We’ve always been a fan of gaming headsets because they can be totally immersive, cutting off the rest of the world and letting you get right into the action. More specifically, we’ve always found that gaming with a headset is more sociable, in an anti-social kind of way. In short, to get the same performance from your speakers, you have to turn the volume up too high for your family and neighbours to tolerate.
The Sennheiser PC 350 is a dedicated gaming headset designed to deliver the ultimate performance, combining circumaural ear cans with an adjustable boom mic. Step into this headset and you can’t help but feel like you are driving a tank. Whilst they feel solid, they do fold up to a degree, so you’ll be able to stash them in your bag on your way to a LAN party (do they still exist?).
With a padded headband and cans, the headset feels comfortable, but we found that in gaming sessions longer than an hour that the pressure on the jawbone was noticeable. It can also get surprisingly hot inside the cans and whilst the experience is intense, you’ll feel that you need to take a break after a while.
In terms of connection, you get a dedicated audio and microphone plug and a cable 3m long, so you can roam around the room, or sit back from a larger screen, depending on your rig. You’ll also find a mic isolator on the control module on the cable, so you can turn off the mic, rather than having to disconnect the plug. There is also a volume control, again, useful so you don’t have to change the main volume on your computer.
In terms of sound performance, in-game, the PC 350 provide quality that is hard to describe, as you’d expect from Sennheiser, the sound is simply exquisite. The advantage of the cans is that they do block out background noise very well, whilst providing totally immersive sound whilst gaming. We tested the headset from 15-15,000Hz and the PC 350 passed with flying colours – and the frequency range extends beyond these tests, but your hearing might not.
The microphone is also highly adjustable, you can swivel it up out of the way, as well as bend it to get the optimum position. The advantage of a headset is the microphone is isolated from other game noise, so anything you say will be clear from interference. In our tests one person commented on the clarity of the voice, before he knew we were using the headset. It works very well for Skype or other internet telephony. The mic does feature noise-cancelling technology too to keep things nice and clean.
As a gaming headset, the PC 350 offer an excellent package, both for those who need a mic and those who don’t. The price is high, which might deter some users, but if you spend a long time in front of your computer gaming, then this will ensure you don’t annoy the neighbours with thunderous detonations and the beautiful rattle of automatic gunfire.