Dec 25, 2021
14 mins read
Some of you have noticed that I've been struggling with my headset, mouse, keyboard, and keypad a lot here lately. My family caught wind of this as well, and well let's just say this year I was extremely shocked at how good Santa was too me. This early Christmas Morning I want to tell y'all some stories about these things. This will be long and detailed with memories and history. It's just something I'd like to do to reminisce all the amazing times we've had over the years.
Besides regular headphones or ear buds, my first actual gaming headset was the original PS3 wireless headset from Sony. It worked amazing on PS3, and PC. However, it had disconnect issues on PS4, and I don't think it's supported by PS5 at all. I do still pull this out if I really want to go wireless sometimes, and plug it into my PC. It has a great sound to it, but the hear pads have a really horrible design, and hurt the back of my ears. I have always used this for just gaming, especially in the middle of the night.
My second headset overall, which was actually my first headset I bought for recording videos and streaming, was an original lime green Razer Kraken. I absolutely love the sound from this headset, but the ear cups were not big enough for my ears. My family seems to have large ears! I recorded and streamed with it almost exclusively for several years. I did use some earphones that came with my microphone along with them, but the sound is no where near as good as the Kraken. For some reason after several years I got to where I could not wear them anymore without them making my ears extremely sore. It was so bad that if I wore them for 2 hours I couldn't wear them again for at least 2 to 3 days. I decided I had had enough! I went out, said heck with it I can wash my ears, and tried on every headset I could find at the time. Back then comfort wasn't really the goal of headsets. I stumbled upon a Logitech G430 headset at a local BestBuy, and loved that the ear cups were large enough for my ears to actually fully fit inside. I still say this line of headsets are amazing for that one fact. The G430 has decent sound, and I believe simulates 7.1 which is great for some games I play. It doesn't bleed too much noise for my microphone, and it has an OK mic on it with a mute switch. You do need to tweak stuff in the app for it through the USB dongle that comes with it. My issue with the headset is how it slides around on my head, and eventually gets so irritating I have completely stopped a stream or recording session for the day. This has been my main work headset for most of my streaming career. This is now becoming my backup / alternate headset.
A few years back my uncle gave me a small on ear wired headset made by Sony, and this thing has been amazing. I use it to talk on the phone, and play games with while not recording. It has a great mic on it as well, but after a few hours my ears get sweaty and sore a bit from it. Unfortunately, one of the ear pad covers split about 3 weeks ago, and I've been extremely upset. I just love this headset. I take it with me anytime I go on a trip even. Music, phone, gaming, I've just loved it. There's a good chance if you have played a game with me I've been using this headset. Unfortunately, they are no longer made. I will still use this until the day it falls apart.
As some of you may know I've been a musician for many years. One thing every musician that wants to work on music needs is a decent pair of studio headphones. I had put some on an idea list to check them out and compare, and my Mom, Aunt, and Uncle infiltrated my list! To my surprise I got a really awesome pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M40X 3 years ago for Christmas. I use them all the time! I mix all of my video audio with them exclusively, as well as using them for writing and playing music. They also came with a hard case by Slappa and I love that thing! These things sound amazing, but I can't use them in my live / recording process as they amplify the video card hum through my mixing board. The only thing I don't like about them is the standard ear pads are a tiny bit too small, and unless I get my ears pushed in just right they start making my ears sore. Yeah big ear problem again! lol I will continue to use this as my audio and mixing headphones though!
Now, I will be replacing my Logitech G430 headset with a Corsair HS70 Bluetooth / Wired / USB headset. This thing looks like it has amazing build quality, and it is so comfortable. The best thing is that supposedly I can do my work or game, and have it Bluetooth my phone calls at the same time! I have still yet to hook it up and listen to anything through it, but I have heard wonderful things about it. One really cool thing is it has a detachable microphone, and that is something I have really been wanting for a while. Another super nice thing is that this headset's wires are completely detachable! My AT M40Xs spoiled me on that one!
