The Cougar Phontum is an interesting new addition to the company's gaming headset lineup. It falls within the $50 price bracket, and what makes this interesting is the fact that Cougar already makes one of the most popular headsets of that exact price, the Immersa (reviewed here). However, while the Immersa is a standard stay-at-home device, versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the Phontum. It sports a detachable microphone and comes with two pairs of easily swappable ear pads—a thick pair for at home and a much thinner one meant to be used on the go.
The Cougar Phontum also brings us a new speaker driver design with dual chambers, where each driver is 53 millimeters in diameter and has a diaphragm out of graphene. The dual-chamber design essentially splits the insides of the speaker driver in two, well, chambers. Middle and high frequencies are reproduced in one, and the second, physically separated one takes care of the bass. The idea is to reduce distortions and improve the sound quality. However, you can't really call a pair of headphones good (or bad) just on account of them offering a dual-chamber design—there are many ways to implement dual chambers and to tune the sound signature; just like there are with headphones based on other speaker designs.
Since it's bundled with a TRRS-to-TRS adapter, the Phontum supports PCs, consoles, and mobile platforms out of the box. At $50, it presents an interesting proposition for gamers on a limited budget, so let's dig in to find out if it's worth it or whether the Cougar Immersa remains a better choice for you.
- 53-mm dynamic drivers (neodymium magnet)
- 32 Ω impedance
- 20-20,000 Hz frequency response (specified by the manufacturer)
- Closed-back, over-ear design
- Detachable boom microphone
- 3.5-mm connectivity (TRRS + dual TRS)
- 1.2 + 1.8 m braided cable
- Two sets of removable ear pads
- Weight: 368 g (with the microphone and thicker ear pads)