Sennheiser G4ME ONE Gaming Headset

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Product: Sennheiser G4ME ONE Gaming Headset
Provided By: Sennheiser
Price: ~$249 Online at time of publication

Introduction:

Sennheiser is well-know for their microphones and headphones as well as their PC-line of gaming headsets. Back in 2012 we looked at the PC 360 Gaming headset and today we are following up with the G4ME ONE headset. This headset shares quite a few of the physical features of the PC 360 - including the over-the-ear open-air design as well as the microphone that pivots up to mute. A lot of the shape and design elements are very similar as well - including the velour ear pads, flexible mid-microphone portion as well as the volume control on the right ear.

They have freshened up a few things though and these include a better padded headband, a classy white/red/black color scheme that makes them stand out; and we can't forget to mention there have been a few upgrades to the transducer elements themselves. The new G4ME ONE headphones claim to have a slightly higher output and we'll find out if they can do that without distortion and give you everything you really need in a stereo gaming headset.

To be fair, the G4ME ONE headset appears to be a refresh, but if you're currently rocking an aging headset from Sennheiser - or any other company, you should stick around to see what these have to offer, and if what they have to offer is worth what they want to take - $249.95.

Box Front Box Back

 

About Sennheiser:

Sennheiser has been around for over 65 years and they know audio.  They have pioneered some great audio technology over the years and have positioned themselves for a long and healthy future.  Below is some information from their site that better explains a few aspects of their vision.
 
Integrity
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.
 
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.
 
Entrepreneurial Spirit
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.
 
Empathy
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.
 
 
Excellence
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.
 
Passion
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 and 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. 

 

Initial Thoughts:

We've reviewed quite a few gaming headsets over the years, and some of the more recent units include the Genius Mordax Universal Amplified Gaming Headset, the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 QuietPoint Headphones as well as the Rosewill R-Studio Sonas Headset. These are vastly different headphones and headsets and we certainly can't do direct comparisons with any of these. You also have to keep in mind that they range in price from $60 - $199 and the Sennheiser G4ME ONE are currently coming in at $249. What we expect with this headset is an experience that ranks right up at the top of any gaming headset and we really do hope that Sennheiser can deliver on this.

One In the Box

 

The G4ME ONE is a basic - although high quality - headset from a German-based company that wants to turn heads and make people take notice - not only because of the great sound, but the updated G4ME ONE headset also brings some amazing curb-appeal to the mix as well. That being said for $249, it will have to deliver a solid experience if they want to end up on the gamers short list. The G4ME ONE is the open-air version of the two current flagship models from Sennheiser with the G4ME ZERO closing up the other side of the ship. The G4ME ZERO headset is foldable and is a closed-cup design.

On the following pages, we'll take a closer look at the G4ME ONE and see if they have what it takes for me to retire my PC 360 headset.


Closer Look:

As is the case with most Sennheiser products, the G4ME ONE - and even the package as we saw on the previous page - are built to impress. The quality of this headset is really solid and while the headband is made of plastic, it is nice and wide and looks to be pretty durable. I really like the white ear-cups with red accents combined with the black headband. They top off the styling by using black velour on the pads of the ear-cups and then cover the speakers with red velour for a touch of class. All in all, this is a pretty attractive package.

Side Profile

 

 

The cable on the G4ME ONE is wrapped with a braided sheath and this braid is actually very flexible and adds quality to the product. This is one of several differences between the PC 360 and the G4ME ONE. The previous generation had a standard rubber-wrapped cable and hopefully this new cable will add a bit more durability to the whole package.

The actual connects are gold-plated and while this gold-plating is often over-rated, it's still nice to see that Sennheiser takes every opportunity to deliver the best sound quality they can to your ears.

Volume Control
Volume Control

MIc Side
Mic Side

 

I really like the volume control on the G4ME ONE headset. It is large knob on the right ear that has a depression for your finger and it allows you to quickly adjust volume on the fly. It is a very smooth operating knob and it works very well. The microphone on this headset looks pretty impressive. As we'll cover on the next page, it has some pretty nice specifications as well. There is no in-line control on this headset so if you want to adjust volume you use the right knob - if you want to mute you microphone, simply tip it up and there is a switch in the pivot that mutes your microphone. It works well and becomes second nature very quickly.

