For a truly immersive gaming experience, you can’t beat a decent set of surround sound speakers. Being able to hear enemies creeping up behind you or finding yourself in the middle of a hail of gunfire coming from all directions can make you feel like you’re really there.
Surround sound speakers are, however, cumbersome affairs. Not only do you have to find room for at least six speakers, but the wires connecting them all can look a real mess. Then there’s the problem of annoying others in the house (or even the neighbours) when you indulge in a bit of late night gaming.
If this sounds all too familiar, Logitech’s G35 Surround Sound Headset, which promises a 7.1 audio experience, will no doubt appeal. Unsurprisingly, there aren’t eight separate speakers housed inside this G35. Instead, it makes use of Dolby software to simulate a surround sound system.
When we first donned the headset, which attaches via a three-metre USB cable, we were surprised by how tight the earpieces were. Some may find it a little uncomfortable, especially after extended use, but it means that the G35 does a good job of blocking out any ambient noise and is also unlikely to slip off when you leap up in the air after being shot.
No gaming headset is complete without a microphone, and that’s exactly what you’ll find attached to the left earpiece. It sits on a flexible arm, allowing you to position it accurately, and can be flipped up when not in use; a nice touch is that the mic will automatically mute when you park it in an upright position.
The outside of the left earpiece is home to three customisable shortcut buttons, a volume wheel and a mute button. At the back sits a switch to turn the Dolby surround sound effect on or off.
The Logitech software includes a configuration tool, which lets you adjust levels and change what each of the shortcut buttons does. It also supplies some rather naff voice-changing software, which you’ll almost definitely tire of in a matter of minutes.
So, the burning question is: can this 7.1 headset replace a traditional surround sound speaker system? The answer, somewhat unsurprisingly, is a resounding no. That said, there’s no doubt that the G35 is able to produce some impressive audio. Flick the Dolby switch on and it sounds far more open compared to standard headsets. And, although by no means outstanding, it delivers a decent amount of bass.
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