With so many gaming peripheral options on the market today, it is hard to narrow down a good gaming headset when you need one. Luckily, Mad Catz stepped up to the plate and delivered a solid gaming headset for a reasonable price. Introducing the Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. TE, the latest tournament quality headset from Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. line of products. This headset is specifically designed with the PC gamer in mind, but it does just as good of a job with the console crowd. What makes this headset especially impressive? Read on to find out.
The F.R.E.Q. TE features an external sound card that plugs directly into your device via USB. This is great for those that don’t have a good sound card or those console gamers that want to hook into USB rather than on the headset jack on the controller. The external sound card supports full surround sound which is an absolute must for those first person shooters. In addition to the sound card, the F.R.E.Q. TE features two large drivers that give you a great sound response in both the base and the highs. The sound is well-mixed and doesn’t deliver too much sound in any particular category. If you prefer to boost one range or the other, you can make all your fine adjustments in the software that you can download for your PC applications. You could also play with the sound settings of your console, but we found that the headset was mixed perfectly in those applications.
The F.R.E.Q. TE utilizes a number of features that place this headset squarely in the mid-range class of headsets. The TE edition includes several on-ear control knobs and buttons while giving you access to all the necessary buttons including sound level and mic mute. While we prefer an in-line application, the on-ear controls work just fine so there is no reason not to like what is offered here. The mic on this headset is particularly strong featuring a noise-cancelling headset which works quite well. It is also attached to a great gooseneck which lets you place the mic in any position you wish. We thought this was one of the best mics we’ve seen on the market and the fact that you can remove it all together made it that much more impressive.
Finally, and probably the strongest, feature of the headset is its ability to work on all the major platforms at one time. Whether you have a PC, PS4 or Xbox One, this headset can be integrated into your rig in one way or the other. Having a headset that can adapt to your needs and equipment is particularly important now and this headset will accommodate anyone’s specific needs. We felt this headset had a great feature set that gave everyone something they needed. It may not have been the most impressive or complete package we’ve ever seen, but what is here is a solid offering and that is the most important part.
Most headsets today are trending towards the $99 dollar mark, but the F.R.E.Q. TE has an MSRP just under that mark but is currently on sale for less than half that at $39.99. Even at its normal MSRP, the headset gives you a tremendous value, but at $39.99, it is unstoppable. Finding a headset that cheap is a great challenge, but getting a Mad Catz headset at that price is a steal. We highly recommend this headset at the sale price, so if you are in the market for a great gift for the gamer in your life, or you just need a quality headset, this is a great option for you. With the F.R.E.Q. TE, you get a headset with lots of great features and a great, low price. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 9
The F.R.E.Q. TE is a very comfortable headset to wear. It may not seem like the most comfortable headset with its aggressive style and sharp angles, but once you put it on your head, there is no denying that there is a lot to love about this set. The cups and headband are padded with memory foam covered in faux leather giving you a cushy barrier between you and your noisy world while keeping your head cool and comfortable. We tried this headset over a few long periods of gaming and we didn’t have any issues at all. In addition to the superior gooseneck mic, you won’t have any issues finding a comfortable position to attach your headset.
As for ease of use, the F.R.E.Q. TE is basically a plug-and-play device. Simply plug the USB sound card or 3.5mm headphone jack into the device of your choosing and it works right out of the box. There should be no need to adjust, install or tweak any settings with this model, but you always have the option if it doesn’t work the way you want it too. It features a one-cord design so you won’t have to run several wires to get it to work. It really doesn’t get easier than this design.
Overall, the F.R.E.Q. TE is a solid headset that provides a reasonable price, nice aesthetics, great sound quality and some great features. Sure, there are some features that are very taste-dependent, but if you want something that is going to look and sound great, this is a great headset to consider. While we didn’t have a lot of experience with Mad Catz headsets over the few years we’ve been reviewing, if all their headsets perform as well as this one did, we have no choice but to pay attention when Mad Catz releases a new headset in the future.