Review: Logitech G435 gaming headset is both ridiculously comfortable and expensive

Purchasers in New Zealand will have to pay a massive premium compared to those overseas.
Purchasers in New Zealand will have to pay a massive premium compared to those overseas. Photo credit: Newshub

Most tech geeks have companies they admire and tend to spend their money with.

Logitech has long fulfilled that role for me for peripherals such as keyboards, mouses and webcams.

The two iPads in my household both have cases made by the Swiss technology company, while the MX Keys for Mac keyboard is just a delight to use. Also the 1080p quality of the C922 webcam on my work PC means my colleagues can see my unkempt lockdown beard in all its hairy, high-definition glory.

But with plenty of alternatives around, headphones aren't something I've previously considered purchasing from Logitech.

The launch of the new G435 wireless headset had me intrigued, however. It's said to be ultra-lightweight, made with sustainable materials where possible and carbon neutral. Those claims are going to grab my attention.

So can the company add another string to their already substantial bow, or does the 'lightweight' description apply to more than just the physical size?

I've been using the new Logitech G435 gaming headset for a week and here are my thoughts.

The good

Two things count most, in my opinion, when it comes to any type of headphones - comfort and sound quality.

When it comes to the former, the G435s knock it out of the park. The soft, fabric-covered earcups are among the most comfortable things I've ever worn.

Some headphones start to itch or even make you sweat after you've worn them for a relatively short period of time.

These allowed me to travel around Paris and Ireland killing anyone and anything that got in my way in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla for hours on end without even a hint of discomfort.

Logitech G435
Photo credit: Newshub

Part of that comfort is also their heft - or rather, lack of it. They weigh in at only 165g having been designed for those with smaller head sizes. 

Me? I've often been accused of having a big head (guilty!) but these fitted without issue and could easily have been worn by someone with an even larger noggin.

Regardless, there were times when it was easy to forget I was wearing them. There is virtually zero pressure on the top of your head and that's impressive.

Sound-wise, they hit pretty much what I'd expect from a non-premium product. The 40mm drivers give enough bass and depth to the sound that, for both gaming and listening to music, you're going to be able to hear what you need to.

It's not immersive in the way more premium headphones are and there's a noticeable difference in overall fidelity if you quickly switch from these to more expensive phones, but again I don't think that's unexpected given where they sit in the market.

Connection to my gaming and mobile devices was easy enough, too. For the PlayStation 5 and PC, I plugged in the USB-A 2.4 GHz adapter and it was recognised and working in no time at all. The G435s aren't compatible with the Xbox Series X, however.

With my phone and iMac it was simply a matter of pairing via Bluetooth. And again, it worked flawlessly. I noticed little, if any, lag over my time using the headset. Another big tick.

Logitech G435
Photo credit: Newshub

I also have zero complaints about the battery life. Charging via the included USB-C cable is quick and easy, with a reported 18 hours of battery life per charge.

That will vary depending on whether you are using Bluetooth or the 2.4GHz dongle, but I comfortably used them for about 15 hours over a number of days without needing recharging.

Finally, I'm fully onboard with companies shouting about the environmental friendliness of their products. Logitech says the G435s are its most sustainable wireless headset, made with a minimum of 22 percent recycled plastic components.

It also comes in paper packaging and is certified Carbon Neutral, meaning certified carbon offsets are bought to reduce the impact of production.

That means you can help save the planet while cursing the person who just killed you in Call of Duty. That works for me!

The bad

The biggest flaw of the G435s is the price, which I'll come back to in a minute. But there are some other issues that could affect your usage to deal with first.

While I've already praised how light the headphones are, I'm tempted to suggest that could also be a euphemism for feeling a little cheap and flimsy.

There's a lot more flexibility in the main stems than I would normally expect and I'd be worried about how long they'd last if I was buying these for my teenagers.

Logitech G435
Photo credit: Newshub

I wear headphones to my bed every night and I tried that with these. But I switched to another set within 10 minutes as it felt the pressure against my pillows would break something.

There's also a lack of functionality and control. The on-cup buttons are easy to use, but very limited. For anything barring volume or switching the audio source you're going to have to rely on the settings on your device to control it instead.

There's also no audio jack for wired connections, making them even more limited compared to other gaming headphones on the market. 

Something that would normally be a plus is the lack of microphone boom on the G435s. The set uses dual beamforming mics to eliminate the arm and reduce background noise but it's no better than just okay.

In my quiet home office it wasn't too much of a problem but with a simulated office environment with noise, the person on the other end of my call was able to hear too much of the hubbub.

There's also a bit of a sound leakage problem, which can impact both those on calls with you and even those in the same room.

While wearing these and blasting Metallica near my partner, she was able to hear quite a lot more than either of us would have expected of the masterpiece that is 'One'.

There have also been reports of echoes induced by the sound leakage being picked up by the microphones, but in my short time using them on calls this wasn't overly noticeable.

Both of those are the downside to those delightfully comfortable, lightweight fabric cups, I'm afraid.

Logitech G435
Photo credit: Newshub

The verdict

Comfortable, easy to use and with a great design would usually mean a pretty strong recommendation for a product such as the G435 gaming headset, even with some of the previously mentioned downsides.

But - and it's a big but - I can't help but feel we're being ripped off here, and that hurts. 

In the United States the G435s retail for US$80 a pair, the equivalent of around NZ$114. In Australia they're going for AU$199, which is less than NZ$210.

Even if you add in import fees, transport and taxes, then the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of NZ$250 is a HUGE premium for Kiwis to have to pay out, particularly for a product aimed at the younger generation.

I asked the company why New Zealanders were faced with paying so much more.

"While Logitech recommends a MSRP, we do not (and legally cannot) set or control retail pricing," a spokesperson told Newshub.

"MSRPs for Logitech products are fairly consistent around the world. However, it is possible that in different countries, similar products can be priced differently.

"This is due to a variety of factors, including demand, production and logistics costs, taxes, product line and the market in a particular country."

I understand that there will be pricing differences - that's the nature of living on an island at the far end of the world. But I can't accept paying way more than double the cost.

Logitech G435
Photo credit: Newshub

This all means you have a small number of options available to you if you really want the G435s.

I'd suggest anyone interested have a look at other options on the market in Aotearoa for a similar price. One could also keep an eye on price comparison websites for sales, or import directly from overseas and hope the shipping isn't too expensive.

Sadly, for me, I'll always look at the G435s with a bit of a side eye, wishing we in New Zealand didn't have to fork out so much for them.

They have a place and they have value - but not a value of NZ$250.

Newshub was supplied a Logitech G435 gaming headset for this review.