Logitech G35

August 21, 2010

Despite the misconceptions that people have about simulated 7.1, the G35 is not a product that blows your mind when you first put it on. Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, you won’t have the obvious surround sound that a proper set of speakers provides. Not to say that it’s any less brilliant.

The G35 is more about subtly impressing than in-your-face glory. You’ll put it on, and think “Hmm, this really isn’t that brilliant.” But then, without even realising it, you’ll be able to detect the exact angle that your competitors are creeping up from. It doesn’t feel different. It doesn’t poke its head out at you and say “LOOK AT ME, LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!”. It just feels right. It feels natural to  be able to sense which direction behind you your enemies are approaching; to be able to hear whether they’re coming from behind or in front as opposed to just left or right. The G35 makes pinpointing grenades, or a lone sniper taking shots at you, a piece of cake. With movies, the surround is not as good as a proper set of speakers, but it does the job much better than a stereo system.

Another plus is the Dolby Pro Logic II system. What this does is take 2-channel media such as MP3 files, YouTube videos, vinyl rips, etc, and convert them into 7.1 surround. Obviously, it’s not true 7.1, but it makes your brain think that there are 7 speaker locations. Accessible by a little switch on the left earpiece, this setting will make all of your 2-channel media sound so much better. In addition, there are a few little nigglings that I’ve had with some other headsets in the past that Logitech have avoided – in the G35, the buttons and volume control are on the earpiece, not the cord, which makes the cord much lighter. Interchangeable head-pieces provide much greater comfort to those of us, like me, with abnormally shaped heads.

As well as all this good stuff, the headset is extremely comfy. I wear it for hours, daily, and have experienced no neck or head pain. It’s definitely suited for long LAN parties or overnight gaming sessions, with no stiff necks the next day. The cord is extremely strong, long and braided; something I wouldn’t worry about crushing with my desk chair.

There are a few minor downsides though. The volume control is extremely sensitive, with no allowance for slight changes in volume; and it controls the system volume as opposed to the headset’s independent volume. One of the advertised features of the G35 is the “G-buttons” – 3 customizable buttons on the left earpiece labeled G1, G2, and G3. It’s a good premise, but the downside is that these three buttons can only be customized to work on very few applications through the G35 driver, with no programmability at all. So, if you’re a keen iTunes-pauser or voice-morpher, then good for you. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed. Personally, I have them set for previous, pause, and next on iTunes, only because there’s not much else that they can do.

Overall, the G35 is the best headset I’ve used. It has perfect-for-gaming and pretty-good-for-video 3D sound, and converts stereo into beautiful pseudo-3D. Sure, i’d have liked more customization options, and maybe a travel-case, but hey – the G35 is a great product, and if you want quality 3D sound to get the upper edge, look no further.

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