Logitech Keyboards and Headsets for Music production – Review
The gang here at Ringmasters recently got some AMAZING keyboards and headsets from Logitech (or Logicool, if you’re here with us in Japan) after the Tokyo Game Show. All of the gear comes from Logitech’s G-series; while these products are marketed for gaming, we were asked to test them out and see how they’d hold up when used in a music production setting.
We looked through a few similar models of keyboards and headsets. You can check out some of the specs on these pieces at Logitech’s site:
Keyboards: G810 Orion Spectrum, G610 Orion Blue, G610 Orion Brown
Headsets: G933 Artemis Spectrum – Snow, G633 Artemis Spectrum
The Orion Blue and Orion Brown are very similar models, with the main difference being that the switches on these mechanical keyboards are slightly different and make a different sound when pressed. The Cherry MX Brown is a tactile, non-clicky switch (mechanical keyboard speak for a softer touch press – you probably won’t feel the keystroke as the key clicks into place, and it’s a nice middle ground for gaming and typing) and the Cherry MX Blue is a tactile, clicky switch (the key has more resistance, so you will feel the key click into place as you press – it’s harder to double tap, so it’s less popular among gamers, but loved by typists who can get better feedback while typing).
(If you’re a nerd like me and are interested in this sort of mechanical feedback, you can check out this lovely article that gives a general introduction to Cherry MX mechanical switches: The Keyboard Company)
These keyboards also feature customization button macros for the F1-F12 keys, media controls, and offer triangle adjustment to angle to keyboard to your liking and comfort.
In music production, the sound (and thus the feedback you get, letting you know your keystroke was fully entered) isn’t as essential in games. In our situation, the clicking wasn’t super necessary, so we tended to prefer the less noisy Orion Brown. Being able to adjust both of the keyboards was also very beneficial, as we could raise them over our synths and musical keyboards, giving some layered accessibility and removing clutter at our workstations.
We really enjoyed the Orion Spectrum over the other two, however. This is mostly because the LED back-lighting on this keyboard is AWESOME, and each key can be programmed to display one of 16.8 MILLION different colors. There are lots of neat effects as well that cause the colors to cycle, or for the keys to remain illuminated after touch so you can see where you’ve typed.
The keys here are also the least noisy and the most responsive. The Spectrum features Logitech’s Romer-G™ keys, which actuate 25% faster than standard mechanical keys. This silent and pretty much instant response while typing was definitely a plus.
For gamers, they keyboard also offers media control, integration with ARX control so you can view game stats on your phone while you play, and a lot of key customization options.
In a musical setting, a lot of these features aren’t necessary, but it was very helpful to have such a comfortable keyboard with great response time. For people who work with live rigs, the Spectrum would be a great addition to a setup with its colorful features, and would fit right at home with a lot of the colorful LEDs being used in synths and drum machines today (I’m thinking the NI Maschine and the Roland System-8).
I wouldn’t normally use a gaming headset for music, but the two we tried out definitely have some benefits, especially if you’re looking for a multipurpose headset.
Both headsets are Artemis Spectrum models (we got the fancy limited edition Snow color or the G933) and come equipped with a built in headset, programmable G keys, and customizable RGB lighting. The also offer multi-source audio mixing, which means you can pause your game sound or playback to receive a call without having to take off the headset.
The Logitech software for both of these headsets offers customization for various sound profiles, meaning you can adjust the EQ depending on which games you are playing or whatever type of music you are listening to. This is an AMAZING feature for checking audio mixes, because you can test your mix in multiple frequency responses. The headsets don’t exactly have a flat base frequency response, so I wouldn’t recommend them for mixing, but they can be a great point of reference for checking a base mix against different frequency responses. The sets are fairly noise cancelling as well, which is definitely an added bonus for gaming and isolation during music production.
The big difference between the G933 and the G633 is the wireless capabilities of the former – the G933 can be used wirelessly (as well as wired) and has an impressive 12 hour battery life between charges. Whether you’re gaming or up all night starting at Ableton, you’ll have enough time without worrying about the battery running out.
The G933 also boasts 7.1 surround capability, which requires Logitech Gaming Software. It doesn’t appear that the surround works in all settings, so its use for surround listening during music production are limited (I would always recommend to check your surround mix on actual speakers, at any rate, especially as the headset only offers a simulation of a 7.1 setup). However, in a gaming setting, this surround feature would be incredibly immersive for a set of headphones.
All in all, both headsets were pretty comfortable, though a pretty squeaky as you adjust them. I’m not certain if this would become more or less prominent over time and wear.
We want to thank Logitech for making such amazing gear and for having us try them out in the music production environment. We’re looking forward to using them in future projects (and for gaming, of course).