Sennheiser GSP 500/600 review: Two comfortable gaming headsets with very different sound

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The GSP 600 (left) with their closed-back earcups offer better sound than their GSP 500 open acoustic counterparts.

We don’t often double up on reviews but sometimes the product warrants it. Our Sennheiser GSP 500 and 600 review takes a look at two similar gaming headsets from the company which differ in the sound department. Read on to see what we thought!

Specifications

Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset

The Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset has the following features and specifications:

  • German-engineered Sennheiser transducers ensure exceptional sound quality to deliver an immersive audio experience.
  • Open acoustic design, ergonomic ear pads covered in breathable fabric and advanced hinge system create a superb fit ideal for long gaming sessions in superior comfort.
  • A unique headband featuring adjustable contact pressure provides a customized fit on different head sizes provides exceptional wearing comfort.
  • Broadcast quality microphone with advanced noise-cancelling provides crystal-clear in-game communication. The microphone easily mutes by raising the boom arm.
  • A volume control located on the right ear cup provides intuitive on-the-fly audio adjustment at your fingertips.
  • Impedance: 28 Ω
  • Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors); 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors)
  • Frequency response (Headphones): 10–30,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 107 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
  • Ear coupling: Over-Ear
  • Cable length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic, open
  • Frequency response (Microphone): 10–18,000 Hz
  • Microphone sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
  • Pick-up pattern: Bi-directional ECM
  • Weight: 358 g
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The Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset.

Sennheiser GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset

The Sennheiser GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset has the following features and specifications:

  • German-engineered Sennheiser transducers ensure exceptional audio clarity with superb dynamics and extended bass response.
  • Closed-back acoustic design, ergonomic ear cushions, and advanced hinge system provide excellent passive noise attenuation.
  • Advanced noise-cancelling broadcast quality microphone for crystal-clear in-game communication.
  • New headband design features adjustable contact pressure providing a customized fit for every user.
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One and other consoles with 3.5 mm jack input (some Xbox One controllers may require Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, sold separately).
  • Impedance: 28 Ω
  • Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors); 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors)
  • Frequency response (Headphones): 10–30,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 112 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
  • Ear coupling: Over-Ear
  • Cable length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
  • Frequency response (Microphone): 10–18,000 Hz
  • Microphone sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
  • Pick-up pattern: Bi-directional ECM
  • Weight: 395 g
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The Sennheiser GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset.

What’s in the box

  • Sennheiser GSP 500 or 600 Gaming Headset
  • PC cable with 2 x 3.5mm plugs
  • Console cable with 1 x 3.5mm plug
  • Quick guide
  • Safety guide
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What’s in the box…

Design

Both the Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic and the GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headsets have similar bulky designs. Featuring a single band headset, these gaming headsets have a dual adjustment system. Like most headsets, the earcups are attached to the plastic headband by way of a slider that allow you to adjust the placement of the earcups.

These headsets also have two sliders on the top of the headband to adjust contact pressure. According to Sennheiser, this is “the amount of force applied to the sides of the head while wearing headphones.” By allowing users to adjust this, the headsets can accommodate a wider range of head sizes for a more comfortable fit. On the underside of the headband is a covered foam pad for added cushioning. While comfortable, this pad could use just a tad more foam for that little extra comfort push. On either end of the main headband is the Sennheiser wordmark and the headphone model (GSP 500 or GSP 600) printed on the other side.

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Both headsets have extra “contact pressure” adjustment sliders.

As mentioned above, the earcups are attached by way of a slider. At the base of each of these slider components is the Sennheiser logo. Each earcup attaches to the slider by way of an angled, silver metal piece which allows the earcup to swivel slightly back and forth as well as up and down. The earcups on both models are oval in shape with a copper coloured ring around a center black circular piece.

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The earcups are attached to the headband by a metal swivel piece.

On the left earcup, the attached noise-cancelling broadcast quality boom mic is connected to this ring. The mic can be muted by raising it up and a subtle click indicates when it is in the muted mode. The included cables connect to the left earcup by way of a  port near the bottom and back, just behind the microphone swivel. The right earcup features a dial that allows you to adjust the volume while on the fly.

Here’s where the two models differ. The GSP 500, with their open acoustic design, feature an open-air grille near the front of the upper portion of the earcup. The GSP 600, on the other hand, is completely closed off in this area. In addition, the copper ring around the center of the outer earcup has three flanges on the GSP 600, giving it a bolder design.

