Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Sound of Silence


Any law student knows that you need earplugs to study. You spend so much time in thebeautiful, state of the art, Biff and Miffy Harrington (endowed) Law Library, that you do everything there--eat, gossip, listen to music so loud you can hear it emanating from the earphones. If you want to block all that ambient noise, you wear earplugs.

This is also a blessing when you take your one-shot finals on your laptop with Examsoft secured software. Imagine trying to concentrate when you're nervous, in a room of 105 people. Imagine that those 105 people are typing really loudly, pounding the shit out of their laptops. You will want good earplugs. You may hear, with a strange muffled intensity and vibration, every gastrointestinal quirk of your stomach and bowels (and try not to cough or sneeze or chew something, because that's painful to hear inside your head), but it beats hearing clickety-clackety x 100.

Taking the Bar Exam, it is the thing to pack right next to your insulin, epiphedrine, or other life-saving device. Depending on the exam location, that clickety-clackety, sneeze, cough, sigh, chair screech effect is multplied anywhere from 800-1300 in a huge auditorium. You definitely need to block that out.

So it is with particular pleasure that I discovered this old Slate product review of a bunch of different plugs. It's good to note that the $100+ ones were rated the worst, while the $1 ones were rated the best.

I survived law school and the Bar exam with a one-time purchase of 5 pairs of Howard Leightman plugs, which were ranked second best--they really were comfortable and wonderfully soundblocking. I hate silicone ones because they can get really dirty, like playdoh, and ain't nothing going to wash that off. Ewww. Plus they are hard to mold, and don't necessarily block out sound better than the polyurethane ones.

But after reading this, I think for my next jaunt I'll invest in the Hearos earplugs. Cheap and comfortable--the mark of a grad student and they way to study.

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