Design and features
You'd be forgiven for shuddering a little when you notice that Logitech's G35 headset advertises itself as supporting 7.1 sound. Perhaps even more so when you notice that it plugs in via USB, meaning all the sound processing is done within the headset itself. Neither has had a good reputation, and we were curious to see if Logitech's usually high quality offerings managed to skip the curse.
It certainly starts well enough — the rugged, rubberised plastic so popular on gaming mouses these days is everywhere, it comes with three vinyl covered headband pads of varying thickness which can be attached by velcro for extra comfort, and each earpiece is precisely adjustable, clicking between numbered detents.
The flexible microphone can be adjusted with reasonable precision, and feels likely to survive a lot of punishment. Flick it to the up position, and it automatically mutes itself, indicated by a red LED at the end of the mic.
Logitech has opted to position controls on the left earpiece rather than on the 3-metre long braided cord, which smartly reduces the hanging weight and allows for freer movement of the head. A scroll wheel is included for volume, a mic mute button next to it (which also triggers the red light), and three customisable buttons above those.
There isn't a great deal of customisation available though — Logitech only includes predefined settings for popular multimedia players (iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, PowerDVD, WinDVD), Ventrilo and audio settings for the headset as well as voice morphing. It's a surprise to not see greater flexibility here considering Logitech's expansive offerings on its keyboards.
On the rear of the left hand earpiece is a switch that flips between stereo and Dolby 7.1 sound — something which we can say only had mild success in our tests.
Logitech's G35 control panel (Credit: CBS Interactive)
You may have picked up on the mention voice morphing — the G35 software lets you alter your voice thanks to six included different settings: "Cyborg", "Troll", "Giant", "Alien", "Mutant" and "Space Squirrel", adding post processing to achieve some novel effects. You can even tell the program what the natural pitch of your voice is for the best results, and while it's initially a bit of fun, we imagine it will annoy your fellow online players very quickly.
The software suite also features the ability to set bass, treble, volume and microphone levels, and it handily tells you the last time you received a proper surround sound stream. This allows you determine whether you're experiencing proper surround sound, rather than upmixed stereo. An active light in the control panel would have been more useful, but it's not too bad a solution.