Logitech has long been a champion in the peripheral industry. They compete in nearly major category and are a fixture in year-end “Best Of” lists. Earlier this month, we approached Logitech to see if they would like to participate in our Audio Autumn review series. They were happy so oblige, so today we’re looking at their flagship wireless gaming headset, the G933 Artemis Spectrum. It’s packed with features, including two separate surround sound modes, and looks like something from a far flung future. But does it have what it takes to compete against the other stellar headsets we’ve examined this month? Read on to find out.
- MSRP: $199.99 (current sale price: $132.99)
- Driver: 1.6 in (40 mm)
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
- Impedance: 39 Ohms (passive), 5k Ohms (active)
- Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
- Wireless Range: Indoor: 15m/Outdoor: 20m (may vary depending on conditions)
- Outdoor: 20 meters (may vary depending on conditions)
- Connection Type: USB (PC, Charging Only), 3.5mm (Consoles/Smart Devices)
- Battery Life (at 50% Volume): Lighting disabled: 12 hours, Default lighting: 8 hours
- Additional Features: Braided cable, three source audio input, RGB illumination, programmable buttons
- Microphone Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
- Size: 4mm
- Frequency response: 100Hz-20KHz
- Noise Cancelling: Yes
With specs out of the way, I’d like to get right down to brass tacks. The Artemis Spectrum is a very good headset, and if, like I’ve done, you were to pick it up on Logitech’s pedigree alone, you wouldn’t be disappointed. It’s not perfect, though, and takes some teasing to get the best possible experience out of it. If you’re willing to put in the time, there’s a lot to love here, but that process takes a little longer than you may be used to.
More Blade Runner than Best Buy
The Artemis has a unique design that feels slightly cyberpunk. Admittedly, a lot of this has to do with the bright LED strips lining each ear cup, but the overall design is one of hard angles and soft corners. The headband arches out and curves back in; the earcups are big and rectangular; the inner surfaces and ear cushions are embossed with a triangle pattern. All of these design decisions work together to make the G933 feel like a headset from Blade Runner instead over Best Buy. The lights might be a bit much for my taste, but the appeal is there, even if it does mean I’d be keeping these at home instead of on my commute.
The left earcup also features its own control panel. The rear side includes three programmable buttons, the power switch, a volume roller, and a microphone mute. I was perplexed at first about why anyone would want macro buttons on their headset, but Logitech has included some smart defaults to swap between EQ presets, enable/disable surround sound, and to adjust the headset’s lighting. You can, of course, remap them to anything including macros, but I rather like the more headset specific variants, such as adjusting bass and treble, controlling media, or enabling the advanced equalizer in the Logitech Gaming Software. There’s also a bit of onboard memory to save a custom EQ profile.
More Versatility, Right Out of the Box
The versatility here is definitely a cut above the nearly dozen headsets headsets I currently have in the office. Taking the headset into my day job, I was excited to be able to swap EQ profiles and have working virtual surround sound without needing to install any software. Using the wireless transmitter, the G933 works straight out of the box (though, you should definitely grab the software too).
The button placement is more of a headache though, and I wish they would have either made the buttons more distinctive or swapped some onto the other earcup. I routinely hit the wrong buttons, swapping EQs when I wanted to change surround sound, forcing me to open up the software to see which preset I’d wound up at and manually set it back. Eventually, you get used to the ridges and the nuances of the other profiles, but it made the first few days more of a headache than they needed to be.
Thankfully, the sound on the G933’s is great, so it’s easier to forgive some errant ear buttons. Even on the flat profile, the headphones present a rich bass with even better sub-bass to rumble your ears. Mids and highs are clear and detailed, giving cues like gunshots a snappiness that’s muddy and muffled on poorly tuned headsets. Usually, I find myself tweaking even good headsets to add detail onto the high end, but the Logitechs were good to go out of the box.
I tend to use headphones in stereo mode, which sounds fantastic mind you, but this headset is both Dolby and DTS Headphone X 7.1 surround sound enabled. I found the DTS mode to be the superior choice for my taste. Dolby had a tendency to cut the lower frequencies, leaving the audio sounding too hollow for my taste. DTS didn’t have that effect and widened the soundstage to create a far improved sense of space. Like most virtual surround sound options, it applies a lot of reverb to boost its effect and I’m just not a fan. What the Artemis doesn’t do, though, is lose positionality when surround sound is enabled, which is a major win for 7.1 fans.
One of the most unique features of the headset is its ability to accept three separate audio sources at a time. Both the USB transmitter and the headset itself feature 3.5mm jacks you can use to mix audio into what you’re hearing from your PC. This means you can play a game, take a phone call, and run an MP3 player at one time without having to remove your headset. It’s chaos! But a good chaos. I often listen to podcasts while I game, and being able to run them from my phone instead of a browser tab is a nice bonus.
Mic, Build, and Wireless Quality
The Artemis also has a quality mic that fits flush into the left earcup. When you’re not using it, it’s downright hidden - I flipped the headset over looking for it the first time! Wireless mics, and especially those with noise isolation, usually suffer from terrible compression. The G933 does a good job of maintaining clarity and is definitely one of the better wireless mics I’ve heard. It’s not very good at isolating noise, though, so background noise (like typing) is going to come through loud and clear. You can also use it with consoles and smartphones, and the in-line mic/remote delivers a far superior sound. Have a listen:
The Logitech Gaming Software suite is powerful and user friendly. Here you can customize your EQs, adjust lighting effects, program your buttons, and view battery status. You can also create custom profiles, even for specific games and apps, and the headset will intelligently switch when you boot them up. That last part requires the Logitech Gaming Software, but you’re able to save one custom profile to the headset itself to take with you on the go.
Build-wise, I wish that Logitech had opted for a little more metal and a little less plastic. A plastic body with a metal headband is pretty standard for gaming headsets in this price range, but coming from the all metal HyperX Cloud Alpha last week, the Artemis feels less durable, especially at the apex of the headband. The cushioning is very nice, especially on the ear cups. I was skeptical of the rectangular design at first, but they actually allowed my ears to breath much more than the average closed-back headset, which is great for those long gaming sessions.
I’m also not convinced that a headset really needs RGB lighting - and I’m a huge RGB fan. With all of the lighting disabled, Logitech’s quote of a dozen hours at mid volume is pretty accurate. Turn it on at all and you cut four hours off that time. Anything other than breathing and you’re down to 7 hours per charge. That’s quite a hit for something you can’t even see. The actual quality of the wireless is very good. The range extended more than 12 meters in my house, through two walls, with no drops.
Logitech’s flagship headset delivers an enviable richness in its low end that’s driven by a powerful sub-bass that reverberates in your most intense gaming moments. For gaming, this is great, and I was happy to hear the snappy clarity of properly punched up mids and highs right out of the box, too. The ability to change EQ profiles on the fly, or better yet, to let the Logitech Gaming Software intelligently switch for you, gives them a versatility many headsets in this price range can’t compete with. I do wish there was a little less plastic in their construction and that the battery life was a touch longer, but these drawbacks can’t overcome the clear strengths on display. Whether you’re a new or returning Logitech fan, the G933 Artemis Spectrum is ready to win you over.
- Neat, cyberpunk-like design
- Large, breathable ear cups
- Dual surround sound choices
- Programmable buttons
- Rich bass
- RGB kills battery life
- Too much plastic
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.