I recently came into possession of a Logitech G933 wireless headset and started using it on my Linux work laptop for 100% of my audio and video conferencing needs. There were a few issues out of the box on Linux but I managed to get it all working. Here’s what I did and my experiences with the hardware.
G933 Wireless Headset
The Logitech G933 is the predecessor to the G930 released a few years back, it supports a USB dongle which emits a wireless signal to the headset plus other separate audio channel inputs. If you turn off the light scheme (via their Logitech Windows-only software) you’ll get around 10hours battery.
If you want to use it across several computers or game consoles as you can easily swap the USB wifi dongle between machines or use 3.5mm audio connections in tandem. My focus is using it for wireless audio and mic for work on Linux.
Linux Fix: USB Quicks Module Option
Like most Logitech gear the usbhid module picks this up and it works out of the box with one small fix. There’s a bug that causes you to sometimes lose keyboard input when the USB wifi dongle is plugged in if you adjust volume via the adjustment wheel. Apply the following and reboot to fix this:
cat > /etc/modprobe.d/logitech-g933.conf << EOF options usbhid quirks=0x046D:0x0A38:0x0004 EOF
Update: The usbhid quirks line above disallows the module from binding to the device, on my headset I had to add this for things to work all of the time but your mileage may vary. I’m adding it in here for posterity, remove this line if you have issues. Thanks to ashkitten for pointing this out.
Linux Fix: PulseAudio Configuration
Afterwards, it should come up as a viable audio and mic device. I’ve needed to install and run the pavucontrol program to control what applications use it via PulseAudio like below as I’m using XFCE with KWIN and it doesn’t have windowmanager-specific PulseAudio control.
I’m also not very good at managing the cryptic /etc/pulse/system.pa file and PulseAudio internals.
dnf install pavucontrol -y
Note above, you’ll also want to make sure that the Logitech G933 profile is set correctly with both an output + input option.
For Linphone I’ve had to toggle this between Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output + Analog Mono Input and Analog Output + Analog Mono Input during a call for the output volume to work, though that may just be a bug. Right now I’m using the former and leave pavucontrol open in plank for this purpose.
Toggle Pavucontrol Profile = Fixes Things
In general, toggling between profiles like above will “fix” any issues you have with most sound problems in applications. It’s not ideal but it’s the best workaround I have until I have enough information to file bugs upstream against PulseAudio or the snd_usb_audio kernel drivers.
Linux Application Usage
Note that some applications require you setting the G933 manually in the application, below are common applications I use and where I changed them. Generally, if an application supports PulseAudio Sound Server (default) then that’s enough and it will work without further modification.
- Linphone (SIP Software) -> pulseaudio default, sometimes needs toggling in pavucontrol
- Output volume won’t work until you toggle the output profile during a call in pavucontrol
- Bluejeans (VOIP via Browser) –> change in application settings
- Amarok (Audio/Music Software) –> change in pavucontrol
- Google Hangouts (VOIP via Browser) –> change in application settings
- Viber (VOIP Software) –> change in application
- Skype (VOIP Software) –> pulseaudio default
- Mumble –> change in application
- VLC –> change in pavucontrol, app choose ‘automatic’
Controlling volume settings will either be by using the sliding volume wheel on the headset itself or you can manage them independently inside the application within pavucontrol. The latter is preferable (if there’s an option for it) as it lets you set a series of independent volumes for application audio.
Settings via Logitech Software
You can further customize the headset via Logitechs gaming software, however it’s Windows-only and wine does not run it correctly for me. If you can find a Windows PC it’s useful to install it and turn off the color schemes (30% battery savings!), set it to use Dolby 7.1 sound and remove the software and never touch it again.
Using 3.5mm Audio Pass-Through
A friend of mine, Aaron Thomas suggested using the 3.5mm audio jack located on the wireless USB dongle to simplify things. This seems to work well as wireless connection between headset <-> dongle is a simple point-to-point connection, and you can simply jack in an 3.5mm cable into the dongle and run that to a headphone or audio port. This might be useful for non-computer devices like a TV. Also of note, you simply need -any- USB slot and then run the cable, it doesn’t have to be to a device you’re using – useful to extend range as well.
Fix: Turn it off and on again
Sometimes after suspending my desktop, some applications will stop seeing the Logitech G933, in this case simply pulling the USB dongle and plugging it in again “fixes” things.
Fix: Static and ‘Scratchy’ Audio
I’ve noticed that after having these a while every few weeks/months or when I reboot I’ll sometimes get scratchy audio. It seems to only be localized in the headphones as it’s not apparent in recordings. One other Linux user who has these experienced the same thing. The following resolves this for me:
- Power off headset via the headset power
- Unplug USB wifi dongle
- Plug USB wifi dongle back in
- Power up headset via headset power button
There’s a few irritating things about the headset, and lots of things I like. $200 is in the more expensive range for a 7.1 wireless headset but it’s quite useful with long wireless range and great battery life, if you use a headset/mic frequently and these features are important you may be able to overlook the other shortcomings.
Totally arbitrary, non-scientific score: 72 out of 100
- Great wireless range between USB dongle –> headset
- Great battery life
- Removable, replaceable battery
- USB wifi dongle has 3.5mm audio in, expanding usage options
- Wonderful sound, nicely placed keys (volume up/down, mute)
- Nicely placed pop-out microphone
- Nicely placed, removable/replaceable battery and slot for USB dongle
- Overall great design.
Hard-coded 5-minute sleep function(fixed via firmware update – see below)
- Windows only software which is of questionable quality.
- Inconsistent support within some Linux applications and PulseAudio
- Wired USB sound not recognized in Linux (for me).
- Sometimes strange behavior until USB dongle is unplugged/plugged
- Toggling pavucontrol profiles mysteriously “fixes” things sometimes
- Plastic headset frame which may break under duress
- Slightly heavy compared to other high-end headsets
- Looks too ‘future gamer’ for my tastes.
Update on 5-minute Cutoff
Twitter user Raton-Laveur reports that the latest Logitech firmware update provides the ability to disable the automatic 5-minute shutoff, but Windows is required to apply it.
Official Logitech post here confirming this. I’ve verified this works wonderfully, setting mine to diable the auto-off option entirely.
Possible Firmware Update Issues
Some users reported issues with the latest firmware soft-bricking the device if it crashes during update but there’s a manual workaround posted on the Logitech forums to force-update it using the MSDOS prompt.
Update: 2016-10 – Headset Not Turning On
After 9months of mostly happy usage my Logitech G933 started acting funny and eventually refused to power on. Luckily I found this Reddit thread which has a “fix”, you’ll need a Windows machine for this:
- Power off headset, unplug the battery in the side ear compartment
- Install the latest Logitech Gaming Software (8.88.30 as of writing this)
- Plug in the USB cable and USB dongle
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\Logitech Gaming Software\FWUpdate\G933
- Run that .exe file
The firmware should update, after it’s done you should be back in business.
Update: 2018-12-05 – Microphone muted when pulled down
After another two years of usage it appears that there is now some bug where if the microphone is pulled down it still stays muted. I have applied the firmware 18.104.22.168 that came with verion 9.0.2 of the Logitech Gaming Software.
The same approach applies above for applying firmware:
- Make sure both wifi USB dongle and USB cable is plugged in
- Run G33Update_v27.exe from the FWUpdate directory
Note, you may also need to check alsamixer as sometimes the volume can be turned all the way down. Select the headset with F6.
Next, press F5 to view all controls. Use the <- -> arrow keys to select the microphone and use arrow key up to increase volume. Press escape to save/exit.