Blowing half your budget on headphones and Lego sets [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Blowing half your budget on headphones and Lego sets [Setups]


The college kid who owns this computer setup might be headed for an aerospace-related career.
The college kid who owns this computer setup might be headed for an aerospace-related career.

College students, often not exactly made of money (yet), usually feel obliged to be super-thrifty. Their setups might feature entry-level gear, hand-me-down equipment, doors on cinderblocks serving as desks — that sort of thing.

But today’s featured setup, owned by a college student, comes with some frills. They’re courtesy of a lucrative internship the computer science major completed last summer.

Blowing half your budget on headphones and Lego bricks

Redditor 0olongCha, who recently became a U.S. citizen and has a miniature Stars and Stripes on their desk to prove it, studies computer science and clearly loves space exploration, judging by their decor. They showed off their setup in a post titled, “My cozy college setup.”

The setup, based around a 2020 13-inch Intel-powered MacBook Pro and a 25-inch Dell UltraSharp USB-C monitor, does indeed look pretty cozy. While the interior is warmed by some fancy gadgetry, you can see a wintry cityscape outside the window.

“No, I’m not rich,” Cha said right near the top of the post. “Just did an internship that paid an insane amount last summer.”

They didn’t specify the internship, but odds are it was for a tech company.

“50% worth into laptop, screen, Legos, car, house, wife. Other 50% of the budget into headphones, perfectly balanced,” declared one commenter who might just be an audiophile.

Focal Clear headphones

We say that because the commenter jokingly implied it’s appropriate to spend half the budget for a computer setup on nice headphones. In this case, OolongCha sports a set of Focal Clear Circumaural High Fidelity Headphones. You know they’re fancy because they’re French. And they cost about $1,500.

The headphones are designed to create the sense of an open sound stage. Here’s what Focal says about them:

Clear are audiophile circum-aural open-back headphones. They represent a new evolution of Focal’s now famous completely open-back full-range speaker driver. The ‘M’-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome benefits from a new copper voice coil. This provides remarkable dynamics over the entire audio spectrum; bass that is always controlled, even at high volumes, and exemplary linearity in the high-end. The new generation of perforated microfibre ear cushions give the headphones an extremely open design. The user will completely forget Clear are even there, and will be overcome by the feeling of listening to the best loudspeakers on the market.

That one piece of gear does actually represent roughly half the setup’s value. The 2-year old MacBook Pro and monitor together go for about $1,300 total. After that in the setup proper, Cha has a pretty cool Drop Alt mechanical keyboard ($200) and  a Logitech MX Anywhere wireless mouse ($79).

Lots of Lego bricks

And then there are the Lego sets. If you count them as part of the setup, at up to $200 each, they and the headphones add up to well over half the budget.

Lego-wise, Cha has New York City’s Empire State Building. And the other three sets all tie in to a space theme — the Space Shuttle Discovery, the International Space Station and the Apollo Saturn V rocket.

Shop these items now:

Computer and external display:

Input devices:


Lego sets:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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