Manufacturer Epos aligns itself with the Epos | Sennheiser GSX 300 is especially aimed at computer users who want to upgrade their sound hardware easily - without major modifications: it is a small-format external sound card. In the following test on the epic |, we reveal whether and what the device can do in terms of sound technology Sennheiser GSX 300.
There is confusion: epic? Sennheiser? Sennheiser epic? The Danish manufacturer Epos, part of the Demant Group, has been co-branding the former Sennheiser gaming products under the label Epos | since the beginning of the year Sennheiser - including the external sound card, which is now known as an epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 wants to be titled.
Admittedly, it is confusing, especially since Epos not only offers games, but also audio solutions for the business sector. So first you have to come up with the idea of suspecting gaming peripherals behind Epic. The end customer will not care much once they have found the products. The company for audio and video solutions wants to increase its visibility in the games segment noticeably through measures such as Esports sponsorship, social media activities, but also retail and point-of-sale programs. One of the products is the external sound card upgrade Epos | Sennheiser GSX 300.
Snow White and the seven channels - plus one
First of all, it should be noted that the external sound card Epos | Sennheiser GSX 300 is the little sister of the GSX 1000 and 1200 audio amplifiers. Smaller mainly refers to the size and the price: instead of over 220 euros, the budget version only costs around 80 euros. In return, you get a box about the size of your palm - in our case it was the "Snow Edition" color variant - with far less bling-bling, but also eight sound channels. Also the epic | Like its big brothers, the Sennheiser GSX 300 offers 7.1 surround sound.
When mentioning "color variant" it quickly becomes clear: there must be at least one other edition in addition to the white edition. And yes, Epos also released the GSX 300 with a black finish, but the two versions are technically the same. The external sound card with the simple but very elegant design is connected to the PC or gaming laptop via USB 2.0 - there is not much more in the box: the GSX 300, a cable and brief instructions. Due to the spartan equipment, experienced users know immediately: the setup is quick. Plug in the cable, ideally carry out a firmware update, search for, find and install software and the neat sound amplifier is already working, promising high-resolution sounds in 7.1 format.
Thought has been given to the design of the external sound card. First of all, it is the details that are convincing. The slightly upward-facing design enables quick and uncomplicated operation - which is necessary because the box is on the table when it is used.
Otherwise the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 minimalist: A button is used to switch between different sound profiles, a setting wheel with LED lighting enables volume control. In any case, the controls are easy to reach, not unimportant when things get hectic while gaming - or when watching a movie you suddenly realize that you have turned the volume up too high when you hear the explosions in your ears.
The dates of the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300
- USB standard: USB 2.0
- Total harmonic distortion (THD): <0,01%
- Cable length: 1200 mm
- Dimensions: 91 × 81 × 41 mm
- Weight: 169 grams
- Connections: 3,5 mm headset connection, 3,5 mm microphone jack, micro USB
- Audio: 24 bit 96 kHz (stereo), 16 bit 48 kHz (7.1)
- Compatibility: PC
- Recommended headphone impedance: 25 - 75 Ω
- RRP price: 79,99 euros
You won't find a variety of connections in the 300 version, even on the back there is practical minimalism and not swanky sockets. And so, in addition to the 3,5 mm jack connection as input and output for the headset, there is only the micro-USB port so that the amplifier can be supplied with power and can communicate with the computer. Both are absolutely necessary, the latter is of central importance, because the software is at the heart of the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300.
Nice box with good software
It is the equalizer that users use to adjust their sound settings. You can roughly choose between 7.1 surround mode or stereo - the LED then conveniently switches between blue and red, depending on the selected mode. For the sake of simplicity, there are various preset settings in which Epos relies on the classic presets, such as music or movie. If you want, you can fine-tune and create your sound experience the way you want it. The sound reverberation can also be adjusted.
