It is no secret that Sennheiser produces quality audio equipment. Over the last several years, they have made "gaming" headsets that continue to improve on the Sennheiser brand. Now the GSP 500 open acoustics have arrived on the scene to make their mark in the world of gaming audio.
- MSRP $229.95
- Type: Open-back acoustic
- Impedance: 28 ohms
- Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors) 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors)
- Cable Length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
- Frequency response (Microphone): 10 Hz - 18,000 Hz
- Frequency response (Speakers): 10 Hz – 30,000 Hz
- Sound pressure level: 107 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
- Weight: 358 g
- Microphone sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
- Microphone pick up pattern: Bi-directional ECM (Electret Condenser Microphone)
Let's start with the most obvious thing first, at $230 this is not a headset you buy just because you need any old headset. This is meant as an investment in high quality audio, both for listening as well as recording with its well-built noise-canceling mic. The GSP 500 is built for audiophiles who game in mind. Let’s look deeper at that value.
When you look at higher-end headphones, you'll note they can come in one of two flavors: Closed and open back. The GSP 500 is of the open back variety. What this allows is for a more natural spatial sound as there is no plastic back to trap the sound around your ear. However, this also means whatever you're listening to leaks out and can be heard by others. This also has the extra effect of giving your ears a little bit of air conditioning. There is a definite difference while listening to music, playing games or watching movies compared to my previous closed backed headphones. Nevertheless, outside noise can now worm its way in, which can bother some gamers. The tradeoff is worth it, in my opinion, for the better soundstage.
Durability & Comfort
Headphones need to be comfortable. This is especially true for those of us who can spend hours gaming and directly follow that with music as we do various tasks on our PC. With at least one 12-hour session spent wearing them and days of routine use, they felt good on my ears, even though I have a larger head. The padding around the earpieces felt comfortable. The cups themselves had a good fit and seemed to shape themselves to my head. The normal click the ear cup down the headband to adjust for head size has been improved with a metal hinge system. This system allows for adjusting pressure for a better overall fit and feel. There is solid construction and design throughout in the headset with both plastic and metal pieces. It felt barring any freak lightning storm the GSP 500 could stand to last years.
Noise Canceling Mic
The mic on the GSP 500 is a noise-canceling version of Bi- Directional ECM (electret condenser microphone). The mic is of a great quality and pairs well with the headset. You can adjust the boost from 10 DB all the way up to 30 DB. It is clear and natural while still isolating background noise. The boom mic is adjustable and a simple flick up or down turns it on and off. On the opposite ear cup is the knob for adjusting or completely muting the volume, which felt very handy. Have a listen:
The Important Part
Now for arguably the most important part of the GSP 500, how does it sound? When you're spending this amount of money on a brand name product like Sennheiser, you expect certain results and these do not disappoint. With a frequency range of 10 – 30,000Hz, it allows for hearing a wide spectrum of sound. In fact, 10-30,000Hz is outside the range of human hearing. So why both developing it to reproduce such a wide range? When a headphone extends to such a wide degree, it’s referred to as a “high resolution” headphone and guarantees that everything you can hear will have the kind of distortion free fidelity that only the best headphones can produce. This is not your run of the mill gaming headset.
The Sennheiser GSP 500 is the kind of headset to delivers on Sennheiser’s sterling reputation. It offers superbly high-quality audio, allowing for not only for the various highs and lows you would get while playing a game, but also the subtle frequencies of the music usually lost in the background. That violin solo that played right at that tragic moment in a cutscene is now clear and eerily more breathtaking for its potency in your ears. The heavy thump of the bass as explosions are going off around you shake your ears in a good way without overpowering the other frequencies and audio cues going on. The quality you expect from a Sennheiser headset is right here.
The GSP 500 proves the old adage that you get what you pay for. Over the years of various headset usage for gaming and music making, these take the cake and provide a great experience for your ears - if you can afford them.
- High Quality Audio
- Durable Design
- Comfort for both ears and head
- Great Condenser noise canceling microphone
- Open-Back (Personal Preference)
- Open-Back (Personal Preference)
- Very expensive
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.