Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 review: Open-world gaming | Digital Trends

    Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3
    MSRP $129.00

    “Audio-Technica proves that open-back designs aren’t just for audiophiles.”


    Detailed audio replica

    Wide soundstage


    Great microphone


    Uncomfortable earcup materials

    Weaker bass may not be for everybody

    Video video games aren’t nearly nailing sick noscopes, they’re additionally about storytelling in a approach that’s actually distinctive to the medium. Along with nice gameplay, players usually count on stellar single-player adventures that immerse the participant in that world. An enormous a part of that comes from a sport’s soundtrack.
    The Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 open-back gaming headset play proper into the expectation of immersive audio and ship stellar replica that permits you to hear each single be aware with crystal clear constancy set in a stunning, broad soundstage.
    Perfect packaging
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    Before we get into the efficiency of the ATH-GDL3, I wish to briefly point out the packaging. Not solely is the field attractive because of Japanese-inspired artwork that wraps round proper and onto the again, all the pieces save for a pair of plastic wire baggage is manufactured from cardboard or paper. Audio-Technica knocked it out of the park in the case of sustainable packaging, however it’s unlikely I’ll toss this field anyway because it’s so good to have a look at.
    Clean and lightweight
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    The paintings on the field doesn’t proceed onto the precise headphones, sadly, however they’re nonetheless great-looking cans. The model we had been despatched to guage is the “white” possibility, and it’s easy and options solely three colours: White, black, and silver. These will look nice as a part of a desk or PC setup that leans into the white aesthetic, however additionally they pair properly with the PlayStation 5.
    The white areas of the headphones are manufactured from plastic, the black on the headscarf is a silicone-like materials, and the silver appears like aluminum. The black grille over the uncovered backs of the headphones can also be plastic. The included 3.5mm headphone jack cable appears like the proper size at 1.2 meters (about 4 toes — not too lengthy or quick) and feels top quality. Audio-Technica additionally features a 3-meter cable (simply shy of 10 toes) for PCs that makes use of a twin 3.5mm break up design that’s farther away.
    The open nature of the design enables you to hear your self fairly clearly even throughout intense gaming periods.

    It’s price stating that this isn’t only a 3.5mm headphone jack on either side of that cable: The facet that plugs into the headphones is significantly bigger. I’ve by no means seen this earlier than on gaming headsets and I can’t say I can consider a specific cause Audio-Technica needed to go this route. That large portion twists and locks into place to maintain it in place as properly.
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    The cable solely attaches to at least one facet of the headphones, the left facet, which could hassle an audiophile however isn’t as massive of a deal for players. At least for my part, it’s fairly simple to get used to the cable’s orientation. Additionally, it’s uncommon to see the power to plug into both facet on this model of headset.
    The ATH-GDL3 options an open-back design which many, myself included, worth for the broad soundstage they supply in addition to the consolation that comes from letting ears breathe a bit greater than they do inside closed headphones. I used to be actually excited to see this model of can carried out right into a gaming headset.
    They are light-weight and, mixed with that open-back design, comfy to put on for lengthy intervals of time.

    That open-back additionally implies that for gaming, Audio-Technica didn’t must design a approach for the headphones to pipe a portion of your talking voice again into the headphones so you may truly hear what you’re saying; the open nature of the design enables you to hear your self fairly clearly even throughout intense gaming periods.
    Controls on the headset are restricted to a mute change and quantity dial The change exhibits three settings: Off, Mute, and On, however the “Mute” and “Off” toggle is definitely a single setting and simply turns the microphone off. I’d have most well-liked that the mute change be a bit simpler to toggle, as this one could be arduous to seek out when you’re sporting them because it’s positioned alongside the bottom of the left earcup, proper above that quantity dial. The headset additionally doesn’t present you any form of suggestions in case you are muted, so that you’ll have to concentrate to that to ensure you don’t overlook its standing.
    Audio-Technica leaned right into a Japanese aesthetic in the case of design, so there isn’t rather a lot past what is completely vital on the ATH-GDL3, which implies there isn’t rather a lot to say both. I occur to love the design alternative, however some may discover what is obtainable right here a bit barebones.
    Designed for consolation
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    One of the promoting factors of the ATH-GDL3 is that they’re light-weight and, mixed with that open-back design, comfy to put on for lengthy intervals of time. I can affirm these headphones really feel extremely gentle and I had no concern there in any respect. The padding of the earcups is completely passable and the headscarf rests fairly gently on the highest of my head and I by no means as soon as felt any strain there.
    That stated, I wasn’t the largest fan of the fabric Audio-Technica selected for the earcups, which had an impact on how lengthy I might comfortably put on them.
    You can hear each element in a online game world with unimaginable accuracy.

