Home / TVs & Audio / Headphones / Sennheiser PC 363D

Sennheiser PC 363D review

evan kypreos

By

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 5

Sennheiser PC 363D
  • Sennheiser PC 363D
  • Sennheiser PC 363D
  • Sennheiser PC 363D
  • Sennheiser PC 363D
  • 3D G4ME1

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Superb audio performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • Top mic
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not pretty

Key Features

  • PC gaming headset; 7.1 virtual surround sound; USB sound card; Noise-cancelling mic; Open cup design
  • Manufacturer: Sennheiser
  • Review Price: £199.99

What is the Sennheiser PC 363D headset?

First reviewed: 17/12/2013

The Sennheiser PC 363D is a 7.1 surround sound headset aimed at hardcore PC gamers -- Xbox One and PS4 owners should look elsewhere. With a 7.1 virtual surround USB sound card as part of the package it can provide top-level sound quality to even the most basic PC or laptop.

Sennheiser PC 363D: Design and comfort

Similar to the stereo Sennheiser PC 350 SE in appearance, the PC 363D is a primarily plastic headset, with gun-grey aluminium on the side of each cup. It’s not pretty and the plastic does feel a tad less premium than it should considering the £200 price tag. However, it is built like the proverbial brick commode. The traditionally vulnerable microphone, in particular, is extremely solid. The cable is plenty long and covered in tough weaved fabric to prevent tangles. There’s no cable management system, though, other than a length of velcro.

SEE ALSO: Best Gaming Headset for PS4, PC, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360

So it’s not exactly stylish, but there’s less pressure on headsets to look good, what is important is comfort for long hours of gaming. And in this area the Sennheiser PC 363D excels. It flexes enough to be placed into a comfortable position regardless of head shape and size. The generous ear-pads are covered in velvety-soft fabric and grip firmly, but without too much pressure, while the head band is soft and unobtrusive. At 249g (for the headset only) it’s light enough to use for extended periods without any discomfort.

An integrated volume control on the right cup means you always know where it is and don’t have to hunt the length of the cord to adjust the volume. It’s a very clever feature and, as with the best designs, we got used to it instantly and would use it in the middle of intense gaming without having to think.

Slots are cut into the metal ear-cups. This allows ears to breath and we found that even after several hours of gaming our ears were comfortable and cool. Getting hot and sweaty is issue we find with most headsets but not for this Sennheiser.

One issue the open cup design does have is that it lets external sound in, while also leaking noise. If you game in a room with other people watching TV or listening to music you’ll likely be better off with a closed cup headset, but if not the extra comfort is well worth it.

Sennheiser PC 363D: Sound Quality

Let’s start by saying that the sound quality on the PC 363D headset is excellent. Unlike on the Razer Tiamat headset the 7.1 surround sound is virtual, so if you have your own 7.1 sound card you might not get the most out of it. If you don’t, though, the Sennheiser comes with a 3D G4ME1 USB sound card, and connects to it with 3.5mm audio and mic inputs. Once you’ve installed the drivers you get the option to switch from 2, 4, 5.1 and 7.1 surround, while a nifty toggle on the G4ME1 turns on Dolby Headphone, a processing tech that aims to provide richer 7.1 audio.

3D G4ME1

In practice the audio is fantastic. Listening to our standard 7.1 test files we found that channels are clearly separate, and if you turn on Dolby Headphone you are rewarded by a more vibrant and spacious sound. Bass is there, but not overpowering, which is particularly important in gaming -- too much bass drowns out more subtle game noises such as footsteps.

The only real way to test a headset is by gaming. Battlefield 4 provides one of the richest audio experiences of any game and the explosions, fires, sputtering engines and whizzing shrapnel are all brought to life superbly by the Sennheiser PC 363D.

What’s more, the 7.1 brings real direction and depth to sound while keeping speech distinct and accurate. You’re clearly able to tell from which direction that sneaky sniper’s bullet that just missed you came from, giving you a small edge. You’ll also know where a teammate asking for help is.

If anything sometimes the cacophony of battle can be disorienting in its immersiveness, but it’s not something you should ever complain about, it just goes to show what a good job the Sennheiser PC 363D does at making you feel right in the middle of it all.

While the PC363 can’t compete with a pair of top-notch cans for listening to music and film they actually do a good job on both. Balance is good and treble smooth – you’ll certainly enjoy watching movie in 7.1 surround.

Sennheiser PC 363D: Microphone Quality

So the audio is great but how does mic fare? Happily that’s also top-notch. As we already mentioned it’s very solid, with a thick, flexible boom ending in a chunky noise-cancelling microphone. It can’t be detached, which is a bit of a shame, but it does automatically mute when pushed upwards and out-of-the-way.

Voice clarity is clear and precise, and external ambient noise doesn’t seem to affect it unless it’s uncomfortably loud. This means your online teammates won’t have to listen to everything else going on in your house.

