It’s been quite some time since my last product review from Audio-Technica; as a matter of fact, the ATH-ANC3 Noise cancelling ear buds worked out so well, I added them to my personal collection and they were still in use till I broke them mid-flight about two months ago - sad day. Now for spring 2015 we get to check out another pair of their gaming headsets - ATH-PDG1 (Read Valkor’s review of the ATH-AG1). I’ve been testing this set for about 3 weeks and it has not disappointed.
The ATH-PDG1 has a light build and pleasing to the eye, I like the combination of gunmetal arms, black padding and red accents, which really makes for a very serious looking headset. This includes the mic arm, which is thin and almost out of the way with a condenser design at the end. Overall it does look like your average headset but the devil is in the details, for example, As soon as you put on the headphones you’ll notice AT made comfort the obvious priority; the cushion feels like velvet on the ears and the headband is padded and porous for breathable comfort. For their size, the PDG1 is surprisingly light (225g) and I say this because internally the cups themselves have two 40mm drivers w/ CCAW voice coils for clarity (92dB/mW sensitive & 20-20,000Hz freq response). The mic is a condenser type with a flexible arm (Freq Response. 100 – 10,000 Hz & sensitivity -40 dB (0dB=1V/Pa, 1 kHz)
Opening the box, everything is straightforward from how the headphones are laid out to the included wires; the box itself is detailed with all you need to know about its contents. But if you’re anal retentive, the user manuals, which are two pamphlets, are extremely thorough. It’s almost comical at the detail they manage to write down in 6 languages. The three cables come packaged in three separate Ziploc. And the most enjoyable part about reviewing these headphones is getting to use all three; first the PS4 with 26 hrs. of game play between a variety of games, with different scores and sounds along with Spotify playing internally. The combination was crisp with a great separation of sounds through either cup. The usage of party chat was also very clear but there was an echo on both ends of the conversation which I don’t attribute to the headphones, it’s the PSN network. Second, on pc, which I played almost as long, I needed the PC cable attachment which gave me an extra 3 feet. I had a similar experience with the quality of audio as with the PS4. And using the mic, I have to add that I didn’t get that serial killer breathing that you sometimes get with very sensitive mics. Last but not least the smartphone cable; I had limited use of this one since I only listened to a few songs and a couple of movies during a six hour flight. I did watch a few YouTube videos and making a couple of phone calls. I still had the same result as with the previous cables - good sound and clear mic.
Now after 45 hours of testing with multiple devices, I can tell you that the PDG1 headphones are comfortable and very breathable. I don’t have the headaches I get from pressure on/around the ear that I sometimes get from wearing glasses. I’ve done about 2-3 four hour sessions and the performance hasn’t varied as I switch from ps4, pc or phone. I have consistently gotten the necessary voice clarity, crisp sound and depth throughout.
Now I’ve done my share of gaming headsets and the difference between this set and others I’ve reviewed has been significant, especially with this new design that delivers deep sound and voice clarity, as promised on the box. If you’re looking for a great gift for that gamer in your life/family this is a solid purchase and worth every penny. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Audio-Technica ATH-PDG1 gaming headphones the perfect 5 out of 5 stars.