Sennheiser PC 363D Review – 7.1 Dolby Gaming Headset

Back in December we gushed and praised audio juggernaut Sennheiser for their impeccable PC 350 Special Edition stereo gaming headphones. They beat out the SteelSeries 7H stereo headset, which was our previous champion in the stereo category. Crystal clarity and superior soundstage across all ranges was what won the day. For another set of headphones that will give you crystal clear sound, check out our Astro A40 review too. Or, if you love COD, you might be interested in our review of the Turtle Beach MW3 headset.

Now Sennheiser has cracked the champagne bottle over the bow of their newest set of cans. These are the PC 363D 7.1 Dolby over-ear headset for PC gaming. Compare these with another set of PC headphones in our Razer Carcharias (PC/Xbox 360) headset review. If you want a headset specifically for X-Box, read our Astro A50 x-box review too. The PC 363D gaming headphones use a USB 3D sound card and an included software installation CD to work its virtual multichannel magic. The ear pads and head cushion are pillow soft. It has metal ear cups that have openings cut in to allow your ears to breathe and still remain cool after hours of gaming. You also get a 1.2m USB adapter cord with male and female connections. This is great if you don’t have an available USB slot. But that’s the extent of the included extras. You won’t find any additional ear cushions types or even a carrying case, which was included in the PC 350 Special Edition stereo set. Compare these with our Steelseries Sibera V2 headset review to get a feel for which option is best for you.

Getting it up and running takes a couple of additional steps, which were not necessary on the PC 350 Special Edition. The gaming headphones connect via two 3.5mm jacks. The green is audio. The red is for microphone. These plug into the included USB 3D sound card. The other end of which plugs into your PC via USB.  From here you’re just a software installation away from enjoying your new cans. The PC 363 G4ME is a simple installation, which throws an icon up on your taskbar. With it you can select what type of channel audio you would prefer. The offerings are 2-channel, 4-channel, 5.1 channel or 7.1 channel. Make sure your game, movie playback device supports your channel selection.

These gaming headsets are embedded with a USB sound card that enables virtual surround sound with excellent sound quality for PC gaming. The included USB 3D sound card is an interesting choice. With the flip of the switch it augments your multichannel audio to enable Dolby Headphone. But that’s it. It holds no other secrets or functions for that matter. The volume dial is found outside of the right earpiece. There is no mute for the sound. To kill it, you will need to dial the volume all the way down, which is not ideal. However, you can mute the mic by simply flipping it up until you hear a faint “click”.

I found the Sennheiser PC 363D to be an exceptional pair of cans. The overall soundstage is richer and more all-encompassing than the PC 350 SE. Bass is slightly deeper. Yet it’s the clarity of individual sounds, which are made to sound more distinct, that impresses the most. The USB 3D sound card does an amazing job recreating 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby audio. The surround sound on these gaming headphones is just top quality. There were a couple times I thought the sound was also playing through my speakers because it seems to come from so many directions… It’s hard to believe it was all coming out of the PC 363D. I would appreciate more volume, however. They get loud with no distortion whatsoever. But I feel the volume should have a higher ceiling.

We ran the Sennheiser PC 363D gaming headset through hours of games and movies. Wow was that fun! Games really shine. Explosions in BF3 erupts with crackles and sparks that I had only heard in the Tiamat’s from Razer. Plus the mic is outstanding, and effectively cancels out ambient noise. Players on the receiving end complimented the clarity and had no problem hearing me clearly. The PC 363D opens up a lot of unheard audio sounds and effects for those hampered with lackluster stereo cans. The clarity even surpasses the Creative Recon Omega3D Wireless, Astro Gaming A50 wireless and the Razer Tiamat. Yet users should know, at the highest volumes there is some sound bleed, probably because of the slots on the ear cups. So be conscious of sleeping housemates.

These are the new undisputed reigning champs of the multichannel arena.

Pros

·  Masterful audio reproduction

·  5.1 and 7.1 Dolby

·  3D USB sound card adds versatility

·  Soundstage reveals all

Cons

·  No audio mute

·  Some sound bleed

The Sennheiser PC 363D 7.1 Headset  is available at Sennheiser.

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3 Comments

  1. It’s silly to have the sound bleeding as a con, the headphones clearly show you that they are an open ear design. If you want the closed ear design with little sound bleed you buy the G4ME version. The headphones are designed to be open to allow you hear ambient noise and allow your skin to breath.

  2. You shouldn’t really compare this to the PC350 as this is an upgrade of the superior PC 360 not 350. It looks like they preserved all the 360 and they added that 3d usb adaptor. It seems a bit cheesey to me to charge so much as it seems to be double to cost of the 360, and the dolby surround 7.1 USBs chipsets dont normally cost 250$

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