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Saturday, November 2, 2019

KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and music

KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and music


This headset does not sparkle backlighting and does not attempt to recreate the 5.1 / 7.1 formats. It is designed for those who appreciate high-quality stereo without unnecessary bells and whistles - both gamers and music lovers.

Strictly speaking, the manufacturer has just four very similar models. They differ in the type of connection (available with standard jacks and USB connectors), as well as the design of the cups (closed and open). If the connection type is essentially a technical point, then the variations with cups became interesting to us, so we asked for the test both options.

Which headphones are better: open or closed?

Actually, why buy open headphones if you can take closed ones? After all, they isolate your ears from external noise, allowing you to enjoy the music or special effects of games in full.

In fact, everything is a little more complicated. As practice shows, in closed headphones ears get tired more quickly - this is due to the high sound pressure that is created in a small volume. In addition, you have to adjust the volume of the special effects for a long time: for example, when the volume of music in a game is comfortable for you, explosions and shots can “hit the ears” too much.

Open headphones are more comfortable - you can sit in them for several hours without feeling tired. Even if you are fond of serious music, most likely you will like the sound in open models more - unless, of course, you are driving in a noisy subway. When listening to music in private, there are parasitic distortions that are clearly noticeable for people with a good ear for music.

KOSS GMR-540-ISO: light and comfortable


KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and music The first thing you notice when you get the headphones out of the box is their weight. While many manufacturers of high-quality headphones fundamentally use metal parts in the design, matte plastic predominates in the KOSS GMR-540-ISO. And this is not bad - in the end, no one is going to stab nuts with headphones. But the device is so light that after a while, in principle, you begin to forget that it is on your head.
Headphone adjustment takes just a couple of seconds. For reliable fixation on the head of any size in the KOSS GMR-540-ISO is not the plastic headband itself, but a nice flexible insert with a soft finish. In fact, it is enough to literally pull the headphones on your head, and they are already sitting very comfortably.

KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and musicCups are asymmetrical D-shaped - this, in particular, helps to put headphones on properly. As we have already mentioned, there are no LEDs and other “pops” here - only one connector, 3.5 mm jack.

Overview of the line of headsets KOSS GMR: for games, and for music, here are two cables included. One - with a remote microphone and, accordingly, two separate connectors for connecting to a computer. Another - with a microphone on the cable itself, designed for use with a smartphone. Both are quite long (2.4 and 1.2 m, respectively) and do not hamper movement.

How do they sound?

On the manufacturer’s website, the headphones are located in the “Game Headsets” section. Therefore, first of all, we connected them not to a player, but to a desktop computer with GS: GO and Far Cry 5 installed. Despite the lack of virtual modes of multichannel formats, the KOSS GMR-540 pleases with excellent surround sound. Both tracks and special effects sound great, although in some cases there is a lack of low frequencies to complete the picture.

KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and music A directional microphone is placed on a flexible leg, and it is so long that you can place the sensor directly at the mouth. But this is not necessary: ​​even being somewhere on the side, the microphone perfectly captures your speech and filters out extra noise. Despite the fact that there were rather talkative colleagues next to us, “at the other end of the line” they were simply not heard.

KOSS GMR headset lineup overview: for both games and music

And what about the open model, KOSS GMR-545 AIR? Strictly speaking, they are half-open - the wall of the cups here is not deaf, but perforated. The sensations are really different: the background sounds are heard quite well, although at a high volume level they safely overlap. We asked the colleagues who are fond of computer games to evaluate the difference - two out of five chose an open model as capable of providing more realistic sound. The choice of our editorial board is the more familiar closed KOSS GMR-540.

Turn on the music

If you connect a cheap headset to a top smartphone model and then test it with MP3 tracks and, say, WAV, the difference is unlikely to be felt. Another thing - good headphones. With KOSS GMR-540, files without data compression sound richer, and it is much more pleasant to listen to classical music or jazz than modern progressive formats. Obviously, the emphasis here is on medium frequencies - high and low are heard a little less.

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