UPDATE 9/24/19: The fancy-looking metal G logos on the sides of this headset are actually dumb stickers that will probably fail. You can click that link to learn more, or the other one I’ve added to the build section below. Ugh. The original text remains below with light edits to reflect this.
Logitech, in their continuing quest to name a million products “Logitech G Pro,” just launched the new Logitech G Pro and G Pro X headsets.
Not to be confused with the old Logitech G Pro headset.
Ugh. Come on now.
Their previous headset lineup refresh earlier this year jammed new larger 50mm Pro-G drivers into older frame designs. I didn’t love it.
This newer product is a full redesign of the older G Pro, but brings along those 50mm drivers from earlier this year, the compliment of cords and the USB DAC from the G433, and adds in a whole new microphone capsule and voice enhancement software from the famous Blue Microphone company, which Logitech recently purchased.
If I haven’t already lost you with the fact that Logitech has a lineup of products all called “G Pro,” and a series of speaker drivers called “Pro-G,” then read on.
The new G Pro and G Pro X retail for $99 and $129 respectively.
The core product is the same. It’s a new headset with 50mm “Pro-G” speaker drivers not at all inspired by the look of HyperX’s headsets… where by “not at all” I mean “Logitech copied HyperX.”
They aren’t the first ones to do this, and I sort of get it…it’s an iconic design. But the new look isn’t as different from the rest of the industry as the old G Pro/G433 headset was.
What do you get for your $30 extra if you step up to the X model? A random compliment of things! Both sets feature the base headset, a detachable microphone, a USB sound card, a 2m braided cable, and a splitter for analog PC connections.
The X model adds a second set of cloth ear pads, a carrying bag, a mobile cable with an in-line microphone for phone use, and the software on the USB dongle is enhanced with a bad implementation of DTS Headphone: X 2.0 and the new Blue VO!CE software.
That’s really how it’s spelled, with the exclamation mark and everything, as if this headset weren’t already buried under a pile of marketing department business.
Blue VO!CE, in combination with a new larger 6mm mic capsule, gives you some of the best-sounding mic audio in a gaming product. It’s a great inclusion, and a smart way for Logitech to differentiate themselves from everyone else around this price point.
I know they probably needed to have a $99 version of this to satisfy some chart of numbers or a focus group somewhere, but I wish they had made the call to only release the “X” model. The Blue VO!CE software is the main standout new thing here, and I’m not sure the headset is worth buying without it.
The base version seems cut down in unnecessary ways designed to make the $30 upgrade look more appealing…just like some recent Samsung phones.
This is my first experience with the new larger 50mm Pro-G drivers, since I refused to buy the G935 or G635 and support their strange non-newness.
Logitech’s patented driver is still one of the best things about their headset lineup. They’re built out of a hybrid cloth mesh material that offers a lower inherent distortion, and when they first debuted years ago Logitech had the guts to show them against Sennheiser’s HD650.
As always, they claim they were shooting for a neutral sound signature, and that’s reasonably true here.
Bass is smooth and natural, with less oomph than you might expect but nice extension all the way down to the lowest frequencies. The midrange is gentle and just a little overwarm, but not plagued by the closed “seashell” quality that hampers some lower-cost headphones. Treble is rolled off more than I’d personally like, with a laid-back sound that still provides enough detail for spatial awareness but won’t fatigue you over long listening sessions.
That’s the key here: this is clearly a headset designed for all-day listening. It’s a little bit warm, a little bit gentle, but still within the realm I’d personally refer to as sonically accurate.
It doesn’t have the crystal clarity or detail of the more-expensive SteelSeries Arctis Pro, and it doesn’t have the wonderful bass punch or sharp exciting energy of the HyperX Cloud Alpha.
Still, if you’ve liked Logitech’s previous headsets with this driver, this is a further refined version of that, with a very nice, generally neutral sound. The included software also offers plenty of EQ profiles and options so you can tweak it to your heart’s content…though that only works through the dongle.
Soundstage is impressive for a closed-back gaming product. Imaging is precise and sounds sometimes feel farther out than the sides of the cups. That’s all I can ask for in a nice stereo presentation.
