Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Teenager discovers headphones

Tyler Billingsworth, 14, is now a local celebrity in the Stoke Bishop area of Bristol after making a chance discovery that has improved the journeys of everyone heading into and out of the city centre.

"The 1 and 54 bus routes are much more pleasant now since he showed his discovery to his friends," said Ada Fraser, 73, of Blackboy Hill "Although they still spend all day walking around in what looks like their pyjamas."

It was at the end of term and Tyler was on a school trip to the Science Museum in London when he noticed something interesting in a display of the changes in consumer goods throughout the 20th century.

"It was really boring so we were just hanging around playing music on our phones, but I couldn’t hear mine because James has the Sony Ericsson W610i, which is slightly louder," said Tyler, explaining the moment when he made the discovery. "I noticed that in the display was some ancient thing called a Personal Stereo, and it had these headphones on it."

When Tyler got home he asked his Dad about Personal Stereo’s and was amazed by what he found out.

"Yeah, in the olden days my Dad had one and he said he used it to listen to music on something called a tape. Apparently you downloaded songs from the radio. But you had to wait for it to be played!" said Tyler. "He also said that before personal stereos him and his mates used to listen to little radios that produced a really crappy tinny sound and the personal stereo was way better."

Tyler, frustrated by having his friends tinny music drowning out his own, discovered that the "hands-free" kit that came with his phone could act like the headphones on the old Personal Stereo.

"To be honest the sound quality still isn’t great, but I think that’s because most of the music I listen to has a lot of whining, shrieking vocals and using the headsphones at least I don't get embarrassed, unlike the other kids that people at the front of the bus snigger at," he said. "Funny, all this time I thought that those hands-free things were just for calling £1-a-minute 'quickie relief' lines."

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