A while back, I reviewed the ADG-1X Headset from Audio Technica. A headset so impressive, that I’m still using it to this day as my daily driver.
It was with anticipation then, that I took delivery of the ATH-G1 headset from the same company. Unlike the previous hardware, this set is completely closed-back, which means that there is next to no audio bleed coming from the set itself, and the sound isolation is second-to-none. This also allows for much deeper and booming bass, making it a fantastic headset for games with plenty of shooty-bang action.
Design wise, it’s a really nice set of cans as well. Whether it’s the metallic blue ring around the AT logo on the sides, the metal headband and ample amounts of cushioning underneath, or the (personal favourite) addition of a detachable microphone, it looks really slick, whether you’re using it for gaming or music. I wish that more companies would include detachable mics, as my ADG-1X set did start to suffer after over 3 years of constant use, to the point where the metal started to crack on the boom arm.
Of course, the biggest thing about any headset is how it sounds. Fortunately, Audio Technica don’t skimp when it comes to this, and the fidelity you get with this one is almost as good as anything I’ve heard before. Almost. There is a little bit of personal preference involved here, but since I’ve started using an open-backed headset, I’m finding it really difficult to go back to anything else. I’m not saying it’s bad, but I’m used to a slightly wider soundscape than the ATH-G1 provides. Admittedly I have been slightly spoiled by the company’s previous premium model in the ADG-1X, but there is something to be said for allowing the drivers to breathe a little bit more and more accurately depict the exact positioning of where things are coming from. However, the ATH-G1 headset provides more than ample quality, whether you want to jump into Call of Duty’s manic multiplayer, or something slightly more serene like Abzu.
When it comes to the response in music, it’s where I start to look at my other headset a little bit more lovingly. At times, the bass can be overwhelming with the ATH-G1, leading to several tweaks in the EQ settings to find that perfect balance. Mids tend to be slightly harsh as well, so bear that in mind if you’re looking to use these out of the box without much tinkering. Having said that, the definition was superb in any music that I put through it, with only the busiest of tracks causing it any trouble. Once you’ve found your preferred EQ settings, it’s hard to give them anything but praise.
The immersion offered up by the headset is fantastic as well, thanks to the aforementioned sound isolation. A tight, yet comfortable, seal is formed by the generously padded ear cups, and the solid frequency response allows for a full and accurate depiction of whatever game you’re playing. Gunshots and explosions rattle through your skull with all of the intensity you’d expect, and orchestral scores soar when they come into play. Microphone quality is improved over the 1X headset, although I’d still be reluctant to record an entire podcast or voiceover using it without some heavy post-production tweaking. That being said though, it’s perfectly acceptable for voice comms, with a surprisingly full sound being captured.
The only real drawback I’ve had with this headset is that I’ve found that after a prolonged period of gaming, the enclosed nature does start to draw a little more perspiration than normal. Without the room to breathe, you might well find your ears getting a little bit moist, but nothing too serious. It’s definitely one to consider, though, and for £159, it’s in a very competitive spot in the market right now.