Last year, Sennheiser released the closed-back GSP 600 (reviewed here), one of the best analogue gaming headsets to ever hit the market, and, shortly afterwards, its open-back twin brother, the GSP 500 (reviewed here). Both blew me away with their performance, and both won our "Editor's Choice" award. Needless to say, I am now extremely eager to find out if the same holds true for the GSP 550, Sennheiser's third "new" gaming headset.
The quickest way to describe the Sennheiser GSP 550 is that they took the open-back GSP 500 and added a USB sound card. The idea behind this approach is to offer a viable option for gamers with access to nothing but integrated sound cards of low quality, or those subjected to other issues which result in any analogue gaming headset performing poorly. There are numerous possible causes for this, such as an electrically noisy combination of components or the PC not being grounded properly. Speaking from experience, there's not much you can do in such a situation. You'll have to make peace with the fact that any analogue headset connected to the integrated sound card will cause issues, particularly in the microphone department. You'll have to deal with unpleasant static background noise, humming, and buzzing. The solution is to get a USB gaming headset—a headset equipped with its own USB sound card. That's exactly what the Sennheiser GSP 550 is compared to the analogue GSP 500 or GSP 600. To make the whole proposition even more interesting to gamers, the supplied sound card supports 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. At $249.95, the Sennheiser GSP 550 is $20 more expensive than the GSP 500 and costs exactly as much as the closed-back GSP 600.
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
Supplied USB sound card with 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound
1.7 m rubberized dongle cable + 1.2 m rubberized USB cable