Today we open up our ears to take a listen to the ATH-PG1 premium gaming headset from Audio Technica, retailing at $129.00. This headset boasts a wide range of flexibility, giving gamers the ability to use them not only for PC gaming, but compatibility with PlayStation 4 consoles and any mobile device that sports a standard 3.5mm TRRS connector. So naturally I took these for a test drive in all of those scenarios. First as always before we begin, some features of the ATH-PG1:
- Large-diameter 44mm drivers
- High max output: 1,300mW
- Flexible boom microphone with mute and volume control
- Detachable smartphone cable with inline mic
- Strong, lightweight construction with ultra-comfortable headband and earpads
- 3 detachable cables: 1.2m boom mic cable, 1.2m smartphone cable, and 2.0m extension cable
The ATH-PG1 is a nice and lightweight closed-back headset that comes with a small army of cables to fit whatever you’re looking to do. With the boom mic attached, you can plug into single speaker/mic 3.5mm ports on laptops, or use the extension cable to split it into separate headset and mic inputs to use with a desktop PC. For mobile devices you can swap out the boom mic for an in-line microphone so you can get good sound on the go (sorry, the various earbuds out there don’t really cut it for me) or you can use it just for straight up audio with no microphone involved. It’s nice to have that sort of flexibility so I can use one device both stationary at home or in the office as well as on the go.
This headset delivered some great audio at all levels of the spectrum, but it definitely does push the bass hits. It really captures the rumble of heavy action scenes, including but not limited to the bass generated by my Barbarian’s seismic slam in Diablo III, gloriously documented from one edge of the screen to the other. The mids and highs come through clearly too, and these do a great job picking up even the tiny details in any soundscape I’m listening to in its 20-20,000Hz frequency response range. This includes little things like footsteps, crumbling rocks, and stereo weather effects, and is the same using both the boom mic/extension and mobile cables. It picked up Tomb Raider‘s environments very well, not only with good stereophonic sound but also quality. John Wick’s Red Circle club scene was my test on movies, and probably was the best video selection out of the mix. This scene floods you with sounds from the club music to gunshots and screams with speech and dialogue. No fuzz or clipping in either the bottom or top ends, which was good.
Since we went through gaming and movies we decided to try some songs that in our opinion put a headset through its paces to give you a representative sound profile. I like Angel by Massive attack as well as Muse’s Hysteria – but the best tests were in the old school, so we gave a listen to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannons. I think the last one really gave us the best idea on the range of this headset, from the high strings and woods to the tympanis and well, you know… the cannons. Good fidelity all the way through.
These headphones are really comfortable. The pads for your ears are super soft with material that doesn’t wear, and the whole headset is so light that you can game for a couple of hours and not really pay attention to the fact that you’re wearing a headset. At 245g it’s a full third lighter than many other headsets in this range, and the fact that it is compatible with my PC, PS4 (without an adaptor), and mobile devices is a big plus. Though the ATH-PG1 is sold as a gaming headset, I got great use out of them on non-gaming media consumption as well.
Also, just remember I don’t have a huge head, so it’s my small dome that I’m basing all of this info on.
The boom mic is fully flexible and doesn’t crowd your face, but still picks up crystal clear sound. Sometimes was a bit quieter than I expected but that’s nothing that can’t be corrected with your volume controls and mic boost if you need it. I used this even on a couple of Skype calls and everyone was able to hear me clear as a bell.
There were a couple little quirks with operation that aren’t anything major but just personal preference. The in-line control is a small wheel for volume, and it sometimes felt like fine tuning between “too loud” and “too soft” would have been easier with digital inputs, or by including additional software for customization. The mic mute switch also confused me a little bit until I realized that the “on” position on the in-line control meant that the mute was on and not the mic, and vice versa. Other headsets either highlight that the mic is off with a red indicator or LED.
Overall this is a good headset that will work for you far beyond just the gaming space. Unhook the boom mic to use it for movies or music on your PC and PS4 with good sound quality. We love the versatility of the ATH-PG1 and after getting over the very minor control quirks, it’s a great entry headset that will cover a lot of your needs.