I’ve never been quite happy with my personal audio setup — the headphones and microphone I use whilst I’m walking around. Several years ago, I reached a comfortable point with my home setup, where I use a Røde NT1-A mic, a set of AKG K518 headphones, and a Scarlett Solo interface.

But, spurred by my AKG K518s ageing, and by getting a new set of terrible USB-C headphones, I started thinking about my personal audio setup again.

Some time ago, I had some thoughts on the matter:

So my AKG K518 headphones are at the point where it's more work to repair than to replace, so now I'm in the market for new headphones...

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2021-01-12T13:56:44Z

For the last week or so, I've been using a set of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's --- excellent sound quality, but the fit is abysmal: the boots and speaker grille scrape at my ears, the set flops around and unseals from my ears, and I've got a gnarly pimple starting.

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2021-01-12T13:56:44.000Z

I keep hearing the assertion that over-ear headphones are better at ambient sound rejection than on-ear or in-ear, and I reject that assertion: in my experience, over-ear is worse for fit, and isolation is thus easily lost.

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2021-01-12T13:56:44.000Z

Things I want in headphones: * wired, or non-Bluetooth wireless. * on- or in-ear. * relatively rugged. * for on-ear: cups that swivel >90°. * for in-ear: can attach to collar. * no 'active noise-cancelling'. * reputable (Senn, Harman*, Shure).

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2021-01-12T13:56:44.000Z

Lemme guess: as usual, I'm not a "normal consumer" and therefore no products exist that fit my niche.

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2021-01-12T13:56:44.000Z

I’ve previously had positive experiences with the audio parts of Sennheiser and Harman headphones, and depressingly bad experiences with the consumer-wireless connectivity (i.e., Bluetooth) part.

I can’t really do personal audio with non-Bluetooth wireless, either: all the solutions seem to assume mains, but one unspoken requirement is it’s suitable for walking around in an uncontrolled environment. So wired it is.

I then stumbled across the Røde AI-Micro interface, and an idea took form:

At long last, I've ordered a real replacement ...

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2022-08-30T22:43:06.000Z

+ Sennheiser IE 100 Pro (because I want robust enough IEMs); + Røde AI-Micro (because 3.5mm connectors are hard); + Røde LAV-GO + LAV-HS (because I wanted a mic as well, and this seemed like a reasonable option).

— Jashank Jeremy (@jashankj) 2022-08-30T22:43:07.000Z

So … how did that go, several weeks on?

So, summarily, and as usual, I’ve destroyed all the connectors on devices that work perfectly well and meet my needs excellently. Sigh.