Sennheiser Game Zero
Sometimes a brand might make you question what it’s doing creating such and such. For example, that first time you saw a Samsung microwave or fridge you probably felt that it was a little weird. Branching out as they say, but the questions raised mean that you might be a little sceptical going in. The same can be said for gaming headsets, with dozens of brands now vying to provide players with their next pair of headphones. Because, well, companies that specialise in data storage are now making headsets.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that Sennheiser’s premium Game Zero headset isn’t one of those question marks. They come from a name that has been around for decades, and one that you can always be sure will give you a quality audio product. So, going into this review the real question was, how good will they be. And how will Sennheiser leverage its industry leading portable audio tech to deliver a quality gaming headset. And of course, a product worthy of the premium price.
The answer to that is by focusing on quality across the board, and understanding what prospective players might be looking for. Comfort, a clean sound, and versatility.
The Sennheiser Game Zero like most headsets built for portability and gaming feature a Closed Back design with broad frequency response and enough overall loudness to suit any condition. Opting for a pure stereo output, no pack-in software, and interchangeable adapters that let you easily switch between PC and console. The Game Zero is versatile to a fault. Case in point, when coupled with dedicated audio hardware and headphone amplification like the Sennheiser GSX 1000
they truly shine. Not that they won’t provide great results otherwise, it’s just that the on-board equaliser settings and amplification of the GSX 1000 are a showcase for the clarity of the Game Zero headset - with settings that focus more on vocals, bass, and stereo widening.
Clarity, in audio terms usually refers to describing the higher end of the frequency spectrum. Throw in the word crisp and you should have a good idea of what to expect performance-wise with the Game Zero. There’s no denying that Sennheiser has created one of the better sounding headsets available today, and right off the bat without feeling the need to artificially crank up the bass response. Which a lot of headsets do, to immediately give off that wow factor. Game Zero, without any EQ changes or adjustments, present a richly detailed and balanced sound thanks to quality drivers and a quality build.
- Type: Closed
- Frequency response: 15 to 28,000 Hz
- Impedance: 50 ohms
- Sound Pressure Level: 108 dB
- Cable length: 3.2m (PC/Mac) 1.2m (Console)
- Microphone Pickup pattern: Supercardioid
- Type: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency response: 50 to 16,000 Hz
Design and Comfort
Coming in at only 300g, the Game Zero is also light, making them one of the most comfortable gaming headsets on the market. With a fold-able design, removable cushions, it’s also something that you can easily pack away and take with you on the road. The packaging, which features the Game Zero neatly folded in a quality carry case, gives off a great first impression. Once worn the lightweight and comfortable ear cushions mean that this is a headset that you can wear for an extended period without worrying about fatigue.
Certain closed headsets and headphones can give off a feeling of discomfort or suction around your ears, which isn’t the case with the Game Zeros. They also look the part with a subtle design that features stylish red metallic flourishes. The noise-cancelling microphone is sturdy and flexible, never feeling loose or cheap. Volume controls are embedded via a dial on one of the ear pieces, but unfortunately separate controls for the microphone are nowhere to be found outside of adjusting those settings via a PC or console. A cool touch though is that muting the mic happens automatically when you raise the boom arm.
Again, the Game Zero presents a clean, crisp, and balanced sound. One that can be adjusted for more bass or more high-end detail depending on the situation. When playing Overwatch, without any adjustment everything just sounds right. Levels are clean with exceptional separation. The same can be said for simply using the Game Zeros to play several turns of the excellent Total War Warhammer II, with the orchestral score showcasing the excellent frequency response and the clarity of voices and other effects.
The only cases where adjusting the sound comes into play would be for watching movies or listening to music. Music in general needs a bit of extra bass to add weight to the crisp high-ends and detailed mid-range frequencies. Movies too. But without Game Zero specific software this comes down to third-party applications, software equalisers, or preferably hardware control with a dedicated amplifier like the Sennheiser GSX 1000. And really, although this is the sort of headset that impresses right off the bat, the Game Zero truly comes into its own when given a clean high-definition 24-bit audio signal. With the right gear you’d be hard pressed not to feel truly immersed. An excellent choice for just about any application.