Logitech's new entry-level wireless gaming headset, the G435, which is compatible with PS4, PS5, Switch, PC and cell phones, is first and foremost a simple and very affordable model. But it doesn't forget the essentials.
If the Logitech G435 is mainly presented by its manufacturer as a gaming headset aimed at a young audience, the qualities that it intends to make its signature have something to say to gamers of all ages. Positioned at the entry level of Logitech's catalog of wireless headsets, it knows how to be content with very Cartesian ambitions: being simple, very affordable and versatile.
This last point is materialized by the headset's dual wireless connectivity, which can employ either Logitech's proprietary Lightspeed radio protocol for use on PS4, PS5, PC or Nintendo Switch, or a simple Bluetooth connection to accompany almost any mobile device (we'll come back to this in the course of this test).
With the price positioning of the G435, it is not surprising that it does not use particularly luxurious materials. But however ordinary it may be, the plastic of which the headset's chassis is made has no trouble "doing the job". Its great flexibility and the very honest assembly quality of the whole do not evoke any fear of premature breakage.
The same cannot be said for the exposed speaker wires and the fabric covering the headband, which we suspect could be prone to tearing if left unattended. It would probably be unwise to throw it carelessly into a backpack; repeated shaking and bumping with other objects might not be without consequences. We wish Logitech had at least provided a soft storage pouch with its headset, but unfortunately it does not.
At least the ear pads have the goodness to be removable. They should therefore be easy to replace in case of wear. However, Logitech does not offer them directly for sale, so a conversation with the manufacturer's customer service department will be necessary to obtain replacement pads.
The very simple construction of the helmet results in an extreme lightness, which is obviously in turn very beneficial for the comfort. With only 165 g (compared to 278 g of the G733, for example), the G435 manages to be completely forgotten on the skull despite the total absence of padding on the headband.
The earpieces are not in rest. Wide, deep and housing angled drivers leaving more space at the back, they should be able to accommodate optimally the vast majority of the auricles. As for the fabric covering the ear pads, it has a perfectly balanced texture and is breathable enough to avoid excessive heat sensations on the ears, even after long hours of wearing.
If there's one thing that might upset some users, it's the relatively limited maximum size of the helmet, which might not be suitable for very large heads. However, the proportion of people affected should be small.
The main connection mode for the G435 is Logitech's proprietary Lightspeed radio protocol, which makes use of the USB-A transmitter/receiver supplied with the headset. The latter complies with the USB Audio Class 1 standard, which means that it can be used with almost all platforms that have a suitable port: PCs running Windows, macOS or Linux, PlayStation 4 and 5, and even most iOS and Android devices via an adapter. Only Xbox consoles, still sadly faithful to their closed proprietary protocol, are resisting... as well as the Nintendo Switch, which usually supports USB audio devices in docked mode, but refuses for some reason to recognize the G435's transceiver.
In addition, the Bluetooth connectivity is rather basic, since it does not allow the connection to several source devices simultaneously, or even the memorization of several paired devices (you have to manually go back to the pairing mode each time you want to connect the headset to a Bluetooth source different from the last one used). It still allows the headset to be used with just about any mobile device, with one notable exception, namely... the Nintendo Switch, again! Decidedly recalcitrant, the hybrid console is unable to detect the headset in discovery mode (for a reason, again, totally unexplained) and therefore can not be paired with it. We can't even fall back on a good old wired connection, because the Logitech headset is completely devoid of it.
This incompatibility between the G435's Bluetooth and the Switch is all the more frustrating because the headset could have been among the most recommendable for use with the console in portable mode, thanks to its remarkably low broadcast latency: only 103 ms. Such an audio delay is certainly not negligible and leads to a clearly perceptible sound/image lag. However, this is still well within the acceptable range, and is in any case much better than the latencies of 150 ms, 200 ms or more generally observed with the whole range of nomadic Bluetooth headsets.
What's more, this low latency value is valid for any source device since it is achieved with the standard SBC codec, and not with a specific codec like aptX LL or FastStream. In the absence of a Switch, the G435 is therefore at least highly recommendable for mobile gaming - even though it is much better, when you have the choice (e.g. on a laptop), to opt for the USB transceiver connection, which ensures almost instantaneous streaming.
Controls & application
The G435's desire for extreme simplicity is perfectly symbolized by its controls. The headset has no more than four buttons (power on/off, volume up and down, mic on/off). Needless to say, it also dispenses with any control application, whether on PC, console or mobile.
