AOC GH200 Gaming Headset Review
Peter Donnell / 1 week ago
A Closer Look & Performance
AOC has the right idea with this headset, trimming a few features and keeping the cost down gives it broad appeal to those on a tighter budget, or just those who don’t need all those extra features. What extra features? Well, the GH300 is the model above this and uses USB rather than 3.5mm, has RGB lighting, and virtual 7.1 surround sound. However, at a glance, they broadly seem to be the same headset beyond that.
There are some things here that I actually think are superior to the GH300, despite this being the more affordable model. For starters, you still get this stunning metal mount for the ear cups, which also forms the headband extender. However, on this model it’s finished in black, on the GH300 it’s red. I like the red, but this is obviously much smarter looking and easier to match up with more systems. Score one for the GH200!
The GH200 wins here again, as it doesn’t have RGB. Personally, I have nothing against RGB, I have plenty of it, but on a headset? Yeah, that makes no sense to me. So stripping that feature and saving a few quid is more my speed here. The ear cup design looks great though, looking like a bit of a greatest hits collection of popular gaming headsets from the last few years.
I do with AOC would try to find their own aesthetic, and really put their mark on the industry, but in their defence, they’re only just starting in the peripheral world. This headset doesn’t look bad, but it does look extremely familiar. I’ve seen some say it looks like the HyperX Cloud, and I agree. However, I will say that the GH200 is a very attractive headset. When you look at the trash you normally see in this price range, the GH200 design could stand up well at twice this price.
It is hard-wired, which is a shame, as I much prefer removable cables than can easily be replaced. However, the cable is of a good quality and everything feels well made and put together, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
The ear cups look and feel fantastic, with a thick memory foam design that will comfortably sit around your ear. Some leather-like material feels really nice and will provide a nice air-tight fit too, which helps block out ambient noise and lock in the sound too.
There’s a matching leather finish on the headband too, with some thick black stitching and memory foam. Overall, I think the headset looks fantastic, and to wear it, it’s surprisingly comfortable even after an hours-long MMO session. Considering how many glossy plastics and bright colours we often see in this price range, having a black headset, with PU leather and metal construction is bloody fantastic!
The headset comes with a half-decent microphone too. It has an omnidirectional design, which means people are going to hear you if you have a mechanical keyboard and you type like a woodpecker, and there’s no noise cancellation, so perhaps don’t eat crisps while you’re playing Battlefield. However, beyond that, it’s bright and clear, and the flexible boom means I can put it a little off to the side to avoid sounding like Darth Vader.
The microphone is also detachable, which is great if you don’t use it very often.
The headset sounds really good, but I’m not really that surprised, as I liked how the GH300 sounded, and this is broadly the same hardware. However, while the GH300 was driven by its built-in USB soundcard, the GH200 uses a standard 3.5mm jack, so it’ll be powered by whatever you connect it to. Your phone, your console controller, your PC, whatever really. It’s broadly compatible with a lot of devices, but obviously, its performance is reliant on the capabilities of whatever is powering it.
I plugged it into an Xbox controller and it was pretty punchy and the microphone worked just fine too. However, I plugged it into a Super X-Fi USB DAC and found it to be a pretty capable headset when it has some more advanced amplification. Audiophile-grade it is not, but throw on your favourite tunes, crank it up a bit, and it has enough range to have you air-drumming along to some chilled-out tunes.
It only has stereo sound, but frankly, that just isn’t an issue these days. Consoles have virtual processing and headphone modes. Some games, such as Battlefield V, have their own headphone surround processing features too. Even on my phone or PC, I have Dolby Atmos surround processing, I have SXFI on my portable amp, and then there’s Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X. So, really, it’s not impossible to enjoy your favourite games in surround sound. Regardless of what you choose, the punchy bass of the headset is pleasing to the ear. If you’ve got an EQ available, a slight increase on the mid to high-end is recommended though, as the headset is lacking a little brightness on the high-end, but nothing too serious.
For gaming, the GH200 holds up well, and really benefits from those PU leather ear pads, which work wonders at blocking out some ambient noise. Next door is cutting their grass today, and I can’t hear it while gaming with the GH200 on. Plus, the drivers are a closed-back design, so the sound doesn’t leak out too much either. They’re not completely isolating though, so at least when chatting on discord, I can hear my own voice and don’t end up shouting all the time.