The DROP + EPOS PC38X Gaming Headset, Brought to You by Sennheiser
What Once Was Sennheiser Gaming Is Now DROP
The EPOS PC38X Gaming Headset Review Has DROPped
DROP shipped us out their new EPOS PC38X Gaming Headset, the successor to their PC37X, advertised as having comparatively improved comfort, build quality and sonic performance. The PC38X uses the same drivers as the Sennheiser GSP 500 and 600 headsets, with a bit of a twist.
The drivers are installed on an angle which is touted to offer more accurate stereo positioning to give you a better idea where threats are coming from while you are gaming. The open backs of the ear cups are also said to improve positional accuracy, not to mention keeping your ears at a comfortable temperature during long gaming sessions.
The performance should be similar to the EPOS GSP 602 which Sebastian has reviewed, or the Sennheiser GSP 600 which Chris reviewed quite a few years back. On the other hand, those two headsets both featured closed backs and lacked the angled drivers, so there should be some unique qualities to the DROP + EPOS PC38X.
- Model Number: Epos PC38X
- 2.5 m PC cable, 3.5 mm split TRS connector
- 1.5 m console cable, 3.5 mm TRRS connector
- Weight (with cable): 10.2 oz (290.5 g)
- Materials: Plastic headband with knit mesh and classic velour earpads included
- Headphone Specifications:
- Transducer principle: Dynamic, open
- Frequency response: 10Hz – 30000Hz
- Impedance: 28 Ω
- Sound pressure level: 109 dB
- Microphone Specifications
- Frequency response: 50–16,000 Hz
- Pick-up pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Sensitivity: -38 dBV/PA
- Electret condenser
- Pickup pattern: Bi-directional
- Open back ear cups
- Angled drivers for stereo imaging and locational accuracy
MSRP: $169, currently available for $139
“An upgraded version of the crowd-favorite PC37X, our PC38X gaming headset is a level up in comfort, build quality, and sonic performance. Now, to celebrate Sennheiser Gaming’s rebrand to EPOS, the PC38X is launching in a new all-black colorway. It’s the same iconic headset, with a refined look to complement any setup. Powered by high-fidelity drivers found on Sennheiser’s venerable GSP 500 and 600 headsets, the PC38X delivers vivid sonic details with an ultra-wide frequency response. It can also be driven more easily than the PC37X, courtesy of a reduced 28-ohm driver impedance. On the exterior, a plush headband with breathable mesh-knit pads and a split design keeps you cooler and better supported for long sessions.”
A Closer Look
The DROP + EPOS PC38X is lighter than the GSP 602, and the black and yellow design is quite striking, with cords to match. They chose well on the cables; the split TRS connector is 8′ long and can easily reach the back of your PC, even if you are a heathen that stores it on the floor. The TRRS connector on the other hand is a far more manageable length, and will reach your pocket with enough slack to save you from decapitating yourself on door handles and the like. It is purely a wired headset, the benefit being an infinite battery life.
The plush headband cushions are very comfortable as are the ear cups, which are also more than large enough to completely cover your ears properly. The knit mesh were my preferred padding, though I suppose the velour ones might be nice in the winter, regardless they are easy to pop in and out so you can pick your favourite.
The volume control is a knob on the right side, flush with its housing, and spins easily from its lowest setting to its upper limit. The microphone is also relatively tight to the band and shouldn’t get in the way when raised. That band can be extended quite a bit, it should be able to comfortably accommodate just about any sized noggin. The PC38X is still rather ‘pinchy’ though; there is a fair amount of force holding the ear cups against the sides of your head. It’s not terribly uncomfortable but it can feel quite nice taking them off after a few hours of gaming.
A Closer Listen
The DROP + EPOS PC38X are designed specifically for gaming, but there is always a reason to test out it’s musical ability as well; Tool’s Sober, Pink Floyd’s On the Run and Money, as well as André Rieu conducting O Fortuna by Carl Orff were handy. While the emphasis on highs and lows didn’t overly favour the opera, it did a brilliant job on Money and was able to impressively separate the channels during the opening of that song.
For gaming it was plugged into my Sound BlasterX G5, which I talked briefly about way back in Podcast #405, to make sure that the angled drivers of the PC38X were getting a signal that would provide a best case scenario.
Turn It Up, The Game’s On
Gaming testing included Generation Zero, as the idea of hearing the robots long before they filled me with holes was an attractive idea. It did work to an extent, in that the noises of the enemies were emphasized over the ambient sounds but I don’t know that the DROP + EPOS PC38X gave me a better idea of their location than other headsets. Chernobylite was similar, easy to hear enemies but without much difference from non-angled drivers.
Metro Exodus on the other hand was downright creepy, with a definitely accurate placement of left and right. It was certainly interesting to hear critters you can’t quite see yet moving from left to right on a metal surface above you. It also worked very well for the dialogue, it was easy to place the speakers physically.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a game this headset might have been made for as it truly does the game justice. The sound signature of the drivers picks up on the audio tracks perfectly and you truly do feel surrounded by the voices at times. With this game’s intend atmosphere it works brilliantly.
As for the microphone, it would certainly do well for in-game communications, as it is clear and has decent noise reduction capabilities built right in. The electret condenser isn’t really up for broadcast though; I wouldn’t recommend it for use in podcast, and, it while it would work for a Twitch stream, the quality wouldn’t stand out.
The DROP + EPOS PC38X gaming headset is certainly a decent gaming headset overall, and better than most when it came to listening to music. They have been on sale at $140 for quite a while – I haven’t seen it at the $170 MSRP – which makes them an even more attractive choice if you are shopping for wired headphones. Since they contain the same drivers as the Sennheiser GSP 500 and 600, if you are a fan of that sound you can’t go wrong with the PC38X.
As for the angled drivers, it is hard to say if they offer a superior experience to normally mounted drivers. One thing I can say for sure is that they definitely are not worse, and in fast paced shooters they will not let you down when you are trying to figure out where a noise came from. In more sedate and stealthy games, the tuning of drivers does help emphasize the noises made by enemies and NPCs moving over the environmental noises which is worth the price of admission.
It’s hard to find fault with the DROP + EPOS PC38X. Sennheiser did a great job on this wired headset. If you haven’t ever played Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice you really should consider it if you pick the PC38X up.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from Sennheiser for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The product remains the property of Sennheiser but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
Sennheiser had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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