Cougar Immersa Headset Review
It’s been some time since we’ve seen anything from Cougar and what we have seen recently from Cougar has been rather a lot of Mice, all of which have been well received. In fact my daily Gaming Keyboard of choice is still the Cougar 700K and that’s high praise indeed I can assure you. But this time around it’s not only a first for pcG it’s a first for Cougar as we take a look at their very first Headset the Cougar Immersa.
The Cougar Immersa is a circumaural stereo headset with 40mm Drivers equipped with neodymium magnets. In addition to this the Headset features a floating style headband, retractable boom microphone with noise cancellation and an In-Line-Control-Box (ILCB) that features both microphone mute and volume control. While the headset itself supports both PC and mobile devices right out of the box.
The Cougar Immersa arrived at pcG in a predominantly black box with a large image of the Immersa on the front. Other than the brand and product name Cougar have chosen to highlight the following:
Looking at the left side of the box we can see that Cougar have gone on to highlight and describe some of the aforementioned features. While the right side of the box gives way to a clear plastic window allowing you a sneak peek at the Immersa Headset within. In addition to this a group of six symbols further describe the headset’s compatibility across various devices.
On opening the box we can see that the Immersa is adequately packaged and presented and in keeping with the products £40 price tag. What was nice to see though was the extra protection over the cable ties that protect the ties from digging into the soft rubber that covers that part of the headband.
There’s not much in the box though. Other than the Immersa Headset itself all we find is a basic User Manual. But let’s be fair that’s all we really need… 😉
At the time of writing the Cougar Immersa Headset is available at Overclockers UK for approximately £40 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Cougar
Max. Input Power 100mW
Sensitivity at 1KHz 95dB ± 3dB
Impedance at 1KHz 32O +/- 15%
Frequency response 20Hz – 20kHz
Type Noise Cancelling Condenser
Frequency Response 100Hz to 16kHz
Sensitivity at 1KHZ -40dB ± 3dB
COUGAR UIX™ System –
Connection Type 3.5mm Phone Plug
First impressions are all about those over-sized ear cups, big aren’t they!? Despite that the Cougar Immersa is a good looking Headset, of course it’s further enhanced (for me) by that orange colouring. What’s here also seems well made and sturdy too, in fact the ear cups themselves are verging on the beautiful. Impressive for a headset with a price tag of just under £40…
Both ear-cups are effectively the same with the left ear-cup additionally hiding the retractable boom microphone within its housing, here we also find the connection for the captive 2m braided cable. The ear cups appears to have an Open Back design, but this is not the case as the silver gauze appears to be for aesthetic purposes only. Following on from that we have a smart looking orange anodized aluminium rig and further out we find the silver Cougar shield. It all looks rather nice to be honest. Tucked in the base of the ear cup we find the aforementioned retractable microphone that is discussed in more detail below. Both ear-cups feature a good degree of both horizontal and vertical swivel that helps to ensure a good fit on and around the ears.
The headband is of the floating variety meaning that the padded central band is allowed to float (up & down) within the orange outer band’s frame. The inner band is connected to the outer by the left and right clips with the wires within being sprung allowing the headband to clamp (gently) onto the top of the head. The band is fairly well padded and comes complete with the smart orange Cougar brand name and logo. There’s plenty of adjustment on offer too meaning that the Cougar Immersa will likely fit all head sizes both small and large.
As you can see the Immersa is all about those ear cushions, 100mm in size according to Cougar. These oversized cushions are circumaural in design, but do sit on the ear to some degree, but there’s plenty of padding to further enhance comfort levels. In fact from what I can see there’s approximately 25mm! The pads themselves are made from leatherette (fake leather) while the inner section, where the Driver sits is covered with a soft black foam. This is nicer and softer than the thin material often used by other manufacturers, although there may be a chance it could affect the audio.
As I mentioned earlier the left ear-cup houses the retractable boom microphone. The microphone simply pulls out from the ear cup and can be positioned close to the mouth thanks to its ‘pipe cleaner’ style boom. It also stays where it’s put unlike some other boom microphones that we’ve seen. The microphone is also equipped with Noise Cancellation technology in an attempt to keep background noise to a minimum.
