Ideally, what do we all want from a work headset? We want a functional device with noise cancellation so we have the option of silencing the din of an open office. We want something that doesn’t look like a call center headset with its cheap foam earpads. We want a device with great audio, so we can listen to music while working without switching to our personal headphones or earbuds. And we don’t want to notice we’re wearing it–we want comfort and freedom of movement.
All this is a lot to ask of one piece of hardware, but it’s what I was hoping to find when I unboxed the new Logitech Zone Wireless headset, and I’m glad to report that it’s what I got. The latest audio offering from the world’s leading webcam manufacturer is a lightweight, multifunctional, cross-device success that combines the freedom of wireless and Bluetooth connectivity with the versatility of work/play audio.
For the sake of a fair and useful Logitech Zone Wireless review, we should add that this is not a high-end headset for audiophiles, and there are some issues with the accompanying mobile app, but if, like me, you’re after a way to take control of your working environment, the Logitech Zone is an effective, versatile, and–dare we say–fun piece of equipment.
What’s Special About the Zone Wireless Headset?
I’m impressed with the Zone Wireless and, in truth, I’m not even the product’s target audience. I’m a telecommuter working from a home office. I conduct all my internal and external meetings by video conference, and I do the bulk of my daily work in a quiet, suburban environment. Part of the reason I prefer to work remotely is also the reason why the Zone was created–I can’t stand the din of an open office environment.
The drama and distraction of that setting drove me out of the office. Logitech’s new headset is designed to prevent you from suffering the same fate.
The Zone Wireless is designed to be an audio solution for the whole day. It uses Bluetooth and USB connectivity to sync with your desktop and smartphone so you can seamlessly switch between audio sources. Crucially, the headset has active noise cancellation and sound settings that let you control exactly how much external noise enters your personal soundscape.
Thankfully, it delivers on much of its promise.
Unboxing the Logitech Zone Wireless
Let’s start with the basics: what is it like to set up the Zone headset (given that it’s a bit more complicated than just plugging it into an audio jack), and how does it look and feel?
Looks: The Zone Wireless has appeal right out of the box. The compact design means it can fold up neatly and the sturdy build gives it a more substantial feel than you usually get with a boom mic headset. While the style of the Zone Wireless is far more aesthetically appealing than your typical call center-style headset, the presence of the boom arm, even when tucked away, made me think twice about wearing the Zone out in public. However, you might feel differently, since the Zone does look much more like a regular pair of on-ear headphones (the styling is reminiscent of a pair of Beats headphones) than a headset designed for business calls.
To access the full range of Zone Wireless features you need to download the smartphone app.
Setup: As is Logitech’s trademark, the Zone Wireless sets up with plug-and-play ease. My Asus Chromebook couldn’t accommodate the headset’s USB-A dongle–through which the Zone is designed to connect to your computer–but I was able to easily connect the headset to both my laptop and smartphone using Bluetooth.
The on-set controls are intuitive and well-positioned, but to access the full range of Zone Wireless features you need to download the smartphone app. You’ll need to search for “Logi Tune App” to find it, or spend a frustrating and fruitless several minutes in search of “Logitech Zone Wireless App,” as I did. The headset’s first real surprise is the verbal battery status update you get from a digitized female voice as soon as you switch the unit on. There’s an option to turn the assistant off, but I found the notification handy, at least on initial use (the same calm female voice will also tell you when your mute is on or off and when you’ve successfully connected to one or more devices).
Comfort and Fit: The Zone Wireless quickly reveals itself as a comfortable, secure fit. The adjustable headband provides the head-shaking confidence you need in a wireless device, and the cushioned leather ear cups bring some degree of passive noise cancellation without being hot and uncomfortable. I did begin to feel a little pressure on my ears after prolonged use, but that’s to be expected from an on-ear, rather than over-ear, solution.
Wireless, Multi-Device Ease
Since the Zone Wireless is designed as a workplace tool, it only makes sense that its three main features are designed to let you control the way you work.
