SENNHEISER PC 363D
Sennheiser may have made their name on the back of their excellent headphone and microphone products, but they also have a selection of gaming headsets worth considering.
The PC 363D looks like any other Sennheiser product; a drab black finish means that gamers will not be picking this headset based on its looks. On the sides of the ear-cups, laser-cut slats acting as vents indicate that the PC 363D is an open back headphone. This is somewhat of an odd choice, as sound bleed from the PC 363D is significant, with the headset only really usable in solitary settings. In a LAN café or group setting, everyone around you will pretty much hear what you’re hearing.
On the positive side, an open back design does allow for some circulation of air which helps combat overheating issues when the PC 363D is used for long durations. Sennheiser fits their gaming headset with what they call “XXL” ear pads. Large and properly scalloped, the ear-cups of the PC 363D are roomy. Complimented with a fit that leans towards being tight, this gaming headset comes close to finding the sweet spot between comfort and function. The velvet covering on the ear pads feels natural but is prone to getting dirty quite quickly. Our only complaint with the headset was the slightly stiff cushions used.
Gamers will find a small, rotating disc on the right hand side ear-cup that controls volume. It is a handy way to adjust decibel levels without having to delve into menus and options. A boom microphone on the left hand side is also included. When the microphone is dragged down, an audible click denotes that it has been unmuted. The microphone arm can then be adjusted into a position most comfortable for the wearer.
The PC 363D can be plugged in via 3.5mm jack, but we highly recommend using the USB connector available with Sennheiser’s 3D G4ME 1 card which comes as part of the package. Using Dolby Headphone control and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, the USB sound card bypasses any motherboard electronics and delivers virtual 7.1 surround sound.
Even without any of the special features activated, the PC 363D is an exceptionally good
“EVENWITHOUT ANY OF THE SPECIAL FEATURES ACTIVATED, THE
PC 363D IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD HEADSET.”
headset. The audio is balanced and neutral. In fact we would go as far as saying that this Sennheiser headset is able to go toe-to-toe with similarly priced headphones, and especially in music playback.
Flicking the 3D G4ME 1 forward engages Dolby mode, thus stripping the mid frequencies from the sound of the PC 363D. The soundstage morphs from a good stereo to excellent 7.1 virtual surround sound audio. While playing Battlefield 3 we could accurately pinpoint the direction of sound down to the most minute of details. The tone of the PC 363D is such that sound-effects like footfalls and explosions are instantly registered by the gamer. Right off the bat, the Sennheiser headset sets the bar for performance extremely high.