What is a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset?
Just like Lord of a Rings’ One Ring, a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset aims to be a one headset to order them all. It does flattering many all you’d ever wish from a gaming headset: it’s wireless, works with any vital gaming device, and has all of a audio facilities we can cruise of.
The Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 is solidly assembled from peculiarity components, so it’s gentle to wear for prolonged durations of time. It also facilities all of a buttons we need to control what you’re listening to yet carrying to lift your device out of your pocket, such as volume controls and lane skipping. An iOS and Android app also allows we to control a headphones and guard a battery level, a latter of that is still a singular feature.
All this record doesn’t come inexpensive though–at £280, a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 headset sits during a unequivocally tip of a gaming headset market, and competes with reward lifestyle brands such as Bose and Beats as many it does with Turtle Beach and Astro. Thankfully, a glorious sound reproduction, 20-hour battery life, and engorgement of accessories go somehow to warranting this high cost tag.
That’s not to contend a F.R.E.Q. 9 is perfect. The headset itself is big, complicated and honestly utterly ugly. There’s zero appealing about a design, so if you’re looking for a unstable headset that doesn’t roar “gamer”, you’ll wish to demeanour elsewhere. There are also other smaller issues: a postponement symbol is easy to press when adjusting a headset or holding it off, ensuing in forsaken calls and unintended Siri requests.
The headset also has issues that might be informed to owners of other Bluetooth headsets: namely pointless audio drop-outs, difficulty between that device you’re perplexing to play audio from, and even shrill immobile noise.
Overall, a F.R.E.Q. 9 headset is a high-quality headset for use opposite mixed gaming platforms during home, yet reduction so for use on-the-go.
See also: Best Gaming Headset 2015
Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset: Intro and Design
Mad Catz might be a princely member of a gaming appendage market, yet it’s usually in a final 6 years that it has unequivocally started to build adult a repute as a peculiarity hardware manufacturer. In a early 2000s, it was maybe best famous for a inexpensive and mostly nasty accessories that were directed during a value finish of a market.
So it was utterly a startle when, in 2009, Mad Catz announced that it had partnered with Capcom to furnish a central Street Fighter IV Tournament Edition Fight Stick. It was even some-more of a startle when a finished product incited out to be presumably a best fighting hang ever done for a home marketplace — a plain construction and authentic Sanwa arcade tools won over notoriously variable hardcore fighting diversion fans, and was a start of Mad Catz’s enlargement into other reward product lines.
Enter a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset, that takes a “everything yet a kitchen sink” proceed by charity all you’d many wish from a gaming headset. They work with many any gaming device on a market, they’re totally wireless, and they exaggerate flattering many any vital audio underline we can cruise of, including active sound cancellation.
See also: PS4 vs Xbox One
Let’s start with a basics. The headset facilities built-in Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, so it will bond to any vital mobile phone, inscription and laptop on a market, as good as set-top boxes like a Amazon Fire TV and Mad Catz’s possess M.O.J.O. Android console. Not usually that, yet it supports twin Bluetooth pairing, so we can be listening to song from your laptop and afterwards take a call on your mobile. When it all works properly, it’s flattering damn cool.
For non-portable inclination like games consoles and desktop PCs, we have to bond a tiny box roughly a same distance as a unstable tough drive. On a behind of a box is a USB submit for power, and both a digital visual submit and a 3.5mm submit for audio. The package includes all of a cables and adapters needed, even a aged Xbox 360 AV cable. There are also cables for a PS4’s DualShock 4, a Wii U GamePad, and a Xbox 360 controller.
See also: PS4 vs PS3
The vital repudiation on this lineup is a Xbox One, that requires a apart adaptor. We cruise it’s reasonable to design that a headset costing £280 would embody an adaptor for a second most-popular games console on a marketplace right now, yet we’re some-more prone to lay a censure during Microsoft’s door, rather than Mad Catz, as it was their preference to use a exclusive connector. So if we have an Xbox One, you’ll need to spend around £20 on a apart adaptor.
