When you think of essential kit for a polar expedition, a pair of earphones might not feature in your list. But take the word of someone who has been there and done it: they can make a formidable weapon against freezing temperatures, howling winds and mile after mile of isolation.
Polar explorer Ben Saunders takes our FLARES® PRO earphones with him when he embarks on an adventure. He listens to music almost every day, and often for several hours at a time, when he is on an expedition. It’s not just a form of entertainment but tantamount to cheating, according to Ben.
He explains: “I first used music on an expedition in 2004, and it had such a profound effect on my mood and my performance that it almost felt like cheating.
“In the polar regions - and particularly Antarctica - there’s often very little external stimulus; the scenery is very similar, and I’ve had many days when the weather closes in and you can’t see anything at all. In that sort of environment, music can offer a huge psychological and emotional boost, providing its upbeat and not too melancholy!”
There is no shortage of audio equipment on the market, so it is a source of great pride for us that Ben chooses FLARES® PRO earphones over all the other options available to him. Why is that the case?
“I’m a big fan of FLARES® PRO for several reasons,” says Ben. “The sound quality is the best I’ve ever experienced with in-ear headphones.
“The build quality is first-rate, which is important in a climate that can be incredibly harsh on equipment and technology. And lastly I’ve got a huge amount of respect and admiration for the innovation and attention to detail that Davies and his team bring to their products.”
Ben's most recent quest was an unassisted crossing of Antarctica. His plan was to spend 65 days travelling more than 1,000 miles across Antarctica, but he was forced to cancel the trip when he arrived at the South Pole after 52 days.
Assuming perfect conditions, there were at least 17 days of the expedition to go. Ben had just 13 days of food left and knew that air rescue would be impossible on sections of the final stretch of the expedition. He reluctantly took the decision to call off his trek.
Although food was running low, the FLARES® PRO earphones were still going strong. So, how do our products hold up in sub-zero conditions in comparison to more hospitable climates?
Ben reveals: “The only difference was warming them up in my gloved hands before popping them into my ears, to make sure the cold metal didn’t stick to my skin!
“Other than that, in Antarctica or in London, they’re a pleasure to wear, and they’ve given a lot of my old music collection a new lease of life as I now notice subtle details and nuance - I’m sure proper audiophile nerds have better terms for this - in tracks that I’ve never spotted before.”
Whether your next expedition is to the South Pole or out to the shop for some milk, you can get the same audio experience as Ben with a pair of FLARES® PRO.