Sennheiser x Massdrop PC37X Review & Discussion
Jul 11, 2017 at 5:09 AM Post #106 of 169

Yethal

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How is it compared to Xonar U7 MkII? Their prices are in the same ballpark but the U7 MkII is newer.

Yea I reckon a 50 ohm headphone with 116 dB SPL should be able to be driven with just the built in amp in a mobo, so I'm mainly looking for VSS/HRTF capability and clean ADC for the mic.
Here's a video comparison of VSS used by Creative (SBX) and Asus (DH)
So just pick the one that sounds more natural. As for the ADC, I can't help You here although @Evshrug owns the Omni and could provide microphone samples if asked nicely.
 
Jul 11, 2017 at 6:44 AM Post #107 of 169

callizer

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Here's a video comparison of VSS used by Creative (SBX) and Asus (DH)
So just pick the one that sounds more natural. As for the ADC, I can't help You here although @Evshrug owns the Omni and could provide microphone samples if asked nicely.
Ah I haven't seen this vid, thanks! It's really helpful.
 
Jul 12, 2017 at 4:10 PM Post #108 of 169
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(x-posted from my post in MLE guide)

I'm currently waiting for my PC37X to arrive. Any idea what I should drive this with? This will be used for gaming, youtube vids, movies, and casual music listening. I don't really want to move my main listening rig around.

I'm keen to try HRTF or VSS stuff so I was looking at Sennheiser GSX 1000 and Asus Xonar U7 MkII. The GSX is considerably more expensive but is it that much better? How's the ADC inside those units (I want clean sound for the mic)?


Hello Callizer,
Totally understand about the curiosity about HRTF and virtual surround sound! Our GSX 1000 was recently developed with the latest tech and advancements from our own studies, so it represents our best effort in DSP/surround technology. Personal preferences aside, obviously the GSX 1000 was designed with the PC37X, PC373D (with the cable the PC37X uses), and our other headset's specifications in mind, and we were able to budget some great quality parts. The ADC (and DAC) in the GSX 1000 is an upgrade over what is included in the PC373D.

The on-device buttons will let you change the GSX 1000 settings without switching apps, or change a bunch of settings all at once by using customizable presets – so it's easy to switch between audio for music, games, and movies. Even in music though... a little of the surround effect helps blend some hard-panned stereo songs for a more pleasant experience. Beyond a simple crossfeed, the surround effect can help image the music like it's coming from speakers in front of you rather than strapped to your ears. Try it!
 
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Jul 12, 2017 at 9:35 PM Post #109 of 169

callizer

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Hello Callizer,
Totally understand about the curiosity about HRTF and virtual surround sound! Our GSX 1000 was recently developed with the latest tech and advancements from our own studies, so it represents our best effort in DSP/surround technology. Personal preferences aside, obviously the GSX 1000 was designed with the PC37X, PC373D (with the cable the PC37X uses), and our other headset's specifications in mind, and we were able to budget some great quality parts. The ADC (and DAC) in the GSX 1000 is an upgrade over what is included in the PC373D.

The on-device buttons will let you change the GSX 1000 settings without switching apps, or change a bunch of settings all at once by using customizable presets – so it's easy to switch between audio for music, games, and movies. Even in music though... a little of the surround effect helps blend some hard-panned stereo songs for a more pleasant experience. Beyond a simple crossfeed, the surround effect can help image the music like it's coming from speakers in front of you rather than strapped to your ears. Try it!
Hi Rosmadi (apologies if this account has changed hands),

Thanks for pitching in! I ended up ordering Xonar U7 MkII last night even though I strongly considered the GSX 1000. The reasons are:

1. I'm a strategy gamer, not much of an FPS person. I mainly play Dota 2, Civilization, JRPGs, and top down RPGs.
2. Assuming GSX 1000 has a superior VSS (from the reviews I read, it seems that way), it's just a nice bonus that's ultimately not worth the price jump in my opinion (it's twice the price of the U7).
3. It seems like the GSX 1000 amp output is similar to the U7 MKII, which is disappointing given its price.

PC37X and the U7 are the only audio gears that I've bought without trying it personally first. For a strategy/RPG gamer like me, the most important attributes in audio setup are immersive sound, clear voice through microphone, and superior comfort. Some suggestions for future product:

1. Put more powerful amp
2. Tone down the VSS to bring price down (but don't get rid of it completely).
3. Sell it at a lower price, probably similar or slightly more expensive than Xonar U7 MkII.
 
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Jul 22, 2017 at 8:48 AM Post #110 of 169

callizer

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Review!

