Review: Harman Launches New Gaming Headset

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Harman Audio recently launched a new gaming headset designed for PC gamers. The AKG GHS-1 comes with a bit of a reputation — having already won the Red Dot award, an international award for outstanding design. Plus, Harman has a reputation for making some great audio products, so we decided to put the headset to the test.

First off, the sound. The AKG GHS-1 retails for about $80, so I didn’t expect great range, but I was pleasantly surprised. With many headsets, you miss out on deep bass or have an unpleasant experience when mid or high ranges overpower. Not so with the AKG GHS-1. The headset delivered nicely across the spectrum. Environmental sound effects came across clearly enough to make me feel like looking over my shoulder to see if someone was racking another round behind me. Additionally, the headset does an acceptable job of reducing ambient noises that can distract you from a complete gaming experience. The headphones are closed back and are a bit of a hybrid between on- and over-ear coverage. The cushions have an opening that’s about an inch in diameter and sit nicely on the ear.

There’s a cardoid microphone coming off the left ear that does a good job of broadcasting your voice to your teammates. Feedback I got from those I was playing with was that my voice was coming through loud and clear with minimal background noise. After more than an hour of wearing the headset, I had no hot spots on my ears or head and they were still comfortable to wear.

The cord coming off the headset measures 80″ long and splits to go into headset and microphone jacks at about the 6″ mark. The cable can’t be split any further, so if your inputs are more than 10″ apart, you probably can’t use this headset. There’s an inline volume control and mute switch that allows you to quickly control those functions. The switch also has a nice slim clip, so you can attach it to your shirt to prevent it from swinging and bumping around. The ears can be folded into the headband for better storing, but they do not come with a storage bag or case.

All in all, the AKG GHS-1 is a nice headset with good sound, great features and an affordable price. Unfortunately, they require two inputs, so they can’t be used with most Macs. I liked them enough, I found myself wishing they had different plugs so I could use them with my XBox, too. The AKG GHS-1 are available in three color combinations: black with orange cord, white with green cord, and urban camo and blue cord.

Disclosure: Harman sent GeekDad a review unit.

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