The first commercial aviation noise reduction headsets were introduced by Bose Corp.'s Noise Reduction Technology Group in 1989. Ten years later, American Airlines offered a civilian version of the headset to its international first-class passengers. Now, Bose is offering the QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headset (they couldn't think of a shorter name; could you think of one?) to travel-weary persons regardless of airline affiliation or frequent-flyer status. At $299 a pop, these babies are not exactly cheap, but they really are good for you, according to Bose. The company says that research shows a definite correlation between noise, human fatigue, and stress symptoms.
As a tech industry conference organizer, the latter two are already a given, so why let air travel make things any worse? For long flights, in particular, Bose says wearing the headset (we're not going to say the whole name again) is like the difference between driving a sports car with the top down and sitting in the back seat of a Rolls Royce in the middle of the night with the windows rolled up. Besides, they say, it will also alleviate jet lag.
How it works: The headset's little electronic brain monitors noise and creates signals that are the opposite of the jet roar (or whatever else is going on in the cabin). Hence the “noise cancelling” part of the name. The headsets are configured so that they can be used with a CD player, tape player, computer, or any other sound source (including the aircraft's own sound system).
Wearers can also explain to seatmates that the headset is just like the ones being worn by the folks in charge up in the cockpit. In fact, wearers can also brag that the headsets are used by the U.S. military for mission-critical applications. Really! Fellow passengers may be so awed that they might not bug you for your business card.
To learn more, call Bose at (800) 650-2673 or visit its Web site: www.bose.com.