    I are likely to want leather-like earphone cups, which really feel cooler on my head than material ones. Audio-Technica selected a cloth earcup, which implies that, after some time, the ATH-GDL3 began to really feel heat on my head regardless of the airflow offered by the open-back design. As a consequence, I discovered that my restrict for sporting these cans was about three hours.
    I’m absolutely conscious that this can be a private choice which may not be shared by all — a number of of my associates want the material earcups on their headphones. But since Audio-Technica doesn’t present one other cup possibility within the field and it isn’t tremendous clear to me how one can swap these out in case you needed to go together with a unique materials, it’s one thing to bear in mind.
    Great audio expertise for each events
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    When I first placed on these headphones, it was clear to me that they had been made by an organization with huge expertise making cans for a discerning ear. The high quality of the audio is phenomenal.
    Open-back headphones typically commerce a deep, resonant bass for a large expansive soundstage and readability, and the ATH-GDL3 do precisely this. You can hear and revel in each be aware of music performed via these headphones and listen to each element in a online game world with unimaginable accuracy. Traditional music, in addition to online game scores, have a crisp readability to them that may be very uncommon in headphones designed for gaming.
    These headphones additionally do an ideal job balancing gaming sound with chat audio — one other big win in the case of aggressive gaming.

    But that readability does come at the price of richness, so some may say that music sounds hole or too medical for his or her tastes. I in contrast the standard of those towards my Sony Pulse and the Steel Series Arctis 1 headphones and each are far much less correct in how notes are rendered than the ATH-GDL3s, however each even have higher roundness to the lows.
    That’s to not say that the Audio-Technica cans can’t produce greatness within the lows: They completely do. The rolling drums in Aloy’s Theme from Horizon Forbidden West are available spectacularly, as do the horns in Destiny 2’s The Witch Queen theme. So whereas the lows aren’t the main target, they’re rendered simply in addition to the mids and highs.
    Jaron Schneider/Digital Trends
    In quick, the expertise from the ATH-GDL3 headphones may be very balanced and flat, which is what I’ve come to count on from headphones of this model. If you want a little bit of rumble in your headphones, these gained’t present it, however if you wish to hear each element of each be aware rendered precisely and evenly, they’re nice.
    I additionally assume that the element offered by this headset is vastly helpful for aggressive gaming the place every audio cue is so necessary for getting a win. Footsteps, for instance, are crystal clear via the ATH-GDL3s and I by no means discovered myself shocked by an opponent as a result of I didn’t hear them coming.
    These headphones additionally do an ideal job balancing gaming sound with chat audio and are in a position to cleanly present each with out both turning into too muddled — one other big win in the case of aggressive gaming.
    On that be aware, it’s price discussing the microphone: it’s superb, however maybe a bit too delicate. Out of the field, the microphone picks up rather a lot and I really feel as if I’ve to place it about an inch farther away from my mouth than I’d with different microphones. If I didn’t, my audio would peak from the attitude of my associates on the opposite finish of the road. It additionally picks up lots of different sounds from my workplace, like my arms on the keyboard, joysticks, and even me fidgeting in my workplace chair. My associates had by no means complained about my squeaky chair earlier than I used the ATH-GDL3 headphones.
    Sensitivity apart, the mic renders my voice very properly and with extra nuance than different headphones I’ve used. Basically, my voice via this microphone sounds very near my precise talking voice, sans a little bit of the low-end. It’s not fairly podcasting mic high quality, however it’s darn good and your teammates will be capable to hear your voice very clearly. What extra might you ask for?
    Our take

    The Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 open-back headphones are made for players who take pleasure in music with readability. Some may discover the sound high quality to be a bit too medical, however I actually loved how they render sound so precisely particularly in the case of first-person aggressive shooters the place I want to listen to each cue with a purpose to react to a altering battlefield.
    For $129, I’m truthfully actually impressed with these headphones. Even in case you don’t sport, they’ve a beautiful soundstage and are nice for music as properly.
    Is there a greater various?
    If you’re in search of an analogous model headset that has a bit extra emphasis on the lows, you may wish to think about the SteelSeries Arctis 1. That headset additionally options material earcups, however they’re manufactured from a softer materials that doesn’t really feel fairly as uncomfortable because the ATH-GDL3. Audio-Technica additionally makes a closed-back model of the ATH-GDL3 referred to as the ATH-GL3, which can also be price contemplating for many who want that model.
    How lengthy will they final?
    Audio-Technica affords a two-year restricted guarantee, however there isn’t a ton that may break on the ATH-GDL3. Odds are fairly excessive that in the event that they work for the primary yr, they’ll work for the following 10 because of a easy design and well-made components.
    Should you purchase them?
    Yes. The ATH-GDL3 have excellent readability and accuracy throughout the lows, mids, and highs packaged into a light-weight and easy design.

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