Cougar Phontum Gaming Headset
The Universal Gaming Headset
Today we have Cougar's new Phontum gaming headset in for review. Being a relatively small name in the PC gaming parts and peripherals industry, you may not have heard of them. That said, they have a large range of gaming mice, and have also dropped a variety of mechanical keyboards, cases, and power supplies onto the market. In fact, they recently introduced the very distinct 'Conquer' case, if that gives you some idea of the look the company is going for. Striking, high impact, and likely to leave an impression.
The headset is advertised as being 'Real Gear For Real Gamers,' and the unit itself certainly continues Cougar's distinct orange and black theme. Being a traditionally wired unit, there is no inbuilt wireless or Bluetooth connectivity here. One cable, plug into a 3.5mm headphone jack (or a DAC of your choosing, for instance), and your job is done. Cougar is all too happy to advertise the headset as having 53mm drivers, accompanied by a graphene-based diaphragm. This is a good start, as over the ear style headphones should have at least a 40mm driver. To those not in the know, a diaphragm is - essentially - a semi-rigid membrane that produces sound when vibrated. Graphene is a very lightweight yet strong material that provides exceptional electrical conductivity, as well as being able to provide good frequency response throughout the entire audible 'range'.
In fact, this new unit is relatively simple when compared to some of the other headsets we have had through the doors. Connectivity via the 3.5mm jack (not USB), no accompanying software, and - dare I say it... actually I do - no RGB! That said, the Phontum is designed to be a 'middle of the road' unit, with MSRP set at 54.90 USD. This essentially puts it on par with Corsair's HS50 unit that we reviewed back in the middle of December. Support for specific operating systems isn't mentioned, but - with a 3.5mm jack for connectivity - I don't imagine this will be an issue.
The headset is advertised as boasting a 20Hz - 20Khz frequency response (as per the above bit on the audible range of the human ear). Cougar's site lists a one year warranty for their headsets. This is perhaps disappointing to those looking for more, and indeed Corsair offers a 2 year period on their Void Pro RGB and HS50 headsets. These are priced at $79.99/99.99 and $50.00 USD respectively. Finally, the headset features a detachable microphone. This simply hooks into the bottom of an ear-cup using another 3.5mm jack. The specifications are listed above, and I will be looking into the noise cancellation aspect. The detachable control unit features the ability to turn the microphone on and off, as well as volume control.
So far, many boxes - in my opinion - have been ticked by this sample. Next, we unbox the headset and will briefly go over some of the more basic specifications.