Do We Need to Start a Nationwide “Headphone Etiquette” Campaign?

Do We Need to Start a Nationwide “Headphone Etiquette” Campaign?

I don’t want our blog to become a platform for political discourse, I’ll leave that to Facebook, Twitter and the talking heads on cable TV news. But, I do think it’s worth speaking up in support of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to keep the ban on voice calls during flights. As he told USA Today last month, “taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.” Amen. But the phone call ban can’t eliminate the larger problem of “headphone syndrome” that’s become an issue not just on flights, but also on the train, the bus, at work, at your favorite cafe  - virtually anywhere people wear headphones. That’s why our OV intelligent headphones feature the unique Ambient button.

I can’t take credit for coming up with the term “headphone syndrome” to describe the phenomenon of unknowingly shouting in order to hear your voice over whatever you’re listening to on your headphones. The definition comes straight from the Urban Dictionary:

Headphone Syndrome: When someone is wearing headphones and speaks very loud because s/he tries to speak over the music.

Mike: Hey man how's it going?
Mike: Whoa man, watch it you're suffering from a little bit of headphone syndrome

We don’t need create a national campaign to educate people on proper headphone etiquette. We’ve come up with an easier solution, and it’s one I expect other headphone manufacturers will try to emulate.

On the left side of the OV neckband, you’ll find the Ambient Button, which enables you to easily turn on/off the ambient microphones in the earbuds. This makes it easy to mix in sounds around you, so you avoid someone having to poke you or wave a hand in your face to get your attention. It also makes walking outside or riding your bike, scooter, etc., safer because you’ll hear traffic approaching and passing you.

Ambient button.jpg

A double press of this button puts OV in Chat Mode, which drops the volume level of your music/content and raises the level of ambient and voice sounds so that you can converse at a polite volume. You can even hold the button down to scroll through various level settings without the need to pull out your phone to open the OV app. When the conversation ends, double press again to return the music/content volume to a comfortable listening level.

The OV also includes the standard mute button for when you’re on the phone and want to spare the person on the other end from your background noise. But using the Ambient button function will help you avoid the common frustration of starting to talk, realizing you’re on mute, and having to go off mute and start over again.

So, set a good example of proper headphone etiquette for your fellow commuters, co-workers, friends and family. The OV - still the first and only intelligent headphones with Amazon Alexa Voice and Music Services - is available for purchase now on our web site.