Logitech G35 vs. Razer Megalodon
In terms of features the two headsets are very close to one another. They both claim to recreate 7.1 surround-sound using their own combination of hardware and software, both include a microphone and both have built-in audio controls.
In terms of technology both headsets use software to enable stereo speakers to create virtual 7.1 surround sound. Logitech use dolby Headphone 2.0 technology to drive the headset while Razer have produced their own Maelstrom drivers to do the same job.
As you can see from the table above there is very little difference between the Logitech G35 and Razer Megalodon, with the Razer just edging the G35 out with a touch more sensitivity.
Both headsets differ in how they allow you to control their features. Razer have gone for a smart inline remote-control box attached to the braided cable. The box allows you to control the volume of each of the virtual channels, as well as switch between 7.1 surround and 2.0 stereo modes. Also on the box are controls for the microphone that include volume, mute and sensitivity adjustment. The control box is the heart of the Megalodon and is responsible for all of the sound processing, so there’s no software to install. Just plug in the USB connector and you’re off.
The Logitech G35 locates all of the controls on the headset. On the left cup are three programmable ‘G’ buttons that can be programmed to interact with a variety of multimedia applications. For example, you could set G1 to launch iTunes, G2 to skip to the next track and G3 to the previous. The software allows you to store button profiles for each application and it will switch between profiles as you toggle between programs within windows. Also on the left cup is a wheel to control the volume and a button to mute the microphone. On the right cup is a single toggle that switches between 7.1 surround or 2.0 stereo modes.
The Logitech G35 requires driver software to be installed to create the 7.1 sound, and this will force a minor hit on your CPU. The software itself is nicely designed and intuitive to use.
In terms of setup the Megalodon is easiest to use as it really is plug’n’play, and the control box takes on the task of controlling the headset and the 7.1 sounds. That same box of tricks also offers the greater level of audio control, but in the heat of the moment it’s easier to smack a button on the side of your head than it is to reach out, grab a small box, then look down at it to check which of the small buttons you’re pressing. This is where the G35’s onboard buttons are best, and the programmable G keys also make it a bit more flexible than the Megalodon.
Both of these headsets are designed for gaming, so that’s how they were put to test in a blast through Call Of Duty 4. Both headsets worked very well, noticeably clearer than my old Medusa 5.1 headset. In plain old 2.0 stereo mode they provided lovely clear sound and some useful positional information, but switching on the 7.1 surround sound allowed the sounds take on much more character.
It’s almost as if the soundscape has moved from indoors to outdoors, as you get a greater impression of the magnitude of the noises around you. Shots and explosions seem to be more complex in nature, with more obvious differences between those that are close by and those that are further away.
Rather disappointingly there wasn’t much of an improvement in determining the position of a noise, leading some strength to the arguments that 5.1 and 7.1 headsets are a bit of a gimmick. Don’t get me wrong, the surround sound effects are better than plain stereo for determining their source but nowhere near the improvement that you might expect from the marketing material.
In terms of in-game sound quality the best of the two headsets is the Megalodon, offering a slightly more vibrant experience than the G35 but by the slightest of margins.
As mentioned, both headsets come with a built-in microphone. Both can be swivelled up out of the way and both can be muted – the Logitech uses a button on the right-ear cup, the Megalodon a button on its control box. One negative point of the Logitech is that it is quite easy to catch the mute button when lifting the headset onto your head.
Feedback from other gamers suggests that both microphones offered clear audio with minimal background noise being picked up.
One trick of the G35 is that it has the ability to morph your voice into one of six presets, and while it has a bit of comedy value in the short term I can’t see it being a feature you’d make much use of.
The Razer Megalodon retails at $149.99 and the Logitech G35 at $129.99. At the time of writing you can pick up a Razer Megalodon for $149.99 at Amazon and a Logitech G35 for $104.98. Clearly the Logitech G35 has the advantage here, and although the Megalodon will eventually come down in price it will always be lagging behind the cheaper G35.
Choosing A Winner
It’s not easy, and much of it will boil down to what you want the headset for. The Logitech G35 has the better range of features, while the Razer Megalodon offers slightly better sound.
Personally, if I were spending my own money but had to choose between the G35 and Megalodon I’d stump up the extra cash and go for the Megalodon. On the other hand, if it were my money and I could choose something else I’d go for a proper set of stereo headphones – namely a superior Sennheiser HD555 headset with a clip-on microphone. Much better sound quality, but without the 7.1 virtual shenanigans.