Since the headset is fully USB 2.0 compliant, it completely bypasses the sound card within the computer, similar as to the Turtle Beach Systems AK-R8, therefor the Logitech G35 then becomes its own sound card. The difference between the AK-R8 and the Logitech G35 though is that the AK-R8 uses 8 speakers, 4 in each ear cup and since the speakers are close together, this is actually considered a con, since the human brain has trouble distinguishing the difference between the front left, rear right, and so on. The Logitech G35 plugs directly into the USB port on the motherboard, or into a USB HUB, without any extra appliances, however this method puts more load on the Central Processing Unit (also known as the CPU) since it is not using a hardware accelerated PCI or PCI Express sound card placed onto the motherboard.
The Logitech G35, just like any other headset or sound card not developed by Creative Labs does not support Environmental audio extensions to provide hardware accelerated audio, for a real-time audio experience. EAX is mainly an audio extension which re-creates audio and gives it effects, making it different from Dolby Headphone technology. The Logitech G35 however is completely capable of supporting OpenAL, and DirectSound3D which are two highly common gaming audio APIs used in many PC games and applications. Certain video games such as Colin McRae: Dirt gives you the option to use OpenAL. In the sequel to Colin Mcrae DiRT, called Colin McRae: Dirt 2, the default API the game uses is Blue Ripple Sound’s RAPTURE 3D sound engine. RAPTURE 3D uses OpenAL but is not compatible with all OpenAL game titles.
OpenAL, RAPTURE 3D, DirectSound, and DirectSound3D are completely hardware independent and are compatible with the Logitech G35. The main audio technologies and APIs which are dependent on hardware are EAX, CMSS 3D, and ALchemy. The only purely USB headset that supports hardware accelerated EAX and ALchemy is the Creative SoundBlaster Arena USB Gaming Headset however the headset itself and ALchemy are not yet compatible with Windows 7, only for Windows Vista. There are many sound cards though developed by Creative Labs that use 3.5mm quick disconnect jacks such as the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series sound card which fully support hardware accelerated EAX Advanced HD 5.0 technology which works for Windows XP. ALchemy is compatible with the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series sound cards however since ALchemy is meant to restore EAX effects on Windows Vista, meaning ALchemy will not work with Windows XP, since Windows XP still used the DirectSound 3D API. Ever since Windows Vista, the entire sound system was re-written meaning that the DirectSound 3D API was removed, which was the reason why ALchemy was invented.
The processing speed for surround sound of the Logitech G35 is almost instantaneous, somewhere around 1 millisecond. Many people can only begin to notice delays when it is greater than 125 milliseconds. This is crucial when it comes to online gaming as the user needs to not only react visually with what’s on the screen, but through sound as well, such as foot steps, distant gun fire, and such.
The frequencies the Logitech G35 can process are twenty hertz all the way to twenty kilohertz meaning that the user will easily be able to hear the deep thumping bass and great highs making it a great multipurpose gaming headset.
The Logitech G35 does not support 24-bit audio including DTS 96/24 however it does support Dolby Digital Live when playing Dolby Digital AC-3 audio through Windows Media Player such as a Dolby Digital DVD. Almost all DVDs are encoded in AC-3 Digital Audio giving the user a great movie playing experience. When playing an AC-3 encoded DVD through PowerDVD, PowerDVD uses Linear PCM audio output. Keep in mind that the Logitech G35 can play any audio codec as long as the software decodes the audio and do not pass-through the still encoded audio to the G35.
7.1 surround sound
The Logitech G35 uses what is called “Dolby Headphone” and what it does is create a virtual surround sound environment naturally, specifically designed for headphones with two speakers. The amount of channels the Logitech G35 is designed to sound is 7.1. That is a front left and right, rear left and right, an independent center channel, and a sub-woofer which is used to output the deep bass. 7.1 means 7 speakers and 1 woofer. To get the most out of the 7.1 surround sound feature, it is ideal to set your game settings, music soundtrack, movie, or whatever your sound source is, to 7.1 or 5.1, although this is not required. Logitech released a new update which disguises the video game’s audio detection setup to output surround sound by default. Before this update, there was a major problem for Call Of Duty World at War players. In the game, you could not change the amount of output channels in the game so you could only listen to it in stereo. Now this headset does not only support surround sound for your games, but for movies as well. Even though the Logitech G35 cannot necessarily decode Dolby Digital AC-3, it can still play the sound if however the DVD playing software decodes Dolby Digital in software. Hardware decoding of AC-3, DTS, and such are never necessary if the software can do it, however most players such as VLC, smplayer and such only send AC-3 and DTS encoded data through an S/PDIF (Digital Out / Optical) port which is only available through certain PCI / PCI Express sound cards, and receivers.
The Logitech G35 uses a splitter on the speakers that covers up certain parts of the speaker to redirect sound to only one part of the 40mm driver to deliver an even more thorough PC gaming experience. This takes the sound from one part of the speaker and moves it to the other part making the sound redirect to a very specific part of the ear. This redirect method shares the same technology as the Psyko 5.1 Gaming Headset however the G35 does not have speakers on the bridge nor multiple speakers.