Sensitivity/volume is quite good, too. I had no trouble driving them with authority out of the Nintendo Switch headphone jack at a slightly lower volume than I use with many other headphones, and I imagine they’ll do just fine out of the questionable PS4 headphone jack as well.
DONGLE/DTS HEADPHONE X
I’ve traditionally loved Logitech’s implementations of DTS Headphone in the past.
I’m setting you up for the turn.
Just like on older models, Logitech includes a number of virtual room presets, and although my preferred “Logitech Signature Sound” preset is gone, you get “Gaming,” “Entertainment,” and “Sports” options instead, along with a toggle for different stereo expansion modes for non-surround source audio.
In previous outings, Logitech’s take on DTS was fun, with a little aggression in the bass and a nice feeling of a real room full of speakers.
Here, for whatever reason, they’ve decided to go with BASS BASS BASS. And some more bass on top of it. And then they thickened up the bass.
It’s so bad and broken-sounding and I don’t like it at all.
On a first listen with DTS turned on, Skyrim became alarmingly thick. The gentle whooshing of the wind and little water streams became a thunderous boomy rainstorm. Every sword clang and axe hit turned into a massive bass cannon. Positional cues in the midrange and treble got lost in the powerful low end.
This seemed so strange and wrong that it sent me scrambling to read other reviews and forums, something I try not to do until after I’ve finished writing my own thoughts.
But sure enough, others have complained of this as well.
I’m not clear on if this is a bug that’ll be fixed later, or if Logitech intentionally decided that they should take a new bass-focused course in their virtual surround because they thought someone wanted it.
I think it’s a legitimate and easily noticeable downgrade from the way DTS works on every other Logitech headset.
I actually waited a few days on publishing this review just to see if an update got pushed out, but so far nothing.
I got more used to it after forcing myself to use it for a few days, but man.
It takes a reasonably neutral headphone and turns it into a muddled bass cannon nightmare mess, and it’s only alleviated a small degree if you turn down the bass channel inside the surround settings.
What a weird and bad decision!
Have you ever seen a HyperX headset? Then congratulations, you’ve basically seen a G Pro X and you have a good idea of what size and shape it will be. Just imagine that but bulked up.
The G Pro X is so obviously inspired by the HyperX Cloud design that there’s no way to hide it, just like on the old Creative Labs H5. It’s a little weird.
The underlying design of the Cloud Alpha goes back to the Takstar Pro 80, which was itself inspired by the Beyerdynamic DT770. The metal headband, metal forks design is an iconic piece of headphone history, and I’m not surprised it has persisted for so long.
But I am surprised that Logitech would jump on board this look after spending so much R and D time on the unique old G433/G Pro frame. I really liked the look of that previous version.
To their credit, Logitech has tried to improve on this classic look through the magic of overdone build quality…that’s then ruined with stickers for the branding.
Aside from those stickers, everything here is built well.
The exposed cables connecting the ear cups are made of a rubber material and are coiled, which helps them to stay tucked inside the frame and not get stuck on anything. You don’t have to worry about snagging them.
Each ear cup is coated in a thick rubberized material, and the large aluminum plates with the “G” logo on the ear cups are strong and sturdy and have a legitimately premium feel to them.
The headband is a little stiffer and wider than the one HyperX uses, and the whole headset has an enhanced girth and thickness not present in other takes on this design.
That’s weird because those other headsets were already plenty sturdy, but it’s certainly a valid choice for some tastes.
One small design touch I quite like that isn’t just about thickening everything is the placement and look of the bass ports. They’re not simple holes, but rather thin slits cut to perfectly match the shape of the headset’s profile, then damped with acoustic cloth material which has a nice shine to it.
I have no qualms about recommending this as a portable/travel headphone, as long as you don’t mind the stickers flaking off in your bag. It’s among the most durable-feeling headsets I’ve used in this price range and has no creaking issues or flimsy parts…except for the G stickers on the cups.
The problem is that it looks to the eyes like a copied design because it is.
It’s not till you get your hands on it that you’ll be able to discover the tweaks Logitech made and decide whether they appeal to you. Some folks might not like the extra thickness and the additional girth they’ve added, but I think it’s fine.
