Looking for a great companion for your all-night "World of Warcraft" marathons? The $59 Logitech G230, featuring booming volume in a lightweight design, may just be what you need to finally get to the next level.
Design and Comfort
Click to EnlargeMatte black with bright-red accents, the Logitech G230 headset is a visual treat. The ear-pad lining and headband padding are an eye-catching fire-engine red, complementing its smooth black-plastic frame. A shiny, silver "G" on the back of each ear cup adds a touch of class.
Weighing just 9 ounces, the G230 is light but doesn't feel flimsy. Its moving parts are sturdy, making it easy to swivel the ear cups so they lie flat for easy storage. The adjustable headband gives you several inches on each side to tailor the G230 to your head.
The sports-performance cloth used to line the ear cups is designed for comfort and to withstand heat and sweat. The ear pads can be removed, so you can clean them after those marathon gaming sessions.
Click to EnlargeA microphone extends from the left ear cup and is pliable, so you can place it as close to your mouth as you like. A clip and in-line controls on the G230's 7.65-foot cable lets you easily adjust volume and mute the headset. The cable splits into two at the end, leading into separate plugs for the mic and the headphones, so if your notebook only has a combo jack, you might have to forgo using the mic during gameplay.
Sound and Mic Quality
The G230's 40mm drivers offer solid sound performance for the money. We played "Bioshock Infinite" and "The Cave" at max volume and almost blasted our ears off. Gameplay was immersive thanks to the G230's ear cups, which effectively kept noise out. We could tell the direction from which characters in "Bioshock Infinite" were yelling at us, as well as the sounds of upcoming objects, like the crackling flame of a torch in "The Cave."
There was almost no sound leakage from the ear cups, but some particularly loud noises, such as the ranting of an enemy in "The Cave," could be heard by our co-workers.
Even though Logitech touts the microphone's noise-canceling qualities, we found that it picked up a significant amount of background noise. At times, our co-worker sitting to our left sounded louder than we did, despite the mic being extremely close to our mouth.
Click to EnlargeFor just $20 more, you can get the G430, which delivers a surround-sound experience with Dolby 7.1 enhancements and dedicated software to boost performance. With the G430, we were able to more clearly distinguish the direction and distance from which people were shouting at us. The G430's mic also does a better job of keeping out background noise, as we clearly heard ourselves over a heated discussion going on beside us.
The Logitech G230 is a good basic headset for newbies on a budget. Among Logitech's offerings, we prefer the G430, which offers Dolby 7.1 surround sound and a better noise-canceling mic for $79. But considering you can find the G230 for as little as $39, we think it's a great value for the beginning gamer.