Reviewed on Jun 04, 2018

Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.3
Mixed Usage
7.9
Critical Listening
5.2
Commute/Travel
5.8
Sports/Fitness
5.7
Office
6.0
TV
7.4
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser Game One is a simple and comfortable gaming headset with a great sound quality. These headphones have a wired design so they suffer in range but have practically no latency, making them suitable for both gaming and watching movies. They also have open ear cups which is relatively rare for gaming headsets. This gives them a better soundstage but makes them even less suitable for loud environments and outdoor use. Unfortunately, they lack a few active features compared to other gaming headphones in their price range.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 8.0
Isolation 2.5
Microphone 8.8
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.5
Pros
  • Open and balanced audio reproduction.
  • Great microphone quality.
  • Comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Slightly bulky and cumbersome design.
  • High leakage, by design.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

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6.8

Design

The Sennheiser Game One have a straightforward design that looks somewhat similar to the HD 598. They're very comfortable headphones with large, spacious ear cups, and ample padding that feels pleasant to wear for long gaming sessions. They're also very easy-to-use since they only have a simple volume dial and a mute switch embedded in the Mic swiveling mechanism. Unfortunately, this control scheme feels a bit lacking compared to other gaming headsets. Also, since you can't remove the mic, and they're not really stable, they won't be the best headphones to use outdoors.

Style

The Sennheiser Game One look somewhat similar to the HD 598 or an open HD 380 Pro which we haven't yet reviewed. They come in two color schemes; an all-black variation and a two-tone black and white scheme that's a bit more flashy. The microfiber padding on both the headband and the ear cups give them a more high-end appeal although they do not have the versatility of having a removable mic so that you can use them outdoors like regular headphones.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.9 lbs

The Game One headphones are similar in fit and size to the super comfortable Sennheiser HD 598. They're a bit tighter on the head than the 598 but the ear cups are large and fit well around most listeners' ears. The headband and the ear cups are also well-padded and covered in a microfiber fabric that feels soft and pleasant on the skin. They're not as comfortable as the HD 598 but you can wear these headphones for hours and not feel any fatigue, making them suitable for long gaming sessions.

5.9 Controls
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
No
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Sennheiser Game One have a very basic but easy to use control scheme. They have a volume dial and a mute switch embedded in the Mic swiveling mechanism (i.e. placing the mic in the upright position will disable it). Unfortunately, the volume dial doesn't have any distinct notches to better set your preferred volume level, and the overall control scheme feels a little lacking in features when compared to other gaming headsets and more casual everyday headphones.

7.0 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.1 C

These headphones are fairly breathable thanks to their open-back design and porous ear cup pads. They won't be the ideal choice for sports since they are not designed for that use case and will make you sweat during intense exercises. However, for gaming and casual listening, they are a lot more breathable than most gaming headsets.

5.4 Portability
L : 7.5 "
W : 7 "
H : 4 "
Volume : 211 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sennheiser Game One, like most gaming headphones, are not really portable. They're bulky and do not fold up into a more compact format. The ear cups also do not lay flat, making for a cumbersome and difficult to carry headphone. Unfortunately, they do not come with a case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case.

7.5 Build Quality

The Sennheiser Game One headphones feel sturdy enough that they won't break from a few accidental falls. The headband is flexible and has a wide metal frame for support but it's also a bit creaky. Also the plastic casing covering the headband looks and feels a little cheap. On the upside, the ear cups are dense and durable and the padding material used in their build quality feels high-end. However, like the similarly designed HD 598, the hinges are the most susceptible points and may not be as durable as the rest of the build quality.

6.5 Stability

The Sennheiser Game One headphones are slightly more stable than the HD598 because they are tighter on the head but have the same issue. They should be fine for gaming and casual listening sessions but they will easily move and sway if you wear them while doing physical exercises. This makes them not suitable for sports but on the upside, they have a detachable cable that easily disconnects if it gets hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 9.4 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

They come with a 1/8"TRS headset y-splitter cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.0

Sound

The Sennheiser Game One is a very good sounding open-back over-ear gaming headset. These headphones have a consistent bass with a good amount of body and punch, a very good and even mid-range which produces clear vocals, and an excellent and well-balanced treble. However, their bass lacks a bit of sub-bass which may also distort under loud volumes, and their mid-range is slightly overemphasized, adding a bit of muddiness to the overall sound.

