Sennheiser x Massdrop PC37X Review & Discussion
Jan 16, 2017 at 8:43 PM Post #31 of 169

Daniel Raymer

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To connect this to a single 3.5mm TRRS jack, you'll either need an adapter unifying the mic/audio jacks or an entirely new cable. The two options are linked in the drop's posting, but each is sold out via Sennheiser (1, 2). The first option (adapter) is available on Amazon, but is not as simple as the second option (single cable ending in TRRS). Any recommendations on how to find an equivalent of the second option - a replacement cable that will end in the 3.5mm TRRS jack - given that Sennheiser is out of stock? Or any other recommendation on how you'd handle this if you want to use this with a PS4?
 
Thanks
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 2:24 AM Post #32 of 169

Yethal

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  To connect this to a single 3.5mm TRRS jack, you'll either need an adapter unifying the mic/audio jacks or an entirely new cable. The two options are linked in the drop's posting, but each is sold out via Sennheiser (1, 2). The first option (adapter) is available on Amazon, but is not as simple as the second option (single cable ending in TRRS). Any recommendations on how to find an equivalent of the second option - a replacement cable that will end in the 3.5mm TRRS jack - given that Sennheiser is out of stock? Or any other recommendation on how you'd handle this if you want to use this with a PS4?
 
Thanks


Literally any TRRS adapter will do
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Male-Stereo-TRRS-Audio-To-Earphone-Headset-Microphone-Adapter-PC-iPhone-/111917674424?hash=item1a0ed02fb8:g:vfUAAOSwUuFW0IUB
 
You can't use a non-Sennheiser cable easily with this headset. Sennhesier uses a proprietary recessed 2.5mm jack instead of a universal plug so You'd need a 2.5mm to 3.5mm 4-pole cable with jack housing thin enough to fit inside the female jack on the PC37X. Just buy an adapter, it's going to be much easier.
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 3:48 AM Post #33 of 169

Change is Good

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Literally any TRRS adapter will do
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Male-Stereo-TRRS-Audio-To-Earphone-Headset-Microphone-Adapter-PC-iPhone-/111917674424?hash=item1a0ed02fb8:g:vfUAAOSwUuFW0IUB

You can't use a non-Sennheiser cable easily with this headset. Sennhesier uses a proprietary recessed 2.5mm jack instead of a universal plug so You'd need a 2.5mm to 3.5mm 4-pole cable with jack housing thin enough to fit inside the female jack on the PC37X. Just buy an adapter, it's going to be much easier.


So I'm guessing the Turtle Beach PS4 chat cable won't fit? Bummer. I have an adapter, but the stock cable is way too long for me. Guess I'll just have to search for a Senn cable if I get the PC37X.
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 4:31 AM Post #34 of 169

Yethal

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So I'm guessing the Turtle Beach PS4 chat cable won't fit? Bummer. I have an adapter, but the stock cable is way too long for me. Guess I'll just have to search for a Senn cable if I get the PC37X.


It's too thick I'm afraid. Besides, it has a 2.5mm 3-pole jack and not a 4-pole one so microphone wouldn't work.
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 6:01 AM Post #35 of 169

Yethal

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Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X
 ​
Intro
 
Is there any class of audio products in the world that is less “audiophiley” than gaming headsets? Anything farther from being high-fidelity than a combination of bloated bass, cheap plastic and atrocious looks? By default, the answer to both of these questions is no.
But every once in awhile a new adventurer sets out on an epic quest to destroy the evil Bad Rep of Headsets. The name of our latest hero? Sennheiser x Massdrop PC37X.
Specs & Drop info
 
There is no point in copy-pasting all the relevant information here so I’ll just link you to the drop page.
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-pc37x-gaming-headset
 
Disclaimer
 
Massdrop sent me over the headset ahead of the release date in exchange for my honest opinion on it. No other compensation was received or implied.
 
Package contents
 
 
 
Inside the package you may find:
  1. The headset itself
  2. Headset cable
  3. Literally nothing else
 
I don’t know if this was intended but the box did not contain anything besides the headset and the cable. No warranty card, no instruction manual in bazillion languages, nothing. I don’t really miss all those papers I just find lack of them disturbing.
 
Design
 
There are people in the world who do not care about how their gear looks and only care how it performs. While I can certainly understand such utilitarian approach, personally I do care about how my gear looks. Maybe not enough to pick a better looking headphone over a better sounding one but enough to like or dislike certain design styles. And if there is one particular design style that I truly detest, it is the “tween demographic style” perpetuated by gaming audio companies. Some of these products are so hideous that looking at them causes me physical pain. I’m not even kidding.
 

