Bose Bluetooth headset – a first for the king of noise canceling headphones

In the world of travelers, Bose has long been the standard in noise canceling headphones – but now the audio wizards are entering the world of Bluetooth headsets. And as can be expected from Bose, their first product is mighty impressive (on paper at least.)

The new Bose Bluetooth Headset may lack a snazzy name, but the innards apparently more than make up for that. Inside the headset is the Bose TriPort speaker technology found in their headphones, along with Adaptive Audio Technology – described as “an advancement that measures incoming speech and background noise, and adjusts voice levels automatically and smoothly.”

The headset features a real on/off slider switch and LED’s with clear labels. The new Bose Bluetooth Headset comes with three StyleHear tips (small, medium and large) and will be available from Bose in late November for $149.95. Bottom line for travel gadget freaks is that this headset can safely be added to your Christmas wish lists.

Product review – Plane Quiet Platinum noise canceling headphones

This review is quite a “scoop”; it’s the first online review of the new Plane Quiet Platinum noise canceling headphones. These headphones are developed in the USA by the “Outside the box group”, who have been around for almost 4 years, and have become quite successful in bringing affordable noise canceling products to the marketplace. The brains behind this company are David and Renee Dillinger, David was a commerical pilot and Renee a flight attendant, so they have quite a lot of experience in air travel.

The headphones arrive in one of those impossible to open plastic blister packages, so if you buy them at the airport, be sure to pack a chainsaw in your carry-on bag. Inside the package you’ll find the headphones themselves, a user guide, 2 AAA batteries, a headphone jack adapter, a 2-prong adapter, a carrying pouch and a smaller pouch for storing the various accessories.

The Plane Quiet Platinum headphones feel terrific. There is a good solid feel to every part of them. The headband is covered in real leather, just like the ear cups. Each ear piece folds 90 degrees, making it easy to store them. Each side also has a clear marking for the left and right channel, and they extend 1.5 inches, to ensure you’ll always find the perfect fit.The carrying pouch is made of nylon, and stores the headphones as well as any accessories or spare batteries you want to bring along. Inside the pouch is a strip of Velcro, for attaching the included accessories pouch. There is ample space in the pouch for an mp3 player or other media device. The total weight of the pouch with headphones, accessories pouch and a set of spare AAA batteries is a tad over 10 ounces (about 290 grams).

The audio cord is a generous 75 inches long (190 centimeters), so you’ll be able to use them in any class of air travel, plus you’ll have enough cable to get up out of your seat to let someone go to the bathroom, without having to unplug yourself and miss the only funny scene of the in-flight movie.

In the middle of the cable is the control pod. This measure about 3 inches long and houses 2 AAA batteries, as well as the power switch. With batteries installed, the control pod weighs just 1.7 ounces. The headphone cord goes in just one earpiece, so you won’t end up getting tangled in cords after a nap on the plane.

Of course, the most important part of any noise canceling product is the audio performance, and I’m pleased to say that the Plane Quiet Platinum headphones do not disappoint. The rated noise cancellation level (provided by the manufacturer) is -18dB at 150-400Hz, which is the audio range of what you’ll usually want to cancel on a flight (engine noise).

The best part of the noise canceling electronics in the Plane Quiet Platinum headphones is the lack of “hiss”. If you have ever tried some of the more popular brands (like that big brand that rhymes with “hose”), then you might have experienced a kind of hissing noise when the noise canceling feature is turned on. These headphones do not have that, in fact, when you turn the noise canceling feature on in a quiet room, there is absolutely no distortion to the music at all, it cancels out background noise, without interfering with the audio.

Volume is quite excellent, and even at the highest setting, I did not hear any loss of quality. The earpieces provide a decent bass and my music sounded nice and rich. When testing them, I used three sources; my Blackberry Curve, an iPod classic and a DVD movie on my laptop computer. If you plan to use these headphones on the old iPhone, you will need a headphone adapter since Apple, in its infinite wisdom, recessed the headphone jack.

