Audio-Technica ATH-G1 Gaming Headset Review

An M50X transformed into a gaming headset with a new design

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Photo taken by the author.
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Photo taken by the author.

OVERVIEW

The Audio-Technica ATH-G1 is a closed-back, wired gaming headset with a removable microphone and a permanently attached cable. That cable is the bane of this headset’s existence, and the only thing it gets dramatically wrong. It sells for a standard price of $169, and rarely receives discounts. It launched late last year, and here’s the official product page. I bought mine for full price from Amazon.

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Official marketing image, https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/ath-g1

SOUND QUALITY

The ATH-G1 sounds very much like Audio-Technica’s popular, iconic, and polarizing M50X studio headphones. That’s not a surprise on the surface considering the ear cups have a nigh-identical design and seem to also be using the same 45mm drivers. However, Audio-Technica has made some small tweaks which I think make this gaming version sound better than their venerable professional model.

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The cloth ear pads and light clamp make this a very comfy headset. Photo taken by the author.

COMFORT

The G1’s industrial design makes it look like it’ll be a terrible metal vise grip on your head, but it’s actually quite comfy. The pads use a sports fabric on the side that touches your head, and have just enough room inside them for my ears not to touch the driver wall. The openings are a little more roomy than the famously tiny openings on the M50X pads. And the clamping force is light and pleasant.

MICROPHONE

The ATH-G1 has one of the best microphones I’ve ever personally experienced on a gaming headset. It’s a little tricky to attach and detach because the keyed 2.5mm port holds onto the microphone tighter than you might expect, but that’s the only real flaw with it. It has a wonderful near-broadcast-grade tone, and its flexible boom arm is highly adjustable.

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Photo taken by the author.

BUILD/DESIGN

I swapped the order of the categories from my usual routine because I wanted to get the highlights out of the way before I ranted a bit.

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This control box is profoundly bad, with a loose and rattling mute button. Photo taken by the author.
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Official marketing image, https://audio-technica.embody.co/

VIRTUAL SURROUND

A couple of months ago, Audio-Technica was one of several companies to launch a partnership with EmbodyVR to use their “Immerse” software on their gaming headsets. This software is also now available for Logitech and Beyerdynamic gaming products, and I’m sure more companies will join up in the future.

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Official marketing image, https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/ath-g1

FINAL THOUGHTS

Audio-Technica’s flagship-level gaming headset is frustratingly close to unbridled awesomeness. It sounds wonderful. It’s light and comfortable. Its design is relatively unique, and it combines smart weight reduction with a robust feel in the hand. The microphone is a master class in how a headset microphone should sound, making it a great choice for just about any application.

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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