When it comes to headphones the Sennheiser brand is well known for their great audio performance both in the enthusiast market and the professional market. They have even been in the gaming market for a while now, I even covered the PC-350’s all the way back in 2009. I was really excited about the PC-350’s back then for their performance and their comfort but the price point was out of range for most regular gamers. It took 8 years but they did finally decide to move into the regular price range of gaming headset. So I’m really excited today to check out the Sennheiser GSP 300’s and see how they compare to the recently improving gaming headset market. Sennheiser finally has a model at a price point that won’t scare people away, but is it too late?

Product Name: Sennheiser GSP 300

Review Sample Provided by: Sennheiser

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Color

Black and blue

Wearing style

Headband

Impedance

19 Ω

Connector

2 x 3.5 mm / 1 x 3.5 mm (PCV 05 Combo Audio Adaptor)

Frequency response (Microphone)

10 - 15,000 Hz

Frequency response (Headphones)

15 - 26,000 Hz

Sound pressure level (SPL)

113 dB

Ear coupling

Circum-aural

Cable length

2 m

Pick-up pattern

Noise-cancelling

Microphone sensitivity

- 41 dBV/PA

 


Packaging

The box for the GSP 300’s is relatively unassuming with a white background. They didn’t go for an over the top “gaming” theme like a lot of brands do when they offshoot into gaming. Beyond the mention of gaming in the name and the microphone in the photo on the front this could really be the packaging for any quality headphones at Micro Center or Best Buy. The back of the box pulls the headphones apart and has a few icons showing a few of the key features. There is also a short description over on the left in multiple languages. I’m happy you can actually see what you are buying with real photos on the box, but beyond that, there isn’t too much information to go by.

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Inside the box, you will pull out a big plastic clamshell with the headphones inside. It is formed specifically and doesn’t use too much material but seems to protect them very well.

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Along with the headphones, they do also include a dual 2.5mm jack to single jack adapter. This is so you can hook up to laptops and mobile devices with a single jack design but the PC specific dual jack design comes first. This is a nice change with a lot of the “gaming” headphones recently going with a single jack with a splitter included. There is also a small manual included for documentation and information on the 2-year warranty that the GSP 300’s come with.

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Photos and Features

So unlike the PC-350’s, I covered previously the GSP 300’s are smaller and more of an on-ear design rather than the over the ear design I normally prefer. That’s not to say that the smaller design is bad at all, a lot of people like a smaller on-ear design. Anyhow the right side of the headset has the Sennheiser logo down by the earcup and the GSP 300 name in small letters up on the headband. This side also has a volume control knob with a tiny bit of blue trim. Sennheiser kept things simple with no lighting or flashy colors and the only control is an easy to grip volume knob.

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The headband on both sides is expandable and has about an inch and a half of expansion per side so it should fit both small and large head sizes. I will test that out more in our performance testing of course. There are small increments with a solid click for each so it should lock into place and not change after you set it.

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The headband itself splits into two bars across the top of your head. I think this helps with stability without having a thick pad across the top causing you to get hot. On the underside, it has a bright blue padding made out of a mesh material. It reminds me a lot of Logitech’s color and material for their headsets. The padding has a small contact patch because of the split design but it is still surprisingly thick so padding should be comfortable up top.

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While I like the mesh for the headband, I was really happy to see they didn’t use it on the earcups. When Logitech did it it would rub on my ears. Sennheiser went with a fake leather like most headphones. I will say the padding material does look better than most though. Inside is a little more blue covering up the drivers. Sennheiser didn’t release any information on the driver size but they do have a 15-26,000 Hz frequency response range. For comparison, the SteelSeries Arctis that is one of my preferred gaming headsets has a range of 20-22,000 and the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless have a range of 5-30,000 so the GSP 300’s fall in between. The VModa aren’t a great comparison though considering they cost 3 times as much so the GSP 300’s seem to be above even the highest standards for typical gaming headphones.

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The microphone, when compared to the smaller headphone design, is actually fairly big. The arm itself is a little thick and the microphone area itself is even thicker. The boom is made of plastic but in the middle, there is a flexible rubber area to give you a little adjustment. They flip up and turn off the microphone as well when you aren’t using it. It is noise canceling and it has a frequency range of 10–15,000 Hz. This is significantly lower and higher than the microphone on the Arctis 5. It even picks up a little lower than the ModMic 5 in Omni Directional mode and beats it Uni-Directionally.

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The headphone cord is 2 meters long or 6 and a half feet for us Americans. Unlike a lot of gaming headphones, Sennheiser skipped using any sort of sleeving, not that it makes much of a difference. It has a microphone jack and a headphone jack so standard PC compatibility is there from the start and they do include the adapter to combine them back down to a single plug for mobile or console use.

