The last video game I played was Grand Theft Auto, in 2004. You weren’t born. But I killed multiple cab drivers and got arrested a few times for plowing into pedestrians in a stolen bus. I’m sober now and have finally been released from federal prison. So, this review is coming from an audiophile, not a gamer. Unfortunately, our gaming headphone reviewer is MIA. Last I heard, he was hitchhiking across Finland with his lizard. Post traumatic stress from playing too much Overwatch. So, I’m all you’ve got. Sorry. With that in mind, let’s take a look at one of Audio-Technica’s new gaming headphones in this Audio-Technica ATH-G1 Review.
Audio-Technica ATH-G1 Gaming Headset Review
Even after a couple of hours of wear, I found the cans to be comfortable and unobtrusive. They're really light too. The earcups avoid sitting too snugly, and the earpads have some great ventilation. In fact, it may be one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever tried. That being said, I rarely wear gaming headphones. And I don’t know how my ears would feel after 8 hours of playing. But my guess is that my eczema would flare up, and the tinnitus would ruin my career. Anyway, give it a try, and let us know how it goes.
The ATH-G1 sports a 45mm dynamic driver and has a wide frequency response of 5 - 40,000Hz. We’ll see how that translates to sound below. Now, at 45 Ohms, I’m sure your Xbox or Atari (or whatever) has enough power to drive these cans. And even when connected to my iPhone, I got ample juice.
The cable, which is fixed, comes with a switch that allows you to mute the microphone. It also has a volume dial (which works independently from the volume control on your player).
Since I don’t have any gaming friends with whom I can test the mic, I decided to plug the ATH-G1 into my phone and call my accountant. It ruined my day. But at least her voice came out crystal clear, and she said I sounded very transparent. Unlike my finances. So, no problems in this department.
So, let’s talk about balance, detail, separation and soundstage with respect to music. And I’ll make a few educated guesses about how this may translate to your game playing.Lows
We’ve got a punchy, forward leaning bass that adds energy to pop tracks. And listening to rock, the low end also gives plenty of warmth and richness to big choruses. So, these cans are ideal for modern genres. At the same time, the level of detail is also decent. And string instruments sounded sufficiently textured and nuanced for this price point.
So, let’s see...Gun shots should feel weighty, with good impact and resolve. That being said, although the G1 produces a little subbiness, it may not give you the most realistic bomb explosion. I played a bomb sound effect; I just didn’t get that vibrating feel in my love handles, and my ears didn’t bleed as much as expected. So, those who want a massive low end may prefer a darker sound signature or something with extra sub frequency extension.Mids
The mids are a little more present than I’m used to hearing on classic Audio-Technica headphones. So, rock and pop-rock tracks have an expansive, full-bodied feel, even if the low-mids are a tad recessed. But the upper mids aren’t overly emphasized, so you won’t experience any harshness on tracks with powerful vocals. The level of separation isn’t bad either; the layering of instruments in heavy arrangements is relatively clean. And percussion sounds great on this range. Listening to snare hits, the ATH-G1 not only presented powerful impact, but it was also detailed with minimal compression. So, in terms of transparency and articulation, the ATH-G1 does a solid job.
Now, let’s talk about footsteps, which (because of the slightly emphasized higher frequencies) should sound prominent in the mix. If your avatar is walking on leaves, there will be a good level of delineation and nuance in the crackling sounds of the ground. And cement footsteps will feel pronounced, while male, blood curdling screams should have some added presence as well. So, all the scary stuff should pop out a bit. Listen, I’m doing my best.Highs
There’s a little extension here, bringing plenty of sparkle and crispness on percussion in this range. Indeed, the ATH-G1 is one snappy headphone, lending vibrancy and extra color to pop tracks. That being said, folks with sensitivity to high frequencies might find this frequency range a little fatiguing on the ears.
What can you expect in terms of gaming? Shattering glass will have a naturally unsettling feel because the high peaks lean on the sharper side. Female shrieking will bring all the dogs from the neighborhood into your house. And that little Italian guy who collects coins in his go cart...Well, that sound should have a glistening flavor as well.Soundstage
Though the soundstage is less than vast, you will get a little dimension, especially in terms of depth. That being said, I didn’t hear an incredible amount of height, and gradations in depth could have been a bit more precise.
With respect to music, I’m satisfied. A punchy and warm low end combined with a little glitter in the high frequencies makes for a fun and dynamic sound signature. The mids are also pretty well balanced, so rock and pop-rock fans will appreciate the fullness that the ATH-G1 offers as well. And though the sub-bass frequencies don’t sound massive, the sound signature seems to accentuate the most common gaming sound effects. So, your gaming experience, in terms of audio, should be full of contrast and color. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with The Sims.
You can pick up the Audio-Technica ATH-G1 from our store and get Free Bluetooth speaker.