There are few names in the audio business that carry the same weight of expectation as Sennheiser. Legendary creator of some of the finest headphones to ever grace a human’s cranial area, this German manufacturer have been perfecting their audio equipment since 1945, but in more recent years they’ve turned their attention to the unworthy ears of gamers. Unsurprisingly the results are well made and comfortable, boasting an audio response worthy of the Sennheiser name.
The GSP 300 is Sennheiser’s mid-range wired stereo gaming headset. Retailing for a hair under £90, it’s aimed at people who are getting pretty serious about wanting to hear what their PS4, Xbox One, Switch or PC is pumping out. Boasting a simple 3.5mm connection, with an inline split of the microphone and headset feeds for PC gamers, it’s a universal product that will suit pretty much any situation. Well, at least any situation where people need to listen to things.
The GSP 300 is sturdily constructed from hardy grey and matte-black plastic, and is quite clearly a gaming headset, albeit one that’s managed to restrain itself. Those plastic components have helped to keep the weight down to a pleasingly light 290g, and this is a headset that you can comfortably wear for many hours, whether gaming, listening to music, or trying to edit the sibilance out of your latest video review. That last one might just be me.
Comfort across the top of your head is ensured by a blue foam and fabric split headband, a design I’ve started to see more often recently, and while it looks a bit odd apparently keeps the pressure more even. Certainly, in the case of the GSP 300 it seems to work, and when combined with the leatherette-covered memory foam earpads, they won’t give you any cause for discomfort due to pinch points, no matter how long you’re planning to wear them for.
The memory foam earpads help to ensure a top-notch acoustic seal, so you won’t be hearing much, if anything, from the outside world while you’ve got them on. The downside to that is that your ears can become noticeably warm and depending on whether or not you ‘run hot’, that’s going to probably be the deciding factor for when they come off.
As with the headband, the limbs and adjustment sliders are similarly made from sturdy plastic, and once you’ve clicked through the incremental fitting slots they won’t be shifting until a family member decides they want to give them a try. It all feels very well put together, with no hints of creaking or groaning despite my serious attempts to pull them apart.
There’s a reassuringly large volume dial in the centre of the right earpiece, and that’s all the control you get. It’s so big you’ll be able to find it in the middle of the most heated session of Fortnite, so it’s more than up to the task asked of it.
One of the key features of the GSP 300 is the noise cancelling microphone. It’s a non-removable mic arm, so you probably won’t be going anywhere outdoors with this particular pair of headphones, but at least you don’t have to worry about losing it in the drawer of forgotten gaming peripherals.
When it’s in the upright position it’s muted, while wheeling it down turns it on. You can’t angle it any further towards you – it’s a fairly rigid piece of rubber and plastic – but it ensures that it doesn’t accidentally pick up the sound of your heavy breathing, and leaves space for snacks and drinks to fill the void. Much to the delight of your party chat, I’m sure…
The noise-cancelling mic lives up to its promotional hype as well, picking up less of what you don’t want it to. Friends agreed that it was clear and comprehensive-sounding, able to hear precisely what rubbish I was mumbling about to them. I can’t possibly comment on whether that’s a good thing or not.
Meanwhile, the audio that the GSP 300s are capable of pumping out is, quite simply, life affirming. There’s a real joy to hearing music, movies and game audio at their best, and the GSP 300’s wide frequency response of 15 to 26,000Hz ensures that you won’t be missing out on any of the detail. Giving them a thorough test with some Ultra HD music had me hearing elements of Death Cab for Cutie that I’d previously never caught, while cranking up K/DA meant my back teeth could feel the bass. Just to be clear, that’s a good thing, though probably not for my hearing later in life.
It’s all exceptionally well balanced, making them a perfect companion for any of the mainline consoles and their distinct lack of EQ options. Tops are detailed and bass is powerful without becoming flabby or overwhelming. There aren’t many gaming headsets that can boast audio output this good, but then Sennheiser truly are masters of the art.
At £90 they’re sitting right smack in the middle of the wired headset landscape, but their fantastic audio means that I’d merrily put the GSP 300 up against anything else in the same price bracket. There’s no bespoke 7.1 surround sound solution, though if you’re playing on PC or Xbox One you can take care of that with Windows Sonic or the excellent Dolby Atmos. If that’s an important factor you might want to check out the HyperX Cloud II or the Razer Kraken TE, and though I’m slightly less confident in the Razer’s build quality, its voluminous earpieces are slightly more forgiving than the GSP 300’s.