It was an exciting day when a parcel from EPOS dropped onto the doormat. Here I was expecting the GSX 300 to arrive, so it was to my surprise to open the box and find the quite amazing GSX1000 inside, this was quite the unexpected upgrade!
EPOS GSX1000 – Sexual Healing for your ears
Promising to enhance my gaming audio experience I couldn’t wait to get this plugged in. Get a headset hooked up and a game launched. If you enjoy this review please check out more of the Thumb Culture hardware reviews right here!
The GSX1000 is a very stylish unit that sits discreetly on any desk setup.
On the back you will find both the microUSB power supply port and 3 x 3.5mm input/output ports. 1 each for Speakers, Headset and Microphone input.
The main control interface is centred upon the large silver volume dial, which has touch display controls inset in the centre. These controls allow you to switch between the various different audio modes, which we will go into more detail shortly. There is also 4 quick buttons on each of the corners, allowing you to quickly switch to a pre-set of your choosing.
The touch displays allows you to switch between the following modes:
- Audio Output: Headphones or Speakers
- Pre-set EQ mode: E-Sports, Music, Movie or bypass
- Surround Focus: Front, Rear or all-around
- Output type: 2.0 or 7.1
- Room Scale Reverb Control: allowing you to change the sound stage to best suit your headset
- Side tone: to help you hear your mic back through your headset
It should be noted that some of the above options are only available when in Headset mode and 7.1 Surround Sound activated.
The GSX1000 comes with different sample rates options, but it does all depend upon the audio channel selected. The 7.1 channel is restricted to 16-bit 44.1 kHz where as the stereo channel can go up to 24-bit and 96kHz. As this is made primarily for gamers wearing headsets 16-bit 44.1 kHz is perfectly fine.
If you wish to use the microphone jack this is up to 16kHz 16-bit audio. However being the owner of a dedicated USB microphone I did not make use of this feature.
Having plugged the GSX1000 into the PC, I grabbed my trusty AKG K702 open backed headphones and dived into some games. First up as always on my list of games was Warzone and wow, what a difference the GSX made to my gameplay. Having previously just been using the onboard audio output to the same headphones, in default mode the GSX excelled. The 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound enabled me to hear exactly where the enemies were coming from or hiding.
Switch on E-sports mode and the footsteps, breathing etc were enhanced even more. This mode seemed to really up the treble levels so you could quite literally hear a pin drop from a mile away. Diving into Rainbow Six Siege, where stealth certainly is the name of the game. This mode allowed me to hear exactly what floor and how far away the other team were. Sounds I had never experienced when using the on-board audio. Would I use this mode all the time? Probably not as was just a bit too much treble for my liking.
In truth having played around with the numerous variations you can set up. I settled on the neutral EQ HD audio setting. It kept everything perfectly balanced and when playing games, such as Elden Ring, the wide soundstage enabled incredible detail and immersion.
Although the GSX1000 is predominantly aimed at the gaming market, having a musical background I had to test it out in that mode as well. Through my AKGs in neutral mode it was just beautiful. I honestly hadn’t had sound of this quality through these headphones since I took my studio apart, it was quite something. The music EQ just added too much bottom end for my liking.
However through my desktop speakers, and these are only a cheap unbranded 2.1 stereo set, I found that the music EQ mode was definitely required, but boy what a difference it made. The cheap speakers now sounding like ones 4-5 times their price!
It goes to show the power and adaptability the GSX can give you with different headset and speaker combos!
The GSX1000 is visually stunning and really intuitive to use. Yes some of the modes do over process certain elements, but it is all about finding the right balance for your output device be it headset or speakers.
Don’t get me wrong there are certainly better dedicated music DACS out there, but this is not where the GSX1000 is aimed at so for it perform well in this area as well as smash it out of the park in its gaming element, is quite amazing.
Fellow TC member Nath, is also lucky to have his ears soothed by the GSX and had this to say:
“Having used the EPOS | Sennheiser GSX1000 for nearly a year. I can safely say this one of the best if not the best gaming DACS at this price point.”
With all this in mind I have to award the EPOS | Sennheiser GSX1000 the Thumb Culture Platinum award!
Disclaimer: A review sample was received in order to write this review.