[Tech Review] Mad Catz Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Stereo Gaming Headset [PC/MAC]

Share

TITLE: Mad Catz Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Stereo Gaming Headset
PRODUCER: Mad Catz
PLATFORM: PC/MAC
PRICE: $149.99 USD

Specs:

  • Driver Size: 50mm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Cable Length: 6.6ft USB / 3.3ft 3.5mm
  • Cable Type: Braided
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium
  • USB Powered: Yes
  • Microphone: Detachable
  • Headset Type: Wired

Compatibility

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Mac OS X (10.6.6 & Higher)
  • iPhone
  • HTC
  • BlackBerry

Headsets have become a staple for gaming these days especially in the PC sector as players of all stripes either want to strap on the sound and get ready to rock out in their respective games. They also want to be able to communicate with their friends and fellow players, having quality headsets can make the difference between a solid social experience or being that one person who disrupts an entire discussion with bad static and choppy voice quality.

So, how does the F.R.E.Q. 5 stack up in the grand world of headsets?

That’s what I sat down to find out recently and I’m glad to report that I’ve been pleased with the experience I’ve had with the F.R.E.Q. 5 headset. To kick off our exploration of this particular piece of audio tech, one of the nice points is that while it is a wired; you can switch the connection from USB to standard 3.5mm headphone jack with ease and makes it useful beyond the PC just for the listening experience. With a simply disconnect/connect you can take the F.R.E.Q. 5 from your PC to your Mobile phone, MP3 player, or handheld to have quality sound delivered for your listening enjoyment. The other nice thing for the listening side of usage is the detachable microphone that plugs in and comes out without any issues and you can sit back, enjoy the music without having a microphone either stuck out in front of you or sticking of the side of your head like an antennae when you don’t need it.

FREQ-5.03

But is the F.R.E.Q. 5 comfortable for marathon sessions?

Comparatively to the Warhead 7.1 that we looked at last year, the F.R.E.Q. 5 I found to be more comfortable in terms of long wear over several hours. The headband provided appropriate comfort and the ear cups fit snugly over the ears with the right amount of padding to be comfortable without the marshmallow effect too much padding can cause for other headsets. However, making a comparison between the F.R.E.Q. 5 and the Warhead 7.1 does have a difference in terms of weight as the F.R.E.Q. 5 headset is lighter so it would make for better prolonged comfort.

Are there a mess of buttons to deal with?

The button controls and volume scroll are all located on the ear cups for quick use, featuring simple touch on/off for microphone muting, EQ toggle, and a simple scroll up and down for volume control. Built into the microphone itself is a LED indicator light to let you know when you have the mute engaged. The EQ toggle runs through 3 possible settings and you can switch them with a quick press of the button making for a quick switch if you want to change the sound as you play or listen.

Now the real question, how’s the sound quality?

The sound coming through on the F.R.E.Q. 5 is excellent high fidelity stereo sound and delivers it consistently across the several devices I’ve tried them with. Everything came through in the ranges you’d expect without loss of sound quality or definition and easily recommends itself based on that quality alone. As with the Warhead 7.1 headset there maximum volume achievable might not be as high as you would prefer, however that’s a quibbling point compared to the consistent quality delivery.

The microphone is solid and delivers a clear voice though occasionally exterior noise depending on it’s nature could come through depending on your own recording settings. That aside, I found the voice recording quality on par with my expectations from Mad Catz. For a quick sample of the recording quality, I put the F.R.E.Q. 5 microphone through it’s paces in our recent live cast.

FREQ-5

Can you sum it all up for us?

Overall I found the F.R.E.Q. 5 Gaming Headset to deliver quality sound with an ease of use that makes this unit a solid recommendation for PC players looking for a dependable headset for those late night WoW raids or just to casually take in the game audio for your favorite title or chat it up with your team as you roll out in PvP. In the age of 5.1 and 7.1 sound, there’s still room in the market for quality stereo sound and the F.R.E.Q. 5 delivers above expectations though for the casual PC gamer, the price might steer you towards a cheaper set.

Final Score: 9.5

“For solid, consistent stereo sound, clear voice transmission and easy to switch out connection, I definitely recommend the F.R.E.Q. 5 Headset for gamers looking for a headset that delivers”

Would you like to know more?

About David "AnjelusX" Slauenwhite
Anjel Syndicate Editor-in-Chief, Gamer, Lover of Books, Conjurer of Words, Worlds, and Stories, Coffee Worshiper, and Nova Scotian. "I've been gaming since I stood on milk crates to reach the controls. New games, retro games, you name it, I probably love it."