Sennheiser GSP 500 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

While I can say a lot of gaming headsets we have reviewed have been moving towards the side of being more conservative in its design, the Sennheiser GSP 500 does not really follow this trend. This bulky looking headset will stick out from the rest, especially when you wear it. The two sides protrude out quite a bit, which is something you may not be happy with. In addition, if you look at past Sennheiser gaming headsets, you will notice this, along with its closed-back brother, is one of the more outlandishly styled ones. I can sort of understand if Sennheiser wanted to differentiate its product lines by more than just its model number. However, I doubt many of you will be wearing this headset outside of your gaming station with its design. Otherwise, the GSP 500 is finished in black with red accents all around. Some silver elements also remain, which include the metal bar between the headband and the ears, as well as the company logos. Each ear has a mesh side to allow for air to pass through, which is part of its open back design. Overall, it is styled to fit into your game setup, which can be a good or bad thing. I think Sennheiser should reduce the size of the headset, at least for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand, the GSP 500 is really solid in build. Despite it being mostly made up of plastic, the headset is very sturdy with a lot of flexibility without the creaking noises you may expect. I am really impressed with this build, though this is not too surprising for Sennheiser.

Getting a closer look at the ear cups of the Sennheiser GSP 500, you can see the memory foam plush foam. These ear cups are lined with a soft fabric to keep your ears cool. With an over the ear design, this plush sits around your ears and the feel is quite nice. In addition, with the mesh open sides, air can flow freely out from your ears. The cups are shaped to be relatively ear-like with a wider top and a narrower bottom. Obviously, not all ears are the same shape, but this should fit majority of ears. Otherwise, the cups are relatively flexible with the capability to tilt and rotate to fit on your head. There is no ability to fold them flat as the rotation range is not a wide one. Combined with such a bulky design, I doubt you would try to rest the headset on your neck. Under the foam cups are a pair of drivers with a frequency response of 10Hz to 30kHz. This covers more than the full audible spectrum of your ears. Rated impedance of the unit is 28 ohms with a sound pressure level of 107dB. We will see how these numbers affect the audio reproduction later on.

As for the headband, the Sennheiser GSP 500 offers some unique adjustments for a better fit. At the top, there are a pair of sliders to adjust the pressure of the headset on your head. This is really handy, as I have a bigger head compared to the average person. Each slider is intended for each side and you can feel a bit of difference between the two extremes. The sliders are also slightly notched with printed bars to indicate your current settings. Underneath the plastic shell, Sennheiser has deployed the same memory foam with fabric covering. This headband feels really comfortable, which is great to see. Down the sides of the GSP 500, you can see a large plastic piece which hides the extending capabilities of the headset. Once again, this sliding action is notched, though there is no visual indicator to show your current length setting. These ears can really extend out to fit majority of users, though I would still recommend trying these headphones out, if possible, before buying them.

In terms of overall comfort, I am really impressed with the Sennheiser GSP 500. All of the memory foam areas contribute to providing a comfortable wearing experience to the user. The sides of the ears do push on my glasses, though the pressure is not distracting or unpleasant. It is not the lightest of headsets with a measured heft of 358g. However, the foam really keeps the weight in check by providing a plush enough feel in the affected areas. In addition, the adjustable design for the headband pressure makes the headset experience a more custom one, for a better fit and feel overall.

At the end on the side of both ears, there is something to talk about for the GSP 500. On your right ear, we have a volume dial to adjust the audio output. This stiff dial allows users to quickly change the volume as well as turn the headset off completely if you so desire. It smoothly turns all the way to the maximum position with enough resistance to prevent accidental volume changes. On the left side, we have a swing out microphone with a mute switch built in. The microphone will stay muted in the position you see in the photo above until it swings down. You should hear and feel a click when it does unmute. This microphone features a frequency response of 10Hz to 18kHz, which is a surprisingly large range. Majority of gaming headsets include a microphone with a frequency response cut off on the bottom and top ends of the audible region. This should hopefully reduce the nasally or compressed sound, but we will see soon enough. One complaint I do have with this microphone design is the fact it is not exactly very flexible at all. I would have liked to see a bit more bendable neck on this microphone to allow for some adjustments. Finally, the left side is where you can plug in the included braided cable for audio connection. This proprietary cable uses a 2.5mm connection. As we mentioned previously, Sennheiser has included two cables with either a dual 3.5mm jack for desktop connections and a single four-pole 3.5mm jack for mobile and console usage. The braiding on both cables is extremely flexible and lacks the annoying resistance you may find on poorly braided cables.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion