Logitech’s range of gaming hardware has seemed to grow nearly daily in 2017, and as part of that they’ve continued to make a serious push forwards with their range of gaming headphones. The G533 was one of my favourite headsets of the year, offering some serious wireless performance at a great price-point, so the fact that the G433 is its wired cousin meant it was already off to a great start.
With an RRP of £109.99, the box proudly states its headline feature on the front – 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset – but it’s definitely worth noting that despite also stating it works on PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and mobile, 7.1 surround is only available on PC via the included USB DAC and Logitech’s Gaming Software. It’s a shame that anyone could end up being disappointed by what is a fairly shady piece of packaging gumph, as the G433 otherwise does a fantastic job of providing some high quality audio thrills.
There are a lot of design similarities between the two Logitech headsets, though the G433 goes one step further to look like a headset you could actually wear outside of your home. The solid black unit feels light and well made, with a combination of matt plastic and textured fabric giving it a smart, modern look that is far more stylish than most gaming sets. You’re not limited to black, with red, blue and blue camouflage versions available as well. Each earpiece has an etched Logitech logo, while the banding sports the G433 classification on each side, but it’s an understated advert for the brand, as opposed to one that smacks you in the face.
Comfort-wise, the headset’s relative lack of weight has kept things easy to deal with over long gaming sessions, though it definitely clasps your head quite firmly. The advantage of that is that there’s generally very little sound bleed, but while the headset does a decent job of cancelling out external noise, a little more does escape thanks to the Pro-G driver’s hidden ports. These are closed-back headphones, but these ports allow the bottom end to breathe a little more.
The textured fabric covered earpads which match the outside of the earpieces aren’t going to be to everyone’s tastes and do feel scratchier than your average pair of headphones, which must be why they’ve also included a pair of replacement microfibre pads which are softer and more comfortable. The downside is that you lose the all-in-one look that ties the headset together, muddying the design, though it’s not all that noticeable when they’re being worn.
The box comes with a selection of cables, and along with a standard mobile one with an in-line mic, there’s a lengthy braided cable with an in-line volume dial and microphone switch for when you’re attached to your PC or console controller. On PC, you’ll obviously want to use the included USB DAC to get the best out of your brand new headset as it’s this which opens the doorway to the DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound. It’s worth remembering that Xbox One gamers – and PC users for that matter – do have the option of using either Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos – which is absolutely worth it’s £14 license fee – whose impressive virtual surround sound offerings both work well with nearly any set of headphones, the G433 included.
Logitech’s Gaming Software is simple and intuitive, with six preset EQ settings to choose from, although you can of course create your own, whether for general use or for individual games. You can change the settings that you’d expect for overall volume and talkback, or you can dig down deeper and adjust separate virtual speakers if there’s something you doesn’t feel is quite right. The system’s 7.1 set-up does a convincing job of expanding the audio range of nearly anything, though first and third person action games definitely benefit the most.
One aspect that may cause problems for some people is the lack of any physical controls on the headset itself. You’ll have to head into the Logitech software in order to change your EQ, while you’re going to need to use the cable with the volume dial and mic switch to have any sort of on-hand functionality. It makes sense given the clear desire that you’re going to use the headset across a wide range of platforms in and away from your home, and especially when there’s no on-board power, but you may be looking for something a little more unified.
The G433’s stereo audio response is incredibly close to that of the 533, by which I mean that it’s simply stellar. In this price bracket the two Logitech sets are amongst the best you’re going to get, with G433’s Pro-G drivers offering fantastically punchy bass and moving through to a crisp and clear top end. The hidden acoustic ports lend the sound more space to work with, and the results are hugely impressive. There’s perhaps a slight lack of warmth and the bass isn’t quite as strong as you might find with Astro’s A50 or Razer’s Kraken, but in terms of versatility and overall output I love the G433’s detailed audio, whether gaming, watching films or listening to music.
If you’re looking to make a little noise of your own, the G433 has two mic options: an in-line mobile-style one built into a cable, or a removable boom mic that slots into the front of the headset itself. The in-line option is effective, while the boom mic is excellent, and performs well even if you’re in a noisy environment thanks to its built-in noise cancelling, though it’s still not going to beat a standalone mic if you’re looking to record with it.
Logitech have once again excelled themselves with the G433. There are few headsets that can compete for versatility or for audio quality, and though PC gamers will benefit from the full range of included features, the G433 remains a fantastic stereo option for everyone else.