BACKGROUND


I’m a music lover and a PC gamer. I mainly play Dota 2, Civilization, JRPGs, a few top down RPGs, and some 3D RPGs. I only play a limited amount of first person games, mainly Counter Strike, Borderlands, and some RPGs like Shadow of Mordor. Therefore, I don’t put too much importance on virtual surround sound for gaming. I’m looking for a setup that’s immersive, comfortable, and has a decent microphone. I’ve tried ModMic setup before but I really hate dealing with the cable mess that comes with it.

PREFERENCES/BIASES

I like a relatively neutral sounding system that slightly leans to the warm side. My favourite pair of headphones is LCD-X for its amazing bass and energetic sound. On a lazy Sunday, I like to put on my Fitear TG334 to listen to some slow acoustic songs.

My usual listening gear is usually Onkyo DP X1 > Chord Hugo > Liquid Carbon > LCD-X.


AESTHETICS

http://imgur.com/a/cyNvZ

This is a low-profile headset. If you like bright colours, you might not like it as it’s in “boring” black. I think the simplicity appeals to most adult gamers though.


BUILD QUALITY

The housing of PC37X, as far as I can tell, is entirely made of plastic. It gives the advantage of being really light but some of you probably will raise the question of its durability. I’ve tried stretching the headband and I’m happy to report that I did not hear a squeak. It’s plastic, but the good kind of plastic.

COMFORT

Out of the box, the velour earpads are stiffer than what I’m used to. The clamping force is also a bit strong, but not to the point it makes me uncomfortable. The pads are quite breathable but my earlobes do get a little bit hot after some time. Overall, I’m rating the comfort as “good enough for 6 hours of gaming without taking it off”.


SOUND

I’m testing the headphone mainly from Asus Xonar U7 MKII and Onkyo DP-X1. Bear in mind that this is a subjective review as I did not use any measurement gears and did not check the frequency response (if there’s any) before writing this review.

BASS

The bass is probably the one that threw me off the most. It has a lot of quantity in the upper bass and sounds very rich, up to the point it’s almost veiled. After giving it a listen for quite some time, the sound grew on me. The PC37X probably has one of the most controlled and tightest bass for a pair below $200. Heck, my Sennheiser PXC550 (MSRP AU$630/Retail $400-$500) has worse control over the bass and a bit loose. It’s not perfect, however, as the bass on PC37X didn’t extend very low; I couldn’t hear a satisfying thump in the sub-bass region.

MIDRANGE

The midrange is the star of this headset. It’s intimate and detailed, making it a great (dare I say perfect?) pair for gaming. This is coming from someone who uses Fitear TG334 regularly for portable listening; it is an IEM which is known to have one of the best midrange. The vocals are great in music and the footsteps are great in games.

TREBLE

Depending on your preference, the treble is probably the weakness of this pair. It has a very relaxed treble, too relaxed for my liking. It makes it a laid back pair that will not pierce your ear during long listening or gaming sessions, but some folks might prefer some extra oomph in the treble region.


SOUNDSTAGE AND IMAGING

To put it shortly, it’s decently wide but lacks depth. Imaging is very good for its price, but your HD800S is, without a question, vastly superior. This is the area that I think the PC37X does well, but doesn’t really punch above its class.


OVERALL PRESENTATION (TL;DR)

Laid back sound with rich bass and intimate midrange. Very good soundstage and imaging for its price.


AMPLIFIER MATCHING

50 Ω impedance and 116 dB SPL/mW, so it’s quite easy to drive. My Xonar U7 MKII distorts the sound at very high volume, while my Onkyo DP-X1 drives it without any problems. If you’re getting this as an all-rounder (music, movies, gaming etc), I recommend getting a decently powerful desktop amplifier like Schiit Magni 2. If you only use this almost exclusively for gaming (like me), your motherboard or USB soundcard like the U7 is perfectly fine.

I recommend against pairing these headphones with a tube amplifier as it might sound too dark. Analytical solid-state amps will be the best match.

GAMING PERFORMANCE

In FPS games like CS:GO, the sound is really immersive thanks to its rich bass while still being accurate thanks to its very good midrange. In RPGs like Skyrim, the dialogue is very clear thanks to (once again) its midrange. For Dota 2, well, it’s hard to sound bad in Dota 2.

I can’t comment on HRTF/VSS as it depends on your DSP Engine and/or the game’s built-in sound engine.

MICROPHONE

I expected a good quality microphone, but instead I got a great one (for a headset). This is the best headset microphone I’ve ever used bar none. Yes, that includes ModMic.



