There’s something that’s really annoying about a lot of entry-level or affordable headsets: they’re heavy as sin.
The Logitech G435, announced by the peripheral manufacturer overnight and available locally for $199, aims to rectify that. It’s a natural follow-on from some of the changes brought into Logitech’s G335 wired range, except the G335 is almost 100 grams lighter (165g to 240g), has excellent wireless range, and there’s no microphone sticking out.
One of the most obvious selling points is the relatively broad compatibility. Xbox support isn’t included, but you can get the G435 to work across PC and PlayStation pretty painlessly. It’ll work as a Bluetooth headset with mobile devices and, as of this week, the Switch.
The battery charges via a USB-C port on the left earcup and you can continue using the headset while charged, if you want. The earcups are designed with breathable fabric that makes them especially useful for hotter environments — like the Australian summer — and the traditional boom arm has been replaced with two in-line dual beamforming mics.
The lack of a mic is the most interesting part, provided how well it works. The volume was a little low for me on PC, and you’re never going to get amazing isolation in any headset under $200. (To be fair, I would argue that if you want a good microphone you’re better off actually buying a microphone, especially in this WFH age.) You also don’t get a separate 3.5mm jack, either.
But it works relatively well, especially when combined with some good noise reduction software like Nvidia Broadcast. And if you’re using the headset on mobile devices, the microphones are more than adequate: I was having a conversation with my Dad, and my partner chimed in from the other side of the room — about six or seven metres away — and he was able to hear everything, clear as a bell.
Both ear cups slide up and down easily enough, and the mesh headband is just as light as the rest of the unit. The downside of all this fabric — as anyone with kids will tell you — is that it’s more susceptible to spills and stains than something a bit sturdier. And while I’ve dropped the headset a couple of times and it’s held up fine, I’m not so sure kids wouldn’t have much trouble breaking it apart.
But that’s the risk when you try and shave as much weight as possible. It’s not without reason though: this is easily one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve worn in ages. I haven’t felt like my ears were on fire, and as the days and weeks start to heat up, the G435 is much more well suited than most.
On the other fronts, I’ve liked what I’ve tested. The battery life kicks in at about 18 hours maximum. You swap between Bluetooth and wireless modes by holding down the microphone button for a few seconds, which is a pretty painless process. And the wireless range is surprisingly good: I walked all the way from my sunroom, where my PC and working setup is, to the kitchen. That’s about 20-ish metres from one side of the apartment to the other, and it was only when I got into the kitchen that the wireless signal dropped out.
Unlike the microphone, the volume of the headset itself was decent — about 40 to 50 percent volume was perfect for me in most instances on either PC or console. It also worked quite nicely with the PS5’s 3D audio, although I found I did need a different sound profile than what I’d originally had setup for my Sony XM3’s. The soundstage was decent, but the G435 focuses more on providing a fuller, well-rounded sound than any precision. It’s good at isolating particular things: voices come out well and the mid-bass is reasonable. That bass also helps if you’re playing games like Counter-Strike or something with repeatable, heavy sounds (think footsteps). Just don’t expect the greatest amount of clarity, especially since this is an entry-level headset with a wireless premium.
Some might baulk at the lack of other back-of-the-box features like virtual 7.1 surround sound, but in my experience those things often ruin the sounds they’re trying to produce. The lack of compatibility with Logitech’s G Hub suite isn’t a negative in my mind, either. The fewer programs I have to install, the better, although Logitech could always issue a patch later on.
The Logitech G435 is available in Australia now for $199 in three colours. The lilac is the most eye-catching of the lot, but there’s an off-white/blue or the bog-standard black if those are more your style.