Not too long ago, we took a look at Sennheiser's rather impressive PC 333D G4ME headset, which we rather liked. Designed – as the l33t moniker suggests – for playing around in WoW, CODBLOPS or Plants vs Zombies without the speakers on, they're an impressive bit of kit.
That's important, because the PC 330 G4ME we're looking at here is exactly the same headset minus the USB soundcard that comes with the PC 333D.
This means that the PC 330 G4ME combines a top notch set of speakers with an excellent noise cancelling microphone.
The cans are capable of a massive dynamic range of 14Hz to 22kHz and, what's more, there are some clever extras designed around LAN partying: lifting the mic out of the way mutes it and the volume dial is built into the left hand speaker, so there's no fiddling with in-line controls when you're trying to get a shot off.
Best of all, either earpiece can be swung out of the way so you can talk to team-mates if they're in the same room, but when back in place you're completely shut off from outside distractions.
Compared to some of Sennheiser's other gaming headsets – and we're thinking of the PC 350s here – the build quality feels a little cheaper than you might expect for the cost. Logitech's G35s, for example, or Creative's cheaper Tactic 3D Alpha feel better built.
The sound quality from the PC 330s, though, is exceptional for such small, lightweight kit. Balanced towards rich – but not overly heavy – bass tones, they're crisp and powerful throughout the range. Whether your penchant is for the medieval cities of Assassin's Creed or the medieval sounds of a Gregorian chant, the PC 330s are hard to fault for sound reproduction.
There's always going to be an element of subjectivity, but the bass balance in particular might draw you to them over the higher spec PC 350s, for example.
What puts us off is – unsurprisingly – the same issue we had with the PC 333Ds. The supra-aural ear cuffs sit on top of the ears rather than around them, and a combination of tight headband and leatherette pads makes them hard to wear for any length of time. Like, more than five minutes.
Maybe gamers have smaller than average heads, or the PC 330s appear to have been designed with children and gamers of the female persuasion in mind. No bad thing, but if you have a man-sized mantle, get something else.
The lightweight design isn't as instantly appealing as the serious PC 350s, but it's full of clever features designed around what gamers actually do. A rich, rounded sound quality with a wide soundstage makes them better than most sub-£100 headsets too.
There's one big flaw in the design: the tightly sprung head clamp and supra-aura cuffs made our ears literally throb after five minutes of wearing them. The last thing you want after a six-hour raid is ears that are too tender to touch.
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