I got my first low end gaming PC, a prebuilt Lenovo with a GT720, from BestBuy in quite some years ago. I only planned to play a few old games, and use it for work. In 2014 I picked up a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, so I could leave my lights out in the summer and still easily see my keyboard. I fell in love with the level of functionality customization it gave me. I bet I have put a over billon keystrokes on each key on that thing. I have used it for gaming, writing music, scripting and coding websites, video editing, photo editing, graphics design, art production, editing thousands of documents, and chatting with family and friends. Last year it got to where it would double type a few keys that I used all the time. 9 on the keypad for some reason though. I input a lot of numbers into spreadsheets. I ended up completely taking the entire keyboard apart, and cleaning it. who knew so much goatee hair was escaping and hiding in there! I thought I had fixed all of my issues except the Numpad 9. My ESC key started going next, and gradually over the last few months about 60% of the keys started double typing. I have been majorly upset over it. One thing I really love is that old school giant keyboard feel and loud clicking sound and feel. It really lets you know you are doing something. My main problem over the years with all of my Razer products was the Synapse software. It's just horrible!
I have 2 wireless Logitech keyboards that I love, and have actually worn the letters off the keys on both! The one I use on my old PC is a wave, and it really helps with my wrists a lot. The other is a small keyboard with a track pad on it. I use it for all kinds of stuff including on consoles, and as a secondary hotkey keyboard when I draw on my tablet. I'm a huge fan of the unify features of Logitech stuff.
When I had my new PC built I was offered a keyboard with it for around $4 extra. I had the good sense to know it would be something I could use as a backup. For the past few weeks I've been using this keyboard, and I have to say I don't really like it much. It's growing on me though. It is an IBuyPower keyboard, but it has some very weird functionality. However, it has a great magnetic wrist wrest that I love. One thing I like about this keyboard is it has no casing around the switches so dirt and hair really cannot get down around them and cause issues. This one has some sort of weird switch in it though and it doesn't really sound too good and feels spongy to press a key. The one thing I really love about this keyboard is it has a big wheel for volume control. However, it doesn't work seamlessly, and not at all in gaming mode! It has dedicated multimedia buttons which in standard mode as well, which is pretty nice. However, in gaming mode they just switch between the 3 saved profiles. There is no switch to this profile for this executable being in focus, and there is no easy sleep command like the Razer has.
I am now replacing my Razer with a Corsair K55 Pro. It has almost the exact same layout as the BlackWidow Ultimate with the extra keys on the left side. I love that feature. Also, apparently these can be used with stream deck software, which I will make use of probably. I will begin using this keyboard very soon, but I need to hook up my Razer and write down all of my custom profile configurations first. From my understanding Corsair keyboards and mice are about as customizable as Razer. Once I've added it I'll start with video editing profiles, then move to profiles for games, graphic programs, and my music writing programs. This will be the order for all of the following new devices as well. I'm really excited about this keyboard!
I have had quite a few mice over the years. I used a Microsoft Optical mouse for years with desktop PCs, and I used a cheap Dynex optical mouse that I picked up with my first laptop for even longer. I have to say the Dynex was the best mouse I had ever used at that point, and it was just a little cheap BestBuy mouse! I had a few cheap wireless mice, but once I started developing wrist problems I started using trackballs. I went through quite a few Logitech M570s. Unfortunately, they tend to start double clicking pretty fast. I still have 2 M570s that I use, and I also have upgraded to a Logi MX Ergo Trackball as well. It is extremely ergonomic and I love that thing. It is also Logi Flow enabled so I can use it on two PCs fluidly. If you want a trackball check out the Logi MX Ergo. Trackballs are great for some of my video editing programs, but not so much for my main one now.
