EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 601 & GSP 602
EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 601 & GSP 602

Review: EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 601 & GSP 602 gaming headset

A vibrant rediscovery of an already crowd favourite

Sennheiser is a name long synonymous with audio equipment. EPOS on the other hand may have you turning your head to one side. The newly developed brand was formed in late 2019 to act as the face of Sennheiser Communications’ gaming products. To celebrate the new brand EPOS have decided to re-release one of Sennheiser’s most successful gaming headsets, the GSP 600 in not one, but two new colourways.

The GSP 601 headset in their box

Design

The new GSP 601 & GSP 602 inject some colour into what has typically been a modest aesthetic under the Sennheiser moniker. Compared to other brands EPOS have delicately balanced their colour offerings. Instead of gaudy “gamer” combos they’ve chosen an inverted white base with black highlights for the GSP 601 and a deep metallic blue with flicks of silver and tan leather cups on the GSP 602.

As expected the build of the headset is predominately plastic, but has a very industrial/sci-fi feel to it that pairs well with its metallic gloss. I really appreciate how the colours are paired without a garish attitude yet still manage to make a statement.  The 602s especially have a refined appearance, if only for the tan cups.

Soft cups do a great job on passive noise reduction

The headset’s microphone boom has some chunkiness to it that I absolutely love. It swivels down from an upright position to activate and doesn’t hide the fact it’s there. Celebrated instead of hidden away the microphone looks good and performs better for its size.

There are no pulsing LEDs hidden about the headset. The passively powered unit does away with the bombastic to offer a minimalist approach with maximum compatibility.

Supplied with braided cables they can be connected to anything with a 3.5mm output. There are two versions of cables included. Both have a 2.5mm jack on an extended plastic shroud that’s connects to the headset, whilst on the other end there is one with a single 3.5mm jack and another with two 3.5mm jacks that split the audio input and microphone output.

Features

The GSP 601 & GSP 602 are feature-rich in their lack of features. Their ease of compatibility by using a 3.5mm cable for example means instead of having bluetooth (which means a battery, which means charging, which means USB cables) they simply just plug in and work.

Their passive power also means there is no active noise cancellation. The large cups and unvented enclosure of the ear cups means they do an excellent job of blocking external noise. Even with some of the biggest lobes in town I had no issues comfortably wearing the GSP 602 headset for extended periods of time.

Included braided cables

Unlike most modern headset the GSP 601 & GSP 602 is a 100% stereo offering. Instead of virtually reproducing sound via in-built wizardry the passive power curtails any experience beyond the simple left and right. Sadly many could see this as a deal breaker. The inability for directional sound in engrossing gaming situations does hinder the experience for some. Personally I was unperturbed and again preferring their flexibility in use-case over faux-surround-sound.

In addition the headset’s pivoting microphone there is only one other moving piece. A jog wheel on the exterior of the headset’s right cup allows you to control its volume. The wheel’s movement feels particular rigid, which I enjoyed. Unlike the free-spinning mouse wheels that spin like they’re in a vacuum this has a tangible resistance. Changing the headset’s volume isn’t something you’re going to do accidentally.

Performance

Despite having the bells and whistles of active noise cancellation, a series of EQ presets or virtual surround-sound the GSP 602 headset sounds incredibly good!

Music

Armed with my trusty playlist of test songs it was a welcomed surprise to hear the majority of them come through with a decent effort. Heavier bass is punchy, top-end sounds relatively crisp and mids adequate. Helped immensely because of the closed design of the headset’s passive noise cancelling.

The headphone’s over-ear design captures more sound, but also shines a spotlight on their faults. In particular I found most hip-hop/rnb tracks to miss the beat, despite having a significant punch to their bass.

Tracks like Radiohead’s Paranoid Android should sit perfectly in a headset of this type’s wheelhouse. For some unknown reason that just isn’t the case though. Sounds across each range blend without clarity leaving you with an almost muffled rendition. It’s not terrible, but hard to not call out when  there are similarly priced units that can do a better job.

Size reference to PS4 DualShock controller

Gaming

They’re not music headsets though, they’re aimed towards gamers. It’s here away of music that they worked much better for me. Perhaps powered by the generally bombastic approach to gut-punching sound effects littered in most titles today the GSP 601 & GSP 602 headsets performed well across tests on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch.

Probably the headsets’ best feature is their microphone. Once again I come back to this chunky swivel-down arm of plastic. Not only for its design but for its function. A good microphone is hard to find and a great one is even harder. The fact it extends all the way to my mouth alone is something oddly rare, but the clarity of the user’s voice is even rarer. Unprompted I was often complimented on how clear I sounded, which is kinda weird.

GSP 602 adjustable band

Conclusion

The GSP 601 and GSP 602 headsets are a quality offering that edge towards the expensive side of things. There aren’t a lot of headsets in the market that easily connect to all current (and next-gen) gaming consoles with zero configuration.

In offering that functionality it does away with some more modern day features that conscientious gamers may long for. You’ll find no surround sound, presets or EQ tweaking, the more gamer-focused consumer may consider looking into the next tier of offerings.

Despite that their sound quality is remarkably good and their closed construction affords it a level of noise reduction that is almost comparable to active noise cancellation. In other words if you’re wearing a set of these you’ll be hearing your game and not your partner politely asking you to do the dishes for tenth time today. I’ll leave that up to you as to whether or not that’s a good thing or not!

EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 601 & GSP 602
EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 602 gaming headset
Design
8
Features
6
Performance
7
Pros
Works with anything that has a 3.5mm jack
Great microphone
Solid passive noise reduction
Cons
Sounds can be crushed when crowded
Stereo only
Bare-bones feature set
7

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