Sennheiser’s G4ME ONE headset is, without a shadow of a doubt, a beautiful piece of kit. From the moment you open the box and see the white headset with subtle flashes of red you know you’re dealing with quality. Photos just can’t do it justice (in fact a friend of mine said they looked a bit Fisher Price), and as for the quality? You’re in for a treat.
But let’s get the elephant in the room out the way first: this headset is expensive. Sennheiser headsets are never cheap, but this one will set you back somewhere in the region of £200. It’s in the same ballpark as other top end headsets, but it’s an eye watering figure that will probably only suit those gamers who are after something a little special, something that goes above and beyond the average headset.
Those gamers who want velvet lined ear cups.
That’s right, you’ll find nothing as common as foam or leather coverings sat against your head with the G4ME ONE, instead it feels like you’re wearing a very light and incredibly soft pillow against your ears. The headphones are nicely adjustable too, with the cups gripping ears enough to feel sturdy, while not squeezing so tight that it feels like the blood to your brain is being cut off. They also sit comfortably over a pair of glasses without excess pressure on the arms, something which some headsets fail to do spectacularly.
You’ll also see from the photos that the area which holds the speakers in place isn’t solid, but instead has a series of lines cut out of the plastic. This does mean a fair bit of sound escapes during game play (and a fair bit gets in too, noticeable during quieter moments) but has the huge benefit of letting air move around a bit more, reducing the likelihood of that always-delightful sweaty ear problem.
As with the looks it’s impossible to explain how they feel without trying them yourself, but they are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most comfortable set of headphones I’ve ever worn. Compared to the lower cost Gioteck headsets which we reviewed a while back (which remain excellent for the price) the G4ME ONE is in another league, letting you play for lengthy amounts of time without getting uncomfortable or, as mentioned above, developing that delightful sweaty ear syndrome associated with most headsets. The padded headband and soft cups mean you won’t look like a partly sunburnt nutter when you take them off, which is handy if you’re heading out straight after a few games.
In terms of sound quality you’re in for a treat here as well. Music is beautifully defined, whether it’s the frantic action music of Battlefield or the more chilled background melodies in Skyrim everything sounds fantastic, with no distortion, none of that muted “head under a cushion” feeling and just the right amount of bass to give you good rumble without your ear drums ending up in next door’s back garden. Voices are clearly defined, and the simple single-control of a volume wheel on one of the earpieces makes turning things up and down a doddle. There aren’t any individual controls for chat and game volume, but that’s for a simple reason we’ll come to in a moment.
Microphone quality is good too, with other gamers able to hear my gorgeous(ish) voice clearly and at a suitable volume without having to dig through settings to make myself louder or quieter. Muting yourself is easy too, with a simple lift of the microphone arm to a more upright position giving a soft click to indicate that you can start shouting at the cat without other gamers thinking you’ve lost your mind. It also means if you’re using them as a simple set of headphones you don’t need to have the microphone poking you in the face and getting in the way, and considering how incredible the sound quality is you’ll find yourself wanting to put these on as often as possible. It doesn’t even cause a problem being wired, partly because the cable is relatively long giving most people plenty of chance to sit back while playing, but also because the cable itself has a braided cover on it, letting it flex and glide in a way that your everyday run of the mill plastic casing just doesn’t allow. It’s yet another simple area that screams quality.
There is, however, something of a drawback. This is a PC headset (hence the lac k of controls mentioned earlier), and as such has standard 3.5mm plugs for the headphones and microphone. As many of you will be aware that’s not going to quite work on a console, and while you can easily plug the headphones into your TV or controller (depending on how you’re playing) it’s the microphone that causes problems. There is, however, a way to get these working on a PS3 and PS4 (it might be possible on the 360 or One, but as I don’t have either it’s tricky to test). The PS4 is the easiest method – if you spend a few quid (literally a few) on a small USB sound adaptor from Amazon then you can plug that into your PS4 and the headset just plugs into the adaptor and works instantly. I tested the G4ME ONE quite thoroughly on both the PC and PS4, and they worked wonderfully on both. So while it’s definitely aimed at the PC market, don’t rule it out too quickly if you’re a Playstation owner.
So a wonderfully made premium headset which is comfortable, sounds incredible and can be used on more devices than it was originally intended for? What is there to not like? Well there’s that one thing, that elephant I tried to get out of the way but still blocks the sun and shadows the immense quality: the £200 price tag. If you’ve got the money then it’s totally worth it, and if that kind of spend comes as easily to you as putting on trousers then you should be looking into buying one as soon as you can get round to it. But for those who don’t have that luxury it’s a very hefty price when there are lower cost options on the market.
But let’s not lose sight of the main outcome of this review: the G4ME ONE is an incredible headset. Of that there is absolutely no doubt.