Today we flip back to audio for the ATH-G1 premium gaming headset from Audio Technica, retailing at $169.00. This closed-back 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-G1:
- Large-diameter 45mm drivers
- 5Hz – 40,000Hz frequency response
- High max output: 1,300mW
- Flexible boom microphone with mute and volume control
- Strong, lightweight construction and breathable headband pad
- Detachable boom mic, 2 meter cable, Y-type adapter for PC
The ATH-G1 is a lightweight closed-back headset that works with PC’s as well as game consoles. With the boom mic attached, you can plug into single speaker/mic 3.5mm ports on laptops and consoles, or use the Y-adapter to split it into separate headset and mic inputs to use with a desktop PC. Games aside, the boom mice is removable and turns the headset into a pair of media headphones.
Design and Function
The ATH-G1’s are super comfortable for long play sessions, whatever your chosen platform is. The pads on the ear cups are are super soft, and not to mention replaceable. So should you use the ATH-G1 for a long long time and start picking up some wear and tear, you can replace the pads instead of having to grab a brand new headset. I was also able to play comfortably with my Gunnar PPK’s, so those of you that wear glasses will still be able to use this headset without discomfort, even without the glasses channels that are available on some other brands like Razer’s offerings. At 250g (257g with the boom mic attached) it’s still much lighter than other headsets in this range, coming in just a bit heavier than the ATH-PG1 (which you can read all about here). While you’ll need the included Y-adapter to play on most desktop PC’s, you can leave it with your rig to use these with a console, mobile device, or laptop with a combo jack. The 3.5mm connection worked equally well in my PS4 controller as well as my Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and that compatibility makes it great for having just a single headset device.
The design sticks with Audio Technica’s design concepts, with the logo on each ear cup inside of a subtle shiny blue ring, and metal headband with some industrial style riveting along the top. This headset also has the earcups on a swivel to fold flat, making it much easier to pack in a bag for business travel or to your next tournament.
The boom mic is fully flexible and picks up great sound. The pickup can sometimes be a bit quiet and require a bit of audio tweaking, but can easily be corrected with your volume controls and mic boost. I would love to see A-T provide some equalizer software to set these controls on profiles, which would make it easier than trying to fiddle with Windows audio settings for those that aren’t so familiar.
My one gripe, if you can even call it that, is that I sometimes accidentally raised the volume on the in-line volume control wheel, taking me from comfortable volume to a startling level of super loud. When I did though, there was still no clipping in the audio range.
The removable boom mic as well as the fold-flat design also make this a great set of headphones outside of your gaming adventures when you just want to sit down (or travel) and consume media by the truck ton.
I test headsets with music and media that covers a broad spectrum of audio range, and in all of my tests this headset delivers all levels in the broad 5Hz-40kHz range. You can definitely feel the difference between this and something like the ATH-PG1 that operates with a narrower 20Hz-20kHz frequency response. I had a hard time pushing it to a place where I would find some fuzziness or clipping. The highs come out crisp and sharp and it definitely pushes the bass hits during both music and video. The bass hits aren’t so low that you feel a visceral rumble, but the low end sound quality is still excellent. The mids and highs are equally well represented.
On the media front I have my scenes that I like to use to test audio. The first is the Red Circle shootout scene from John Wick. The melodic bassline of KALEIDA’s “Think” was super smooth, and by contrast the chirps of JW’s gunfire were like little exclamation points in the audio experience, with great stereo functionality. For pure audio I loaded up “Angel” from Massive Attack and every bit of the range was full. For you classical heads I queued up Tchaikovsky’s “1812 overture,” and while the cannons in the finale were outright frightening, there was still no distortion or overpowering of the strings in the high end.
Overall this is a good headset that works on all of your gaming platforms as well as quality headphones for your non-online gaming life. Excellent pickup on the whole audio range, easy travel and compatibility make this a quality piece of gear. With the minor issues of accidental flicks of the volume control wheel and having to mess with Window audio settings on PC, this is a solid headset.
If you want a wireless option, Audio Technica also has a 2.4GHz wireless version, the ATH-G1WL (retailing at $249), which provides equally quality sound. If I could use it on a crowded PAX floor and still hear lagless audio wirelessly playing Overwatch, then that’s saying something.