EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset
- Incredible sound in games and music
- Quality microphone
- ...did I mention they sound amazing?
- Pair with the EPOS GSX 300 for blissful, customisable audio
- Finicky connection at the headphone
- No virtual 7.1 out of the box
Disclosure: EPOS SENNHEISER provided EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about EPOS SENNHEISER products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.
I don’t normally start a review like this, but I’m joust going to come right out and say that the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset has provided me with the most awesome, impressive audio experience that I’ve ever had!
While far from an audiophile, I have had the pleasure of using high-quality products from JBL, Bang & Olufsen, SONOS, Ultimate Ears, Puro Sound Labs and Paradigm. While each of those serve slightly different purposes throughout my house, it is the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset that is my new favourite.
First, a little story…
Now that I have that out of the way, I need to tell you a story. It is an embarrassing (for me) story, but one that I feel must be told. Please don’t judge me too harshly…
When my shiny new EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset arrived at my door it is fair to say I was excited! Having just rebuilt my excellent gaming PC and purchased a decent (budget) gaming monitor, audio was the final piece of the puzzle to complete my setup.
Out of the box, the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset certainly looked the part. Although great-looking, they are not exactly what I would call a “subtle design”, especially with the pre-installed bronze-coloured cover plates. It was when I plugged them in that my excitement turned to… concern.
The computer couldn’t seem to produce a stereo signal, instead sending the same sounds to both cans on the left and right test. Even with the volume cranked they just didn’t seem as powerful as I had expected. I pushed ahead and played some Forza Horizon 4. The music came through okay, but I could barely hear the engine. I played with settings, nothing worked.
I’ll admit that I started to panic. I first looked for drivers, to see if this headset required some special drivers to make it work properly. No luck. I changed just about every audio setting on my pc. Still no luck. I tried the front and rear connections on my PC. It still just didn’t sound right.
I began mentally drafting a very polite letter to EPOS asking to try a different headset for review, while simultaneously crawling Reddit threads to try and find a simple solution to my problem.
Then I found it.
The cord wasn’t connected properly at the headset end.
I’m an idiot.
I actually laughed out loud when I loaded Forza Horizon 4 and the brilliance of the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset finally shone through! It was partly relief, and partly astonishment at just how good they sounded. My frustration turned to serious amazement as I finally experienced all they had to offer.
So why am I telling this story? After all, I have made plenty of silly errors with other products in the past, but they don’t usually make their way into my reviews. I’m telling this story because, as I read through reviews from other users on platforms like Amazon, it became apparent that I was not alone in this experience. In amongst all the glowing reviews from very satisfied purchasers, several “1 Star” reviews described a very similar experience to mine, except it appeared that the reviewers had not discovered their error (at least not before posting their review).
I am telling you this because I worry that my otherwise glowing review of this product might be a factor in you deciding to buy these headphones, only to then form the opinion that I was not telling the truth. If you experience similar problems, please, please take the time to ensure you line up the connection properly and fully insert the cable into the headphone. The sound from this headset is more than worth the minor effort of doing this right.
EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset – Speaker Quality
It always amazes me when people buy huge, expensive televisions, but then rely on the onboard speakers for the audio. In any viewing experience (such as video games or movies), sound tells half the story. Sometimes it tells more. Yet, for too many, speakers or headphones are an afterthought.
Good quality sound completes the visual experience.
Generally speaking, the sound quality of the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset is outstanding! I’ll go into specifics shortly, but throughout my testing the headset was beautifully clear and rich in the sounds it produced. Performance was great at every sound level and the GSP 601 certainly packs a punch – capable of producing volumes well above my comfortable levels without distortion. At low and moderate listening levels, plenty of detail still came through. I felt little compulsion to crack the dial past about 50% most of the time.
I have an… eclectic taste in music, so bear with me here. I took some time to appreciate the musical quality of the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset before diving into more gaming.
