What you have in the Sennheiser GSP 500 is an excellent set of cans regarded as the spiritual successors of the much-vaunted Sennheiser GAME One headphone. The brand has won renown for definition in the high end but that is not the case with the GSP 500. The open-back design of the GSP 500 coupled with a few adjustments made to the profile gives these headphones an airy and more natural timbre complete with an extra bit of bass that one wouldn’t expect of Sennheiser.
Sennheiser GSP 500 Review
Design and Build
The GSP 500 lacks the slick appeal and conservative style of the GAME One headphones instead, it offers an “in-your-face” design. It is one of the biggest and most flashy gaming headsets in the current market but it isn’t just about the ostentatious outlook. Sennheiser packed these headphones chock-full of ergonomic features to ensure that you remain comfortable through long gaming sessions.
Although it is nowhere near featherweight, the Sennheiser GSP 500 is slightly lighter than its counterpart, the GSP 600 which comes in a closed-back package but otherwise boasts a near-identical design. In a bid to manage the weight foisted on these headphones by the integrated mic arm and chunky plastic shell, four separate flexible sliders are incorporated into the Sennheiser GSP 500. Left and right headband adjustment is managed by two sliders at the top while there is a slider on each earcup to aid vertical adjustments.
With all these features you will find that the GSP 500 is a headset that will fit comfortably once you get the perfect adjustment for your head shape. The GSP 500 sports a breathable fabric in contrast with the GSP 600 which sports a leatherette that enhances noise isolation.
It’s not so ugly considering Sennheiser made it but we find it too prominent on the wearer, just a tad more prominent than we’d like especially when you wear it out in public. With the bulky integrated mic, you probably can’t use this set of cans for anything other than gaming.
With the GSP 500, Sennheiser has maintained the blanket style applied across the entire GSP range and you can’t argue with such a solid design. The mic can be muted simply by swiveling it up, it is also slightly flexible making for a little maneuverability and you will find that the noise-canceling mic possesses a quality to rival the best. Beside the mic mute, there is a volume wheel on the opposite earcup.
Sennheiser GSP 500 Perfomance and Sound
We weren’t surprised by the excellent audio quality of the Sennheiser GSP 500. Sennheiser understands that gamers appreciate that little bit of extra bass more than music listeners and other headphones users. There is a slight modification to the lows but the general sound profile is just about what you would expect Sennheiser to put out. A crisp and detailed upper frequency that falls off slightly towards the lower frequencies and a lower frequency that is a lot less imposing than what you get from other brand’s gaming headsets, that’s the Sennheiser sound!
The stand out feature of the GSP 500 is its open-back design. It is remarkable because most gaming headphones out there do not offer open-back designs so that when gamers find a company willing to offer an open-back design, they appreciate it. This is an important design switch away from the closed-back style and as expected, it affected the GSP 500 Sennheiser audio output in a great way.
Closed-back headphones are renowned for their noise-canceling capabilities while open-back designs trade noise-cancellation for a more natural sound delivery aided by a gap in the rear of the earcups. This gap exists on the GSP 500 as a small opening located just above the earcup hinge.
The result of this design is a remarkably open and airy sound profile for the Sennheiser GSP 500. The sound is not as harsh as what you get with most of the other closed-back GSP headphones. The closed-back GSP 600 sometimes feels a bit pointed in the highs but you won’t experience such issues with the GSP 500. The Sennheiser GSP 500 offers a much wider soundscape while its natural sound output works perfectly with a game’s sound engine. The sound of the environment is pivotal to building the atmosphere and soft tones of the GSP 500, which highlight’s a well-rounded sound staging.
Final Thoughts on Sennheiser GSP 500
Sennheiser didn’t go wrong with the GSP 500. Reasonable features, great build quality, and sound quality you won’t find in any other gaming headphone. The price of the Sennheiser GSP 500 may be a little high but what you get in return is a pair of excellent gaming headphones from a renowned audio company. If you love Sennheiser’s signature sound, then you won’t find any other headphones that can deliver such a great sound without losing some gaming functionality.