I was very impressed with the sound and microphone quality of the GSP 500. Sounds are remarkably crisp and well-defined, even with the open back design. Since I’m used to closed back headsets, it was a little weird at first to hear my own voice so clearly while I was talking into voice chat, but I quickly adapted. People who I regularly game with noticed a positive difference in the microphone I was using and my partner told me that while using it, my voice sounded closer to my face-to-face voice.
On the structural side of things, the swingable microphone and volume wheel are convenient and sturdy. In fact, the whole headset feels like it could take a beating and come out the other side in perfectly fine shape. The biggest issue I have concerns the comfort level. While I wouldn’t go so far to say the headset is uncomfortable, I notice it’s there when I’m wearing it. It’s a bit heavier than most others, the earpads and band pad are much firmer, and maybe it’s my big ol’ head, but I definitely can feel the compression even on the lowest setting. I’ve probably just been spoiled of late, but as far as headsets are concerned, I’ve become accustomed to almost feeling more comfortable with a headset on than without one.
Despite the average comfort levels, the pros for the GSP 500 far outweigh the cons. In the past, I’ve always preferred USB headsets due to their ease of use (I’ve always had to do a lot of fiddling with dual 3.5mm headsets to pick up on my quieter voice); however, the GSP 500 makes me think that there may be a good reason that analog headsets are still around. Between the stellar audio and the most natural-sounding mic I’ve ever used, this unit delivers on the expectations that come with the Sennheiser name.