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Logitech Artemis Spectrum G933/G633 Headset Review

Surround Effect and Listening Impressions

Going into this review I was curious as to just how convincing the G933/G633 headphones' 7.1 channel surround sound effect was going to be, considering these are producing all channels in the mix from a single driver per ear cup.

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With multiple headsets on the market featuring discrete drivers for the multi-channel mix, Logitech’s decision to opt for a standard stereo driver setup might seem odd for a flagship 7.1 product; but simulated surround is nothing new. Left/center/right positioning is simple to implement from stereo drivers, but is it really possible to convince a listener that a sound is coming from behind them?

The Surround Effect

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The surround channels presented to me as I listened through some home theater demo material were surprisingly accurate. Here's what I heard:

  • Center channel: Both drivers are used at equal volume, and no effects seem to be employed. Depending on how you hear mono this will seem to be directly in front of you, or perhaps in the center of your head.
  • Front left and right: The “center” channel is used to create the illusion that the speakers are actually in front, and not just in the extreme left and right. Thus, left is actually left-center; right is right-center. The feeling of a front left/right speaker is realized quite effectively.
  • Surround: The left and right surround channels in the mix are simply the untouched L and R channels from what I could tell. With “front” L/R using the center channel to make the sound feel forward, the surround L/R sounds like it’s coming directly from your sides. Which, of course, it is.
  • Rear surround: As these are 7.1 headphones there must be a rear surround, and this back L/R effect is less effective. Unlike the front L/R effect it was harder for me to place where the sound was coming from, as the rear surround was just distinct enough for me to determine that it was different (it almost sounded like it was below my ears); but I never had the impression that the sound was behind me.
  • Subwoofer: In surround, the .1 (as in 5.1 or 7.1) is the discrete subwoofer channel, also known as LFE (low frequency effects). To that end the G933/G633 is still only working with a pair of 40 mm drivers, which are of course also charged with the reproduction of all other frequencies at the same time. How did the headsets do? Bass is certainly not exaggerated but still very good; extended, dynamic, and controlled. I would equate the sound to a very good pair of full-range loudspeakers, but they fell short of a dedicated sub (individual levels can be adjusted to taste).

Overall the surround effect was really good - and far better than I expected. I'd equate the experience to a really good sound bar. Nothing beats well set up discrete drivers in a home theater, but a sound bar can give you a nice front surround effect (and sometimes more). For a pair of stereo headphones to provide a convincing surround effect is very impressive, and a testament to the surround effects from Dolby and DTS. Even though I didn't find the “rear surround” for a 7.1 mix convincing, the 5.1 performance overshadowed this.

Dolby vs. DTS Headphone:X

To briefly compare the two available options, the effect using the Dolby setting was less spacious, but perhaps more directionally accurate. With DTS Headphone:X, I felt the effect was a more three-dimensional than the Dolby setting. DTS Headphone:X offers a pair of options to let users customize the simulated “width” of the sound field, but even at its default it was very wide, and actually made Dolby seem rather flat by comparison. However, when listening critically to material mixed in 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, the Dolby setting offered a surprisingly precise, directional surround.

In the end, for movies I preferred Dolby, and for gaming and all other content I preferred DTS Headphone:X, which was a little more exciting and spacious. This is all personal preference, of course.

Stereo Listening

Finally, I tried out Logitech's Pro-G drivers without any surround effects using some familiar source material. Both the G933 and G633 offer digital audio via USB (or wirelessly via 2.4 GHz with the G933), and also via a passive 3.5 mm audio input. Both headsets include the necessary 3.5 mm cable (which also contains an inline volume control and mic).

Before continuing I'll point out an interesting aspect of the design; the position of the 40 mm drivers, which are angled slightly in toward the ear.

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A view from the front actually shows the angle a bit better:

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Such an angle is used to great effect with the well-regarded Audio Technica AD700X, and helps to provide more realistic imaging (the positioning of the sounds within the virtual stereo stage) for those "audiophile" headphones. I was curious to see what effect it had with these headsets with 2-channel listening. To that end I began with both uncompressed (16-bit, 44.1 kHz) music from CD rips, and then on to compressed music via Amazon and YouTube. The sound from the internal DAC was admirable, with very good clarity and good dynamics.

Moving on to high-resolution music files required the use of the 3.5 mm input, which was fine with me as I needed to test this out anyway. It is unfortunate however that those seeking greater bit depth won't have a choice in the matter, as the internal DAC is unfortunately limited to 16-bit audio (with a sample rate of up to 96 kHz). This won't pose an issue to most users, but it's worth noting that a wired analog connection will be required for not only high-res music, but also to hear uncompressed 24-bit/48 kHz Blu-ray audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS Master Audio) without downsampling.

