Sennheiser PC163D G4ME headset
Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME review: This headset from Sennheiser has a USB dongle that delivers virtual 7.1 Dolby surround sound
- Comfortable, good sound quality, Dolby Headphone USB dongle adds a nice soundstage to gaming audio
- Open design leaks a fair amount of sound, the surround effect is poor for music
Sennheiser's PC163D G4ME headset is not for music listeners -- the surround sound effect of the Dolby Headphone USB dongle altered our music in a way we didn't like, and with the setting turned off we still found the audio a little dull. For gaming, though, it's an excellent choice -- it's a relatively lightweight headset that responds well to the booming bass and loud sound effects of PC gaming audio, and the microphone is of decent quality.
Price$ 259.95 (AUD)
Sennheiser's PC 163D G4ME headset is a solid product for a gamer looking to embrace 3D positional audio — the bundled Dolby Headphone USB dongle simulates 7.1-surround sound. We preferred playing fast-paced PC games with the software boost enabled, but it did strange things to our test music. The headphones are comfortable, have good audio quality overall and are comfortable, although they leak sound at high volumes.
Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME: Design and construction
The Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME headset is an on-the-ear design, with the ear-cups resting against your ear rather than your head. This means it's smaller and lighter than a headset like the Sennheiser PC 360 G4ME, but it's also marginally less comfortable. The headset is sturdily built, but our one concern is with the small range of movement offered by the headset's earpieces — they don't swivel and only have a small range of motion away from the headband. The band itself is flexible and easily adjustable for larger or smaller heads.
Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME: Sound quality
Like the Sennheiser PC 161 headphones that have been our long-time beater PC headset around the office, the Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME has good sound quality that's well suited to the punchy audio of PC games and blockbuster movies. It's not as clear or as deeply bassy as the Sennheiser PC 360 G4ME headset we tested at the same time, but it's also half the price. We'd say that bass is overall the strongest aspect of these headphones — explosions are well represented — but this has the effect of drowning out a little of the clarity of mid-range and treble.
Because of the on-the-ear design the Sennheiser PC 163D headset has an open ear-cup and leaks audio. It won't be a problem at moderate listening volumes, but if you're blasting out some PC games at full volume your boss or co-workers might not be impressed.
The swing-down boom microphone of the Sennheiser PC 163D is good — our test recordings were entirely audible and no clipping occurred — but in comparison to the Sennheiser PC 360D it's slightly muffled, with less overall clarity. It'll do a perfectly acceptable job for team chat and video calls, but we wouldn't use it to record a podcast.
Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME: Dolby Headphone 7.1 sound
As well as its microphone/headphone jacks, the Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME comes with a USB sound card supporting Dolby Headphone and 7.1 virtual surround sound. The virtual sound setting can be enabled and disabled easily via software — it basically mixes stereo audio to a virtual surround sound mapping, downmixes it to stereo again and outputs it to the headphones. The Dolby Headphone mix adds a small amount of extra separation between audio channels — it's easier to hear what's behind you, what's to your left and to your right. It's an audio processing trick that purists will find tiresome — and it doesn't have a pleasant effect on music — but gamers will appreciate the increased in-game awareness it fosters.
Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME: Conclusion
The Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME headset is a competent headset for gamers, and the inclusion of the Dolby Headphone-enabled USB sound card makes positional audio in games a little more realistic. We wouldn't pick them for music listening, but otherwise the Sennheiser PC 163D G4ME is a decent choice for PC use.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTest Advert Software EngineerSA
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- TPFull Stack .NET DeveloperWA
- CCAutomation TesterQLD
- FTFinancial ERP Customer - Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- FTTechnical Engineer Linux / MySql / ScriptQLD
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- CCSenior ABAP DeveloperQLD
- TPAutomation Test AnalystSA
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- TPMedia AssistantNSW
- FTData ArchitectNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistSA
- CCPerformance AnalystQLD
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystQLD
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT