Submitted by Eric Daniel
In the Army, it seems to be a rite of passage that troops use their first paycheck right out of Basic Training to buy the biggest, most expensive stereo they can find at the PX. While I won't say I was immune to the temptation (after all, I was single, had no bills, and was flush with disposable income) I did curb the urge to go right out and get one. After all, I was on day 120 of a 4 year commitment, so I had plenty of time. Besides, with three other roommates, who had all succumbed, there was more than enough stereo to go around.
Anyway, long story short, just before I ETSed, I made my stereo purchases, and of all the equipment I bough on the way out, the only items still in use are my Bose 901 speakers. Though they can be a bit demanding on how they're set up for optimal sound, properly deployed I think they are some of the best speakers available.
Well, while on deployment, I started thinking how nice it would be to be able to take my mind off the fact that I was trying to sleep in a non-air conditioned brick oven. As with garrison duty, there were quite a few folk who had purchases stereo equipment and had it shipped in theater. Well, I decided there was no way in hell I was going to try and go that route; the combination of sand, dust, heat, and wind is pretty destructive to electrical equipment over there, and besides, I wanted something portable. In addition, I didn't want anything that had to compete with ambient noise, since I couldn't turn the war off, I was going to have to go with something that generated sound closer to my ears, namely headphones. Well, the one thing I didn't want was a CVC sized unit taking up space on my head, and in my bag, so if I was going to get headphones, they would have to be small, and easy to pack up.
Going back to my experience with Bose, what I settled on were the Bose triport, in-ear headphones. Simply put, for their size, these little earpieces put out the best sound quality I've experienced. While larger units might produce better range, these are usable anywhere (though granted, I still use cheap, "disposable" headphones when I'm at the gym or what not) and will fit in my pocket.