AKG GHS-1 Headset, K-81 With Microphone
Dec 29, 2012
Review by seidhepriest
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Sturdy, K-81 design with microphone, single-entry cable, comfortable.
Cons:3-pole plug for microphone, fixed boom, poor side noise rejection.
The Bottom Line: Good value, a bit spoiled by the fixed microphone boom. Good headset for music and gaming, also VOIP.
The real surprise about the GHS-1 is that it's none other than the old acquaintance K-81DJ (or K-518DJ) with a microphone boom. The K-81DJ is an old (released 2006?) and popular model, so it is a success recipe taking a model like that and combining it with a microphone.
Recommend this product?
The problem with the GHS-1 though is, it's a tad different to the K-81DJ even though it uses the same capsules and retains the K-81 character. The differences between K-81 and GHS-1 are:
1. Puffed velour pads. These make a big difference to sound, unlike the K-81 with its super-extra-boomy-bass foam inserts, the GHS-1 is rather tame and clean-sounding.
2. Bigger distance between drivers and ears, thanks to the puffed velour pads.
3. Single-entry cable, as opposed to dual-entry on the K-81.
The result is that the GHS-1 headset is more comfortable to wear than the K-81, which have drawn a lot of complaints for earsqueezing. The single-entry cable is nicer than K-81's cable too.
The cable splits in two, a microphone plug and a headphone plug. Both are three-pole 3.5 mm. plugs, green and orange, thoughtfully with microphone and headphone labels attached.
There's a volume control with a microphone on/off switch on the cable. The volume control is smooth and doesn't generate any noise or interfere with sound quality. The microphone on/off switch is a rather good idea, as the microphone itself is on a fixed boom.
The microphone boom is attached to the left cup, and the microphone itself (cardioid, according to AKG) points to the right, aiming to catch the wearer's voice. The issue with this is, it doesn't point directly to the mouth. The boom won't swivel, so the microphone will pick up both the voice and whatever is to the right of the wearer's head. Meaning, you're listening to music, that goes into the conversation. You've noisy neighbours in Starbucks, that goes into the conversation too. This might be an issue for LAN parties.
Really the GHS-1 is a nice headset, but its fixed microphone boom can sometimes make it more useful at home than outdoors or in a cafe, say. Still, the sound quality is quite better than most other headsets. The K-81 pedigree shows itself, the headset is quite useful for listening to music. The GHS-1 also works great for games, it transmits footsteps and sound effects convincingly.
Sound-wise the GHS-1 is similar to the K-81 with foam inserts taken out. Warmish, bassy, fairly clean sound with a cosy presence. The only issue is the GHS-1's own puffy foam doughnuts, which prevent the GHS-1 from ever developing the same power/impact as the K-81. The fix is simply taking the foam doughnuts out. Take the pads off the cups (they snap out) and pull the foam doughnuts out. Then use something like packing porous foam or plastic fibre to fill the pads, looking (listening?) for balance between comfort and sonic impact.
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