There are a ton of PC gaming headsets out there, and plenty that offer whiz-bang features like wireless or simulated surround sound. So why go for Sennheiser and Massdrop’s collaboration, the PC37X? Because it nails the basics in an open-back design.
If you’re unfamiliar with open-back headphones, check out our review of another Massdrop and Sennheiser collaboration, the HD 6XX. The PC37X shares a lot of design elements with that set, but adds a noise-canceling microphone and tweaks the design for sitting at a desktop PC.
And it delivers. The sound is great, the recording is excellent, and the fit and finish are top-notch. While the PC37X won’t blow you away in terms of features, it’s a great value at $120, and a fantastic all-around headset if your goal is to mix gaming and more conventional media.
Mic In the Front, Party Open Back
The PC37X is the first PC headset I’ve seen that uses an open-back design, a feature more typically reserved for audiophile-grade headphones. This means that its sound-isolating powers are minimal—practically non-existent—but that its sound profile is more natural and comparable to standard speaker listening.
The sound coming from the stereo drivers is clean and full-bodied throughout its range. I was able to switch between listening to music, video, and my usual frantic sessions of Overwatch and appreciate new details that I’d missed using more conventional headsets. The sound isn’t as “open” as the bigger and more targeted HD 6XX, but considering the lower price and microphone inclusion, I’d say it’s an acceptable compromise.
Note that open-back headphones can’t blast you with bass the way standard around-the-ear designs can. So if you want to be checked for a concussion profile after getting blasted in-game, this isn’t the set for you.
The PC37X uses an analog connection for both input and output, with no drivers or software. That means that it also doesn’t do simulated surround sound (though individual games that use a stereo-surround mix will work fine). Massdrop says the angled drivers are explicitly designed to give better “location accuracy.” Still, I can’t say that I was any more or less able to pinpoint enemy movements than on other stereo headsets.
Lightweight and Comfy
The headset is pretty comfy, though not the most comfortable I’ve used. Premium materials in the padding, including velvet on the earcups, are a nice touch. It’s also pretty light, but that’s not too surprising considering it’s a wired unit made mostly from plastic.
There’s only one control on the headset: a volume wheel on the right cup. Roll it back and forth for analog audio control, which doesn’t sync with your PC’s digital level. That’s about it: it fits with the PC37X’s focus on simplicity, but I could hope for an easy mute button.
The left cup holds the boom mic and the single-sided cord attachment. It doesn’t detach, which I would have appreciated, but swiveling it up automatically mutes the microphone input, which is almost as good. The boom is strong and flexible, and my teammates told me I was clearly audible even over a less-than-stellar connection.
Recording quality is extremely crisp for a headset mic but naturally won’t match a dedicated condenser microphone like the Blue Yeti. It’s definitely the best I’ve tried on a headset design.
Great Value for Sound Quality
As I’ve said, the PC37X doesn’t beat out competitors from names like Logitech, Corsair, or Razer in terms of on-paper features, especially if you demand surround sound. But what it does is absolutely stomp them in terms of value and sound quality.
The set has a retail price (in so much as you can apply the term to Drop.com listings) of $120, and it’s on sale for $100 at the time of writing. And as a collaborative product, it ships right away, unlike most of the site’s group buy offerings. To put it bluntly, there’s no gaming-focused headset out there that can get you such wonderful, open sound for so little cash.
Those hoping for wireless, RGB light syncing, noise cancellation, extensive bindable controls, or head-thumping bass won’t appreciate the PC37X’s focus on great sound and straightforward function. But for gamers who don’t need those specific bells and whistles, it’s a fantastic choice.
Here’s What We Like
- Fantastic sound
- Great value
- Good recording quality
And What We Don't
- No surround sound options
- No management software
- Lacks isolation