If you’re a tech/gaming reporter you basically live in a pair of headphones. Add a lifelong video game addiction into the mix and you’re talking years of your life and 1/5th of your senses dedicated to a peripheral. It’s a commitment. Fortunately, the inevitable march of progress means headphones keep getting better, and the flimsy, uncomfortable freebies that came with my Discman have evolved over the years to products like the one in this review: Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset.
The first thing I noticed about the G533 is the absence of Logitech’s signature RGB lighting. It’s a design change from my Artemis Spectrum G933s, which have the subtlety of watching Tron on a rectal dose of MDMA (in a good way), and is probably a smart one. Mouse and keyboard sets with built-in lighting look good and serve a purpose: you can see them. Outside of streams and selfies, illuminated headsets largely play for an audience of none. They’re neat, but not as necessary or functional.
And one less feature does not mean one lesser pair of headphones. The G533 boasts plenty of good guts. The patent-pending Pro-G audio drivers are unique to Logitech, unlike other brands that share a pool of ready-made Chinese parts. Like most of the tech in your life the Pro-G audio drivers involve some wickedly complex science we take for granted or reduce to two-word endorsements like “sounds good.” They do, of course, sound good. Great, actually, able to serve effectively as my workaday music headphones and my off-the-clock gaming session ones. They use DTS Headphone:X surround sound technology and the directional audio really holds up in big, loud FPS games like Battlefield 1 as well as quieter fare like Firewatch . The chat mic is great too and uses the “lift to mute” feature for easy privacy or to spare your teammates from hearing your mouthful of snacks get devoured.
Round-the-clock usage means round-the-clock battery drain, but the G533 endures. It’s got an auto-shut off feature which helps reduce waste and I found myself having to charge it like every other day at first. Now I just plug them in at night and don’t need to charge them at all during the day. So as far as use case goes if you remember to plug them in when you’re not using them they’ll almost never need to be recharged when you do. Logitech boasts a 15-hour lifespan for the battery and that seems fair, but I never put a stopwatch to it.
Long battery life and versatility mean the headphones don’t come off much, and this is where the G533 really earns its $150 price tag. These are among the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever owned. Light, well-balanced and cool. Not cool like Fonzie hitting a jukebox, cool like my ears aren’t turning bright red from the trapped body heat. It’s a shame these are PC only headphones, because I think they’d be great for travel. Especially because they seem to be more durable than previous headsets. My Artemis Spectrums, which are built to be used as your go-anywhere headphones too, developed a noticeable creaking sound over time. So far my G533s don’t have the same problem, and I can’t recreate the creaking no matter how I twist and turn them. A good sign.
So should you get a pair of G533s? If you’re in the market for a high-quality, comfortable headset and you don’t get out much, absolutely. But $150 is a big ask for headphones you can’t take with you (or use on consoles), so if you’re not a committed PC gamer you’d be better off with something more versatile. This is a PC product for PC people, and it’s a good one.
Driver: Pro -G 40 mm
Frequency response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
Charging Cable Length: 2m
Battery Life: 15 hours
Wireless Range: 15m
Size: 197 mm x 189 mm x 85 mm
Weight: 350 grams (12.5oz)
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
Type: Pressure Gradient Electret
Condenser Size: 4 mm
Frequency response: 100Hz – 20KHz