The thick headband, padded with dense memory foam, perfectly balances the weight of the G Pro X on my head.
At first blush, I was disappointed that the foam on the ear pads doesn’t rebound as slowly as the headband padding, but in practice it didn’t matter. The ear pads are soft and large, with tall somewhat-thin oval-shaped openings and a deep cavity inside that shouldn’t run into your ears.
I’ve worn these for multiple day-long sessions and it’s been great. Along with the pleasant sound signature, the G Pro X was clearly designed as a marathon session headset.
My only comfort disappointment is in the adjustment range.
The HyperX-style frame was not originally known for its accommodation of the largest head sizes. I used to wear the first Cloud headset fully extended.
In their more recent models, HyperX expanded the range of adjustment giving me a little adjustment headroom, but Logitech seems to have ignored that lesson.
I have to extend the G Pro X out to within one click of its full range to get a comfy fit.
Now, I have a large head, so I’ve run into this issue plenty of times before, but the older G433/G Pro design worked much better on a larger variety of head sizes. I could wear it comfortably only half-extended, and it could fit a larger range of people overall at either head size extreme thanks to both its extension range and swiveling cups.
The G Pro X will work best for small to medium heads, and although it seals on my head just fine with glasses, if your ears aren’t correctly aligned with the cups, the total lack of ear cup swivel might let you down and ruin the seal/fit. In turn, the sound signature will then get messed up.
Make sure you buy from a place that’ll let you return it if it doesn’t fit.
The HyperX models offer a tiny bit of horizontal play to the cups that’s simply not here on the G Pro X.
Again, these are not deal-breakers for me, but they could easily be taken as fit downgrades compared to the last G Pro headset model depending on your personal head. The padding and build quality got a boost but the adjustment took a hit.
Though I was let down big time by the DTS mode, the microphone is a champion.
Blue knows how to make good microphones, full stop. And Logitech paid a lot of money for them last year.
This is a good first step on a road of collaboration that I hope keeps going.
Most of the microphone’s new features come through the Blue VO!CE software, and to run that you’ll need to use the G Pro X and its dongle with a PC. Once inside the software, you can control an alarming variety of options, or pick a handy preset.
In the $130 range, this is probably the best-sounding gaming headset microphone, once you get the settings tweaked just right for your voice. It’s also a very sensitive capsule. I had to move it a little further back than most other microphones and lower the volume to avoid distortion.
The rest of the X’s included features package is very much like the one found on the G433. The PC and mobile cables are literally the same ones from that bundle.
Although they use 3.5mm connectors, the use of a 5-pole connector for the PC cable means you’ll probably have to buy a replacement from Logitech to get everything to work right if you lose that one.
I like the included bag. It’s made out of the same thick cloth material as the hoodies my high school band ordered for our marching field show in 1999. It offers plenty of padding and is perfect for taking on the go inside a larger bag, and should offer a little more protection than other bags of this type.
Logitech took HyperX’s basic design, jammed in new drivers, thickened it up, and crafted a nice software suite to enhance the microphone audio.
Then they messed up their DTS implementation so badly with dollops of heavy muddy bass. That’s a big letdown for me personally.
And then they went one bad decision further and used stickers for their branding instead of screen printing/embossing/some other more permanent solution. Strike two.
The core audio quality in stereo is solid and a nice long-session listen, but not leaps and bounds beyond other Logitech headsets or the previous G Pro, which is now cheaper if you can still find it.
Still, it hangs in there well with other comfy $99 studio headphones and gaming headsets, with a good soundstage.
The Blue VO!CE stuff is the main standout feature if you’re not intimidated by its high number of options, and I’d imagine this will be a new go-to pick for people looking to get into streaming or podcasting who also want a gaming headset.
I’m bummed that this isn’t an outright easy recommendation for everyone, because it could have been so much better.
It goes so far in the mic and build departments, but stumbles with its copied design, goofy naming scheme, lacking adjustment range, sound that’s not a dramatic improvement over the old revision, lame stickers, and some of the worst virtual surround I’ve ever heard.
Still, if people ask me what the best headset mic is and want to spend exactly $130, I’ll be linking them here.
Otherwise I’ll advise they head in the direction of HyperX or Steelseries.