Sennheiser PC 373D Review

Introduction

Sennheiser Gaming is the only audio company that is part of both the recording and delivering of the sounds for all your games. Sennheiser was founded in Hannover, Germany in 1945. Sennheiser has over 70 years experience in the development of microphones and headsets. Although gaming wasn’t their primary focus it’s easy to see how they collide in the world today. Using the knowledge and heritage at Sennheiser Gaming they’ve promised to focus 100% on taking your gaming experience to the next level in audio.

The Product

Over the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to take a look at one of their leading products in gaming audio, the PC 373D Gaming Headset. The Sennheiser PC 373D is a high-end 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound gaming headset. The headset delivers crystal clear communications with its high-quality noise cancelling microphone. The headset comes built in with a sleek and slimline surround sound dongle which can be optimized by using the free software available on their website. Whilst the software Sennheiser Audio is limited in its functions, it does provide the ability to optimize your experience for gaming and even music.

Design

The Sennheiser PC 373D 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming headsets are made out of what I found to be a sturdy plastic. Now in my experiences plastic has a tendency to break if you’re careless or a little too rough. I can imagine over time it may deteriorate and it’s quite possible you could find it cracking or even having an ear cup snap off. However, despite my personal opinion I still believe the PC 373D still packs features of high quality and design.

One of the first things I noticed with this headset is that the inner lining of the headband and the ear cups appear to use a form of soft velvet. This is different to see as traditionally with a lot of headsets we usually see a standard felt or leather-like material. I liked the initial feel of the velvet over my ears. It is quite soft and comfortable; I much prefer this and felt over traditional leather-like materials as it allows breathing which in hand prevents uncomfortable sweating. The ear cups are connected by an adjustable sturdy hard plastic headband with a basic extension mechanism which you would find in most headphones today.

The ear cups feature a sturdy hard plastic construction which appears to also have a cylindrical metal piece in the centre. (This is noted from Sennheiser’s breakdown of the design in a marketing image on their website). I was unable to unclip the slotted vent in order to confirm as I didn’t want to cause any damage to the hardware. The right headphone cup features a volume dial whilst the left houses the microphone.
The ear cups feature an XXL padded velvet design to provide an open air concept to allow you to keep your cool. The cups have feature a slight angle towards the rear, with the bottom of the cup sitting forward slightly more of that than the top. The cups are designed to tilt towards and away from your head (Left and Right) to allow the headphones to comfortably conform to the user.

When I first positioned the headset on my head and over my ears, I found initially for it to be a little too constricting and slightly heavier than headsets I have previously enjoyed in the past. But soon found that the longer I had it on, the more comfortable the padding became and the less it burdened me.

Microphone

The microphone is located on the left cup of the headset. It appears to be constructed primarily of a mouldable rubber type material. This allows the user to easily flex the microphone into more functional positions without damaging the internals or externals.
Sennheiser has integrated high-quality noise-cancelling microphone which can include an optional noise reduction algorithm provided within the features of the free associated software. I won’t protest that there was no background noise when gaming and communicating with friends whilst testing this microphone, but I can say that there was very minimal, and what noise I could hear didn’t affect or bother game play. The microphone features an inbuilt mute mechanism which can be activated simply by moving the microphone upwards into a vertical position.

USB Dongle

The surround dongle is connected via a 3.5mm audio jack into the left ear cup. The dongle is than connected to a USB port on your computer via a Micro-USB connection. The surround dongle is incredibly simple to use. It features one button click to toggle on the 7.1 surround sound (note you must have the software installed for this to work). The surround activation is indicated via a small led light located on the dongle. The light is red when the surround sound is off and turns to white once activated.

Sound

In my experience the Sennheiser 373D is an excellent headset. The sound was always crisp whether I was playing music or in a lobby with friends. It had clear and crisp sound delivery in all aspect areas I would expect it to perform in. I can’t say I felt like the 7.1 Surround made a huge difference for me when toggling on and off unless I was playing a movie or inside an FPS game. There was no real noticeable difference for me when toggling on and off in regards to music.

Software

The software is a small download available from the Sennheiser website. It has some very basic features integrated into it. The software provides an equalizer with 3 different presets, ability to toggle on/off the noise cancellation algorithm, adjustable side tone settings and of finally you are able to toggle the surround sound feature from here as well. I found this software to be too basic, I would have liked to be able to create my own custom equaliser settings at the very least however, what it does is enough for the avid user.

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Conclusion

In conclusion I really enjoyed using this headset, I would even consider paying the premium for it. I can’t say that this would be the ideal headset for the everyday enthusiast however it does provide a lot of nice quality. I don’t like that the software doesn’t allow for you to set a custom equalizer setting, it’s not exactly something that would have been difficult to integrate and locking the users into 3 pre-selected settings seems like a poor decision. I think that you could get a similar sound quality out of a cheaper headset but I could almost guarantee that it wouldn’t be as clean and as crisp as the PC 373D.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Quality Design Expensive
Fantastic Sound Quality No 3.5mm cable included
Extremely Comfortable Software was limited
2 year international warranty

Competitors Price Comparison

7.1 Surround Gaming Headset USD Price AUD Price
Sennheiser PC 373D $169.00 $297.00
Astro A50 Wireless $299.00 $459.00
SteelSeries Siberia 840 $249.99 $419.00
Razer ManO’War $169.97 $229.00