Like most gaming hardware, headsets often are overwrought and chintzy, sacrificing quality for flare. It’s gotten so bad that I tend to expect a $20 pair of Sony cans to outperform a $100 gaming headset. At least the Sonys won’t have 15 unnecessary LED strips and an ostentatious, mishmash color scheme.
Sennheiser GSP 300
Excellent sound. Comfort and a minimalist design keep this set focused on delivering a great experience without frivolous extras. Works with consoles, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. Nice price.
Still looks gamer-y. Cheap plastic chassis flexes a bit much and can rattle.
The Sennheiser GSP 300 ($100) bucks that trend, delivering a comfortable and good-sounding headphone that doesn’t make your eyes bleed.
Sennheiser has a sterling reputation. The German manufacturer is among the most consistent performers, and while not every set hits the mark, the company never makes anything bad. That rule holds here.
Donning the GSP 300s is a delight. The cups are spacious, with cushy memory foam around your ears. You’ll find a volume knob within easy reach on the on the right and a boom mic on the left. And that’s about it. No array of buttons and switches to choose one of 10 equalizer settings (oddly, a common feature in gaming headsets) no LEDs. Just a pair of speakers strapped to your head.
It helps that these headphones can keep up with just about anything, comparing favorably to the gold standard SteelSeries Siberia 800 at $200 less. Highs are crisp and light without losing the mids. Lows offer the perfect level of weighty oomph. That said, everything sounds a bit distant. It’s a common trait that audiophiles call the “Sennheiser sound,” and it stems from the fact the drivers sit almost an inch from the ear canal. It’s not bad per se, but it can be off-putting, and stark enough to warrant consideration.
There’s not much to say about the mic other than it’s damned good. Sennheiser uses a microphone array to assist with noise-canceling, so you won’t be broadcasting the clacking of your (likely) mechanical gaming keyboard. Plus the mic auto-mutes when you raise the boom away from the face.
These cans include Sennheiser’s PCV 05 combo adaptor in the box, a dongle that lets you use them with a PS4, Mac, mobile device, and anything with a 3.5mm audio jack.
All of that said, this headset looks a bit gaudy. It doesn’t sport clashing colors or aggressive angles, but it looks a tad overbuilt. There’s no elegance to it. Worse, it uses a rigid plastic construction. Given how well my Sennheiser HD 280s have held up over the years, I don’t doubt the GSP 300s are sturdy, but they do feel cheap and can rattle.
This isn’t Sennheiser’s first dip into gaming gear, but it is by far one of the best it (or anyone) has made recently. The GSPs pull back on dressings and extras to focus on what matters: how headphones feel and how they sound. And that shift has made one of the best gaming headsets I’ve seen in quite some time, at a reasonable price to boot.