Cougar Phon­tum

Silly name, amaz­ing value

PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech // Reviews -

AU­DIO

PRICE $ 69 www.cougargam­ing.com

We were re­ally im­pressed with Cougar’s first PC head­set, the Im­m­ersa. There isn’t re­ally any­thing in the mar­ket that can match that head­set for build, com­fort and sound qual­ity at such a low price point. Light­ning has ap­par­ently struck twice, as we are as im­pressed with the Phon­tum head­set as we were with the Im­m­ersa head­set. It’s a beau­ti­fully built, com­fort­able and great sound­ing set of cans for a star­tlingly low price.

The de­sign of the head­set is beau­ti­fully sim­ple – a sprung metal head­band con­nects to two large, well-cush­ioned earcups. The head­band is lightly but com­fort­ably cush­ioned to sit com­fort­ably on the crown of your head but still gives a good clamp. The clamp, com­bined with the thick cush­ioned earcups make for some good pas­sive noise can­celling as well as min­imise sound leak­age. The box also comes with a sec­ond set of thin­ner cush­ions, sup­pos­edly for out­door use. If there’s any com­plaint with the de­sign it’s that the head­set is a lit­tle finicky to fit as the earcups slide up and down the arms rather than the arms length­en­ing. Get­ting ev­ery­thing to sit op­ti­mally can take a bit of work.

The stars of the show are the 53mm graphene driv­ers in the dual-cham­bered earcups. The re­sult is that the head­set can de­liver some ex­cel­lent, clear and loud sound with­out any kind of vol­ume dis­tor­tion. There isn’t much in the way of flat­ten­ing or dis­tor­tion across the fre­quency range and the bass sounds rich for a set of stereo head­phones with­out an EQ. If the Phon­tum and Cloud Al­pha head­sets are any­thing to go by then dual-cham­bered head­sets might be the way of the fu­ture. DANIEL WILKS

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