Audio is one of the most important parts of any streaming and podcasting setup. Looking across the market, it can be overwhelming deciding on the best option. Today, we’re looking at the new h kit from Beyerdynamic. Featuring the FOX USB Condenser microphone and the open-back TYGR headphones, it’s a premium kit designed to blow your gaming headset out of the water. For $389, does it do enough to justify its price? Let’s find out.
- Bundle Price: $389.39
- Standalone FOX USB Condenser Microphone: $179.99 (current: $145)
- TYGR 300R Headphones: Unavailable Separately
Beyerdynamic FOX USB Condenser Microphone
- Transducer type: Condenser (back electret)
- Operating principle: Pressure gradient
- Frequency response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- Sensitivity at 94 dB SPL / 1 kHz: -15 dBFS / -33 dBFS
- Self noise: -88.5 / -107 dBFS A-weighted
- Max. SPL at 1 kHz: 97.5 / 97.5 dB SPL
- Dynamic range: 77 / 77.5 dB A-weighted
- Power supply: USB
- Output power into 16 Ohms: 32 mW
- Output power into 80 Ohms: 13 mW
- Frequency response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
- Dynamic range: 98 dB A-weighted
TYGR 300 R Headphones
- Transducer type: Dynamic
- Operating principle: Open
- Frequency response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
- Nominal impedance: 32 Ohm
- Nominal SPL: 96 dB @ 1 mW @ 500 Hz
- T.H.D.: < 0.2% @ 1 mW @ 500 Hz
- Power handling capacity: 100 mW
- Sound coupling to the ear: Circumaural
- Nominal headband pressure: 2.9 N
- Weight (without cable): 290 g
- Length and type of cable: 1.60m / straight cable
- Connection: Gold plated stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
The Team TYGR kit is comprised of the FOX USB condenser microphone and the TYGR 300 R Open-Back Gaming Headphones. Since each of these items make up a core piece of any gamer or streamer’s setup, we’ll be looking at each one in depth, though it’s worth noting that only the FOX can be purchased separately. Hopefully the TYGR 300 R will see a standalone release at some point but currently, this kit is the only place to find it.
Let’s get into it!
Beyerdynamic FOX USB Condenser Microphone
The FOX is Beyerdynamic’s first USB condenser but coming from a company with such a long and storied history in the audio space, I went in with high expectations. On paper, it looks great. The FOX features a 24-bit/96kHz recording rate which they classify as “studio quality sound.” Compared to the 16-bit/48kHz recording rate of the Blue Yeti and you can begin to see how Beyerdynamic is taking things up a notch. Realistically speaking, you would be hard pressed to hear a difference between two identical mics at those rates for spoken word but it’s a nice bonus when you’re paying close to $150 for a microphone. The recordings it produces are also outstanding, which you’ll hear soon.
The FOX features a single recording cardioid recording pattern and is designed to be side-address. This means that you’ll speak directly into the front rather than the top and that it will try to reject sounds from its back and sides. At this price point, I would like to have seen some other recording patterns, such as if you wanted to sit down for an across the table interview, but the fact is most people will never use it that way. In the majority of cases, you’ll be sitting right in front of the microphone and in that case cardioid really is the only pattern you should be using.
The microphone is built like a tank. It features a solid metal body with a nice heft to it. The grill is protecting the capsule is also hidden inside its own metal cage, which makes me think that it will stand up to a good amount of abuse (not that you should). The durability also comes into play with the USB Type-C connection which - hallelujah - replaces the micro- and mini-USB connections popular on lots of gaming mics. It’s also well placed which gives you enough room to tilt the mic far back before it touches the stand.
On the face of the mic you have a trio of controls. The top mutes the mic with a stylish orange LED that blinks when activated. Under that you have a knob to mix your sidetone with your PC’s audio. Next is the overall volume control and, finally, the headphone jack for zero latency monitoring. Around the back, you have a switch for low gain and high gain. Since there’s no other gain control on board, I would really have liked this to have been a knob so you could dial in your levels. With zero latency monitoring, this is really no big deal since you can do that right in Windows, but it does feel a bit restrictive.
Another major nicety is that they’ve included their own pop filter which snaps right onto the mic itself. It does a great job of blocking plosives and is so small that it never gets in the way or needs adjustment.
I’m also a big fan of the overall look of the mic. The black and orange aesthetic is striking, especially on the braided cable. The whole mic has a sleek look to it, though, while still being small and understated.
