Sennheiser G4ME ONE Gaming Headset Review
Well what have we got here? Another Gaming headset by Sennheiser! This time the Sennheiser G4ME ONE Gaming Headset (506065). This headset is second in the new G4ME range and features a circumaural (over the ear) open-cup design (this should help give the headset more clarity and let your ears breathe), plush velvet covered earpads, Sennheiser transducer technology (for clarity and accuracy), Pro noise cancelling microphone (raise the boom to mute) and just like the pcG Silver award winning G4ME ZERO before them, don’t look half bad.
Featuring Sennheiser’s “Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement” technology, the G4ME ZERO delivers the ultimate in sonic accuracy and clarity. The updated closed design provided by the custom-made painted steel ear cup grids lets you hear even the faintest detail of your game.’
Again just like the G4ME ZERO before them, the G4ME ONE are a premium headset with a price tag of £189.99 can their performance, comfort and style match their sibling?
The Sennheiser G4ME ONE arrived in a rather smart and bright predominantly white sleeved box. On the front of which we have an artistic depiction of the headset, the model, Sennheiser name and logo a couple of prominent statements ‘Open Acoustic PC Gaming headset’ and ‘Ultimate Comfort. Plush velvet ear pads’, it also highlights a two year warranty.
Flipping over the box shows the model name again, a disassembled photo of the G4ME ONE and a breakdown of its features (as listed below).
- Pro noise cancelling microphone – raise boom to mute.
- Sennheiser transducer technology – for clarity and accuracy.
- Open design for cool comfort and light fit.
- Plush velvet ear pads lets your skin breath.
- XXL plush velvet ear pads and a cushioned headband.
- Integrated Volume Control on ear cup.
- Extremely accurate game sound reproduction with “E.A.R” technology.
- Highly durable and sturdy build
The top of the box once again shows the model name, brand and warranty, but also shows the box contents (shown below).
Underneath the box shows very little. We have a holographic sticker of authenticity, part number and serial number,
The left side of the box is predominantly black with silver and grey writing, it tells us the Sennheiser G4ME ONE is an open acoustic PC Gaming headset, features the Sennheiser web address, then goes on to describe the following:
‘THE SOUND GAMES ARE MADE OF‘
‘Game time is your time and every Sennheiser gaming headset comes with a built-in mission: to deliver pure immersive audio excitement.
Game developers use Sennheiser recording equipment and Sennheiser headsets to develop game audio. This headset has been engineered to bring the same high-level of detail acoustical quality, the game developers intended you to hear.‘
The right side has exactly the same styling, features the Sennheiser web address, the key-words ‘OPEN, SOUND, ULTIMATE, COMFORT’ the two year warranty and a statement follows:
‘Feel the rush, the beats, the tension and the awesome sound. Not your headset. The G4ME ONE open acoustic Gaming headset features an extremely accurate an natural sound experience. The open design ensures that air can be led through to your ears, keeping your heat light and cool for hours of non-stop Gaming‘
Upon removing the sleeve and opening the box, we see that the Sennheiser G4ME ONE is pretty well packaged. It sits inside a moulded plastic holder and held in place with foam blocks when closed.
- G4ME™ ONE Headset
Yep, that really is it….
At the time of review the Sennheiser G4ME ONE Headset is available in two different colour combinations (black and red or white and red), retails for £189.95 on Amazon or at OverclockersUK for £189.89 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of Sennheiser
‘FEEL THE GAME, NOT THE HEADSET
Feel the rush, the beats, the tension and the awesome sound. Not your headset. The G4ME ONE gaming headset features an extremely accurate and natural sound experience. The open design ensures that air can be led through to your ears, keeping your head light and cool for hours of non-stop gaming.’
‘SOFT AND LIGHT
Whether you play for 30 minutes or all night long, the G4ME ONE ensures that you do not break a sweat. The headset features XXL plush velvet ear pads and a cushioned headband. These features ensure maximum comfort – even during your longest sessions.‘
‘GERMAN ENGINEERED TECHNOLOGY
The two transducers in the G4ME ONE have been developed at our labs in Germany. They are optimized to provide an extremely accurate reproduction of the gaming audio, no matter what type of game you play. Every single unit is mechanically and acoustically tested.’
With volume controls integrated onto the right ear cup, your reaction time is cut down as you won’t have to spend time searching the cable for the controls. The G4ME ONE also features a convenient microphone mute function too. Simply lift the boom arm and you’re off the air.’
