Great looks, durable and affordable. The AOC GH200 is a great first entry into the budget headset market
- Manufacturer : AOC
- Platforms: Multiplatform
- Reviewed on: Xbox SX, PC, Mobile, PS4
- Price: £39.99 MSRP
- Supplied by: AOC
AOC GH200 Review
AOC made their first entries into the gaming peripherals market with the GH300 and GH200, carrying their penchant for quality and affordability into both. The GH200 is the cheaper and more versatile brother to the GH300, boasting nearly the exact same specs bar a few minor tweaks.
Looks-wise the GH200 is classically stylish, reminiscent of high-end media headsets with its large round cups and contrasting slim frame. The headband is a slim durable band wrapped in leatherette, with a decent pad of cushioning on the bottom, the AOC text embossed on the top and finished off with black stitching along the edge rather than the red as seen on the GH300.
Subjectively, it could be viewed as basic, but in my eyes, the design has been well balanced. The headband is nice enough to maintain AOC quality but not standoutish enough to take away from the overall clean aesthetics and take eyes away from the real star of the show, the ear cups.
The headband sits right in the spot of not too little, but not too much. Comfort was no issue, the padding was sufficient and I never really felt any concern with it even after hours of it pressing against my head.
The headband ends in two brushed aluminium cup holders, and these are one of my favourite design choices on the GH200; opting for metal is always a winner for me. The look and feel of metal are unbeatable. It looks good in any setting, it’s sleek, slim and above all else durable.
The whole piece is also finished in a brushed gunmetal grey, contrasting with the GH300 that is finished in red. The grey to me is a huge plus, it looks great and will fit in with any setup aesthetic.
Both adjustment points are located on the forks; at the top, it will slide in and out of the band with notches to help you accurately adjust both sides, and there is also some swivel on the bottom. The only downside of the stunning design is the lack of horizontal pivot on the cups. A solid piece of metal looks great, feels great and will undoubtedly survive longer than any plastic, but it does limit ergonomic adjustment.
I always find that the give in any headset with no pivot is not quite enough for me, and I need large cushions to compensate for that. The GH200 is no different, and it doesn’t have quite enough to seal perfectly around my ears. This is of course very subjective and dependent on each person’s anatomy but I always like to pivot, as it allows the clamping force to be applied evenly and properly.
The GH200 is by no means uncomfortable because of this and it affects actual performance in no way. But on a multiplatform headset that I’d happily take on the go with my phone, Switch or laptop, having cups that can pivot means I can angle one cup back to free one ear or turn the cups so that they face inwards and I can rest the headset around my neck comfortably.
The star of the show
On to the star of the show – the earcups. The large round cups house two beefy 50mm drivers that truly embody AOC’s bang for your buck ethos. These drivers deliver a great soundstage with no bass boost that I could detect, huge props to AOC for that. On a USB headset with a customizable EQ, the audio tuning is not too much of an issue as you can change it but with the GH200 being a 3.5mm connected headset it’s imperative that it have a decent tune, and it did not disappoint.
Having tried it on a fair few games it’s safe to say that within this price range the GH200 is punching with the best of them. Screaming down the motorway in Forza Horizon 4 or manoeuvering your way around the battlefield in Warzone, the GH200 delivers clean audio with great directional positioning. The soundstage is also surprisingly wide, and I have had no issue with audio accuracy with the GH200. It may lack the software boost you would usually get with USB headsets like the GH300 but it’s a small compromise for the versatility that comes with having a mostly universal 3.5mm jack.
Design-wise the cups look fantastic, again giving me a sleek high-end media headset vibe. They are large and round with a circular frill at the centre of each cup. The main body is a nice black plastic, the grill is black metal and just behind it, you will see the silver AOC text logo.
Unlike the GH300 the logo is not RGB, it is just silver and painted on. I can’t say I see that as a negative, as overall the GH200 doesn’t need RGB. The aesthetic of the headset as it with the more muted palette in comparison to the GH300 would sway me more to them despite the loss of software support. Plus, as I stated before, I don’t think they need the software all that much as they perform great as they are.
Next up is the gooseneck style microphone that extends out of the left cup and ends in a cylindrical housing. It is fairly small and manoeuvrable, and I love how flexible it is, allowing me to position it near perfectly with ease.
The mic fits in with the aesthetic of the GH200 but the audio quality is not quite on par with the rest of the headset. I found that it was ok for the most part, but as with most headset mics, it clips fairly easily leading to some muddy coms especially when it is used by a user with a deeper voice.
The mic is also quite short, it doesn’t pose too much of an issue with pickup but I always prefer that the mic’s length allow it to end closer toward the centre of your mouth than at the corner where the GH200’s mic does. I would say it’s an average mic, and it will do the job well enough.
Finally, the 2m long braided cable attaches to the left cup, with inline controls around a third of the way down. It has more than enough length for most users and terminates in a 3.5mm TRRS jack.
The cable is non-removable as you would expect from most headsets in the same price range though as it is braided and fairly beefy I can’t see it being much of a concern. I can’t see the cable fraying or getting damaged easily and needing to be replaced.
The inline controls, with the mute switch and volume wheel, are fairly slim, especially in comparison to the GH300. The volume scroller is my only nitpick as I always prefer a slightly larger scroll wheel with notches that give you some indication of how much adjustment you are making.
Overall the GH200 is a great headset, with stunning looks and a fantastic set of drivers that give it the edge over most budget multiplatform headsets that I have used over the years. The GH200 will have you covered no matter which platform you play on or what type of game you are stuck into.
For just £39.99, I would happily have the GH200 as my daily driver when I am out and about. I may even make them my go-to for events and play sessions.