There’s an ongoing debate to be had over which gaming peripheral is the most important to a successful gamer’s setup. While having a mediocre mouse or keyboard can limit a player’s ability in-game, I’d argue that the quality of the headset you have has the highest impact on overall game enjoyment.
Whether it’s hearing in-game cues like enemy footsteps and subtle changes to a musical arrangement or being able to communicate key callouts and general banter with friends, a good headset can mean the difference between gaming goodness and frustration. The ATH-GL3 falls into that gaming goodness category, as its lightweight design and solid sound range make for a solid gaming headset, at a reasonable price.
Straight out of the box, the ATH-GL3 comes with a mic attachment, 3.5 mm TRRS cable, and a split mic and headset cable. There are no real frills to be found and that’s fine because most of the add-ons included in headphones packages are thrown out anyway. The box design is quite striking, as it features a stylized mountain, complete with subtly rich colours.
“The ATH-GL3 falls into that gaming goodness category, as its lightweight design and solid sound range make for a solid gaming headset, at a reasonable price.”
I bring up the box design because the actual headset is a bit of a let-down visually. The Audio Technica ATH-GL3 is almost completely black, with a touch of gamer blue on the headphone wires and a classy white Audio Technica logo on the left ear. They’re not bad to look at, but they’re nowhere near as inspired as the box they come in. The blue wires are also a bit strange as they break up the sleek black look that the ATH-GL3 has going for it with a touch of GamerTM flare that feels out of place.
While it’s not all that interesting to look at, the ATH-GL3 is lightweight and comfortable. Clocking in at around 235g, the ATH-GL3’s plastic construction is solid and smooth to the touch, with a premium feel to it. I was genuinely surprised at how lightweight the headset is while still feeling premium, as light headsets can sometimes feel cheap and toy-like.
Specs-wise, the ATH-GL3 features rather large 45 mm drivers and a frequency response range of 10-35,000 Hz. The range translates to a noticeably strong performance in the low and mid-range, which makes it perfect for multiplayer games that rely on noticing sound queues. Testing it with Apex Legends and CSGO, I was able to clearly hear enemy footsteps and react consistently to directional sounds.
“Audio Technica is known for making good headphones and the ATH-GL3 proves that they are also capable of making good gaming headsets too.”
Similarly solid is its performance when listening to music. I tested it while listening to We Are by Jon Batiste, Trans-Continental Hustle by Gogol Bordello and Time I by Wintersun, and it performed consistently well and rich throughout. The one area of weakness is in the higher range, as they suffer from a less exact sound that feels somewhat floaty. It’s something that you probably won’t notice all that much in day-to-day gaming, but still is lacklustre.
Speaking of lacklustre, the ATH-GL3’s mic is, well, about the same quality as most headset mics. It’s fine. It works if you’re talking to friends on Discord or taking part in a Zoom call, but I wouldn’t recommend using it to record a podcast or while streaming. Thankfully, it easily disconnects, and I ended up plugging the Audio Technica ATH-GL3 into my Rode NT-USB for the best comfort to sound experience.
My biggest gripe with the headset is the 3.5 mm cord. It’s strangely firm and gets in the way more often than any headset cord I’ve used before. If you try bending it, then it simply reverts into its original place and, while it’s durable, it’s also just annoying.
That annoyance aside, the ATH-GL3 is a solid lower mid-range headset that’s worth considering at its $99.99 USD price tag. Its lightweight design and solid sound profile make it great for long gaming sessions, even if its design and mic quality isn’t all that exciting. Audio Technica is known for making good headphones and the ATH-GL3 proves that they are also capable of making good gaming headsets too.