Logitech G930 Headset – Sleek and Powerful for the PC
When you’re at home, at a friend’s house, or on the road with laptop in tow, quality of sound will make or break your gaming experience. It can determine whether you become totally immersed in the magical world that’s trying to pull you into the screen in front of you, or make you want to tear your ears off in frustration. And while having a full blown 7.1 surround sound theatre system hooked to your PC can make those Call of Duty or (in my case, yes I’m still playing it) Unreal Tournament sessions epic, there are those times when your significant other or (in the case of the other 32% of our audience’s demographic) parents want some peace and bloody quiet. Fortunately for us, Logitech has a powerful solution to make everyone happy; the Logitech G930 Wireless 7.1 Surround Headphones.
I’m going to get this out of the way right now. Compared to my Turtle Beach Xbox 360 headphones, these Logitech cans are downright sexy. The sleek design makes them look like they might be a headset found in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor, rather than something that would be waiting for you patiently in your gamer chair when you get home. The black and charcoal color scheme coupled with the perfectly mated and matched components make the G930 headset look professional, lightweight, and made of stellar quality. The design alone puts my cherished ear caps to shame, and we haven’t even gotten to the features or sound quality yet.
On the left can you’ll find your controls. These include three custom settings buttons (more on these in a minute), a low profile volume reel, and a mute button for the microphone that flips up out of your way when it’s not needed. On the back of the can you’ll find your power button and a switch to quickly toggle between surround and stereo modes. Each control is easily accessible in locations that are so intuitive that you find yourself hardly thinking about using the controls when you actually need to fiddle with them. A light on the end of the microphone is also visible from the periphery to let you know if your mic is active or not.
Installation of the G930 headset is easy. Along with the driver for the USB transmitter/audio card, the software to customize your headset experience is installed as well. This gives you an exceptional level of control as it offers a fully customizable graphic equalizer to tune the headset to your liking. Also available are modifiable mappings for the G1, G2, and G3 buttons located on the side of the headset. These buttons are primarily designed for audio applications such as WinAmp, PowerDVD, or the G930 Headset console functions, however custom plugins can be built as well for your favorite program (although at the time of this writing I didn’t find anything for my Zune software. For shame Logitech! ). You can also select different presets for a voice morphing app to make you sound like an android, alien, or a space squirrel. While this is an amusing feature, it makes me glad that the price point essentially puts this function out of reach of those that would use it, like an eight year-old with a Call of Duty fetish.
Thankfully, for those of us who use netbooks, Logitech also has current drivers available for download on their website with the necessary applications to fully enjoy the device. I’ve had my fair share of problems with other devices that did not have drivers and apps available, making it frustrating to install on my Alienware M11x laptop as there isn’t any optical device to put a CD in. Download. Install. Done. If you’re an audiophile, you can tweak the headset to your liking, but for the regular person or someone that just doesn’t have the patience for tinkering; this headset comes out of the box ready to go. It doesn’t even need to be paired to the transmitter.
The USB transmitter/sound card is fairly compact being less than 2 inches long and half an inch wide. However, it does make me nervous to have it hanging off the side of my laptop when I’m on a plane or a bus, as it does stick out far enough that if the person next to you wasn’t paying attention (and we can safely assume that most people don’t) that it could be easily brushed against, breaking or damaging the transmitter and possibly doing damage to your laptop as well. It would have been nice if Logitech had some method for it to fold vertically to lessen the likelihood of this occurring, but they didn’t, and we’ll just have to pray that someone sitting next to us isn’t clumsy or feels like doing that awkward snuggling thing that they do when they fall asleep on a moving vehicle.
As I mentioned, the G930’s USB transmitter also sports a built-in sound card that, quite frankly, puts my onboard sound to shame (For shame Alienware!). While the out of the box configuration for the equalizer leaves everything set to mid-levels, once you customize it properly (and by that I mean my way), the bass becomes a thunderous boom while the highs clash brightly and deliver an experience that can only be described as overwhelmingly astonishing. Whether you’re playing WoW or Guild Wars, watching JJ’s Star Trek in all of its HD glory, or just listening to your favorite soundtrack, the only difference between these headphones and a full blown surround system is that you’ll notice the feeling of the cups around your ears with the former. And that’s only provided that you’re actually paying attention.
The G930 headset also sports a decent battery time with a solid 7 to 7.5 hours before the battery indicator starts bouncing up and down in the system tray. The recharge time however is slightly disappointing, as it seemed to take about two full hours to recharge them from a completely drained state. You can use them while they’re being charged via the included USB cable of course, but an annoyance is the location of the USB port on the headphones at the bottom of the left can which causes the cable to constantly brush against your shoulder while you’re playing. While this may not bother some people, I can’t imagine that the average gamer, especially those competitive types, would enjoy the feeling of randomly being tapped on the shoulder while you’re hunting down that jerk with the shotgun that’s been giving you a bad day.
All things considered, the Logitech G930 headset is a phenomenal piece of equipment for the price. 7.1 surround that delivers quality audio content with a gorgeous look that says that you’re serious about your game. At a retail of $159, this headset really stands out among others. The only real disappointment with the G930 is that it is available only for the PC. If this headset were to hit the console markets, Logitech just might cause the execs at Turtle Beach and Razer to start investing in Pepto-Bismol and Prevacid.
The Logitech G930 Headset receives a 4.50/5.
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