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Audio Quality and Comfort

For performance testing, I hooked the GSP 300 up to the Sound Blaster X7 DAC to make sure it had the best possible signal and spent a few weeks using it as my main headset. This consisted of gaming, movies and TV Shows, and music while working. For gaming, most of my time was spent in Wildlands. This meant many extended sessions where I wore the headset while working then all through the night when gaming as well. Extended sessions are the best way to find out if something doesn’t fit perfectly because any extra pressure will push on an area and start to eventually hurt. I was very surprised that the GSP 300 didn’t cause me any pain or discomfort even after a full day and night on constant use. Typically the headband is a problem area for me but the dual bands and thick padding did a great job fixing that. The smaller earcup design was also a concern, pressure directly on my ears always causes discomfort but most of my ear did fit and they didn’t end up hurting. I would still prefer a larger cup size, though. My ears did warm up a little from the sealed design and the fake leather material but no more than any other headset.

The headset size fit my big head and still had a little room for expansion left so I was a little concerned about smaller heads so I had my wife try the headset on. She had to adjust it down in size but it fit her well as well.

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The other aspect that I really liked was the overall weight. They weren’t as light as the Fatal1ty headset but the lower weight I think did help in the overall comfort in extended use. I was also happy with the build construction. There were no creaks or noises when moving the headset around, something that most other gaming headsets seem to have.

The built-in microphone performed well in my testing. It was more than enough for coms in game and some basic VoIP use and it was noticeably better than the everyday gaming headset microphone. Specification wise it outperformed the SteelSeries Arctis but I did personally feel the Arctis sounded a little better, mostly because it picked up my voice louder than the GSP 300. That said it is a great microphone. The microphone boom turns the microphone off when you flip it up if you need to turn things off on the fly. The flexible area that I mentioned previously though didn’t really help. You can bend it but it doesn’t stick in place so you get what you get. The height adjustment had enough to push the microphone all the way down out of view, though.

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With comfort and the microphone testing out of the way, the rest of my testing was focused on the audio performance. This is where I expected Sennheiser to really perform because they have been doing this for years where most gaming headsets are from much newer companies. First off I noticed right away that the GSP 300’s had a lot of noise isolation. A sealed earcup design and fake leather on the pads give a great seal. I couldn’t hear anything around me at all including me typing on my mechanical keyboard even as I write this. So if you need to listen for a timer or a delivery you will need to keep an ear off, if you want to block out other noise these will do the trick.

Audio performance is exactly where you would expect them to be. They are one of the best sounding gaming headphones, at least at this price point, but you wouldn’t want to compare them to a more expensive pair of headphones from Sennheiser. The bass seems a little boosted to keep up with what I would guess are larger drivers in the larger around ear headsets. I can't confirm that because they didn’t list the driver size, though. Highs are crisp and so are the mids, I would just prefer a more flat EQ when it comes to the lows. They sounded great in movies and music especially with the lows and in game performance was on point as well for a non-surround configuration. They have a wider frequency range than the Arctis and it shows. In other words, they are on par with the best regular gaming headsets if not a little better but for anyone expecting performance like a $300 pair of headphones you will be disappointed.

I was surprised at how much I ended up using the built in volume knob on the earcup as well. I rarely use in-line volume controls but this one is easy to reach and worked really well.

 


Overall and Final Verdict

So going into this one I had extremely high expectations so the GS 300’s were at a disadvantage compared to a normal gaming headset. The last Sennheiser gaming headset I had the chance to test was great and their normal headphones have always been top notch so I went in expecting Sennheiser level of performance. The GSP 300’s ended up meeting that expectation with good performance in a variety of testing situations matching or beating the best normal gaming headsets I’ve tested. That was basically expected, though, so it was the level of comfort that the smaller headphones had that really surprised me. Normally a smaller mostly on-ear design is not comfortable at all for me, but this one gave me no issues, even in extended testing sessions. The great build quality was also a big surprise, normally in this price range there is a little noise when you move them around but the GSP 300’s were rock solid. Beyond that, you get a standard PC connection first, but they also include an adapter for mobile and console use, too many companies have been going with a single pole base with the PC adapter.

As for issues, I didn’t have too many. I really would still prefer a larger earcup design over this, even though this design ended up still being comfortable. I would also prefer a more flat EQ profile, they had a little too much bass boost for my taste.

All in all the GSP 300 ended up being a great headset that didn’t resort to any flashy lighting or “gaming” focused features to try to stand out. You get a comfortable headset, Sennheiser performance on both the headphones and the microphone, and you get the built in volume controls that ended up being very useful. So the GSP 300 is on par with the other top gaming headsets on the market like the Arctis 5 and the Cloud series of headsets. With an MSRP of just under $100 you also aren’t paying a premium for the Sennheiser name when compared to the other top headsets, this is a great wired option that while not a budget priced option, is still in line with normal gaming headphones.

fv5tophonors

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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