I knew it would happen eventually. The bare wires visible in two places of the flimsy cable for years. The earpads long compressed into solid flat pancakes. And my friends on Teamspeak reporting a cracking sound every time I un-muted myself using the little switch.
But when the microphone stopped working altogether, it was time to say goodbye to my
first second ever headset.
Time to say goodbye to my Sennheiser PC150.
I got them probably around 2006, when I was 14 years old. I’m 31 now. When I tried this headset model for the first time I was at my friend Lasse’s house: He had just gotten them for his birthday (?), and they blew me away. Music had never sounded this good to me before, ever.
Previously I had mainly listened to the radio in my parents car, or to totally legally downloaded 32 kbit/s mp3 files (nobody had the time and space for more!), through shitty mp3-player earbuds. But with these headphones you could feel the bass! Incredible!
Of course they quickly ended up on my wishlist for the next Christmas (or was it my birthday? Who knows). I specified them as exactly as humanly-possible. This is because 2006-me still vividly remembered how I had previously wished for a DVD of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, having the 2005 movie in mind, but in a now hilarious and back then terrible twist ended up with a collectors edition of the 1981 BBC TV series, with like, hand-puppets and stuff. Worst Christmas ever. Anyway, even though for me the headphones seemed outrageously expensive for computer equipment (apparently between 57 and 70 Euros in 2003 money in Germany), I got them.
And I have used them ever since. They survived hundreds of hours of me coding PHP social networks with my friends in high school. They moved with me to Stuttgart and Bristol for my bachelor degree. The followed me to Copenhagen for my master degree and first non-student job. And they stayed with me for countless (actually, pretty exactly 2,248) hours of playing CS:GO with my friends and enemies.
When the time had come, I didn’t even know the model name anymore – the one that had been so incredibly important in 2006. The headset itself did not have anything but the Sennheiser name printed on it, so I actually just spent the first 20 minutes of working on this article scrolling through image results for “sennheiser open headset 2006-ish”.
Finally I found this review from 2004 (last updated in 2011) by “Dan’s Data”, comparing the Sennheiser PC 140 and 150. It concludes that “As for the rest of the PC150s’ sound… it’s OK.”, which 14 year old me would hard disagree to, as it had clearly the best sound ever heard by human ears. Computerbase.de has some more pictures and reviews in German from 2005. And it turns out that I wasn’t even alone in my loyalty to this beautiful product, as in 2021 user “WebBeat84” asked (again, in German) the computerbase.de forum which alternatives there are for his trusty open, on-ear, gaming headset. There are also some long-time fans in the Amazon.com reviews.
But, alas, I needed a successor. I wanted to replicate my arguably perfect buying-decision from 2006. But the issue is that you can often only identify the “buy it for life” products years after they have been discontinued, and even the company behind them might have changed, too.
To give me the best chance for a repetition of the coup, I went with the pretty expensive beyerdynamics MMX 300. They are not the same type of headset at all, being over-ear and closed, but they come with easily changeable and very sturdy cables, good sound and microphone quality 1, and no batteries or other potentially short-lived components. While I could wear the PC150 for hours on end, basically forgetting that I had them on, this is not possible with my new headset. Yes, my ear is getting hot. The inline control buttons on the cable are a little high, at least for me, and could be 10 centimeters lower for easier access, but that is a minor thing. I do like the metal-frame and the more adjustable microphone arm. Let’s see how it hold up in the test of time. I’ll keep you updated.
The Sennheiser PC150 will always have its place in my memory, even if I forget the model name. For this article I wore them for the last time, and, as usual, forgot about them within minutes. <3
Keep in mind that I used at least 15 year old headphones before this, so don’t come at me, audiophiles! ↩︎