Sennheiser PC 373D Review: Luxury Sound, Luxury Price

Sennheiser is no stranger to offering high-end audio to high-end customers, and the company's PC 373D gaming headset is no exception. This premium peripheral offers excellent 7.1 surround sound and a supercrisp microphone, all within a lightweight and stylish design that's a joy to wear for hours on end. It's even got a nifty companion app that lets you change settings on the fly without sifting through tiresome menus.

While some of the 373D's competitors — even wireless ones — offer similar features for less money, the headset's wonderfully immersive sound and all-day comfort may make it worth the premium for you.

Simple but stylish

The black-and-red Sennheiser 373D skirts the line between simple and stylish. The headset's plush velvet ear cups and headband bring Sennheiser's high-end headphones to mind, while its black plastic frame is unassuming enough to blend into your desk full of gaming gear.

The Sennheiser's only real in-your-face feature is its absolutely massive microphone, which justifies itself with some nice bendability and good voice clarity (more on that later). You can't pop off the mic for when you're listening to music, but you can flip it up to get it out of the way and mute your voice. The 373D is light on the on-ear controls, but there's a handy volume knob on the right ear cup for making adjustments on the fly.

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All-day comfort

The Sennheiser 373D is so comfortable, I often forgot I was even wearing it during extra-long sessions. It's the rare gaming headset that I'm happy to wear all day. That's thanks to its extremely lightweight 12.5-ounce frame and a set of cozy, plush ear cups that managed not to get suffocatingly hot after hours of play.

The Sennheiser's in-your-face feature is the absolutely massive microphone, which justifies its size with nice bendability and good voice clarity.

Sennheiser's headset offers a pretty standard amount of flexibility, with a headband that you can raise about 2 inches up or down and ear cups that swivel up and down to adjust to your dome.

Immersive gaming performance

The 373D offers excellent 7.1 Dolby surround sound, which made just about every game I played sound significantly fuller.

Star Wars Battlefront became incredibly immersive on Sennheiser's headset, as I could hear the roar of TIE Fighters and X-wings hovering over my head during a massive battle on Jakku. The 373D's surround sound allowed me to pinpoint exactly where enemy blaster fire was coming from, and made thermal detonator explosions sound extra-impactful. When I toggled surround sound off, the loss of richness and directionality was immediately noticeable.

The 373D proved just as impressive for games centered around punching other people in the face, as I learned while using it to play some Street Fighter V and Batman: Arkham Knight. Punches and kicks had a nice crunch to them in both games, and fine details, such as the rippling of Batman's cape as he glided around Gotham, were very easy to hear.

While the 373D is designed primarily for PC, it also worked just fine with my PS4 when I plugged it into the system's USB port. You won't get to utilize the headset's Equalizer and surround sound features, but you'll still be treated to pretty good sound and crisp chat.

Surround-ready software

The 373D's companion app offers some nice extra features without being overwhelming. You can choose among three sound presets — Music, E-sport and Game — or turn off the Equalizer for a more neutral sound. The Music preset gives a big boost to bass, as does the Game one, just with less intensity. The E-sport mode, a feature after my own heart, provides a clackety, treble-heavy sound that does a nice job of highlighting footsteps and gunshots for competitive players.

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Sound presets aside, the software also lets you toggle the microphone's noise cancellation. You can also adjust the intensity of the headset's sidetone (also known as mic monitoring), which lets you hear your own voice as you chat.

Crisp microphone, handy cables

Being able to have a clear conversation with your teammates is just as key as hearing in-game sounds, and the 373D offers one of the crispest microphones I've tested. A friend on PS4 told me I sounded "superclear" as we beat each other up in The King of Fighters XIV, and the bendable, noise-cancelling mic proved just as reliable during a conference call as it did during a heated gameplay session.

The 373D's breakaway cable gives you about 9.5 feet of slack, which allowed me to sit comfortably whether I was hunched at my work PC or kicking back on my couch with my PS4. The cable's dongle offers a single button for toggling Dolby surround sound; it's a nice touch, but I would have also liked a volume switch or mute button.

The E-sport mode, a feature after my own heart, does a nice job of highlighting footsteps and gunshots for competitive players.

My only other minor gripe is the 373D's lack of a 3.5-mm analog cable, which would have given this pricey headset some extra value as an everyday pair of headphones.

Bottom line

Sennheiser's 373D shines in virtually every area possible. Its surround sound is fantastically immersive, its companion app provides some neat customization and, above all else, it just feels amazing. I'd almost recommend it on comfort alone, but not everyone can shell out $249 for the coziest ear cups around.

If you're cool with going wireless and don't mind a bulky headset, the $169 Razer ManO'War is an excellent (and much cheaper) option. But if you'd prefer a wired set that offers some of the best sound quality, comfort and mic clarity out there, the 373D is worth the price.

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