Here's the nub. I love listening to jazz while working. So picture me at my desk at Google, happily hacking away, and listening to Ornette Coleman (for example). Now picture a pair of spectacles surrounded by anguished features goggling at me from across my office. Multiply spectacles and anguished map by three, and you'll have an idea of what would come to pass were I inconsiderate enough to do this without personalizing the aural experience.
Hence, I've been on the lookout for a good pair of headphones for a while now. I considered the Bose noise-canceling variety that are hawked at every airport these days, but I couldn't stand the size. And my earlobes feel sore if I have stuff pressed against them for too long. True, I could use the button-headphones that come with most mp3 players, but you need superglue to keep them in place while running at the gym.
I finally found everything I was looking for in these. Awesome frequency response for the size, and the in-ear design meant that they would be locked in place and provide about 35dB of noise reduction pretty much across the spectrum.
The near (officemates) and dear (ball and c.) now can rest easy in the comforting thought that I won't be inflicting any jazz goodness on them. Poor blighters.