Adjusted Large

 

 

The cans are nice and spacious for my medium-sized ears. They are nice and light and with the open design they do help keep your head and ears quite cool. The downside to this is that they leak your game audio and in turn allow noise to reach your ears. The benefit to this is a cooler experience, and the ability to hear your team-mates if they are sitting beside you at a LAN. Ever since I tried open-air headphones for gaming, I've been using them almost exclusively and these deliver great sound and allow your ears to breath for long gaming sessions.

Microphone

 

Sennheiser is a microphone company and they don't simply throw a microphone onto a pair of headphones and call it a headset. They have put a great microphone on this headset and it works great and sounds even better. Everyone who I've gamed with says the call quality through Mumble, Skype, Teamspeak and Google Talk is crystal clear.

On the next page we'll take a look at the features and specifications from Sennheiser before we jump into testing.


Overview:

As we carry on through this section we are pulling a bunch of the information from the Sennheiser product page. For all of the details, please check out the product page for up to date information and all the details. The information below has been posted for your convenience.

Feel the rush, the beats, the tension and the awesome sound - not your headset. The Sennheiser G4ME™ ONE open acoustic PC gaming headset features an extremely accurate and natural sound experience. The lightweight design with Sennheiser transducer technology optimized for professional PC gaming features a pro noise-cancelling microphone with intuitive mute function and integrated volume control on the right ear cup. The open design and XXL plush velvet ear pads ensure that air can be led through to your ears, keeping your head light and cool during long gaming sessions and makes G4ME™ ONE the ultimate comfortable headset for PC home gaming.

 

Features:

  • Keep your head cool while gaming – due to the open design air can be led through to your ears
  • Ultimate comfort - plush velvet ear pads let your skin breathe and give you the best comfort
  • Designed for players – a new modern lightweight design and robust mechanics for long sustainability
  • Hear sound the way game developers intended – most games sound better with a Sennheiser gaming headset because games are recorded on Sennheiser audio equipment
  • Hear every detail of the game - extreme sonic clarity and accuracy with Sennheiser’s original transducer technology. The speakers have been customized and optimized for PC gaming
  • Perfect for long gaming sessions - due to the XXL ear pads ensuring no ear pressure but only plenty of space around the ears
  • Crystal clear conversations – are ensured with the professional noise canceling microphone
  • Convenient microphone mute – automatically mute the microphone by simply raising the boom arm
  • Intuitive control – the volume control is integrated on the right ear cup
  • Braided fabric cable – reduces tangling and for long-lasting durability
  • Peace of mind - 2-years international warranty

 

 

   
Wearing style Double-sided headband
Connector 2 x 3.5mm
Cable length 3m
Weight 300g
Color black & white


Headphones

 
Frequency response (headphones) 15 – 28,000 Hz
Impedance 50 Ω
Sound pressure level (SPL) 116 dB
Ear coupling around-the-ear, open acoustic design


Microphone

 
Impedance 2 kΩ
Frequency response (microphone) 50 - 16,000 Hz
Pick-up pattern Noise-canceling
Sensitivity as per 121 TR 9-5 -38 dBV/Pa

 

On the next page I'll plug these in and see if the looks and the specifications don't disappoint.

 


G4ME ONE 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 Titanfall and Battlefield 4. I played quite a few different games with this headset including League of Legends, Titanfall, Call of Duty: Ghosts 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.

Gaming:

Testing a headset is pretty easy, but writing about it is a little bit tougher. It's hard to really explain the 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. They did however make me want to play games more and make sure that next year I get on a team that can beat down "Jimmy the King". The truth is, 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 as well as other premium stereo headsets.

In the days of yesteryear, most of my headsets had 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. For just over a year, I've been a convert to the open air design and am glad to give these a go. This headset should allow you to hear some of the noise in your non-virtual world.

Much like the PC 360 headset, the G4ME ONE 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 any soundcard I tried is amazing. If you have an older motherboard with crappy audio, you may want to upgrade to something a little better so you will be able to enjoy the excellent THD levels and just relish in the audio coming from this 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, editing and even playing at a LAN party, I've worn this headset for hours on end and I've never found them to be uncomfortable at all. The G4ME ONE follow the leader of comfort - the Sennheiser PC 360 headset and don't disappoint.

