RFMag dove into Audio-Technica’s gaming headsets in the middle of last year when we reviewed their closed-ear gaming headset, the ATH-AG1. It was quite the high-end headset with a “high-end” price. Still, those willing to take such a financial plunge were rewarded with the rich high-quality sound one should expect for that cost. However, many gamers seldom stray beyond $250 when they’re in the hunt for a gaming headset. At the International CES 2015, Audio-Technica targeted that very audience as they unveiled their new pair of $199.95 headsets: the open-ear ATH-PDG1 and the closed-ear ATH-PG1.
Audio-Technica took what they learned and implemented from their previous gaming headset models and strived to keep the quality and performance high while bringing the price down. And from what we saw at CES 2015 so far, they also made a handful of practical improvements. Each headset will sport a detachable 6-inch flexible boom mic, a replaceable 4-foot smartphone cable complete with mic and smart device media controller, and an in-line controller on the gaming cable for volume control and mute toggling. There will also be a 6 and a ½ foot extension cable with a headphone and mic split to handle the more demanding PC gaming setups.
The replaceable cabling and newly-added mobility definitely adds to the versatility of these headsets. I’m just personally glad that they are finally going with a mute on/off switch with the ATH-PDG1 and the ATH-PG1. The hold-to-mute button in the previous headsets were a point of contention for me personally as I felt the control was simply not a practical as it could have been. So without actually deeply reviewing these units, you can definitely note improvements in the “features” department at the very least.
The ATH-PG1 closed-back headset focuses on sound isolation. It sports 44mm drivers and leatherette headbands and ear cups.
The ATH-PDG1 open-ear headset are for your more natural and clear sound-seekers. Its 40mm drivers with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils aim to deliver crisp sound detail. The honeycomb aluminum casing you see here gears to present a “three-dimensional sound field”. Also, the ATH-PDG1 differs further from the ATH-PG1 using fabric for their ear cups and headband.
Scheduled to be available in February 2015, Audio-Technica’s much cheaper yet still very “premium” ATH-PG1 and ATH-PDG1 gaming headsets will go for $199.95. Both headsets are compatible with the PS4, iPhone, iPad, PC, and Xbox One (using the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter). The effort Audio-Technica puts into their sound presentation does not disappointed us, to say the least. So if you were too timid to try out Audio-Technica’s dive into the gaming market before, you now have no reason to stray away from looking into the ATH-PG1 and ATH-PDG1.
“When it comes to gaming headsets, it’s all about being drawn into the gaming experience. Our new ATH-PG1 and ATH-PDG1 are designed to place players completely into the virtual sonic reality of the playing environment with deep bass and superior midrange and treble definition, while providing the gaming-specific features and cross-platform compatibility that serious gamers demand.”
Crystal Griffith, Audio-Technica Consumer Marketing Manager