2-channel to 7.1
The Logitech G35 can take youtube videos, 2-channel game audio, and other stereo sources such as certain music, and convert it naturally to 7.1 using what is called Dolby Pro Logic II. This allows the user to experience a surround sound environment while listening to only stereo sound. Obviously, this does not actually create a real surround sound environment. It basically tricks the brain into thinking that there are multiple locations of where the speakers are. Certain humans who usually don’t go by sound, or rarely use headphones in games from time to time, have trouble with getting the most of the Logitech G35. You can however train your mind to be much more sensitive to such sound, therefore making it easier for them to hear the differences in direction of sound.
The Logitech G35 uses a metal plate within the soft plastic bridge with numbers engraved on the metal so you can remember your settings to the length of the bridge, making it easier to use and more comfortable. The bridge of the headset is the top part of the headset that goes over the top of your skull and you can easily adjust it to fit both small heads and larger heads. The bridge is fully adjustable and very durable. It uses a thick, firm, yet bendable plastic material that flexes. The metal within the plastic is silver and shines with beauty.
Leather-padded ear cups
The Logitech G35 uses an over-the-ear design to not only provide the user with comfort, but to cancel out exterior noises to not be sent through the headset. This is helpful so when somebody is trying to talk to you while gaming, you won’t be able to hear them and you can concentrate on the gameplay. The problem with this though is that when playing online video games, you might tend to shout since you won’t be able to hear yourself. This also works vice-versa, causing sound to not leave the headset ear cup, so you won’t disturb others.
The G35 uses a noise-canceling microphone to only capture your voice and not environmental sounds along with a red mute light to let you know when the headset is muted. The Logitech G35 will not miss what you are trying to say over the microphone since the hardware has been thoroughly tested by the Logitech team. The technology that powers the microphone has been designed to be used with families talking in the background, making others easy to hear only your voice. The microphone is also made out of a durable flexible material that bends, so you can move it where ever you want. The microphone also automatically mutes itself so others can’t hear you, when the microphone is folded all the way up. Unfortunately, the microphone is not removable but it still stays far out of the way when folded up. The reason Logitech decided to make the microphone non-removable is because it can reduce capture quality. Sometimes what happens is that the dioxide coming off the actual connector from the microphone begins to build. There is a way to fix this, which is by taking a small piece of sandpaper and wiping the metal connector down.
The Logitech G35 shares the same technology as the Sound Blaster sound cards called VoiceFX. You can select from six voices between a Troll, Mutant, Alien, Giant, Cyborg, and Space Squirrel, or you can leave it off and let others hear your real voice.
The Logitech G35 consists of three different headbands to not only provide extra comfort to fit the contours of your skull, but it changes the angle of how the speakers are positioned, and since this is very critical, each headband is designed completely differently. The top of each headband is Velcro so it sticks on the top of the headset nicely. It is best to pick the headband that sounds the best to your liking, and is the most comfortable fit. The actual headbands themselves are leather as well providing long lasting extreme comfort.
The issue with fully USB complaint audio such as the Logitech G35 is that the USB device does not decode nor act as a pass-through for Dolby Digital AC-3 or DTS encoded audio. The audio must be decoded within software for the Logitech G35 to output any sound. PowerDVD supports several popular codecs such as DTS, Dolby Digital AC-3, Linear PCM, and many, many others meaning that if the user of the Logitech G35 uses PowerDVD for DVD playback, the G35 user would have no problem at all playing any DVD, including Blu-ray discs. Even though the Logitech supports Dolby Headphone, that is different from Dolby Digital, as Dolby Digital can only be passed through an HDMI or a Fibre-optic cable. PC Games are usually not encoded in Dolby Digital so this is less of an issue for gamers, but more so for movie watchers. Since the Tritton AXPRO ships with a Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II decoder box, this is not an issue if the headset is connected to any 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound card that does or does not decode Dolby Digital or Dolby Pro Logic II, since any sound card can act as a pass-through for any type of encoded audio including Linear PCM and AC-3 over Optical Digital Out as long as the sound card supports Dolby Digital Live and if the playback software supports such codecs via pass-through.
Another drawback about the Logitech G35 and most USB headsets, is that there needs to be a software driver installed. The driver installation process is fairly simple and easy to download but the amount of frames per second may drop during gaming on certain old PCs. The difference though between the Logitech G35 and many other USB headsets is that the Logitech development team developed the G35 driver to be as lightweight and efficient as possible putting less stress on CPU. This allows less frames per second to be dropped when doing intense gaming. Even though most game developers try to make the game use as much as the GPU (graphics processing unit) as possible, video games still need to fall back to the CPU for certain operations. This is why the CPU does play an important role in the user’s gaming experience, and not just the GPU.
http://www.soundblaster.com/technology/ >> About EAX & About OpenAL
http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Wiki/OpenAL%20SDK%20for%20Windows.aspx >> The documentation in the zip file
Categories: Headphones | Video game hardware