Hearphones and Social Cues

Highlighted
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hearphones and Social Cues

How has wearing your Hearphones changed your social interactions?

 

Before

I was never one to wear earbuds. I occasionally wore noise cancelling headphones in my home office to quiet the din from my tower computers. I never wore headphones in public except when using my noise cancelling headphones during air travel. Hearphones changed all that. 

 

After

Quiet, Private Settings

I often use my Hearphones to listen to music or spoken word in quiet surroundings. I turn down WORLD volume to quiet the rumble of urban life. To have a quick conversation with someone important,  I pull out my Hearphones to speak with them. Taking out the Hearphones is a social signal that I am giving that person my undivided attention. It's similar to closing the laptop and turning to face someone full-on.  It's also simpler and faster than muting the source material and adjusting the WORLD volume. I don't want to give the impression that it's tedious to shift from my inner attention to focus on someone important.

 

In Public

This is new. I wear my Hearphones when I'm out in public most of the time. All of the important people in my life all know about my Hearphones. They understand that my Hearphones allow me to hear them in challenging situations. They know I'm wearing my Hearphones because I want to hear them. These people welcome my Hearphones even if they occasionally have to work harder to get my attention before we speak.

 

Have you changed your behaviours around others since getting your Hearphones?

 

ST

26 REPLIES
Friendly Fanatic

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

ST, I enjoyed reading your post. I use them in the same manner you do. I wear hearing aids but they do not allow me to adjust to the environment I find myself in. They have been a huge help in loud places.

 

I remember when I first attended the seminar at Bose to test out the Hearphones. My biggest concern was the social cue you referred to. When they are in people certainly get the idea that you may not be paying attention to them. My family and friends know I use them to enhance our conversations. One of them is considering getting a pair for themselves. They get it but it feels like I need to always explain that to others. I have never had to do that with my hearing aids in place. It's a trade off that I happily accept. 

 

Like you I was not a person who would use headphones. Since having the Hearphones I do tend to listen to my music more often when I find myself waiting for appointments and such. I actually wear them more often than my hearing aids now. 

Friendly Fanatic

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

I've had my Hearphones for about 3 weeks. My first big test was dinner with a group of 4 at a noisy restaurant. Before I would sit quietly because I had no idea what was being said, or I would only catch bits and pieces of conversation. After a while I wouldn't even ask people to repeat themselves because half the time, I couldn't hear the repeat clearly. But with the Hearphones I was fully engaged. I didn't miss a sigle word said and found I became more sociable because I could participate in conversations.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

Hi there promotherobot,

 

It's great to see you here.  Welcome.

 

" I became more sociable because I could participate in conversations."

 

Unlike so many technologies that suggest they make us more social, Hearphones are getting us back to the conversations that matter.

 

ST

 

 

 

 

Noisy Narrator

Hearphones and Social Cues

Interesting, I'm enjoying reading more about this product and the various use cases.

 

I'm curious, how do people react when you have a conversation with them while wearing the Hearphones?  @Eunice_Y I'm sure when you're in the Bose cafeteria, most folks are probably at least passingly familiar with what the product is.  But for everyone (not just Eunice), what about talking to peope in public in general.  Maybe talking to your server at a restaurant or a barista at a coffee shop, etc.  Places where you would benefit from using it.  But are people weirded out by it?  If I didn't realize what the product was I'd assume it was earbuds playing music (I might even mistake it for QC30'S if I didn't notice the silver by the mics on the buds) and I might think the person was being rude or I might try to talk louder to talk over what I assumed would be their music, etc.

 

Actually as a QC30 owner I am conscious of this too.  If I either trun way down my ANC and/or pause the music, I can have conversations with people totally fine but I usually take at least one bud out for the social convention.  I'm curious what all your experiences are like "in the wild" with the Hearphones.  Thanks!

*** Please Note: I do not work for Bose; please don't private message me your support questions!
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hearphones and Social Cues

Hi Mutnat,

 

I've been wearing my Headphones in social situations a lot lately. When I initiate a conversation, people understand within a sentence or two - I can hear them. No one has ever mentioned the Hearphones unless I talk about them first.

 

If I am open to a conversation then I have the WORLD VOLUME on and I'll set the DIRECTIVITY to suit the situation; usually, that's FRONT or FOCUSSED. That seems to fit with peoples' expectations about initiating a conversation with me. 

 

So many people are wearing headphones these days, I don't think that people think it's weird or rude of me to be wearing my Hearphones. As soon as it becomes apparent that I can hear someone, the conversation carries on as it should - and - with Hearphones it's easier. 

 

Does that help?


ST

Friendly Fanatic

Hearphones and Social Cues

I have yet to have anyone pay any attention to my Hearphones in public. So many people walk around with earbuds on I think folks just assume that's what they are.

Noisy Narrator

Hearphones and Social Cues

@ST thanks for moving my post to a more relevant thread.  I hadn't seen this one yet.  And yes everyone's experiences they've shared here do indeed help.  Thanks!

*** Please Note: I do not work for Bose; please don't private message me your support questions!
Animated Arbiter

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

I'm just curious: have you also tried truly wireless PASPs from NuHeara and HereOne? I'm wondering how they would compare (they're considerably less obtrusive).

Animated Arbiter

Re: Hearphones and Social Cues

Right, but it's a completely different matter when you talk to someone with highly visible earbuds in your ears (and wires emanating from them).