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ear plugs or headphones to read?


Guest Gnome Chomsky

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Does anybody do this? Just curious. I've been reading out in public a lot more lately (university food court, Starbuck, public library) and sometimes the noise makes it frustrating. I was considering getting ear plugs or even putting in my headphones and playing some smooth jazz or something. How do you guys/girls deal with reading in public?

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I use noise reducing ear muffs, NRR of 30 decibels.  $20 on Amazon.  After using them for a few weeks you get into a Pavlov state where your body recognizes its in study mode whenever you put them on...  They are also great for reading while on airplanes, buses, etc...

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I invested in a nice pair of headphones for this reason! You can get some really great deals! I would say if you listen to music a lot, it's worth having a pair of phones that will last.

 

Also, I was recently introduced to songza ............ HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT IT!?? Seriously! They have some fantastic music (free) that is great for working/reading/studying/writing...EVERYTHING!

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I use noise reducing ear muffs, NRR of 30 decibels.  $20 on Amazon.  After using them for a few weeks you get into a Pavlov state where your body recognizes its in study mode whenever you put them on...  They are also great for reading while on airplanes, buses, etc...
That is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!
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I tend to focus better with background noise like you find in coffee shops (weird, I know), but noise-canceling headphones are a wonder when you really need the quiet.  I have JVC noise cancelers that allow you to use the noise canceling function without playing any music.  I also recommend using 8tracks to find some instrumental study mixes to play if you don't have noise canceling headphones.

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I would definitely argue against ear plugs. If used too frequently, they can cause irritation of the skin in the ears and can contribute to ear wax buildup (and subsequent pushing in of the ear wax when putting on the plugs). I just got headphones that cover the entire ear, so I get passive noise cancelling, or at the most, a muffling of the noise around me. Stuff that is usually marketed as noise cancelling headphones can send out destructive sound waves effectively cancelling out noise around you, but I personally don't think it's worth the extra money. 

An alternative is Mack's swimmer ear plugs. They don't push in like common ear plugs do, but effectively block out a lot of sound. 

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This thread is so interesting to me. One of my labmates will be listening to a podcast in her native language while working. Me? I need silence. I can't listen to podcasts or music. Although I work fine in public settings with indistinguishable chatter/white noise.

 

Sorry, I know I had NOTHING to contribute to this, but I am just so fascinated that people can listen to music and work at the same time. Ha.

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This thread is so interesting to me. One of my labmates will be listening to a podcast in her native language while working. Me? I need silence. I can't listen to podcasts or music. Although I work fine in public settings with indistinguishable chatter/white noise.

 

Sorry, I know I had NOTHING to contribute to this, but I am just so fascinated that people can listen to music and work at the same time. Ha.

 

I find the noise in public settings to be very distracting, because it's all novel noise. I prefer to listen to music I'm very familiar with if I'm working out in public. It blocks the chatter and noise, and produces a much lower cognitive load.

That said, I use earbuds because they're easier to carry around.

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