Audio Quality and Performance
For testing, I have been using the Game Zero’s off and on all the way back to after our GSP 300 review. In that time I had to chance to use them in a few different types of games, while watching movies, and listening to music. I also had multiple instances where I wore the headset for extended periods of time, sometimes all day other than breaks. All of my testing had the Game Zero’s hooked directly to my Creative Labs X7 DAC for the best possible performance as well.
For me, comfort trumps everything else and if a headset or pair of headphones aren’t comfortable I will never keep them on long enough to care about how good they sound. So this was my first priority when I started testing the Game Zeroes. Being a full sized headset, they were already at an advantage because that is my preference. I like when a headset is large enough to go around my ears and not push on my ears at all and they did that well. The earcup padding was comfortable and extra thick keeping them comfortable, even in extended sessions. The sealed earcup design, however, did get a little warm when wearing them for a while, I think I would prefer the open air design of the Game Ones for that reason. The leather they used for the padding also added to the heat. Now the top headband was much better than most traditional headband designs and was rarely uncomfortable. The large design also had a lot of room for adjustment, helping keep things fitting correctly as well. They fit my wife’s smaller head fine and when on my big head there was still room to expand if needed.
For audio testing, like I said I tested the Game Zero’s in game, with movie, and while listening to music. Frankly, I didn’t find a situation that they didn’t sound amazing. Bass was crisp and even when pushing the limits with something like Rap God, a song that most gaming headsets struggle with on the lows, sounded great. The smaller drivers that I was concerned with originally didn’t give us any trouble here. I could hear footsteps in my shooters with good directionality and movies were crisp and clear. Bass wasn’t overbearing but it was still there. As someone who prefers to not mess with the EQ too much and hear things the way they were produced, I was very happy, if you are expecting the Game Zero’s to rattle your glasses off from bass you will be disappointed. Nothing I’ve tested comes close to these for pure audio performance.
As for the microphone, it is in the same range. The large microphone on the semi-flexible boom sets the mark to beat. While I never like hearing my voice it did a good job of picking it up and it didn’t compress the low end like most microphones do. In the past year, a lot of the gaming headsets have improved their microphones but Sennheiser is still ahead. The noise canceling worked well as well, cutting out most of my typing and not picking up the air conditioning very much though it is still loud enough you can’t avoid some of it getting picked up. The microphone itself has some flex to it in the middle but I would prefer a little more adjustment. I was a big fan of the built in on and off switch when you flip it up though, much easier than trying to find the microphone button each time.
Beyond that, there are other aspects to consider. For example, the sealed earcup design did help cut down on external noise. With it being summer the AC in the office is constantly running and having the Game Zeros on did cut that noise down but it didn’t cut it out completely. Storms outside, on the other hand, were completely inaudible, it is going to depend a lot on the tone of the noise. The extremely long cord that was included for PC use is a nice feature but it did leave a mess on my desk. I have my DAC right on my desk so the longer cord wasn’t needed, if you are in a situation like me just plan on using a Velcro wire tie to wrap some of the extra cord up. If you have your PC away from your desk at all though you will be happy, this cord is extremely long!