Headphones are everywhere, and it's not hard to find a great pair. But wireless surround sound you can use across the house from your PC, with a boom mic for voice chat, a comfy fit and long battery life? Not so easy -- and typically pretty expensive.
But for the past several days, I've been using the Logitech G533: a wireless gaming headset launched at CES 2017 that does nearly everything brilliantly.
First and foremost, this headset, which costs $150, £140 or AU$200, sounds fantastic. Gaming headsets don't have much of a reputation for audio quality, but I loved listening to music on the G533 all day long. I'll sometimes notice a rough edge in the treble, but they've got clear mids and plenty of bass. They get loud, too, without much of the nasty distortion you'll typically hear with cheaper cans -- loud enough I can wear them around my neck like speakers.
Also -- and this is key -- Logitech's wireless connection feels bulletproof.
Its predecessor, the Logitech G930, had a nasty, well documented habit of disconnecting for a few seconds at a time at random, or for certain every time I walked down the stairs to get a drink. The G533? The only way I could make the audio cut out was I had to walk outside of my house, across the parking lot to my car and get inside. When I drove back, 20 minutes later, it automatically reconnected as soon as I opened the car door.
The new headset uses the same "Pro-G" drivers and wireless tech as Logitech's more expensive G933 headset, but that one has something of a reputation for pinching large heads. I'm happy to say the G533's hinge tension is on the lighter side. It's fairly comfy.
Plus, where my old Logitech G930 typically needed charging after a full work day, the new G533 gave me two work days worth of audio. (Logitech rated the G930 at 10 hours, the G533 at 15 hours, which sounds about right.) When it dies, you can plug in with a Micro-USB power cable and start using it right away, too.
And while the G533 doesn't let you plug in a 3.5 mm audio cable to use it with an Xbox One or your phone (this is a wireless-only headset, folks) I found the included USB wireless dongle works just fine with a PlayStation 4, Steam Link or Nvidia Shield TV. (Though you may not be able to use the mic while streaming games from a PC -- I had quite a bit of difficulty.)
If there's anything to complain about, it's that the G533's microphone isn't quite top-notch -- I needed to speak up for friends to hear me in games, and a quick Audacity recording was both quieter and noisier with the G533 than my G930. (I may also miss all the programmable buttons: the G533 only comes with one, plus a volume dial -- though the mic automatically turns off when you retract it.)
Overall, I doubt you'll find a better wireless gaming headset for the price. I just wish I didn't look quite so ridiculous wearing it:
Which is why I'm also eyeing LucidSound's latest headsets. Stay tuned.