Media preferences change with a snap of the fingers, and college students have a heavy hand in deciding what’s hot.
Today’s college students, who are from Generation Y and beyond, have evolved in their preferences when it comes to listening to music or a long distance lecture. Back in the day (in the 90’s, more specifically), today’s college students probably listened to CDs on a portable Walkman with golf ball-sized headphones over their ears. Later, when the iPod came out in 2001, students tossed their Walkmans aside and picked up iPods and earbuds.
However, in recent years, headphones have been making a comeback. Companies are designing them to fit more comfortably over the ears, lock out exterior noises to provide clearer sound and clarity, and to engulf the brain with audio media.
HigherEd TechDecisions asked higher education students which way they liked to listen. Based on responses the winner is: earbuds.
1) Some students feel that even though earbuds are small, they still provide noise cancelling features that block out excess sound.
Students who work with film and sound, like Goldsmith’s University of London grad Laura Lambert, need noise cancelling earbuds to piece together audio without distractions.
“[I like] noise cancelling earbuds because they are inconspicuous and accurate when I’m sound recording,” says Lambert.
“JVC Marshmallow Earbuds are the only ones I can wear that actually fit and don’t hurt,” she says. “Earbuds just hurt…and headphones put weird pressure on my head and give me headaches. [JVC Marshmallow Earbuds] have a small cover that is really soft and squishy and it works great for me.”
3) Some students, like Lesley University graduate student Erin Thornton like earbuds because they are convenient and easy to hide.
“[I prefer] earbuds because they are discreet and can be tossed in my bag,” Thornton says. “And I can run with them.”
While most students seem to take a liking to earbuds, some still stick with the spirit of the 90’s.
Some, like University of Michigan graduate Deanna Julian, think headphones are a safer route.
“I like my big headphones because the earbuds play music too loud to your ear, I think,” says Julian.
Writing students like Jane Cawthorne prefer headphones because they flash big personality and ward off unwanted distractions.
“If I’m somewhere I don’t want to be bothered, headphones send a “don’t even think about talking to me” message that I like,” says Cathorne, a graduate student at Pine Manor College. “They are great for all forms of travel, especially planes, and for coffee shop writing.”
Others, like graduate student Marilyn Mercado, think that headphones are more comfortable, and beat earbuds any day.
“I don’t like the feeling of having stuff stuck in my ears,” says Mercado, who is also a student at Pine Manor College. “Besides, I think headphones have better sound. Can you tell I’m from the Walkman generation?”