Looks fancy, but is actually very basic

Gaming headsets typically try to appeal to their target demographic by appearing aggressive or serious in design—which is readily apparent with the G230. Not only is it very aggressive-looking with an angled exterior, but a red and black color scheme screams "I mean business."

There isn't any fuss, just a gaming headset you use and don't think about.

You won't notice anything that really stands out if you look at the unit for its features, however—it's fairly pedestrian. It epitomizes what a PC gaming headset should be at bare minimum out of the box: It has a movable boom microphone, light plastic construction, and a pair of 1/8th inch plugs at the end of a 9.84-foot cable for the microphone and headphone aspects of the G230.

In reality, this is a very basic headset no matter how you slice it. When the most exciting feature of the unit is a remote that lets you change volume or cut the mic in-game, there's really not a whole lot to talk about. But perhaps that's one of the best things about this unit in particular: There isn't any fuss, just a gaming headset you use and don't think about. You may find the cable to be a bit long, but you can bind it with the velcro wrap that comes with the cans.

Decent, but a little weak on bass

Despite its relative inability to block out the world around you, the G230 actually does fairly well with both music and in-game sounds. While this may mean that it's not the best choice for high-volume shooters, it'll work well enough for most games that aren't saturated with constant gunfire. RPGs, adventure games, puzzle games, and even just using Skype or Hangouts will be more or less perfect with the G230.

Logitech didn't tailor the audio quality to fit any one type of game, and treated it more like a traditional set of headphones.

From the readouts of the performance in the lab, it looks like Logitech didn't tailor the audio quality to fit any one type of game, and treated it more like a traditional set of headphones. It does give you the flexibility to treat these headphones as a replacement for old "at the computer" cans, but they won't make you forget your old high-end headphones or anything. You'll notice the lack of bass and sub-bass right away, which makes your music sound a little strange if you're not used to this kind of response.

It's entirely possible that you'll notice distortion in your friends' voices, but that's not the fault of your headphones—it's the fault of the client. Though more affordable headsets typically have some rough edges, the worst is the tracking, which is barely audible if that.

Trusted ally

So you fire up your gaming rig and you've got the G230s on your head, and you want to know what might blindside you? The answer is nothing. Really—no glaring flaws or oddities will rear their ugly head and destroy your gaming experience. These will absolutely work well in most games or chat applications.

While the mic isn't the greatest thing in the world, it will function just about as well as you can expect a unidirectional mic to work—you shouldn't notice any glaring flaws in most games. It can be a bit tough to get the mic to bend the way you want it, but it'll work fine even if you don't quite get it to your mouth.

Console and laptop manufacturers don't always make traditional headsets easy to use with their hardware.

Where these cans fall short has more to do with the fact that console and laptop manufacturers don't always make traditional headsets easy to use with their hardware. Most laptops, XBox, and even tablets accomodate headphones that use only one plug, so headsets that use two like the G230 are incompatible without an adapter.

If you're fine with all that, you should be all set with the G230—they're comfortable over long periods of time, they don't really build up much heat or sweat, and they could probably survive the worst freakout you can have. Despite the fact that they're made of plastic and silicone rubber, they're more durable than they look.

You paid how much for those?

As far as gaming headsets go, this is probably the best in terms of cost-to-performance. While there are others that scored better in the past, the Logitech G230 not only hits good marks all-around, but it is durable—a gamer must.

Because of the way the audio performance was engineered, these cans will do acceptably well with music, but the lack of bass will irk those who are used to higher-priced cans. It isn't as ideal for really loud shooting games, but it'll do famously for just about everything else—a jack of all trades.

If you're looking to upgrade your gaming experience but aren't willing to shell out a ton of coin for a dedicated gaming headset, the Logitech G230 is a fantastic option. It isn't quite on par with higher-performance headphones, but this headset is one of the best entry-level buys in the gaming world. Starting at $59.99, it's priced even a bit lower than many comparable headsets.
Engineering these cans to sound more like a traditional set of headphones makes them a Jack of all trades, but it also means that they're an ace of none. While they'll work notably well for RPGs and other music-heavy games, they're not so good for high-volume shooters. How is that? Well let me tell you!
After running these cans through a veritable gantlet of tests, we found the frequency response to be acceptable for music, but not really ideal for any particular games. Usually for action games or shooters, we look for a strong de-emphasis in the mids to compensate for super-loud gunfire and explosions, but the G230 doesn't really do that. I mean, the experience won't be painful or anything, but you may find yourself taking the headset off from time to time if you jump into the line of fire often.

From the shape of the curve, it's painfully obvious that Logitech is shooting for a response that is more appropriate for music—making RPGs, adventure games, and all other games not bathed in violence much more appealing with the G230. Not quite sure what I mean? Let's look at the chart in a different way.

Please excuse the aesthetic, this is more of a thought-experiment than anything. The blue line is what's called an equal-loudness contour, and the red is the frequency response—note how the lines match up fairly closely? What that means is that all sounds (outside of the bass notes) will be more or less as loud as the others to a human ear. This is something we often see in consumer headphones, and almost never for gaming headsets. This type of response is great for music (and something that most graphic equalizers wind up emulating).
Overall, there isn't a high level of distortion, and that's a welcome result. Even in the low end where there's typically a huge level of Total Harmonic Distortion, you won't find an audible level, and that's really all you can ask of a set of entry-level headphones.

There's no added noise either—at least, none that makes it beyond the masking threshold for our ears. Even when your games turn into a cacophony of noise, you won't notice anything inherently wrong with the headphones, even if the low bass emphasis will make things sound weird—it isn't distortion.

This only remains the case if you keep your music's volume in check, however. If you were to bump up the beats to 102.27dB, you'd find a quite-audible level of distortion at 3% THD. You really shouldn't be listening to your tunes that loudly, however.
If you're set on buying these cans, just be aware that they don't block out a ton of noise. You can expect low-frequency sounds to reach your ear without much in the way, while higher-pitched sounds will be reduced in volume by about half to 3/4 in perceived loudness.

Mercifully, these don't leak sound all that much: Even when cranked to 90dB. You shouldn't bother anyone around you—unless you are prone to bouts of shouting and cursing like a sailor in-game.

Meet the testers

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews
Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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