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How to Survive a Noisy Coffee Shop

Whiling away the time with your laptop and a latte sounds charming in theory. But when a member of a certain cast of characters snags the next table over, your productivity level plummets. Before you know it, you?re putting off more steam than the espresso machine.

The solution? Headphones. Arm yourself with one of these pairs to help block out the chaos surrounding you.

The Enemy: Guy on world?s most urgent phone call
The Tactic: Tune him out with some scientifically-proven-to-relax Adele on a pair of Beats by Dre solo2 headphones ($200), which recently got an acoustical overhaul for the less-bass-obsessed among us. (They come in a Hello Kitty version now, too.)

The Enemy: A two-year-old shrieking for another cookie
The Tactic: Nothing?s more jarring than the sounds of a toddler?s sugar rush gone south. Pop in a pair of custom-made earplugs ($170) from Ultimate Ears, the company that makes the earpieces worn by rock stars during concerts. You?ll go to an audiologist to get an impression made of your inner ear--totally painless--so the sound-blockers will fit like a glove. (Perfect for sleeping in your parents? kitchen-adjacent guest room, too.)

The Enemy: General hustle and bustle
The Tactic: A good pair of noise-canceling headphones will do the trick. Or, if you need something to help you focus, cue up a little soothing pitter-patter or gentle waves on soundrown, a genius website that plays ambient noise.

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