A “Mission Critical” Holiday Gift


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Travel Рtrav·el, [ travuhl]; verb, -eled, -eling

1. To move or go from one place or point to another.

Over the last four weeks my travel schedule has been as follows: Boston – Ireland – Boston – New York City – Boston – Puerto Rico – Boston – St. Louis – Boston – St. Louis – Boston – Chicago – Boston

Give or take, that amounts to about 35 airborne hours over the past month.

Now, depending on who you ask, this could sound like a nightmare, but to some (myself included) its not so bad.  Those of us in the latter group don’t mind traveling, and some even enjoy it whether its a business trip or pleasure.

One of the main reasons my outlook has remained this way I owe to my Dad.  During the holidays four years back he bestowed upon me truly one of the best gifts i have ever received to this day – Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones.

If you are not familiar, noise-canceling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds which make it possible to enjoy music without raising the volume excessively or even sleep in a noisy atmosphere.  Bose, an audio industry leader, arguably makes the best noise cancelling headphones on the market.

Dr. Amar Bose (founder of the Bose Corporation) began work on his noise-cancelling headphonesin 1978 on board a noisy international flight. During the flight, he was provided with a set of headphones from the airline and almost immediately realized how dissatisfied he was with their quality. His realization gave him an idea about how it might be possible to achieve active noise reduction in headphones ‘ and he sketched out the math for the technology right there on the plane. After nearly a decade of research, Bose released their first noise-canceling headphones under very special circumstances…

In 1986, plans were being made for history’s first non-stop round-the-world flight. But the pilots were at risk of losing 30% of their hearing. When Bose engineers learned this, they submitted a noise-reduction headset prototype for consideration. This headset was evaluated and deemed “mission critical” for the pilots’ safety. The test was a success ‘ the pilots did not lose any of their hearing.

Thanks to Dr. Bose I can easily survive 35 hour of flying without listening to the loud talker in row 5, the woman on her cell phone at the end of my row, or the crying 9 month old baby in the row in front of me – all i hear is what I want to hear.  Sometime that’s music, sometimes its silence.  But the fact that i can make that choice is why i deem these headphone “mission critical” for everyone, not just pilots.  So with the Holidays right around the corner, consider gifting these to the traveler in your life just like my Dad did – if they are anything like me, they will be forever grateful…even if they are going to St. Louis on business.

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