If you want to cut to the chase, read just the last line.

My already-low tolerance for noise was tested when I moved into this noisy Manhattan apartment last month. It wasn’t just the apartment; the entire city is noise-filled. Roads under construction, subways, overflow of people — none of which can be changed, but I started wondering if I could change how I coped up with it.

So I decided to try this Quiet Comfort 15 from Bose, which I have been putting off for several years, because I could not get my mind to spend so much on headphones, the very concept which I considered claustrophobic. After 2 weeks of using it, I can now safely claim noise-canceling headphones are not just for the geeky and lavish — but a sound (no pun) investment if you care about your precious sense of hearing.

To take a step back, I did try a low-end J solution before: I used a normal headphone and an ear-muffler (that’s what you see in the picture here) — typically something construction workers and practice shooters use. The problems with this alternative are two (a) usually the muffler hugs so tight around your ears that it starts to hurt your ears soon (b) immunity to noise is typically a factor of how high the volume on the iPod is. This is to say, my problem was still not resolved.

With the noise-cancellation technology in place, you can not only listen to music at low volumes, but can actually experience silence in — let’s say — Times Square. That’s impressive enough, but that’s not all: since it cuts off noise by canceling noise of certain frequencies, you can still listen to conversations or somebody speaking/singing.

Lastly, you can use this headphone to mute somebody. How many times have you been in public places where somebody’s speaking loudly or singing and you can do NOTHING about it? Well, now you can just mute them with the headphones.

It’s expensive, buy it anyways. You will thank yourself.