I am not getting any younger, and too many years of really bad heavy metal and too many years around loud industrial air conditioning units are really taking a toll on my hearing. Add to that a TV that for some really fucking stupid reason doesn’t have a legitimate earphone port (forcing me to use RCA line out to plug earphones into it) and decided it was time to look for some of that crap that old people use when their hearing stops working.
The solution is this really cool gadget made by FiiO. It’s built almost identically to an iPod shuffle. It has a rechargeable battery and the charger uses USB, which means I can charge it off my Xbox 360. The rear of the device has a spring-loaded clip you can use to secure it to your shirt/belt/whatever. Operation is extremely simple: one power button, rocker button for volume, and a slider to turn on or off the bass boost. The only LED in the device tells you if it is turned on and if it is charging.
As for the sound, it works extremely well for a $23 gadget, the only question is how well will the battery survive the recharge cycles. I am not even worried about the physical integrity of the device, it is a tiny metal box with plastic caps screwed at either end, I imagine it will be OK as long as I don’t run a car over it. Or PJ dunks it into the toilet, that kind of thing.