7.7 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.85 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
53.39 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-5.18 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-0.61 dB
High-Bass
:
2.46 dB

The bass is good. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 53Hz, which is about average. Also, low-bass, which is responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres and video games, is lacking by more than 5dB. This tends to be a common shortcoming among most open-back headphones. Mid-bass, responsible for body and punch is well-balanced, but the 2.5dB bump in high-bass adds a bit of muddiness to the overall sound.

8.3 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.3 dB
Low-Mid
:
2.75 dB
Mid-Mid
:
2.09 dB
High-Mid
:
1.86 dB

The mid-range is very good. The response is virtually flat, which is great for vocals and lead instruments. However, it is consistently over our target by about 2dB, especially in low-mid. This adds a little bit of clutter to the mix and makes the overall sound a tad mid-rangy.

8.9 Treble
Std. Err.
:
2.37 dB
Low-Treble
:
1.02 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.32 dB
High-Treble
:
-2.02 dB

The treble performance is excellent. The overall response is rather uneven, but quite well-balanced. Low-treble is within 1dB of our neutral target, and mid-treble is within 0.3dB of our target. This suggests a well-balanced reproduction of vocals, leads, and cymbals.

8.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.34 dB

The Sennheiser Game One has a great frequency response consistency. Due to the open-back design, and unlike closed-back ones, these headphones don't rely as much on an air-tight seal for their bass delivery. Therefore, they performed quite consistently across our human subjects. They are also quite consistent in the treble range across multiple positions, likely due to their small ear cups.

8.6 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.8
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.74
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
4.65

The imaging performance of the G4me One is excellent. Weighted group delay is at 0.16, which is excellent. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase. This is important for the proper placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field.

6.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.8 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
3.77 dB
PRTF Distance
:
6.92 dB
Openness
:
8.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.4
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage is about average. The PRTF response shows a decent amount of activation, but the pinna interaction is not very accurate as there's not a 10KHz notch present. This results in a relatively small soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the listener's head. However, the open-back design of these headphone could make them feel more open sounding than closed-back headphones.

8.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.679
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.102

The Sennheiser Game One have a very good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low, especially, in the treble range. In the bass range, however, there is a noticeable rise in THD as the volume increases, which suggests they may struggle a bit with low frequencies at very high volumes.

2.5

Isolation

The open ear cups of the Sennheiser Game One means they won't isolate well enough for loud environments. They barely block any noise which improves their soundstage but also makes them less suitable to use outdoors. They also leak a lot so they will be distracting to those around you in quieter settings. If you game alone or online, then they should be fine but they won't be the ideal headphones to use at a competition where there's a lot of ambient chatter, as the noise will easily seep into your audio.

2.7 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-3.37 dB
Bass
:
-0.16 dB
Mid
:
0.94 dB
Treble
:
-10.58 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

The isolation is poor. These are open-back headphones so they don't isolate well. In the bass range, they will let in all the low rumbling noises of your environment. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they also don't achieve any isolation. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by about 11dB, which is inadequate.

2.0 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
62.17 dB

The leakage performance of the Game One is poor. The significant portion of their leakage is between 200Hz and 20KHz, which is a very broad range. This means that their leakage will sound a lot fuller than that of closed-back headphones, and in-ears. The overall level of the leakage is quite loud too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at about 62dB SPL, and peaks at 77dB, which is quite higher than the noise floor of most offices.

8.8

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
No

The Sennheiser Game One have an impressive boom microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound full, natural, and present, but lacking slightly in airiness. In noisy situations, they can fully separate speech from background noise even in very loud environments, such as a subway station or game competition.

8.8 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.84 dB
HFE
:
8010.97 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.291
Gain
:
31.13 dB

The recording quality of Game One's boom microphone is great. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 20Hz, which results in the recorded/transmitted speech to sound full-bodied. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 8KHz, suggests a speech that is clear and present, but lacking slightly in airiness and brilliance. The response between LFE and HFE points is very good, and results in a natural speech.

8.8 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
41.32 dB

The boom microphone has an excellent noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 41dB, which is great. This means they can separate speech from ambient noise even in the most demanding situations.

0

Active Features

The Sennheiser Game One do not have any active features or app support.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

These headphones are passive and have no battery life.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not have any compatible software for added customization. If you like wired headphones but want a headset with a bit a more customization options then check out the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDac.

