Logitech H390 USB headset - quick review

In a nutshell: do not buy this headset.

That being said, here’s some context: I was (and actually still am) a big fan of Logitech, considering their products top quality, so this particular case was a big disappointment.

And the story: I needed a good quality headset for my MacBook and since Macs don’t accept double 3.5” jack plugs that are pretty much the standard way of connecting headsets nowadays, I needed one that connects via USB. I quickly narrowed down my choice to the Logitech h340 but since that wasn’t available at the local electronics store, I grabbed the h390 which was slightly more expensive and better looking. So I bought it yesterday and went home to test it out. Plugged it in, my laptop recognized it instantly, I set up Skype to work with it by switching the microphone and audio output to the ‘Logitech USB headset’ entry and then called echo123. To my disappointment when Skype played back my message I heard a pretty loud hum along my voice. A couple of other tests followed and I noticed that if I was touching my MacBook (which is made of aluminum) the background noise was close to nonexistent but once I let go it returned. I tried distancing myself from the computer, I tried connecting and disconnecting my laptop’s power cord (the hum was stronger when it was connected) and I tried connecting it to my desktop PC. The same issue persisted: if I was grounding the computer in some way there was no hum but once it wasn’t grounded the hum returned. Googling around I noticed that I wasn’t alone with this, there were at least two people with videos (one and two) demonstrating the same type of behavior. There was also a blog post which said that if you moved around the hum would eventually disappear but I tried this and couldn’t find a “silent place” in my room. So I packed it up, returned it to the store and got my money back.

I decided to go the old fashioned way and have two separate devices which do one job and do it well. I’m well covered in the headphones department, owning one of the best consumer level headphones available, a pair of Sennheiser HD 518’s, now I’ll just have to shell out for a dedicated mic, a Blue Microphones Yeti. Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time.

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