Manufacturer: Sennheiser UK Price: £199.95 US price: $280
The Sennhesier G4ME Zero and G4ME One are the company’s new flagship gaming headsets, distinguished essentially by the former using a closed-back design and the latter an open back design. To all intents and purposes they refine and replace the existing PC350 and PC360 headsets, with a nice bump in price to go along with it. We’ll take a look at the G4ME One in a separate review shortly but for now let’s take a closer look at the G4ME Zero.
When we say the G4ME Zero is a refinement of the PC350 we really do mean it. While the colour scheme of this new headset is radically different, the basic design and specification is virtually identical. The overall shape, the key features and things like the headphones' frequency response are all the same. While this makes us raise an eyebrow considering the price of the new headset is some £40 more than the PC350, the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ definitely applies here – the PC350 was a superbly comfortable and easy to use headset so the Zero should be too.
Taking a closer look at that new design, clearly the colour scheme is different, with the old headset being all black and the Zero using an interesting combination of mostly white with highlights of black and shiny red. The sides of the earcups also have an intriguing array of white rubber strips in them – they seem to serve no purpose. We can’t say that we’d have picked such a colour scheme given the choice but ultimately few large headsets actually look good when worn so it’s a minor point.
Although mostly plastic the overall build quality is very good. There are lots of little touches that show how much more care has been taken in their construction compared to cheaper headsets. Things like the little rubber pads that stop the earcups knocking against the earcup arms or sturdy metal hinges that hold the earcups. Their overall finish is also excellent with no visible moulding seams on the plastic and very little wobble – if the piece is meant to move it does so with the help of a proper hinge.
In terms of adjustability the earcups rotate to fold flat (a semi rigid, zipped carrying case is included) and come back just beyond 90 degrees. They can also tilt with a range of about 30 degrees to account for different shaped heads. Meanwhile the headband uses a standard notched adjustment method with each arm pulling out to add an extra 50mm of extension. The action is superb, being both stiff and secure enough to stay in place yet being easy to do while on your head, and the small steps offer a high level of accuracy.
The microphone is mounted on a non-removable arm that rotates about 150 degrees from near vertical to near vertical in the opposite direction (we found with the microphone fully down it sat just below then chin). When pushed upwards passed about 120 degrees there’s a nice audible click to signify the microphone has been muted – this auto mute feature is a new addition over the PC350. There’s a flexible rubber section in the middle of the microphone arm but although this offers a small amount of adjustability (as shown above) it’s there more as a safety measure to prevent the microphone from being easily snapped.
Below the microphone is where the cable enters the headset, and this is the first big issue we have with this headset. It’s a fixed cable so not only is it not replaceable if it breaks but it also can’t be moved to the other side of the headset for if that’s more convenient. Obviously this is a high-end headset that values sound quality so a fixed cable makes some sense in this regard but it’s still a potential headache for some. On the plus side the cable is well judged for length at 3m long and it also comes out the pack relatively kink free which is also nice.
On the other earcup is the most obvious change from the PC350 headset, and it’s a really big improvement. Instead of an awkward little inline volume control the G4ME Zero has a nice big dial on the earcup. Just like the other parts of the headset it’s been judged perfectly so that it’s a cinch to find in the heat of battle and the fairly loose action makes it quick and easy to adjust. The volume adjustment is a passive one, as this is an un-powered headset.