While the Xbox Wireless Headset is the latest hotness in the world of video game audio, for Riff of the Pixel Game Squad, it’s all about that glorious early ’90s stereo sound, courtesy of the SEGA Genesis.
Riff’s recent prized acquisition is a set of the rare SEGA Genesis stereo speakers. These black beauties with the Genesis branding were not available at retail, but were instead given to those who purchased any three select SEGA Genesis titles and redeemed the coupon between December 26th, 1990 and February 28th, 1991 — a window short enough to make a Nintendo fan feel relieved by comparison.
The significance of the product (branding aside) is due to stereo television sets not being commonplace in American households, and so the Model 1 SEGA Genesis was designed to only output sound to televisions via a monaural signal. However, the headphone jack on the front of the Model 1 provided stereo sound for headphone users. But, if one were to plug a set of compatible stereo speakers into the jack instead…
It doesn’t seem to be known just how many of these speakers exist out there now — as of this writing, they don’t even come up in a regular eBay search, though the last completed auction saw them sell for $202.50 USD. The Genesis hadn’t quite hit its stride in North America yet, and of course, you had to cut out the UPCs from the game boxes to send in with the coupon in order to get the speakers, reducing the number to however many were willing to vandalize their precious packaging for the prize. And then of those, there’s the question of how many could even be bothered.
Which is all really ironic here and now, in the year 2021, as who among us wouldn’t love to own a pair of these now?
On the bright side, if all you care about is the sound, compatible speakers shouldn’t be too hard to come by.