With all of its physical qualities out of the way, how does it actually perform? Actually, really, really well. It’s clear that the microphone is designed to be used right next to your mouth since the low gain mode is virtually silent with no white noise. High gain, or “desktop mode” as I think of it, does have some noise but also also makes the mic sensitive enough to be heard across the room. At max volume, normal speaking caused it to clip at a good 18 inches away down on the desk.
Recordings sound clear and natural. The FOX did a good job of capturing the natural bass in my voice - something a lot of microphones minimize since I don’t have a normal “radio voice” - while also making it sound crisp and articulate in the mids. The proximity effect is also very nice, really adding a lot of warmth and depth to my voice.
It also does a great job of rejecting outside noise. As you’ll hear in the sound clip below, it really cuts down on sounds outside of its recording zone in low gain mode, so getting it up on a stand and in front of your mechanical keyboard will actually make a difference.
Which brings me to the biggest downside of this mic. You really will want to get it up on a boom arm of some kind. Like most microphones, it ships with a small, tiltable desktop stand that forces you to use it too far away from your mouth to really sound your best. It also transfers a good amount of vibration through the stand, so definitely get it up and in front of your face where it belongs.
Have a listen to see how it compares to other mics we’ve reviewed:
Razer Seiren Elite
Blue Yeti Blackout
Beyerdynamic Team TYGR 300 R Headphones
Next up we have the TYGR 300 R Open-Back Gaming Headphones. The TYGRs are based on the popular DT-990s and are amazing. The 300 Rs are my first pair of Beyerdynamic headphones but quickly became one of my absolute favorite pairs of headphones, even outside of gaming. Heck, especially outside of gaming, though they’re great for that too.
Starting with the build, they’re a light 290g and feature a metal headband and yokes surrounding each ear cup. They offer lots of flex without any creak and aren’t overly grippy. The band is also adjustable to dial in your fit. Despite their light weight, they feel solid and durable.
The padding on the headband is leatherette and very soft. I’m able to wear them for hours at a time and they never hurt my head. I am a bit concerned about the exposed wires if something were to catch them but they’re not flimsy, so if you’re careful they should be fine.
The TYGRs ship with velour ear pads that are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever used. Something about the way Beyerdynamic has balanced these just feels fantastic. The slight grip, the way they make your ears feel warm but never hot, the soft fabric on your skin: wearing these is like giving your ears a hug and, yes, I realize how weird that sounds. But it’s true. These are one of the very few pairs of headphones that I don’t want to take off.
They also offer some of the best sound I’ve heard from a headphone. The TYGR 300 Rs have a warm but articulate sound signature. They’re rated for 5 - 35000 Hz, which means they’ll produce sound well outside what any human can hear, so everything you can hear is pitch perfect and distortion free.
Being open back (having a grill behind the speaker driver instead of a closed plate) has pros and cons. The biggest pro is a wide open soundstage. In games, sound sources are spaced apart but the stereo tuning is so good that positionality is never a problem. Instead, your sense of atmosphere is elevated without any sacrifice to your actual gameplay. For music and movies, picking out the location of instruments and actors in a scene is completely natural.
That said, the open back means you’ll be bleeding noise into your environment. It’s not bad but it will be worse than a closed-back pair of headphones. Don’t be surprised if your roommates think you’re listening to something way too loud just because they can hear it better, but it’s not like you’re actually pointing a speaker at them.
My biggest issue with this headphone is really that the cord is not detachable. At this price point, it’s asking a lot to replace the entire headphone if the cord breaks, so that’s something any prospective buyer should take care to protect.
So, we come to it. There’s no doubt that this is a phenomenal package. Both the FOX and the TYGR are excellent in their own right. But are they $389 excellent? If you can afford it, it’s hard to imagine anyone not being satisfied with these. You’ll have professional quality audio out of the box with no need for more equipment than an optional boom arm.
$389 is a lot of money, though, and could get most of us on the way to a core PC upgrade. If you can’t swing the package, buying the FOX separately and a different Beyerdynamic headset, like the white 32-ohm DT-990s can yield significant savings. So will you go wrong buying this? Not at all. It’s on the upper cusp, just in performance and the asking price.
- FOX: Excellent build quality
- FOX: Great vocal capture
- FOX: Low noise floor
- TYGR: Amazing sound!
- TYGR: Superbly comfortable
- FOX: Stand sits low, we recommend a boom arm
- TYGR: Non-detachable cable
- Very expensive
The product discussed in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.