 
Terrifying, isn’t it?
 
Luckily, whoever designed this headset, clearly had no intention to appeal to teenagers. And that’s why Sennheiser x Massdrop PC37X features:
  1. No LEDs
  2. No flashy colors
  3. No dragons
  4. No skulls
  5. No cringe
 
 ​
Just look at this sexy beast
 
Sennheiser opted for a subtle, minimalistic design. Simple, black, matte headband, adorned only with discrete Massdrop and Sennheiser logos. The left earcup houses the microphone (more on that one later) while the right one houses a volume dial. And no damn dragons anywhere in sight. Add to that black velour earpads and headband. Do I need to add that I love it?
PC37X and PC373D differ in exactly three things, the color scheme being the first one of them. There aren’t any big changes here, insides of the earcups and microphone joints are now black instead of orange. I don’t really have a preference here, both designs are equally appealing to me.
 ​
Cable
 
The cable is the second differentiating factor between the PC373D and PC37X, hence an entire paragraph dedicated to it.
First of all, it’s removable. You may not think this is a big deal but trust me, removable cables are a blessing. One day the cable will break and you’ll be glad you don’t have to take the headset apart in order to solder a new wire. Removable cable is always a plus and I’m happy that Sennheiser decided to go that route (their first-gen headset, the PC360 was hardwired).
 
What I’m really not happy about is that the cable is terminated with a proprietary, recessed 2.5mm jack prohibiting use of third-party cables. Come on Sennheiser, that was a dick move.
 
To make matters worse, the PC373D ships with its own, dedicated amp/dac permanently attached to the cable, effectively making the PC373D a USB headset. I can’t comment on the sound quality of the built-in circuitry because I didn’t get a chance to listen to it but I can’t imagine this tiny little device winning against a dedicated PC sound card. The only silver lining here is that the cable can be replaced with a regular dual minijack one if the user so desires. Of course the cable would need to come from Sennheiser itself.
 
So, imagine my relief when I found out that Massdrop decided to drop this USB abomination altogether and ship the PC37X with an analog cable by default. It’s 3m long, Paracord-sleeved and ends with dual 3.5mm jacks, the way God intended headsets to be.
 ​
 
Price
 
This is the third and the biggest difference between the PC37X and PC373D.
Regular PC373D costs $250. Add another $20 if you want an analog cable.
Massdrop sells their version of the headset for $119.99.
 
Microphone
 
This is it. The reason you bought a headset and not a pair of headphones. You want that microphone permanently attached to your headphones and the convenience that comes with it.
So, how does the microphone sound? Surprisingly good for a gaming headset. Usually headset microphones sound tinny and echoey but PC37X captured my voice faithfully and without too much colorization. Thanks to noise-cancelling and uni-directional pattern you will no longer annoy your teammates with random dog barks, girlfriends coming into the room and fans running in the background. Keep in mind though that the quality of the recording is dependent not only on the microphone itself but on also on the quality of the preamp and ADC inside whatever device you plug this into.
Sound
 
This is all fine and dandy but there’s no point in buying the headset if it doesn’t sound good, right?
Well, if you’re looking for splendid sound you’ve come to the right place my dear reader. PC37X may be a gaming-oriented product but it uses the same drivers as well-regarded Sennheiser HD598, headphones famous for their large, spacious soundstage and lush mids.
 

 
Minor differences can be observed suggesting that Senneheiser managed to improve on the original HD598 driver over time
 
Coincidentally, HD598 are also the first pair of audiophile headphones I’ve ever bought and even though I don’t own them anymore, I still think of them very fondly. And because of those shared drivers, PC37X sounded incredibly familiar from the first song and the first game I played. The same rich, full mids. The same amazing soundstage, the same sparkly treble.
Bass on the other hand was noticeably improved over the stock HD598. No longer lacking in impact the low end is now properly pronounced but not muddy or bloated by any means. Of course that doesn’t make the PC37X a bassy headphone, it only makes them more balanced across the entire spectrum.
Gaming Performance
 
But Yethal, I want to own n00bs, not to listen to smooth jazz! Tell me whether they’re good for gaming!
 
And own noobs you will my dear reader. And own n00bs you will. Combination of great soundstage and relatively balanced spectrum makes for an amazing gaming headset.
 
