Sennheiser U 320 Universal Gaming Headset
|Sennheiser U 320 Universal Gaming Headset|
|Features, Specs and More|
|Testing the U 320|
It's no secret that many of the staff here at BCCHardware are gamers. I am part of a clan myself and enjoy some good PC gaming. Lately, I've also enjoy some console gaming on my Xbox 360 and have actually lined up for the past two Halo titles with some friends. Many gaming headsets only cover one specific platform, and while there are some multi-platform headsets on the market, many of them are clunky and are certainly not elegant. Often to get all the platform compatibility, the companies seem to skimp in the way of build and audio quality in order to make the price attractive.
Sennheiser has a new product to help answer these short comings. A while back we looked at both the PC360 Gaming headset for the PC and we later looked at the X320 headset for the Xbox 360 console. Today we are looking at the U 320 Universal Gaming headset that promises support for Mac, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. This headset looks like a refreshed X320 and we'll find out today just what it offers and how it compares to other gaming headsets we've looked at recently.
The U 320 has a lot of great features - including being very comfortable. The open design allows sound to leak in (and out) and helps keep your ears and head cool during long gaming sessions. As is the case with other Sennheiser headsets we've looked at recently, microphone mute is achieved by raising the "boom". This is great when you have a phone call and you don't want others listening in.
Another great feature is the dual-volume control that we've seen on other headsets from Sennheiser, SteelSeries and others. This allows you to adjust your in-game volume and the voice-chat volume independently of each other. This is extremely handy if you want to hear the strategy of your team, in-game sounds or if you have some 12-year old thinking he's God's Gift to Gaming and you simply want to turn him down. It works well (on the Xbox 360) for all of these.
Before we dive into the review much further, we'll take a quick refresh at who Sennheiser is and what they are all about.
Sennheiser has been around for over 65 years and they know audio. They have pioneered soem great audio technology over the years and ahve positioned themselves in such a way that they will likely be around long after many other audio companies bite the dust. Below is some information from their site that better describes a few aspects of their vision.
We apply the highest ethical standards, exhibit honesty and fairness in everything we do, and honor our commitments. We take personal responsibility for our actions and treat everyone fairly and with trust and respect.
We treat our team members, clients, partners, and suppliers with respect and sensitivity and recognize the importance of diversity. We respect all individuals and value their contributions.
We believe in developing a sense of entrepreneurship in each and every employee with regard to their work, projects, and roles. We all strive to be proactive and take an active interest in Sennheiser’s business. We continuously strive to improve efficiency, quality, and cost control. We encourage innovation, new ideas, and opportunities for improvement.
We carefully consider all perspectives and consequences in our decisions and acknowledge our responsibility for the things we do. We work towards solutions that are optimal for the company, considering all stakeholders’ input.
We strive for excellence in everything we do. This includes, but is not limited to, serving our clients in the best possible way, managing our internal processes and people as well as focusing on financial performance.
We do business with our full energy and commitment for the industry we work in. We take pride in our job and draw satisfaction from excellence.
Curiosity & Openness:
We support and foster a climate of innovation in the things we do. Innovation is a key element of our success, be it in our products and services as well as in the way we do business.
We've reviewed quite a few headsets over the years - most recently the CM Storm Ceres 400 Headset and the Tt eSPORTS Shock Spin Headset. The U 320 is the first "Universal" headset that I've done, although I've used a bunch of headsets on a bunch of different platforms, this is the first one that claims to handle all of the current popular consoles and computer OS'.
The U 320 is Sennheiser's top-of-the-line (and only) Universal Gaming Headset that has almost identical specifications to the X320, but it falls slightly behind their top-end PC gaming headsets. When priced out at $170, it ranks up there with other high-end headsets from Turtle Beach, Triton, Psyko Audio and Astro. Sennheiser believes they can compete by offering a great product that works equally well on pretty much any platform that you will use for gaming.
Let's find out if they have what it takes in the U 320. On the next page we'll start by taking a closer look at this unit.