Trick Audio TA-100 Earphones

Most of the time simplicity is better…

I don’t travel as much as I used to but still like to reduce the noise in my environment. I tried many different “noise cancelling” headphones. These all used active noise cancellation. That meant:

  • Batteries – and on long trips I needed to take spare batteries
  • Bulky – In order to get all that cancellation technology in there required earphones, not just earbuds.
  • Only certain frequencies – I could definitely hear the difference when I turned them on, but it really only filtered out certain frequencies.

Trick Audio TA-100

I late 2006 I found some “noise blocking” headphones. The idea is really simple… Take high quality foam earplugs and leave a small opening in the middle for sound to travel. Then allow them to be squeezed like foam earplugs and place them in your ear. The foam rebounds and fits snuggly. As long as you get the right size the rebound and are not too tight (hurt) or too loose (noise leakage). On top of that, the foam elements can be replaced when they get too dirty.

So, now:

  • Tiny – these are very small. I don’t think you could make them any smaller.
  • No Batteries – Just plug them in.
  • They work better -  I can still hear when someone is talking to me. If I really want to understand I might need to take them out, but that’s the point!

I’m not sure what happened to Trick Audio. I see that as of today the domain name is for sale. I found some headphones that look identical – Comply NR-1 High-Performance Noise Reduction Earphones.

I hope the Trick Audio team did ok with whatever happened. This was a really simple idea and works great. Another example of excellence.

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