Compatible with PCs, Macs, and the PlayStation 4, the Sennheiser GSP 370 wireless gaming headset aims to bring top-notch audio experiences to gamers. Retailing for $199.95, the headset offers a broadcast-quality microphone, a whopping 100 hours of battery life, and a customizable audio experience using the Sennheiser Gaming Suite software.
A premium PC gaming headset?
My first thought when taking the Sennheiser GSP 370 out of its box was that it didn’t feel like a $200 gaming headset. Its lightweight, all-plastic construction is sturdy with a strong headband, but it lacks a sense of premium quality. The earcups have thin padding and are a little small for my taste. They slide up and down the headband but don’t fold up for packing away or twist 90-degrees for wearing around my neck. It doesn’t seem like Sennheiser wanted to make carrying this headset around easy or convenient, but at least the USB transmitter tucks neatly inside either earcup when it’s not in use.
The headset isn’t too uncomfortable, and I had no problem wearing it for hours at a time. But at the same time, I never quite forgot that it was on my head either.
My biggest complaint about the GSP 370’s design is the tiny power switch under the left earcup that felt like it might snap off each time I used it. There’s no way I can overstate how much I hate it. Plus, it’s small enough that I have to hunt for it, so it’s not the easiest headset to quickly switch off when in a rush.
The headset also lacks extra features one might expect from a gaming headset in this price range. There’s a giant volume knob on the right side, but that’s about it. It’s not that I necessarily need a full collection of options that some competing headsets offer, but it wouldn’t hurt to have them. Especially given how there’s a strange delay between turning the volume knob and getting a response from the computer. There were times when it took a half-second for the volume knob to register. The delay occurs when I adjust the volume directly from my keyboard. It’s like the headset needs to realize a change has happened, then suddenly decides to catch up.
Fortunately, the headset makes up for its disappointing design with its sound quality.
Playing hard with the Sennheiser GSP 370
The audio from the GSP 370 is incredibly clean. Dialogue, footsteps, and gunshots were impressively crisp when I played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I could almost swear that I heard every single bullet hitting me before I died.
Given how there’s an almost shocking lack of hard controls on the headset, players have to rely heavily on the Sennheiser Gaming Suite software to customize their experiences. Using it, gamers can set the equalizer to their taste, switch the virtual 7.1 surround sound on and off, and adjust the microphone gain. The Gaming Suite also handles the headset’s firmware updates, which were relatively quick and painless.
Sennheiser’s software isn’t as comprehensive as I’d like, but it gets the job done. However, the annoying part is that the application doesn’t show on the Windows taskbar when it’s running. Its tiny icon is limited to the system tray on the bottom right side, which meant some awkward Alt-Tabbing while I set my audio profiles.
There are presets for music and movies, but the only gaming profile is for “esports,” which pushes the treble way up while dialing down the bass. This is perhaps meant to give competitors an edge, but it’s far from what I want from my single-player Modern Warfare experience. Those explosions need to rock my skull! So, it’s strange that a gaming headset doesn’t have a pre-set profile for shooters and other types of games to boost dialogue, music, or other aspects.
Music sounds average in stereo, even with the equalizer boosting up the bass, but it gets a bit muddy in the virtual 7.1 surround mode. However, movies and games sound fantastic. I had to turn the volume up to about 80, but the sense of immersion is simply amazing. It’s almost enough to overcome the headset’s shortcomings. I only wish there was a more efficient way to change the settings than bringing up the software suite every time I wanted to listen to different media.
Sound isolation isn’t that great on this closed-back headset. Environmental sounds bled in with the volume turned up to almost 50 percent, often leading me to dial things way up.
The GSP 370 features a large flexible boom mic that’s permanently attached to the left side. Flipping it up automatically mutes it. Similar to the sound quality of the headphones, my voice came through clearly, although I thought it sounded a bit flat after all the processing. Setting my voice to sound warmer in the software didn’t do much to help. I also had to turn the gain up to around 60 or 70 before I could be heard.
Noise cancellation works amazingly well for sustained background sounds like computer fans, but it didn’t do as well with my mechanical keyboard. The mic picked up every single key tap and mouse click with perfect clarity, and I couldn’t turn down the gain or my voice wouldn’t come through.
That’s not necessarily a problem for the headset wearer, since there’s no mic monitoring, but all the clicking might test the patience of whoever you’re talking to.
Second to the surround sound quality, perhaps one of the most impressive features of the Sennheiser lies with its 100-hour battery life. I’ve used the headset for a couple of weeks and only had to recharge it once. This wireless headset was clearly made for long gaming sessions, which is good because I don’t think it automatically goes into sleep mode when you put it down and forget to turn it off.
Even though I’m not a huge fan of the small-sized earcups, the headset is light and comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. Additionally, the transmitter has a stunning range. I was able to get a good signal from around 38 feet away from my computer through multiple walls in my house.
The bottom line
So, the Sennheiser GSP 370 is a bit of a disappointment, especially given its price point. There are too many shortcomings in its build and software to overlook. However, it does its one critical job – playing crystal clear audio in games and movies – exceptionally well.
I’m not a fan of the headset’s design, but I can appreciate how its virtual surround sound completely immersed me into the gaming experience. Nuanced sounds like footsteps and the environment came through clearly.
But on the other hand, there are plenty of wireless gaming headsets on the market of comparable quality that offer more features for the same price or less. They might not feature the incredible battery life or signal range, but it’s a trade-off that might be worth considering.