I took up an interest in better-than-average headphones the same year I started wearing glasses. In no way are the two correlated. I was twelve. One was an all-day, every-day, affair borne of necessity. The other was fuelled by a growing musical independence from my parents. Through the years, my glasses have changed. No more tiger stripes. Thinner and thinner indexes. My musical preferences have changed, too. I totally dig trance. I’m still a fan of Canadian hip-hop, but I’m in it now more for Classified and John River more than I am for Snow.
Nevertheless, from Mr. 12 Inches himself, I infer the following fashion advice: the glasses you choose inform the headphones you comfortably can wear.
Snow was right on the money. What drove me to say to hell with bulging plastic glasses was an increasing desire to own proper cans. Still, my last pair of bulging glasses were purchased in 2011. They cost about 120$, eye exam and puffy case included. (Got to love Asia.) But take a look at how they prise the Final Audio Sonorous/Pandora VI’s pads away from the temple. As a result, Pandora’s bass leaks easy into the breezy easy. 2011 was a year that began a stream of unwise glasses purchases.
What followed was the above, a Dad’s dad pair of glasses if you’ve ever seen one. Their frictiony pads still kick holes into the nose even when donned for a fully-lubed bicycle ride. However, their thin, titanium arms, lie flat against my temples, jiving with most of my headphones. And, being made out of titanium, they can take a beating. What can’t is their evidently hipster image.
A few years ago, and whilst comparing Fujifilm cameras over soup with other headphone geeks at a post-Fujiya Avic Headphone Show party, Jude’s daughter asked why I was wearing Harry Potter glasses. "Whilst sipping Coca Cola and mulling about the Jesus People, my mum asked a mate wearing their twin what was with the John Lennon glasses. Two hundred years prior, and basically in the same form, these things were beating down monocles like the Dickens.” is how I should have replied to that precocious pre-teen. Instead, I played coy. “I, I didn’t know,” I said, top lip deep in a fizzy beer. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Harry. And, let’s be honest, what’s a Skele-Grow-guzzling wizard got to do with bad eyesight anyway?
Whatever, the classic, small profile of these glasses sucked me in. And, they are super comfy, light, and pretty tough. Unfortunately, mine bear convexly curved arms, and buffet against offending headphones. Still, they are orders of magnitude better suited to both circumaural and on-ear headphones than the plastic ones at the top of the list. But, wearing comfort aside, they are the second-worst glasses I own for listening to headphones.
Which leads me to the embarrassing conclusion of this essay: the glasses which least inform the headphones I wear are - at least as determined by modern headphone market cycles - ancient. They are the glasses at the top of this article. They are the glasses that informed most of the reviews I wrote at TouchMyApps. Purchased at a discount (from the exorbitantly precious Canadian market) from Louis’s sister, these Belgian-designed Japanese-manufactured glasses have rocked more cans than your average Post-Secondary Prom night. They are made of steel, commensurately heavy, but comfy. Their arms lie absolutely flush against the temples, and their tiny frames never get in the way. Their longish ear-hooks keep firmly in place despite the memory wire.
Instead of re-lensing and de-rusting what destined to become my end game glasses, I dug deep into the stubbornness decried by both parents as not theirs, and purchased somewhat in rapid succession, three new pair of glasses. The pair my nose is currently stilting up, stodgy and as proud as its lineage may be, is great neither for the proud, nor the stodgy headphone. It is, however, a big step up from the plastic fantastic, somewhat humorously known to my friends as The Informer.
Note: My wife is a far better photographer than I am a model. Be kind.