A few years back I wanted to use a mouse again for various things including gaming. Trackballs are just not good for gaming. I done a lot of research. I wanted something like a standard mouse, but extremely ergonomic and with good customization. I picked up a Razer Naga Chroma, and have used it ever since. Again my Synapse issues struck. The more Razer products you have the more problems you have with Synapse it seems. As for the mouse itself I absolutely love the Naga. I cannot recommend a decent MMO mouse enough. The good thing was that this mouse actually fit my hand and allowed me so much more customization and functionality when working properly. Just a year after getting my Naga I started having issues with it. It turned out it was the software. I switched to a black mouse pad and the mouse just would not track anymore. I finally was able to recalibrate it to work properly again. With another mouse pad change, this time another black mouse pad, I had so many issues with the mouse again. I ended up recalibrating it 2 or 3 more times, and finally it started working properly again. Now it tracks great. It seems a software update broke something, and another one fixed it so I could properly recalibrate it. Unfortunately, the right click on the mouse has started to go. It double clicks about 70% of the time, single clicks about 20% of the time, and doesn't click at all about 10% of the time. Also, now the mouse just keeps disconnecting and going missing from the devices. I have to unplug it and plug it back in, which is not an easy task with my current setup. Once it does this as well the Synapse software is so bad that I actually have to reboot my PC to get it to work. That's in the middle of a stream sometimes too!
Over the past few years I have actually picked up 3 other mice as well. I have a Logitech M510 which I love. However, it will not pair to a new receiver on Windows 10 for some reason. I have to use my Windows 8.1 PC to pair it to anything new. I currently use it as my main mouse on my old PC though. For my laptop I have switched to a vertical / handshake wireless mouse. It's very hard to use despite being so ergonomic. I really don't like it much to be honest. It feels like my hand doesn't fit it in the proper orientation, but instead comes in at a weird angle. This makes it feel like it's going to come off the surface it's on and very hard to click stuff. I'm still getting used to it. Earlier this year when I was having so many problems with my Naga I picked up a Corsair Harpoon gaming mouse. It is not an MMO mouse, but it works in a pinch. I didn't have any real problems with the software for it, but the sensitivity levels are so different from Razer it really took some getting used to. I was able to fix my Naga enough to go back to it, but I do like the Harpoon.
I am now replacing my Naga with a Corsair Scimitar. I hope that I like it, but either way it has to be done. I can't have double right clicks ruining everything all the time, and the Naga disconnect issues are just horrible. I'm really excited about this new mouse, but with the new keyboard I have to write down my old custom profiles and try to translate them over to the new mouse.
For me there have been two keypads that I've used. I originally bought an external number pad to use with my old laptop. I was able to use it for a few hotkeys in some programs and loved it. I started looking into customizable keypads and I loved the ergonomics of the Razer Tartarus pad. I got one around 2015, and have used it for everything I do since. The Tartarus is amazing! I have custom profiles for every game I play, every video editor, every image editor, every music program, a mouse mode, and even general overall profile. It allows me to do everything. If you are an artist, gamer, graphic editor, video editor, musician, get you a Tartarus pad. It's only limited by the hotkeys you can set for your programs. Unfortunately over the years I've used my Tartarus so much that the Alt key is very iffy. The Alt key can easily be used to switch to a second keymap for the same program and give you even more hotkeys. I sometimes setup various keys just for other maps. The original Tartarus can have 8 keymaps for each profile!
I am moving my old Tartarus pad back to my old PC, for some awesome hotkey action, and adding a brand new Tartarus V2 to my production PC. Not only does the new V2 have all the old functionality of the original Tartarus, but it also has an extra row of keys, a scroll wheel, and a much better directional stick on it. It also has a soft leather wrist pad! I'm going to be spoiled. The one thing I don't like as much right now is that the Alt button is just a little round button instead of the bigger weird shaped button. It could be a blessing if it works better, but I like the bigger button personally. Again, I will add this in when I get my profiles wrote down so I can copy them over.
One last thing here today. I have gotten a wall mount for my web camera finally! This should prevent all of the shaking when I'm typing! I have wanted a wall mount and was going to build one, but they are actually cheaper to just buy one. This is going to be awesome too, because you can actually move and pose the thing!
While, that is not all, that is what I wanted to update on. I'm super excited and feel like I'm able to start fresh with accessories. Hopefully, I won't feel like something is dying on me for a long time now. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I can't wait to get all this up and running for a stream!