With superb comfort for long gaming sessions, the EPOS GSP601 offers incredible sound quality and isolation for a truly immersive experience.
- Brand: EPOS
- Weight: 14.1oz (400g)
- Microphone: Unidirectional, lift-to-mute boom
- Style: Over-ear closed-cup
The EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP601 is a premium wired gaming headset with boom mic and incredibly comfortable over-ear closed-cup design. It’s even better when paired with a GSX300 external USB amplifier.
Read on to find out more, and thanks to EPOS, we have a pair to give away to one lucky reader too, along with a GSX300 amp! You’ll find the competition at the end of the review.
- Design: closed cup over-ear headphones
- Color: mostly white, optional bronze side plates
- Sound Pressure Level: 112 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 30 kHz
- Impedance: 28 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 120 +/-3dB (at 1kHz, IEC318 test)
- Microphone: Unidirectional 10–18,000 Hz, -47 dBV / PA sensitivity
- Weight: 14.1oz (400g)
- Price: $220
The EPOS GSP601 headset is strictly a wired analog device; there is no battery, or Bluetooth connectivity. It must be plugged in to operate.
Two braided cables are included in the box, both of which connect securely to the headset via a 2.5mm TRRS plug (and both are replaceable).
One cable is designed for use with console controllers, and terminates in a combined 3.5mm TRRS plug (which I found also worked on my MacBook Pro).
The other is designed for PC connectivity, a 2.5m cable that terminates in a separate microphone and speaker TRS 3.5mm plugs.
On the right-hand you’ll find an analog volume adjustment, however it’s worth noting that this is strictly reducing the volume already output from your audio device; it cannot increase the volume at source. It’s not connected over USB, so there is no interfacing with the operating system. This means you may need to juggle the volume in two places if you find it’s too low.
The EPOS GSP601 is bulky and industrial-looking; there’s no effort here to go for a minimalist look in the slightest. It looks and feels like it’d survive a bomb blast. At just over 14 oz, it’s a little on the heavy side, but in use it’s so comfortably that you just won’t notice.
Anodized metal structural supports enable the earcup to pivot to the perfect angle on your ears, leading to incredible comfort and audio isolation.
Also in the box are alternate colored cover plates for the sides. Ours shipped with bronze plates fitted, which we quickly swapped out for the alternate white style, which is what you’ll see featured throughout this review. These plates are entirely aesthetic, adding bulk and color to the sides.
The padding on the GSP601 is all black, with a white plastic closed back and dial.
If white isn’t your thing, color variants exist. The original GSP600 are mostly black with red accents, while the GSP602 is dark blue plating with burnt sienna ear cups.
In any case, the luxurious ear cups on all of the models are interchangeable and replacements are readily available.
Passive Noise Cancellation
With a pleather exterior, a lush velvet touching your head, and a breathable mesh inner cover, the thickly padded over-ear cups and closed backs offer superb levels of comfort for long gaming sessions.
But they also serve as very effective passive noise cancellation. Or more accurately, noise isolation. With the GSP601 headset on, you’ll hear very little of the outside world, thoroughly immersing you in the action.
To be clear, there is no active noise cancellation going on, which involves listening to the surrounding ambience and playing back “opposite” sounds inside the headset. This can often result in a distorted, almost ethereal sound. The sound isolation is purely from a physical barrier.
We ran through a number of audio tests from AudioCheck.net. Across the full spectrum sweep, the sound was smooth, with no obvious peaks or troughs. I was unable to detect any harmonic distortion, and bass response was great.
Though the GSP601 is supposedly able to reproduce sounds from 10Hz to 30,000KHz, my years of working as a lighting technician in clubs without ear protection (and my age) means I’m unable to hear much below 24Hz or above 15KHz. That’s not a reflection of the audio quality of the GSP601 of course, more to state that I can’t confirm anything outside of that range (but everything I could hear was amazing).
Using the GSP601
After countless hours of gaming on the EPOS GSP601, I experienced no pain from the pressure of the ear cups, no neck ache, no sweating, nor any discomfort at all really. I’m confident saying this is the most comfortable headset I’ve ever worn.
