ATH-GDL3 gaming headset review – CGMagazine
Audio-Technica has long stood near the top of high fidelity audioso I was excited about the prospect of putting that same technology in a gaming headset. Fortunately, the ATH-GDL3 headset didn’t disappoint.
Out of the box, the “Air” helmet was unlike any I’ve ever worn. I couldn’t believe how light it was when I put it on – as light as those basic headphones you used to get in hospitals or with your new Walkman in the 90s. In this case , however, you also get large but comfortable ear cups, and a band that stretches to easily fit even my large dome.
While I thought my current go-to headphone was comfortable enough, Audio-Technica really knocked it out of the park. I wore the ATH-GDL3 for hours and it was never uncomfortable, which I can’t say about any other set I’ve tried to date.
I was very excited to experience the audio quality of these high fidelity headphones, and they absolutely did not disappoint. The first thing I’m going to christen a new headset with is my favorite album, and this time I was floored. Clear sound filled my ears, bringing out little details I don’t normally hear in these 20-year-old songs. Even at lower volumes, I could make out subtleties that lesser quality headphones can’t convey.
“I wore the ATH-GDL3 for hours and it was never uncomfortable…”
This power also transferred well into games. The open-back design really enhances the spatial audio, letting me spot other players’ footsteps in fortnite easier than ever, or experience the hustle and bustle in Final Fantasy XIV‘s cities with new depth.
Admittedly, there is a downside to the “open-back” approach – a lot of sound bleeds out. As such, I might not recommend the ATH-GDL3 so readily for use when streaming or recording your own voice. When I tested it, my USB microphone was able to pick up the music I was listening to from a decent distance, with the headphones on and the volume around 80%. That’s enough to interfere with your audio or make podcast editing a bit more of a chore.
As such, the ATH-GDL3s are less noise canceling than the others, at least up close. For example, with the volume at a moderate level, I could hear my family if they were in the same room, but less than a different floor. After so much time with isolating headphones, it was even weird to hear my own voice so well. If you’re using headsets to avoid annoying your roommates, this might not be the most optimal choice.
On the left earcup, you’ll find the standard set of onboard controls: volume and a mute switch, plus the detachable and foldable mic arm. The volume slider is tucked away near the headset and less convenient to ride than other headsets, but otherwise very useful. The headband can extend to either side, allowing for a personalized and secure fit. To its credit, it has a huge range; I’m struggling to find hats in my size, but at maximum extension the ATH-GDL3 stands out on me.
While I can’t see myself using the ATH-GDL3 while streaming or podcasting, it makes a compelling case for being my favorite for late night gaming sessions when the family is in bed, and I can use its dynamic sound. If nothing else, it’s definitely become my headphone of choice for really savoring the music.