CLOSING THOUGHTS

If your listening rig is separated from your gaming rig like me, you might be looking for an affordable headset. At US$120 (cost me around AU$170 including shipping), the PC37X should be on the very top of your list. This is one of my very few audio purchases that I made without auditioning it in person, yet I don’t regret it one bit.

[+] Rich, controlled, and tight bass for immersive sound

[+] Detailed and intimate midrange for competitive advantage in games

[+] Great microphone

[+] Great value for money

[-] The “Sennheiser Veil” is present. Too much upper bass and does not extend very low at the sub-bass region.

[-] The treble is too relaxed
 
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Aug 3, 2017 at 12:41 AM Post #113 of 169

batal

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I have question about sound leakage. I have HD555 (open) and HD280PRO (close). I really like sound of 555, but my wife doesn't (she hears everything, even if she not in the same room). HD280PRO are "close" enough, but it's not comfortable to wear them for more than few hours. And also sometimes I play game where mic is needed (BF, DOTA).

So, the question is - are PC37X good enough to not disturbing my family?
 
Aug 3, 2017 at 1:01 AM Post #114 of 169

callizer

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I have question about sound leakage. I have HD555 (open) and HD280PRO (close). I really like sound of 555, but my wife doesn't (she hears everything, even if she not in the same room). HD280PRO are "close" enough, but it's not comfortable to wear them for more than few hours. And also sometimes I play game where mic is needed (BF, DOTA).

So, the question is - are PC37X good enough to not disturbing my family?
PC37X does not isolate at all, so you'd probably better off with a closed pair.
 
Aug 9, 2017 at 1:11 PM Post #116 of 169

mbyrnes

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Any idea on the difference between these and the Game One?

Massdrop had Sennheiser angle the drivers in the PC37X, and many, including myself, believe that it makes a pretty big difference compared to the older PCXXX models that came before it. It is also believed to have better drivers than the Game One (which I believe was the HD558 driver, PC37X supposedly uses the HD598/599 drivers). Really you could buy them, and if you don't like them, sell them for a $20-$30 loss. Not bad really to try out a headset that maybe good enough for you and your uses. I'll keep mine no matter what, as they are awesome with the Nintendo Swtich (they are super efficient and can be driven to VERY loud levels on the Switches headphone out). I also like having a headset around to quickly have a mic if friends jump on. I usually have my Modmic tucked away, and the sound from these makes hearing voices easier over my "Fun" cans that I usually game with.

I owned the PC360 for a few years and they were my daily drivers for a while. They lacked bass, sucked for music (IMO), but were pretty fantastic at gaming. The PC37X is a large improvement over the PC360, with increased bass (really mid bass output), still retains the great mids for hearing footsteps, and the slightly rolled off highs make them great for long gaming sessions (no fatigue). I was truly shocked at their sound for the price, and loved the improvement over the original headset Sennheiser PC360. All at a cost far less then the PC360 sold for years ago.

I believe Yethal or Evshrug, who both reviewed the PC37X, have either owned or heard the Game One. Hopefully they will chime in, or check their reviews. Both reviews can be found on the Massdrop PC37X drop page.
 
Aug 9, 2017 at 4:17 PM Post #117 of 169

Triggaaar

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Massdrop had Sennheiser angle the drivers in the PC37X, and many, including myself, believe that it makes a pretty big difference compared to the older PCXXX models that came before it. It is also believed to have better drivers than the Game One (which I believe was the HD558 driver, PC37X supposedly uses the HD598/599 drivers).
Thanks. I searched for the answer and found that people said the Game One is much better than the older PC360 too.

Really you could buy them, and if you don't like them, sell them for a $20-$30 loss.
There's no way I won't like them. I just won't have the chance to compare them to other cans, so I like to get it right first time.
I was truly shocked at their sound for the price, and loved the improvement over the original headset Sennheiser PC360. All at a cost far less then the PC360 sold for years ago.
The prices have come down - I'll need an extra cable to connect the PC37x to my controller, which will put the price close to the Game One here. It's not that much of a bargain getting it sent to the UK.

I believe Yethal or Evshrug, who both reviewed the PC37X, have either owned or heard the Game One. Hopefully they will chime in
Good question. I did read their reviews, and didn't see mention of the Game One.

Thanks for the help.
 
Aug 9, 2017 at 4:26 PM Post #118 of 169

Yethal

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I didn't own the Game One. I did own the HD598 though and these cans were a virtual surround monster.
 

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