights: ultimate ears 700

A few weeks ago I posted about my experiments dealing with in-flight noise and anticipated a new test.
Today I’m reporting what I found when using the Ultimate Ears 700 from Logitech that I recently purchased.

It is an in-ear solution that is noise blocking or, if you prefer, is doing passive noise canceling.
It comes with the option of using either silicone plugs or foam plugs (“Comply” tips): the former solution is comparable with the standard tips coming with most of the in-ear solutions while the foam tip is less common and makes a difference.
I’ve tried both and picked up the Comply as the best solution for me: better noise blocking, more comfortable, lower cable noise.
Pay attention when fitting the foam tips as it’s a bit harder than fitting correctly the silicone ones and you don’t want to remove the earphones leaving the tip inside your ear.

How good they are?
unbelievably good.
Two weeks ago I was in our London office working on a presentation and needed to focus so I used the earphones to avoid the distraction of the conversations in the open space.
At one point I noticed the colleague on my right jumping on the chair: it turned out that someone slammed hard a door but I did not notice at all.

I thought that I might be too focused to notice but it turned out to be really the good performance of the Ultimate Ears that made the difference.

Last week I used them again, this time for the purpose I originally purchased them: dealing with the in-flight noise.
When the music was turned on, even at low volume the humming of the 737 was totally removed and the only noise was coming from the seat and through my spine.
With the music off the noise coming in is similar to what gets through when I use the 3M plugs mentioned in the earlier post.

It’s all perfect? Almost.
I have relatively small ear canal so there it is a bit of fatigue after a while. It may happen to other people too.
To ear the cabin crew you have to remove the earphones.
I discourage using them in places that are not totally under control because anything can happen with you not noticing; you really don’t want to do jogging while using them.

And the musical fidelity?
It is there too.
At least as far as an in-ear solution can go: I like the physical impact provided by a loudspeaker and no earphone can provide that.
They are in a totally different league compared to the Creative and Philips solutions I tried earlier.

When working at my desk I always prefer my pair of indiana line 5.04 with the support of the DTA-100a amplifier over the earphones when neighbours complains are not a risk.

I’m very happy with my ultimate ears 700 and I recommend them.

Live concert in Prague @ Rudolfinum

I’m just back from the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum in Prague.

I discovered by chance in the airplane magazine that at this time of the year Prague hosts an international music festival so I decided to spend the evening away from the work email.

And it was a good decision even if I was not familiar with the selection of music (from Strauss, Beethoven and Brahms) of the concert.
Live performances are a different and better world than what even the most audiophile stereo system money can buy could ever reproduce.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performance was really enjoyable.

If you happen to be in Prague at this time of the year in 2013 you should take the opportunity.

I’ll do for sure.

If you never went to a live classical music concert give it a try at the first opportunity.
There it is only one golden rule: arrive on time don’t make any noise or chatting during the performance.

Booking online was easy and doable until the day before the concert.
There it is one important caveat!
In the balcony (the most affordable place) there are columns that may completely block your vision: if you don’t see seats directly in front of the one you’re selecting while reserving then you have the column in front of you.
While this can be acceptable for a pure instrumental execution you really don’t want it.

I was unlucky in the seat selection, but then lucky as just in front of me there were 3 free seats and I was able to move from the 790 crowns column-seat in row 5 to the 1490 crowns central seat in row 4.