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Logitech G230 and G35 Headsets Review: Immersive Gaming Nirvana?

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Logitech Focuses in on Gaming

Logitech has been around seemingly forever.  The Swiss based company is ubiquitous in the peripherals market, providing products ranging from keyboards and mice, to speakers and headsets.  There is not much that the company does not offer when it comes to PC peripherals.  Their 3 button mice back in the day were considered cutting edge that also happened to be semi-programmable.  Since that time we have seen them go from ball mice, to optical mice, to the latest laser based products that offer a tremendous amount of precision.

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Gaming has become one of the bigger movers for Logitech, and they have revamped their entire lineup as well as added a few new products to hopefully cash in on the popularity of modern gaming.  To further address this market Logitech has designed and marketed a new batch of gaming headsets.  These promise to be moderately priced, but high quality products that bear the Logitech name.  We go from the very basic up to the top 7.1 wireless products.  Originally these covered a pretty significant price range, but lately the discounts have been extremely deep.  The lowest end gaming headset is at $40US while the 7.1 wireless model comes in around $90 US. 

I am looking at two models today that span the lowest end to the 2nd highest.  The first headset is the G230 analog set.  The second is the G35 wired 7.1 USB with Dolby Headphone technology.  I have never been a fan of wireless headphones, but the G35 should be a fairly good approximation of the performance of that part.

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My goal is to look at these two wired units and see what Logitech can offer at these two very affordable price points.

Click here to read the entire Logitech G230 and G35 review!

The G230

These are the introductory analog models that Logitech offers in their G series collection.  These are an eye-catching shade of red that are entirely analog based.  Users will need to utilize their sound card or integrated audio on their motherboard to support these products.  There is an inline volume control that also features a microphone mute toggle.

The headphones are relatively lightweight and comfortable to wear.  The ear pads are very reminiscent of “sand knit” jerseys that I remember from my more athletic youth.  The material and padding stay fairly comfortable throughout long hours of gaming, but like any headset the user will take time to get used to the feel and the pressure it puts on the ears.  The more a user will use these headsets, the more comfortable they will become.

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The headset utilizes 40 mm paper speakers to provide sound.  These are about average size for this particular market, but we see some competing brands utilize 50 mm speakers in a variety of materials that may or may not provide better sound.  The woven cable that connects the headset to the computer is a very small diameter unit which handles left, right, and microphone wires.  We all know that the larger the diameter, the lower the resistance, so it is a little concerning to me that the cable is as slight as it is.  There is supposedly 35 ohms of resistance with these headsets, so a better than average audio setup that could include amplified output might be key for good performance with this particular headset.

Some people might recoil from the thought of paper cones, but it is nothing to be afraid of.  Paper is still used in a wide variety of audio applications due to its light weight and natural rigidity.  Much has been done over the years to improve durability of paper cones so that they continue to stay very rigid after many years of use.  High end audio will often use composite or metal cones (New England Audio Research had some fantastic aluminum alloy units that were extremely pricey, but worth it), but when we look at applications which will be sold for less than $100 those exotic materials are just too expensive.  Paper speakers are still very common even in high end headphones.  The combination of light weight and rigidity make for a compelling argument.

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The boom microphone is a nicely constructed, flexible unit that is rubberized on the outside.  The microphone is a noise cancelling unit that again can be muted by the inline pod on the cable.  The boom does not have any LED lighting that the higher end models utilize to tell a user when their mic is muted or active.  It swivels easily into place and the boom can be bent to a decent degree to more adequately place the mic near the mouth.  The inline pod also handles headset volume via a rheostat.

These are the most basic gaming headphones that Logitech make.  Do not expect a lot of bells and whistles for $40US.

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July 8, 2015 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Rick0502 (not verified)

is this a new model of the g35? ive had this headset for about 5 years now.

July 8, 2015 | 12:21 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Looks much the same as the original.  Obviously the packaging has changed, but I will check and see if there are differences or revisions.

July 9, 2015 | 04:11 AM - Posted by Ben (not verified)

Me too. Terrible twist on the cable that was impossible to avoid. Caused all sorts of metal fatigue. Never again.

July 8, 2015 | 12:52 PM - Posted by homerdog (not verified)

I have the G930 which looks identical to the G35 except it is wireless. It can be found easily for $100 so I dunno why you wouldn't spend the little bit extra to lose the wire. Battery life is very good and of course if it does die you can always plug it in and keep using it.

July 8, 2015 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I would of course be curious to hear if there are any differences in audio quality going with a battery/wireless unit vs. wired USB?  As mentioned in this article there is a big difference between their pure analog version and the USB based.  

July 8, 2015 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Brett Suydam (not verified)

I cannot say for the USB based version but I have the 930 and the wireless versions audio is pretty good. I'm no audiophile so it works for me quite well. The only negative is that the battery life is never as good as the application says it will and occasionally I'll get crack noises and such from the wireless.

July 10, 2015 | 01:36 PM - Posted by homerdog (not verified)

I can't compare the sound quality to the wired version since I don't have it, but I will say the 930 sounds very good to me. No complaints in the slightest.

July 10, 2015 | 01:39 PM - Posted by homerdog (not verified)

To expand on this, I assume the 930 gets the exact same digital audio stream as the G35 so any potential differences in sound quality would likely come from the speakers themselves. I also suspect that the speakers are identical but have no way to prove that.

