If you examine the current PC-gaming accessory market and you have tastes like mine, you may be disappointed. Many manufacturers of gaming accessories tend to throw as many buttons as they possible can on each of their device, offering an insane amount of customization. Unfortunately, this often comes at the cost of, in my opinion, good design and aesthetics. However, Logitech’s gaming accessories have consistently met with my praise. They often find the sweet spot between customization options and good design. So, naturally, I look at Logitech’s offerings when I entered the market for a gaming headset, and settled on the Logitech G930.
How did it fare? Read on to find out.
The G930 is an over-the-ear headset. The headband and ear cups are lined with extremely soft padding. Even during long gaming sessions, I had no problems with comfort while using the G930. It actually feels fantastic. However, the downfall of this extremely comfortable headset is the fact that the earcups aren’t ventilated at all. The result is often sweaty ears during longer gaming sessions. Perhaps this is Logitech’s way of making you take breaks for your health, and it isn’t such a big deal to me.
The earcups swivel to provide maximum flexibility, which also contributes to the comfort of the G930. While constructed out of all plastic, the headset doesn’t feel cheaply made; It’s weighted nicely. The left earcup features several buttons and a volume wheel. There are three programmable keys, which Logitech has dubbed “G” keys on almost all of its gaming accessories. Using the included software (Windows only; sorry Mac gamers), you can program each key to open iTunes or another media player, or morph your voice (the software includes several annoying voices like an alien, space squirrel, etc.). Furthermore, there’s a hotkey mute button if you need to mute the headphones themselves.
The microphone of the G930 is top-notch. It’s easily adjustable and looks great. One of my favorite features of the G930 is the quick microphone mute option. Simply rotating the microphone into an “up” position will automatically mute the microphone. Say, for example, someone walks into the room and is talking to you. All you need to do is flip the microphone up to ensure that your conversation isn’t transmitted across the Internet. The microphone has a red LED light at the end to indicate when the microphone is muted.
The side of the left earcup features the power button and Dolby Surround Sound switch. Yep, these bad boys support Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, and they sound fantastic. In my experience, you can easily identify where things are relative to your position in the game. However, if you’re running in wireless mode, you’ll notice slighty worse battery life when compared to not using Surround Sound, but that’s to be expected. Logitech claims about 10 hours of battery life. Unfortunately, I didn’t get near that. With Surround Sound enabled and using the device wirelessly, I averaged about six hours before I got the warning that I had one more hour of battery life. Still though, the battery life is impressive for a wireless device transmitting Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound.
The G930 is one of Logitech’s two wireless offerings for headsets. Consequently, you’ll be required to find a place to set the wireless trasmitter. There is, however, a wired option available via plugging the mini-USB cable into the headset and the charging station. The charging station is an interesting piece of hardware in itself. The base of the station is actually a spool to keep the excess USB cable wound up. This is very functional, but not very pretty. However, I’m having a hard time thinking of a better solution. The top of the base station features a USB 2.0 port for the G930 wireless transmitter. The dongle itself features an LED light to indicate whether or not you’re connected.
The software Logitech includes with the G930 is pretty generic: an overly-designed piece of software that has a few features that you’ll likely enable once and then just forget about them. Within the program, you can assign functions to your “G” keys, morph your voice, and enable surround sound. I’ve opened it once, set it up how I pleased, and haven’t opened it since. Designing software for a gaming accessory isn’t easy, I’m sure, but the design of the program alone makes me not want to open it any more than I have to.
My biggest annoyance I have with the G930 is the effort to turn off microphone monitoring. It makes communicating during a game very hard when I immediately hear my own voice through the headphones after I say something. I’ve search the web for an easy solution to this, but about the only thing I’ve found is to actually tinker within Control Panel’s sound settings and disable the microphone playback. It’s really unfortunate that Logitech didn’t include a checkbox in their software to disable microphone monitoring. Like a lot of things on Windows, albeit unfortunate, there are far too many steps to complete something so simple.
At the end of the day, the Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset is a good product. The sound and design are quite fantastic. And although there are a few annoyances such as the non-ventilated earcups and the microphone monitoring issue, the G930 is a great alternative to more expensive (read: Astro) gaming headsets. You can check the G930 on Logitech’s website for $159.99.
Pros: Great design and sound.
Cons: Earcups aren’t ventilated, turning off microphone monitoring is more difficult than it should be, but this is a fault of Windows, not Logitech.