The New Sennheiser GameZero + GameOne Gaming Headsets: Hear Every Detail
You would think that gamers are only worried about one thing—how their game looks. But for those of us so immersed in gaming that it has become an extension of ourselves, we know that gaming is a total package. You have to have the awesome graphics, the fastest speed and the most wicked sound. A game isn’t a game if you play it in a vacuum, it’s just movement—and for great gaming sound you need a killer pair of headphones.
"A game isn’t a game if you play it in a vacuum, it’s just movement—and for great gaming sound you need a killer pair of headphones."
You could play out loud, using a dynamic audio setup, if you live in your own place or with forgiving and like-minded neighbors, roommates or parents. But even that room-shaking bass and crystal clear audio won’t help you in games where you need to hear what’s sneaking up behind you. Games like Resident Evil or Call of Duty: Ghosts. Games where every single footstep will be detected, or where the conversation between players needs to be heard and dissected. If you’re playing a real talkie like Mass Effect 3 or Guild Wars 2, then you’ll appreciate the need to understand and parse dialog. And nothing says “game on” like hearing the most minute sound effects—bullets whizzing past your head, doors in an abandoned house creaking open, or even the growl of engines when you’re hugging the turns in a racing game.
Sennheiser, long known for their reputation with high-end audio equipment, gets into the game with a pair of headphones made specifically for gamers and the gaming industry. That’s right, not all audio is balanced for true gaming. Professionals that create audio and audio effects for games rely on superior quality headphones to help them hear the game the way they intended, with low bass, steady mid-range, and high treble all represented equally. A game like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has booming cannons, lots of dialogue, and screeching bullets—and all of the sounds are crystal clear. This kind of clarity cannot be achieved by playing back your sound on a pair of five dollar headphones.
The G4ME ZERO PC Gaming Headset
The two models that Sennheiser put forward are the G4ME ONE and G4ME ZERO headsets, both available in black or white. The G4ME ZERO headsets are focused mainly on PC gaming, and feature style and aesthetic tweaks that put them a level ahead of other PC gaming headsets. Starting with the design, the G4ME ZEROs are made to keep you comfortable through marathon gaming sessions. The tailored XXL ear pads are perfectly adjusted from thick leatherette and triple-layered memory foam for ear nirvana. Based on the design of Sennheiser’s professional pilot headphones, these headphones use a thicker base on the ear pads so that the headset completely envelopes your ear, effectively cutting off noise from the outside, and keeping most of your gaming sounds in the cup. These are some of the largest, most comfortable earcups you’ll find in gaming headsets, and are designed to ensure that noise isolation is at a maximum.
Sennhesier’s engineering expertise is represented by the two transducers in each headset, which are developed in their labs in Germany. This extends to the intuitive design of the controls, with recessed knob controls for volume integrated into the ear cup. Is this a big deal? Sure. It could mean the difference between taking a bullet while searching for the in-line volume controls on most gaming headsets, or tapping your ear while you keep your finger on the controller buttons or keyboard. They use the same concept for the boom mic: instead of fumbling for an on/off switch to mute your voice, you simply lift the boom—and BOOM!—you automatically mute yourself.
Speaking of the mic, noise cancellation in a gaming headset is crucial when commandeering forces or giving orders, especially in a room where there’s a lot of background noise (like a gaming tournament). The near-silent noise cancelation on the pro mic of the G4ME ZERO means that your squad and teammates hear you, and not the chatter behind you. It is not only a needed feature, it’s a welcome one—most of us that play MMORPG games tire easily of foul-mouthed eight-year olds ranting and raving while they play.
The headphones can be folded into a traveling size (for LAN parties, or just bragging rights when you game at a friend’s house), and thankfully they come with a hard-shelled carrying case. The sleek design, including the black-with-red-highlights or white-with-red-highlights color schemes, and overall placement of controls make this a PC gaming headset that will make you the envy of all who game around you. If you want more from your gaming than spectacular visuals, this is the headset for up close and personal gaming.
The G4ME ONE Console Gaming Headset
Another new entry by Sennheiser is the G4ME ONE headset. Similar in many ways to the G4ME ZERO, the G4ME ONE is primarily made for use on next-gen gaming systems like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but will also work with PC and Mac systems. For use on consoles, additional cables or adapters may be necessary.
The design is similar. XXL earcups (made from plush velvet velour, keeping the headset light) and a cushioned headband ensure comfort even through all-night gaming sessions. At only 11 ounces (312 grams), you could keep these on for hours and forget you had them on your head. The open design lets air flow through the cups and delivers an astonishing range of gaming sound, while keeping the sweat at bay. Sennheiser once again relies on its German lab to engineer the two transducers in the headset, and each headset is tested for mechanical and acoustic stability.
The G4ME ONE line also includes a noise-cancelling boom mic that can be turned on or off by raising or lowering the non-detachable boom, and sound controls are once again integrated into the ear cup, and not in-line on the braided cable, which is a generous 9’ (3m) so that you can get up and move while chasing down orcs.
It even reproduces the color scheme (black with red highlights or white with red highlights), but it does not fold down, nor does it include a carrying case. These were made to stay at home.
Sounds About Right
These headsets were made with one thing in mind: bringing game audio to a whole new level. While the quality is excellent, these are not all-purpose headphones. If you’re thinking of using these for music, watching movies or activities other than gaming, you should know that Sennheiser put all of their eggs in the gaming audio basket here. These headsets make gaming audio sound realistic and strong—what they do in other arenas has not been tested nor approved. So if you’re looking for a great pair of headphones for gaming on the PC, Mac or next-gen consoles, you won’t find better than these. Pick up a pair and prepare for an audio experience tailored toward you, the hardcore gamer.
|G4ME ZERO||G4ME ONE|
|COLOR||Black (506079) or White (506064)||Black (506080) or White (506065)|
|IMPEDANCE||Headphones: 150 Ω||Headphones: 50 Ω|
|CONNECTOR||2 x 3.5 mm for desktop/laptop||2 x 3.5 mm for desktop/laptop|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE (MICROPHONE)||Microphone: 50 Hz - 16,000 Hz||Microphone: 50-16,000Hz|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE (HEADPHONES)||Headphones: 10 Hz – 26.000 Hz||Headphone: 15-28,000 Hz|
|SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL (SPL)||Headphones: 108 dB||Headphone: 116dB|
|THD, TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION||Headphones: < 0.1%||None stated by manufacturer|
|EAR COUPLING||Headphones: around-the-ear, closed acoustic design||Headphones: around-the-ear, open acoustic design|
|WEIGHT||11.0 oz||10.6 oz|
|PICK-UP PATTERN||Microphone: Noise Cancelling||Microphone: Noise Cancelling|
|SENSITIVITY||Microphone: -38 dBV at 94 dBSPL||Microphone: -38 dBV at 94 dBSPL|