East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Sometimes being short of money brings some interesting developments.
Case in point: last week I broke my headphones.
This is a minor tragedy because my 6 euro headphones with mic were indispensable for videoconferencing, and for everything else: I share the home library with my brother, and we have our PCs five feet from one another. It’s impossible to listen to some music while writing, or enjoy a movie after hours, without a pair of headphones.

Just like a good keyboard or a good screen, a good pair of headphones helps making long hours of work more comfortable.
I mentioned already that I often work with a soundtrack for my stories.
Add to that my online courses and the videos I use for research, and the fact that my next work-for-hire involves listening to a few hours of lecturing… breaking my headphones was a minor disaster, that delayed my schedule for the whole weekend.

So I went on Amazon and looked for the cheapest headphones/mic set that could go with my antediluvian PC, and finally decided for a USB set – by SADES, a Chinese company. Model SA906i, these are presented as “gaming headphones” and apparently work with PS4. Not that I cared much – I was looking for a cheap quick fix.

They cost me twelve bucks including delivery – guaranteed in 24 hours, meaning 4 days (because… ah, because). And now here they are and they are… interesting.

Clunky, black and red like something Char Aznable would wear (this one is for geeks only), with a thick cable that looks like something from a 1950s appliance… and when you plug them in, they light up with red lights for no good reason. These are the goofiest headphones I ever had.
But on the plus side, the sound is absolutely amazing considering how cheap they come. These are over-ear cans, that shut out external sound and are quite comfortable, despite being rather heavy, and the stereo spectrum is quite clear and well defined.

The package came with a CD for the drivers – but with Linux they worked out of the box, just plug and play. Which is good, because the drivers handbook is in Chinese.

In the end it is always a matter of getting the right tool for the job, I guess.
Possibly as cheap as possible.
In this case, being a cheapskate paid off.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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