First shown off at Computex earlier this year, Sennheiser’s GSP 670 headphones are some serious cans. They’re expensive, but well made – the company is clearly hoping the features (and its reputation for great sound quality) will get these headphones across the line.
The compelling GSP 670 wireless headset has been quite the privilege to test out. A lot of thought has gone into the design of these headphones, and it shows. The foam inserts and accessories box really have a great visual appeal. Upon holding the headset in my hands, my initial impression was that these feel a little heavier than they look, and a solid build oozes quality.
How’s the hardware?
The matte black and gunmetal grey sturdy plastic finish is deceptive. Well crafted within is a metal headband with a nifty compression setting function on the wide padded top and solid metal dual swivel brackets that hold the cans at the right angle for the shape of your head. The set weighs in at 398 grams. Which are a little lighter than the Steelseries which, I feel is it closest competitor in terms of overall feel and quality.
The headset did take a little bit of adjusting to get the feel right and I think that people with larger heads might feel like these are a bit too snug. A “suede like” material covers the ear pads and forms a very comfortable seal. They really do block out external sounds very well when you have something playing. I do find them a bit warm, so in the summer months they will get a bit hot. The Bluetooth 5 sync/slider button below the mic near the micro USB socket (for charging) was easy to operate to connect the headset to my phone. The same button also checks the battery level with a voice over describing current charge level.
The included USB dongle – GSP 70 – provides a low latency wireless connection (which you can use from your PC or gaming console), at the cost of lower battery performance. Using the low-latency dongle reduces the normally 20 hour life to 16 hours; a modest compromise. The headset also comes with a USB charging cable. The side plates on the side arms can be changed out for custom ones if you have a 3d printer or you can purchase the Dota2 branded ones and replacement accessories from the Sennheiser Online Store. I would like to have had a way to store the dongle behind one of these side arm cover plates, but I guess there’s not room for everything.
How do they go?
These are not comfortable headphones to wear around your neck, as they do not lay flat, so unless you like being choked, you’ll be finding somewhere else to carry them when not in use. Me? I just packed them in my bag while transporting them as they are just too bulky to wear out. In saying this, they are designed to be a gaming headset and I would not like to drag them all over the place at the price (plus you’ll look like you’re about to pilot a plane).
I have used them at work to enjoy some theatrical game/movie scores and let me tell you the sound is truly impressive! The full richness of the bass that does not overpower the mid range while still letting the treble soar. I have used studio-quality earphones in the past and these really stand up to the test in my opinion.
I tried them on my PS4 first (sorry Xbox one users, your consoles are not supported at this stage) The setup was super simple – just plug in the GSP 70 USB dongle and either:
- Change the setting under Settings > Devices > Audio devices > Output to headphones > All audio, or
- Hold down the PS button on the controller and in the quick menu sound/devices > Output to Headphones > All Audio.
While playing, my phone rang and the headset switched automatically over from the dongle to the mobile and after the call automatically switched back to the game. Awesome!
I had been wondering if there was a button for this – some way of toggling between sources. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there is. The headset uses the dongle as the preferred source, which means if you want to listen to your other connected device (e.g. your phone), you need the dongle output to stop first. On the PS4 this wasn’t really an option, but on a PC you could easily mute the output (or just pull the dongle I guess).
What’s good, what’s bad?
On the PS4, this meant no pausing the game to watch a silly cat meme that your mate just sent you. You’re left taking off the headset and just listening to the actual phone, which was a bit of a shame. Other headsets make this a bit easier – Bose QC 35 IIs, for example, let you change source with a quick slide of the Bluetooth/Power button.
The separate volume level for chat is great, as you can adjust with one hand if your mates are getting a bit excited and raging into their mics. The mic on this set is the same one that has made its older model the GSP600 a solid contender. The recorded audio is not as good as the wired GSP600 set, as all wireless headsets face the same challenges of encoding the audio and sending it over to the PC or console. With that said it is one of the better wireless mics that I have heard. The mic mutes when you put it up with a click so that you know that it is off. The volume knob is solid with a lot of resistance which I really like it gives you a level of precision that you don’t get with other sets and the comfort of knowing that you are not going to accidentally bump it to full volume.
The volume knob also doubles as the power switch, but most of the time I didn’t need to use this – the set automatically goes to a power saving mode if you stop sending audio to them. Using the set on my laptop was quick and easy, but I did have to install the software to get the extra features of the equalizer and make the selector button work.
The PC-based software is where the extra features live, so the 7.1 audio and equaliser presets can only be used with a PC and not on the PS4 (d’oh!). I am not completely sold on the 7.1 – it is better than other systems I have used, granted, but not amazing. The regular stereo with some minor tweaks to the equaliser for preference and I had a great rich sound experience.
The cord free life is definitely here to stay. This set is on the expensive side but if you are looking for a solid gaming sound performance and a good wireless mic then this is a great option. You won’t be disappointed with the Sennheiser GSP670 headphones.