Review: EPOS Sennheiser GSP 670
Any serious gamer ranks their audio equipment near the top of the list of importance. The quality and performance of a set of headphones can make all the difference in the world to white-hot competiton. Ambient noises, the background music track, the sound effects… on run-of-the-mill headphones, a game is a game. Replace run-of-the-mill with premium quality and a game can suddenly be an immersive heart-pounding, adrenaline-inducing, otherworldly out-of-body experience. To a serious gamer, the sound is everything.
The question is: How does the premium closed-back wireless EPOS|Sennheiser GSP 670 headset fare? Does it have what it takes to take you to other dimensions? Or will you simply wish you spent the money on a new pair of kicks? At a retail price of $319, this headset is definitely one you’ll want to learn more about before deciding to add it to your gaming arsenal.
This is a heavy-duty and very functional piece of equipment. Aside from a couple somewhat hum-drum, mediocre plasticky designs (the GSP 300 and GSP 700 come to mind), Sennheiser generally makes a beautiful product. While the GSP 670 isn’t as sexy as the Momentums, the sleek design can stand on its own. This black beauty is made from sturdy plastic that feels solid; perhaps even a little bulky. In fact, it not only looks and feels solid, it also has some weight to it as well. When you first handle it, you’ll wonder if 14 ounces (almost 400g) is going to be too much of a workout for your neck. The front profile of this headset is very large… this is definitely not meant to be a subtle design whatsoever.
The headset is adjustable with sliders on the split headband that add or release pressure to the bottom of the ear cups, allowing you to fine-tune the way the headset hugs the sides of your face. The headset also extends to quite a large size, allowing for any size noggin. The ear cups consist of memory foam and faux suede leather.
On the left ear cup, you’ll find a micro-USB port used for charging and for updating. The large rotating microphone boom is stationed on this side and not removable. A nice little feature with this microphone is that, when you rotate the microphone upward, it automatically mutes it. On the right ear cup, there are two volume dials: a small one for chat volume and a large volume one. Bluetooth connectivity is possible with this headset. Unfortunately, it appears that you cannot use it in simultaneously in both wireless mode and Bluetooth mode. So, if you want to pair it with your iPhone, it’s not going to be working on your PS4.
Overall, first impressions are two thumbs up. The headset looks and feels premium and, besides the wonky Bluetooth application, so far seems to be what you would expect from a premium-priced headset.
Ergonomics & Comfort
As mentioned above, this is a BIG headset, like IN-YOUR-FACE, chunky big. If you’re going for understated and subtle, this isn’t your style. Let’s not forget that it’s not just big, it’s heavy. The question of the day, though, is: how does it feel?
Surprisingly, with a little effort of making fine adjustments in tension as well as the length, the GSP 670 fits like glove. It is designed to extend to accommodate any head size or shape and feels very secure. The plastic body allows for some flexibility as you fit the large memory foam/faux leather cups over the ears. Your ears feel comfortably snug to the point that most ambient sounds from your environment pretty much disappear. Because of the leather-like material, the ears can get a little warm after a while if you’re not sitting in air-conditioning.
Regarding the weight, it doesn’t feel as heavy on the head as you would think. As it hugs your head (if positioned and tensioned correctly), this is a headset that can be worn for several hours at a time without resulting in a headache. If the tension does get too high, simply dial it down some for instant relief. The thick memory foam padding also makes a big difference in nicely distributing the weight of this 14-ounce elegant monster. These feel great. Don’t let the chunkiness scare you off.
Everything seems to be in the right place and the design well thought out. Even the large volume dial is placed perfectly, for those times you have to turn the volume down quickly to hear someone trying to talk to you. While these are a bit bulky and heavy, it’s not bulky and heavy enough to detract. There is definitely a feeling of balance when wearing these. If that last statement doesn’t make much sense, just put them on. You’ll understand.
Now for the meat and potatoes: How does the GSP 670 sound?
Let’s put it this way… you’ll be breathing heavy and your heart will be pounding when you hear your opponent suddenly pounce behind you, along with every sweet audible detail and cue that the developers wanted you to pick up on. The advantage of accurate spatial positioning, as well as the very full and crystal clear sounds, will give you an incredible edge over your sorry competitors with their cheap earbuds from a TJ Maxx end cap.
Out of the box, this is, by far, the best-sounding gaming headset that this reviewer has yet to encounter. The frequency response ranges from 10 Hz to over 23,000 Hz. In other words, the sounds coming through these sound really full. From the low to high end, all the sounds have depth and clarity without sounding harsh or muddy. EPOS | Sennheiser definitely does not disappoint in this most crucial area.
Besides the audio performance, the well-designed ear cups truly isolate you from background noise from your current environment. You really can be totally immersed for a total rapture-like escape into the game you are playing.
The microphone is touted as “broadcast quality”. That is a debatable claim, however, for gaming, the microphone more than suffices. The unidirectional mic does well in picking up your voice instead of your loud CPU fan. With the Noise Cancellation feature on, such ambient noises pretty much disappear.
The GSP 670 battery is rated at about 20 hours, which does seem to be accurate. You can charge your headset while playing. The battery seems to recharge quickly; you’ll get about 2 hours of playtime from a 7-minute charge.
To update your firmware, make EQ adjustments, and more, you’ll need to use the Sennheiser Gaming Suite.
In the Playback section, you can select from a variety of EQ preset schemes or save your own custom settings. You are also able to switch between 2.0 and 7.1 surround sound playback modes. Everything is easy to change. Simply drag the EQ points up and down until you get things sounding just right, which you can test by clicking the Sound Test button as you make adjustments. The default “flat” sound profile sounds great and may suffice for anyone who is not an extreme audiophile.
In the Microphone section, the are many opportunities to customize its performance as well. Starting from the bottom left side of the window, you’ll see the Voice Enhancer section that allows you to modify your voice as it is picked up by the microphone. There are three options: Off, Warm, and Clear. You’ll want to try all three settings to see which fits your preference. At the bottom center of the window, you’ll see a row of three buttons with a contextual dial beside it. This dial is used to adjust whatever particular microphone option you are setting. There is a Gain button allowing you to adjust the gain (think “microphone volume”). Next to it is the Side Tone button, which is the volume of your voice being picked up on the microphone and then played through the headphones (For example, if this is at the lowest setting, your voice will not be played back in your ears and you’ll likely not hear yourself speak, especially with the volume up.) The third one is the Noise Gate button, which helps to mitigate background noise. On the right side of the window is the Noise Cancellation section where you can adjust how much ambient noise you’d like to filter out. This is a great option for gamers with loud mechanical keyboards and mothers in the background yelling at you to take out the trash.
There seems to be a slight lag between any microphone setting changes and the actual adjustments being heard over the headphones.
Overall Impression & Rating
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution and can afford the premium pricing (you get what you pay for), then the EPOS|Sennheiser GSP 670 is a must-have for any serious gamer. For the gaming industry, this is currently the best headset on the market. The top-of-the-line GSP 670 is an investment that will bring you a great return… you’ll have a distinct edge over that player who is simply using the Beats that Grandma bought him for Christmas from Best Buy, your teammates will be able to have clearer communications with you, and most importantly, the audio quality will transport you to whatever world you are playing in with an immersive quality unmatched by any other gaming headset out there. This is a no-brainer. If you have the cash, spend it on this.