Sennheiser PC 360 Gaming Headset - Testing and Usage

Article Index
Sennheiser PC 360 Gaming Headset
Closer Look
Features and Specifications
Testing and Usage
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Sennheiser PC 360 Testing:

Testing a gaming headset is pretty simple - and a lot of fun.  The best types of games that demonstrate precision multi-channel audio are usually FPS games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3.  I played quite a few different games with this headset including Brawl Busters, Age of Empires Online and more - just to test out the full scope that this stereo headset has to offer.  Please remember that this a stereo headset - not a 5.1 headset so it will not offer as positional audio as these other units.  What Sennheiser attempts to make up for is quality.  None of these 5.1 headsets offer a great music listening experience.



Testing a headset is pretty easy, but writing about it is a little bit tougher.  It's hard to convey the fit, feel and sound of any audio product.  Also, because of the size of the headset speakers, it's pretty hard to test them with reference microphones here at BCCHardware.  Most of my "testing" will be mainly my experiences with the headset and what I liked and didn't like.

Before we start I should let you all know that I am not a professional gamer by any stretch of the imagination.  Sennheiser states that these are good for the professional gamer, but when I tried these on, they didn't magically turn me into a pro.  I am more than a casual gamer and have been involved in a gaming clan The Devil's Rejects since the Call of Duty World at War days.  I've played with a lot of pretty nice headsets over the years - including some great 5.1 setups, and other premium stereo headsets.

In the past most of my headsets have been of the closed design and while this helps block out external sounds, it does make it hard to hear other people in your house or at the LAN if you have the headphones on - covering your ears fully.  The solution is to slide the headphones up on one side so you can hear your neighbor, but in doing that you lose the in-game audio from that side of the game.  The solution to find a headset that has an open design that allows you to hear some of the noise in your non-virtual world.

The PC 360 headset gives you the ability to hear generally where sound is coming from.  Again, this is a stereo headset, so don't expect any amazing ultra-precise directional audio.  What it does deliver is ultra-rich, high quality and crisp audio out of two channels.  The quality of the in-game audio coming out of these when connected to a Creative Audigy X-Fi is amazing.  The soundcard can deliver great audio with excellent THD levels and this is all maximized in the PC 360 headset. 

While the headset alone won't make you a better gamer, it does provide extreme comfort, amazing audio and a wonderful experience overall.  During testing time here at the office and even when writing reviews, hunting for news or editing, I've worn this headset for hours on end and I've never found them to be uncomfortable at all.  These clearly are the best fitting, most comfortable headset I've ever used.  Ever.


Music and Movies:

According to the specifications, the frequency response range of this headset is from 15Hz to 28,000Hz which should make it ideal for pretty much any audio that you pump through it.  Music is - in one word - wow.  I used an SPL meter and measure the maximum audio output I can get from these when plugged into my computer's X-Fi soundcard.  They max out ~106dbi but they start to distort some of the vocals at just over 100dbi. 

How does this translate to end user experience?  They are great.  For normal music listening - and even listening to it loud - they are crisp, clear, clean and offer a lot of bass - where they need to.  They seem very accurate in their reproduction of audio and don't have heavily tweaked bass that ruins the experience.  My subjective analysis is that they are accurate.  Vocal tracks and power ballads are stellar, while guitar solo's and treble charged tracks are crisp.  Bass heavy tracks won't disappoint either.

The same rings true with movies.  They are great and offer a tremendously robust listening experience.  Volume is adequate in every instance that I've used them and the on-ear volume control and on-mic swing-up-to-mute feature are great.


Microphone Quality:

On the mic side of things, it is a similar story.  The mic is extremely good.  You don't have to take our word for it though; you can download a recording of the mic in use when plugged into a Creative X-Fi Platinum sound card.  Get the MP3 file here.  I used the Creative audio console to record the audio and then converted to MP3 in Audacity without any tweaking.