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Sennheiser GSP 600 Gaming Headset Review – IGN

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The Sennheiser GSP 600 (See it on Amazon) is the company’s newest gaming headset, and it’s a big, hefty one at that. But while its looks are a little intimidating at first glance, Sennheiser has gone out of its way to make an otherwise heavy piece of gear feel nice and comfy. It’s a wired headset designed for cross-platform gaming, and at $250 it’s pricey, but only about midrange for a Sennheiser product.

The plush ear cups and unique adjustments on the headband certainly offer some relief from the bulk, but does this headset’s audio quality and design match its price tag? I spent some listening and gaming time with the GSP 600 to see if these sizable cans are worth the investment.

mic

 

Design and Features

Taking some design cues from the highly-reviewed Sennheiser PC 373D, the GSP 600 is an analog headset with some overt gamer-centric highlights. As I mentioned previously, this is a really large headset with attractive red and silver metal finishes on each side of the earpieces.

The look is enough to give off a “this is for gamers” vibe, but subtle enough to still look classy. The boom mic is set on a non-removable arm, but it rotates up out of the way easily, and doing so mutes the microphone for those mid-game slurps from a tasty beverage. There’s a satisfying click on both ends of the movement too, signifying the mic is muted or unmuted, but I did find the mic sat a little closer to my face than it needed to be. The boom is a tiny bit flexible, but not enough to move it away from my face and have it stay put.

…there really is a deep level of customization not found on many headsets.

The rest of the GSP 600 is a plastic affair, but still with a high-quality feel. The headset isn’t nearly as heavy as it looks—a plus for longer gaming sessions. The usual size adjustments exist to move the earcups up and down, but the headband is where the GSP 600 really makes its mark in terms of customizing the fit.

Two sliders on the top of the headband offer a wider range of pressure sensitivity. Push the sliders all the way to the top for a tighter hold, and all the way apart for a wider stance. Each slider controls the left and right sides independently, so there really is a deep level of customization not found on many headsets.

sliders

Thanks to this design I found the GSP 600 to be extremely comfortable—for about an hour. After an hour or more, the headband made the top of my head sore and I was constantly readjusting the headset to get more comfortable. There’s two rows of foam padding on the inside of the band, and I think this padding could have been wider to stop the plastic bits in the center from rubbing the top of my head. This is a shame, because the GSP 600 is otherwise one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve ever worn, in short bursts.

bandpad

The padding on the ear cups is soft and does a great job of blocking outside noise. While they’re not removable for cleaning or replacement, the outside of the padding is leatherette and the inside is a soft micro-fiber. The pads breathe surprisingly well, and my ears never felt overheated even during hours-long use. The earpieces tilt on a swivel for even more of a custom fit depending on the shape of your face. On the side of the right earpiece, a large dial controls volume on the fly with a very pleasing level of resistance.

There’s no virtual 7.1 surround packed into the GSP 600.

This is an analog headset, so there’s no virtual 7.1 surround sound with the GSP 600. Sennheiser did include two braided, removable cables, though. The PC cable is wonderfully long and features separate 3.5mm jacks for audio and mic. The secondary cable is a shorter, all-in-one cable with a single 3.5mm jack that works well with consoles and other devices. I found the GSP 600 to work flawlessly in terms of both audio and chat by plugging it into my PlayStation 4 controller, for example. You could use these with a smartphone on the go, of course, but—well, they’re gigantic and you’ll look like a dork on the bus or at the coffee shop.

cables

Performance

The Sennheiser name has been synonymous with excellent audio quality for years, and the GSP 600 is no exception. This is a company that manufactures high fidelity headphones which can cost over $3,000, and while you’re not going to get quite that level of clarity from the $250 GSP 600, they still sound fantastic. Overall, I would say the audio in this headset tends to favor the lower end of the audio spectrum, with deep bass on music tracks and some real oomph to explosions and gunfire in games. But unlike some headsets where a focus on low end leads to muddy audio in certain situations, I found the GSP 600 speakers to be crystal clear, with distinct separation of all the action going on around me in-game.

Explosions from grenades had impact and I could hear smaller details in the audio design.

Playing Battlefield 1 with this headset did in fact sound a lot better than with a cheaper headset, and I’ve reviewed a lot of them. Explosions from grenades had impact and I could hear smaller details in the audio design, like the clicking of internal components in the drive track of a tank. There’s no virtual surround, but directional audio was noticeable and I could easily detect approaching footsteps while hiding out in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Even on the console side of things, playing God of War with the GSP 600 was a heightened experience, as I could hear the drip of water in a cave while still slashing my way through a horde of enemies.

main

Listening to music on the GSP 600 is a great experience, too. And that low end frequency really stands out while listening to rock or hip hop. I cued up the new Sleep record, which obviously is at the near-extreme end of low-end rock, and the sound was excellent and clear without any distortion despite my blasting music at max decibels.

Sennheiser claims the mic on the GSP 600 is noise-cancelling, and for the most part this seems to be the case. Background noise in the room while I was playing and chatting with friends was pleasingly reduced, but I wouldn’t claim the recording quality to be much better or worse than the average gaming headset. Recording myself while using the headset, I found my voice to sound generally clear, but the close proximity of the boom mic did lead to some occasional popping and muffled tones.

Purchasing Guide

The Sennheiser GSP 600 has an MSRP of $250, and since they just made their debut this year for now they’re holding steady at that price:

The Verdict

The Sennheiser GSP 600 takes customized headset design to new heights, but just misses the mark for comfort during longer gaming sessions. It’s a huge, chunky monster of a headset, but it also features an impressive, clear soundscape I’ve come to expect from a Sennheiser product.


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