Speaking of the Audio-Technica brand, I believe that anyone who has been in contact with “HIFI headphones” will not be unfamiliar. After all, many products of Audio-Technica have been spread word of mouth among the enthusiast circles, including the AD series that personally likes the use of air dynamic technology.
But in the field of esports headsets, this type of HIFI headset brand is rarely involved. Therefore, when I saw the ATH-GDL3 esports headset launched by Audio-Technica, I was a little surprised, especially since it also uses the dedicated air dynamic technology of the AD series. It inevitably made me curious about this esports headset with “HIFI blood”.
Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3’s packaging box is designed with a white/blue theme on the outer layer, and the inner packaging box is made of kraft paper. Compared with the esports earphone packaging box I have touched before, the ATH-GDL3 is very simple.
In addition to the earphones, the box comes with 2 earphone cables, a 1.2m conventional 3.5mm cable and a 3m cable with a microphone plug to meet the needs of different scenarios, as well as a pluggable connection microphone and manual. The accessories are also quite environmentally friendly and practical.
Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 is extremely light weight. The official data is 220g, which is indeed much lighter than other esports earphones on the market. However, the price of lightness is the texture of the headset is relatively average. Although the surface adopts anti-fingerprint anti-skid coating, there is still a certain gap from the “advanced”.
In terms of appearance design, ATH-GDL3 is also somewhat different from common esports headphones. Due to the use of the AD series of air dynamic technology, the open structure design also leaves a honeycomb-shaped hollow design on both sides, allowing you to directly see the blue dynamic driver inside.
At the same time, it does not have the popular RGB lighting effect. The pure black design looks more like a retro professional HIFI headset.
The earphone adopts a single-wire connection, the socket is located on the left, and uses a four-section design similar to 4.4mm.
In addition, the volume wheel and mute switch are provided on the left rear of the headset to facilitate quick and direct adjustments during the game. However, in the case of blind operation, the position of the volume wheel is not particularly easy to explore.
Audio-Technica officially announced that it has built esports-grade earmuffs for ATH-GDL3. The earmuffs are made of flannel, not the common protein skin material nowadays. But its softness is also very good, and has a certain ability to absorb sweat.
The inside of the earmuffs is also matched with eye-catching blue and marked Left/Right. My ears are relatively large in size, but the Audio-technica ATH-GDL3 earmuffs can also completely wrap them.
Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 follows an ergonomic design, with a suspension design on the head beam, which can adapt to the wearer’s head shape. Combining the weight of 220g and the more comfortable earmuffs, I found that the compression of ATH-GDL3 on the neck is almost negligible after 1-2 hours of wearing it. However, the ears will feel a little stuffy after wearing it for a longer period of time.
The introduction of air dynamic technology, combined with an open structure design, gives ATH-GDL3 an inherent sound field advantage. Whether it is a horizontal sound field or a vertical sound field, the range is very wide, and it can accurately restore the spatial positioning in the game. When playing FPS shooting games such as “PUBG” and “CS:GO”, it can help you detect the location of the enemy faster.
If you are an FPS shooting game player and just want to find an esports headset that fits the game style, then Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 will be very suitable for you.
However, the open structure is also destined to have a certain leakage of sound. If you are used to playing games late at night and do not want to disturb your family or roommates, then you must carefully consider it.
Of course, maintaining clear communication and dialogue with teammates is also one of the tasks of esports headsets. Audio-Technica also has a wealth of product experience in the field of professional microphones. For this reason, Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 is provided with a high-directivity microphone. In the actual test, even if it is not very close to the mouth, this microphone can guarantee a very clear dialogue and communication.
In addition to playing games, how about the music experience with Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3? After all, it is equipped with the unique air dynamic technology of the AD series, as well as the advantage of an open structure.
First of all, ATH-GDL3 has the easy driveability of the AD series. With a sensitivity of 98dB/MW and an impedance of 45 ohms, it can get enough loudness when used on a computer at a medium volume.
Secondly, Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 tuning style is very healthy, which is also the sound concept inherited from the AD series. The low-frequency volume is just right, the mid-to-high frequency sound is slightly warmer, there is no very obvious staining, and the overall sound is more moderate and durable.
But as mentioned earlier, the audio of Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 is specially optimized for esports games. The overly wide sound field is not in harmony with the popular music styles often listened to, and the too remote vocal position causes the atmosphere of the whole song to be weakened. Therefore, if it is only used occasionally to listen to songs, but not overly pursuing sound quality and paying more attention to listening resistance, then ATH-GDL3 can still be competent.
Audio-Technica has integrated the air dynamic technology with modern esports headphones through years of technology accumulation in the field of headphones. Judging from the results, it is quite satisfactory. The extremely light weight and wide sound field and positioning suitable for FPS shooting games make Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 competitive at the same price. Following the relatively balanced tuning style of the AD series, it is no problem to be competent for daily and occasional song listening.