EGPX
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:57 am

Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:17 am

On my recent trip with Delta from LGW to ATL on an MD11, I was surprised to find the headphones that were offered to the passengers were of the hollow tube variety, connected to a small loudspeaker in the armrest. I thought they went out with the ark. I wouldn't call myself a frequent long haul flyer but on all my trips over the past few years, I have (I think) been given electrical earphones.

Although they were low tech and not the most comfortable, they were actually quite effective.

Is their use widespread or just confined to Delta's MD11 fleet?
 
afay1
Posts: 1206
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:37 pm

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:29 am

Their long-haul 767-300ER's also have those ridiculous pneumatic head-phones in coach, even on new planes. In hindsight, one could say they are pre-emptively cutting costs. If they have to check your credit-history to get on their planes, you'd think one would get decent headphones, but nooooo....
 
DLX737200
Posts: 1625
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 6:42 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:55 am

I noticed this for the first time too on my last Delta flight. I was on Delta 1965 from ATL to MCO on an MD-11 (N811DE) and I thought those were the cheapest headphones you can have. But it was sorta fun after I got tired of the music or the what was on the TV. After I got bored, I had fun talkin into it or making noises into it like a stethoscope. I know, I have no life... But it was still somethin to do. At least now all the MCO-ATL and vice versa flights are operated by 767s or 777s with the PTVs in every seat! Anyhow... I guess this is Delta's way of saving costs and not getting them stolen either... who'd want to steal one anyhow? See ya!

-Justin

[Edited 2003-04-25 04:56:18]
 
EGPX
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:57 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:34 pm

Not all MCO-ATL flights are operated by 767/777's. Flew that route last Saturday (19th) in an MD11. With the crappy old headphones!

Actually, it might have been an idea to 'borrow' a pair, just for novelty value Big grin
 
Whisperliner
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2000 8:56 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:13 pm

last year when I flew on China Eastern's MD-11, I also recieved the pneumatic head phones. I thought it was cool since you don't see them very often, and the sound quality wasn't bad- stereo too =)
 
thai747
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 1999 1:23 pm

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 8:29 pm

On both Air India 747-400 flights (LHR-ORD-LHR) - we were given the same type of headphones with hollow tube, including the flight on the way back which was on VT-EVJ, an ex KE aircraft.
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:44 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:43 pm

As I recall, most of DL's jets also have a plug where you can bring your own and plug them in. You just have to make sure they are monaural.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Guest

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:05 pm

Why do they use pneumatic headsets? One guess. Time's up.

How many of you guys collect airline passenger briefing cards? From some the posts that I've read hear on a-net, quite a few. Imagine how many of the more expensive electronic headsets would walk off of the airplanes. It wouldn't make any difference if they changed the impedance or connector plugs, people would take them off of the airplane anyway and find out later that they wouldn't work.
 
EGPX
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:57 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:12 pm

Jetguy

That's as maybe but plenty of airlines use electronic headsets. I imagine a bulk order for electronic headsets would reduce the cost to a few pence (or cents) per unit from some Far Eastern sweatshop.

I remember a few years ago flying with Air 2000 to some Mediterranean destination. They actually sold the headsets for something like 3 pounds or, if you had brought your own Walkman along, you could purchase a little adaptor plug and use your own headset for a quid.

I may be wrong but I think Virgin offered their headphones for sale with a standard jack - I saw some lady pumping iron at the gym the other day wearing an example.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter - the pneumatic ones worked OK on my flight and I rather enjoyed Harry Potter!
 
sccutler
Posts: 5578
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:24 pm

Funny thing...

...about 17 years ago, I actually designed and built a prototype of a small box (called it "FliteSound") which plugged into the ear tube interface, and into which one could plug in their own "Walkman" style headphones, for greater comfort and superior sound. It worked very well- remarkable sound- was about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

But further market review showed that the newer generation aircraft were being introduced with the all-electronic setups, and the diminishing market made it seem an unlikely product for profitable production.

About six months after circulating information about it to some potential fabricators and marketers, I saw an ad for a similar device in one of the airline magazines; often wonered if it was coincidence. But I don't think it lasted long in any event.

Last I saw of it, the prototype was still in the hands of a Northwest FA, who used it on long commutes; as she was the wife of a friend, and they divorced, I have lost touch with her, and with the FliteSound.

Trip down memory lane...
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Sat Apr 26, 2003 2:15 am

There must be a converter from 1 prong to 2 prong, I should get a converter. Anyway, Aeroflot has the highest tech headphones, they are clip on and sound decent, if it weren't for the faultiy equipment. jetBlue has basic headphones but a one prong socket.
-AG.
What now?
 
aa777flyer
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 8:45 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Sat Apr 26, 2003 2:36 am

Hey they are kind of cool, ya know retro. Just like the old days you could pretend you are on a L1011, DC10, 707, DC8 in the 1970's.....I wish I had a pair of those......
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
AroundTheWorld
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:42 am

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Sat Apr 26, 2003 12:30 pm

TZ is also doing the "buy your headset for keeps" thing...for roughly $2. They have the 2 prong thing in the armrest, however the headsets can do both 1 or 2 prong. Kinda handy. I use a two prong to one prong adapter with Sennheiser head phones which have surprisingly good quality on the inflight system.

 
ndege
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:23 pm

RE: Low Tech Headphones

Sat Apr 26, 2003 12:34 pm

There must be a converter from 1 prong to 2 prong, I should get a converter. Anyway, Aeroflot has the highest tech headphones, they are clip on and sound decent, if it weren't for the faultiy equipment. jetBlue has basic headphones but a one prong socket.
-AG.


You can order these online...somewhere. I ordered two a few months ago. They were like $4 apiece.

BL