Sennheiser has long been the default choice for headphone buyers looking for quality sound, solid construction and technical innovation. The gaming headset market has become a battleground in recent years, though, with entrants from peripheral companies like Astro, Logitech and Razer.
Sennheiser released its PC 360 G4ME gaming headset in March 2010, with that product remaining its flagship gaming headset for over two years as Astro released the A40 and A50, Logitech released the G35 and keyboard and mouse makers like Razer released a slew of headphones. The Sennheiser PC 350 variant has been in the market since 2008.
Not content to let upstarts tempt gamers away, the German audio company is introducing two new high-end headsets, retiring the PC 360 and introducing the upgraded PC 363D, and replacing the PC 350 with a revamped PC 350 SE. Both new headsets use Sennheiser's premium-level noise cancelling boom microphone, but differ in their ear-cup design — comfort was the key feature in redesigning both models.
The PC 363D is an open-backed pair of headphones based on the PC 360's original design, aimed at offering the best possible sound quality in a gaming headset. The PC 363D is bundled with a Dolby USB adapter that replaces your PC's internal sound card and supports up to 7.1-channel surround sound through Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic IIx — with optimised positional audio playback to help competitive gamers during audio-rich games like first-person shooters.
The PC 350 SE is a closed-back, passive noise cancelling headset, designed to keep gamers' audio inside the headset without any sound leakage. Sennheiser claims that more than 95 per cent of the sound produced by the headphones is contained within the ear-cups, even at maximum volume, to prevent any distraction to any nearby listeners. Similarly, the tightly sealed closed design stops external noise from intruding into an important gaming or music listening session.
Both new headsets will be officially launched and displayed at Sennheiser's booth at CES 2013 in Las Vegas in January. Pricing and availability dates have not yet been confirmed for Australia, but international pricing on Amazon US sits at US$299 and US$249 for the PC 363D and PC 350 SE respectively.