Sennheiser GSP 600 Review
Pros: Great audio quality, fantastic microphone
Cons: Expensive, not the most comfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSP 600 couldn't match the performance of the Cloud II by Hyper X, though it did best the Cloud Stinger, by the same manufacturer. While the GSP 600 did score the highest when it came to audio quality and has a better microphone than the Cloud II, it is the only one of this trio to fail to win an award. Both HyperX models received Best Buy awards for being fantastic value, with the Cloud II retailing for around $100 and the Cloud Stinger retailing for around $50 — a stark contrast to the $250 price tag of the Sennheiser GSP 600.
To decide which gaming headset are seriously the best you can get, we bought all the most promising models available today and rated their performance in a series of side-by-side tests. We split these tests into four weighted rating metric, with the Sennheiser's results described below.
Our most important set of tests for each headset covered how comfortable they are to wear and account for almost half — 40% of the overall score. We had a diverse panel of judges wear each headset for at least a full day, then rate the overall comfort of each product, specifically noting their opinions when it came to the ear cups, head strap, and how long they thought they could wear the headset before it became uncomfortable. The Sennheiser received slightly above average marks from our judges, earning it a 6 out of 10.
This headset received a very mixed response, with the majority of our judges either loving or hating it, with almost no one scoring it in the middle.
While we did like the mesh fabric on the headband and the cooling suede and leatherette ear cups, this headset definitely feels quite snug if you have a larger head or ears.
The ear cups have firm padding and are shaped like an actual ear, or an asymmetric oval. They measure 2.875" tall and 1.75" wide.
Half of our judges could wear the GSP 600 all day without any issues, but the other half could only wear them for an hour or two before they were too uncomfortable.
For our next metric, we looked at the audio quality of each headset, looking both at how the GSP 600 played back music and the voice of other players, as well as how it did at blocking out external noise. We also scored each on how well it conveyed the location of in-game sounds and on how it did with a series of audio benchmarking tests. The Sennheiser earned an 8 out of 10 in this group of tests, which are worth 30% of the overall score.
This headset got off to a great start in our positional test, with our judges able to accurately determine the location of a sound in the game almost every, even with quieter sounds, like quiet footsteps. Voice from other players comes across exceptionally clean and sounds true to life and the closed back earcups do a great job at cutting down external background noise.
This headset makes music sound great, with a slight emphasis on the mid-range tones, though the sound is overall extremely well-balanced.
It finished out with a great showing across most of our benchmarking tests, though it did slightly below average when it came to bass quality, exhibiting a small amount of undesirable parasitic buzz.
After assessing the audio quality of each headset, it only makes sense to move on to the microphone, which is worth 20% of the final score. We scored each model on how clearly it picked up our voice while playing, as well as how it did at filtering out distracting background noise and conversations. The Sennheiser GSP 600 delivered another great set of results, meriting an 8 out of 10 in our microphone metric.
All of our teammates found that voice transmitted by the GSP 600 to be very easy to understand and extremely crisp, although a few noted that the overall pitch of the voice seemed to be slightly higher than when talking in person. We never had any problems with feedback and it wasn't overly sibilant or prone to overemphasizing "T" or "P" sounds.
It also does a good job at filtering out noises, with only the hardest presses on a mechanical keyboard triggering the mic and a laptop or TV playing in the background has to be quite loud before registering with the Sennheiser. However, we did note that there is a slight noise for the person on the other end every time you mute the microphone.
The mic also only picks up someone else talking in the room if they are talking pretty loudly and are within 5' or so of you.
Ease of Use
For our last set of tests, responsible for the final 10% of the score, we compared and score how convenient each of these headsets is to use. In particular, we looked at if there are onboard controls, the ease of muting the mic, length of the cord — and if you could detach it — and if there is a mic sidetone that can be enabled. The GSP 600 finished out with a decent showing, earning a 6 out of 10.
This headset has a decent set of onboard controls on the headphones themselves, allowing you to adjust the volume. It's easy to mute the mic simply by lifting it out of the way as well, but it can't be detached.
The cord is about average in length and can be detached, but you don't have the option for a mic sidetone.
This headset is a terrible value, as there are significantly cheaper headsets that perform about the same.
Overall, we weren't huge fans of this product. It's a fine headset, but it's a little expensive compared to its performance and there are other products we vastly preferred.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer