Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 Review
Logitech have been making computer peripherals for as long as I can remember (and yes, I know that’s a long time, no ageist comments please! 🙂 ) and throughout my computing experience I have normally had at least one Logitech product in use at any time. I currently have two Logitech products in use at present, a Logitech G15 Keyboard and G5 Mouse, please see my rig page for details. It will be interesting to see how the Logitech G930 Headset compares with my current headset, a Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1.
The Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 comes in a well packaged retail box which shows the left ear piece and USB transmitter through a transparent window which is neatly aligned with a picture of the other side of the headset. The rear of the box provides an overview of the main features of the headset.
Inside the box you will find the headset, USB transmitter and a full-speed USB charging base.
The documentation pack contains a Getting Started Guide, Important Information and End-Of-Life battery disposal information sheet and a driver CD.
At the time of the review the Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 was retailing for approximately £135.
Specifications / Features
- Frequency response: 18 – 28.000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 112 dB
- Cable length: 1 + 2 = 3 m (9,8 ft.)
- Jacks: 3,5 mm
- Ear cup: up to 26 dB noise isolation
- Driver: laser-tuned; 40 mm diameter with neodymium magnet; 15mm diameter voice coil with ferrofluid damping
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Pickup pattern: cardioid (unidirectional)
- Type: pressure gradient electret condenser
- Frequency response: 100 Hz– 75 kHz
- Connection: 2.4 GHz RF
- Range: up to 40 feet (12 meters)
- Audio stream: uncompressed 48 kHz
- Reception: dual antenna
- Interference resistance: forward error correction and dynamic channel selection
- Continuous playback time: up to 10 hours per charge
- Charging connection: full-speed USB; charge-while-playing enabled
- Charge time: 2.5 hours or less (longer when in use)
- Volume roller: 80,000 revolutions (minimum)
- Button: 50,000 presses (minimum)
- Headband slide: indexed stainless spring steel
- Ear cup rotation joint: aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
I must admit that once the items are removed from the box it doesn’t look like you’re getting much for your money!
The USB transmitter is just slightly longer than a standard size (physical) USB Flash Drive and is used in connection with the USB full-speed charging base.
The full-speed USB Charging base (I don’t know why, but I have to smile every time I say full-speed USB charging base, why the marketing people feel they need to say full-speed and I haven’t got a clue but it makes me smile) is made of solid plastic which houses the USB connection to the PC and the mini USB charging wire used to charge the headset. According to the instructions this can also be used to charge the headset whilst it is in use. The length of the charging base’s USB connection is 130 cm (approx) and the charging wire is 180 cm (approx). My only concern is the 130cm cable for the USB connection, it may be a little short if you have your PC beneath a desk and want to have the charging base near your monitor or position it up high on a shelf. As I have my gaming rig on the desk to the right of me it doesn’t present any issues for me.
On picking up the headset you will be pleasantly surprised at how light it is, it only weighs 330 grams (including battery) compared to 370 grams for the Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1. The immediate concern is how flimsy the headset feels. The specifications indicate that the headband / slide is made of stainless steel and the ear cup rotation joints are made from aircraft-grade aluminium; hopefully both of these will be strong enough for the long gaming sessions ahead.
The microphone is mounted on a soft plastic boom which is attached to the left ear piece. From my initial inspection it looks sufficiently long enough to position the microphone to the left side of my mouth.
The headband of the headset has a small foam insert which is about 15cm long by 1cm wide (to 1.5cm in the centre). This looks small in comparison to the rest of the headband.
It’s nice to see that Logitech provide information on how to remove and replace the lithium-ion battery from the right ear piece and provide information on how the battery should be recycled.
The rest of the interesting buttons/wheels on the headset will have to wait until I have installed the software to see how they function…
The Logitech G930 headset will be tested using my rig running windows 7 64bit (service pack 1) with all relevant drivers installed.
The following games / applications will be used to test the headset
Battlefield 3 (surround sound)
Media Player 11 – Music (stereo sound)
Hardware / Software Installation
My current headset doesn’t come with any software as it connects to the motherboard’s 5.1 sound system. The Logitech G930 on the other hand is a 7.1 surround sound system. This sound is provided by the Dolby Surround Sound software drivers provided with the headset.
At this point I feel it is worth highlighting the differences between the 2 headsets.
|Headset||Speakers per Ear||Sound Source||Connection Type|
|Logitech G930 7.1 Headset||1||Dolby Surround Sound Driver||Wireless via 2.4ghz USB transmitter|
|Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1 Headset||4||RealTek Motherboard Sound Drivers||Wired to the Motherboards 5.1 sound output|
The first time I came to use the headset and install the software I unfortunately didn’t have an internet connection (one of the rare times my ISP was experiencing issues) so I decided I would install the software on the CD as I couldn’t check to see if there was a later version.
As I previously mentioned, I currently use a Logitech G15 keyboard and Logitech G5 Mouse as part of my rig. They are both using the latest drivers from the Logitech site.
The software provided on the disk installed with the normal ‘accept terms and conditions’, ‘select directory to install to’ etc, but then when attempting to connect to the headset an error was reported!? After waiting for my internet connection to come back I checked the Logitech Support site and noticed that a newer version of drivers for the headset did exist. What was interesting at this point was the driver for the headset was consolidated as part of the Logitech Gaming Software which was already installed on my machine and in use with the G15 keyboard.
As the headset was failing to connect I had 2 possible issues
- The installation of the drivers on the CD has caused an issue with the existing Logitech Gaming Software
- The product itself is faulty
Assuming that the product was fine I decided to uninstall both versions of the software and then re-install the Logitech Gaming Software driver only. After connecting the headset I am happy to report that it connected to my rig instantly and sound was heard successfully through the headphones.
Unfortunately over the next 10+ days of testing I had major issues with the headphones and any application that was using surround sound. I never identified the exact problem, but it was very easy to know that the problem was occurring as all the sound was being output to the right ear piece. If you switched the headset back to stereo then the sound was fine, switch it back to surround sound and the problem would reoccur.
One day the headphone worked perfectly and the surround sound was good. The next day surround sound didn’t work and regardless of what I tried I couldn’t get it to work. Some days a reboot would resolve the issue, on other days it didn’t.
After numerous days I decided to re-install windows 7 on my rig and try the headset after installing the Logitech Gaming Software, which I am happy to report solved the issue.
Lesson learnt from this is that the driver CD supplied may be better as a drinks coaster, although to be fair I haven’t tested the CD supplied drivers on a machine that didn’t have an installation of the consolidated software on it; and having rebuilt my machine twice for this review already, I wasn’t about to rebuild it again…
The full-speed USB charging base was connected to my rig via the USB cable and the headset was connected via the mini USB cable. Once connected the headset started to charge the battery.
If you have used the Logitech Gaming Software driver for another Logitech product then you may possibly wonder where the application settings are for the headset.
This is the opening screen I received when clicking on the Logitech Gaming Software after installing the G930 headset. This is the exact same screen I received prior to installing the headset. The only difference is the small upward arrow on the small picture of the keyboard, indicating that another product is installed. If this button is clicked the button expands to show a picture of the headset.
Once you click on the picture of the Headset the software will display the home page for the headset.
This screen shows the Logitech G930 headset with the various buttons and wheels highlighted. The other pages may be selected from the buttons on the bottom of the screen or by clicking the relevant highlighted option.
The 3 Logitech G Keys (left ear-cup) can be programmed to perform various actions by dragging the commands from the left hand drop down to the relevant key on the picture. Up to 6 profiles can be created so that you don’t have to continue to change the keys for different games.
Personally I only used this for testing the headphones when listening to music, when playing a game like Battlefield 3 I don’t tend to take my fingers away from the keyboard or mouse. I can’t think of any use for this in a game, but based upon the testing with media player I am happy to say the software works as intended.
