Logitech G433 – A FABRIC Covered Gaming Headset!?
How exciting can gaming headsets get? Well Logitech seems to have added some spice to the game with their new G433, which is covered in a stain-resistant fabric outer layer.
Prices & Colours
The G433 comes in at the very appealing price point of $99 USD, which is pretty good for a surround sound headset in this very crowded market space. Logitech is trying to impress us from all angles, and one of the most notable changes here is the fabric cover on the headset that is available in red, blue, blue camo, and just regular black.
I think the fabric is a very good approach to cover up the crappy feeling plastic because our perception of quality is usually derived from handling a product and feeling it and you don’t want to feel flimsy creaking plastic. The perception of the G233 was terrible because of the cheap plastics, so the question is have they succeeded to change things with the G433? Well for starters the head band size adjustment is good, it doesn’t crack, and it certainly looks good, but it still feels like bathing suit material. It’s very harsh, it doesn’t have the softness that I expect, and unfortunately the ear cups feel the same.
If you have dandruff I’m sorry because all the little crevices pick up dry skin very well. It’s very visible, hairs gets stuck, and I think a dark grey color would have worked much better. They are not irritating to wear, but they sound like sandpaper when the headset moves on your head, it’s very unappealing. The replacement ear cups are therefore very much appreciated. I swapped mine in right away, and because of the large rectangular shape of the ear cups you have to be kind of rough when removing and installing the ear pads. These secondary ear cups are made from a different material so the headset doesn’t look as good anymore since there is now two types of visible fabric.
In terms of shape, they are not particularly bulky. They are a bit wider than my Sennheiser Game One, but I love the ability to fold them on your neck with no restriction to head movement. Unfortunately, even the headband padding has the same harsh feeling and that this is not very comfortable. The material choice here is very poor, and it’s upsetting because everything else around the headset is excellent in terms of comfort. There is no large clamping force, they are light enough so you can wear them, and they breathe well. The actual ear cup size is large enough so there is no clamping force, even if you have large ears. All of those elements are excellent, but why did they go with such subpar and just terrible padding? I don’t understand.
Packaging & Accessories
To be honest, you are paying for something and that something is packaging, which is incredible. There are dual layered box, fantastic print job, plus the hidden “Keep Playing” slogan. While I appreciate the packaging it’s way over the top, they could have easily shaved off a lot of the costs on the packaging and invested those resources into things that matter on the headset. When will they learn quality products first before quality packaging. Inside the box we do get plenty of accessories. There is a carry pouch that is good to store extra cables, an extra set of ear pads that I mentioned earlier. There is also a mobile microphone that is flexible and there is only one way to insert it into the headset, so that’s good. When it comes to what the microphone actually sounds like, well… it sounds good but it’s not perfect. When it is plugged directly into the USB sound card there is not enough power to drive it properly and it’s just very quiet. You have to boost it either in post-production or add gain, which introduces hiss.
As mentioned above, Logitech has also included a USB sound card for surround sound audio. There are no LED indicators on it, it’s a very simple plug-and-play device controlled through Logitech’s Gaming Software utility. Next we have the main PC cable with a mic mute function and volume control, plus a shirt clip, all of which feel excellent. There is nice feedback on the button and the firm volume wheel, plus the ends are different so you wont confuse what plugs in where. Also included is a mobile cable with a built-in mic and a multi-function button, and finally a mic/headphone jack splitter for the PC if you want to plug this into your sound card.
I do appreciate the very modular nature of the G433 and the fact that it comes with all the possible cables that you would need, but I feel that those accessories are what caused the compromise in quality to meet that $99 price point. In order to have good packaging and good accessories they had to cheap out on some very important things like the padding on the headset. Also, the included USB DAC is subpar with very low volume mic output.
The only thing left to cover is the audio, and I was pretty satisfied for $99. You get a clean, detailed, and the powerful sound that is not harsh, nor not tinny, and you get a nice bass boost that actually vibrates the drivers a little bit. I don’t think that’s a defect, it felt very powerful without destroying any other frequencies, so that’s pretty good to hear. From an audio perspective, I would use this as my main gaming headset if it wasn’t for the really terrible padding on the top, the replacement cups are fine though. However, as soon as you enable surround sound through the Logitech Gaming Software, you lose the powerful volume. Everything becomes a distant mess and you lose all the positional accuracy that you normally get with stereo. The experience and the surround sound through the DAC is terrible. I would just leave it at stereo and the flat profile is very good, but you can play around with the EQ settings and those different profiles that are built-in, which all have their nice quirks and they don’t destroy the audio frequency.
Less Packaging & Accessories, More Padding
In the end, this is another example of how a gaming headset that tries to do it all like good packaging, good accessories, good customization options for color, and good frame design, can still have many things that are wrong. Starting with the material on the padding, it’s not comfortable. I would gladly ditch all that fancy packaging for nice velour pads that you see on other quality headsets or maybe even like give me a pleather headband that doesn’t feel like sandpaper on my skin please. When it comes to the USB DAC, in stereo mode it’s excellent, but in surround sound mode – which is what Logitech are trying to sell us with this headset – it’s not a good experience. The powerful volume is not there and the detail is not there, and that’s unfortunate because we have heard good surround sound from Logitech in the past with their G633. These compromises just really downgrade the whole experience despite the $99 price point that is so appealing. All of these little drawbacks kind of chip away at the value and it makes it difficult to me to recommend the G433.
My final remark for Logitech would be to focus on good padding in their next revision of this headset, because I think that really destroys this product, which is otherwise pretty good. Also, if you are trying to be fancy with packaging, have a fancy packaging sleeve, but the rest of the packaging can be simplified and those resources should be invested into the product itself. I wish that more gaming companies would recognize that and really invest everything into the product and not the packaging. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this review, I love the fabric material direction, but the implementation is just not there yet. Let me know what you think of the G433.