Probably the motivation to fine-tune and create your own presets will be rather low for the average user, after all, the external sound card - not to be confused with a digital-to-analog converter for the hi-fi area - is aimed at owners of analog headsets. The majority should be those users for whom sound was rather unimportant in the past or for whom sound was no longer so important for a long time.
Epic has the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 actually launched on the market as an easy-to-use upgrade. Everything revolves around the quick use of the sound box and uncomplicated operation. What you can't do in view of the connections is to switch from the headset to speakers - the corresponding output on the sound card is simply missing.
Basically, the plastic box is a kind of framework for the actual sound tool: the software. In the long term, this also means that optimizations and improvements can primarily be implemented on the software side through updates.
And how does it all sound like playing, listening to music or watching films? Basically quite neat and the idea behind the system works too. Wanting to upgrade the old box with 7.1 surround sound, at the same time with the lowest possible investment of money, is of course a pretty pious wish: For 80 euros you actually get a wide range of listening pleasure in the end and you can classify sound effects better, if not exactly localized. The well-known rule applies here: you get what you pay for. And for 80 euros that can't be the crystal-clear hammer sound that hi-fi enthusiasts would swear by.
Nevertheless: The DSP epic | In terms of DSP sound optimization, the Sennheiser GSX 300 does what you miss when you only play sounds via sound chips installed on the motherboard - regardless of whether on the laptop or the desktop PC. Then the differences are clearly audible and the external sound card shows its strengths in terms of sound. At the end of the day, expectations are linked to the box as well as personal prior experience with sound technology. This comes to the fore in games: whether in the multiplayer shooter à la Call of Duty or in the role-playing adventure with the pleasantly pounding background music. Speaking of music, the epic | Use the Sennheiser GSX 300, preferably in stereo mode, but not with the sound experience you get when you think of a 7.1 system at home with an amplifier and a corresponding speaker setup including a subwoofer.
The Epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 produces tonal spatiality, but doesn't push you into the gaming chair with rich bass or let you tell different violins in an orchestra apart. There is still pressure on the ears - depending on the previous setup even with a clear difference in sound. The highs are clear and fortunately unobtrusive, in the mid-range there is hardly anything to complain about. Lo and behold, because the marketing doesn't make any big promises about miracle sound, the Epos | Sennheiser GSX 300 keep what their technical possibilities dictate: they provide a pleasant sound upgrade in areas where the dull mainboard sound prevailed. Whether there is a lot of "Sennheiser" in it - the name obliges after all - is a fundamental discussion that you don't have to have for the equivalent of around 80 euros, even if you pay a few euros more for the name than with the competition for comparable products.
Conclusion: Is it worth the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300?
The ambitious player is familiar with the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 hardly ever experience a miracle for the ears. If, on the other hand, you are still using the onboard sound or want to bring your old laptop into the modern age for listening to music or watching films, you will definitely experience a small wow effect with the device from Epos. Mainly because the pretty and solidly made box does not bother you on the table and is also easy to use.
To be fair, the question does not have to be "Is the epic worth it | Sennheiser GSX 300?”, but rather “For whom is the Epos worthwhile | Sennheiser GSX 300?”. There is a clearly defined target group and they actually benefit from the upgrade. What you get in terms of sound, if you only knew dull and flat tones before, is a feast for the ears at a low expectation level. You have to get used to the software, the rest is pure user-friendliness.
"You can't do much wrong for contribution X", it is often said and this actually also applies to Epos | Sennheiser GSX 300, even if there are cheaper alternatives. The gain in sound is considerable under certain poor conditions, then it's fun to get involved with the white or black box and use the sound upgrade for fun. What you can't do despite solid software and good material processing: transform a 15-euro headphone into a surround wonder. Basically, the performance of the epic | Sennheiser GSX 300 linked to the features of the analog headset. So you can get a little more performance out of decent headphones.
|EPOS I Sennheiser GSX 300, Gaming Dac / external USB sound card ... *||Buy|
Last updated on 27.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API