I am a big fan of Logitech’s Lightspeed gear and, to an extent, their analogue versions. They’re bold; they’re brave; they’re a nice little departure from the usual (read: monotonous) solid black gaming peripherals out there. The G Pro X Lightspeed even ranks as one of our best gaming headsets. Needless to say, I was excited to try this latest addition to the family and already prepared to love it as I do the other Lightspeed offerings.
There is a lot to love here. The Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless’ color options are attractive, as per usual. It’s completely carbon-neutral, which is something a headset collector like me needs. It boasts two wireless connectivity options, and is very lightweight and comfortable to use. It’s got a great wireless range and decent battery life. And, it does sound good with games.
Unfortunately, one of its supposedly innovative features – the virtual boom arm – has fallen short, and the rest is nothing to write home about. This makes the whole thing a bit anticlimactic.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless review: Price and release date
One thing the Logitech G435 Lightspeed, which hit the shelves in September 2021, has going for it is its price. It’s not expensive, nor is it cheap. But, it is very affordable at $79.99/£69.99.
Even with all the wireless options these days, you’re still paying a luxury tax for that cable-free convenience, which makes the G435’s under $80/£80 tag all the more surprising. And, that’s not even counting the tax we also often pay for going green.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless review: Design and features
At first glance, the Logitech G435 Lightspeed looks every bit as appealing as the Logitech G733 Lightspeed Wireless RGB, mostly because they do look similar. It has the same angular and squarish ear cups, the same soft and breathable memory ear foams, and a very similar headband with a cutaway middle. And, while it doesn’t come in the same colorways, it still comes in fun ones – specifically, blue and raspberry, off-white and lilac, and black and neon yellow.
That’s where the similarities end, however. The G435, perhaps for the sake of being carbon neutral and being even more lightweight, has forgone the suspension strap band, the flip mic, and sadly for RGB fans, the RGB lighting – which is why I was a little surprised that it only offers 18 hours of battery life to the G733’s 29 hours. Also gone is the cloth covering to protect the drivers.
Because of some of those design changes, however, the G435 kind of ends up making your head look like a football if you’ve got a small head – sort of flat on the sides and sticking out at the end. It doesn’t look as appealing being worn as it does sitting on your desk, sadly.
But, it all makes sense when you think about what Logitech is trying to do with this headset, which is threefold: (1) it’s trying to be more sustainable, (2) it’s offering a more comfortable option for younger gamers, and (3) it’s trying to keep things lightweight and light on the pocket. And, in those, the company has certainly succeeded.
The G435 is made with recycled plastic, comes in responsible packaging, and has been certified Carbon Neutral. It also has smaller earcups, which do not swivel, and a smaller headband, making it ideal for smaller heads. And, at only 165 g, it’s among the lightest headbands we’ve ever tested.
There are a few other things I like about it. For an almost all-plastic headset, it feels robust and can withstand plenty of drops and bumps, let alone normal wear and tear. It’s also really comfortable to wear, its clamping force just enough to keep it on your head without giving you a massive migraine. And, its ear foams are soft and breathable enough to keep your head nice and dry.
The buttons are simple as well, minimalist if you must. All of them – power, volume up, volume down, and mic mute – are on the left earcup so you know exactly which ear cup to grab for on-the-fly adjustments. The mic mute moonlights as the connectivity button – hold it down to toggle between Bluetooth and Lightspeed wireless. Similarly, pressing the mic mute and power buttons at the same time turns on Bluetooth pairing mode. It’s a clever way to make things simpler for users – or, at least, someone like me who’s terrible at remembering which buttons do what – as well as keep all the controls available on the headset itself. To Logitech, however, it’s a necessary one as the G435 doesn’t work with G Hub and has no app or software support.
To that end, audio prompts are also on hand, which I also appreciate. Turn the headset on, and you’ll hear a rising sound. Turn it off, and you’ll hear a descending sound. Switching from wireless to Bluetooth and visa versa also have their own unique sounds.
While we’re on the subject of connectivity, it’s worth pointing out that more expensive wireless headsets out there only offer wireless or Bluetooth connectivity, so I do applaud the G435 for offering both. Not only that, but its Lightspeed wireless connection offers a range of 10 meters (33 feet), which means you can walk around a medium-sized one-bedroom apartment like mine in Los Angeles, and never suffer issues. That’s whether you’re connected to your gaming PC, Mac, PS4, or PS5 – yes, it has multi-device compatibility.
Other features worth mentioning here are its support for Dolby Atmos, Tempest 3D AudioTech and Windows Sonic.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless review: Performance
It seems like the overall theme with the Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless is that it’s equal parts good and bad, and that extends to its performance.
