Usage Impressions and Conclusion
Sound Quality and 7.1 Surround
The G533 are, at their core, stereo headphones. There are two 40mm Pro-G drivers, and any multi-channel surround effects will be simulated; though, just as with the Artemis Spectrum headsets before them, this effect is pretty convincing. Still, I’ll begin with my standard 2-channel audio quality impressions. I would prefer objective measurements on the order of what Tyll does at Inner Fidelity, rather than just offer my opinion, but tens of thousands of dollars in test equipment is a little beyond my reach. Instead, I will offer my own impressions; which are based on not only years of critical listening, but in direct comparisons with other headphones and gaming headsets on hand.
I didn’t start out listening to anything that qualifies as high-resolution, or by using special audio software, and initial impressions were still pretty good. But before drawing any conclusions I switched to my usual PC setup for audio playback: foobar2000 with the WASAPI plugin. Using WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API) to push the untouched audio from my source files eliminates the possibility of resampling or software enhancements affecting the playback, and at that point I’m up against the practical limits of my sound card. Usually. But the G533 does not allow for an analog connection, so any audio you hear is going to be processed using the built-in DAC and amp in the headset itself. One good thing about an integrated solution is that you get consistency across all devices. The experience I had testing it with my PC will be identical to yours, since the G533 itself is handling audio conversion and amplification.
All testing was done with a flat EQ
My initial impression was of a warm sound – which is to say, a slight emphasis on lower midrange and bass, though I didn't find the G533 to be bass-heavy. The drivers might be the same (or at least share the same specs) as the Pro-G 40mm drivers from the Artemis Spectrum models, but the housing makes a big difference with headphones as well. I found the G933/G633 to have stronger bass performance from the lowest notes, but I can’t back that up with any objective data. Overall I was very pleased with the sound from the G533, which is rich and full, but still has plenty of detail. I’ve probably mentioned my pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700X in every headset review, but those are my everyday headphones and their ultra-detailed, but slightly lean, sound does affect my impression of other headphones. Comparing the G533 to other gaming headsets, however (a much more appropriate comparison), I found them to be just below the G933/G633 in overall sound quality (again, the lowest bass was the difference), but above everything else I’ve tried so far. (Warmer and more pronounced bass than the Logitech G231, more detail/clarity than the Fatal1ty by Monster FX100, and better stereo imaging and more detail than the Corsair VOID headset).
Surround effects were as believeable as those of the Artemis Spectrum headphones, which excelled in that department. If you like a spacious surround experience, DTS sounded 'wider' and had more depth than the Dolby effect to me, and the latter is not present with the G533 so it's a moot point anyway. A purist might argue against 2-driver "7.1 surround" headsets, preferring discrete-driver options; but you do need to at least try a pair of these or something like them to know how convincing the effect can be. The very back of a 7.1-channel mix is the hardest for me to believe, but all of the speakers from a 5.1 mix sound in their right place to me. Front stereo vs. the hard left/right of the surround drivers is very pronounced, while the rear left/right of the 7.1 mix seems just slightly further behind my ears, but this effect is enough to make it feel like real surround, so it certainly gets the job done.
Wireless and Battery Life
Wireless range is outstanding, and better than it was with the G933 in my house. I have a 1920's home with thick plaster walls, and notoriously bad wireless performance as a rule. But I could walk freely around my house without the sound dropout I'm used to once I'm more than one room away. Range is not unlimited, but it is very good – which makes sense considering these are rated for up to 15 meters (49.2 feet). As to battery life, considering I used these for a few longer sessions (2 – 3 hours) before ever charging them once (they were mostly charged out of the box) I found that performance in that area is outstanding. While volume is not mentioned in the specs as it was for the G933 (where the 12-hour life was based on performance at 50% volume and lighting effects disabled), the G533's are rated for 15 hours of use, and I believe it.
If the $149.99 price is within your budget and you want/need a wireless option, the Logitech G533 gaming headset gets my seal of approval for overall quality and great sound. I am notoriously picky when it comes to fidelity from my headphones (and speakers, but we won’t go down that road here), and I could use these daily for gaming, movies, and music without any complaint. The only thing that limits their usefulness for me is the fact that they are for PC/Mac only, since you need the USB dongle to use them. There is no 3.5 mm wired option, which is fine for anyone looking for the wireless PC/Mac experience they were designed for, but does not allow for portable use with a smartphone (or my PS Vita, for that matter), which I did enjoy from the G633/G933. Compared to a Bluetooth option, which would obviously work for virtually any portable device as well, the advantage of G533 is the lack of latency, as these are indistinguishable from wired in that area to me.
Between the excellent sound, outstanding wireless range, long battery life, and superior construction, the G533 are an easy recommendation for PC users looking for a wireless gaming headset. If it weren't for the continued availability of the excellent G933 Artemis Spectrum headset at its current ~$135 Amazon price (admittedly, this will be short-lived), the G533 would be my 'editor's choice' for a wireless headset.
Thanks for the review. I
Thanks for the review. I didn’t know you could get decent stereo sound from wireless headphones. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely be checking them out. Sebastian, can you please compare the stereo music sound quality to grado 60 or 80?
The Grado SR60 provides
The Grado SR60 provides similar detail levels, but lighter bass and a little more 'midrange-forward' sound – so voices and instruments like guitars will be a little more prominent. The SR80 is a better-sounding headphone, but not by a lot. The Grados do get incrementally better as you go up the chain, and I've gone through them one after the other at my local hi-fi store to verify this. I still find the biggest jump to be at the top of the Prestige series from Grado with the SR325, which is in another world for detail and clarity compared to any gaming headset I have heard, but costs $295, too.
