EPOS GSP 601 Gaming Headset Review — Comfortably Done
Wrap your ears with this.
Headsets are a gamer’s best friend. High-quality audio can be key for immersing oneself into a video game’s world, and a microphone with decent quality can be just what an online match needs for unparalleled teamwork. I was able to wrap my ears up nice and snug with the new EPOS GSP 601 headset to see just how well it deals with not only video games but the daily audio grind I go through. It’s worth noting that the headset here is the black and white GSP 601; there is another identical variant that is the GSP 602, the difference is that those are blue and orange.
Before I get into the quality of its inputs and outputs, I want to start with what you get. There’s a box, with the EPOS GSP 601 headset nicely presented inside. There’s a small thin box that contains a booklet, extra plastic cover plates, and two cables. One of these cables has a headphone and microphone jack, while the other just has a standard 3.5-millimeter jack. Both of these cables have a connector that plugs directly into the headset and locks in tightly just under the microphone on the left headphone.
Each cable is coated with a black decorative fabric that not only feels soft and smooth, but it slides across itself, meaning there’s less chance of your cable getting knotted and locked into that irritating knot that you know I’m talking about. And if you do get it knotted, the fabric keeps it loose and lets you unknot it easily as it slides apart. The added benefit of these cables being detachable from the headset means you can easily switch from PC to consoles that allow a 3.5-millimeter jack connection. I was able to unplug my headset and plug in my Switch with ease, and without having to unplug anything from the PC itself.
The EPOS GSP 601 is one of the comfiest headsets I have ever had the pleasure of putting on my head. The inside of the band has thick and comfortable padding, and with the addition of the adjustable pressure sliders on the top, you can determine your level of comfort. The padding on the earcups is so soft and deep that the speakers don’t squash horribly against your ears, and the design means the only parts of the headset really touching your head is nothing but padding.
Sure, in my hands the headset itself feels on the bulky side, but once it’s on my head, it’s like my head is being hugged by a caring peripheral. The headphones are fairly heavy though, and when holding one earcup in one hand and letting the other side droop, you can feel some pressure being applied to the earcup connection and also to the plastic band. Thankfully not only is the plastic thick, but the hinge the earcups are connected to relieve that pressure enough for it to not be entirely worrying. But there is that initial fear of a snap if enough pressure was applied.
The padding around the ears isn’t just for comfort; they cancel out a lot of the sounds around you. With them on and with no sound playing, the typing of my keyboard appears less loud which is good in itself, but the true experience comes when sound is present.
The sound quality is incredible and crisp. The EPOS GSP 601 has no trouble playing loud guitar leads in music, the whispering of lovers in movies, and the audio clutter of a shooter such as Apex Legends. It handles audio remarkably well, and when surround sound comes in, it feels immersive; even more so if you have an EPOS GSX soundcard and whack on the 7.1 surround sound. What feels great is how it feels like the headset is picking up every layer of sound and working magic with how they’re presented to my eardrums. Surrounding sounds feel so precisely located, and I found directional dialogue feels more immersive than ever before.
What’s more, while I have an EPOS GSX external soundcard to quickly adjust my overall volume of the PC output, the EPOS GSP 601 headset has a dial on the right earcup that adjusts how loud your headset volume is. This means you can easily adjust the volume whenever you want, and the dial blends in with the headset to be almost unrecognizable. It’s aesthetically pleasing.
Now, let’s get into the microphone territory. The headset’s mic can be brought down from its standard upright position by simply lowering it to be in front of your mouth. If you do it slowly enough and listen carefully, you’ll also hear a delicate click inside. That’s the lift-to-mute function deactivating. Essentially, if the microphone arm is raised past that point, the microphone is automatically muted.
Personally, I’m not a fan of internal switches that automatically mute the microphone; I’d much rather have an external button. Instead, I worry that over time, constant raising and lowering will wear the trigger out, and the click sounds so delicate which makes me worry more.
The microphone itself is connected to the earcup with hard plastic, then the middle section is sort of rubbery to allow a bit of flexibility–but no bending–and then the microphone part reverts back to hard plastic. The plastic housing has the holes needed for the microphone to pick up your voice, but they are also present on the reverse side. I found that this increased the background noise significantly, especially with a fan on that’s nearby or loud typing.
Despite picking up the background noise, sighing, and loud breathing, it handles the volume and clarity of your voice very well. When I tried talking softly, it picked me up nicely. When I tried screaming, it was somewhat distorted but not half as bad as other microphones I’d used in the past. With that in mind, I played some music and games at full volume while recording my voice, and while it picked up the noises being blasted into my ears, it was fantastically quiet in comparison to my voice, which remained clear and prominent.
The headset does work for other consoles. The Switch, for example, lets you make use of the headphone side of things, as does a tablet. The PS4 works by connecting the headset to the DualShock 4. So for a simple plug-and-play experience you’ll find this works well, but if you’re not a fan of dangly cables, then you’ll probably wind up frustrated by it.
I can honestly say that I feel incredibly confident in joining an online match and actually communicating with my team thanks to the EPOS GSP 601. I feel confident that I will be able to hear the team, and that they will be able to hear me, and that my surroundings are actually represented in the crisp quality they deserve.
I adore how comfortable the headset is, and I absolutely love how much quality comes out from listening to songs like Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” through to the explosive soundscapes of video games, whether it’s punchy gunshots or directional footsteps. I like the microphone quality, but the background audio and breathing that can bleed through is a bit offputting. But the build quality of the EPOS GSP 601 headset feels solid and it’s certainly something a gamer needs. I just wish it came with a case for portability.