Mad Catz showed off their new F.R.E.Q.7 headset this week, targeted mostly at PC gamers. Offering up to 7.1 surround sound for movies, music, and games, the F.R.E.Q.7 is an upgrade options for fans of Mad Catz’ F.R.E.Q.5. The F.R.E.Q.5 was stereo only, however, while the new model incorporates Dolby’s Headphone and Pro Logic IIx tech in order to provide a more immersive experience.
The F.R.E.Q.7 can switch between stereo and 7.1 modes just by hitting a button, which makes it easier to move between different entertainment sources (say, a new music source and the latest COD) and still get something that sounds better than your average gaming headset.
Mad Catz doesn’t use multiple independent drivers, rather, some really clever audio processing – but it doesn’t matter. After hearing just how good of a surround signal that specialized audio processing can deliver with a pair of stereo cans at CES, either way can offer a really solid experience.
One of the more underrated features of the F.R.E.Q.7 is its detachable cable. Tired of gaming on the PC? Snap off the USB cable and plug in the 3.5mm cord, and you can use the headphones in stereo-only mode with your smartphone, tablet or iPod.
Mad Catz includes a software equalizer with the F.R.E.Q.7’s driver, which includes the ability to set independent volume levels for in-game audio and in-game chat, handy for those times when you need to make sure you hear what your team says.
Of course, a high-end headset carries a high-end price tag; in this case you can expect to pay $199 later this year (the official launch date is sometime in Q1 FY14, but fiscal years have little to do with when a calendar year starts or stops). For that price, however, Mad Catz is also including a desktop stand to hang them from. You’ll be able to choose from finishes in matte or glossy black, glossy white, or glossy red.