Today I will be reviewing the G533 DTS 7.1 Wireless Gaming Headset which bring together the rather desirable features of near audiophile 7.1 surround sound, wireless connectivity to a PC and retractable microphone.
I have been poking around for some time now in search of a wireless headset with a split personality for both enjoyment of music/films and for productivity applications. For the latter I would like the ability to use it for voice to text dictation and for communicating for the PC. Ideally it would also have noise isolating capability which is useful in an open plan office context. Imagine to my delight when a Logitech press release popped up in my inbox about the G533 Headset which seemingly ticking all these boxes. This, I had to check out and many thanks to Logitech for providing a sample for me to test.
The G533 Headset is officially a gaming peripheral. I will have to put that capability and its aesthetics to one side and review it on the basis I would like to use it for, wireless enjoyment of entertainment and it’s use as a communication and dictation headset. Let’s kick off with to design.
G533 Headset Design
Normally gaming peripherals have all the aesthetic subtlety of the Shinjuku district during a power surge and by that measure the G533 headset design is rather tame. Absent are the glowing neon colours, enjoyable to all but the wearer, but the G533 still retains the bulky, angular design of many of its gaming peripheral brethren.
Normally gaming peripherals have all the aesthetic subtlety of the Shinjuku district during a power surge
The construction is full on plastic, with a reassuring heft to it. The underside of the headphones and over the ear cups are well padded to ensure comfortable use. For me, I found the fit to be quite snug and it needs to be. When you move your head the weight of it tends to carry some momentum and so a snug fit ensures it stays in position, especially for all those head banging session! The left ear cup contains all the useful stuff. Here you find the on/off switch, volume control and extendable microphone.
The Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset
The ear cups can swivel around 90 degrees so should be able to fit the most angular of heads and it also means the headset can lie flush to the table when you lay them down. The usual complaint about over the ear cups is that one’s ears tend to get a bit toasty. In the the case of the G533, I did not find that to be the case in a 28C ambient with 60% humidity. That said, after wearing it for a couple of hours your ears will feel like a stretch although I did not find the 300g to be too taxing. I should also mention the foam ear pads are not particularly good at noise isolation so you will still be cognizant of noises around you.
- The microphone can be folded down, extended and bent to shape.
- The over-ear construction encapsulates one’s ears but don’t expect perfect sound isolation.
- The G533 Headset size can be adjusted. A snug fit can be expected.
- The ear pads have a generous foam surround. I found them to be pretty comfortable even after a couple of hours of use.
The microphone folds away when not in use. When you fold it down you hear a little noise to indicate it is now active. It can be extended forward and you can also bend it round in front of your mouth. Voice quality is excellent, if a little soft, even with the gain turned up. I also tried it with the voice to text function in Google Docs. Actually much of this article was dictated on Google Docs while sitting back several meters from my desk, swiveling on my office chair and swilling a glass of Bushmills. I could certainly get used to this style of “writing”! While on this topic I should mention I have best dictation accuracy with Google. For some reason, Siri has some problems with my viscous, though charming, brogue.
Logitech G533 Wireless Headset Hardware
OK, let’s get the science bit out of the way first. The Specs are as follows,
- DTS 7.1 Surround Sound
- Charging Cable Length: 2m
- Battery Life: 15 hours
- Wireless Range: 15m
- Size: 197 mm x 189 mm x 85 mm
- Weight: 350 grams (12.5 oz)
- Boom microphone with flexible arm
- Window 7 or higher
- USB port needed on the PC for the transceiver
While you are digesting that I will help myself to a little bit of chocolate cake.
Right. Let’s get to the sound quality. First thing you will need to know is if you really get the benefit of the 7.1 surround sound from headphones? Is 7.1 surround sound even possible from a headset?
Is 7.1 surround sound even possible from a headset?
That’s the first thing I wanted to check and for that I used the G533 partner software. With this software you can send a sound to each of the seven virtual speakers. I tried that and the results were as follows. The sensation is a little unusual hearing seven virtual speakers from a pair of headphones. The sensation of direction can certainly be discerned but it is like the sound is inside your head. For example, when the centre speaker is sounding it appeared to be originating from the middle of my head. So, “surroundish”, sound is possible but be prepared for some in body experiences.
In terms of the frequency response the G533 is weighted a little towards the lower end.
The G533 headset bass was such that you wonder why your chest is not vibrating, as would be happening in some club with subwoofers the size of a sumo wrestlers dinner plate. However, this can be tweaked as desired using the partner software graphic equalizer. Those settings can also be saved should you wish to tailor it between your different entertainment needs.
The range of the G533 headset is about 15m or so line of sight. In practice I found this to be reasonably accurate. When you add some concrete walls to the mix it will then start to struggle with the consequence that the sound will start to break up and eventually cut out. But for all but the most luxurious of houses the range should be sufficient for the quick dash to the fridge.
The specified battery life is 15 hours which is certainly long enough that you should not be suffering from range anxiety. When you start coming close to the end of the battery life an intermittent beep is sounded to indicate the end of the party is nigh. At least until it is again fully charged or you can tolerate being shackled by the USB cable.
G533 Headset Software
A partner app for the G533 can be downloaded from the Logitech site. The main useful features it brings to the party is,
- Battery life indicator
- Surround sound configurations
- Graphic equalizer
The graphic equalizer has a few preset settings, such as flat across all frequencies, upping the lower and upper frequency ranges, “Cinematic Gaming”, and so on. If none of these are to your taste, you can configure your own custom frequency level.
Logitech G533 DTS 7.1 Wireless Headset Price
At the time of writing the price on Amazon.com stands at $129.98. On Amazon.co.uk, the price comes in at £129.35. So the Americans seem to be getting a bargain compared to the British prices.
Logitech G533 Headset Review Summary
Logitech have done a great job in putting together a comfortable headset capable of both wireless consumption of entertainment and when needed transforming into a fully-fledged communication headset. For watching films, I cannot imagine going back to a tethered headset and for dictation to the PC it is now my solution of choice. The downsides I see to it are although it fully encloses the ears in a rather bulky, angular design, it does not provide very good sound isolation. My preference would be to have that….although I wonder if it will come at the expense of two, rather toasty ears.
The other downside I found is that it is heavier than other headsets focused on the productivity applications. But, if you want it to double for entertainment this is compromise that needs to be made.
In the end, it is a great option for wireless enjoyment of entertainment, be it music, games or films with the added bonus of having an extendable microphone for those instances when work interrupts!
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