Thursday 14th September 2017
I listen to a lot of music while I work. My day job gives me Spotify Premium that whilst being reluctant to use at first (I prefer to ‘own’ my media) is now always playing, either on my computer at home, or on my phone.
I’m not as much an audiophile as some but I do hate really poor sound quality. So whenever I hear someone playing a song over their phone’s speaker I die a little inside. That said, I have no issue with CD quality sound.
Given that my family were insomniacs, I’ve grown up using headphones. Even now with my own place, I tend to watch and listen to everything with headphones on… although I’m trying to get in the habit of using Alexa to stream Spotify
I’m on my PC a lot so I tend to have Spotify open there and listen via headphones. Because I also play Warcraft, I tend to go for gaming headsets.
I’m not a fan of in-ear, even when walking into town. My ears always feel the wrong shape for them, I knock them out easily and my inner ear gets sweaty. In short, I don’t find them comfortable. And whilst the over-ear headphones heat up my ears, I do find them much more comfortable to wear.
Except… cables! I go into the shop and get a cable tangled round the self-service till. I go to reach for something on my desk and tangle my cable around my chair.
I decided last year that with the jack plug becoming a thing of the past, it was time to go wireless. I got a cheap pair of Skullcandy’s for walking into town and found them really good (even though I once bought a pair of skullcandy in-ears that had some of the worst sound quality I’d ever heard), but swapped to the wired Beats I bought because the sound quality was better.
At home though, I got myself some Razer Man O’Wars. These weren’t cheap, but given how much I was on my computer they were a worthy investment. They are big, bulky but most importantly, wireless. I loved the fit and the sound quality was up to my stands.
But the Man O’War has a design flaw. The head cushion sits on a couple of plastic sprues that are so thin that they break. Search the internet and you see loads of people having the same problem. It happened to me and turned the headphones from being super-comfy into ones that dug into the top of my head.
So, given I’d paid £170 for the things (my beats only cost me £30) I decided I would return them.
And therein laid my problem. I went into Game last week to enquire how best to do this, because I could do without the drama. I was basically told that they needed evidence that it was a fault. Fair enough, I thought, they want to know it’s an issue, not a case of me throwing them across the room.
So I brought in a page of reports of issues into the store on Tuesday where, frankly, the customer service was lacking. I was basically told (and not in a polite way at all) that I needed something from the manufacturer to say it was a fault. I have sympathy for people who work in retail, but I was all but accused of being stupid for not knowing this.
To say I was a bit pissed off, might be a bit of an understatement. Getting rid of these headphones would leave me without audio for my PC, but I needed to do it before the warrenty ran out. And I suspected that the store was trying to make me jump through impossible hoops.
But I felt I was in the right, and so I preserved and contacted the manufacturer, wording my support question such that it made giving me what I needed to be their easy way out. Fair play to Razer though, they asked for some pictures of the damage but then came back with exactly what I’d asked and more.
Needless to say, I think the store manager was a bit surprised to see me back, and a bit humble after reading the email. I’d like to think he was just following procedure, but there’s a massive difference between guiding someone through a complex procedure and basically accusing them of being stupid. So I did feel a bit smug and not the least bit guilty about returning the headphones for a refund.
However, this left me without any headphones, and worse still I had no music.
Our corporate Spotify deal had ended and so this morning I suddenly did not have Spotify Premium #FirstWorldProblems
I did get a code in the afternoon to set meback up (probably because the entire company was up in arms and jamming the support lines about the issue such that they had to send out a notification to everyone that they were getting it sorted). But I was still without headphones.
So a bit of searching this evening and I found out that my local PC Worlld had some Apple Airpods in stock. Now, I’ve seen loads of people say that these are super comfortable and that even if you are not a fan of in-ear headphones, these are amazing. They also support Bluetooth so I figured that if I got a USB Bluetooth adaptor I could use them with the PC.
So I got them, and whilst I’ve only had them a few hours, already love them. I got them working with the PC but they’re not great (most likely because of the USB Bluetooth adaptor in the PC) and need re-pairing all the time. I did try and watch some TV on my Macbook but dropbox has filled the drive and as a result, it was having trouble streaming.
So I do have a cheap pair of over ear headphones coming for use with the PC tomorrow, Not sure, I’ve ended up particularly better off, but at least I have music again. And the Airpods are so super-secure that I reckon I could fence with these in. I might wait until after my tournament on Saturday before I try, though.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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