If you’ve heard of AOC you might be a little confused as to why this review is in the audio category. AOC make displays right? Correct! The GH200 is a foray into the audio market for the home and gaming monitor manufacturer. How do they fair and are they worth the £40 price tag?
- Good value
- Detachable microphone
- Hissy input
- Muddy mids
You can jump onto Amazon right now and type in “wired gaming headset” and get a tonne of options at the sub-£50 price-point. The vast majority won’t be great and will be cheaply made. AOC are aware of this I’m sure, but equally they know that there is a huge gaming market at the lower end (i.e. those who can’t afford MSRP RTX 3090 prices, let alone scalped ones) and this is firmly where they are aiming their new headsets.
They are already a well-known name in PC gaming due to their monitors being a go-to device for e-sports professionals. Along with the AOC GH300, the GH200 however marks their first step into the world of gaming audio, and at a wallet-friendly price too.
The GH200 is a non-descript headset, packaged in a typical red-accented box. The metal arm adjustments attach to the ear cups housing 50mm drivers, with a detachable microphone on the left cup. Approximately a third of the way down the 1.8m cable is an inline control pod delivering a microphone mute toggle switch and volume control.
In the box comes the headset, a Y-splitter for separate microphone and stereo ports, and a quick start guide.
- Audio Channels: Stereo
- Mode: Moving Coil
- Diameter: 50 mm
- Driver Material: PU+PEEK composite diaphragm, Neodymium Magnet
- Impedance: 32 Ω±15%
- Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB (at 1KH 1mW)
- Balance canals: ≤3dB (at 1KH 1mW)
- Rated Power: 15mW
- Max Power: 50 mW
- Distortion: ≤ 5 %(at 1KHZ 1mW)
- Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Cable Length: 1.8m
- 2 Year Warranty
- Mic Directionality: Omnidirectional
- Type: Detachable
- Operating Voltage: 1.1V – 4.5V
- Sensitivity: -38±3dB (0dB =1V/PA)
- Impedance: 2.2K(Max)
- Frequency range: 100Hz – 10KHz
Audio & Use
Straight out of the box, these are usable. That’s one of the joys of using wired headsets. There are obvious downsides, but in a pinch, if my Arctis 7 headset ever fails I fall back on my SteelSeries Siberia v2 (wired). Plug them into your combination port or split them using the included splitter and start gaming!
First things first, before we get into the audio, I have to check the comfort factor. Comfort, for headsets especially, is a major part of the experience. There’s no point jumping into a gaming session only for your ears and head to feel fatigued before you get that first 360 no-scope is there? There is almost 2cm of PU padding on the headband which feels soft, and about the same on each ear cup. The PU material used isn’t quite as forgiving on the cups as I’d have liked so there is a breaking in period. Get through that and they are as comfy as the headband, which is to say, acceptable. There is always a little bit of sweat build up over longer sessions though.
The audio from the 50mm drivers is, as expected, acceptable. There is significant low-end, and the high end is not too shabby either but the mid-range is a little muddy. The lows overpower it for the most part (in games especially). Some of this lethargy the GH200 shows is purely down to the stereo sound produced. Many other gaming headsets have pseudo-surround sound and other fancy options to scale up the audio engagement. The audio certainly isn’t bad it just isn’t anything to write home about.
Equally, the microphone performance is okay as well. As you can hear, it sounds a little muffled depending on my cadence and introduces a little hiss to it as well. During games, gamers said they could hear me “well enough” to get through though. In good news though, it is detachable so you can a) replace it if it fails and b) stow it away when not needed.
Whether or not the AOC GH200 is a viable option for you comes down to one thing and one thing only really – price. If you have the budget, there are much better wired gaming headsets out there, with better soundstages and microphone implementations. On the flip side, if you only have £50 to spare, these do the job, and have little that can go wrong with them also.
The positives outweigh the negatives here but they are still by no means world-beaters. If you’re happy with that as a compromise, go for it!