‘A PERFECT MATCH
Sennheiser is the only audio company that makes both the precision microphone equipment your games are recorded on, and the headsets you use to play them. So why would you go for any other gaming headset brand?’
|Impedance||Headphones: 50 Ω|
|Connector||2 x 3.5 mm for desktop/laptop|
|Frequency Response (Microphone)||Microphone: 50 Hz – 16,000 Hz|
|Frequency Response (Headphone)||Headphones: 15 Hz – 28.000 Hz|
|Sound Pressure (SPL)||Headphones: 116 dB/td>|
|Ear Coupling||Headphones: around-the-ear, open acoustic design|
|Pick-Up Pattern||Microphone: Noise Cancelling|
|Sensitivity||Microphone: -38 dBV at 94 dBSPL|
- OPEN DESIGN. NO SWEAT – Air is led through to your ears, keeping your head light and cool.
- SENNHEISER TRANSDUCER TECHNOLOGY – Extreme clarity and accurate, developed at our own labs.
- HI-FI SENNHEISER SOUND – Excellent hi-fi sound, reproducing exactly the way the game developers intended your game to sound.
- NOISE-CANCELING MICROPHONE – Professional-grade noise-canceling microphone with intuitive mute function.
- XXL EAR PADS – Plenty of space around your ears for best fit and comfort.
- “ERGONOMIC ACOUSTIC REFINEMENT” – The Sennheiser technology delivers ultimate sonic accuracy and clarity by channeling signals directly into your ears.
As you can see, the Sennheiser G4ME ONE follow a similar styling to the G4ME ZERO. We have the very same mixture of Gloss white, matte black plastic and metallic red accents across the board, in fact they look very nearly as good.
Unlike the G4ME ZERO, the G4ME doesn’t have rotatable ear cups, instead they have a limited twist (maybe 45° total?), whilst the cups also tilt to an approximate 45° too. This of course will help to get the headset sitting comfortably on your head.
The right ear-cup is mainly a high quality gloss white plastic, the centre of which is the Sennheiser logo and surrounded by a white rubber texture, this is then bordered by a metallic red hoop of sorts. Beneath this is a volume dial.
Switching cups to the left and we see the basic design is the same, except instead of a volume dial, we have a huge Mic boom. You’ll also notice that unlike the ZERO with its collapsible design, the ONE don’t have anywhere near the same amount of rotation available.
Ok, so they are nigh on identical to the G4ME ZERO. Or are they?……
To see the difference you need to examine the outer cup pictures on both headsets, then remember the ZERO is a closed-cup and the ONE an open-cup. You got it yet? That’s right, the ZERO have a white rubber texture to the outer cup, whilst the ONE does not. This texture was not just for show, but effectively a foil of sorts to keep internal noise in the cup and external noise out.
The outer headband is a slightly textured matte black plastic with Sennheiser in matt silver printed to the left side. Nothing to shout home about, but simple enough to look stylish and lend that overall touch of class.
The inner band features what Sennheiser describes to be a plush velvet covered foam pad, the headset model and serial number are just to the left of this.
The inner ear cups themselves are ellipsoid, encompass the ears and pretty big (10cm w x 15cm h), and are very well described by Sennheiser as XXL. Inside the cup is a fairly thin blood red fabric (exactly the same as the G4ME ZERO). Where the G4ME ONE differs is the cushioning used seems a lot softer and not as nice as the ZERO, but also the ‘plush velvet’ coverings. Personally I’m not a fan of any kind of fabric coverings on headset cushions, but this is of personal preference and many of you out there will be happier to have them over a leather type.
On the right ear-cup and rather unlike PC headsets I’ve used in recent memory, lives a volume dial (apart from the ZERO of course 😉 ). I admit I prefer this method to the typical in-line remote (how many times have you been left scrabbling around for the volume in the middle of a fire fight or been deafened after booting a game up?!?).
Taking a closer look at the left cup reveals a massive 175mm Mic Boom. The Boom itself is attached and when swivelled into an upright position will auto-mute. Approximately half way down the boom is a hard black rubber section, this allows you to bend the Mic into a suitable position, it is pretty stiff, but still allows just the right positioning.
Beneath the left cup is a fixed audio lead. The lead is 3m in length and has a soft, flexible high quality braiding.
One feature that will apply to everyone, but will be very important to a select few, is the amount of play on the adjustable sliders for the G4ME ONE. With 55mm either side these cans will fit literally anyone!
So far I’m fairly impressed with the G4ME ONE, their overall design is good. We best find out if the sound performance is enough to match up!
As the Sennheiser G4ME ONE will be classed as a high-end headset it seems only right to pair it with a decent high-end dedicated sound card (unlike my initial review for the G4ME ZERO). Therefore for testing purposes I used a Creative Sound Blaster Zx sound card, that features a dedicated headphone amplifier.