Use of the 3.5 mm analog audio input means the digital-to-analog conversion and amplification is going to occur at the source (i.e. your sound card or portable device), so the quality will vary. For this review I used my Calyx M as a source, a high-end digital audio player (DAP) with a Class A headphone amplifier. I used high resolution 24-bit (88.2 kHz and 96 kHz), as well as native DSD files for my listening sessions.

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The Calyx M DAP was used to test high-res music files

The word I thought of when attempting to describe the sound of the G933/G633 is "balanced". There was very little coloration to the sound; in this case, a slight rise in the midrange was all I could detect. Dynamic shifts where handled well, even complex passages were free of obvious congestion, and detail resolution was quite good. These didn't resolve the finest details from high-res music like a pair of 'audiophile' headphones in this price range can, but I found the slightly smooth presentation to lend itself well to modern music.

Overall, Logitech impressed me with their approach to the sound of these headphones. I would actually place these ahead of some dedicated stereo headphones I've owned for critical music listening, and they certainly offer a solid 2-channel experience that gets closer to the source than I would have expected from a "gaming" headphone.

Video News

February 23, 2016 | 09:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

do we need lights on everything...

February 23, 2016 | 09:21 AM - Posted by brisa117

They're easy enough to turn off.

February 23, 2016 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

with software

October 26, 2016 | 09:55 AM - Posted by Dongus Kongus (not verified)

Do we NEED lights on everything? no. Do we WANT lights on everything. Hell yeah

February 23, 2016 | 09:21 AM - Posted by brisa117

Nice review! I always love your pictures. I've had the 933 set since September of last year. They were my only "speakers" on my system until just about a week ago (in between houses). The sound quality is beyond amazing (unless you're a super picky audiophile). I walk around my entire house with minimal signal drop (2200 sq\ft house). They are pricey, but really cool. And as cliché as the buttons seem, they're handy for skipping, pausing, etc when listening to music. And although the mic isn't what I usually use -- I go for a blue yeti -- but the quality is decent and I like the mute function as you lift the mic arm.

Again, great review as always.

February 23, 2016 | 09:43 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Thanks! Glad you liked the review. I was really impressed with the sound myself, and I'm one of those "super picky audiophile" types you mention. :)

August 27, 2017 | 01:42 PM - Posted by Robb (not verified)

I've been using these for about an hour and the sound is ok but my friends tell me that the mic is terrible, and that it sounds like I'm speaking into a cup. so I'm not sure if I should return them or not. Any thoughts?

February 23, 2016 | 12:29 PM - Posted by DJ (not verified)

I actually have the G633's and I wouldn't buy another set ever. The software/driver is broken. I have constantly had issues with the headphones just crashing where I need to reconnect them to get them working again. Also parts of the EQ's functions in the software don't even work. If you take a look at their support forums they are filled with people having issues with the headsets, both types. When they work, their nice, but that's the issue... when they work.

February 23, 2016 | 01:00 PM - Posted by Mark D (not verified)

What games did you test with? In the short time I owned a pair I found out about their fatal flaw, that they only appear to Windows as a stereo headset, instead of a 5.1 device. A lot of games read the speaker setting from Windows and output based on that. This meant that for a majority of the games I played, virtual surround simply didn't work right because the driver was just upmixing a 2 channel signal from the game. In my experience 60-70% of games didn't work right, including new stuff like Witcher 3.

The Logitech forums are filled with people complaining about it, and logitech's response was simply to shrug and say "This is how Microsoft says to do it now." Whether or not that's true doesn't change the fact that they're incompatible with most games, so I returned it and never looked back. There's lots of other headsets and/or sound cards that don't have this issue.

February 23, 2016 | 02:12 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Windows will always display these as a 2-channel device, which is how they would operate without the LGS software installed. The software is approximating surround without dedicated multi-channel input, but that doesn't mean it ignores content mixed in multi-channel surround. You must be running the software and have one of the surround effects enabled before launching any content to hear these effects.

As to games, I tried out Witcher 3 myself, and directional surround effects worked as expected. Other games I tried while wearing the headphones were DiRT Rally, Project CARS, and Shadow of Mordor. Mordor was a standout, and as I moved voices and other effects would pan around the virtual mix as if there were dedicated channels. Witcher was easy to test as well. An example was dismounting walking away from my horse, and as I moved I could hear it drift from front, to left, to my rear; turning around placed the sounds from behind me back to the front.

