MSI Immerse GH50 Headset Review
Published: 23rd October 2019 | Source: MSI | Price: |
The MSI Immerse GH50 headset is very much a tale of two halves. How desirable you find it depends largely upon what you seek most out of a headset.
We will start with the obvious, the sound quality. Nearly all regular gaming headsets use Neodymium drivers of either 40 or 50mm size with a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and the GH50 is no exception, plumping for the 40mm size. If you've had any experience of headsets like this you'll know exactly what you'll get. The default sound profile is fairly neutral - although you can obviously tweak the equaliser in the Dragon software if you so choose - with perhaps a slight edge towards the bass end of the spectrum. It sounds focussed rather than spacious and airy, a slight drawback common to all closed back 20-20 headsets. Although, again, if that's exactly what you like from a headset you'll be pleased with the GH50. For us we like our headsets a little more flexible with all types of audio sources, whereas the Gh50 is a bit more aimed at gaming, pounding music and explosion-heavy films. Not woolly at all, just compact.
If you flick the vibration button on the inline remote then all that changes with the sound profile moving very far down the frequency spectrum like someone has moved the equaliser settings to a diagonal line from top of the bass side to bottom of the treble. It's definitely not to our tastes but people with an addiction to bass will delight in it. We very much considered it the "make this lovely sounding headset sound terrible please" button, but thankfully it's entirely optional. Virtual 7.1 surround often just adds loads of reverb to your audio source to try and spoof you into believing it's surround, whereas the Immerse GH50 goes the opposite route and the button seemingly does nothing much at all regardless of what audio we were pumping through it. Even surround games didn't gain much benefit from the button being toggled.
In short, the audio quality is very good as long as you accept the 7.1 and vibration features are targetted at a niche audience and leave them well alone. Treat the GH50 like a headset without these elements and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how nice it sounds.
Build quality is similarly schizophrenic. The double steel bands promise great rigidity to the GH50, and the plastics are extremely resilient. The ear pieces are a delight, being extremely comfortable and, despite being PVC rather than leather, closed back rather than breathable and glued in place rather than removable, our ears didn't get uncomfortably hot and sweaty even during marathon sessions. The ear pieces might have very little flexibility to move with such rigid hinges, but the depth of the padding ensured that the GH50 was comfortable at all times. Where it lets itself down is the feel of those plastics. In a blindfold test if you just picked up the GH50 you would think it was massively cheaper than it is. The plastics feel cheap and nasty. They are, we hasten to add, not creaky nor flimsy, just on a tactile level they don't feel too nice. The proof will be in the long-term pudding as to whether they just seem robust when folding the headset up, or actually are. With plastics used on the notorious headset weak spot of the hinges, hopefully they are genuinely sturdy.
Lastly the lighting is exceptional. MSI have always got their Mystic Light spot on and the Immerse GH50 is no exception with uniform colours across the board, both bright richly saturated.
The MSI Immerse GH50 is at its strongest when you've got it on your head and are listening in standard settings. It's comfortable, the audio is great for a headset at this price point, the cable is long and even the inline remote sits within easy reach rather than under your chin or by your feet. The Virtual 7.1 and vibration modes are less successful, and the plastics don't feel nice even if they also seem robust. The lighting is spectacular though, and as headsets are for using rather than stroking it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice award.