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Why, Exactly, Do I Need Instructions On How To Use A Pair of Headphones?

This is part of the “operating instructions” that came with the headphones I bought recently:

Seriously, it’s just a basic pair of headphones that I use to listen to my iPod.  And really, the only “instructions” are “Wear the headphone marked R on your right ear and the one marked L on your left ear.”  Thanks, Sony, I don’t know what I won’t have done without these fine instructions!

7 Responses to Why, Exactly, Do I Need Instructions On How To Use A Pair of Headphones?

  1. gillian says:

    My shoes came with a DVD on how to wear them.

  2. chris says:

    And yet, I see people with the left earphone/headphone on the right, and vice-versa.

    • drbethsnow says:

      Clearly they didn't read the instructions!

      With this pair in particular it would be quite difficult to wear them on the wrong ears as it's the kind with the band that goes behind the back of your head, so if you had them on the wrong ears, you'd either hand the band in front of your face or you'd have them upside down, which would prevent you from hooking them over your ears.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I have earphones almost exactly like those ones, and I don't understand how you could possibly wear them on the wrong ears!

  4. Derek K Miller says:

    When I first tried a pair of the behind-the-head style, I didn't know that's what they were, and had a hell of a time because I was trying to put the headband across the top of my skull, traditional style. Of course it's too short and doesn't fit that way.

    Now, years later, that style is much more common and most people would understand it. But don't assume that the design is obvious. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if someone who had only worn these streetstyle headphones got a pair of regular ones, they tried to wear them that way and wondered why they kept falling off.

    And if I handed you my set of earplug-style in-ear monitors, you might not have any idea how to wear them correctly without instructions either.

  5. Mudhooks says:

    The truly disturbing thing is that there are people who actually require instructions on using their headphones.

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