|Logitech G930 7.1 Channel Wireless Headset|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Audio|
|Written by Joey Peng - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 08 October 2010|
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Logitech G930 Software, Testing & Results
For testing, driver version 1.00.345 was used. Installation is required for 7.1 surround sound to work. There are plenty of adjustments and tuning you can do. Volume control directly changes the Windows 7 sound volume for this device, so both are always in-sync. Logitech included some goodies with the G930, namely built-in voice morphing including the popular alien and squirrel voice morphing.
G-keys currently are relatively limited in terms of functionality. Only the most popular programs are compatible with the G-keys, including Windows Media Player, Power DVD, Ventrilo, WinDVD, and WinAmp. However Logitech says they're working on additional plugins so that's something to look forward to.
Surround sound controls are also available. You can adjust the volume for any of the sound channels, though by default things seem to work very well. Eleven is the maximum volume, adjusting anything below 6-8 makes it pretty much makes that channel impossible to hear.
One thing I found annoying was if you turn off the headset, the driver no longer tells you the charge status of the headset, making the "time left" for charging very misleading. If you turn off the headset, charging time is about 2-3 hours but then it fails to display anything. If you charge while the headset is on then it displays "time left" for charging but is ridiculously inaccurate as it takes significantly longer to charge when turned on (at least double to triple the time being displayed). At least the headset really does have a battery life near 10 hours.
The Logitech G930 is built for wireless connectivity and surround sound, so people preferring extremely heavy bass will be disappointed with the default configuration. Luckily both a simple and an advanced equalizer is present should you want to adjust them. Adjusting the simple equalizer only works until about +6db. Afterwards sound gets filled with, not exactly crackling, but some kind of static-sound, as it seems to be adjusting frequencies of 250-1k Hz too. Using the advanced equalizer works much better, and you can get a very deep bass without affecting sound quality.
For the Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset, there are some key areas that can be used to evaluate how good it is: comfort, mic quality, and audio (2.1 and 7.1) quality.
In terms of comfort, the Logitech G930's leather ear cuffs and headrest make hours of use possible without tiring your head. I've never had problems with sweat. It cups the ears tightly managing to block out a lot of sound. Even without anything playing, simply wearing the headset can block out most of the sound coming from my PC fans running at 100%. Its weight eventually becomes a disadvantage when used continuously for more than 2-3 hours. It's roughly double the weight of a standard headset.
Mic quality was tested using Skype and MSN. There seems to be no problems at all, and voice is clear. Logitech advertises background sound cancelling technology, which seems to be true in terms of capturing voice and nearby sounds accurately.
For stereo audio quality, the G930 is excellent. Even without surround sound and wirelessness, a stereo-only G930 is of comparably quality to headsets in the $40+ range. Sound is crisp and clear, and the bass is strong. However its bass is weaker than some top-end headphones such as those from Dr. Dre or even some of the offerings from Sony. But those high-end bass-enhanced headphones can reach anywhere from $50 up to $200+ and targets a different market segment.
In the end it all comes down to Logitech G930's surround sound performance. Any surround sound test available for download online shows immediately that the G930 delivers incredible directional sound. Uncompressed audio files that are recorded with 5.1 surround sound are excellent examples of what the Logitech G930 can do. You can recognize each instrument coming from a different direction. For games that support surround sound, including most of the latest FPS and even StarCraft II, the experience is incredible. It was in the middle of a counter strike game, when I turned towards a gunfire direction correctly based on sound, that I realized the surround sound really does have an effect. Playing Crysis again using the Logitech G930 was a completely different experience to any 2.1 configuration.
The surround sound driver is powered by Dolby. For audio that supports surround sound, the Logitech G930 will play it extremely accurately able to distinguish each audio channel. Interestingly 5.1 surround sound seems to just play in 7.1 surround sound mode except with two channels staying mute. As for emulation of 7.1 surround sound from stereo, the effect is mixed. A lot of the times the result is excellent, and other times it completely misses the mark. I actually enjoy emulated surround sound for certain rap and hip-hop artists, but for some games like Tropico, the emulation was disastrous.
Overall the Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset is excellent. What's important is that it manages all of the above wirelessly without any kind of lag. I have several devices on the 2.4 Ghz frequency but most of the time there's no interference. There was one particular night however that interference was so strong (possibly from a neighbor) that it actually caused disconnects and breaks in the audio, several times during a 10 minute period. It only happened once and could've been a software bug.