GSP 500 Review
In 2019, Sennheiser Communications unveiled a new division dedicated to translating design, technology, and performance into high-end audio and video devices for both gaming and enterprise solutions called EPOS. The newly formed EPOS brand builds on a foundation of more than 115 years’ experience in audio and promises to pioneer the future of audio technology, such as their open-back acoustic headset, the EPOS│SENNHEISER GSP 500.
EPOS is derived from Latin and ancient Greek and is used to describe epic stories, speech and poetry. The name encapsulates our dedication to create solutions that enable ways of communication through the Power of Audio.– EPOS
EPOS│SENNHEISER GSP 500
The EPOS│SENNHEISER GSP 500 is a premium open-back acoustic headset, dedicated to delivering an immersive gaming experience. It’s high fidelity audio, wide sound stage and incredibly natural spatial sound, combined with quality materials and comfort. The GSP 500 is positioned to provide an exceptional gaming experience. Let’s find out if it lives up to its expectation.
Design & Comfort
As with all EPOS│SENNHEISER products the design is thoughtful and functional – the GSP 500 is no exception. Setting the tone is a matte black finish with subtle gloss highlights, red accents and silver to contrast. Construction is solid with ample flex and no sense of feeling like something is going to break. The GSP 500 look ‘gamer’ without going over the top and while on the bulkier side, they still hold a premium appearance you would come to expect from the EPOS│SENNHEISER brand. I think overall the GSP 500 looks fantastic, suited to anyone looking to level up their gaming setup without an RGB aesthetic.
The GSP 500 feature large ergonomic oval-shaped, around-ear cushions. Made from a breathable fabric that stays noticeably cool even after long sessions. Also, they featuring clever double-axis hinge mechanisms and an adjustable contact pressure headband. This allows users to dial in just the right amount of clamping force while the double-axis hinge mechanism allows the ear cups to pivot providing a comfortable seal for different head sizes and shapes. I found the loosest contact pressure setting best for my fitment with anything other, I found my self constantly adjusting or taking them off for a break.
The split headband has a similar breathable fabric as found on the ear cups, it’s soft and moulds easily to provide ample comfort. The GSP 500 weighs in at 358 grams which are on the heavy side when compared with the HyperX Cloud Alpha S (310g) or the Logitech G PRO X (320g). Whilst, not an issue for me it’s something to note if this is a purchasing factor.
The top half of both ear cups feature black aluminium vents, this is what gives the GSP 500 it’s open-back acoustic nature and aids in creating that airy, wide soundstage. While subjective, I personally find open-back headsets excellent for my environment. Allowing awareness of surroundings and also proves convenient to continue a conversation with family without the need to remove the headset. Just keep in mind as I can hear family they can also hear what I’m listening too, so if your gaming in a shared environment these may not be for you.
The left ear cup houses the lift-to-mute microphone, that’s sturdy and divided into three flexible rubber sections. It has a defined lift-to-mute notch and audible click ensuing you are defiantly muted, this also positions the mic neatly out of the way when not in use. The left ear cup also houses the input jack for the supplied GSA 505 PC Cable (2.5 m) or GSA 506 Console Cable (1.5 m). The right ear cup houses the volume wheel for quick adjustments while gaming. It’s easy to grab quickly thanks to the large notches and has a quilty resistance. I was disappointed when adjusting the volume it would throw the balance off, resulting in one ear cup sounding a bit louder than the other. Easily avoidable on PC with media keys or an external sound card that has volume control but may be irritating for some console gamers.
The GSP 500 are my daily drivers and the sound they produce is fantastic, especially when combined with a quality DAC such a the GSX 300, the GSP 500 won’t disappoint.
An open back headset allows the first reflected sound waves to be dispersed to the open space outside the headset, allowing for a more natural sound reproduction.EPOS│SENNHEISER
Being an open-back headset you do get a very wide sound stage, gaming and music have more of a spatial feeling that fills the room rather than an enclosed ear cups. The result, a more immersive gaming experience — giving audio a wider stage to perform. Music also benefits for these same qualities, reproducing a more detailed clean natural sound that’s really impressive for a ‘gaming’ headset!
The GSP 500 also has excellent stereo imaging, directional cues such as footsteps or gunshots are picked accurately with an instant sense of positioning. Playing Call of Duty: Warzone you get a heap of excitement through the angled drivers with action sounding realistic and open.
Due to the nature of open-back acoustic of the GSP 500 bass will lose some of the punchy response, such as D.Va’s Meka in Overwatch, footsteps and jumps don’t have as much thud or impact you might expect from a closed-back headset. But the depth and richness of the bass far make up for this and with some tweaks in your EQ software, the GSP 500 are a real gaming weapon.
The mids are full of detail and clarity, while the treble is clean and crisp to the point I feel no detail goes unheard. The GSP 500 features an optimized impedance (28 Ω) making them a great choice for gaming on low-power devices also. Combined with a frequency response range of 10–30,000 Hz and a sound pressure level of 107 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS.
The GSP 500 features a uni-directional flexible boom microphone with adjustable pick-up position, frequency response from 10–18,000 Hz and a sensitivity rating of -47 dBV/PA. The noise-cancelling is not too intrusive and teammates will still pick up on some audible keyboard clicks. Voice is super clean throughout testing with on-board sound and the GSX 300 whilst screaming Discord or calmly speaking in Microsoft Teams. The flexible boom lets you adjust pickup and helps reduce unwanted noise or get a closer pickup when speaking quietly.
EPOS│SENNHEISER GSP 500 Review
- DESIGN - 90%90%
- AUDIO PERFORMANCE - 95%95%
- MIC PERFORMANCE - 90%90%
- VALUE - 93%93%
If you’re in the market for a premium gaming headset the EPOS│SENNHEISER GSP 500 offers exceptional natural audio, excellent open-back acoustics plus a microphone that delivers clear in-game chat. Coupled with adjustable comfort and durable construction the GSP 500 is a solid choice. Not only delivering in-game but as a great all-round headset with plenty of compatibility options.
For more on EPOS│SENNHEISER, check out our previous coverage.