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TYGR 300 R Open-Back Gaming Headphones Review

Great open-back headphones, not just for gaming

Garrick Durham-Raley Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

Beyerdynamic has been in the audio business since they first started in Germany almost 100 years ago. They've become known for their quality headsets and mics and have recently gotten into manufacturing products geared towards gamers. Last year, we reviewed the Team TYGR Streaming Kit featuring the TYGR 300 R Open-Back gaming headset bundled with the FOX USB condenser microphone. At the time, the headset was only available as part of the bundle. Now, Beyerdynamic is making the headset available as a standalone. With a price tag of $199.99, does the TYGR 300 R open-back gaming headset have what it takes to become your next go-to gaming headset? Let's take a look.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $199.99
  • Transducer type: Dynamic
  • Operating principle: Open
  • Frequency response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
  • Nominal impedance: 32 Ω
  • 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: 1.60 m / straight cable
  • Connection: Gold plated stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)

Open-Back vs. Closed-Back

Most gaming headphones are closed-back headphones, which keep sound isolated in the cups and will help prevent external ambient noise from seeping in. Closed headphones also help to mitigate sounds from leaking out of the earpieces, which prevents others nearby you from hearing whatever you’re listening to. Recent advancements, such as ambient noise cancellation or active noise cancellation, also help to prevent external noise from getting in the earpieces. This allows for a deeper depth of immersion since you are only hearing sounds emanating from the game, music, or video you are listening to. However, due to the closed backs, lower frequencies can have a small reverberation and level of distortion associated with it. This style of headphones is ideal for DJs, Streamers, and anyone else who needs to concentrate on hearing the audio instead of superfluous ambient noise.

Conversely, open-back headphones do not block out any ambient noise and allow the listener to hear both the audio and their surroundings. It can also allow the audio to leak out which lets those around you hear whatever you are listening to. This means that they are better suited in quieter environments for listening but will leak out sound for others to hear. However, open-back headphones can have more spacious, wide, or clear-sounding audio when compared to closed-back styles. Open headphones can produce vibrant and realistic audio but usually suffer from a loss in bass quality from sound escaping out of the earpieces. That said, they can be quite useful for those of us (parents) that need to stay aware of our surroundings. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of sacrificing the isolated level of immersion inherent to closed-back headphones. Open-back headphones are ideal for audio engineers, podcasters, and audiophiles that want the most true-to-life sound.

It will really depend on your preference and your environment regarding which style of headphones will be right for you. Personally, I would keep a pair of each for different occasions. Going on an airplane flight or studying at a coffee shop? Then grab the closed-backs. Listening to a podcast or vibin’ out to some jams while the kids are playing in the other room? Get those open-backed headphones so you can still listen and be aware of your surroundings.

Design and Build Quality

The Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R headphones have a deceptive level of quality about them. They appear simple and basic at first glance, but once you pick them up and wear them they are so much more! They are very lightweight at only 290g, making them the lightest stereo headphones that I own. The velour cups feel soft and are extremely comfortable to wear. Both the headband and the yokes are made from rugged spring steel, which offers durability while still providing some flex.

The backside of the earcups feature a metal grille covering the drivers and have the Beyerdynamic logo printed on them. The headband is a soft, plush leatherette that is easily replaceable thanks to a velcro strip that lets you take it off. This headband also doubles as a protector for the wire connecting the two cups. Aesthetically, I don't like how much much slack the wires have and come out from the earcups, That said, it's still preferable over having two cables coming down from the cups instead of just the one.

The cable that is attached to the headphones feels like a heavy-duty cable and is thicker than your average headphone cable. It's reinforced where it is attached to the headphones, as well as where it goes down into a 3.5mm jack. The included 1/4 inch adapter cleverly screws on over the jack in order for it to plug into whatever audio equipment you want. Both the 3.5mm jack and 1/4 inch adapter are gold-plated which will help to improve their longevity since they won't tarnish.