5.5

Connectivity

The Sennheiser Game One have a wired 1/8" TRS connection and come with an additional headset adapter for PCs. On the upside, the microphone is compatible with both compatible with the PS4 and Xbox One controllers. They also have negligible latency since they're wired, which is good for gaming and watching movies. Unfortunately, they won't have the range and convenience of wireless gaming headsets.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A

These headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a gaming headset that supports Bluetooth, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.

9.1 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone

The Sennheiser Game One have a wired connection that provides volume control and microphone compatibility support for consoles as long as you plug them into the Xbox One or PS4 controllers. They also come with Y-splitter headset adapter for PCs.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

This gaming headset does not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition.

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

The Sennheiser Game One do not have a wireless range since they're wired. If you want a good wireless gaming headset, check out the Astro A50.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones have negligible latency thanks to their wired connection. This makes them suitable for gaming and watching movies but they are limited by the range of their relatively short cable.

In the box

  • Sennheiser G4me One Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Headset Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

The Sennheiser Game One are comfortable wired gaming headphones with a great sound quality. This makes them a good choice for critical listening, and their wired design means they have no latency when watching videos and gaming. Unfortunately, they lack in features compared to most gaming headsets in their price range, so they won't be as convenient for gaming as some of the models compared below. You also can't remove their boom mic, and since they have an open back design, they will not be suitable for outdoor use. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best gaming headsets under $100 and the best PC gaming headsets.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud II and the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset are both good gaming headsets, but each performs better in different ways. The open-back Game One have better audio reproduction and will be more open-sounding than the Cloud II, but some may feel like they are a bit lacking in sub-bass. The mic of the Sennheiser is also slightly better and more natural sounding. On the other hand, the Cloud II has channel mixing when used via USB and are one of the most comfortable and better-built gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far. They are also more versatile, as their closed-back design blocks more ambient noise and you can fully detach their microphone for a more outdoor-friendly look.

Astro A50 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A50 are better gaming headphones than the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. They have a better overall sound quality, although the open-back design of the Game One may be better suited for some. The A50 are slightly better-built, but their design requires their dock for them to work, while the wired connection of the Game One is more versatile. The Sennheiser's mic sounds better and you won't have to manage a battery life as well. On the other hand, the A50 have a few customization options inside their app, which the Game One lack.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A40 2019 are better open-back gaming headphones than the Sennheiser Game One. They have more controls and better customization support via their app, which the Game One is lacking. Also, they feel better built and have a great bass performance despite their open-backs. On the other hand, the Game One might offer better value if you don’t really have a need for an app, as they are quite versatile and work with every console that has the appropriate jack, while you need a console specific model for the A40.

Conclusion

6.3 Mixed Usage

Mediocre for mixed usage. The Sennheiser Game One are primarily gaming headphones but have a good audio reproduction for critical listening. They're comfortable and have low latency due to their wired design. However, they feel a little lacking in features when compared to other gaming headsets. They have no software or app support, and they won't be sufficiently versatile to pass as casual headphones. The mic is not removable, they're bulky and too unstable for sports. Their open design is also not suitable for commuting.

7.9 Critical Listening

Great for critical listening. The Game One have a well-balanced sound quality and an open design that grants them a more open soundstage than most gaming headsets we've reviewed so far. Also, although they may lack a little bass for gaming, their neutral sound and comfortable design makes them a good option for casual and critical listening.

5.2 Commute/Travel

Not made for commuting. They have an open design that barely blocks ambient noise so they won't be suitable for commuting or traveling. They're also not very portable.

5.8 Sports/Fitness

Sub-par for sports. Although they have a breathable design, they're not stable enough to be a decent option for running. Their bulky design has a mediocre-at-best control scheme and sways a lot during physical activity.

5.7 Office

Sub-par for office use. Their open design leaks a lot which may be distracting to the people around you. They also don't block a lot of ambient noise so if you have a lively office you will be able to hear all the chatter.

6.0 TV

Decent for home theater use. They have a comfortable fit that you can wear for hours and a well-balanced audio reproduction. They also have a low latency wired connection which makes them an above-average option for watching videos. However, the audio cable may not be long enough and may require an aux extension cord depending on your home theater set up.

7.4 Gaming

Good for gaming. The Sennheiser Game One have a great sound quality, a comfortable design, low latency and a good mic that filters out a lot of noise. Since they're open-back, they have a slightly more spacious soundstage than other gaming headsets. They're also more breathable so you will be able to wear them for longer, but they are less isolating. Unfortunately, they lack in software support and customization options.

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