Since the headphones use decent quality leather ear cups, they isolate the audio quite well, even when the noise canceling electronics are turned off. The advantage of keeping noise out, is that you also keep noise in, which means you won’t have to be embarrassed when you listen to Abba in the airport lounge.

By far the best part of these headphones is the price; at just $99.95 they are a steal, and a third of what other brands charge for their similar premium noise canceling headphones. The Plane Quiet Platinum headphones are available as of today, directly from the web site of the manufacturer. Shipping is free, and you can pay with all major credit cards, Paypal and even Google Checkout.

Final thoughts;
There really isn’t much I can criticize these headphones on. The price is right, the quality is great, audio is great and the package contains all the accessories you need to unpack the headphones and use them right away. The only thing I’d change, is making it easier to open the packaging, but that probably just makes me look a little petty. If you are in the market for active noise canceling headphones, then I strongly suggest the new Plane Quiet Platinum headphones.


Galley Gossip: Flight Attendant Pet Peeve #1: Answer please!

I’m working the very last leg of a three day, three-leg-a-day, trip.

Still with me? Good.

I’m rolling down the aisle behind a 150 pound cart loaded with ice, soda, beer, liquor, and snacks for sale, along with inserts on top filled with cups, napkins, juice, water, and a couple of hot pots of coffee and tea. Nine times out of ten, I’ll probably reach your row and ask the question of the day: “Would you care for something to drink?”

And three times out of five the response will be, “Wha?” And that’s a wha without the T.

Normally when faced with this type of situation, I force a smile, grab a napkin, and wave it while eyeing the tray table locked in the closed position in front of you. “Something to drink?” I’ll ask again, and while I ask this question I find myself wondering why you haven’t taken off the Ipod or those giant Bose noise cancellation headsets covering your ears when you see me standing at your row.

“Wha?” you ask again, scrunching your eyebrows together, because, for some reason, you’re not understanding what I’m saying, even though I’ve been standing behind a beverage cart for the last fifteen minutes slowly inching my way towards you.

I try again, “Drink, something to drink?” now playing a game of charades as I put a pretend cup to my lips and tilt my head back, repeating the word, “Drink? Drink?”

Finally the headset comes off, you smile, and I actually hear, “I’m sorry what?”

This is not a Saturday Night Live parody. This is a real life conversation that happens more often than not on flights each and every day. It happens over and over and over. In fact, it happens so often that I can no longer bring myself to ask the question – again. So I just hand you a can of Coke with a cup of ice and move the cart to the next row. I’m sorry, but three strikes you’re out! Other people are waiting.

Lately flight attendants have gotten a bad rap. Trust me, I’ve heard the horror stories. And I know they’re out there, the bad flight attendant, because I, too, have had to work with a few of those flight attendants. It’s not fun for either of us. But keep in mind there are also good flight attendants out there who really do enjoy their job. Like me. But even I get annoyed and a little short when I encounter a passenger like the one above. Remember I have now asked the question, “would you care for something to drink?” which has been shortened to “something to drink?” and shortened again to just “drink!” AT LEAST 960 times in the last three days. And that doesn’t count the number of times I’ve been ignored, causing me to ask the same person the same question three times in a row. It’s the kind of thing that could make a flight attendant go a little crazy. Or maybe a lot crazy. So crazy she may actually rip a piece of paper off the cart, grab a strip of tape, scribble a barely legible note, tape it to her airline ID and wear the thing around her neck as she rolls down the aisle behind the heavy cart.

“Something to drink?”


I grab the ID around my neck, the one with the scribbled note that reads, Drink? Please answer! and hold it up with a smile.

The passenger nods, and asks, “What do ya have?”

I take a deep breath. “Coke. Diet Coke. Pepsi. Diet Pepsi. Sprite. Diet Sprite. Dr. Pepper. Diet Dr. Pepper. Ginger Ale. Diet Ginger Ale. Club Soda. Apple Juice. Cranapple Juice. Orange Juice. Tomato Juice. Grapefruit Juice. Coffee. Tea. Water. Tonic Water.”

“Umm…I’ll take a Coke.”

Still with me?