My test started with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which sent shivers down my spine. Cohen’s deep voice came through the headset as if he were right there in the room with me. The bass is present, but not skull-rattlingly aggressive. It is well balanced, like a good set of headphones should be. As the song developed, each new instrument and voice came through clearly.
John Coltrane’s jazz masterclass, Giant Steps, was next on the listening list. This track can turn speakers into a muddy mess and leave lesser headphones weeping in the corner of the room, begging for mercy. On the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset it sounded fantastic! To say that there is plenty going on in this piece is an understatement, but it all comes through cleanly on the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset.
From there I jumped right into Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name. The GSP 601 had me hooked from the first cowbell.
Bob Dylan’s vocals can be a little… polarising. I’m a big fan, but I get it. However, I’d challenge anyone to listen to I Contain Multitudes through the GSP 601 headset and not walk away with an enhanced appreciation for his work. The flaws in Dylan’s voice are very much on show through this headset, but so is the richness and beauty. Again, the balance between the unique Dylan vocals and the near-perfect instrument backing through the GSP 601 headset makes for thoroughly enjoyable listening.
If you didn’t use Bombs Over Baghdad to test the new system in your car (that was worth more than the actual car), then you probably didn’t have P-plates in the early 2000s. Of course, back then the idea was to rattle the skulls of people three suburbs away, mainly thanks to the subwoofer that consumed the entire boot. These days B.O.B. is just as good to listen to, but on the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset it is a much more refined listening experience. There is a lot going on in that song and it is beautifully balanced through the GSP 601.
This is what we are all here for. Game soundtracks have always been memorable (I still hum the Tetris theme when I have to pack shopping into an overpacked freezer, or the Mario theme whenever I have to rescue a princess from a castle…), but these days game soundtracks are legitimate works of art.
Some games such as Forza Horizon 4 combine popular music with in-game sound effects to fully immerse the player. This includes commentary, GPS voice and (most importantly) engine noise. The EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset (after my initial hiccups) delivers a superb mix of these complementary sounds. Voice comes through clearly, even with the tunes thumping and the engine roaring. Each car’s distinctive tones are fully on display with this headset. I well and truly feel like I’m in the middle of the action.
The next game that I tried was Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The Resident Evil series have always had the ability to terrify me and 7 is no exception. In fact, the combination of 1st person view, excellent graphics and perfectly-delivered sound effects make this the best (worst?) one yet. The EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset delivered each and every terrifying little sound clearly, but the experience was taken to the next level when I paired the GSP 601 with the EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard. The GSX 300 is an impressive little addition to your PC setup. I will go into more details later, but for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the upgrade to virtual 7.1 surround sound was pants-ruiningly good. The game is full of tiny, almost imperceptible sounds that come alive when experienced through the GSP 601/GSX 300 setup. The big events are amplified in their horror value, but even the little things like crawling through the dirt beneath floorboards that creak above your head (almost as if someone is tracking your movement…) is equally terrifying.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is another game on heavy rotation right now. This game has a very different listening experience to the others, with no in-game soundtrack. Engine noise, instrument clicks and radio communications are the immersive factors in Flight Simulator. The EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset delivers these sounds beautifully. The sound of the Boeing 747 takes me right back to the days when international air travel was still a thing…
Sea of Thieves was next on my list and again the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset impressed with its delivery of sea shanties, pirate dialogue and the sounds of the ocean. I didn’t manage to get into a battle in my testing (mainly because I’m a terrible pirate), but I look forward to the sensation of cannon balls whizzing past my head soon.
Long story short – it doesn’t matter what genre of game I throw at it, the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset delivers an incredible listening experience. Paired with the EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard, the experience is sublime. The addition of the GSX 300 is great for any gamer who wants to really tweak the settings in order to get the most out of each individual game.
EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset – Microphone Quality
This is a gaming headset and voice communications are a big part of the online gaming experience. In competitive gaming, clear communication can mean the difference between (virtual) life and death. Those seeking to speak their way to glory can be assured of clear and crisp communications through the microphone of the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset. In my testing, those on the other end experienced a high quality connection with no crackling or cutouts.
The microphone is on an adjustable, boom-style arm. Raising the arm automatically mutes the microphone, so it is easy to control when you are heard, and when you are not. It is an easy and efficient method for ensuring great communication.
EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset Comfort and Fit
The EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset is a very comfortable headset. I now use it for a couple of hours at a time and don’t suffer fatigue from wearing it. One thing I will say is take the time to fine-tune it to your needs. The GSP 601 is highly adjustable and it did take me some fine tuning over several hours of gaming to find the perfect fit. At times during those initial hours it did begin to feel uncomfortable, with too much weight on the top of my head or my ears feeling sore after sustained use. Whenever I felt like something wasn’t quite as comfortable as I wanted it to be, I tinkered a little more until I got to the point where I am extremely satisfied.
Now, it is excellent. I have the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset set up exactly as I want it and I just put the headset on and enjoy sustained gaming. Take the time to find your perfect fit – it is well worth the effort.
The final aspect of comfort to mention is that these are a closed acoustic design. As someone who is new to fully enclosed ear pieces, I can say it does take some getting used to. My ears do get a little warm after sustained gaming, but not to the point where I feel uncomfortable. My biggest problem with this setup is that my wife finds it hard to get my attention. She sometimes has to resort to a tap on my shoulder which is fine… except for when I’m playing Resident Evil…
EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 – work from home
Life can’t be all fun and games, which is why the performance of the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset in the modern-day office (your bedroom while on Zoom) is of equal importance. I’m sure by now most of us have experienced the pain of poor audio in a virtual meeting – it’s a sure-fire way to induce a headache. I know from personal experience that the second the stuttering, spluttering, crackling communication starts is the second I tune out.
Thankfully, the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset is just as crisp in the virtual boardroom as it is on the virtual battlefield.
The only caveat here is that the EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset looks unmistakably like a gaming headset, especially with the bronze highlights attached. In some work environments that is perfectly fine, while in others it may be a little frowned upon. Use your common sense when judging if the visuals of the GSP 601 headset will pass muster in your online video calls. EPOS do have a wide range of gaming headset styles, so if the GSP 601 is not to your business tastes, check out what else they have to offer.
EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset & EPOS GSX 300 – a match made in heaven?
I have touched on this already, but it is worth highlighting again. The EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard makes the quality GSP 601 even better. And it is a remarkably cost-effective solution too.
There are two main advantages of the EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard that are well worth considering if you are looking to achieve a high quality listening experience.
Firstly, a dedicated soundcard is always going to do a better job of processing audio, resulting in a richer listening experience. It takes the job away from the motherboard, which was most likely built to provide an acceptable listening experience rather than an outstanding experience. The EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard adds customisation and controls to fine-tune your listening experience. There are included presets for some of the main listening scenarios, but you can also alter these and save new profiles, to create your ultimate listening experience.
Secondly (and most important for certain types of games), the EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard adds virtual 7.1 surround sound to the experience. This is not only more immersive, it can provide vital extra information that can lead to a real advantage in games. Being able to discern where a noise has come from in certain games can make a huge difference. I learnt that years ago playing online Splinter Cell on a 5.1 surround system and I have sworn by it ever since.
The EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Headset is an impressive headset for both listening to music and gaming in its own right. The only weaknesses that I could discern in my testing were a slightly tricky plug and the lack of 7.1 surround sound for certain games. The plug issue can easily be overcome with a little patience during the initial setup, and the EPOS GSX 300 external soundcard is the simple and cost-effective way to add virtual 7.1 surround sound, as well as bump up the all-round performance to epic levels. 4.5 stars for the GSP601 on its own, 6 (out of 5) when paired with the GSX 300.