It is probably best if, before this article goes any further, we point out that we have not received any money, favours or benefits in kind from Big Music. No CDs, no tickets for The Proms – not even the autographs of Little Mix. Nothing. We need to point this out because there will almost certainly be some public health expert or other decrying us as shills or indulging in astroturfing.
The thing is we have always stood up for what is correct, regardless of the risk or consequences. When the vaping community looked for guidance on the big issues (like the time nobody knew which Britain’s Got Talent person to vote for), we were there. We’ve always been there for you.
And so, when we now speak up in defence of headphone manufacturers everywhere you know it is coming from a place of truth and honesty. A place where nobody here has been visited by a representative from the Performing Right Society clutching a fat brown envelope.
Firstly, and we need to make this expressly clear, headphones do not just explode. There are at least hundreds of people who have a set of headphones, probably more, and none of them have ever experienced a head-based November 5th.
The music community is quite clear on this, the user must have been fiddling with the unit and not fully aware of the ramifications of changing certain settings. Did she play them too loud? Had she done her homework and studied musical notation? It’s easy to say that this all happened because she didn’t know a crotchet from a semibreve – so that’s what we’re going to say.
In a recent piece of research, Music Lovers England pointed out that headphones have aided many a tune lover to escape from the harmful effects of going to live concerts. Traditional live music poses a genuine health risk, not least for the close proximity of many coughing, spluttering and generally grubby other tune lovers. Headphones have helped all of us here and probably helped you too.
Typically, ignorant anti-headphone campaigners have leapt on this event to cry out that bangs a mile up should be restricted to airplane toilets. “Headphones are too unsafe,” they holler, “and need to be restricted by law.”
“You see these people wandering around with headphones on,” explained one chubby, red-faced zealot. “You don’t know where they were purchased, you don’t know what they were made from and (unless you are sharing public transport with the user) you have no idea what music’s in them.”
Any audiophile will tell you that it’s far safer to listen to music through headphones than hang around with Keith Richards for a morning. The campaigners know this too, that’s why they’ll quickly move on to tell you that the people making headphones are pushing them at children.
“They are available in colours that have obviously been designed to attract kids,” the zealot added, frothing at the mouth. “Not only do these headphones renormalise listening to bad music but they have been proven to be a gateway to get children hooked on Nickleback.”
Gateway? What absolute guff. Once you’ve tasted a set of headphones you’ll never go back to licking The Levellers or Rage Against The Machine. The message is simple: headphones work and we enjoy using them. If you are unsure how to use headphones safely, then ask for help from the person who sold them to you or get onto a headphone-lover’s forum.