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February 2013 was supposed to be a very important month for me and the rest of the staff since during this month not one but two very special game titles were scheduled for release, first the Dragonborn DLC add-on for The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim and the long awaited Aliens Colonial Marines which as the title suggests was made after one of the best sci-fi/thriller movies of all time, Aliens. Unfortunately although the Dragonborn DLC proved to be worthy of our enthusiasm i can't really say the same about Aliens Colonial Marines since after having played with it for almost 6 hours straight it left us with a bitter taste (mostly due to gameplay and graphics). Had Sega released the game 3 years ago there's a good chance that we would all be astonished by it and sucked into the storyline, however this is 2013 and releasing a game with 2010 graphics is simply not the way to go, especially when you are releasing a sci-fi game with plenty of visual effects (although we did enjoy the Weyland-Yutani Corporation twist). Still both the Dragonborn DLC and the Aliens Colonial Marines came at just the right moment in time since almost 10 days ago we started testing of the latest F.R.E.Q.5 Red stereo headset by Mad Catz.
Mad Catz is a leading global provider of innovative products for the interactive entertainment industry. Mad Catz develops and markets accessories for videogame systems and PCs under its Mad Catz (casual gaming), Saitek (simulation), Cyborg (pro gaming), Eclipse (home and office) and TRITTON (gaming audio) brands. Mad Catz also operates e-commerce and content websites for videogame and PC products under its GameShark brand, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary earphones under its AirDrives brand and publishes and distributes video/PC games. Mad Catz distributes its products through most of the leading retailers offering interactive entertainment products and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia.
Although stereo headsets are more than enough for casual users and gamers most manufacturers nowadays tend to release surround sound headsets, some using two drivers and a built-in soundcard to output virtual surround sound and the more expensive ones using 5 or more drivers to produce a more "real" surround sound. So naturally when the time comes most hardcore gamers do tend to choose those over stereo ones hoping that will help them when playing games (and in some cases surround headsets actually do). Still virtual surround headsets are not really what I’d recommend to most people, at least not in their majority (there are still some good virtual surround headsets in the market) since many times during our tests normal stereo headsets have produced higher audio clarity with better bass and mids/highs compared to virtual surround ones (and in some rare cases even offered better positioning audio something which shouldn't be the case). Mad Catz decided on a different path than most manufacturers and so they paired the old and proven stereo technology (two 50mm neodymium 20Hz-20KHz frequency drivers) with the highest grade materials to create the F.R.E.Q.5 stereo headset. The addition of a removable noise cancelling microphone and an on the fly equalizer button are just the cherries on the cake.