I Don’t Understand Logitech’s New Headsets
Why haven’t these old designs been phased out?
A couple of weeks ago, influencers got a new batch of Logitech headsets to review, and now you can find them at various retailers.
It’s pretty normal for peripheral companies to do a light refresh every year or so. But when I saw these new products…
I was aghast.
And now that I’ve had the chance to try one of them, I don’t know how this happened. Or why.
So what did they release?
Logitech rolled out four new headsets in their G-series lineup this week. They’re all refreshes of older designs with new speaker drivers, build materials, and surround software.
But they’re using crusty designs that are long overdue for deletion.
First, the budget options: The G332 and G432. Retailing for $60 and $80, respectively, these are both refreshes of the simply ancient G430.
You didn’t read that wrong. This is the same basic headset design that Logitech first rolled out in 2013.
Now, it wasn’t an awful headset. But it’s a six-year-old design. And it doesn’t even use Pro G drivers, Logitech’s cool patented mesh material speakers.
It’s wild to me that they’ve released new headsets with such an old frame. The 432 adds DTS Headphone: X 2.0, a slightly larger mic, and leatherette pads to the otherwise creaky design. Which again, was never bad…but no one out there was clamoring for an update of the 430, were they?
The 332 removes the DTS USB dongle, so you’re basically paying $20 for the surround software and the blue color. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but I wish they had both headsets available in both colors.
Now that the ridicule is out of the way, let’s move on to the two expensive models.
Fortunately, the new G635 and G935 fare much better because they’re based on the modern, stylish G433/G Pro chassis, only with new drivers and…
Wait, what’s this? They’re still using the gigantic, creak-prone, plastic-laden monstrosity that was the G933/633 design?
That’s right. The G935 ($169) and G635($139) are refreshed versions of Logitech’s 2015 efforts. They’ve taken the four-year-old “Artemis Spectrum” chassis and shoved new drivers into it, added a slightly bigger mic, and updated to the new DTS software. Oh, and your $30 premium for the wireless model also includes leatherette padding, because that costs extra now even though both budget models above include leatherette.
What’s Logitech trying to pull on customers here? Do they at least sound better?
Yes they do. But man. I’ll never get over how weird and blatant a cash-in this is.
Logitech G635 Impressions
My local Best Buy stores got all of these products in, and I spent several minutes being flabbergasted that they exist while holding them last night. Along with getting in some boxes I could gawk at, they had a shiny new G635 plugged-in for customers to test.
I immediately checked to see if they fixed my least-favorite things from the 2015 models…and they didn’t. The headband pad is still awkwardly glued in, and may start to pop out after a few months of use. The headband adjustment sliders are so loose that if you extend them out all the way then open the ear cups to place them on your head, the sliders pop back down to the closed position. And the whole thing still has a cheap, light, too-plastic feel for the prices these are currently sitting at.
And it’s still really gargantuan and “gaming headset-like.”
Why am I being so hard on this ancient chassis? Aren’t these all kind of nitpicks? Yes, and none of this would bother me if Logitech hadn’t released three better iterations of this design over the last four years. The G533, G433, and G Pro all offer better designs that fix these little issues completely.
Logitech could have used those designs here, or rolled some of the small tweaks into the older frame. But instead they did none of that.
Comfort and clamping force are still great, and even though the new drivers aren’t as angled inside the cups, they didn’t ram into my ears.
The sound quality is undeniably impressive. Logitech has doubled-down on their previous sound signature, with sharp detail and powerful bass that admittedly do sound exceptional. The Pro G drivers still provide an experience more like a pair of “real” headphones than old muddy gaming headsets.
However. Lots of companies do that now. And in designs more in line with the modern market. Logitech included!
The presence of the old frame kept me from buying these. It’s really hard to get excited about paying $139 or $169 for a four-year-old product with new speakers shoved into it, no matter how nice those new speakers are.
I’ve been a big fan of Logitech’s audio lineup since the first Pro G driver-based products. They elevated their sound quality to an exceptional level, and for the last four years I’ve eagerly bought each new revision the very moment they released.
This year’s lineup, consisting of four different rehashes of ancient products, is fine for newcomers, but hugely disappointing for a long-time fan. And newcomers may be better served by their other products that have newer designs.
Logitech cheaped out all of these headsets and it shows right on the surface. They have access to three better, more modern designs and didn’t use them. They own Astro Gaming, renowned for their industrial designs, and didn’t make use of them.
Instead, they plucked designs from 2013 and 2015 off the shelf and shoved some new stuff in, hoping you wouldn’t notice. You’re smarter than this. Don’t reward their lack of ambition.