The gaming headset market is over-saturated with choices across every price range. Choosing the right model isn’t easy, especially when seeking a basic headset that won’t destroy the wallet while still delivering an immersive experience. Fifty bucks doesn’t typically equate to top quality, but Cougar seems determined to offer exceptional performance within a rather low price range. Their latest IMMERSA headset can easily pass for a pricier model thanks to its excellent design, sturdy built quality and solid audio performance. It’s the perfect choice for gamers on a budget, and it’s quite possibly one of the best fifty-dollar headsets that I’ve ever tested.
Cougar hasn’t skimped on style despite the absurdly low pricing. The Cougar IMMERSA is a real looker, and some of its sleek lines and design accents resemble SteelSeries’ more expensive Siberia line. The IMMERSA is a large, albeit light and comfortable, headset that’s mostly made up of hard plastic and a pleather-like material for the earcups and headband. The orange/black color combo is an attractive choice that fits nicely within a gaming setup. Cougar’s stylish logo is presented as a silvery crest on the earcups, which really gives the IMMERSA that E-Sports feel.
"It’s the perfect choice for gamers on a budget, and it’s quite possibly one of the best fifty-dollar headsets that I’ve ever tested."
Comfort is one of IMMERSA’s most notable features. Despite its bulky body, IMMERSA’s ergonomic design is adaptable to any head size. I’ve used the headset nonstop for a few weeks now, and I never encountered discomfort regardless of how many hours I spent with the headset.
The IMMERSA continues to impress beyond its looks with high adaptability thanks to the 4-pole connector. The headset can be used on tablets, laptops, phones, PCs and consoles. The headset may be a little too bulky for on-the-go gaming, but as far as general versatility and compatibility, the IMMERSA covers the whole audio device spectrum.
The 40mm Neodymium magnet driver gives IMMERSA great clarity and depth regardless of content. I’ve spend most of my time testing titles like Gears of War 4, Mafia III, Overwatch and the newly released Battlefield 1. For a fifty dollar headset, the IMMERSA remains surprisingly balanced, even at high volume with sudden shifts in frequency. Battlefield 1 is filled with crunchy sounding explosions, debris scattering all over the environment and a strong dose of character screams echoing in the backgrounds. There’s a lot going on at all times in this game, and the IMMERSA manages to capture all the minute details extremely well.
"The headset is beautifully designed, extremely comfortable and delivers superb audio performance in most games."
If there’s one downside to the sound, it’d be the lack of bass. Don’t get me wrong, the IMMERSA sounds deep and engrossing, but it does lack the punchiness normally seen in pricier models. Fortunately, the light bass isn’t an issue with most content. It’s only during certain scenarios, like an orchestral score for example, that the lack of bass is even noticeable. I also wouldn’t recommend these headphones for music. I’m well aware that gaming headsets aren’t a primary choice for other media, and in the case of the IMMERSA, anything but video games is a big no-no.
Conclusion: Cougar’s IMMERSA is a basic, budget-priced gaming headset that delivers great gaming sound for the price range. The headset is beautifully designed, extremely comfortable and delivers superb audio performance in most games. Its lack of bass is more apparent in atmospheric titles with orchestral scores, and music doesn’t perform particularly well either, but for everyday gaming usage, it’s hard to find anything better for a mere fifty bucks.