Approaching Wired Perfection
EPOS launched the GSP 602 and GSP 601 headsets back in August 2020, their latest in the EPOS|Sennheiser family positioned as an alternative to the “gamer” style black/red color scheme of the previous GSP 600 headset.
“While standard gaming headsets file into the standard black-on-black motif, the EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP 601 and GSP 602 break the mold with fresh new colors to personalize any gaming space. The GSP 601 boasts sleek white features paired with cool black accents and interchangeable copper-colored side plates. The GSP 602 adds unique flair with gloss navy exteriors set against bold brandy-colored around-ear coupling pads.”
Both the GSP 601 and GSP 602 (reviewed here) are wired, closed acoustic gaming headsets with a rated frequency response of 10–30,000 Hz, impedance of 28 Ω, and sensitivity of 112 dB SPL (1 kHz, 1V RMS). Standard 3.5 mm connection options include a separate 3.5 mm audio/mic plugs or a single 3.5 mm 4-pole headset plug via interchangeable cables.
- Ear coupling: Around ear
- Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
- Cable length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
- Connector plugs: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors)
- 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors)
- Compatibility: PC, Mac OSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and consoles with 3.5 mm jack input
- Warranty: 2 years, international
- Frequency response: 10–30,000 Hz
- Impedance: 28 Ω
- Sensitivity: 112 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
- Frequency response: 10–18,000 Hz
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional
- Sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
$219.99 USD list (currently $149)
“The GSP 602 is the latest color variant in our portfolio of high-end audio products dedicated to gaming. The GSP 600 Series is designed for the gamer that accepts no compromise in the quality and performance of their gaming accessories.”
Back in April we took a look at the H3 headset from EPOS, and this is also a wired, closed acoustic gaming headset intended for PC, consoles, and smartphones. The GSP 602 has plenty of style, sporting an eye-catching color scheme primarily featuring a deep navy (with black and gunmetal accents), and brandy (orange/brown) ear pads. If you don’t fancy this finish there is the GSP 601, which “comes in clean, crisp white, with both white and contrasted bronze colored cover plates included”.
Now for some impressions. First of all, this headset feels very substantial. It weighs in at 398 grams / 14.04 oz (without cable) on my kitchen scale, and has a very strong, premium feel to the construction. While the style is a departure, functionally this headset is about as simple as it gets; there is a large volume wheel on the right ear cup, and the boom mic and 3.5 mm input are on the left ear cup.
Padding is very good, with thick cushions for each ear pad under a leather-like material, and good – though less cushy – padding on the headband. I’d place clamping force (pressure against the sides of the head) at about a 7 out of 10, so these aren’t going to slip off easily. I like the pressure against my head to be a bit lighter (about 5/10), so this took some getting used to. I do appreciate how effective the sound isolation is, however.
The ear cups can swivel quite a bit to provide for a very secure fit against the head, though they do not swivel flat (if that matters to you). Overall I was quite impressed with the construction and comfort – though I would need to break them in a bit more to reduce the clamping force to my liking.
I’ve been impressed by EPOS since I reviewed the GSP 370 back in April 2020, and for a $199 headset with excellent sound quality – not to mention wireless operation – it was the EPOS gaming headset to beat at this price level, in my view. Obviously the GSP 602 here is a different animal as it is wired, but its $219 list price (currently $149 on sale) does place it in competition with that earlier model.
I will be mainly comparing these two headsets today, as I still have the GSP 370 on hand. But just unboxing and handling the GSP 602 I start to realize that we are dealing with a more premium product here. It’s a chunky, substantial feeling headset. It does have a heavier feel than the the 370, but it’s very well padded so it’s still quite comfortable. But the SOUND from these is so much more powerful.
As mentioned in the intro, the GSP 602 has a rated frequency response of 10–30,000 Hz, impedance of 28 Ω, and sensitivity of 112 dB SPL. Essentially this means that they are pretty easy to drive, so you don’t need a fancy external headphone amp to get loud audio without distortion from them.
First, here’s the one sentence assessment: The GSP 602 has wide, powerful sound with strong bass, slightly recessed midrange, and good high frequency clarity.
Now for some more verbose ramblings. These have a sound signature that I think most people will really enjoy, with that type of sound you get if you lower the midrange and raise the bass and treble with EQ controls (make it look like a smile). These have a bit less “bite” due to the smile EQ, as these are tuned to emphasize bass.
Comparing these to the GSP 370 I find that wireless headset to have a more “flat” frequency response, but I really miss the power from the GSP 602 when I switch back. There’s just so much more bass impact with the GSP 602, even using the system’s integrated audio output. Moving up to my external DAC/amp they held their own, producing excellent sound with a “warm” signature that I really enjoyed.
Beyond frequency response, I found that the GSP 602 provide plenty of dynamic impact with game and movie sound, and they offer enough detail to be more “transparent to the source” than most gaming headsets – meaning that I could easily identify compression in audio, and was rewarded when listening to uncompressed material from a good source.
As to the mic, I made some test recordings and was impressed. This offers voice quality far above your average headset mic, but is still lacking in the lower frequencies that would make it sound like a broadcast microphone. Decent background noise rejection, too.
I was very impressed with the GSP 602 headset. It’s easily the best EPOS product I’ve tested to date – and one of the best gaming headsets I’ve ever tested, period. The list price is up in the “premium” category, though recently this has dropped from $219 to $149 USD at places like Amazon. We’ll see if that is a temporary drop, but at $149 I think these are a great option.
If you like the idea of powerful, clear sound with strong bass, and can use a wired headset with your setup, I think you need to try these out.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from EPOS for the purpose of this review.
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