Sennheiser PC165 USB Headset

by Greg King on September 29, 2006 in Audio & Media

If you are looking for a gaming headset with Sennheiser quality, then where else to look but… Sennheiser? We are taking a hard look at their PC165 USB headset with noise cancelling microphone.

Page 2 – Testing, Conclusion

To test out the 165s, I took them with me to Stompfest 2 weekends ago. While there, I played in the HL2: Deathmatch tourney, BF2 tourney and the CS:S tournament. All of these games have a strong dependence on sound and the 165s did not let me down. I was impressed with the crisp and detailed sound quality of the Sennheisers. If you read my Razer Barracuda HP-a review, you know that I was unhappy with the bass of the Razers. I am happy to say that I had no such problems with the 165s. The bass was clear, low and sounded strong. There was a bit of a difference when using the USB sound adapter as the sound was a bit weaker. The quality was almost as good as the Audigy 2 but the difference was obvious.

Now that we have established that the 165s make great gaming headphones, I want to see how they do when watching movies. Being a computer geek, I obviously wanted to watch the Matrix with the 165s but opted for something a little less obvious and ended up watching the movie Robots. Yeah it’s a children’s movie but I have a lot of respect for computer animators and the movie just happened to be lying near by. Again, the sound of the 165s was superb. The Audigy was by far the better sounding source but the USB adapter wasn’t bad at all.

My last test of the 165s was winamp. I am a fan of music. I also enjoy music from almost every genre, from country to hip hop and from trance to classical. To exemplify this diversity, I made a playlist from 5 different genres of music. All of these songs have exceptional sound quality and sounded great through the 165s. The music I choose was:

  • Beethoven ‘ Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor (Moonlight Sonata)
  • Crash Test Dummies ‘ Two Knights and Maidens
  • DJ Tiesto ‘ Conjure One
  • Breaking Benjamins ‘ Polyamorous
  • Ming + FS ‘ Nevada
  • Warren G ‘ Why oh why

In all these songs, the highs were crisp and the lows were clear. I am extremely pleased with the overall quality of the PC165-USBs.


The PC165-USB was designed by gamers, for gamers. The Sennheiser group has always been known for their hi-quality audio equipment and their offerings to the gaming community are no different. Through out the use of the Sennheiser PC165s, I have been rewarded with great sounding headphones and a very responsive mic. With its voice cancelling properties, the microphone was able to clearly pick up my voice and allow me to communicate with my teammates in all of the games that I played.


  • High quality sound reproduction
  • Comfortable on the ears design
  • Soft ear pods
  • Noise cancelling microphone
  • In-line volume controller with on/off microphone switch
  • USB sound card adapter

  • USB sound card adapter isn’t as strong as a high quality sound card
  • Some people prefer over the ear design as opposed to on the ear

The PC165-USB headset from Sennheiser is a good buy for anyone in the market for a top notch headset. There are certainly better headphones out there but when it comes to a headset with a microphone on them, the 165 headset is the best I have ever used. The sound quality is amazing and the added versatility of using the USB sound card adapter makes the 165s an even more attractive purchase. You can currently find the PC165 headset online for anywhere between $87 and $122 (US). That is a large difference in price but it’s nice to know that quality can be found for less than 90 dollars.

I am awarding the Sennheiser PC165-USB a 9 out of 10 and an editor’s choice award. This is a headset that I will be using until something else comes along to knock it off its throne. Honestly, that will be a difficult task.

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