Stereo Headphones – Listen To Loud Movies Or Games While Your Family Sleeps

by Mike Holman

In my family, I am the night owl.  My wife tends to go to bed earlier (although not as early as she used to) and the kids go to bed very early.  This means that any noisy activities such as watching movies with surround sound can’t be enjoyed at night in my house because I don’t want to wake anyone up.

The solution which I came up with a few years ago is to buy some stereo headphones.  If you have your tv connected to a stereo or surround sound system then just plug the headphones into the receiver.  I believe some tvs might also have jacks for headphones built in to them.

Now the sound with headphones is not as good as having your expensive surround-sound system cranked up, but it’s a lot better than the alternative of having your tv sound so low you can barely hear it and living in fear that you will wake up one of the kids.

If you buy a half decent set then the sound will be quite good and you can turn up the volume as loud as you want.

I use them for watching sports and other tv shows when the house is quiet but they would also come in handy for playing video games.  Personally I find the sound of video games very annoying when someone else is playing so when my kids get to that age, one of the rules will be that they have to wear headphones when playing so I don’t have to listen.

You can even use them for their original purpose which was to listen to music.  For some reason I never really listen to music at home but having headphones would allow more flexibility if I did.

You can buy different types of headphones from $30 up to several hundred dollars for what I hope is really good sound.  I paid about $90 for my last set which had the odd name of “SkullCandy” and I’m pretty happy with them.  I find they only last a couple of years and then the wires don’t work which really sucks since the wiring should be the cheapest part of the device.

What do you think?  Would headphones help keep the peace in your household or are they a waste of money?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nobleea

there are some surround sound headphones available that have all the surround sound speakers condensed in a little chamber around your ear. i’m not convinced you ear can discern the difference when they’re that close together, but my friend swears by it.

2 guinness416

You could build one of those padded cells, er, rooms like the Bose demonstration room in the electronics shop at Bay and Bloor. I find it really hard to listen to earphones at home, always feel like there’s something going on around me that I’m not privy to or someone’s knocking on the door or something. Must be a guilty conscience.

3 Four Pillars

Nobleea – I’ve seen some of those headphones and wondered how good they are. Some are quite expensive but I didn’t see any kind of place at BestBuy where I could try them out so I was reluctant to fork our $200+.

Guinness – I would LOVE a padded cell in my house but I’m not sure if the missus would approve. :) I agree that headphones are far from perfect – but I find they are a pretty good solution for late night tv.

4 Mrs Pillars

Guinness and Mike – The missus would take it over and Mike would have to build a second one.

5 Andre R

The headphone idea is pretty good. I actually do this when the kids go to sleep so I can play games online or watch tv. I bought a pair of Sony MDRXB300 for $40 on sale at BestBuy.

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