If the pressure of headsets is usually too much for you, the GSP601 features a tension slider on the top. Although I could feel the difference this made when bending the headband with my hand, I can’t honestly say I felt a difference when on my head. But this isn’t normally something I’m sensitive to, so you might appreciate the presence of that adjustment more than me.
The noise isolation and immersion offered was perhaps the most striking aspect of using the headset, both for gaming, and connected to my Mac via the TRRS cable, for playing drums.
The boom microphone on the GSP601 is really good quality for a gaming headset, though in the wider world of microphones it’s nothing amazing. It’s certainly better than built-in laptop audio or a Bluetooth headset if that’s what you’re currently using for Zoom video conferences, but doesn’t compare to a good lapel mic.
Folding the boom arm up engages a mute switch inside–you can hear a click as it happens. This is more practical than a button you need to push, which you may not be able to see the status of.
My only complaint about the microphone is that the back of it is appears to be open, which might result in more of the ambient noise being picked up than neccessary. This is difficult to confirm though–it may just be for aesthetics, as the microphone is specified as being unidrectional.
GSX300 USB Amplifier
The GSP601 sounds incredible with any audio source, but to really whack the audio quality dial up to 11, pairing them with an external amplifier is a must. There’s a simple reason for this: most motherboards are fitted with a sub-par Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). The GSX300 not only provides a better quality DAC at the core, but also adds some nifty features.
On the front of the GSX300 you’ll find a configurable smart button (which I set to swtich between surround sound or stereo for quick testing), and a volume knob. It connects to your PC via a micro-USB cable, and interfaces directly with the Windows 10 operating system. The GSX300 isn’t compatible with MacOS currently.
Using the GSX300 renders the side volume adjustment on the headset uneccessary, since the volume knob on the amp adjusts the output volume at the source itself (rather than just limiting the volume in the headset).
There are other benefits to using the GSX300 than better quality audio and a volume knob, however.
Having installed the driver software, you can save custom audio equalizer settings and reverb, which can then be assigned to the smart button on the front of the device.
The microphone also gains similar benefits, with a “warm” and “clear” profile added to clean up the mic a little. If you’re in a noisy environment like an internet cafe, you can enable two levels of noise cancellation (only for the microphone) too. It works well at cutting out all ambience when you’re not talking, and though it’s still clearly audible when you start talking again, it’s greatly reduced. Check out the full review video for a sample of this in action.
The final benefit of the GSX300 is that it enables 7.1 surround sound spatial audio. I opted to set up the front smart switch to turn this on or off for ease of testing. When enabled, the dial glows red; when disabled (stereo only), it glows blue.
I tested surround sound by with some movies in Plex had a 5.1 encoded audio track, and with various FPS games. While I could detect a subtle difference in the overall sound stage, it wasn’t nearly as marked as I was expecting. Realistically, I don’t think I would be able tell the difference in a blind test.
There’s a few possible reasons for this.
Firstly, gaming audio is generally pre-mixed for stereo headphones anyway, so enabling 7.1 surround is unlikely to have much impact.
Secondly, you can’t get “true” surround sound when you only have one audio source per ear. Instead, the amp is using head-related transfer functions to emulate what a sound would be like to each ear if it originated at a certain point in space. If you have a home cinema surround system, it’s simply not comparable.
But don’t let the subtle effects of pseudo-surround sound put you off.
Overall, using the GSX300 with the GSP601 makes a huge difference, filling in more of the sound stage and giving an unrivalled crispness and warmth to the sound quality.
Should You Buy the EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP601?
Co-branded with Sennheiser, I expected that the audio quality of the GSP601 would be superb anyway, which it is. A good microphone also ensures optimal communication with your team, and includes a handy lift-to-mute feature.
But audio quality is only half of the equation on a gaming headset. For long gaming sessions, comfort is a big concern too. Thankfully, the GSP601 delivers superb comfort, with ample padding and over-ear design that avoids pressure directly on your ears while providing incredible noise isolation. The ear cups are easy to replace, which is great news for sustainability and they’re typically the first thing to wear out.
If you’re going to splash out on a decent gaming headset, the GSP301 from EPOS should certainly be in your list of contenders.
The headset really shines when paired with a good external amp, and the EPOS GSX300 is a great device at a budget price point of $70.
We hope you like the items we recommend! MakeUseOf has affiliate partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.
Share this Buyers Guide
About The Author