Sennheiser has been making excellent audio equipment for quite some time. Though it is relatively new in the video game headset space, they have made a number of quality sets that give even the industry veterans a run for their money. Recently, Sennheiser released a few new models in their line of gaming headsets, and we got to take a closer look at the Sennheiser PC 350 SE.
The Sennheiser PC 350 SE, just like every other Sennheiser product we tested, are able to create a very high-quality sound. The headset itself has a very wide frequency range, allowing it to play both high-highs and low-lows. Sonically, you will have a hard time finding a headset that can produce a better quality sound. In addition to the usual high quality headset, there are serious passive noise-cancelling features on the headset that keep a large portion of the sound in the ear cups themselves. This helps reduce outside noise, allowing you to hear every subtle detail in your games. Unfortunately, the headset doesn’t come with the sound card that other models have, such as the PC 363 D or even the PC 333 D. With that peripheral, the headset would be able to recreate Dolby Digital Surround Sound. As the unit stands, you need to have a better sound card in your machine to produce the sound quality necessary for FPS gaming. If you don’t have a great sound card, you’ll want to look at the 363D.
The PC 350 SE does contain a number of exciting and interesting features that makes this headset stand out from its peers. First and foremost, the headset features an excellent passive noise-cancelling design. The ear cups themselves go completely around the front and back of your ear. This creates a tighter seal and keeps in 95% of the sound you are listening to. It also does a great job at keeping outside sound out of the ear cups. This is truly one of the best headsets at noise-cancelling that we’ve tested in the gaming space; you just aren’t going to find a headset that is better in this regard. The ear cups themselves, as well as the headband, are made of a soft faux-leather material that is very thin, but manages to be soft and quite comfortable. As far as comfort is concerned, this headset gets high marks from us as well, but more on that below. On the ear cups themselves, you’ll find the volume control knob that allows you to control the sound levels right on the headset itself. While it is nice to be able to control the volume on the headset itself, there is no way to control the chat volume on the headset. If you want to do that, you’ll have to do it through your computer’s software. This is one glaring omission from this premium headset.
The headset features a semi-fixed boom mic that can be muted by placing it in the up position. There is one flexible joint in the middle of the boom which allows for some fine adjustments. This configuration should be able to suit most players; however, we did find that the mic didn’t always stay in the position you put it. It tended to creep back to a neutral position. We didn’t find that this was a major problem for general usage, but if mic positioning is important to you, it is worth mentioning.
The PC 350 SE features a braided, tangle-free cord and comes with plenty of cable, so you don’t have to stay in a certain area due to a short cable. It feels durable and strong, so the cable is meant to last. The headset features a 3.5 mm headphone / 3.5 mm microphone jack at the end of the cord, which works on most devices, including devices outside of a PC. While having this kind of flexibility is great, we really would have liked to see the headset come with a USB connection. In its current configuration, we had to plug the headset into the back of our computer. While it isn’t the end of world, having the USB option would have been nice, especially considering the consumers they are targeting with this headset. Not having this USB option also means that this headset is not Dolby compatible. That also means that getting directional sound is not possible in its current configuration. While that is fine for a number of different games, if you are an FPS fan, this headset is not for you.
Finally, and arguably the best features of this headset, is the folding design of the headset. The PC 350 SE folds completely flat, making the headset as thin as the headband itself, which makes storing it extremely easy. In addition to this, the headset comes with a fabric, hard-shell case, which makes storage even easier. We really loved how compact the headset was, and this was a very attractive way to keep the headset contained, dust-free, and available at any time. These features really allow the headset to stand out and distinguish itself as the most portable and compact design on the market today.
Sennheiser has always been an expensive brand. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, this headset may not give you the best return. However, this headset does contain a few unique features that make it one of the better value models in the line. In fact, if you are looking for a headset that can fold and be stored flat like the PC 350 SE can do, this may even be the headset to get. Unfortunately, no matter what features you talk about, justifying a $250.00 headset is difficult to do, especially when there are so many models out there that can give you a great quality sound at a reasonable price. As much as we loved the headset itself, and as unique as the headset is in general, it is hard to call this a “value” headset.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 10
The Sennheiser PC 350 SE is a very comfortable headset, to say the least. It features an over-the-ear design that accommodates even the largest ears. The cord itself is also very lengthy, so you’ll be able to use the headset without any problems at all. The Sennheiser PC 350 SE is also very nicely padded. Both the headband and the ear cups feature thick, noise-cancelling foam covered in a sweat-resistant faux leather. The headband expands to fit any sized head and the ear cups pivot, making sure they fit everyone comfortably. The headset itself is definitely one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve had the pleasure of testing. If you want something that is going to feel great on your head no matter how long you game, this headset can go the distance for you.
Overall, the Sennheiser PC 350 SE is one of the best Sennheiser headsets we’ve tested to date. It comes with a number of great, premium features right out of the box. For most gaming applications, this headset will get the job done in style. Superior noise-cancelling, folding design with carrying case, and a very comfortable design are just a few of the things we loved about this headset. Unfortunately, there were a few things that held the headset back from being part of the elite class of headsets. The lack of in-line controls, or at least a chat volume adjustment, and no Dolby surround sound support prevent us from recommending this headset to all gamers. However, if directional sound isn’t important and you are looking for a headset with premium and unique features, give the PC 350 SE a chance; it just may be what you’ve been looking for.