Turning in a circle with your character where there's a lot of ambient noise (in a game mixed in surround) will give you a quick dose of the 3D effect. I was very skeptical going in, and it worked for me.

To verify that surround was working with encoded content I downloaded some Dolby demos, including the new Atmos stuff (though of course the height channels were not available), and played them back with VLC. In home theater setup material (where the channels are called out one by one), the center, front L/R, and L/R surround channels were all distinct. The only channel I found less convincing was rear L/R surround in a 7.1 mix.

February 26, 2016 | 02:04 PM - Posted by MarkD (not verified)

Checking their forums today it looks like they finally recognized and fixed the issue.

February 23, 2016 | 06:03 PM - Posted by ACEkombatkiwi (not verified)

Do the 933s still have the issue of turning off after 5 mins of no activity or has that been fixed, its really the only thing holding me back from buying these.

February 23, 2016 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Great question! I did some research, and it turns out Logitech just fixed this. I'm running the newest version of the Logitech Gaming Software (8.79.77), and on the "Customize Audio Experience" settings page there is a dropdown on the bottom right corner to change the timer.

I clicked on this with the G933 headset connected, and was prompted to update the firmware of the headphones. I had to connect them via USB, and the update finished in about a minute. Now I can set the timer anywhere from 5 min to 30 min - or choose "never" to keep them on all the time.

I wouldn't have discovered this without your question, so thanks! I'll update the wireless page on the review.

February 23, 2016 | 07:01 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

I hope that these don't have the quality issue that my 930's have with the pieces that hold the speakers on breaking. I bought these on Ryan's recommendation and love the sound on them, but worry about the quality of the build.
If these break I'll never buy Logitech headphones again.

February 23, 2016 | 07:07 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

The only con that I have with these headphones at present is that the USB connection is kind of difficult to plug in when in a low light environment.

February 23, 2016 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

This is why micro USB should always have been a reversible connector! Think of all of the time we waste trying to plug in a smartphone; fumbling in the dark. Apple got this right with the Lightning connector, but the USB Type-C connector should become standard soon enough. Fingers crossed.

February 23, 2016 | 11:09 PM - Posted by Matt (not verified)

I had a set of G930's that were great; but the usb port on the headset wore out and they refused to charge. Apparently this was a fairly widespread issue with the soldering. I wonder if they've solved that issue.

February 26, 2016 | 01:41 PM - Posted by demechman

Why can't we get a headset at this end of the spectrum that also has wireless charging or at least a charging cradle. While the battery life is commendable there is a likely chance you will forget to plug it in after a long session of use at some point in the future.

February 28, 2016 | 11:32 AM - Posted by Button Pusher (not verified)

Thank you very much for the review Sebastian, i have been seriously looking at the 933 for a wireless option that covers all my various audio needs. Your review has all but sold me on the product as it seems within my price range and is starting to look like the best option for me.

February 28, 2016 | 01:48 PM - Posted by GRPeng (not verified)

I have a few issues with these headphones: turning the headphones off won't release control of the audio to listen to speakers- I need to unplug the dongle, the range can easily be disrupted by large appliances (sound gets spotty when I am 20 feet away in the kitchen, with the dishwasher and fridge in between), and they slide off when I sit back in my recliner.

May 30, 2016 | 07:54 PM - Posted by TheTruth (not verified)

Sounds like your just a lazy sod

February 28, 2016 | 10:18 PM - Posted by Brandon M (not verified)

Thanks for the informative review and I'm glad it's from someone with experience with other audio products. That being said, I wish you would have dedicated a section to comparison to the older Logitech headsets. I've been using the G35s for six years and I'm curious how far Logitech has come in comparison with these brand new headsets vs the ancient G35 - leaps and bounds?

December 13, 2016 | 09:41 PM - Posted by Dan Lim (not verified)

G933 is garbage because when I plug in ASUS Xonar DX Sound Card, it produces static noises, and bass sound was very weak! So therefore, I returned it, and bought Logitech G230 Stereo Headset which has excellent stereo mix and bass was loud and clear, and it's much cheaper than G933! So I am very disappointed for paying over $150 including tax of G933. Luckily, I bought G230 Headset for $30 with discount promo code.

January 11, 2017 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi is there a way to get any tyoe of surround sound out of the G933 on ps4 doesnt have to be 7.1 .. at least 5.1 dolby is it only 2.1 stearo on ps4 ?

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