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Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset
Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset
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I’m a music lover and a PC gamer. I mainly play Dota 2, Civilization, JRPGs, a few top down RPGs, and some 3D RPGs. I only play a limited amount of first person games, mainly Counter Strike, Borderlands, and some RPGs like Shadow of Mordor. Therefore, I don’t put too much importance on virtual surround sound for gaming. I’m looking for a setup that’s immersive, comfortable, and has a decent microphone. I’ve tried ModMic setup before but I really hate dealing with the cable mess that comes with it.
I like a relatively neutral sounding system that slightly leans to the warm side. My favourite pair of headphones is LCD-X for its amazing bass and energetic sound. On a lazy Sunday, I like to put on my Fitear TG334 to listen to some slow acoustic songs. My usual listening gear is usually Onkyo DP X1 > Chord Hugo > Liquid Carbon > LCD-X.
This is a low-profile headset. If you like bright colours, you might not like it as it’s in “boring” black. I think the simplicity appeals to most adult gamers though.
The housing of PC37X, as far as I can tell, is entirely made of plastic. It gives the advantage of being really light but some of you probably will raise the question of its durability. I’ve tried stretching the headband and I’m happy to report that I did not hear a squeak. It’s plastic, but the good kind of plastic.
Out of the box, the velour earpads are stiffer than what I’m used to. The clamping force is also a bit strong, but not to the point it makes me uncomfortable. The pads are quite breathable but my earlobes do get a little bit hot after some time. Overall, I’m rating the comfort as “good enough for 6 hours of gaming without taking it off”.
I’m testing the headphone mainly from Asus Xonar U7 MKII and Onkyo DP-X1. Bear in mind that this is a subjective review as I did not use any measurement gears and did not check the frequency response (if there’s any) before writing this review.
The bass is probably the one that threw me off the most. It has a lot of quantity in the upper bass and sounds very rich, up to the point it’s almost veiled. After giving it a listen for quite some time, the sound grew on me. The PC37X probably has one of the most controlled and tightest bass for a pair below $200. Heck, my Sennheiser PXC550 (MSRP AU$630/Retail $400-$500) has worse control over the bass and a bit loose. It’s not perfect, however, as the bass on PC37X didn’t extend very low; I couldn’t hear a satisfying thump in the sub-bass region.
The midrange is the star of this headset. It’s intimate and detailed, making it a great (dare I say perfect?) pair for gaming. This is coming from someone who uses Fitear TG334 regularly for portable listening; it is an IEM which is known to have one of the best midrange. The vocals are great in music and the footsteps are great in games.
Depending on your preference, the treble is probably the weakness of this pair. It has a very relaxed treble,
relaxed for my liking. It makes it a laid back pair that will not pierce your ear during long listening or gaming sessions, but some folks might prefer some extra oomph in the treble region.
SOUNDSTAGE AND IMAGING
To put it shortly, it’s decently wide but lacks depth. Imaging is very good
for its price
, but your HD800S is, without a question, vastly superior. This is the area that I think the PC37X does well, but doesn’t really punch above its class.
OVERALL PRESENTATION (TL;DR)
Laid back sound with rich bass and intimate midrange. Very good soundstage and imaging for its price.
50 Ω impedance and 116 dB SPL/mW, so it’s quite easy to drive. My Xonar U7 MKII distorts the sound at very high volume, while my Onkyo DP-X1 drives it without any problems. If you’re getting this as an all-rounder (music, movies, gaming etc), I recommend getting a decently powerful desktop amplifier like Schiit Magni 2. If you only use this almost exclusively for gaming (like me), your motherboard or USB soundcard like the U7 is perfectly fine. I recommend against pairing these headphones with a tube amplifier as it might sound too dark. Analytical solid-state amps will be the best match.
In FPS games like CS:GO, the sound is really immersive thanks to its rich bass while still being accurate thanks to its very good midrange. In RPGs like Skyrim, the dialogue is very clear thanks to (once again) its midrange. For Dota 2, well, it’s hard to sound bad in Dota 2. I can’t comment on HRTF/VSS as it depends on your DSP Engine and/or the game’s built-in sound engine.
I expected a good quality microphone, but instead I got a great one (for a headset). This is the best headset microphone I’ve ever used. Period. Yes, that includes ModMic.
If your listening rig is separated from your gaming rig like me, you might be looking for an affordable headset. At US$120 (cost me around AU$170 including shipping), the PC37X should be on the very top of your list. This is one of my very few audio purchases that I made without auditioning it in person, yet I don’t regret it one bit.
[+] Rich, controlled, and tight bass for immersive sound
[+] Detailed and intimate midrange for competitive advantage in games
[+] Great microphone
[+] Great value for money
[-] The “Sennheiser Veil” is present. Too much upper bass and does not extend very low at the sub-bass region.
[-] The treble is too relaxed
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