While companies like Razer and HyperX battle over the sub-$100 gaming headset market, Sennheiser wants to win over consumers looking to spend a bit more.
Sennheiser PC 373D
Availability: Out now
The storied German audio-equipment company’s PC 373D is its latest headset of gaming and entertainment, and its $250 price should indicate the level of quality it is going for. After an extended period of time testing the headset, I can confirm that Sennheiser delivers exactly what you would expect from spending that much money. The PC 373D is comfort to the point that I would call it cozy. Its microphone sounds miles better than a lot of other devices even in its price range. And its powerful audio drivers will shake your skull with game audio like you’ve never experienced before.
What you’ll like
Sennheiser-level design and audio
I should definitely start with the stunning quality of the PC 373D. Sennheiser built its rep on making top-of-the-line equipment for audiophiles, and a lot of that know-how has made its way into this gaming headset.
For the audio, this means a wave of sound that should overwhelm your senses. I played some intense shooters like Overwatch, which is a great way to test out the device’s 7.1 surround sound, and I almost couldn’t handle what I was hearing. The PC 373D was able to handle explosions, gunfire, voices, and everything else at high volumes with ease, and the result was this dome of lifelike sounds happening around me in every direction. During my Overwatch matches, my brain wanted to shut down from overload.
That might sound like a negative, but it isn’t. I just think I’ve never really heard the game like that before, and my fragile mind was not prepared yet. I think a big reason for that is Sennheiser used an open-back earcup design, which creates a much wider-sounding audio stage compared to a lot of other gaming headsets that attempt to isolate the audio in your earcups.
While the quality of the sound is great, the device is also exquisitely built. Its soft ear cushions feel like clouds against your skin and hair. The headset also never wanders out of its position thanks to its tight squeeze. It’s not a vice grip, but it locks onto your head firmer than a lot of competing devices. But this is also a benefit because, as I said, those cushions feel so wonderful.
Really great microphone
Sennheiser decided to pull off the trifecta with its PC 373D and included a high-end microphone to go along with the audio and build quality.
As with most headsets, this is not broadcast quality, but I think you can get away with using this to livestream or to make YouTube videos. It still doesn’t match a dedicated USB microphone, and I think the Turtle Beach Elite Pro noise-canceling mic sounds better, but it still does a really great job.
Check it out in comparison to some other microphones in the SoundCloud playlist below:
What you won’t like
This cannot be your only pair of headphones
The only negative thing about this Sennheiser headset is that it simply won’t work as all-in-one solution, and that’s a bummer when you spend $250. For me, I would want something that would work with my smartphone for music and podcasts as well as my consoles for gaming on the television.
But Sennheiser has no interest in broadening the PC 373D beyond its focus on PC gaming. On that front, it delivers, but it’s a hangup for me that it isn’t more versatile.
I love that Sennheiser is in the gaming-headset market. It’s awesome to get a reminder of just how great games can sound. It’s also important to feel what high-quality engineering and design is like. Now, you’re going to have to pony up the dough to experience that yourself, but if you are looking in the $250 PC gaming-headset range, Sennheiser has exactly what you’re looking for.
Sennheiser lent GamesBeat a PC 373D for the purposes of this review. It’s available now for $250.