Review and giveaway: Logitech G330 portable gaming headphones

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logi330  001
The Short Version: These headphones fit a sort of questionable niche; who really games and travels so much that they need compact gaming headphones? But that aside, the G330s are still a mixed bag. Sound quality is good for a traditional headphone style, but they don’t seem to fit as intended. If you find yourself needing a portable gaming headset, try these on before you buy.

Also: I’m giving away the pair I reviewed, details at the end of the review.
Contest over! Thanks for playing!

Features:

  • Compact design
  • Fresh styling
  • USB interface
  • Inline volume/mic controls
  • MSRP: $50

Pros:

  • Sound is pretty good for traditional headset style
  • It really is quite compact
  • USB interface simplifies things

Cons:

  • Why?
  • Headset fits strangely, slips down over time

The question I have to ask you right off the bat is, do you really need your headphones to look cool? I mean — if you’re playing WoW in a cafe, isn’t it a little late to worry about your image? Secondly, in what situation are you traveling and gaming so much that you need a special headset with a microphone built in? You don’t have enough space to pack a solid headset like the Megalodon, yet you can carry a 17″ gaming laptop? But enough questions, you see my point. The G330 headset seems to be a product without a market to me, but perhaps Logitech knows best.

330s

The G330 has a behind-the-head design that makes it extremely compact. It’s also flexible so it won’t snap in your bag. The whole thing seems extremely well-designed and is built very well. It’s all flexible plastic, and the mic is positionable. The earcups swivel a bit so they push directly onto your ears, which helps the sound a lot; traditional headphones tend to improve the closer they are to your ear. The cord is about seven feet long, has a pretty standard in-line remote on it, and ends in the traditional green and pink 3.5mm jacks. These plug into a short USB adapter. Construction all around is excellent.

logi330  002Unfortunately, the fit is a little more difficult to like. I’ve had behind-the-head sets before and they’ve worked for me, but for some reason this one seems to sink on me. That is to say, I put it on, position it so it’s gripping me by the ears, essentially, and start gaming. All is well until I realize that a few small movements I’ve made have caused it to slip down, causing the frame to rest on the top of my ears and the actual drivers to no longer be where they should be. All it takes is a quick adjustment, but really, a good pair of headphones shouldn’t become uncomfortable every five or ten minutes.

I can’t guarantee that this will be your experience: after all, we all have differently-shaped heads, and the G330 may fit yours admirably. All I know is that my head isn’t that small, and even on the tightest setting these things slip down all the time.

When they’re on properly, they sound quite good. The swiveling ear cups ensure the sound is taking the best path into your ear, and they also help distribute the pressure equally. They produced decent depth, good highs, and solid bass. Keep in mind these are not closed headphones so your roommate, spouse, or neighbor at the cafe will hear what you’re hearing (not to mention what you say into the mic).

I still don’t really understand the draw to a semi-compact pair of headphones (in-ears provide better sound, isolation, and are far smaller) for “portable gaming.” It’s not for a DS or something — the Razer Moray+ does that — it’s for PC gaming on the go. But is that really… something? I don’t know. I just wanted to register my puzzlement.

I had a mixed experience with the G330, but because it was with such a subjective thing as fit, I can’t withhold a recommendation. Logitech makes good headphones, and if one pair doesn’t fit me, I’m not going to trash it. But the behind-the-head design isn’t for everybody, so if you’re looking for a pair for yourself, try them on first if you can. I can’t recommend them as a gift, however: it’s just too much of a risk that the recipient will encounter the same fit problems I did. Aside from that, however, the G330 is an attractive, well-built, decent-sounding pair of headphones.

And the contest! Tell us what games you like to play on the go; I’ll pick one of you guys at random and you get the pair I’ve got (lightly used, mostly disease-free). Contest is over! Our randomly selected winner (Lloyd) should be getting an email presently. Thanks for entering! We’re giving away lots of stuff this holiday season so check back often.

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