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Impressions: Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

3:00 PM on 06.18.2013 // Aerox

Great value for the price

My experiences with sub-$100 headphones haven't been the most positive. I've gone through quite a few pairs from a variety of manufacturers, and have generally had issues with either comfort, durability, and/or sound/microphone quality.

I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find that the $79.99 G430s can compete, and even surpass, other headsets I've tried that offer comparable features but cost over double the G430's price. I've spent a few weeks with my pair, and they've now become my primary gaming headset.

Product: G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Manufacturer: Logitech
Input: 3.5mm jacks with USB adapter included
MSRP: $79.99

The G430 package is fairly basic -- you get the headset and a small USB adapter, and that's it. The headset itself has a non-detachable microphone and a simple inline control on the cord that toggles volume and microphone mute only. There are no adjustable straps, no additional inline control panel attachments, and no other input adapters.

For me, the basics were all I needed. I tested the headphones on a variety of games, and came away generally impressed -- audio comes through crisp and clear, and the headphones deliver on their promise of 7.1 surround sound with surprising accuracy. While I primarily connected the headset to my PC with the USB adapter, I also switched out to test the 3.5mm inputs I noticed no difference. 

Although the headset's microphone doesn't offer studio quality recording capabilities, it's more than passable for Skype conversations or voice chat. Tests on Skype, Mumble, Google Hangouts, and a number of in-game chat services produced easy-to-hear conversations with no static or cutting out. Physically, the headset's microphone is a little thick, but also rather flexible, and can be turned upwards out of the way.

I initially found the G430s to be on the heavy side. Most of the headsets I've used in the past have been on the lighter side, and I was at first experiencing mild head and neck pain related to the headset's weight after about an hour of use. However, after roughly two weeks, I appear to have adjusted, and can now wear them for hours at a time with little to no discomfort. The headband and over-the-ear cans are both padded with breathable cloth-covered foam, and while the headset is a bit tight, even after adjustments (people with huge heads beware), the headband and cans never caused discomfort.

Overall, the G430s are a solid buy at $79.99, and can compete with headphones that are significantly more expensive. They may take a little bit of time to get used to wearing, especially if you have a bigger-than-average head, but provide significant value at a very reasonable price.

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