All that said, the TYGR 300 R open-back gaming headphones are made to be high-quality without appearing ostentatious or overly "gamey", These headphones would look right at home in a recording studio or a professional environment just as much as they do sitting beside a console or gaming PC. Sorry RGB fanboys, there aren't any lights on these cans.

Usage Impressions

The TYGR 300 R headphones offer up some of the most amazing audio that I've ever heard. The warm and spacious audio provides for an incredibly realistic soundstage. I was worried that the open-back style would lose out on some of the bass, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this wasn't the case. In comparing the TYGR to some of my other headsets, I was hard-pressed to find any shortcomings in it. The bass is distinct and strong, the mids have a distinct clarity, and the highs are remarkably accurate. The frequency response is rated at 5 - 35,000 Hz, which is beyond the human threshold for hearing, and means that the TYGR won't have any distortion while listening to music or playing games.

The only complaint I have with the sound is that the TYGR headphones don't get loud enough for me. Compared to my either my XPG Precog headsets or my Astro A50s, the TYGR 300 R sounds like it can only come up to about 50% of the maximum volume. I tried listening on my PC, laptop, and PlayStation 4 but the volume wasn't affected by platform and seems to be inherent to the headphones themselves. That said, the volume output is good enough - just don't expect to drown out any loud ambient noise, because the TYGR won't be able to compensate.

One of the shortcomings of the design of the TYGR is the cable. There is no in-line control on the cable, and the headphones themselves don't offer any kind of volume adjustment. To me, this is unforgivable for anything being touted as a "gaming headphone" in this day and age. This quality of life feature has become such the norm that even the cheapest mono-headsets for consoles include in-line controls. Part of the reason for this oversight on the TYGR is that the FOX USB condenser microphone it originally came bundled with has a volume control knob on it. All the same, this could have been an easy fix if the TYGR headphones had a detachable cable in order to swap it out with one that included in-line controls.

In fact, the TYGR 300 R headphones lack a lot of the bells and whistles that typical gaming headsets include. There's no mic, there's no app to adjust the EQ settings, and there's no surround sound. The mic isn't really a big deal - these are gaming headphones, after all, not a headset - but it's worth noting for those who aren't looking to spend more money. I don't think the EQ settings need to get adjusted on the TYGR, but I do like being able to play around with the settings and create custom profiles for different games on PC. Maybe having access to an EQ app would also help to adjust volume output.

The lack of surround sound isn't really a loss on the TYGR 300 R headphones either. Due to the wide and spacious audio, you are still able to easily pick out where sound sources are coming from in games. Some games, like Overwatch and Days Gone, even have options for surround sound in the settings, which can help replace that feature. Likewise, it's not hard to pinpoint the direction that sound is coming from while listening to music or watching a movie. It might not rival the 3D audio capabilities of the HyperX Orbit S, but I didn't have any trouble hearing footsteps approaching from behind me while playing Call of Duty: Warzone.

Final Thoughts

The TYGR 300 R open-back gaming headphones are hands-down the best quality audio headphones I have used. The rich, highly-accurate, and realistic soundstage makes these headphones perfect for watching movies or listening to music, not just for gaming. That said, there's nothing "gaming" about these headphones. If you're looking for some of the normal features that accompany gaming headsets, then I would look elsewhere. If you just want an amazing natural quality sound for either gaming, music, or movies delivered in a lightweight and comfortable package, then the TYGR 300 R headphones are for you.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

8.0Great
Pros
  • Rich and natural-sounding audio
  • Incredibly lightweight and comfortable
  • Durable spring-steel frame
Cons
  • No in-line volume controls
  • No mic included, just headphones
  • On the expensive side for gaming headphones at $199.99


GarrickDR

Garrick Durham-Raley

Garrick is a doting father of two and devoted husband. When he's not busy playing Final Fantasy XIV, he can usually be found drifting between a dozen different MMOs. His favorite game of all time is Diablo II and he is trepidatiously excited for Diablo IV.