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Logitech Premium USB Stereo Headset 350 review

I’ll admit it. For the most part, I’m a Logitech fan. I’ve got a Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo, a Logitech 5.1 sound system, and for the most part, I look to Logitech when it comes to buying a new peripheral. The reason is simple: Logitech products are usually pretty decent – not necessarily the best, but quality is always up to par, and the price is often very reasonable.
So on to the review…

I was looking for a microphone or a headset, and after having poor experiences with generic desktop microphones I decided to go with the Logitech USB 350 headset. It was $45 CDN which is a little on the higher end of the scale for a regular headset, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Upon receiving the set, I cut open the horrible “try not to let the package cut you while you cut the hard edge plastic” packaging and took out the set. The cord itself is quite long – about 7.5 feet end to end, with a volume control about 1.5-2 feet from the headset. The volume had a little clip on it, as well as +, -, and a microphone mute.
I plugged it in to the computer. Windows detected it, and it started working right away. I immediately noticed a few things:

  1. It automatically changed the default audio device from my sound card to the new USB headset.
  2. There was a blue LED in the mute button on the volume control. It would blink fast when the mic was muted. Otherwise it was always on. An excellent feature for gamers.
  3. Any programs that were open BEFORE plugging in the headset were still playing sound to my regular speakers. Any new programs that were opened AFTER plugging in the headset played sound to the headset.
  4. When unplugged, the default audio device automatically changed back to the regular sound card.

 

Sound

The sound output was pretty decent. Nothing amazing, but nothing to scoff at either. Probably what you’d expect from an average pair of name-brand headphones. The sound was quite clear, and there was no background hiss or static. The volume went quite high without clipping or distorting.
The microphone was excellent (compared to most desktop microphones anyway). Very crisp and clear sound. Those doing any sort of VoIP would probably be quite satisfied.

The headphones didn’t really fit perfectly (the padding doesn’t seal the ear) and as a result, I can hear others in the room and they can hear me. Not a big deal to me, but it might matter to some.

 

Comfort

This is unfortunately one area where things were lacking. It’s great that Logitech used nice big sizeable 40mm drivers – bigger drivers generally mean better bass and mid-range response. The down side is that it’s a little extra weight. After a couple hours of use, my head was starting to get a little sore from the top strap. It would be nice if they had equipped it with a little more padding. The other problem area was the earphones. The padding is ok, but a slight bit more would have been very helpful. Not only do the earphones not seal sound perfectly, but they pinch the top of my ears a little bit. Wearing glasses got to be painful after a few hours. Fortunately, after a couple days of use, either they stretched enough to not pinch so much, or I got used to it. Whatever the case was, it seems fine now, but mark my words… if you wear glasses, there’s a good chance you will hate them at first.

 

Day 2: Problems

After a couple days, I noticed the blue LED wouldn’t come on anymore. Actually, sometimes it would blink a bit, but that’s about all I’d get out of it. Since I’d already thrown away most of the packaging (and any chance for an RMA), I attempted to fix it. My first attempts involved banging the volume control against the table. When that didn’t work, I decided to take it apart. Note that the volume control is not intended to be taken apart. While it’s designed to “snap” open and closed, there are a few little “pegs” inside which are glued in place. Forcing a screwdriver around the edge snapped them all off, and I finally had access to the inside.

I was hoping the problem would be something simple like a frayed wire, or broken piece of solder. Sadly, everything looked to be in pretty good shape. I ended up taking a voltmeter to the LED and found that it indeed was getting voltage (somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 volts).

The blue LED itself was toast.

Luckily, I had a little yellow 4-LED automotive bulb. I dismantled it and took one of the LED’s. After 10 minutes with a big clunky soldering gun, I managed to get the new yellow LED in place. I tested it, and it worked!

Now the fact that something failed within a couple of days on my $45 headset didn’t really impress me. Then again, it’s very likely that this problem is rare and that 99.9% of the headsets sold are problem free.

