New Logitech Wireless Headset F540

New Logitech Wireless Headset F540

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 31st Dec 2010

Sine Mora

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Unless you have a soundproof mancave in which you play your video games, or you live alone, chances are very high that you have heard the command "Turn that down!" many times, especially as the big hand and the little hand get closer to the top of the clock, and the natural noises in your nest begin to fade into that silence most people prefer for sleeping.

But you do not want to turn it down! In fact you want to turn it UP! You want to HEAR the footsteps of that zombie before it gets close enough to eat your brains! When you are playing a music rhythm game, you want to rock out to the tune, not feel like you are sitting in the doctor's office listening to 107.8 FM on the tinny speakers that cheap bastard had installed in the waiting room! You want -- in short -- to embrace the third element of gaming: sound!

Well, I too have dwelt in that cave, and felt that feeling. Drank that beer, ate those bangers, made a 3AM soda run to the local... Err... Bit off track there. What were we talking about? Oh yeah!

The sound is almost always an integral part of playing video games; have you tried playing them with the sound turned off? Nowhere near as much fun! In the past a lot of my mates have come up with cobbled together solutions like making a wire harness to patch the audio output of their console into a set of headphones so that they could play in personal audio comfort.

Sure, that works, but it lacks a certain elegance... For one thing it only works on the console you have it wired to -- if you decide that you have played your 360 enough and it is time for some PS3 action, you have to start unplugging wires, which means getting up off of the couch -- and really you should only have to do that to hit the WC or change games, that is all I am saying.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a wireless headphone for your gaming console? A headphone with a set of controls built into it that allow you to adjust the volume, mute it if needed, and switch between your different consoles without getting up? Even better, a wireless headphone that had a microphone on it, so you could use it for game chat and smack-talk in place of that flimsy monstrosity that pretends to be a headphone and mic on your 360?

How about a wireless headphone that is wicked comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, engineered to cancel out the noise around you so that you can really enjoy the sounds of your game? Right, one more thing to add to that wish list -- have it engineered so that when you are not using it, you can rotate the ear parts so that it can be stored flat in a drawer. Oh yeah, and it should feature fully rechargeable batteries that only require a USB port -- any USB port -- to be charged.

You say that is a pipe dream? A fantasy? No mate, that is the new Logitech Wireless Headset F540 engineered exclusively for console gamers!

Built to provide console gamers with high quality personal audio enjoyment that includes full wireless convenience and control, the Logitech F540 Wireless Headset (pictured here) delivers on all counts, and they look dead-sexy to boot!

A New Breed of Headset

The 540 does everything I asked in my wish-list above. Let me repeat that -- the 540 does EVERYTHING that I asked for in my wish-list above. Yeah, it sure does!

The unit consists of two parts -- the headset itself, which is built for comfort and includes a microphone that folds up along the headband when not in use so that you do not look like an airline pilot when you are just playing, and a sleek but very small base station to which the audio wires for up to three consoles (or two consoles and some other audio device I suppose) can be connected.

Using the conveniently placed buttons on the headset itself, you can easily switch between audio sources, turn the device on and off, adjust the volume, mute it, and basically be the captain of your audio world!

On the bottom of the left cup are a pair of discretely concealed ports -- one you will use to connect your headset to any USB port in order to recharge it, and another that allows you to patch your headset's mic into your 360 controller using the convenient patch cable that comes with the unit so that you can chat on Live -- a convenient solution since unlike other consoles there is no way to patch in directly.

Better Quality Audio

I used to hate it when one of my mates would yell at me to "get on the mic!" so that we could have ourselves a chat via the Live Party System. Don't get me wrong, it is a great feature from the idea side, but that crappy headset that has the official XBox seal of approval on it, with its one earphone and mic that is too short and hard to adjust often makes it a chore just to hear what your mates are saying, and forget about them hearing you! For that to happen you have to take the headset off so you can hold the mic up to your mouth! Not exactly an ergonomic victory if you ask me.

The 540 is nothing like that. The mic is properly engineered and the right length first of all, and the quality of the audio -- which happens to be electronically enhanced -- means that you not only hear everything that is being said, but your mates also hear YOU!

"We set out to build a great wireless headset for people who like to play at night, but need to keep it quiet so they don't disturb anyone trying to sleep," said Elliott Chin, Logitech's senior manager of product marketing for gaming. "The result is an amazing audio experience for console gamers, no matter when they like to play. The Logitech Wireless Headset F540 delivers superior sound coupled with voice chat and does it all without a single cable running between you and your console."

True that.

Priced at $149 US / £149 UK, they are a bit pricey, but as they deliver exactly what they promise to, they clearly are one of those rare instances where you get what you pay for. Plus, who can put a value on not hearing your wife scream at you to turn down the bloody telly?