In Rainbow Six: Siege not only am I able to pinpoint my enemies location based on the sound of their gunshots, I am able to shoot them through the walls based on the sound of their footsteps alone. I can only imagine the surprise on the faces of the enemy players when they watch the killcam and see me suddenly turn around and start shooting at a wooden barricade only to score a kill.
 
Or maybe you’re more of an Overwatch person? Don’t worry, PC37X will tell you if a hostile McCree tries to ITSHIGHNOON you in the back. It will also tell you whether that Tracer you saw blinking a second ago has just flanked you. Information is key to victory and PC37X provides all the information you might need to outplay your opponent.
But great positioning isn’t useful just for competitive gaming, it helps with immersion as well.
 
Try playing GTAV in FPP mode using this headset. You don’t even need to launch any mission, just stand on the sidewalk and listen to the sound of cars passing by and pedestrians talking about whatever Rockstar programmed them to talk about. They walk past you and their voices move around your head as if they were real people on a real sidewalk of a real street.
 
Sound leakage
 
Sound leakage can be a serious issue for gamers, especially those who have families. After all, nothing worse than waking your infant child with sound of gunshots, amirite? If this scenario seems familiar to you, do not worry. The PC37X has your back! Leak is very minimal and, while still present, is not going to bother your spouse/child/dog (as long as you're not playing video games at an irresponsible volume level). I bet I could use this headset in an open space office and not hear a word of complaint for the entire day.
 
Isolation
 
So, there is not a lot of sound leakage so the isolation must also be good, right? Right?
 ​
No
There is no isolation.​
Literally no isolation.
 
To test this I played a random YouTube video on speakers and put the headset on and off to see whether the perceivable volume of the video will be lower. The difference was so negligible that it might as well have been autosuggestion. Seriously, this headset does nothing to protect your ears from the outside noise. It might not be an issue depending on your living conditions but forget about taking PC37X to a LAN event.
 
Conclusion
 
Gaming headsets are in a very difficult spot right now, especially the higher-end ones. Advent of devices such as ModMic or V-Moda BoomPro made it easy for gamers to convert their existing headphones into headsets without the need to drill any holes or solder any wires.
Most, if not all, audiophile headphones have detachable cables and even if they don’t use a 3.5mm jack for cable connection, a simple passive adapter is all that is needed to make them compatible with BoomPro or equivalent devices. ModMic can be attached to virtually any pair of cans in the world with a minimal impact on usability.
 
But let’s say you really want a dedicated headset and not a DIY solution. Is the PC37X worth your money?
Yes, I strongly believe it is. PC37X combines great sound with amazing gaming potential and convenience. At $120 this might be the best headset currently on the market.
 
Note the “at $120” bit.
My final verdict is for the PC37X and PC37X only, not for PC373D. If Massdrop were to sell PC37X for $250 I would’ve called it a great sounding piece of gear but overpriced and ultimately, not worth the money.


 
Jan 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM Post #36 of 169
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Massdrop by Sennheiser PC37X Limited Edition
The Gaming Headset Slayer with Chops!


__Intro__
I've been reading and writing about headphones to use for gaming for a long time, and the rule of thumb has been "Headsets are for chumps, save money and get better quality by buying audiophile music headphones, and a separate microphone." Almost every headset on the market was black with bright color accents, had short-term durability, a very colored sound to "Enhance footsteps!" or "Deepen the immersion!" A cheap Koss KSC75 or Creative Aurvana Live! would handily beat any Turtle Beach or Astro headset (especially the wireless ones) for technical quality, and the legendary Audio Technica ATH-AD700 had such amazing soundstage and imaging that brought me the closest to the "not wearing headphones" sound while also cutting bass a bit so explosions and rumbles wouldn't distract me from being hyper-competitive. The Sennheiser PC350 and Beyerdynamic MMX300 were the exceptions because they actually sounded good, but still, they were basically HD555 and DT770 headphones with a microphone, and $10 could get a lapel mic and adapters to accomplish the job well enough.
The PC37X Limited Edition, by Sennheiser in collaboration with Massdrop, are going to disrupt the status-quo: mature looks, mid-fi audiophile sound for gaming AND music, great comfort, AND a strong value at $120 + Shipping.


