AUSTRIAN AUDIO PG16 PRO GAMING HEADSET Review | Minimalistic and still good?

 Austrian Audio should say very little, especially to gamers. However, the Austrian audio manufacturer has an interesting background, as it was founded by former employees of the well-known audio company after the closure of AKG from Vienna in 2017. After various studio headsets, headphones and microphones, it is now the turn of gaming as a target group, namely with the PG16 Pro Gaming Headset for 139 euros as the debut product.


The Austrian Audio PG16 is a fairly minimalist gaming headset that is operated solely by cable with a 3.5 mm jack connection. This has the advantage that the PG16 can be used on almost all platforms without any problems, but only with a cord. The cable length is not quite optimal at 1.40 m - a little too short for the PC, but a little too long for the gamepad. A short Y-switch is included. Maybe a slightly shorter cable length for the gamepad connection and a longer Y-crossover would have been better.


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The headset itself makes a very high-quality impression and looks quite chic, especially thanks to the dark red elements. However, there are also some high-gloss elements that could have been saved. They break the noble look a bit and are also quite susceptible to fingerprints. The workmanship, on the other hand, leaves nothing to be desired. The head pads are comfortable, the headband is robust but flexible, the ear cups are equipped with soft pads with imitation leather covers and are rotatable. Small gimmick: thanks to two hinges, the headset can even be folded up and stowed away in the cloth bag provided to save space.


AUSTRIAN AUDIO PG16 PRO GAMING HEADSET Review

The weight is very moderate at 265 grams, resulting in a very comfortable fit that does not break down even during longer sessions. You won't find any controls, the PG16 is pure minimalism in this regard. Unfortunately, we would have loved to see at least one volume control. Especially when using a console gamepad, we really miss this option. Unusual: the connection of the detachable is on the right side. Nice: the cable can be locked in the headset by turning the plug.


The microphone is firmly attached and can be muted by flipping it up, but there is no noticeable switching point. A pop filter is on board so that ambient and breathing noises are filtered out quite well. The microphone's speech transmission is okay and sounds quite natural, but is a little prone to sharp hissing sounds. This hardly bothers the voice chat, but the PG16 is less suitable for voice recordings.


For the sound reinforcement, Austrian Audio relies on specially designed 44 mm high-excursion drivers, which are also used in other products. Notable is the low impedance of 25 ohms instead of the usual 30-32, as well as the frequency range of 12 to 24,000 Hz, which exceeds the usual gaming range of 20 to 20,000 Hz. That gives hope for a lot, but the PG16 doesn't manage to shine in all areas - perhaps because the inner workings are more headphones than gaming headsets.


Basically, the PG16 delivers a quite filigree, detailed, and very precise sound with a good stereo image. The highs come through cleanly, even small background noises are clearly recognizable and the perception of direction is also okay. The fine details are particularly pleasing when listening to music and e-sports enthusiasts will certainly appreciate this.


The problem, however, is that balance and dynamics suffer somewhat, as Austrian Audio has massively sacrificed punch in favor of clarity and detail. Both the bass and the deeper mid-tones clearly lack pressure and assertiveness, which is particularly noticeable when gaming. Engines in racing games lack the deep rumble, explosions sound flat, and monumentality may not quite come across in epic soundtracks and soundscapes. During firefights in shooters, the PG16 even sounds uncomfortably sharp at times.


It seems as if the drivers are more in the field of studio headphones and don't really want to match a gaming sound image. It doesn't always have to be cracking and rumbling, too much bass is certainly not to our liking, but something is simply missing here. Although the level of detail and clarity of the sound is admirable, in general, a bit more balance of the frequency ranges would be desirable for gaming.


If you want at least a little more on the PC, you can also download software thanks to an enclosed code. It's called Spatial Soundcard L for 5.1 and 7.1 and allows you some surround settings. Basically, this improves the perception of direction and the sonority again. Really necessary? Not necessarily, because with Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic you have very good alternatives on the PC that can be used with the headset. But not bad as a nice extra.


CONCLUSION

A solid entry into the gaming

With the PG16, the Austrians deliver a solid entry into the gaming sector. For just under 140 euros you get a comfortable and well-made headset that doesn't exactly score with its power but can impress more sensitive listeners with a clear sound and many details, which is of particular benefit to gamers for whom directional perception and recognizing even small noises is important. However, if you like opulent soundscapes and powerful effects, you won't be happy with the low tones that are a bit too weak.


The origin of the headset from the world of studio headphones can be heard quite clearly. Otherwise, the PG16 has a few glaring weaknesses, apart from the fact that a volume control would have been extremely welcome, especially for operation on the console gamepad. A solid debut, but there is still room for improvement for gaming.


Pros

  • Can be used on almost all platforms thanks to the jack connection
  • good wearing comfort
  • relatively easy
  • very detailed, clear sound
  • collapsible for space-saving transport

Cons

  • no volume control
  • suboptimal high-gloss surfaces
  • proprietary cable connector on the headset
  • could do with a little more pressure and lows overall
  • Cable for the PC connection is a bit short

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