A couple of weeks ago I broke the $15 Labtec headset I used when I was on Skype or Teamspeak when gaming. Somehow I broke one of the contacts that connect the mic and, being a cheap headset, taking it apart to fix it left me with a headset broken in a variety of additional ways. I did not even get to the point of plugging in the soldering iron. (Which probably saved me from making one of my “St. Louis Arch” “too much solder” special fixes.)
It has happened before, it will happen again.
Since we are using Skype for our instance gaming experiment in WoW, I needed to go out and get a replacement. I went to the Skype site and looked at what they recommended, I checked out the reviews on Amazon.com, I went to the sites for several headset manufacturers, I asked some friends what they use, and I decided I was going to buckle down and spend the money on a nice USB headset.
I went down to Fry’s with that in mind, fully prepared to plunk down the cash for a superior headset. I went to the aisle where the headsets live. I had a few possible models in mind and was ready to compare them and buy the best one.
About an hour later I walked out with another sub $20 headset.
I cannot help it. I just have the cheapskate gene. I have learned to overcome it in some ways just through experience, through the pain of having to make do with inadequate tools for a job in order to save a couple bucks. Now, for most things, I will spend what is necessary to do things right. But in the realm of headsets, I just cannot seem to get past the cheapskate gene.
Still, for under $20, I ended up with a decent headset I think. They are Sony model DR220DP, and they are light, fit comfortably on my rather fat head, work well, and do not make my also-sizable ears ache or sweat after a few hours of game time. (Tribulations of the 6’3″ gamer.)
In fact, they fit so nicely (I wore them for a 6 hour web training seminar for work and they were easily the least painful part of the session) that I went down to Fry’s a week later and picked up an extra pair. (My experience is that anything I like will disappear from the market, never to be seen again.)
So I am set for a while now. Still, I will manage to break both of these headsets sooner or later. They are built better than the Labtec, but they are still a bit flimsy. And when they pass I will be asking for recommendations for a good headset that I will actually go out and buy. Really, I mean it this time.