All a opposite audio connectors and standards can make environment adult a
headset like this confusing, yet Mad Catz provides a large, full-colour
manual that unequivocally clearly shows how to set adult any console, with numbered
bags separating any of a cables. Multiple-console owners will be
disappointed that we can’t bond dual inclination during a same time, so
you’ll need an visual audio splitter, or ideally an AV Receiver.
Rounding out a package is a micro-USB wire for charging a headset
itself, and a rather vast and massive carrying box for safeguarding the
headset when you’re on-the-go.
See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360
The F.R.E.Q. 9 is like a headset homogeneous of a Land Rover: built for comfort when going off-road. It’s stout and solid; it simply survived being thrown around in a bag yet a need for a case. It’s also gentle to wear for prolonged periods, interjection generally to a soothing leather pads on a ears and headband, rather than a complicated 367g weight.
However, a F.R.E.Q. 9 is in no proceed stylish–it’s big, massive and clearly unfashionable. Basically, it looks usually like a gaming headset, from a pointy lines and industrial-looking cosmetic to a absurd “F.R.E.Q. 9” name itself. We wore a F.R.E.Q. 9 travelling in and out of London for a week for this review, and we couldn’t wait to never be seen in open with them again.
If you’re looking for a span of wireless headphones and we caring about how we demeanour even usually a small bit, we’d strongly inhibit we from shopping a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9. Instead, cruise a Beats Solo 2 or Sennheiser Momentum headphones. They might miss a games console compatibility, yet they demeanour forever cooler.
See also: Best Headphones 2015
The closest aspirant to a F.R.E.Q. 9 come from Turtle Beach in a form of a new Elite 800. The Elite 800 is somewhat cheaper during £250, yet it’s broadly identical in terms of features. The Turtle Beach choice are somewhat heavier, miss an Xbox 360 adapter and have a shorter battery life though. The categorical advantage a Elite 800 has over a F.R.E.Q. 9, though, is that it looks a lot some-more stylish, and it comes with a unequivocally neat charging wharf and sounds somewhat better. If you’re looking for an all-in-one gaming headset for use during home and on-the-go, it’s a one to go for in a opinion.
Back to a F.R.E.Q. 9, it has a series of discreetly-placed buttons on a headset, definition we don’t need to get your device out to control what you’re listening to. The right earcup facilities lane skip buttons, a volume control wheel, and other buttons to control sound cancellation, approximate sound and microphone settings.
Annoyingly, one of a pivotal buttons is reduction well-placed. The Mad Catz logo, that takes adult a good apportionment of a right earcup, is too easy to press when you’re adjusting a headset or holding it off. Depending on a series of times we press it, or how prolonged we reason it down, you’ll presumably postponement a music, activate Siri (on an iOS device) or spin a headset off. It doesn’t occur too often, yet we’d have elite a smaller symbol that’s reduction easy to incidentally press.
See also: PS4 FAQ – Things we need to know before we buy
Another emanate with headset is that infrequently a buttons work, and infrequently they don’t, depending on what device, handling systems or program you’re using. For example, if you’re listening to Spotify on a phone afterwards a skip lane buttons work fine, yet on a Mac, they don’t. In another example, if you’re listening to Spotify on a Mac and press a postponement button, that opens adult iTunes and starts personification something from your library. It’s annoying.
We also encountered other some-more common Bluetooth-related problems. The ability to bond both a mechanism and a mobile phone is cool, yet it mostly doesn’t work as intended. If we ramble out of a operation of your computer, for example, a audio from your phone can finish adult incidentally dropping out. If we wish to switch from one audio source to another, we need to stop playback on a strange device first, and afterwards pierce over to a second device.
We also encountered pointless audio dropouts, that usually occur for a split-second, yet they’re still annoying. We even came opposite one arise where a headphones started producing shrill immobile sound for no apparent reason, forcing a finish reset of a headphones (we thankfully weren’t wearing them during a time).