Approximately 300mm from the headset we find the In-Line-Control-Box (ILCB) that in my mind is in the wrong place. I say this as this means that it just dangles from the left ear cup close to your chest; I myself would much rather have it on the desk within close reach (approximately 750mm from the Headset). On one side of the ILCB we find a rotary control for volume that’s particularly good as it’s large enough for easy use and sticks out on both sides so it’s easy to access. The other side features a somewhat more awkward microphone mute switch, that’s not so easy to find quickly.
Hardware Installation/Testing Methodology/Setup
The following Games were also used during testing:
- Metro Last Light (benchmark)
- Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
The performance of a Headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the Cougar Immersa Headset; of course this is somewhat subjective…
From a pure audio performance point of view the Cougar Immersa puts in a good performance, especially for a Headset costing under £40. In fact initial impressions are really rather impressive as the 40mm neodymium Drivers have a good overall sound signature that’s ideal for Gaming. Bass reproduction is strong, stronger in fact than you’d expect from a headset with only 40mm Drivers. Mid-range reproduction is also good as is the high-range. But it’s worth noting that both the mid-range and the high suffer from a slightly muffled sound, the sound just lacks the crispness that other headsets (albeit more expensive) like the Cloud Stinger manage to produce.
But we have to remember that the Cloud Stinger is 20% more expensive at around £50. In game and especially in Battlefield 1 audio positioning was found to be very good thanks to the Cougar Immersa being Virtual Surround Sound free, there is in fact no associated software, a good thing in my book. Explosions are a force to be reckoned with, but the bass is still controlled and never seems to be at the expense of the mid-range and treble. On the whole the sound produced by the Cougar Immersa is very good and as good as can be expected for the money…
Comfort is very good, despite that the headset is in fact quite heavy at 355g. This is down to the ear cups themselves being rather heavy. But they are extremely well made, bomb proof even. Even during the longer 4+ hour Gaming sessions the Immersa remained comfortable thanks in part to those massive, heavily padded ear cushions and this is despite the fact that they still sit (a little bit) on your ears.
Microphone quality was also found to be good with no complaints (other than the usual) from my online friends. Voice pickup was particularly good aided by the fact that it’s easy to position the microphone optimally close to the mouth. And, thanks to that ‘pipe cleaner’ style boom it stays where it’s put too. 😉
When not in use the microphone can be easily stowed back inside the ear cup thanks to its retractable nature. There’s also an in line microphone mute for when the other half walks in, although it’s difficult to operate in a hurry…
I’ve really rather enjoyed my time with the Cougar Immersa. It’s an easy Headset to like and recommend as it does everything well; It’s good looking and surprisingly well made, it sounds good too, especially when you consider the £40 price tag.
The Cougar Immersa arrived at pcG in a smart large box with a plastic window to the side allowing you to see the Headset hiding within. Packaging and presentation was good enough and in keeping with this headset’s price point.
Once out of the box the first thing that strikes you about the Immersa is those rather large ear cushions, well at least they’re likely to be comfortable eh! The ear cups themselves also deserve a special mention as they’re really well made and look great, punching well above the £40 price point. Ok, I’m still not a huge fan of the floating headband style, but it is comfortable and helps to keep the overall weight down and no doubt the cost too. It would appear that Cougar have invested their time into the parts that matter most. Sensible that…
From a pure audio performance point of view the Cougar Immersa performs well with a good all-round sound signature that has no audible (that’s to my ears) flaws. Overall sound quality and volume is very good, there’s a strong bass with the mid-range and high range performing it duties too. The only real complaint is that the mid and highs lacks a little crispness and it can just appear a little muted at times.
Comfort wise the headset also performs well thanks in part to those massive ear cushions that measure in at 100mm. But despite their size they still sit on the ear to some (small) degree but they’re plenty deep enough to provide long term comfort. In fact I had no issues when using the Immersa, even during those longer (4+ hour) Gaming sessions, although my ears did get a little warm. The retractable boom noise cancelling microphone also worked well and I had no complaints from my online friends.
Overall and when looking at the £40 price of the Cougar Immersa there really is very little to complain about. It looks good, it’s well made, especially those ear-cups, it sounds pretty good too and it’s comfortable.
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Many thanks to Cougar for providing this sample for review