Final Thoughts

For the money, you’re getting a pretty good headset – no hiss or static, and crisp, clear sound. The volume control & mute was pretty well thought out. The cable length is pretty good too. It would have been nice if they paid a little more attention to comfort, but all in all, Logitech did a pretty good job. I was a bit irked about the mute light issue, but I’m guessing I just got the one bad apple of the bunch (had I kept the packaging, etc, I could have easily exchanged them anyway).

For those who like to use regular speakers most of the time, I probably would not recommend this headset (or any USB headset) for the simple fact that you’ll have to restart whatever program you’re running. If you’re in the middle of a movie or a game, it can be annoying to exit a program simply to hook up a headset.

For those who use a headset most of the time, those who need a USB headset, or those looking for hiss and static free input and output, the Logitech USB 350 is definitely worth a try, although the comfort level might be a problem for long periods of wear.

  • Tonic

    Excellent review! Thank you man. I am having exactly the same problem. The led/blue light is OFF. The Windows is not recognising the USB device.
    Opened the volume part and the thing is now I don’t know where I can find that damn automotive LED.

  • trundley

    Thanks man, this explination was very clear and precise. I do have the problem of the two 3.5mm jacks being on the front and back, although it seems i have 3 (THREE!) audio jacks. One on the front, one of the back, and one on the side of the speakers. The speakers are connected to the audio jack on the back of my stack, so i’ve just kinda figured out how to solve my probelm. 🙂 Talk about a brainwave, and totally missing the obvious solution. Anyway thanks for your help man. Keep it up!

  • trundley

    this is all well and good but i have a question. I have speakers mounted on the site of my monitor and when i plug a 3.5mm jack into the speakers sound come through the headset (my borthers – lending before by my own) but when i plug into stack where the 3.5mm jack is sound comes through speakers but the mic works fine in that place. I was wondering if i used a USB connection would the sound and mic work at the same time?

    thanks

    • trundley,


      1) There should be a way to get both the sound + mic to work with your existing setup (just about every desktop has a sound and a mic input), but I’m a little unclear as to what you’re describing in your setup. I’ll try just explaining from scratch in case I misread/misinterpreted something you wrote. Most onboard sound (as well as most sound cards) have at the very least a green and a pink jack which you should see at the back of the computer. Sometimes they’re on a front panel as well, but if that’s the case you may have to try both the front and the back because depending on how it’s been set up, one may work and one may not. Green = soundPink = Mic.

      Typically, a headset has 2 plugs – one for sound, the other for the mic. Generally, you can leave the headset’s mic plugged in all the time (to the pink port), but if you want sound coming out of the headset, you’ll have to UNPLUG the speakers and plug the headset’s sound into the green port.

      This obviously gets annoying if you switch between the speakers/headset often, so an option is to buy a 3.5mm extension cable (you can get them from Monoprice for quite cheap), and then have the regular speakers plugged into green, headset mic plugged into pink, and the headset sound plugged into the extension cable which you run towards the speakers. When you want sound from the headset, you then plug that extension cable into the 3.5mm jack on the front of your speakers – the speakers will stop putting out sound and the headset will start putting out sound. The mic will always work.


      2) Getting to the USB question (if you can’t the above to work), the answer is YES it will allow the sound and mic to work at the same time.
      2a) If you use a USB Microphone, your existing speakers should continue to work fine, and you’ll just get the added benefit of the mic. If you don’t really need headphones (don’t mind the sound always coming from your main speakers, or if you WANT the sound to always come from your main speakers), this is usually the BEST option.
      2b) If you use a USB Headset (microphone + sound), you’ll get BOTH mic/sound out of the headset. Note that you will have to plug the headset in BEFORE you start the program/game you want to use it in. Also, the sound to your speakers won’t work while the headset is plugged in because USB headset’s typically change the default sound device to themselves. When you unplug the USB headset, sound to the speakers should return to normal (although again you’ll probably have to restart the game/program you’re in).

      —–

      If anything’s unclear, or if your setup is quite different, reply back with some more details and I’ll try to provide you with a specific solution rather than the general one.