Side View

 

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. Listening to music through the G4ME ONE amazing. I used an SPL meter and measure the maximum audio output I can get from these when plugged into my computer's ASUS Xonar soundcard.  They max out ~112dbi and remain pretty much distortion free all the way to the top.

 

The G4ME ONE headset provides a wonderful user experience. 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. I really enjoyed an older Buckcherry album with this headset. A lot.

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

 

Microphone Quality:

On the mic side of things, it is a similar story. The mic is extremely good and appears to be identical to the one found in the older PC 360 headset. Take a listen to the microphone sample here and you'll know what I mean.

 


Final Thoughts:

I was pretty excited to get my hands on another good Sennheiser gaming headset. After reviewing the PC 360 headset as well as a few others for console gaming, I was hoping that this would live up to and exceed what we've come to expect from Sennheiser. It didn't disappoint. The Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset offers exactly what you should expect with a premium headset - comfort, quality, performance and amazing style. This headset takes the PC 360 and grows it up into a very attractive package without compromising on quality.

As I have mentioned throughout the review, I'm a gaming enthusiast - not a professional gamer. I am able to hold my own in Call of Duty, and a few other titles. Part of the gaming experience that I enjoy involves using a microphone for team co-ordination. I don't believe the Sennheiser G4ME ONE improved my gameplay as I moved from an aging PC 360 to this unit, but it offes a little louder and cleaner output as well as a lot better looks.

 

I'll try to break down my final thoughts about this headset into a few different sections that will help me determine a final score for this product.

Audio Quality - This is one of several areas where the Sennheiser headset shines. The audio quality for music, movies and of course, games is excellent. All of the aspects appear quite balanced and the only time I tweaked anything was just for testing. The stock non-EQ setting of my soundcard offers great performance and clear, crisp balanced audio for all of our entertainment needs.  They are plenty loud and we measure the volume at just over 110dbi.

Functionality - Right out of the box, the Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset fits like a glove and feels like it's been a part of my life for a long time. They fit well and the microphone mute is natural and very handy. If you don't want to talk to someone on Teamspeak or Ventrillo, you usually swing the microphone up and out of the way - this mutes the mic. If you want to control your volume in-game, you don't have to fumble and find the on-cord control. The volume control is on your right ear. Fantastic.

Gaming - Gaming is what Sennheiser has targeted this headset to do and it did not disappoint. I love the open design of the ear cups and look forward to being able to use a pair of these at a LAN without having to remove one side so I can hear my teammate sitting beside me. The stereo separation is great and while they aren't surround sound, they offer extreme comfort and great quality to complete your gaming experience.

Value - The Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset is currently selling for about $240 and at this price, it's steep for a lot of casual gamers. The real dilema is the fact that even though it's quite expensive, this headset is worth the money. The quality and performance of it make it worth much more than a standard headset and the comfort is also worth a bit extra in my opinion. Cheaper headsets will save you money, but won't give you the comfort and the quality that the G4ME ONE offers. Is that worth $249 to you? It depends on your budget, but after considering all of these factors, the price tag seems a bit easier to swallow.

Quality - The overall quality of this headset is fantastic. The microphone boom seems secure and solid and after using an older PC 360 headset for about a year and a half, I know for sure that the microphone mute and pivot is built to last. The rest of the headset build is very solid as well and I can't find anything wrong with the overall design, fit and finish in my opinion.

Mic Focused

 

At the end of the day the Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset is a great product and if you have the budget to bag one of these for your gaming machine, I don't think you'll be disappointed. The high-quality audio, amazing comfort and intuitive control for volume and microphone mute seem worth the money. This easily wins our Editor's Choice - Gold award. If you're looking for a great headset and don't need 5.1 audio, the G4ME ONE headset is sure to please. All that being said, if you've got a PC 360 headset, the upgrade to the G4ME ONE is very minimal and I would save your money until you are replacing them for another reason (someone sits on them for example). 

No matter how you slice it, this is a great product.

 

Pros:
  • Excellent comfort (feels like I'm wearing baby kittens on my ears)
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Great build quality 
  • Intuitive controls

 

Cons:

  • Pricey at $249 - but worth it for the quality

Gold

 

I'd like to thank Sennheiser for letting us take a look at their G4ME ONE headset. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, we'd love to hear it.  Please post it in the forum at the "Comments" link below.