__Sound Signature__
I love song suggestions, so here's a "Playlist Pairing" of songs great to listen to on this headphone: https://open.spotify.com/user/evshrug/playlist/5VLWQW9bzW4K4ZL6Cfu2VQ

The treble is a standout positive of this headset, but overall it has a balanced and full u-shaped frequency response. There is some treble emphasis with nice air and sparkle but not hot or irritating, some bass emphasis but shy of basshead territory, with a nice full sound that doesn't bleed through the mids, and while the mids aren't emphasized they don't feel recessed to the point of making vocals seem like backing vocals or hard to distinguish. There is an old music engineering trick, where the sound engineer/producer will lower the mids a little, because mids are where the vocals are. Human's listen for the vocals, we like the words, so we set the volume based on the mids and then the bass and treble become relatively louder and more exciting. I say u-shape because this tuning is subtle and not far from linear, but it's enough of an effect where the PC37X has a very engaging sound.

The PC37X also has some interesting sound characteristics among the things audiophiles listen for. The clarity of this set is very good, switching off from a Beyerdynamic COP or a Creative Labs H7 seems to clear away a slight veil, bringing details to the forefront with very little blur or muddying of one tone over another. The PC37X responds with quick lively transients that seem to have addressed any sensation of sluggishness that I have experienced with Astro and Turtle Beach headsets (and Bose, and pretty much every basshead headphone), but not so aggressively sharp like the DT880, which was a headphone that quickly got fatiguing for me. I can listen to the PC37X for a long time, three and four hour sessions have been no problem. Soundstage size is good and positional imaging even better. Sized almost as wide as the elite (for this price range) AD700 and K612, but the PC37X comes in 3rd for soundstage depth for front/back cues (still very good for mid-fi). It doesn't fool the listener into believing they are listening to speakers on a desk in front, but still easy to picture relative distances and immerse in the experience. Imaging is even better, with positions smoothly sliding from left to right, and with virtual surround it is easy to hear the difference between frontal and rear cues.

Overall, the PC37X has a clear sound that is very good for competitive gaming, but surprisingly infectious when listening to music too. Does it beat AKG's K712 or K7XX? Neeeeeeeh... no. Those are slightly more detailed and can extend the soundstage more, and scale up higher on hi-fi signal chain gear, but the PC37X does nothing wrong and so much right to make it super competitive among headphones in the sub-$200 price range, not to mention headsets. This is the best Headset I have ever heard.

Oh wait, the PC37X is a headset? Sometimes, it's easy to forget. The microphone is unidirectional and noise cancelling (No, those aren't EXACTLY the same thing!), so it did a decent job of being sensitive to where I angled the mic boom arm and quieting things with more distance away from me. The PC37X was doing a great job of not letting my PSN chat buddies not realize they were talking to me the same time my wife was talking to me last night. It didn't sound as rich or lively as my Blue Microphone's snowball, but it definitely did a better job quieting background noise and totally eliminating the sound of my air heater. Chat-ideal, little tame for laying down a music demo.


__Features/Build/Benefits__
As a Headset, it's easier to integrate game and chat audio than a standard headphone and braiding in a lapel mic wire. The cable is nylon cloth-sleeved for low rubbing noise, definitely 10 feet long, firmly connected but actually removable and accepts the three types of cables compatible with Sennheiser's PC373D, and terminates in separate 3.5mm TRS stereo headphone plug and a 3.5mm TRS plug for the microphone. The mute feature when the boom mic is up works well when you need to slap it away to spare your friends from a sneeze in their ears. The big volume dial on the right earcup is quick to find while wearing and cut the volume, without major detriment to the sound.

The drivers inside the earcups are also angled, contributing to the soundstage being better than most Sennheisers (HD700 and HD800 are on another level, but also priced on another level). The earcups are also described as open... and I have no trouble hearing my wife enter the front door or talking to me while wearing them, but the PC37X may well be semi-open because the sound leak is minor and significantly quieter than a Koss KSC75, HD650, or any open HiFiman headphone.

The comfort is strong with this one... the plush, thick pads on the earcups and headband are wrapped in soft velour. No sweaty pleather or plastic here! The Headset is also quite lightweight and well distributed. The clamping pressure is pretty strong and the headphones stays firmly in place, but like I said, the pressure on the head is well-distributed among the squishy pads and beauty-pageant weight. They pass the test of not irritating my balding head, but the experience feels like a stuffed animal hugging your head with lots of love. Clingy, but it will loyally never abandon the wearer. I can wear these for 4 hours until I need a break and not getting uncomfortable all the way.


__Cool Factor__
The PC37X is quite a likeable headphone. In the face of all the orange, green, silver, blue, and red out there, Massdrop's version is all-matte black, the matte texture making the plastic seem like it was more carefully crafted (and hides rage-quit scratches better). They definitely make the wearer look serious about gaming, but not loud or attention seeking about it.