See also: Xbox One FAQ – Things to know before we buy
Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset: Audio Quality
If Mad Catz doesn’t proceed Bose in terms of style, afterwards it thankfully does when it comes to audio quality. The F.R.E.Q. 9 is a fantastic-sounding span of headphones able of formulating unequivocally immersive audio opposite a accumulation of genres. These are headphones that we can use for everything: equally good during games as they are with video and music, creation them a good choice of headphones for people who play games during night and listen to song during work, for example.
While a headphones furnish punchy drum and abounding fact during normal volume, they also say this peculiarity during shrill volumes, going proceed louder than homogeneous headsets we’ve used. As a result, we found they were good for those egotistic story moments in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, yet they were also lissome adequate to furnish sum such as grenade drops and footprints in multiplayer games.
Whereas many headsets need some spin of tinkering to sound their best, a F.R.E.Q. 9 sounds good out of a box. The flipside is that a F.R.E.Q. 9 offers no genuine proceed of tinkering with a audio levels, since there’s no concomitant software. Audiophiles might lamentation this miss of control, yet we’ve mostly found these facilities are mostly too in-depth and nonessential on competing headsets, and a F.R.E.Q. 9 headset achieved good yet them.
See also: Best Games 2015
Mad Catz’s Digital Active Noise Cancellation works quite well. When it’s intent (using a symbol on a bottom of a right earcup), it will retard out many of a ambient sound in an office, on open ride and in a bustling street. Listen to song during a same time, and we can retard out a outward universe completely. The F.R.E.Q. 9 does an generally good pursuit of sound termination yet causing a revolting feeling of vigour of some headsets.
We’re reduction sole on a headset’s approximate sound features. While they do yield a somewhat some-more enveloping sound in genres such as shooters, it was nonessential when a customary stereo facsimile was so good. The microphone, though, was positively wonderful, with binaural estimate definition we can hear yourself talk, so we don’t have to shout.
Battery life on a F.R.E.Q. 9 headset is good above normal during around 20 hours during middle volume, nonetheless this drops to reduction if we have sound termination engaged. We also like that a headset charges regulating micro-USB — there’s a wire in a box, yet chances are we already have one fibbing around. Mad Catz’s concomitant iOS and Android app is nauseous and usually unequivocally has controls that are already on a headset. However, a best underline is permitting we to see how many hours we have left on a battery, that is one of those elementary facilities all too mostly blank on competing wireless headsets.
If we were nitpicking, we’d indicate out that SteelSeries’ operation of
headsets mostly have a headphone pier that allows we to share audio with
a friend. Also, we couldn’t indeed find a F.R.E.Q. 9 headset for
sale online anywhere other than a Mad Catz website, where it was also
out of batch during time of writing.
See also: Upcoming Xbox One Games 2015
Should we buy a Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 Wireless Surround Headset?
It’s transparent that Mad Catz has reached for a stars with a F.R.E.Q. 9. It’s a wireless headset that works with scarcely any gaming device on a market, has all a high-end facilities you’d ever want, and it sounds positively superb.
It’s all a some-more unsatisfactory then, that a comparatively few weaknesses stop it from being a home run for Mad Catz. The categorical problem is that it’s too big, too complicated and too nauseous to be deliberate a truly viable unstable option. Gamers used to wearing their headsets in open might good disagree, yet unless your categorical clothes is scabby jeans, a hoodie and some arrange of geeky t-shirt, we will not wish to be seen wearing a F.R.E.Q. 9.
There are also some-more teenager issues, such as an irritating symbol placement, a inability to bond mixed consoles, and a miss of Xbox One harmony out-of-the box. These are some-more niggles than genuine complaints, yet when Mad Catz is charging £280, it’s reasonable to design them to be addressed.
If we value sound peculiarity and have a few opposite gaming inclination during home, afterwards a F.R.E.Q. 9 still comes recommended. General audio facsimile is excellent, while a headset’s sound termination feature, microphone peculiarity and wide-ranging harmony are also improved than homogeneous headsets during this price.
The Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. 9 headset has all a perceptive gamer could presumably wish from a wireless headset, yet it falls brief of being a ultimate all-in-one headset for ubiquitous use on-the-go.