Logitech promises its ear foams will keep you cool and comfortable while absorbing sound waves to isolate you from outside noise when playing. It does check the first two things off its to-do list, but the passive noise cancellation isn’t doing anything special. Be prepared for a bit of that outside noise to trickle in, though perhaps not as much when you’re gaming and have it at a high volume.
The G435’s sound quality is the same. It’s better than the 3.5mm Logitech G335, its lows are very present, and its mids are nice and full. The bass is surprisingly good for a headset in this price range, in fact, allowing me to hear and feel the thud of the horses’ hooves as they galloped in Red Dead Redemption 2.
At the same time, the high end is also rolled off, which makes the whole thing sound a bit dull. Not that it's bad, just a bit dull-sounding, which makes your experience with these headphones a bit underwhelming.
And, it can get a little muddled sounding with sources when a lot is going on. The theme for Sayonara Wild Hearts sounds punchy as usual, but also crowded, probably due the rolled off high end that lets you hear all the sounds but not their details. Hip hop and electronic music (basically anything with a lot of low end) sounds good, but also a bit muddy. Even the more stripped down music, like Taylor Swift’s newer stuff, sounds good but muffled.
Compared with the Lightspeed wireless connection, the G435’s Bluetooth connection sounds a little less congested and has a bit more space. However, it also lacks the punch that the Lightspeed wireless has, so the audio sounds a little softer and less detailed.
The soundstage is good, just wide enough to be immersive. With these headsets, you can easily pin point where something is and where the sound elements are moving in-game. Going back to Red Dead Redemption 2, the blizzard blowing back and forth at the beginning of the game has a lot of movement to it, and this pair will let you experience exactly where it’s blowing. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Cozumel opening scene, in which you wander around a crowded fiesta in which there are all these voices from NPCs and there’s a band playing in the corner, you can hear clearly and accurately where each sound element is coming from.
So, even though there’s no surround sound features here, unlike the G733, and the soundstage is not incredibly wide, the G435 is still good enough to make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action.
The best thing I can say about the mic, or what Logitech calls a virtual boom arm, is that it works. Instead of the usual physical mic arm that other gaming headsets have, the G435 comes with a dual beam forming mic. It’s one of its marquee features – helping to minimize its footprint, allowing it to be as lightweight as it is.
Unfortunately, while it all sounds good on paper, the execution could have been better. Your voice won’t come through clear and crisp. In fact, I sound like I’ve been smoking. It misses high-end detail, but also sounds somewhat harsh. It also tends to pick up nearby noise a little too easily – when I snap my fingers a foot away from my face, for example, the person on the other end could hear it pretty well.
Finally, the battery is nothing to write home about, having been rated at 18 hours, which is a lot less than the RGB-fringed G733’s up to 29 hours. This isn’t a deal breaker since you can simply charge it via the included USB-C cable. However, if you’re very good at keeping your devices charged, you might find yourself constantly getting annoyed by it.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless review: Verdict
There’s a few reasons to buy the Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless. It sounds good with games, with an accurate soundstage to boot. It’s smaller, lightweight, comfortable to wear, and comes in fun colorways, making it ideal for those with smaller heads and, therefore, young gamers. It’s also a carbon neutral product, which means that by choosing it over other gaming headsets, you’re helping to minimize your carbon footprint. And, it’s reasonably-priced.
However, some of its strengths are also its weaknesses, if you have a discerning taste in gaming peripherals. Reducing the footprint of the mic arm may have helped make the whole headset lighter, but the “virtual arm boom” needs a bit more time in the oven, so to speak. Also, its nominal adjustability, as well as lack of app support and customizations, may work to its minimalist advantage. But, those things also limit gamers when it comes to personalizing their gaming headset.
And, while its sound quality is good enough for gaming, it isn’t the best one to have if you want something that does it all – gaming, media consumption, video calls. I do like the Logitech G435 Lightspeed, and at that price, I’d gladly recommend it to parents looking for a wireless option for their kids. I just wish there’s more I could like about it.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless review: also consider
If you are into the whole Logitech Lightspeed look, the Logitech G733 Lightspeed Wireless RGB provides RGB lighting, longer battery life, better sound quality, and plenty of customizations. It’s only a bit more at $129.99/£129.99, which is worth it for the slew of additional features you’re getting.
Those with deep pockets and discerning audio sensibilities might want to spring for something pricier and better quality. The Audeze Penrose X Wireless Planar Magnetic Headset offers an audiophile experience in gaming hardware, boasting excellent sound quality, a wide soundstage, and a terrific mic. It’ll set you back $299/£299.