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Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL Wireless Headset Review

Audio performance without the gimmicks

Audio-Technica is one of the biggest names in the audio industry and just quietly, one of my personal favorites. I’ve owned my pair of ATH-AD700 since 2007 and they’re still my go-to pair of headphones for not only music but also video games. Speaking of gaming, this has been Audio-Technica’s Achilles heel for quite some time as they’ve struggled to assert themselves in the gaming market, but things are about to change as Audio-Technica have released their flagship wireless gaming headset – The ATH-G1WL.

The ATH-G1WL is exactly what you expect from Audio-TechnicaExceptional audio performance without the gimmicks. At first glance, the G1WL don’t look impressive. In fact, you’d be forgiven to think that it’s just another headset as the headband is nothing more than bare metal with a few exposed screws that supports a small cushion with exposed cables, there’s no flamboyant RGB LED’s, and a screw-in mic looks like a cheap last-minute accessory, but I can assure you that looks can be deceiving…

Audio-Technica’s reputation wasn’t built on releasing sub-standard products with a few LED’s glued on. If you know anything about the Japanese juggernauts, then you’d know that Audio-Technica’s core values revolve around high-performance and functionality, and this sums up the G1WL in a nutshell. Audio-Technica have fine-tuned the G1WL for gamers with large 45 mm drivers that deliver an impressive 5 to 40,000 Hz frequency response (easily surpassing the 2-20,000 Hz featured on the Sennheiser GSP 370 and SteelSeries Arctis 7), one of the best (if not, the BEST) microphones featured on a headset, and virtual 7.1 surround sound thanks to its 2.4Ghz wireless dongle that doubles up as a sound card. As you can imagine, the results are impressive!

Music is in Audio-Technica’s blood and the G1WL didn’t disappoint, was the quality up there with my AD700’s? Probably not, but this is a gaming headset and gaming is where the G1WL excels. Now, you all probably know me as a Dota 2 tragic, so this is where I did the G1WL no favors; these cans needed a proper challenge! Enter Need for Speed: Heat, and this is where I knew Audio-Technica had finally got the balance right. A smile came to my face as the balance of highs and lows was perfect. I could feel the bass of the music that perfectly complimented the highs of my engine redlining. Next was FPS gaming and the G1WL’s continued to tick all the boxes with outstanding performances in Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Overwatch. The sound recognition and accuracy were particularly impressive — there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing your enemy move before they hear you, now all I have to do is learn how to shoot…

The raw sound of the G1WL is impressive, but let’s talk about its virtual 7.1 surround sound. At a press of a button, the G1WL transforms into a completely different beast. I’ll be honest, I personally prefer traditional stereo output for gaming headsets, I find that virtual surround sound is often misleading and fails to produce true sound accuracy. But I honestly didn’t mind the virtual surround sound featured in the G1WL. It surprisingly enhanced the mid and high’s, allowing them to really pop during my hours (and hours) of The Outer Worlds.

As good as the hardware is, I was left slightly disappointed by the absence of any EQ profiles or software. All of my EQ tweaking was done via a third-party application (or you could use Windows Equalizer), not a big issue as the G1WL’s sound quality is amazing out of the box. The plug-and-play functionality may interest some people, but for a premium headset I did expect some basic EQ profiles or official EQ software to come with it.

Written by Shaun Grimley

I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango?

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