Logitech F540 Wireless Noise Isolating Gaming Headset
While not on quite the par of their superb G35 and G930 PC gaming headsets that won accolades on their respective best headset lists, the F540 is a very respectable performer in its own right.
Setting up the F540 is as simple as any headset on this list. The F540 features wireless in-game audio (but requires a communications cable between the headset and controller for chatting on Xbox Live). The audio transmitter gets connected to AC power and to RCA-style audio connectors for left and right audio. The audio can come from your television, AV receiver, or directly from your Xbox (although if you use HDMI for video, youll need to purchase the 360s optional HDMI audio adapter to connect the console directly to the F540s transmitter). Once the power and audio connections are made, simply connect the 2.5mm audio communications cable between the headset and your Xbox 360 controller (if you want to chat, that is), and youre in business.
One aspect of the F540 in which it equals its PC-compatible brethren is comfort. You could literally fall asleep wearing this headset. The earpads are not too plush, so they offer a great noise-isolating seal, but they keep your ears cool and dry even over extended gaming sessions.
The sound quality of the drivers is excellent with in-game audio. The 40mm drivers produce midrange and high frequencies with great detail and clarity. While the F540 doesnt exactly produce eardrum-crushing low frequency effects, its bass response is very satisfying. Although this is not a surround headset, the soundfield is very spacious and feels enveloping even though localized audio effects are not truly directional.
Where the audio falters just slightly is when using the F540s communications capabilities. There is a slight hiss introduced from the connection between the headset and Xbox 360 controller. Also, the microphones noise-canceling feature was not as effective as others on this list, and since signal from the mic is monitored in the headphones, you have to mute the mic if you are not using the chat feature to prevent background noises from contaminating your in-game audio. Neither of these issues is really perceptible during frenetic online multiplayer action, but its something to keep in mind when considering your headset purchase.
As the set-up procedure indicated, another area where Logitech sets the F540 apart from other headsets in its price range is that its rechargeable. Battery life is excellent, but in the case that you go for several prolonged gaming sessions and forget to recharge it, the F540s USB charging cable can be connected to any nearby laptop or AC-to-USB charger and you can continue to use the headset while its charging.
In all, the positive attributes of the Logitech F540 far outweigh its drawbacks. It is light but sturdily constructed, offers some features not found on headsets that cost three or four times more, and is now an even more outstanding value than ever. This headset would have secured a spot on this list for its original list price of $149.99, but now that Logitech has recently cut its MSRP in half to only $74.99, the F540 is an absolute steal.