Digital Headphones

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Go on Google and there are any number of headphones for sale for your computer. I once required a headset with a built-in mike which could be used for online sessions and so on. It turns out that shopping for these things is full of traps.

Just because you spent a lot of money for a headset, it definitely doesn’t mean more money is better. My best headphones were both Logitech G330’s, which Logitech has stopped making. I had a new set simply because the earpads wore out and the headband cracked. Being cheap, it was pretty much all plastic. But they fit around the back of my head rather than over my head, which was a selling point (apart from the great sound).  But the sound, whether from the noise-cancelling mike or to the headphones, was really good, pretty much perfect, which is high praise for $19.00 headphones.

I needed a replacement for my second set last year, and couldn’t find the same kind for sale, not even on E-Bay. They will sell you a replacement adaptor, replacement earpads, but never the headset. Slight changes in model number – whether G332 or G230, all led to radically different, chunkier, and more expensive, headphones. Amazon had an entry for the G330 with a full description, but reports that the manufacturer discontinued it, and have no G330 to sell.

This is the G330, and this is exactly how you wear it: the headpiece goes around the back of the head rather than over the head. For support, the headpiece curls over the ears. For me, this was also a very comfortable fit, since I have a big head.
SADES Spellond Pro
The SADES Spellond Pro with a blue light which I am sure impresses people below a certain age.

I decided to see what I could get and was able to spend a little more money, and bought a pair of Sades Spellond Pro headphones, and to my disappointment there was not much else available at or above the $65.00 price point among the large stock they had. Sades was not a brand that I heard about, and when I tried them I was not bowled over, but I thought they were a competent set of headphones, but not at the level of the G330s bought at a third of the price. Both headphones were of the USB variety, with controls on the cable.

The Sades headset was a bit on the gaudy side. I wasn’t aware until I put them on at home that the headpiece and microphone gives off a blue light, but only after a few days when I noticed it in my reflection. I have no need of blue light from the earpieces or microphone, as I am sure they don’t improve the sound. I would suppose this appeals to a gamer audience, and I am not really that big on gaming. The sound is boxy, and the microphone for recording video is just okay. It apparently has two sound settings, both aimed at gaming, and I would suppose that gamers find the boxy sound appealing. The Spellond also had a chunky control module part way down the cable which made it hard to pack away neatly. The rubber cable tie provided would come apart on its own, so you had to be be particular as to how tightly you bound the cables with it.

Logitech H600 wireless bluetooth headset: plastic, plastic, and more plastic, but a good mike, good sound, and the freedom of movement that comes with wireless bluetooth.

Recently at work, we were handed a USB wireless headset, and they were Logitech H600 wireless headsets. These list on for close to $70, and are apparently sold out. They came in a plain-looking blue and clear box, and actually looked cheap. Just about all plastic, with a bare minimum of metal parts, even for the headband. I wasn’t expecting Bose Aviator headsets or anything, but for $70, they could have been constructed with better materials. The earpieces were covered by a thin layer of foam plastic. They were worn over-the-head, and were wireless, which I never warmed up to, since the charge life of the batteries limits their use. But when I tried them, my opinion changed. The sound both from the mike and through the headset was far superior to the Sades model. Sades makes up for it by superior construction and padding in the headband and the earpieces, but the sound of the Logitech appealed to me more. Also, the wireless had a range of about 30 feet, which allowed me to move away from the comptuer without missing anything or for others online to hear me. There was that freedom also. Another plus was freedom from cables. As a plus, the USB-A receiver/transmitter neatly packs away though a cavity in the headset when the headphones are not in use.

It appears that headphone manufacturers are beginning to notice that we like clear sound, and are increasing the price of their low-end headphones, since this was the kind of sound quality I got from my wired G330’s. My concern is that for the price, something so cheaply made isn’t likely to last, regardless of the sound quality.

What are your thoughts?