I have to say as an 'audiophile' type I have been really impressed with the last few pairs of Logitech headphones, which have a much more lifelike stereo sound quality to them, rivalling some dedicated stereo headphones. Even the lower-cost G231 sounded great from stereo sources, easily on par with Grado SR60's – and had a similar bass response to the Grado as well. Bass is probably the most notable difference moving up to the Pro-G drivers in the G533, as they have plenty of kick in the lower frequencies.
Thanks so much Sebastian for
Thanks so much Sebastian for the awesome response. I had the SR60’s and then SR80’s for many years, and tolerated the awful discomfort because of their price and sound. It is great that you think the G533s are close to the same level of sound outside of the midrange, which is important to me (and I am sure you), but not a deal breaker considering they are wireless and for what I will be using them for. Knowing how great the sr60’s and sr80’s are for the price, I have no doubt the sr325s sounds scary good.
No problem! Yes, the SR325s
No problem! Yes, the SR325s are really, really good. So good, I found the RS2s to be more of a build upgrade (wood construction) than a big upgrade in sound, and I have owned both. To even be talking about Grado headphones in the same conversation as a gaming headset makes me happy. For $149 the G533s are pretty damn good, and they're wireless. My only real complaint is that they are PC/Mac only – with no way to use them with a phone or music player. Oh well, they work all over the house so you could just play music on the computer and walk around freely.
Fugly as all Fs. Tanks, but
Fugly as all Fs. Tanks, but no thanks.
I’ll keep on using my GODLIKE Bose QuietComfort 35 and Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC.
Does anybody know if this
Does anybody know if this unit allows charging while in use. My current Corsair Void does not and I underestimated how annoying this can be. In mid game changing headsets and thus reconfiguring the windows audio settings is really not what you want to be doing.
Yes, this allows use while
Yes, this allows use while charging. It still needs to be connected wirelessly via the dongle, but the USB cable can be attached for charging from an available port and it can be used at the same time. It charges pretty fast via USB 3.0.
thanks for the reply, the
thanks for the reply, the only problem is that I now have to resist my temptation to buy (yet) another headset, lol.
Would you recommend the 533
Would you recommend the 533 over the 933 with the 533 at $129.99?
That’s tough… There are
That's tough… There are pros and cons; battery life and range are better with the G533, but the 933 is a little more premium overall and offers mobile/console support as well. I'd go with the 933 if you can still get it for around $135. I doubt they will last at that price, and then the G533 will be an easy first choice 🙂
How does the surround compare
How does the surround compare to the other solutions such as the Sennheiser GSX 1000, Soundblaster Z, Xonar cards with Dolby headphone, Razer surround software etc?
DTS Headphones is one of those solutions I only know exists on a few particular headphones so its impossible to get it on a decent set of cans and also compare it like people have done with Realtek v SBX v Dolby headphone v CMSS etc.
Good question, and I wish I
Good question, and I wish I had the gear to compare. My impression that the DTS effects provide very good positional surround is not going to change, but I would like to hear the other options.
I just can’t get excited
I just can’t get excited about a wireless headset that doesn’t use a standard like Bluetooth. Is there a good reason why this isn’t a Bt set or does Logitech just like locking people into proprietary dongles that are easy to break and lose?
Latency. Bluetooth introduces
Latency. Bluetooth introduces a lot of latency, which matters a lot when you need audio to sync with the video output. There is an aptX Low Latency Bluetooth CODEC, but that is still ~40ms, and there is nothing with less latency. A 2.4 GHz connection like the G533 allows for two things: lowest latency and uncompressed audio.
The sound in the drivers
The sound in the drivers fluates for me Sebastian. how do you fix that? Sometimes its great then its LOW. I set audio to 60 on windows 10 and the problem still happens.
Its weird you didnt mention any low audio issues. I think the logitech software is the issue. It takes control of audio enhancements.
That is odd. I never had
That is odd. I never had audio level issues. I controlled audio with the control on the headset, which changes the Windows audio level. I had the G533 set as my default output device under sound settings. Zero issues, with or without effects enabled.
Thank you for great review
Thank you for great review Sebastian.
I drove to Best Buy yesterday, on your recommendation, to see if I could find a pair of these but had no luck.
Fortunately, I found the G933s on sale for $129!
I was really looking forward to the understated look of the G533s but I can definitely settle for the fancy 933s since I wont really be looking at them as i use them.
I’m going to set these up today and give them a whirl. I’m upgrading from my current Creative Tactics Wrath Wireless with 50mm drivers, they are at least 5 years old I think.
I’m hoping to be wowed and impressed! 🙂
I want to add that I plugged
I want to add that I plugged these into my android phone through an otg cable and the worked flawlessly, even the mic was detected. Disclaimer: Phone is a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro, rooted, with cm13 on it. It does drain the battery quite a bit, was at 75% after 2 and a half hours of use.
I should clarify that the
I should clarify that the battery I am referring to is my phones, not the headsets.
Hello, posting from 02/2018,
Hello, posting from 02/2018, I recently bought a pair of G933 and although they are nice, they seem a bit heavy, plus the top padding already came off on the 3rd day after very careful usage.
The G533 is going for $88 compared to the G933 for $129, do you think I should switch?