The most effective of these features is the freedom of movement. With a Bluetooth connection in place to my laptop, I was able to wander freely about my house–even upstairs–with comfort and without sacrificing performance. Logitech claims the connection will extend 100 feet, and I experienced nothing to make me doubt that. Coupled with the headset’s lightweight feel, this mobility creates a real sense of freedom you don’t usually find in a device designed for the workplace.
The unit instantly and reliably switched from playing music on my smartphone to receiving an incoming video call.
The Zone’s second major feature is its ability to switch between devices and audio sources. In my experience, the unit instantly and reliably switched from playing music on my smartphone to receiving an incoming video call on my Chromebook, and vice-versa. You can answer calls with a simple click of an on-set button and change the volume on the headset as well.
This ease of transition is more important to the product’s success than the overall performance of either the call or audio playback functions, in my opinion. We’ll get to the third key feature, the overall audio performance of the device, in a second, but the fact that you can seamlessly switch between your internal and external work environments without having to take off the headset or hunt down your phone is the real appeal of the Zone. It just makes life easier.
This functionality will encourage users to view the Zone as a workplace asset rather than a device for serious music listening. That’s important because the headset won’t be competing with your state-of-the-art headphones any time soon.
Logitech Zone Wireless Review Conclusion
The appeal of the Zone Wireless lies in its breadth of performance across functions, rather than its peak at any particular point. Let’s look at how it performs in a few major categories.
Audio for Music: The audio playback on the Zone (I listened to Google Play tracks on my Chromebook and smartphone) is a little underwhelming. The midrange is fine, but the high end rolls off and the bass is forced up and muddy. There’s also a general sense that the sound is slightly muffled or shrouded. I should mention that I critiqued the Zone’s audio quality against a pair of excellent over-ear Audio-Technica headphones, so while they didn’t measure up to that standard, most users casually listening to music on these while working likely won’t notice its subtle failings in the audio department. The Logitech Tune app also offers the ability to adjust bass, midrange, and treble levels yourself, so you might be able to compensate for some of the Zone’s audio issues with a little fiddling.
Audio on Calls: The upside is that the device performed well within video calls. I used Zoom for several work meetings and my colleagues and I could hear each other in perfect clarity–although the option to relay my own voice through the internal mic via the Sidetones feature did leave me sounding a bit mechanical. I should also note here that while the sound on my video calls was fine, my colleagues couldn’t tell that I had upgraded to the Zone’s boom mic from my laptop’s built-in one.
The ability to switch seamlessly from quietly working to taking an incoming call is a genuine asset.
Additional Features: The noise cancellation feature–which can be activated through the Logitech Tune app or by pressing a button on the headset (easy to find, since there are so few buttons on the headset to begin with)–works well for continuous, droning sounds like constant background chatter, air conditioning, or traffic noise, all of which the open office employee is likely to encounter. On the other hand, the Sidetones feature, which is accessed through the Tune app and which allows you to control how much of your own voice you can hear through the headset, is a clever addition, but was prone to issues in my test. I used the feature during a call I took on my laptop, pulling up the app on my smartphone to adjust the Sidetone up. It worked at first, but I could hear the feature stop working every time my smartphone’s screen went dark from inattention.
Yet, the appeal of the Zone Wireless lies in what it offers cumulatively, and I would have no qualms recommending it to my office-bound (or telecommuting) colleagues as an effective and versatile means of controlling their working environment. The active noise cancellation provides a haven from the hum of an open office, the audio playback is certainly of a higher standard than your average desktop or laptop speaker, and the ability to switch seamlessly from quietly working to taking an incoming call is a genuine asset.
Overall, the Zone Wireless is an ambitious and predominantly successful attempt at giving workers an all-in-one audio solution. It’s not quite enough to lure me back to an office building, but if I’d had the Zone several years ago, I might not have been so eager to leave.
Note that while this site is sponsored by Logitech, reviews contain the writer’s own opinions and are not influenced by the views of our sponsor.