The Premium Wireless Gaming Headset by Audio-Technica, model number ATH-G1WL, is the definition of a premium gaming accessory. They are the most lightweight wireless headphones I've ever had the privilege of testing, weighing under 300 grams even with the detachable microphone. Audio-Technica has a much-deserved reputation for impeccable sound quality, and its wireless gaming headset is no exception. While they may not have as many features and options as similar devices in their price range, the luxury form factor and top-of-its-class audio profile makes these an obvious choice for gamers with simple setups that care about fidelity above all else.
Understated But Not Underpowered
The build of the wireless gaming headset is unbelievably simple: the headband is a single piece of durable, flexible metal with a pad screwed on with six micro-screw for easy cleaning and replacing. The cups are connected to the band by notched metal extensions that provide adjustable length. There's a thin exposed wire that runs from one side to the other through the headband. The cans have 90-degree rotation for safe storing and come with an extra set of earpads.
The hypercardioid microphone is both flexible and removable, and while I like that this helps to keep the headset as compact and lightweight as possible, keeping track of a small microphone is not my favorite thing. That being said, the sound quality of the mic has a ton of range and sounds fantastic.
The blue ring accent and Audio-Technica logo on the outside of the cups is modernistically appealing. There's a small LED light on the left to indicate pairing and charging. Everything about this headset is simple and to the point. Even the box it comes in, which is small and white with minimal text, tells the story that Audio-Technica has nothing to prove. The quality really speaks for itself.
Features And Functions
This commitment to simplicity extends to the available features on the headset. On the left cup, you'll find a power switch between the hinge and the mic (if it's attached), followed by a monitor button if you like sidetone, a micro-USB charging port, a volume wheel that can be pressed to toggle on virtual surround, and a mute switch. The headset connects to a PC or Mac using the included 2.4 GHz wireless adapter.
And that's all there is to it. There is no voice/game volume priority toggle like other wireless headsets we've reviewed. It doesn't do Bluetooth. You can't connect it to anything using a wired audio cable, which means they work exclusively on PC and Mac. Even if you want to charge while you use them, you'll need 2 USB ports available: one for charging and one for the wireless adapter. The USB adapter sticks out about the length of my pinky, meaning you'll need to be able to accommodate for it protruding out of your desktop tower. Though it's not a huge deal, it does make me a little nervous about breaking it.
I think the lack of QoL features and device limitations may turn people who are looking for a premium device for all their systems off, but for Audio-Technica's target audience, I think they're absolutely perfect. They do what they do, and they do it well. For the vast majority of players, they can simply plug in the USB adapter into their computer, switch the headphones on, and they work fantastically. Sometimes, things have value in their simplicity and I think that's definitely the case with this headset.
The headset can only connect to your PC one way, with the 2.4 GHz wireless adapter. At my desk, I have my modem and router set up behind my monitor and my tower is on the floor under the desk. I'm not able to use this headset with that set up at all. When I take them downstairs and connect them to my laptop, they're phenomenal. When I turn off my network, they work great. However, with my router on, the sound will cut out every time I move my head even an inch. In the troubleshooting guide that comes with the headset, it recommends moving away from network devices if you're getting interference. Unfortunately, that's not an option for me, and the USB connection only serves to charge the headset, meaning I can't use then with my desktop at all.
Luckily, my Oculus Rift is downstairs on my laptop, and this headset works phenomenally with that setup. They fit over my rift and are so lightweight I practically forget they're even there. If you're like me and have your network devices close to your computer, you might have some interference problems with these. It's also worth mentioning that my wireless SteelSeries headphones don't have this interference problem.
More Than A Brand Name
Audio-Technica fans are loyal because they know they are getting a no-fuss audio solution that looks premium and sounds incredible. That's exactly what you're getting with the ATH-G1WL Wireless Gaming Headset. If not for the interference issues, these would probably be my main gaming headphones going forward. They have an incredible 17-hour battery life, they're super lightweight, the microphone is great, and they sound amazing. If you care about sound quality above all else, only need a headset for PC gaming, and your router isn't too close to your machine, these are the ones to get.
- The lightest headset in it's price range.
- Simple, stylish build quality.
- Top-of-the-line Audio-Technica sound.
- Can only transmit to PC or Mac through wireless 2.4 GHz.
- Detachable mic rather than retractable.
- Bad interference with network devices.