No Service for You!
After using my Aurvana Gold noise cancelling headphones from Creative Labs (Amazon) for less than a year, one of the earpiece supports started to crack. Perhaps I should have tried to drill a hole in front of it to increase the radius and stop propagation, but I instead opted for epoxy. After it got worse, I realized it was still under warranty, so great nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, when I finally figured out how to contact them, I was informed by what appeared to be a canned email response:
“Please be informed that we are not able to provide the servicing for the headband of the Aurvana Gold headphone because the damage on the headband is not included in the warranty servicing on this product.”
That seems a little crazy, and after my protest, I got a nearly—but strangely not quite—identical message:
“Please be informed that we are not able to provide the servicing for the headband of the Aurvana Gold headphone because the damage part is not included in the warranty servicing on this product.”
I’m not too happy with Creative Labs’ customer servicet, though they did “generously” offer me 10% off a new product. I honestly did like these headphones when intact, but obviously it was time to look at other options.
Noise Isolating – Not Cancelling
I work from home, as a technical writer—or several other titles discussed on my consulting page—and also have a young family that can
sometimes often be heard running, screaming, shouting, laughing or other sounds that aren’t conducive to me thinking. Because of this, having a relatively quiet office is a necessity. In fact, I even built the noise barrier seen here on Homes.com.
The barrier and a few other steps do help, but without headphones the noise is just lower, not gone. Also, noise cancellation may work with droning such as from a plane or lawnmower, but for intermittent chaos sounds, it doesn’t do much. Instead I decided to go with a set of headphones meant specifically to block out noise. In fact, what I got are more like safety earmuffs than a music-focused headset (Amazon), and are supposed to knock noise down by an impressive 25 decibels. Also, they cost about $100 less.
They have a few drawbacks that I initially noticed, including that they are a bit tight on my head, and that the (replaceable) cord is only about 3 feet long. I seriously considered returning them, but after given them a chance, they really do an excellent job of keeping stray noises out of my hearing. A fact that may actually be due in part to them fitting so snugly!
My other initial impression was that the sound coming out of it wasn’t as good as my former headphones. However, the music I listen to is to drown out other sounds, not for my enjoyment necessarily. I don’t know though, it’s really hard for me to judge sound quality, especially now that I’ve used them for a while. Actually, the ear pads are removable, and it appears that each earpiece may be able to be removed…perhaps I could replace the guts of these speakers with the guts of my now crippled Aurvana Gold headphones.
Obviously I can’t be sure of how these will hold up a year from now, but they seem to be constructed quite well. They appear to be well-built, and since they’re meant as safety gear, I’d think they will be pretty sturdy.