37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
My new gaming set. And classical music set. Bar none.
, December 16, 2009
This review is from: Sennheiser PC 350 Collapsible Gaming Headset with Vol Control & Microphone Mute (Personal Computers)
Wow... Just wow... I actually started using these in place of my other set for listening to my classical music when I'm working on the computer. (they won't replace my best set for my quiet time moments of harmony but; they're about a tenth the price too...) After a few weeks of use, they sound warm, sharp but not shrill, not bright, yet full of impact. A nice tonal response all the way across. Not perfect but far from the rather crappy norm.
The higher impedance of these also makes it easier on the equipment and lower on the noise (lower impedance = higher introduced noise; downside is lower power output capability from the same amp (unless it has a multi-voltage-rail type design, but that's another topic).) However, the stock on-board sound-card in one of my test rigs was more than capable of still reaching physically painful volumes without any trouble and have room left on the knob. With higher-end, more potent sound-cards or external setups, lots of room left on the knob.
Still, every person hears differently so you can't go by anyone's opinions but your own. (The average person starts to have a high-frequency fall-off in their early middle age, for example. I do not (yet) but take extra special care of my hearing wearing earplugs where many people do not.) But for an SQ buff like me, these are beyond good, well into very nice. Not perfect, but what is...
Those 'other' gaming sets (and honestly, I've tried them all) and other tiny-multi-speaker sets that try to do a 5.1 setup can not truly hold a candle to the sound quality of these (and you don't need those for 5.1 type sound. I play competitive FPS with these and can easily tell right where everything is without question).
As for the mic; everyone continually asks me what mic I'm using cause I sound so clear and crisp and precise. Since buying these, about half of my regular competition have done the same. All with the same opinions of comfort and quality save one (He's about deaf anyhow honestly. He found them bland but he has the above for-mentioned problem to a rather extreme so he likes very bright sounding speakers to make up the difference for his actual ears. Again, just an example of human differences and how no two people will ever hear exactly the same.)
Comfort, very good, not great. I can play for about 6 hours without too much problem thuogh. After that I have to take them off for a while. But I've found that to be pretty much true of all over the ear or on the ear sets. I'm worried about the longevity of the ear padding material but only time will tell that. I actually wish they had a width selector instead of just the arch effect and springs of the cups. But it's working ok. Tiny bit weak on the bottom. I've seen a few people actually strap them around to snug them up but I'm fine without that step. Doing so however does bring out the lower frequencies even more-so. So, some difference of hearing can simply be due to how they sit on your head. They are very adjustable, but.. Just that one thing missing. I've tried the strap myself, and it works great. But honestly I'm just too lazy. Still without it they are still exceptional in almost every way.
It would also be nice if the mic could be switched to the other side as my hardware is on the right. Mic is on the left and so is the cabling. Cables are plenty long but... still... It would also be nice if they could collapse cup to cup to keep dust or what not out of the speaker areas, but they fold both up into the top so the speaker cups point in the same direction. Another tiny point but something to note.
Volume control and mic mute are just a hair too far down the wire for me. But if you want to tuck the wire into your jacket or something for a long battle session, then it's too short so, unless they make it movable, no winners there. In the end it's very functional with almost no scratch effect and the mic mute works without the notorious bump some give ya when triggered.
Even though it's generally not necessary with the good equipment, I go through a break-in period for all of my equipment before trying to rate them just to make sure any build stiffness is out and they are working normally. I also use them normally at very low volume levels due to my sensitive hearing. Even at these low volumes, they sound wonderful and that's actually saying something. The human ear will tend to 'like' louder (to a point obviously) sounds when comparing different sounds so doing comparisons at lower volumes can give you more truth to what 'you' like. A little test I like to do for myself is how quiet I still like them. Under extremely low power (volume), some speakers change their response characteristics a bit. These sing to me all the way down to 'off'.
Part of my problem being a gamer but being so picky was I never liked my 'gaming' headsets. I spent way too much money trying to find a set I could live with. These are the exception. Not only can I live with them, I like them very much. To make sure my opinion didn't change over time, I even waited over 6 months before posting this review and continued shopping for the perfect gaming set. Right now, I'm stopping and just keeping these. Nothing has come close to the whole package.
All in all, a wonderful product. For the price, near impossible to best. Or at least no one has done it yet. In the end overall quality will depend in your listening tastes, quality of your hearing, and the size/shape of your head. But Sennheiser is known for quality sound reproduction, and these do not disappoint. Could you do better? Sure. You'll most likely spend quite a bit more too. I don't rate max points very often. But these really deserve it.
Update: Jan 2016 - These are STILL GOING. I've replaced the cup pads twice, the top pad has worn out completely but it's not affecting the comfort too much. But the sound both in and out is still beautiful. I've actually worn out the 3.5mm connector in my PC from changing it so often from speaker to headset. I wear them while working and playing most days. So much so that my kids (unfortunately) are used to seeing me in them and come over and grab them to be like Daddy. If for nothing else, they've lasted, pure and simple, and still sound great doing it.
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