User Experience and Conclusion
The first impression we get from the PC 363D is pretty standard. The packaging is decent but not particularly stand out and the bundle nothing out of the ordinary with Sennheiser choosing, on this model, not to include travel pouch, stickers etc. which some competitors offer. Looking at the headset itself, again there isn't anything particularly notable about it... the PC 363D is very much a plastic and padding product with no notable metal sections but that said it is a very sturdy headset which is important. The ear cups also feel high quality with their velvet finish and the braided cable adds an extra level of quality to the whole product which is backed by a 2-year warranty.
In terms of design there is a lot to like about the PC 363D. Volume on the ear cup and the raise to mute mic as two examples are great features, far better than buttons half way down the cable and the variable angles on the ear cups make for a very comfortable fit. The headband is also padded well to ensure the headset is comfortable to wear over longer PC sessions. In addition to that the open ear-cup design and velvet finish ensure our ears remain reasonably cool. This does lead to one love it or hate it aspect... a lot of sound passes in and out of the PC 363D (and every other open design headset). That means the potential is there to annoy people nearby, though we can also hear what is going on around us without removing the headset should we pause our audio.
How could Sennheiser improve the customer experience? A nice simple link to download the driver/control panel on their product page would be one example... a removable/replaceable cable is another but these are only minor issues.
Looking at audio performance the noise cancelling microphone is one of the better headset parts around. Based around the same tech as the PC 360 the quality experienced in game was praised by our colleagues and team members which is all we can ask for. The audio reproduction when gaming was also very impressive with and without the USB soundcard; in fact right up there with the best we have experienced to date on a gaming product. There is the same exceptional clarity we found on the PC 360 backed by plenty of power and with the USB 7.1 audio enabled a very spacious sound which benefits the gameplay experience. As with previous Sennheiser products we also noted during our testing that the headset is capable of producing a very loud level of volume and strong bass.
Continuing on that great performance the experience when watching a movie/concert or when listening to music was fantastic for a "gaming" headset. Every aspect which we look for was present from clarity/detail to power and spacious sound... the type of experience which makes you want to keep listening to more and more content.
So that brings us to value where the PC 363D doesn't come cheap at $299. We are getting a high quality product though and one with a USB soundcard which does account for some of the cost but we feel Sennheiser could be a little more aggressive in their pricing. It is however worth noting that the PC 363D does offer some extra flexibility by not hard wiring the headset to the USB soundcard which means we can also use it on our tablet, phone, etc... though this also gives Sennheiser more reason to include a travel pouch, maybe even a 3.5mm to 6.3mm (1/4inch) convertor.
By taking the great product that is the PC 360 and evolving it to create the PC 363D Sennheiser have created one of the best gaming headsets around. Decent build quality and features mixed with fantastic audio quality.