Sennheiser famously designs headsets for the aviation industry, so it's little surprise the company is serious about comfort and fidelity. With the release of the G4ME Zero (and its sister product the G4ME One ), Sennheiser is eager to reinforce its position as one of the leading audio peripheral companies for games, and the company believes its experience designing aviation headsets puts it at an advantage. The new G4ME range comes with the promise that Square Enix studio IO Interactive ( Hitman: Absolution , Kane and Lynch ) use them while building and testing their games. So impressed were IO that the two companies have formed 'an alliance', which is code for best friends forever in the corporate world.
The G4ME Zero comes packaged in a portable black zip-up shell. The headset itself is neatly collapsed inside an overall minimal package which contains no extra peripherals or adapters. Once you've plugged in the two 3.5mm adapters you're ready to go - no fuss. The set's adjustable speakers allow 90 degrees of turn in the backwards direction, while the memory foam earpads enclose the ears nicely. The headband boasts the same material on the underside, resulting in one of the most comfortable gaming headsets this reviewer has experienced: prolonged use didn't irritate the upper ears like less elegantly designed headsets do.
The mouthpiece, which sits on the left speaker, is thick and solid. Even when bent violently (believe us, we tried) it exhibited no signs of wear. A central rubber section allows the mouthpiece to be adjusted tightly either closer or further from the mouth with no bounce. Swinging the mouthpiece upwards above the head will automatically mute the microphone. Meanwhile, a large volume knob can be found on the right earcup.
Sennheiser uses the emphatically un-catchy descriptor “Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement” to describe the technology which the G4ME series is based on, but all you really need to know is that it involves earcups containing aluminium. You don't even really need to know that. You just need to know they sound very good.
We couldn't find fault with the performance of the G4ME Zero: at high volumes it sounds massive, and beware, these headphones can be turned up extremely loud. We tried the set during a Battlefield 4 session and there was no deterioration of sound quality during especially loud and busy moments. Even when the set was turned up all the way we only identified very minor distortion, but this was only obvious when we were listening at very unhealthy and uncomfortable volumes.
Meanwhile, the listening experience boasts full surround sound, while the ear enclosing cups adequately cancel any unwanted environmental sounds. It was the in-game sense of distance that impressed us most with the Zero though, especially on the sprawling Battlefield 4 maps where we would tell that a distant skirmish was happening North East of where we were standing.
The G4me Zero is not cheap, but anyone serious about audio fidelity knows that it's worth paying top dollar for the best experience. On these terms, we couldn't find fault with the price point of the Zero.
The Zero's design is rather bulky but it doesn't feel heavy, and we experienced no discomfort during the course of a solid two hour gaming session. The headset market is pretty crowded in Australia at the moment, but we can unreservedly recommend the Zero if you're after a high budget headset.
$399.95 (Australia RRP) ◆ en-au.sennheiser.com
- Impedance: Headphones: 150 Ω
- Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm for desktop/laptop
- Frequency response: Microphone: 50 Hz - 16,000 Hz
- Frequency response: Headphones: 10 Hz – 26.000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL): Headphones: 108 dB
- THD, total harmonic distortion: Headphones:Weight: 312gPick-up pattern: Microphone: Noise CancellingSensitivity: Microphone: -38 dBV at 94 dBSPL