The Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL is a special headset. It’s not the end-all be-all headset, but with an MSRP of $250 it becomes a great headset to consider for wireless PC gaming. Audio-Technica has a stellar reputation in the audio world. Most people recognize the brand and immediately associate it with quality and performance and the ATH-G1WL does not disappoint in that regard.
Included in the box is the ATH-G1WL headet, 6.6’ micro-USB charge cable, detachable hypercardioid condenser mic, mic windscreen, USB transceiver, and replacement earpads! Of all the headsets I own, this is the first to include a back-up pair of identical ear pads. That should help with long term ownership of this headset as ear pads are one of the only things that need servicing over time. At 297 g or 10.5 oz (with mic), this headset is extremely lightweight. Overall, the light weight and the hybrid earpads result in an extremely comfortable headset. The hybrid earpads feature a soft fabric inner piece, with a PLU outer band. This gives a great blend of comfort and durability, allowing your ears to stay cool during long gaming sessions. The metal headband construction seems extremely durable, even though the mounts are made of ABS plastic.
Full disclosure: This is by far the best wireless headset I have ever used with regards to microphone quality. It’s not even close. The level of detail and openness this microphone has, paired with an excellent wireless transmission bitrate quality, really puts this headset in a league of its own. In our YouTube video, we compared this mic against the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero, Lucid Sound LS50X, and Astro Gaming A50 Gen 4. The comparison needs no explanation as it becomes immediately noticeable on which mic is better.
It keeps getting better once you start listening to music. The closed-back 45 mm drivers are rated for 5-40,000 Hz, which is beyond human hearing. With a highly efficient sensitivity of 101 dB/mW, Audio-Technica was able to pump out some great volume without losing too much battery life. They were also able to keep the weight down by using a smaller 3.7v lithium polymer battery that still provides 15 hours of usage on a single charge. Talk about efficiency! If the battery gets low while playing you can plug in the included micro-USB cable and charge while you play. I found the sound quality to be excellent, and relatively flat with two exceptions. There is a slight bump in bass with lower frequencies, and the highs are a bit brighter (more treble) than some other headphones when set to a flat EQ. This is probably for the best for one reason, but we’ll get into that in a minute. In short, they provide a clear, well-articulated sound stage. The brightness and detail are extremely important in gaming where hearing enemy footsteps or the subtleties of a game environment or music may go unnoticed on a less expensive or less capable headset. For an even wider soundstage and more immersive experience, pressing inward on the headset’s volume wheel will enable the DSP’s built in 7.1 surround sound.
The reason why I like the default ATH-G1WL’s EQ profile is because you cannot change it. In order to modify the sound profile, you would need to find a program that let’s you custom EQ a USB headset to sound the way you want. For those who do not want to deal with finding extra software, having decent bass and excellent clarity will please more people than not. I wish Audio-Technica either included customization software or the ability to cycle through a few EQ presets via an integrated button, but at least the only EQ profile option still sounds good.
It is important to note that the game audio and chat mix (Discord, Xbox Party chat, etc.) are combined. This means there is no option to adjust the volume mix of both audio sources. If you are in a noisy environment in game, it may be difficult to hear your squad speaking. Conversely, if your squad is shouting or cracking off jokes, it may be difficult to hear an enemy sneaking up on you. You can always adjust the game volume and chat volume manually via the game/chat software itself, but there isn’t a way to do it on the headset itself.
The ATH-G1WL microphone provides you with the expected features for gaming. There is a physical slider switch to mute the microphone, which is followed by an audible tone, letting you know it’s off. Even though I typically prefer flip-to-mute or tap-to-mute, this switch is easy to find and very responsive once you get used to the placement. It’s certainly livable without complaint. You can also enable or disable mic monitoring (side tone) which is a huge feature for me. I do not like shouting because I can’t hear myself, so the mic monitor feature is excellent. Side note – When you increase the volume of the headset, the mic monitor volume increases with it. If you max out the headset volume but nothing is playing, having the mic monitor enabled will present a faint hiss in the background. If this bothers you, either mute the mic or disable mic monitoring.
Overall, the headset is excellent, as long as lack of audio customization software and chat mix is not a deal breaker. The only problem I had with this headset was wireless disconnect issues. It was much more prevalent when I first started testing this headset, but after a reset/re-pair sequence, almost all wireless dropout issues were gone. I found that the placement of your Audio-Technica wireless transmitter can make a huge difference in wireless stability. With that being said, if you experience wireless disconnect issues, try to a new USB port without any other transmitter adjacent to it.
At the end of the day I think this is a great headset. If you are looking to stream on a budget, having a single wireless headset with this good of a mic can save you a ton of money and time from setting up a secondary mic with boom/mount, etc. This headset mic is so good it holds its own against full size USB mics which says a lot. I’ve seen this headset go for under $200 on Amazon which is a steal considering how good the sound quality is. If you are okay with the lack of customization or chat mix, I think this headset should strongly be considered as a strong contender in the mid-level HiFi-grade arena.
If you think this is the right headset for you, you can support our site and purchase it at Amazon via this affiliate link: https://amzn.to/308IS1n