Sennheiser released two new gaming headsets in 2018—the GSP 600 (reviewed here) and, shortly afterwards, its open-back twin brother dubbed the GSP 500, which I'll talk about in this review. They serve as replacements for the famous Game Zero and Game One headsets. Meaning, if you're after the best gaming headset Sennheiser has to offer, the GSP 500 and 600 are the ones you'll choose between nowadays.
The Sennheiser GSP 500 and GSP 600 share the same overall design, as well as many features. The main difference between these is that the GSP 500 sports an open-back design, while the GSP 600 opts for a more traditional closed-back approach. Open-back headsets are generally more pleasant to use because they offer a wider soundstage with better stereo imaging. They have a couple of advantages in terms of practicality too. Firstly, you can hear your own voice clearly while talking, which prevents you from shouting, sounding nasal, or having the feeling of "pressure" in your head. Just as importantly, your ears won't be as prone to sweating since the openness of the ear cups increases airflow. The only downside of the open-back design is massive and unavoidable leakage of sound. Everyone around you will hear what you're listening to, and any remotely loud surrounding sounds will mess with your ability to properly hear your games, movies, or music. Since many gamers don't have the luxury of owning a dedicated gaming room, a vast majority of gaming headsets are closed-back. As such, the GSP 500 could be considered somewhat of a niche product. On the other hand, if you're after an open-back gaming headset, your options are very limited, and it's great to know that you can get a high-quality product such as this one. I'm getting ahead of myself—read on to find out why the Sennheiser GSP 500 is well worth its $230/€229 price tag, as hefty as it is!
- Dynamic drivers (neodymium magnet)
- 28 Ω impedance
- 10-30,000 Hz frequency response (specified by the manufacturer)
- Open-back, over-ear design
- Pivotable noise-canceling microphone
- 3.5-mm connectivity (TRRS and dual TRS)
- 2.5 m detachable, braided cable (dual TRS) + 1.5 m detachable, braided cable (TRRS)
- Built-in volume dial
- Weight: 358 g
The box is nearly identical to what we saw with the GSP 600. In other words, the GSP 500 comes in a sturdy, nice looking box that depicts the headset from all sides, shows it in an exploded view, and informs us of its key features.
Inside the box, you'll find the headset itself, a quick setup manual, a safety manual, and pair of detachable cables. The longer one (2.5 meters) is used to connect the headset to a device with two separate audio ports (your PC), while the shorter of the two (1.5 meters) is equipped with a 4-pole TRRS plug, which should be used for consoles and mobile devices, including most laptops.
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