Logitech has been fairly active in producing gaming peripherals over the last couple of years and are taking a stab at producing more bits of gaming gear that look good and work as good as they look; enter the Logitech Artemis Spectrum.
Build and design
At first glance you’ll think that the Artemis Spectrum looks like a pretty big headset, and well, that’s because it is. The headset sports a pair of pretty robust cans as well as a thicker than average padded band. There’s a reason for the above average thickness however, as all the special features of this headset fit snugly into the side of those cans.
In terms of design, it sort of stays in line with the latest bunch of devices, inclusive of the Atlas Dawn keyboard which we reviewed recently.
On the left side of the headset are the primary controls for the Artemis Spectrum, a set of four buttons, a volume control dial and a source switch that allows you to swap between USB and aux in. The left can is also home to an artfully hidden microphone which you can slide out and extend when you need to use it.
On each side of the headset you will find a magnetised, removable side plate each. The plates are purely for show but they can be replaced with other designs which you can pickup from Logitech’s store.
Like Razer’s Chroma line of peripherals, the Artemis Spectrum is capable of doing some fancy colour changing. The rear of the headphone’s cans features a light up strip that can change up to 16M colour combinations and has breathing, colour cycle and static colour modes for you to play around with.
Unfortunately you can’t get them to change in beat to the music, but it already looks pretty cool as it is. You can also program some macros directly into the headset (you get three macro keys in total) for you to pre-program your favourite listening modes in.
However you do should download Logitech’s Gaming Software to get it to work to its fullest, and you can snag it for free right here.
Aside from the headset, you’ll get two cables in your package. One is the much thicker USB cable which has no volume control, while the other is a more traditional 3.5mm braided audio cable with a well featured audio controller attach to it. The control is pretty necessary because when you’re using the 3.5mm cable the headset is essentially un-powered and you won’t be able to access the various macros that it comes with.
While the headset is on USB is when it literally shines, activating all the features it comes with. You won’t find any active noise cancelling here but you’ll have the programmable modes we mentioned earlier that allows you to tailor your audio experience. We do like this feature quite a lot but we’re still curious as to why all these light up headsets don’t have an equilizer function for the colours yet.
The volume dial also cheerfully beeps when you use it so you won’t explode your ears by accident if you happen to touch it by accident.
Audio modes and sound quality
Speaking of the different modes, the some of modes afforded by the headset are geared towards either cinematic listening, a bass heavy one dubbed “drop the bass” and one set towards FPS. Of course you can make your own and set them to the headset which we think is really handy to have. So you could essentially have a setting for those multiplayer sessions and then another for when you want to chill and just listen to music.
In terms of audio quality, the headset does pretty well. It isn’t the richest of audio experiences but it certainly doesn’t mince the midtones and the bass isn’t overbearing. The 7.1 surround is pretty impressive as well, and if you’re into FPS (or happen to be playing Alien: Isolation) it will be invaluable to your digital survival. A headset dedicated to pure music would still sound better but as something of both worlds it handles it pretty well all considered.
Our biggest gaff with the Artemis Spectrum is probably the headset’s comfort level. The clamp pressure from the whole thing is a bit too strong; sometimes causing a headache when worn for long periods of time (or in my case, it liked to rip my glasses off everytime I removed it)
Aside from that, the general comfort level is decent, with the cans breathable (despite being so large) and its adjustable nature would make it fit on a lot of heads. Also the headset seems to get oddly warm on the left side if its been on for awhile. We’re not sure what causes it but it shouldn’t interfere with its functionality.
Everything considered, if you’re unwilling to shell out for one of Razer’s headsets but want roughly the same capability, this is the way to go. The band can be pretty stiff however, especially when you’re wearing it and taking it off so that might be quite the put-off for some. Still for RM 599, its not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. It doesn’t really come with any other extras like accessories or case besides the extra cables so you might want to consider how you might be using this before you purchase.
You can check it out at its own page over at Logitech’s main site.