July 11, 2015 | 03:01 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I'm thinking more about the bandwidth of a wired vs. wireless solution.  Do we see downsampling on the wireless side due to potentially lower bandwidth?

July 13, 2015 | 01:38 PM - Posted by MarkB (not verified)

I've had both the G35 and the G930 after the right earcup broke. I've noticed that there seems to be less overall power in the G930 compared to the G35, and people whom I talk to using the microphone said the quality was a bit lower. It's still good, but if you want a better quality sound and microphone, go with the G35.

July 13, 2015 | 01:38 PM - Posted by MarkB (not verified)

I've had both the G35 and the G930 after the right earcup broke. I've noticed that there seems to be less overall power in the G930 compared to the G35, and people whom I talk to using the microphone said the quality was a bit lower. It's still good, but if you want a better quality sound and microphone, go with the G35.

July 8, 2015 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have owned the G230's for about a year or more and the ear cups definitely feel hard at first before they gradually sink on your ears. Not uncomfortable though, more awkward at first.

Being my first headset/mic combo I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but out the box it was practically useless without going into your audio configuration and adding a +10db gain. Then people could actually hear me, but at the cost of having this very low static in the background. Any further increase in gain made the static on your end very annoying.

I'm not sure if this is normal of all Headset Mic combos or not. If it is then disregard my lack of knowledge on the subject, but if not then you might want to think twice unless you're really budget minded. They're great for the price, but the mic gain part can get super annoying. You don't really have a choice either since the default +0db gain makes you pretty much unhearable to anyone on Steam/Skype from my testing.

July 8, 2015 | 01:12 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

In my review I did mention how poorly the built-in mic for the G230s fared in our testing.  While people on Skype on the other end heard me fine, the quality was just sub-par.

July 8, 2015 | 02:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh that's why you don't sound as good in the podcast as Ryan ;)

July 8, 2015 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I really should get a nice desk mic soon...

July 8, 2015 | 07:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We must hear your laughter and inappropriate comments in their full glory

July 8, 2015 | 03:33 PM - Posted by razor512

How does the quality compare to other headphones in its price range. (how much quality are you giving up to the gamer tax?)

While are the mics always so horrible on these headsets.

Gaming headsets are rarely ever worth even a quarter of their price. The build quality is often lower, most of the parts are non user replaceable. They often use enamel coated wires in the ear cups (thus shortening the life of the headphone by allowing earcup fled to eventually break the wire. Companies use enamel coating instead of individual insulators as solid core copper wire breaks too quickly, but stranded wire does not break soon enough, so they use enamel which eventually rubs off and shorts, thus causing the device to fail more quickly.

Overall, it is best to invest in a proper desktop mic, and then get a good pair of headphones. A quality desktop mic such as the Blue yeti, audio technica at2020, audio technica ATR2500, rode NT-USB, all give very good quality, and best of all, you can upgrade to what ever headphone you want without worrying about the microphone.

The microphones in most gaming headsets, are some of the lowest quality mics possible. Really, why does the mic on a $200 gaming headset such as the sennheiser g4me series, sound worst than a $3 mic made by Zalman? (that is not even an audio company)

Gaming headset mics just suck, and they tack on a massive price premium just to essentially throw in a cheap mic.

G4me zero:

Logitech G230:

Logitech G35:

Zalman ZM-mic 1:

July 8, 2015 | 04:05 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Mics like that are cheap, and the beancounters at Logi probably ask themselves how many people actually need a high quality mic while screaming over Vent or Teamspeak?  As mentioned in my article, Plantronics seems to put good quality mics in even their lower end products.

July 8, 2015 | 05:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Illustrates the background noise on the G230 perfectly. At least some of the other mics sound more clear despite the drastically higher price.

July 8, 2015 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Boggins (not verified)

I've had a pair of the G35s for around 5 years now. They were originally wired USB. Mine are still kicking, but the cheap vinyl covering over the foam earpieces have long disintegrated. Are they still using that cheap paper thin vinyl wrap?

July 8, 2015 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

The covering on the earpieces feels fairly thick.  Certainly not paper thin.  When I get home from work I will check it out a bit further.

July 8, 2015 | 05:41 PM - Posted by Prodeous

Any recommendation for true 5.1 or 7.1 headsets?

July 8, 2015 | 06:12 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

None?  I have messed with some other multi-speaker headsets, and none of them were overly impressive.  I would rather have a clean set of 2 channel headphones.

July 8, 2015 | 06:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you wanted a air of headphones with microphone which had good sound for music (not rap, I said music) including rock as well as gaming, how much would I need to spend to get into the "good" and "very good" range?

I would like a pair which exclude outside noise so I can use them on flights to watch movies and listen to music including Queen, AC/DC and other 70s/80s/90s rock/popular music. Be very interested in your thoughts if you wouldn't mind Josh..

Western Australia

July 9, 2015 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Hmm, good questions.  You probably need to look in the $150 range for a good set that will have the sound quality you desire.  The G35 is certainly a nice set, and they have some terrific sales going on.  Another option that I like are the Corsair headsets.  They have pretty balanced sound and good microphone quality.

July 10, 2015 | 02:10 AM - Posted by Hipolito Garcia (not verified)

Just a quick comment on the article: at the moment of writing this, the G35 are just $59.99 USD vs the $49.99 for the G230, so the "double the price" disadvantage of the G35 is gone for now. I was thinking of getting the G230 (got red+black PC) but I'm probably switching to the G35. Thanks for the review!

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