Verdict

£200 is a lot to spend on a headset but the Sennheiser PC 363D is one of the best on the market. It lacks some design aesthetic but more than makes up for it with its excellent audio and microphone capabilities.

Next read our review of the 2014 Sennheiser G4ME One headset

Overall Score

9

Best Deals From PriceGrabber

Hannes

December 30, 2013, 4:06 am

Surprisingly you left out the little detail that there's no real software to come with this thing. A decent audio control interface is to be expected at this price range, so that I found to be disappointing.

xlr2200

March 6, 2014, 11:58 pm

I think we can be glad to have a nice surround system. It ist an advantage that`s easy to use.
The main thing ist: it works and there is no need to put your hands on the parameters.

ecjcc

March 14, 2014, 3:33 pm

why do you say that it does not work on ps4? just to know

Evan

March 14, 2014, 4:04 pm

It's not a first party headset so the USB input won't work and it has a separate mic and audio jack so you can't just plug it into the Dualshock's 3.5mm jack and have it work for both audio and mic.

Update: Sennheiser has released a 1st party adapter that fits the dual 3.5mm jacks and makes it into one 3.5mm jack but you won't be able to use the USB sound card for the virtual surround sound.

Arctic Breeze

July 22, 2014, 3:42 pm

Will I need to use the Xbox One adapter along with the Sennheiser adapter? Would I also be able to use this with my Xbox 360?

Evan

July 25, 2014, 3:33 pm

This is what Sennheiser say:

Combo Audio Adaptor - PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4

PCV 05

All Sennheiser’s PC gaming headsets with 2 plugs (microphone & audio) can also be used on Mac, Xbox One and PS4. Whether you need to use the PCV 05 Audio Combo Adapter for Mac depends on the audio output. Xbox One users will also need the Microsoft Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter in addition to the PCV 05.

Combo Audio Adaptor: 2 x 3,5mm Stereo jack plug to 1 x 3,5mm 4Pol jack plug.

http://en-us.sennheiser.com/ga...

AiZaWaYO

August 7, 2014, 3:31 am

Sennheiser PC 363D with Astro Mixamp pro 2013= Beast on PS4

Peter Joe

August 16, 2014, 2:16 am

I just bought this headset yesterday. It's the first surround sound headset I got.

I found the surround effect very hollow like being in a barrel or box... does any headset work properly with surround sound? I tried games like warthunder, arma 3, watchdogs... all terrible hollow.

Crawford Andrew Gordon

October 24, 2014, 9:58 am

play a game that has good audio...

Andy

November 7, 2014, 1:59 pm

Does the sound coming from the headset, since its open, leak into the mic?

cccraigify .

November 12, 2014, 10:09 pm

My friend got this Headset a year later it begin making a static noise through microphone itself probably a loose wire or something, at that time it was no big deal it was still under warranty he brought it to the store and got a replacement same headset brand new! Two months after he got that headset it started making the same noise so all in all cheap hardware poorly crafted garbage don't buy this shit unless you want a headset that will break consistantly in a year to 2 months

Mads

November 15, 2014, 5:38 pm

Does the Sennheiser PC363D need a good soundcard to produce the optimal sound?

πλατωνας

April 3, 2015, 7:18 pm

product web site have them 16mb zipped

PaterFrog

November 19, 2015, 9:59 pm

I bought this headset and returned it the next day. I don't know what you mean by "the audio is fantastic" or "vibrant and spacious sound" or even "Bass is there, but not overpowering". From the moment I put them on, they had one hell of a seashell effect, even with the open back. It was like the entire sound range got smushed together. It created this pressure inside your head, the one you get when you properly seal your ear with those heavy duty ear protectors you see on construction sites. It seriously distorted the sound. The headphones weren't broken, I bought another surround sound set immediately afterwards and had the same problem, so they go back as well.
With this I've tried 3 high-priced headsets using virtual surround sound and the only one that sounds good is the Turtle Beach X7 one. Sadly they discontinued it, but the sound of it is very clear and brilliant. There are no sound ranges drowned out or smushed together. It has its issues, for example the bad vectoring of the ACU(virtual surround sound gadget) jacks, making them vulnerable to breaking if you accidently step on the wire for example, since the wire won't slip from the jack, instead the jack bears your entire weight.

Seriously, I fear this is a very common problem with these sorta headphones and I'm not entirely sure what to get, especially since this Sennheiser set already has open backs...

Henrik Wigum

December 25, 2015, 9:52 am

Sennheiser has some of the best equalized headsets on the market! You wont need to mess with the EQ! To turn off the dolby surround you can just plug it in without using the usb soundcard that followed, and still be able to equalize with third party software such as Realtek HD Audio Manager. So I don't know why you'd need it to have additional software :)

comments powered by Disqus