Ever since I was reduced to a push mower (better for me, but not nearly as fun as a riding mower) I’ve especially loathed mowing the lawn. But last week I tried bringing an MP3 player with me, and it made quite a difference. Last week I listened to music, but this week I’m saving up podcasts (as opposed to listening to them at work) so that I’m actually looking forward to mowing the lawn so I can finally hear my shows.

But the $5 headphones I picked up at WalMart proved to be a problem. I love how they wind over my ears and behind my head (much easier to wear a hat that way), and I love how they’re light and go straight in to my ears (nothing to make your ears warm or sweaty), but while they sound terrible (which I expected and accepted with the $5 price tag) they also need to be turned up really loud to be heard over the mower. This particular type of earbud headphones don’t seem to be good for using in loud environments.

So I started looking for an affordable pair of noise canceling headphones today. Since I’ve recently realized the true value of wearing some kind of hat while working in the sun on a hot day, I wanted behind the ear headphones, and to maximize their ability to overcome to mower’s noise, I also want the cup style that cup over your ear instead of resting on or in it. That search led me to these headphones, which got seriously mixed reviews. And, being only available on-line, or locally at Best Buy (overpriced and just as impossible to return), I wasn’t too keen on trying them out.

I’m glad I hesitated, as I just saw this do-it-yourself video linked to from one of my favorite blogs, The Consumerist. Not that you really need a video to get it right, but it shows you how easy it would be to cut the headband off of a cheap pair of traditional plastic headphones and place the earpieces behind the cuff of industrial hearing protection ear muffs like these.

The real challenge might be finding multi-position ear muffs (like those I just linked to) here in town. The ones I’ve seen on websites for places like Lowe’s and WalMart are all designed to go over the head (or maybe under the chin; we’ll see) which would be tricky with a hat. I could order some on-line (these look perfect), but I’ll look around town first.

Hurray for cheap, do-it-yourself solutions!

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