The earpads also differ between the two models. The GSP 500 has the usual soft material covered foam earpads. The GSP 600 has a much softer and nicer leatherette earpad with a suede-like material on the inside which goes against your ears. This inner material also slightly cools your ears while using due to the material composition.

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The earpads on the GSP 500 are the standard fabric covered foam.

These gaming headsets also include two cables: a 4 1/2′ console cable with a single 4-pole jack and an  8′ PC cable with split 3-pole headphone/microphone jacks on the end. While both these cables are plenty long depending on use, I would have liked to see a single 4-pole jack on both cables with a short adapter with the split 3-pole adapter. The reason being, when using with a laptop with a single audio/microphone port, the 4 1/2′ cable can be borderline short depending on how you have things set up on your desk. On that note, the cables are nicely braided for a nicer look and tangle free use.

Even though these headsets are largely constructed of plastic, they do feel solid, partly due to their bulk. They are also comfortable to wear for extended gaming sessions, although the GSP 600 are slightly more comfortable with their leatherette/suede-like earpad materials.

Sound Quality

Similar looks aside, the GSP 500 and GSP 600 feature different sound quality due to their design.

GSP 500

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The GSP 500 offer decent, albeit slightly hollow, sound.

With their open acoustic design, while balanced for the most part, the GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset sounded a bit hollower. Sound placement is good while playing various games but you can also hear the outside environment a bit more at lower volumes — which can be a welcome feature depending on your needs. Not only that, but those sitting nearby you can also hear your game or music audio when the volume is turned up enough.

Additionally, I found that the maximum volume of the GSP 500 headset wasn’t near as loud as their GSP 600 counterparts due to the open acoustic design. While there is a decent range with the GSP 500 headset, the bass was a bit lacking as well.

GSP 600

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The GSP 600 offer great sound with more bass than their counterparts.

Right out of the gate, the GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset sounds richer and fuller than the GSP 500. Equally balanced, the bass is just that much more pronounced which makes gaming with these that much more enjoyable than with the GSP 500 headset. While these aren’t noise-cancelling headphones, when using them, the passive noise attenuation helps keep the sound in and the outside world sound out.

Microphone/Voice Quality

Considering the GSP 500 and 600 both feature the same noise-cancelling broadcast quality microphone, voice quality while gaming is the same on both. During our test gaming sessions, the other parties in the group had no complaints and could hear me loud and clear with either headset.

The boom arm does extend quite low below my chin but can be swivelled up for optimal positioning. When swivelled up slightly, the mic arm stayed in place and there were no need for adjustments while gaming.

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The adjustable noise-cancelling boom mic offers clear voice communication.

Price/Value

The Sennheiser GSP Open Acoustic Gaming Headset has an MSRP of $229.95USD while the GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset has an MSRP of $249.95USD. Given the largely plastic construction mixed with decent sound, comfort, and microphone quality, these headsets could probably do with a bit of a price reduction to maybe $199/$229 respectively to offer better value. On that note, the GSP 600 are currently selling for $225 on Amazon while the GSP 500 are still selling at MSRP so if you’re choosing between the two, it’s a no-brainer as of the time of this review.

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The GSP 600 do offer better sound quality and comfort.

Wrap-up

Both the GSP 500 and GSP 600 gaming headsets from Sennheiser are comfortable and sturdy gaming headsets. While both offer great communication with their noise-cancelling microphones, the GSP 600 with their closed-back earcups offer better sound than their open acoustic counterparts.

*We were sent review units of the Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset and the GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset for the purposes of this review.

Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset

$229.95 USD
8.9

Design

9.0/10

Sound Quality

8.5/10

Microphone/Voice Quality

9.5/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Sturdy build
  • Comfortable
  • Fairly balanced sound
  • Can hear outside environment at lower volumes
  • Clear communication
  • On ear volume controls
  • Dual cables included for multi-platform use

Needs work

  • Could use more padding in the headband
  • Sound a bit hollow
  • Lacking bass
  • Single pole console cable can be a bit short if using with a laptop
  • Bulky design

 

Sennheiser GSP 600 Professional Gaming Headset

$249.95 USD
9.3

Design

9.0/10

Sound Quality

9.5/10

Microphone/Voice Quality

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Sturdy build
  • Comfortable
  • Leatherette/suede-like earpads very comfortable
  • Decent, balanced sound
  • Clear communication
  • Multi-platform compatible
  • On ear volume controls

Needs work

  • Could use more padding in the headband
  • Single pole console cable can be a bit short if using with a laptop
  • Bulky design
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