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MSI has launched its next pair of headphones, the MSI GH61 gaming headset. It’s a headset that sets out to provide immersive, polished, and clear sound. Is this all true? We snagged a set to try for ourselves, so let’s see if these are as good as the hype suggests.

Daily usage and streaming

If you’re looking for a great headset to up your streaming game, the MSI GH61 is a good choice. It’s comfortable, reasonably lightweight, and can be worn comfortably for hours. The microphone is good quality too, and for those streamers in the house, don’t worry. The microphone is retractable which is perfect for livestreaming. It doesn’t tuck all the way in, but it’s enough to be inconspicuous if you’re using another microphone. The headset’s controls are also perfect for streaming. More about that further on.

MSI GH61 gaming headset
Unboxing the MSI GH61 gaming headset. Everything you need in one convenient pouch.

The headset itself is soft and comfortable. If you value choice, there’s two different types of earcup to choose from included in the package. One set is protein leather which is soft and comfortable, but can get hot and sticky in summer. Then there’s the fabric material, which is more breathable. The GH61 itself is a sleek, neat headset that doesn’t stand out too much. It’s all one color (or rather shade) with no accents or additional colors on show. If you like RGB and the customization it brings, then stay away from the MSI GH61. There’s no lights on this headset whatsoever, which does provide a sleek if unremarkable look. It doesn’t even feature a light to indicate the headset is on, although this is a wired headset so you probably don’t need an LED indicator.

Also included is a neat little carry case; because we can totally get outside and travel right now…well hopefully again sometime soon. Anyway, this carry pouch fits everything you need, including the spare ear cups. It’s sleek and minimalist, just like the headphones, with no accent colors and just one shade. The headset fits really snug inside this case, due to its folding design. Both earcups fold upwards making these headphones super compact for portability.

MSI GH61 gaming headset
Everything you need fits snug into the case. There’s also a handle for easy carrying.

USB Sound Card

The MSI GH61 headset comes with a couple of connection options. It has both USB output via the USB sound card, and 3.5mm with the standard audio line. This means the GH61 can be used on PC, laptop, and any device with a standard headphone jack. If you use the standard audio line, you’ll experience the virtual 7.1 surround sound audio. However, if you plug it into the USB sound card on a PC, you’ll instantly receive better sound.

The core upside to using USB, is clearer audio with the sound card than without, and this is typical for other headsets too. The controls on this particular sound card are really simple and easy to use. Its large buttons are ideal for streaming, and you don’t need to look away from your screen to quickly mute, adjust the volume, or enable the 7.1 virtual surround card. The sound card is probably my favorite piece of tech built into the MSI GH61 gaming headset.

If you haven’t tried a sound card, you need to give it a test drive. The MSI sound card also has a clip so you can attach it to your clothing or even mouse mat, so it’s always handy when you need to adjust the sound.

Easy to use software

This headset uses something called Nahimic software for audio customization. It’s built for a variety of audio devices and is available on Windows 10. The software is built into Windows itself, and all you need to do is plug in your headset and your system should detect it. There will be a number of features you can change in here. The main options you want to look at are the gaming experience and 3D sound. You can really hear the sound coming from a particular direction, which is great whether you’re watching a movie, or more importantly, hunting an enemy in the likes of Valorant or CS:GO.

Check out the various settings you can change for your gaming profile. (Image: screenshot from app).

This software allows you to change so much from various gaming and movie profiles, to voice chat options. You can change the sound to your preference, and even test it directly from the app. Like your movies a little more bass-y? Then pump up the bass on your movie profile. What about being able to distinctly hear footsteps from various directions in your game while having in-game voices turned down? You can do that too. The software is also designed to work with various other headsets. This means you can test out the app before purchasing a new headset, like the GH61. Check the Nahimic website to see a list of compatible devices.

However, unless you have the MSI GH61 or another surround sound option, you won’t be able to utilise the 7.1 surround on offer here. Believe me when I say that this virtual sound surround is pretty epic. It makes such a difference to the depth and clarity of sound. If you want this experience, you’ll need the GH61 headset, or another comparable surround sound device.

Picking up the MSI GH61 gaming headset

I suppose the biggest drawback to these headphones is the fact that they aren’t wireless. Many gamers and streamers are looking for wireless peripherals in order to reduce cables and general clutter. However, if you still value not having to charge your headphones every couple of days, then the MSI GH61 is a great choice. Just give the thick, braided audio cables some time to straighten out, and you can start experiencing quality sound. If this sounds like something you’d be into, then you can grab it now. The headset is available at $109.00 USD ($199.00 AUD) and it’s worth checking the MSI website to find a seller near you. If MSI’s full range interests you, check out the other cool peripherals recently announced by the company, including a new mechanical keyboard and its new ultra lightweight gaming mouse.

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