It’s a silly factor to get enthusiastic about within the grand scheme of issues, however Sennheiser’s new ‘contact pressure slider’ on their flagship GSP 600 gaming headset actually caught my eye when it was introduced at this year’s CES tech bonanza. It wasn’t precisely clear what it did on the time because of Sennheiser’s somewhat imprecise description in its press supplies, nevertheless it gave me hope that perhaps, simply perhaps, it would assist alleviate my ongoing battle with the dreaded headset headband pinch. Here’s how I obtained on.
As it seems, Sennheiser’s contact strain doodads are literally similar to the sliders you’ll discover on the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset. Situated on both aspect of the padded headband, these movable bits of plastic enable the headset to cater for these with wider-than-average skulls. Slide them down towards the ear cups, for example, and the headset flexes outward rather more simply than in the event that they’re each totally upright towards the center of the scarf, making it simpler to open out and match over your ears.
I couldn’t actually see any seen distinction after I examined the Turtle Beach Elite Pro, however right here the impact is admittedly pronounced, giving the GSP 600 a shocking quantity of elasticity for such an outwardly bulky-looking headset. It’s nonetheless fairly a cosy match, even on its widest attainable slider setting, nevertheless it’s a welcome little bit of flexibility that begins to make its somewhat eye-watering value of £220 / $250 a teensy bit extra palatable.
Sadly, even this wasn’t sufficient to cease the GSP 600 from progressively changing into an outsized head clamp after about half an hour. As per traditional, I had no downside in anyway with the headset’s plush ear cups. These had been each sufficiently big to fully embody my ears and the delicate, fake leather-based end felt good and comfortable towards my cheeks. I used to be additionally fairly a fan of the chunky quantity knob on the fitting ear cup, as a result of who doesn’t love an excellent chunky quantity knob?
Alas, the GSP 600’s headband simply didn’t have sufficient padding for my liking, and I needed to hold shifting it round to cease it urgent down an excessive amount of on my head. This might, in fact, be an issue that’s restricted to only me, as I at all times have issues with headset headbands except they go for a ski-goggle design just like the Steelseries Arctis 7 (or certainly Arctis Pro). I’d think about that most individuals would most likely get on fairly effectively with the quantity of adjustment afforded by the GSP 600, however don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Another gripe I’ve with the GSP 600 is the mounted microphone. Like the GSP 350 earlier than it, that is activated by shifting the increase arm down towards your mouth and muted by elevating it again up once more. Short of constructing positive it’s way back to attainable, although, there’s no clear or tactile indication that you simply’ve carried out this appropriately, reminiscent of a click on or LED gentle, so you can be slurping away on a cup of tea fully unaware all of your mates can hear you as effectively.
This is extra a matter of non-public choice than the rest – there’s nothing fairly like a simple button press for the sake of comfort – however I additionally wasn’t massively impressed with the following high quality of my recorded chat. I might nonetheless perceive what I used to be saying, however the best way the mic falls fairly near your mouth means it typically sounds fairly muffled, such as you’re respiration down your personal neck. I managed to maneuver it a bit additional away via a little bit of coercion, however there was nonetheless an undercurrent of breathy pops beneath the floor and it didn’t really feel like I ought to have been capable of transfer it sideways both.
As an precise headset, the GSP 600 has a particular bias towards the low finish of the audio spectrum, which can swimsuit some individuals’s tastes greater than others. Personally, I’m not an enormous fan. In Doom, for example, I discovered its quick, bass-heavy soundtrack was a bit missing in nuance at occasions, and I couldn’t actually hear the candy squelching of demon skulls except I turned the amount up.
At decrease volumes, they simply tended to get drowned out by the increase of the sport’s underlying battle tracks, however turning it up had the opposed impact of constructing all the things sound a bit too in your face, like I used to be being assaulted by the sound in addition to the plasma rifles of Possessed Soldiers.
Some individuals would possibly dig that sort of strategy to sport music, however it will possibly additionally make for some fairly flat narration in additional sedate video games. Hellblade’s barrage of voices, for example, sounded superb on the GSP 600, however they ended up feeling nearly secondary to the deep, rumbling climate results. Other headsets, in the meantime, have managed to ship shivers down my backbone when listening to the sport’s opening monologue, however this one left me a bit chilly.
The similar factor occurred when listening to my common music assortment via iTunes as effectively. Higher-pitched devices like violins and pianos in Final Fantasy XV’s orchestral tracks, for example, continually gave the impression of they had been struggling to be heard over all the things else, and even then they sounded fairly uninteresting and muted in comparison with different headsets I’ve worn up to now.
Pop and rock songs fared higher, nevertheless, as right here the headset’s bass leanings gave vocals and backing music alike a wealthy sense of heat and full-bodiedness. Nothing felt prefer it was being overshadowed by the rest, and funnily sufficient I felt the identical means after I booted up Final Fantasy XV itself and listened to its music in-game. Likewise, the headset’s sense of encompass sound was glorious. In Doom, I used to be capable of precisely pinpoint the place particular person photographs had been coming from, and Hellblade’s binaural audio felt prefer it was precisely swirling all the best way spherical my head.
As a end result, video games with extra conventional soundtracks like FFXV will most likely sound completely superb on the GSP 600. It’s solely when you begin veering towards notably loud or quiet video games that you simply begin to see (or ought to that be hear?) the cracks forming.
Ultimately, although, there shouldn’t actually be any ‘cracks’ in a £220 / $250 headset, and its barely pants microphone and iffy match don’t precisely assist issues. Yes, it’s good you get two braided 3.5mm audio cables within the field – one with separate headphone and microphone jacks and one that mixes the 2 for laptops – however for me the Steelseries Arctis 7 nonetheless reigns supreme as my gaming headset of alternative.