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The elite customer on-line shop, “Caviar” has  unveiled the ‘pure gold’ variant of Apple hearables.

At $108,000, the pure gold cans “look elegant, and emphasize the status of the owners and their impeccable taste”.

Apparently, they are made for those who “want to always be on top.”


Footballers arrive at grounds wearing them. Gamers are never out of them.  Kids communicate with their parents in sign language from under them.

Sonic ear muffs or headphones are de rigeur.

We all need a hearing aid at some time in our lives.  For various reasons. To be able to hear some things some people say. Sometimes. And to enjoy music.


Or silence.

The sort of headphone you choose to wear over or around your ears depends largely on the size of your wallet and your head and how much you appreciate music and value silence.

Gary Lineker, Martin Keown, Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer have one thing in common. They are noise irritants.  At times, they need to be silenced.

Boris, Brexit, hip hop, rap, the theme tune to “Eastenders”, “Loose Women , “the unchecked proliferation of Ant & Dec;  politicians ; celebrities; all those people whose job it is to blight our lives by ensuring any sense of free will is an illusion ; the  wet-lipped , rat-faced bank managers  and other people in status-preserving suits telling us what to do and not do with our money ; the synchronized road-digging , the aircraft strafing our roofs;  traffic;  hoovers , loud relatives and  all other sources of unwanted noise which cause high nausea levels.


They all need to be drowned out or damped down.

Is there such a thing as high-quality, high-fidelity silence?

Certainly, especially when you have neighbours who have just been granted planning permission to demolish their home and rebuild it.


If you work from home as I do – or pretend to – there is nothing worse or less conducive to getting things done than a cement mixer and pneumatic drill going full blast less than twenty yards from your laptop.  These days it is called noise pollution. I still know it as “a ‘kin din”.

Typing is difficult enough with your fingers in your ears and very punishing on the elbows but it’s made  far worse when your laptop is bouncing around the table and jumping up in  the air all the time. It’s hard to work on a laptop when you are trying to catch it all the time.

You could, of course, move to the nearest library. Or build your own sound-proofed bunker. Or a monastery. Or, in the very modern way, bring them to you.


Our kids have been brought up wearing Bose and Beats and  Apple airpods and Nuraloops.  Often I have thought that they listen more to the headphones than what was actually been played through them.

And I had always been sceptical about noise cancellation.

Then , when the hammering and sawing started and the scaffolding went up next door, I   began a journey which ended in the attainment of peace and tranquility.


I went to my nearest Curry’s where a man did a lot of talking and I did a lot of nodding although I couldn’t hear a word he was saying  because the headphones I was wearing were just as good and perhaps better than what I  presumed he was telling me they were.

So I purchased my first pair of high-tech cans.

Not for running in  or to download my workout playlist into. I bought them to gurantee absolute , uninterrupted, undisturbed, blissful silence.

Smart silence.

To block out  annoying ambient sounds like workmen laughing and flobbing, radios playing, saw buzzing, generators throbbing, all the clattering and clanking and allowing me to focus on my work and concentrate on important things like what names to call my neighbours the next  time I see them.

It’s called extreme audio downscaling and its beautiful.

I love my Sony WH-1000XM4s.  They provide me with a superior sound experience. They refine and enrich the quiet and prove serenity is achievable because the richness and depth  of true silence is deliverable.

The only thing things that penetrate my noise cancellers are some high frequency sounds like sirens in the  form of hissing and the shape of my wife urging me to stop day-dreaming and reminding me that  there are chores need to be done.

But even then I can activate my cans and go in into wind reduction mode.

The mail these days  tells me I am eligible for bus passes and bypasses, bowel screening, last minute funerals and hearing aids.  What’s the point of having a hearing air if you don’t want to hear a lot of things and want to choose what sort  of things to happily listen to. Cans can.