The problem facing most commuters is that the infernal racket of the train / car / antelope you're traveling to work on can only be blotted out by turning your MP3 player up to a dangerous level. A listening volume that would seem unreasonable in a peaceful woodland glen is a necessity when you're struggling to hear Britney over the hacking cough of a McDonalds victim or the screech of a Tube carriage.
The papers (and, er, our News page) are rife with shock stories on the dangers of listening to music on your headphones at atomic volumes. So what's to be done to save your dear ears? These Creative Zen Aurvana headphones (£70) could be the cure. They're designed to eliminate external sounds, leaving you with the unadulterated tones of the latest teen pop sensation.
Our mobile phone reviewer reported, "There's a silvery tint to the high end, a bit of blue on the low end and waves of green in the mid-range." Worrying synaesthesia aside, the Crave team are in agreement that the Aurvanas do a great job of keeping out ambient noise, while delivering a clean, punchy sound.
We auditioned The Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix's ingenious reworking of the US national anthem, on the London Underground. Listening to this on the Aurvana headphones, it's almost as if you're on stage at Woodstock. The acrid stench of the Tube morphs slowly into the smell of Hendrix's burning Stratocaster. You start singing, braiding a fellow commuter's hair, stripping, emptying out bags of soil into the carriage, pouring on water, wallowing, getting imperceptibly high on the proffered whiteboard marker pens of generous City traders, and yapping like a happy dog while you're beaten playfully with rolled-up copies of the Metro. -CS
Update: a full review of the Creative Zen Aurvana headphones is now live.