Logitech’s G533 is an amazing piece of headset engineering. Featuring comfortable rotating earpads and a clear wireless 7.1 sound, Logitech’s latest foray into the world of gaming hardware comes out a success through and through.
Retailing at U$150 / £140, this quite expensive yet premium headset boosts features rivalling other audiocentric gaming headphones in the market, but thankfully stays away from the boring obsession of today’s market of coloured LEDs and blinking lights. Instead, the G533 has a brilliantly designed microphone and sound control system located on the left ear cup that makes using the headphone feel more like a piece of gear than an electronic peripheral.
The volume wheel, mute button and power switch are all located behind the left ear cup, while the microphone occupies the front. The buttons are packed together but positioned far enough apart that you won’t ever use the wrong one by mistake, especially because each has a different texture and operation: the mute is a textured pressure button, the volume is controlled by a notched wheel, and the headset is powered on via a budding toggle switch.
The microphone input sound is very clear and sensitive, matching the quality expected by its price tag, while the mic itself is a bent tube of very hard plastic with an extendable tip, allowing it to be positioned in a number of different angles and distances. It actually folds quite nicely into the ear cup, reducing its profile and making it nigh invisible, but the most brilliant feature is the automated mute function -- the mic is immediately muted once lifted, and automatically unmuted once the microphone’s stock is brought down. Defying standards, the headset does feature a very dim red LED on the inside of the microphone that lights up when the microphone is muted.
But as essential as construction and comfort is, the most important part of a headset is the sound it produces, and the G533 is phenomenal at that. The 7.1 surround is absolutely brilliant, allowing you to pinpoint the precise location of sound sources in a myriad of games; it is flat out disorienting on first tests due to how realistic it sounds.
As a violinist, I have a keen ear to pitch balance and tones, and as a nerd, I love soundtracks. I always use a special personalised playlist designed to test the whole range and spectrum of new sound peripherals, where all the pieces chosen are high-quality FLAC versions of works which I know the sheet music by heart. That allows me to compare the peripheral’s output quality to a consistent control standard. On the G533, the standard out-of-the-box sound mix is above ordinary, and once some equalising has been done, it is capable of producing amazing sound quality -- the bass effect especially is remarkably good, with percussion-heavy tracks like “Dragonborn” and “Icarus” sounding extremely clear and giving the impression reality itself is shaking as the deep bass continually pounds. The treble output is also quite good, with the headset quality sounding just as engaging when reaching for high notes. Overall, it is amazingly capable of providing a meaningful and colourful contrast.
The product’s design is simple and functional, with a robust construction and well cushioned structure on the headband and large ear pads that proves to be extremely comfortable. One of my favourite aspects of the G533 is the auditory feedback that accompanies every action -- different sound effects play whenever an action is performed, be it turning the headset on, muting/unmuting the microphone, or changing the volume. It provides constant updates on the status of the headset in a non-intrusive manner, and I find it a very nice touch.
The G533 comes packaged with a USB-to-micro-USB cord, which can be used to passively recharge the headset while in use as long as its battery is not completely depleted; and a USB wireless transmitter, which is slightly bigger than a USB thumb drive. The installation was remarkably simple and straightforward; like all Logitech products, it is Plug’n’Play -- you connect the USB transmitter, turn the headset on, and start using the device.
Its wireless range is quite good, allowing me to move around my flat with nigh perfect reception. The headset automatically turns itself off after a period of inactivity, saving battery in the process -- one does not need to turn it off and on again, simply interacting with the headset in any way, like touching the volume slider, is enough to bring it back to life. The battery life lasts about 15 hours before it starts beeping to be charged, and a little LED near the power button glows green when the headset is turned on and turns to amber when it is being charged -- overall, no aspect of functionality was left unexplored.
While the G533 might not provide the high level of audiophile sound quality as some high-end £500 headphones on the market, it is an excellent alternative for those looking for something much better than an entry-level headset. With an amazing output and input quality, fantastic range of premium features, and a brilliant implementation, the G533 is my favourite gaming headset. If you’re on the look for a new headset, the G533 should definitely be on the top of your list.
Logitech G533 Headset Review
One of the most well-rounded headsets on the market.