The new FREQ 5 PC Gaming Headset from Mad Catz/Cyborg Gaming is a tough and durable headset with some neat features.
Extra-large 50mm drivers and speakers with Neodymium magnets really belt out the sound and with the over-the-ear covers it fits well, perhaps a tad heavy for my liking as the top of my head began to hurt after a while.
Build quality is pretty good. The only problem I encountered was the headband which seems to be a common problem with these kind of headsets. As it isn`t reinforced, they tend to snap after a while, especially when you’re pulling them out of a bag on a daily basis and for this kind of money (£129.99) it’s not something I would expect. Apart from the headband, they are quiet sturdy; the cans fold flat which is great for round the neck and for storage.
The detachable noise cancelling mic works really well and my voice came through nice and clear. The light up mic end to let you know it’s off was somewhat confusing at first as my natural instinct was to think when light is on the mic is live. It is very helpful to avoid those embarrassing on-line gaffs, but I just don`t get the logic in having it this way.
Regarding the mic - it’s one of those bendy types which is fine, until you forget it’s there and reach for your beverage, thus resulting in a tea-soaked mic. You can detach it (there’s a small, easy to lose cover that fits over the hole) yet it would have been handy if you could just flip it up like most other headsets.
The on-ear controls work well once you have figured out where they are. There are the usual volume controls, mic mute and EQ. The only problem I had with these was the positioning of the headset’s volume control wasn`t that good because if you wore a collar it would catch on the volume control when you turned your head.
This is primarily a PC gaming headset and looks the part. The sound is good with nice noise-cancelling thanks to the over-ear speakers.
The FREQ 5 PC Gaming Headset can be used with other devices except gaming consoles, and it worked well with my smart phone even though I couldn`t use the EQ, yet I certainly wouldn`t go
outside with it as the cans are pretty big and it will do nothing for your street cred walking around with these on your head.
The best thing about this headset is the sound. It’s not in fancy 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, just good old stereo and it is a nice set-up with plenty of bass for those big explosions. Music plays well - although with perhaps a little too much bass at times - and with the added issue of not knowing what EQ setting you have on you basically have to try all three until you find the one you want.
The FREQ 5 PC Gaming Headset has a two metre length PC cable with a full usb at one end and a mini usb at the other to connect to the headset. I have not come across this kind of connection before (mini USB) and it can take a couple of tries to get the thing to fit in. Why they didn`t go for a normal jack I have no idea.
The other metre-long cable is for connecting to other devices and this comes with a 3.5mm jack and a mini usb.
The FREQ 5 PC Gaming Headset is undeniably a good quality headset, yet for the price I can only see this appealing to dedicated gamers as there are plenty of cheaper and sometimes better headsets on the market. If these were £50 cheaper I am sure more people would be interested and with my concerns over the strength of the headband, long-term use is an issue. The last thing you need is to fork out over £130 for a headset that snaps in two 6 months later (believe me I know).
If you’re a dedicated gamer with a bit of cash burning a hole in the old “sky rocket” and you want the street cred then you can`t go wrong with these, they do the job admirably I just think they are somewhat overpriced.
FREQ 5 PC Gaming Headset
Manufacturer: Mad Catz/Cyborg gaming
Precision-Balanced, Extra Large 50mm Drivers with Neodymium Magnets
Detachable Noise-Cancelling Microphone with Illuminated Mute Notification
Easy to Locate On-Ear Controls
Compatible with MP3 Players and Smartphones (Supports Apple iPhone, Blackberry, and
Value For Money: 3/5