There's something refreshing about this simplicity - but at the same time, we have to admit that we wouldn't have minded the presence of one or two additional buttons that could have made some of the operations a little more instinctive. A button dedicated to Bluetooth connectivity would have been relevant. In its absence, it would have been hard to guess that the switch between USB and Bluetooth modes is made by holding down the microphone open button, or that the pairing mode is entered by holding down the microphone and on/off buttons simultaneously. In short, before the first use, a careful reading of the manual (fortunately very short) is highly recommended to be sure not to miss some features.
The battery life promised by Logitech for the G435 is 18 hours, and our measurements more or less confirm this figure. With the volume set to 66% of its maximum value, the headset was able to stay awake for 19 hours and 30 minutes in Lightspeed mode (connection via the USB transceiver) and 17 hours in Bluetooth mode. This is not particularly impressive, but it is more than enough for everyday use.
On the other hand, it is regrettable that the headset does not provide any means of checking the exact remaining charge level. It can only tell us via its status LED whether the remaining charge is above 30%, between 15 and 30% or below 15%. In fact, when you're planning a long day of gaming, there's no other choice for complete peace of mind than to systematically perform a full charge - especially since it's impossible to use the headset while it's charging.
The G435's audio reproduction obviously doesn't claim to approach any form of high fidelity. But Logitech's headset is the perfect demonstration that an "entry-level" approach is not antinomic with the idea of a fully satisfying auditory experience.
For example, the headset's performance could not be better summed up than by saying that it is simply uneventful. Its sound is not especially detailed, not especially clear, not especially dynamic... but it provides just the right amount of transparency to allow you to immerse yourself in your games, movies and music without any major hindrance.
The frequency response is quite well balanced, just compromised by a small energy deficit in the presence zone, around 4 kHz. This can result in a slightly lacking sound and human voices that are a bit muffled and distant. This is an extremely common trait in the gaming headset world, for some reason that we can't be sure of. Perhaps it's because manufacturers are aware that gamers are the kind of people who keep their headsets on for long hours, and hope to reduce the risk of hearing fatigue. If this is the case, the effort does not really pay off, as the user's auditory attention tends to be focused on the high end, not exactly the most relaxing part of the audible spectrum. Not that the G435 has anything to reproach itself for in this area: its reproduction of very high frequencies is very clean, without any sibilance.
There's not much else to say about the sound performance of the G435, which ultimately does exactly what you'd expect from a headset in its price range: it's oblivious. The extension and reactivity of the bass are by no means remarkable, but sufficient to give explosions and gunshots a satisfactory impact. The stereophony is quite commendable and knows how to honor virtual spatialization treatments such as Dolby Atmos for Headphones, DTS Headphone:X or the PS5's 3D audio. Everything else is of the same standard: in a word, solid.
One final note: although the G435 is a closed-back headset, its cloth ear cups provide little sound isolation. This is not considered a defect in our rating, but be aware that this headset is not recommended for gaming in noisy environments.
The G435's integrated left earpiece microphone provides surprisingly effective voice pickup. Not only does it reproduce perfectly intelligible speech, but it also distinguishes itself by the natural timbre of the voice.
However, there are two small annoyances to note. Firstly, the sensitivity of the microphone is very low, and you usually have to rely on an after-the-fact gain adjustment (which most voice communication applications are fortunately able to apply automatically) to be heard by your interlocutors. In addition, the fact that the microphone is mounted on the perimeter of the headset rather than on a boom means that the filtering of external noise is inevitably very modestly effective. For this reason, it is better not to use the G435 in a noisy environment, otherwise you run the serious risk of quickly exasperating your fellow players.
It should be noted that the headset offers an audio feedback function from the microphone to its earpieces, which is very welcome for users who can't stand not hearing themselves speak. However, the operations to configure this function are not really intuitive (see what we wrote in the "controls" section of this review). We therefore advise you once again to take the time to read the manual before using the G435 for the first time.
A Cartesian product par excellence, the Logitech G435 shows all the qualities you'd expect from an entry-level wireless gaming headset: a very simple, yet satisfying design, a no-fuss user experience, and last but not least, more than decent performance, both in terms of speakers and microphone. Above all, the versatility brought by the dual radio connectivity via USB/Bluetooth is a very pleasant bonus. It's a pity, however, that the headset is stubbornly incompatible with the Nintendo Switch, with which it could have formed an irresistible couple.