For audio the Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset was then connected to the Creative Labs Sound Blaster ACM via its 3.5m Jack plug and the microphone was also connected to the ACM via the standard 3.5mm Jack plug.
The Sennheiser G4ME ONE was tested using our Intel Test Rig, running Windows 7 64bit (service pack 1) with all necessary Drivers installed. No further software is required for full functionality of the headset, hence none was supplied or installed! 😉
The following Games were used during testing:
- Insurgency (beta)
- GRID Autosport
- Payday 2
- Metro Last Light (benchmark)
- Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
The most important attribute of any headset is of course its audio performance and the Sennheiser G4ME ONE Headset performs well to a point. The audio produced has a very high clarity which is no doubt helped by the open ear cups, but as a result it losses a fair bit of punch in the bass department. Which is a really big shame as the mid range is very good and well defined, but with that slight lack of gravitas from the bass, the audio comes across very light and airy. In short a little lifeless and unexciting. The only thing left was to let the SBX Pro Studio software loose on them, with the Crystalizer set at default, the G4ME ONE suddenly come to life and become more exciting (big relief given the SRRP), but I like to add some extra depth with some heavy bass. So on goes the bass enhancer as well. Whilst still set at default, up goes the volume dial and in creeps a little distortion from the left cup, a little higher still and when then it almost sounds like you have a bee sucking on a helium balloon buzzing around, this is admittedly with high volume, but still not something I’d expect from a premium headset.
The G4ME ONE doesn’t have quite the same amount of adjustability as the collapsible ZERO, but have the very same XXL circumaural ear cups which is a definite benefit. At 300g the Sennheiser G4ME ONE are 12g lighter than the ZERO and just as easy to forget your wearing except for the cushioning…… The cushioning itself is a lot softer than the memory foam cushioning of the ZERO, which isn’t really a problem, but the ‘plush velvet’ covers are! I realise I’m just one of a few people out there, but a don’t like fabric ear cushion covers of any kind and these certainly aren’t going to change my mind no matter how ‘plush’ they are. I find them uncomfortable and irritable. 🙁
On the plus side, you do have the option to purchase some leatherette cushion covers direct from Sennheiser! 🙂
The microphone fitted to the Sennheiser G4ME ONE headset is high quality. Whilst on Razer Comms or using Steam Chat, the pick up was very clear and natural with no recognisable background noise. The massive boom is long enough and offers the flexibility to allow positioning it where you need it to be. It performs very well and the swivel to mute is welcome. Although admittedly I would have preferred and entirely removable option.
The Sennheiser G4ME ONE Gaming Headset arrived in a fairly large predominately white sleeved box with a rather simple, but elegant design, which aptly describes the headset itself too. It shares many of the same styling as its G4ME stablemate and the gloss white ear cups, matte black headband and metallic red accents still look good.
Like the sound of it already? Well that’s where the similarities end (other than they both produce sound of course). The G4ME ONE feature an open cup design (coincidentally invented by Sennheiser in 1968), which means both sides of the driver within the ear cup are open (they both produce sound after all). This tends to lend the headset a more open, airy feel to the audio and give extra clarity. In the case of the G4ME ONE it certainly does. However this also comes at a cost, everyone in the near vicinity can clearly hear exactly the same audio as you and the bass lacks that little bit of punch us Gamers love so much. The bass begins to gain its definition whilst using the SBX Pro Studio software (available with Creative Sound Blaster Z soundcard range) with the Crystalizer set at default, but throw on the Bass enhancer and with the volume up high, the G4ME ONE start to struggle with the power and the audio starts to become distorted. Of course you could argue the headset is designed for acoustical surgical precision, not brute force bleeding ear audio, to which it certainly does deliver.
The oversized circumaural ear-cups don’t have the same variable adjustment as the ZERO, but still allows plenty of scope for the ONE to be comfortable for heads of any shape or size. Personally I’m not hugely fond of the plush velvet cushion covers and wish Sennheiser offered the leatherette as an alternative or even in box as well (much like the HyperX Cloud). You can of course buy them from the Sennheiser direct.
I have to say I’m at a bit of a loss for words with the Sennheiser G4ME ONE and to be frank it isn’t as good an all rounder or as a Gaming headset and offers less than the G4ME ZERO. This along with an SRRP of £189.99 (which means its only £10.00 less than the ZERO and some retailers even offer them at the same price!) makes it a pretty hard recommendation. Which doesn’t come lightly as it’s certainly not a bad headset at all. Personally I’d choose the ZERO hands down, of course not everyone has this kind of budget available for a headset of any kind, in which case I strongly urge you to take a look at the HyperX Cloud and Shogun Bros Ensense, both of which punch far above their weight! 😉
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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to Sennheiser for providing this sample for review