I’m just going to come out and say it — Sennheiser’s PC 350 is the best headset I’ve ever used. I’m no audiophile by any standard and don’t have a hundred broken pairs under my belt, but I’ve gone through my fair share and by far, this is the best sounding and best looking piece of technology that has ever caressed my ears. But let’s start at the beginning.
The first thing to notice is that the packaging is obviously not just an afterthought from Sennheiser but a well thought out embryo for the product — the half see-through box allows a nice view at the headset inside while also leaving plenty of room for the technical specifications and PR sillyness like “You’re in command!”
Opening the box proved to be a bit problematic but after shaking the know-it-all attitude we men tend to have, I forced myself to look at the little ‘How to open’ drawing on the bottom side of the box which illustrated things quite nicely. After realizing I was yanking on the wrong thing entirely, and the consequential facepalm, the box was opened a few moments later.
Besides the headset itself, the box was empty. No manual and no software CD. Meaning there was nothing left to do but have a quick look at the headset from all angles and get the first fingerprints on all the shiny parts of it.
Shiny, sturdy, and sounds great
As mentioned before, the PC 350 is a looker. After handling it for a few moments, it also becomes very clear that it’s well constructed and it just strikes you as a well-designed product in its entirety — comfortable, sturdy, and nice to look at.
The padded headband is very soft, as are the ear pads which cover your ears fully and block out a solid amount of outside noise. And it shouldn’t matter if you’re an 11-year old or a giant, the 12 different size settings make sure it fits everyone.
The noise-cancelling microphone is adjustable from the middle so you can have it as far or as close to your mouth as you prefer. The microphone of course also folds up, so when not in use, you can push it out of the way with a quick flick of a wrist.
As this is a headset designed for pro-gamers, making the entire thing collapsible so it can be taken to ass-whooping tours is a nice touch. And unlike most collapsible headsets that collapse into a kind of a ball shape, Sennheiser has approached this from another angle and has made the PC 350 take up much less space in its collapsed form when placed parallel with a flat surface, making it great to stick into a backpack with your other gear.
The volume control that’s on the wire, which also has an on/off button for the microphone, has a clip on the back which can be used to attach the volume control to your shirt pocket for example. One thing to note, and this purely comes down to personal preference, is that the volume control should have been flipped around — if you look down at it while your headset is on, it’s upside-down and thus a bit awkward to use.
As the visual inspection was done, there was nothing left to do but plug the headset into a sound card and see how it performs its primary functions, which I’m happy to say it did very well. After listening to many hours of music, having some Sound Recorder fun in Windows and playing plenty of Beyond Good & Evil, F.E.A.R. Combat, Far Cry, and co-op Ghost Recon (where I was, in fact, “in command” at times), I have to say I’m having a hard time coming up with anything to moan about — the sound was always crystal clear, no order went misunderstood during co-op play, and the bass reproduction was nothing short of excellent.
Putting it all together, the PC 350 is a very solid product. Sennheiser has designed it well top-to-bottom, it has great sound quality and a great microphone, and is very comfortable for those long gaming sessions.
The rather steep US$250 price tag is something that might turn some gamers away but regardless of that, it’s hard not to recommend a product of this quality. If you’re in the market for a new set or just looking for a better pair, the PC 350 should be on your list of finalists.
Official technical specifications and info
Cutting edge advantage for Gamers
Significantly sharpens reaction time
Tuned to optimise Binaural Perception
Closed design to isolate and focus
Full Sennheiser Hi-fi sound for music use
Robust high-tech design
Also use for Skype and all PC communications
Closed type, circumaural PC gaming headset
Superior passive attenuation of ambient noise
Frequency response optimized for Binaural Perception
Large 38mm high-power drive unit
Powerful Neodymium Iron magnets
Large size ear cups for comfort during long gaming sessions