Gaming season is in full effect with many great new titles released into the hands of both eager vet and noob gamers alike. There are many great gaming headsets out there, some with extra power amp mixers and a load of cables and some that are really uncomfortable to wear during an important long gaming session. Logitech's F540 is a wireless gaming headset that promises great sound, great comfort and above all, triple the compatibility with gaming console like the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well as PC. That's what I call having the ultimate gaming headset at your disposal. That's of course if the F540 proves itself worthy of the title.
What's it like gaming with the right equipment? Total epic fun! Logitech provided, and we'll deliver you the full review right after the jump!
For all intents and purposes, I've been using a PS3 Slim to review that F540 headset, or in other words to frag, pwn noobs and have a good time with the F540 headset. The setup will vary of course between different consoles, but more on that later. The first and foremost reason why you should be interested in the F540 headset is for its wireless capabilities. Cutting the cord for a no strings attached gaming experience couldn't be any better. Sit, stand up with intensity and walk out the room with anger because you got owned is now a possibility without worrying about yanking your console down and ruining it.
What you get out of the box is a slew of individual boxes clearly labeled with illustrations and descriptions. You'll be needing to use the appropriate cables for the type of console you'll be using with the F540 headset. The included cables are a power adapter for the wireless base station, USB to micro-USB charging cable used to charge the headset itself, RCA-to-RCA pass-through audio cables, PS3 mini-USB to USB cable used for voice chat and last but not least an Xbox 360 2.5mm voice chat cable. What isn't included though is a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable.
Although the F540 headset doesn't use Bluetooth for its wireless audio streaming, the wireless base station does the job very well instead with a very compact footprint that doesn't get in the way. If you're worried about even more cable clutter and extra devices, this F540's wireless base station box can hidden inside or underneath a cabinet or shelf without impacting the signal. The wireless base station has inputs according to each individual console and PC system. To fully connect all the features with your PS3, you will need to connect the supplied USB to mini-USB cable to one of the front USB ports on the PS3 and only the audio RCA plugs of the PS3's AV cable into the wireless base station and you're done setting up.
Xbox 360 users will user a similar method for connecting but may find it disappointing that in order to use voice chat, plugging in the 2.5mm audio cable from the F540 headset into the Xbox 360 controller sort of defeats the purpose of using a wireless headset. PS3 gamers have the top edge for using the F540 as a true wireless headset and utilizing its full potential.
As mentioned earlier, the F540's wireless base station streams audio not thru Bluetooth but thru 2.4Ghz which proves to be much more reliable than Bluetooth. It doesn't matter where you sit, the F540 will always deliver the audio to you without breaking connectivity. You can go do your business inside your bathroom and still be in the game. Walls and obstacles are literally invisible to the F540 headset.
As far as inputs go, the F540 has two at the bottom. One is a mic-USB port that is used to connect the charging cable which will then turn an orange LED status indicator letting you know the headset is being recharged and will turn to green once charging is complete. All standard procedures so far. Here's that pesky drawback Xbox 360 users will have to face. The Xbox 360 voice chat port that you'll need to connect your controller to, but only if you feel like chatting.
Logitech's F540 wireless gaming headset isn't bombarded with features, however the essential features that are the most important are all here and ready to serve. On the right hand side of the headset is where you'll find two scroll wheels that control the main volume as well as a dedicated volume control for voice chat along with a voice chat mute button which will mute yourself. There are two ways of muting your voice should you have to, and that includes the mute button and the form of lifting up the boom mic into the storing position. A red indicator light will turn on letting you know that your are most definitely muted and others won't hear your profanity and heavy breathing. You can even bend the boom mic as it's made out of flexible memory rubber.
Mic quality is outstanding. I can be heard clearly and with no distortion whatsoever. However, the background noise-cancellation feature didn't work well in my testing. Background noise can still be heard when speaking and when not. What I did enjoy was the fact that the boom mic enables you to hear yourself talking thru the speakers so you know not to shout because you aren't hearing yourself talking while wearing the headset. This feature isn't configurable though and will also pick up the background noise surrounding you like others talking and such. Only while muting the mic will you be able to enjoy a bit more quite time with your gaming. It's definitely a bittersweet function and would have been much better if only the background noise-cancellation actually worked to minimize that.
Although the Logitech F540 was designed and primarily meant to be used as a gaming headset, there are many other uses that can be thrown at it. You can easily connect your Mac, PC, music player, smarphone and most other gadgets to the wireless base station and enjoy the F540 as your very own wireless headphones. You can even use them as a wireless headset by connecting the wireless base station via USB to your computer. The best of both worlds? Done and done. Pressing the input button will toggle between up to three different connected audio sources on the fly.
The built-in rechargeable battery lasted me days of consecutive gaming periods on a single charge. Logitech claims the F540 should last you about 10 hours, and I must say that I came close to the mark. It's safe to say that you can use these for at least two days of heavy use. Of course your mileage may vary.
How about one of the most comfortable pair of headphones/headset I've worn thus far? The F540 are ultra comfortable due to their over-ear designed ear cups which fully surround your ears and do not put any pressure on them. The ear cushions are soft and made from pleather. What's surprising is that the second you put the F540 on your head, it feels like a mechanical claw is grabbing your head, but in a comfortable way. There's a noticeable force clamping down, but all of that isn't hurting your ears and instead evenly spread onto your head. I've worn these for hours on end without any discomfort. Both ear cups tilt and shift to the side to better conform to different head shapes and sizes. The headband is padded as well and can be adjusted to your liking.
Isolation is pretty good, but nothing too impressive. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd have to give these a 6. On the other hand, the F540 leak very little audio so you can game all you want at night without disturbing others.
Build quality couldn't bet any better. The F540 headset feels like a mini stealth fighter jet and looks like a headset a fighter pilot would use too. It's massive and feels extremely well put together. Cheap plastic? You won't find any of that here. Logitech tends to make outstanding products and this is no exception.
Down to the last and most important aspect of the Logitech's F540 wireless gaming headset is the sound quality. As Logitech aficionados would know, Logitech isn't new to audio and owns Ultimate Ears which makes really good sounding in-ear headphones and high-end in-ear monitors. That aside, the F540's 40mm audio drivers deliver an explosive punch to the table. Bass is all here and thumpy enough to the point where your gaming sound effects like explosions never distort nor sound muffled and drowned out. The sound signature is overall very warm, rich and full with very clear highs. As expected I was able to hear every little detail and sound effect, not to mention enemy foot steps from behind in surround sound. Music and movies sound just as great and comparable to most headphones in the $100 - $150 price range.
All in all, if you can look past the lack of Bluetooth and accept a tad more cables to your setup, the F540 are a fantastic choice for a wireless gaming headset that does more than just deliver your gaming experience on a silver platter. It's adaptability that makes the F540 a versatile, solid performing wireless headset with a few limitations such as no true wireless experience for Xbox 360 users. If you're looking to pick up these up, you can find them far below their retail price of $149.99 at Amazon. And if you head over to Logitech you might even score these for $74.99. I can only imagine what it would be to use the G930 wireless headset and all of its 7.1 surround sound goodness.