It's also cool that these are a Limited Edition, a sign of collaboration and special requests from Massdrop. Being part of the first $120 drop and having a low serial number, the moment that serious competitive headsets went from "okay" to "great," that'll never happen again even if there are follow-up drops several months from now.


__Summary__
Overall, these are great mid-fi headphones bordering on entry-level pricing, and adding that it is a headset makes the package even more appealing. Audiophiles with more expensive, higher end headphones may find less to be outright excited about, but the gamers among them who pick the PC37X up as a dedicated-purpose set will still find plenty to like about the headset. Highly recommended as one of the greats below $200.
 
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Jan 17, 2017 at 9:14 PM Post #37 of 169

Akmola Lola

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is this compatible with PS4?
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 9:28 PM Post #38 of 169
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Yes and no. It sounds it's best when you plug in a USB soundcard (that doesn't need drivers) to the PS4, or if you use a DSP like the Astro Mixamp/Creative G5/Creative X7, but you can plug just the headphone plug into the DualShock4's jack and get sound.

If you want sound and mic/chat on PS4, you would at least have to buy a $6 joiner, where it takes the 1/8" TRS headphone and 1/8" TRS microphone female jacks to one 1/8" TRRS smartphone-style plug. Like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01M0T6PSF/

But I don't recommend the DS4's jack. Rather, I'd suggest this ponytail dongle: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B016CU2PEU/
For about the same price as the joiner adapter, this prevents stress on the PS4 USB connectors and gives you easier access to plug and unplug, and it prevents you from draining the battery in the DS4 faster.

I personally like gaming in surround, so I would recommend a Turtle Beach DSS or DSS2 (both are good, personally tested) connected to the Optical, and the above adapter in the USB port so you get a mic connection. Stronger amp, cleaner DAC, good surround processing to increase your immersion and competitiveness... should be all you need, though I enjoy even higher end things.
 
Sennheiser Stay updated on Sennheiser at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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Jan 17, 2017 at 10:02 PM Post #39 of 169

Akmola Lola

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Yes and no. It sounds it's best when you plug in a USB soundcard (that doesn't need drivers) to the PS4, or if you use a DSP like the Astro Mixamp/Creative G5/Creative X7, but you can plug just the headphone plug into the DualShock4's jack and get sound. If you want sound and mic/chat on PS4, you would at least have to buy a $6 joiner, where it takes the 1/8" TRS headphone and 1/8" TRS microphone female jacks to one 1/8" TRRS smartphone-style plug. Like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01M0T6PSF/

 
thanks for the info man.. not really a fan of using the controller's audio port.. guess ill stick with Pulse Elite.
 
Jan 17, 2017 at 11:33 PM Post #41 of 169
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Thanks for your impressions, guys! 

Yeah Rosmadi, you guys at Sennheiser make nice stuff! I had a pair of PX100 early on in my head-fi life, tried and had good times with a whole bunch of other headphones, and now my primary headphone is the HD800!

Sennheiser recently came out with the GSX1000 and GSX1200, I've heard reports that your proprietary headphone surround is really good! Now, I've heard PC users apparently outnumber the console crowd, but I just would like to put it out there that an HDMI GSX1000 that can work with PS4 would get me really excited...

There's a big product hole for DSPs between the $400 Creative SoundBlaster X7 and things with the audio quality of the Astro Mixamp and Turtle Beach TAC. Creative used to make the Recon3D USB, which was versatile enough to work with PC and Consoles, with Chat, but it had a weak amp. The Creative G5 is it's spiritual successor and has a big sound quality upgrade, everything console gamers wanted, EXCEPT it dropped the surround DSP! Surround is PC only! A year later, they still haven't added Dolby decoding and it looks like they don't intend to. Whatever manufacturer makes a DSP product within that hole, doesn't miss features like surround and chat, and markets it tastefully but loudly will be an instant recommendation!
 
Sennheiser Stay updated on Sennheiser at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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Jan 18, 2017 at 1:15 AM Post #43 of 169

Silent Xaxal

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EV, how's this one compared to the V-Moda M-100?
 
Jan 18, 2017 at 2:55 AM Post #44 of 169

Yethal

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Jan 18, 2017 at 9:13 AM Post #45 of 169

nicoX

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What I’m really not happy about is that the cable is terminated with a proprietary, recessed 2.5mm jack prohibiting use of third-party cables. Come on Sennheiser, that was a dick move.

 
This habits is going to make me boycottt Sennheiser products. Their cables are cheap and made by a third party. I have tried hq additional cables that significantly made the sound of my HD598 much better.
 

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