My cohort and video companion Andrew and I were invited to the Logitech Audio Facility in Camas, WA to get our hands on their new Artemis Spectrum headset line. After an extensive tour, we left with the spoils of war, two brand new shiny G633 headsets. After putting the headphones through their paces I've come away impressed.
The Artemis Spectrum line boasts cutting edge driver technology developed in house with their Senior Audio Engineer, Tracy Wick. The Pro G driver, as they are calling it, is the part of the headphone that actually makes sound, and their version is using technology that Tracy cooked up in their facility. The idea behind changing the driver was to not only give you better sound in games, but also a better overall audio experience.
When I first placed them on, I was at a station demoing the headset paired with Alien: Isolation. Sound is an important gameplay element in itself, hearing audio cues allow you to react before your eyes can actually see. During our day, the Logitech team kept stressing all day that the new driver would allow you to hear both low and high frequency better and with less distortion. While I sat there, I was hearing it in action. The sound, especially on the low end, was distinctly clear. It didn't stop with gaming though.
I don't consider myself an audiophile, but I do collect music pretty fanatically. I have gathered around 60,000 tracks in all my years, and the collecting, enjoying, and categorizing of said music is very important to me. I religiously use a pair of Bose quiet comfort headphones to listen to music at home because I love that they deafen me to the outside world, and let me hear everything the way the creator wanted me to.
When I got my G633s I was excited to get home and try them out with the collection and I was extremely impressed with the results. My Bose are still my go-to, but the fact that the Artemis Spectrum headphones are even in the conversation is already saying a lot. Much like my impressions with gaming, I was hearing low/background sounds much clearer, which I already got with my 300+ headphones, but was surprised to be getting with the G633s at half the price.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I also mentioned above that I tried these out while traveling, and they held up well. They aren't noise canceling, but they do make a good seal on the side of your head to keep a decent amount of outside noise out, and on top of that, reduce the amount of bleed to the outside world. We tested some loud tracks and I had to crank to uncomfortable levels before someone three feet away could hear, so rock out to your Taylor Swift songs on the train without worry. I also really appreciate the foldaway mic, so I don't look like a complete dolt while walking on the streets or in a subway.
One caveat here, albeit a small one, is the headset doesn't come with anything to protect it while traveling. For something that is being stressed as mobile friendly, and with all the work they did to make the mic foldaway and be hidden but still be useful, the headset did get a little banged up when I wasn't using it. I understand at that price point I am already getting a lot for my money, but if they had an option to buy a hard case, I would have already grabbed one. I ended up taking a soft bag with a drawstring from another headset for future use.
En Mi Casa
The final test was to get it home and plug into my PC and consoles. I was happy to find out that the new LGS software update had support for the Artemis spectrum line, so I got to tinkering. There are a bunch of awesome features built into the software that make it easy to customize but also has something for people who want to dive in and change everything. You can toggle between DTS and Dolby, change the colors of the LEDs in the headset, and even sync them up with other Logitech RGB devices. It does look pretty cool when my G410 Atlas Spectrum and the G633 headset are synced up on my desk.
One of my favorite options is the allowance for presets that are game specific, so if you like a different speaker placement for CS:GO than you do for League of Legends, you can save them in the software and then when the game fires up they are already running. The G-keys on the headset are also fully customizable here, so you can place in your shortcuts to your hearts content. Also, although I didn't exactly sweat in them, they claimed the ear cups were washable, so threw them in the wash and they came out fine.
I then plugged the headset to consoles. For PlayStation 4, it can be used by plugging into the bottom of the controller with the mobile cable. For Xbox One, you need the headset adapter and you then plug the 3.5 mm cable right into there.
While we are on the subject of the 3.5mm cable, one minor problem with it drove me nuts. The headset itself has a volume wheel on the back, right beneath the Gkeys. But, when you are using the headset for mobile, that volume knob is inoperable. Instead, you have to use the one on the in-line mic, which I found to not have as great of a feel as the other on the headset. I found myself fumbling around for it, and to make matters worse, it kept rubbing against me and changing my volume inadvertently. This happened to me less when I was gaming, but when I was on the go, I found myself suddenly getting blasted by volume or being barely able to hear Jose Gonzalez' sweet voice. Its a small thing, and probably not going to affect a lot of people, but I did notice it. One way to avoid this is to use the small clip they placed on the back of the inline mic housing, but I didnt always have something to clip it to.
Despite the mobile cable quirks, and lack of protection, Logitech clearly has a winner here. If we are just talking about sound alone, this headset sounds excellent, especially for low frequencies. Add in the customization, DTS and Dolby Digital, comfort for long gaming sessions, functionality across mobile/PC/console, and you have the most versatile headset logitech has ever made. If you are in the market, and don't want to break the bank, the Artemis Spectrum Series is a solid choice.