Lunch with a friend (and a hearty side of enabling)

That’s BJ on the left and me on the right at our favorite burrito joint.

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with my good friend, BJ Leiderman.  If you ever listen to public radio programming, especially NPR, you’ve probably heard BJ’s name.

BJ is a musician, singer, and composer, and has written the bulk of the theme music you hear on National Public Radio (NPR). His music is hard to get out of your head. Every time I listen to NPR shows like Marketplace, Morning Edition, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, Car Talk, or Science Friday, I hear BJ’s catchy tunes.

Moreover, BJ is an awesome fellow.  But it’s dangerous hanging with him because he’s also…well, an enabler, when it comes to sound gear.

Often, when we hang out, I walk away from the meet-up with a new app, a new song in my head, or the sudden need for a new piece of kit.

Friday was a prime example.  You may notice that I’m wearing headphones in the photo at the top of the page. Here’s how this played out…

BJ asked if I had seen one of his latest animated music videos–one that is was featured on his new album, “BJ.”  Instead of simply showing the video to me on his phone and/or playing the music through his iPhone’s speaker, BJ ran to his car and came back with a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise-Cancelling headphones, then handed me his phone with the video queued up.

We were in a crowded, noisy restaurant during the lunch hour, but when I put on the headphones, all ambient sounds were instantly and utterly squelched. As his video played, it sounded like I was sitting in a recording studio listening to monitors. Absolutely phenomenal.

The headphone’s noise-cancelling technology is so good, in fact, I could barely hear my own voice as I spoke.

The audio fidelity was spot-on, too––there’s a nice balance from bass to treble.  Though I’m sure your audio player’s EQ could customize this.

I walk around all of the time with a cheap pair of in-ear headphones in my pocket for use with my phone, radios, or simply to decrease ambient noise while I’m trying to work or sleep.

Here’s the video BJ shared, by the way:

Click here to view on YouTube.

BJ, being the cool and compassionate character he is, had this fun song animated by young adult artists with autism at Exceptional Minds Animation Studios in LA, with the support of Howard Hoffman. 

In real life, his dog Maizey is a sweetheart, and certainly BJ’s fuzzy brown soulmate.

You can check out BJ’s album on his website, and if you like it, there are a number of ways you can purchase both digital and physical copies. Click here to buy a copy.

And BJ, if you’re reading this––thanks a lot for spending $300 of my hard-earned cash on headphones.

And I get accused of enabling––?  Karma, I guess.

3 thoughts on “Lunch with a friend (and a hearty side of enabling)

  1. Jeffrey McMahon

    Sometimes friends sharing hobbies are just fun and don’t need to be called “enabling”; on the other hand, friends with shared hobbies don’t have a good track record not enabling when given the chance.

    Reply
  2. Jason

    The noise cancelling on the Bose QC35 is great, however the Sony MDR-1000X (and the newer WH-1000XM2) are an equal match for the Bose on noise cancelling (as well as having other features).

    I mention the Sony models because in some countries, the Sony is more expensive than the Bose but in other countries it’s the Bose that is more expensive. Also some people genuinely don’t like Bose’s sound signature.

    I have both pairs of headphones.

    Some articles and videos online mention you can’t turn off the noise cancelling in the Bose, but that is not true.

    If you install the Bose Connect app and update the headphone firmware (I did this yesterday and had to update it twice before I was on the latest release) then you can control the noise cancelling in-app between High, Low and Off in the app.

    As per this blog post from Bose, the headphones must be at firmware 1.3.2 before you can use this feature:
    https://community.bose.com/t5/Headphones-Archive/Bose-Connect-App-Update-v4-2-Available-June-22nd/td-p/56901

    Reply

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