Recommendations for wired (3.5 mm TRRS) headset with detachable cable
July 21, 2022 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good quality headset (headphones and a microphone) suitable for use with a computer (e.g., for video conferencing) that's wired with a detachable cable that connects to a standard 3.5 mm TRRS jack in the headset. Headsets with fixed cables are typically rendered useless once the cable breaks and I'd like to avoid the associated waste by purchasing a headset where failure of the cable doesn't force me to purchase an entirely new headset.

Here's a list of my criteria for the headset:
* Must be usable with a wired connection (if it also includes a wireless connection option, that's fine, but I won't be using it)
* Must be possible to detach the cable from the headset so it can be replaced in the event of failure
* Must have a 3.5 mm TRRS (a.k.a. four-pole) cable jack (not a proprietary jack)
* Must work with a typical computer (no amp or dedicated sound card required)
* Should cost less than $500 USD (ideally substantially less, but I'm willing to pay for a well-built product)
* Should have decent audio quality; I'm not an audiophile and have been fine with various cheap headphones over the years
* Should be closed-back

I've spent a lot of time trying to find a headset that matches these criteria, but with no luck (the closest one I found was the Audio-Technica ATH-GL3, but its headset jack isn't a standard size and replacement cables for that headset can't be purchased individually).

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
posted by CahootsMalone to Technology (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The HyperX Cloud Alpha meets your requirements, as well as the upgraded 'S' model (which has a USB cable in additional to the analog to analog cable). The company also sells their cables separately, but other than the inline volume/mute switch I believe it's a normal cable.
posted by meowzilla at 5:03 PM on July 21, 2022

before the pandemic, a buddy at work who was (1) big into gaming and (2) responsible for a lot of web meetings convinced his department to buy a bunch of headsets like these: $100 or so, with a regular ol' 3.5mm cable for the headphones and mic.

the comments on that page mimic his rationale for buying them. So if I were in your shoes, that'd be the first thing I looked at.
posted by adekllny at 5:18 PM on July 21, 2022

V-Moda is here for you for $150ish. I'm not an audiophile so I can't tell you if they're good or not but I've loved the V-Moda's I've had over the years. There's just something so solid about them, with the headband having metal in it attached to the cups in a way that is durable when you drop them onto the ground. (The cups are set into sockets in the headband, so instead of breaking after a rough tumble they pop out and you can put them back in.) You'll want to get the XL cushions, these things absolutely clamp onto the head

They have wireless versions but if you don't need that the wired only version is much cheaper.
posted by foxfirefey at 5:52 PM on July 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh--and you'll need the cord that has the mic on it I guess. They sell that though.
posted by foxfirefey at 5:53 PM on July 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I believe that the Sony WH-1000XM4 fits the bill. I use it with Bluetooth but it does have a detachable 3.5mm cable which appears to be the standard audio cable type. Bonus: it's noise-canceling!
posted by number9dream at 6:05 PM on July 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

I made this filtered table which shows what headphones they've reviewed which meet your criteria. Detachable 1 1/8" TRRS cable, closed back, boom or integrated mics (no inline mics).
posted by meowzilla at 6:12 PM on July 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I use this very affordable Monoprice DJ headset that fits the need for less than $15. I did replace the cord with the v moda Boom Pro foxfirefey linked. The online mic that came with it is just OK, but when it was clear that Zoom was going to be a big part of my life, I got the boom .

Overall, I have one of the best sounding setups in our workplace, and for not that much money.
posted by advicepig at 6:18 PM on July 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have a previous generation of those Sony Bluetooth headphones, and I'm sad to say that the microphone does not work with the cable (it's only TRS). I suppose you can pair them with the mentioned V-Moda cable that has the mic on it.
posted by meowzilla at 6:22 PM on July 21, 2022

Headsets with fixed cables are typically rendered useless once the cable breaks and I'd like to avoid the associated waste by purchasing a headset where failure of the cable doesn't force me to purchase an entirely new headset.

Quality cables last for several decades in most cases. Unless you're buying extremely cheap products, I would not make detachable cables the deciding factor. I have multiple headphones with attached cables that are 20+ years old.
posted by Candleman at 6:30 PM on July 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

Until I got a dedicated mic on an arm, I used Sennheiser headsets, which match your stated desires. There's a PC38X on Massdrop that's more or less what I had, and it includes a replaceable cord.
posted by Alterscape at 8:09 PM on July 21, 2022

You have a couple choices:

1) Get a "gamer headset". They can go really cheap, like $20-30 and comes with fancy lights. They are cheap enough you can buy 2 and have a spare in case first one breaks.

EX: Bengoo V9000, TRRS plug. There's a USB plug but it's just for the fancy lights. You don't have to plug that in. Cable has inline volume / mute wheel. $23 on Amazon.

2) If you already have a regular audio headphone of good quality, You can add a microphone to it to make it PC compatible. Antlion's Modmic (various models) attaches to the regular headphones and is $55 on Amazon. .
posted by kschang at 1:49 AM on July 22, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you all for the recommendations and information! I spent literally hours searching for headsets matching my criteria before posting this question and found none of the ones recommended here, so I really appreciate the quality (and quantity!) of your responses.

There are several promising options here, so I'm going to review them in detail and check their availability. Thanks again!
posted by CahootsMalone at 7:37 AM on July 22, 2022

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