THE BLOG

Headphone 'Hype'

06/03/2014 12:30 GMT | Updated 06/05/2014 10:59 BST

Many of you may have noticed the unbounded rise in under 25s cat-walking their way across Britain's high streets, colleges and public transport in large, salient and often flamboyant headphones. Personally, I think some of them look garish almost comical. But I'm not completely anti people utilising such devices so incessantly. I couldn't be, having recently joined this growing trend.

Last week I purchased my first pair of half-decent over ear headphones. They're great. After my initially skepticism I can now fully appreciate how they transform a mundane walk to the shops by encasing my ears in a bubble of crisp sound, allowing me to shut off the world and enjoy what ever newfangled music I happen to think is cool at the time.

But I think it's pretty clear that this trend is getting out of hand. It's begging to remind me of when people first went mad for mobile phones in the late 90s; some went as far as to wear them around their neck as some sort of technological medallion worth upwards of £150. I've frequently seen people wearing their headphone perched on the back of their head like some sort of halo or Indian headdress. There's a few of my friends who I seriously can't remember last seeing without their treasured headphones chained around their neck.

Most irritatingly of all, a lot of these people actually seem to think that parading a pair of expensive headphones is actually a marker of someone who knows about good music. Fortunately this isn't the case. Owning an expensive pair of headphones may make you look like a DJ, but they don't miraculous make you into a DJ. There's plenty of 'hipster' types who would smugly slip on their Bose (my personal choice) and peer in distain over their copy of mix mag at any fifteen year old adorned with the fake pair of Beats that his mum bought at market so he could be down with the latest playground craze.

I have to mention the dreaded Beats, currently being advertised by footballers and Justin Bieber - hardly people I'd be inclined to take advice of a musical nature off of. The irony is, very few people seem to wear these headphones for their sonic virtues - they are worn as lavish fashion accessory and little more.

Its great that increasing numbers of youngsters are now enjoying good sound quality - but those who adorn themselves with the flashiest pair they could find on amazon like the Mr. T of Music taste, just to impress passersby, are completely missing the point. And if they also happen to also be one of the millions who stroll around all day staring into a smart phone, their technology addiction is probably becoming debilitatingly anti-social.