The Logitech Gaming Software provides 2 options for enhancing sound
- A simple interface which allows you to adjust bass and treble independently
- An advanced setting, which provides you with an 11 band graphics equaliser
The advanced setting can be activated by the ‘On’ button which is a nice option to allow you to use the advanced setting for one application and the simple setting for another. Personally I would have preferred Logitech to provide a profiles option here as depending upon how you set the advanced setting you can cause major speaker buzz as the speakers in the headset can’t cope with the frequency of the sound being output! I found this particularly annoying as I could set the graphics equaliser to sound perfect for Battlefield 3 (well to me anyway) which would then cause massive speaker buzz and frequency cut out when playing a music track with any real bass.
It’s also worth noting that the software doesn’t remember the volume of the headset when it is next used. I suspect this is a software safety feature to prevent your ears being blasted out etc when joining a game perhaps. Under normal circumstances I would consider this an issue, but with a volume switch roller on the left ear piece it is easy enough to rectify.
This screen allows you to test the surround sound by clicking on the ‘Experience surround sound’ button. It also allows you to adjust the surround sound speaker sound levels independently. Each value can be set between 0 and 11 (for the older gamers out there I wonder if this is some reference to ‘This is Spinal Tap’?). On my current headset I deliberately set the rear speakers 1 level higher to stop people sneaking up for knife kills, but with the Logitech G930’s I haven’t needed to adjust anything, but it’s nice to know the option is there if it’s required.
Out of the box this screen allows you the ability to select 6 different options to change your voice electronically. The options are
- Space Squirrel
And then adjust the pitch of the voice over a range of six options from Lowest, Very Low, Low, High, Very High and Highest.
Additional voices may also be purchased.
Once a voice is selected you can either select another voice or deselect it to return to your own voice. This option also provides a ‘Voice Preview’ so you can hear how your voice sounds when one of the options has been selected. In theory this should just replay your own voice back through the headphones, but somewhere in the Logitech software it manages to upset the noise cancelling aspect of the microphone. For example when I have had this option ticked, other people (through Ventrilo) were reporting that they could hear the keys of my keyboard, when it is unticked no keyboard noise could be heard!? The voice avatars can be configured to be used with the G-Keys.
I often leave my office, which is at the front of the house and go to the kitchen which is at the rear of the house wearing the headset. This means that the wireless signal has to travel through two brick walls and 1 partition wall over a distance of approximately 10 meters. Throughout this journey the signal remains strong and I am able to listen to and communicate to other people currently online / in game etc. When the headset loses signal connectivity the headset will beep once and then beep again when it reconnects. I have only found this to occur when there is electrical interference which in this case is caused by my Daewoo American fridge freezer. If I go within a meter of the fridge freezer the headset beeps to let you know that it has lost connection, once I move away from the fridge freezer it beeps and re-establishes connection very quickly! My only complaint with the connection loss and reconnect is that if you had previously muted the microphone prior to the disconnection you’ll find that it is re-enabled (un-muted) once the headset reconnects (you have been warned! ;-)).
The initial charge took more than 4 hours to register as fully charged. Subsequent charges have taken just under 3 hours on my rig rather than the estimated 2 ½ hours!
To be honest unless my rig’s PSU is switched off there is always power to the USB connections. I just ensure that the transmitter base is connected to one of these and I can leave the headset connected during the day to charge. During my time with the G930s I can happily say that the battery does indeed last for the 10 hours claimed by Logitech.
The small foam band under the headband is surprisingly comfortable considering the size of it. I expect this is helped by how light (330 grams) the headset is.
The plush, noise-isolating ear pads are made of the same foam but are covered in a ‘pleather’ material (synthetic plastic leather is the best way I can describe it). This is extremely comfortable and seems to allow heat to escape during long gaming sessions. My only complaint with it is it squeaks when in contact with the frame of my glasses. This only occurs when you move your head quickly or rotate your jaw. This is something which I haven’t experienced before and suspect it is down to the material on the ear piece. My Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1 headset has a velvet material covering the ear piece which doesn’t squeak but can cause my ears to sweat during long gaming sessions.
Over several long gaming sessions I can report that I didn’t experience any unpleasantness with wearing the Logitech G930’s. In fact based upon the lightness of the headset you do tend to forget that you are even wearing them.
The plastic boom was easy to bend and get into the optimum position (for me) and also there wasn’t any cracking type noises that are often associated when bending plastic style microphones. The plastic does tend to straighten after being left in a warm room though, unfortunately my study can hit 26 degrees centigrade when the door is closed and I have been gaming for a while.
The microphone will auto mute when the boom is moved into the upright position. This works fine and is a nice touch to ensure the microphone is muted if you need privacy for a few minutes. Be warned though that depending upon how you have bent the microphone boom it can catch on glasses when you move it into the upright position. The microphone can also be muted in position by clicking the mute button on the left ear piece.
When muted a small red light lights up just above the microphone. The light is nicely positioned for you to be able to see it and it isn’t too bright that it puts you off gaming. In fact I have been playing and talking for a while sometimes before noticing that I have previously muted the microphone. It’s also worth noting that the Mute button on the headset only mutes the microphone on the headset. It doesn’t actually mute your PC. i.e. if you’re using an application, say Ventrilo you will notice that according to Ventrilo you are showing as able to speak.
Other than the issue noted with the Voice Preview in the avatars software page the noise cancellation aspect of the microphone performs as expected. I normally have another office PC running which has numerous fans running and I don’t hear any of them whilst using the microphone. With other headsets if someone prints while I’m gaming I normally hear this occurring, with this headset I do not.
On – Off Switch / Surround Sound – Stereo Switch
The on-off switch is positioned on the rear of the left ear piece. To switch the headset on or off you need to hold the switch for 3 seconds approximately. The surround sound switch is just located under the on-off switch. This allows you to listen to music in stereo without the Logitech software trying to convert it to 7.1 surround sound. My only complaint is that due to the close proximity of these switches you can occasionally find yourself in another sound mode by having accidently caught the switch when switch the headset on or off.
The overall sound quality is clear and faithful to the original, but unfortunately it is flat and has very little depth to it when compared to a headset with multiple speakers in each ear piece (like my Speedlink Medusa NX 5.1 headset). This can be compensated for to some extent with the advanced 11 band graphics equaliser provided, but with the issues as noted above.
You can occasionally get a feedback loop when changing levels or leaving a game i.e. in Battlefield 3 I have had the sound of the last sentence another player has spoken over Ventrilo repeated a few times until the software catches up. I have never experienced this with my current headset. If you check the specifications of my rig I don’t believe it to be a performance issue but more of a software issue with the Logitech Gaming Software.
This headset is extremely comfortable to wear and for long gaming sessions that is a big plus. The 10+ hour battery life means that you can have a seriously long wireless gaming session without the worry of the battery failing.
The Logitech Gaming Software can be configured to ensure you get the best out of the headset for the game / music that you are currently listening to; unfortunately the lack of profiles on the sound adjustment page to me is one of the headset / software’s faults. If Logitech could add this to the software then the main problem of sound depth could be alleviated somewhat.
The biggest benefit and I suspect the main reason why anyone would want this headset is the fact that it is wireless. In this Logitech have produced a product which works flawlessly (unless you have a Daewoo Fridge Freezer and you can’t blame Logitech for that!), OK the microphone mute un-muting when moving out of range is annoying but that’s a minor point in comparison to not being tethered to your desk / rig.
The only real issue I have with the Logitech G930 7.1 headset is its price. If the sound had the clarity and depth of a multiple speaker headset then I don’t think I would hesitate in keeping them. With that in mind I now have the difficult choice of staying with the Logitech G930 7.1 wireless headset or going back to my trusty (but wired) Medusas…