What makes a great gaming headset? Beyond sound quality and an excellent microphone, what else would you like to see? I think that a proper gaming headset should be light enough to wear for hours, durable and comfortable, but I also think that they should offer usage options. The Fnatic Gear TMA-2 Duel Modular Gaming Headset does just that.
Opening the Duel TMA-2 box is an interesting experience. When you pull off the lid, there’s a folder with warranty information and a quick guide. Under that, there’s a microfiber travel bag … so far, nothing out of the normal right? But then you run into a number of sealed pouches, each containing either a component of the headphones or a difference accessory.
See what I mean?
Included in the box:
- Speaker Unit ×2
- On-Ear Earpad ×2
- Over-Ear Earpad ×2
- Boom Microphone Cable
- In-Line Microphone Cable
- Mic Splitter
- Drawstring Pouch
DUEL is the first headset ready for both gaming and life. Designed in collaboration with famed audio pioneers AIAIAI, built for esports and modular by nature. Configure it as you like, you’ll never need another set of headphones. Play games with comfort, or hit the road with sound you deserve.
So starting with the bag that has an ear cup-less headphone strap icon on it, you get this padded headband with two coiled cables waiting to be plugged into the speaker units.
There’s no difference that I could see between the speaker units, so it shouldn’t matter which side you put them on; both speakers have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so if you prefer to have your cable and/or mic on one side over the other, it’s no problem.
The sides of the headband have a number of adjustment holes — you insert the speaker unit on each side by running the headband end through the holes on the outside of each speaker. The speaker units will click as they pass the holes, and you can adjust them for a perfect fit later.
Next, you plug the cables into the speaker units; they twist to lock into place once inserted.
So what kind of headphones do you prefer? Over-ear? On-ear? You get to choose, and you aren’t locked into that choice.
There are four pegs on each ear pad that line up with four holes in each speaker unit. Snap the ear pads into place, and the headphones are almost complete.
This is what the PU leather on-ear pads look like; the headphones are very light, and they don’t clamp on your head like a vise, so on-ear is quite comfortable.
Here’s are the headphones with the over-ear PU leather cups installed. They are quite padded, and the result is a very comfortable set of headphones with light ambient noise blocking.
There is a cable with boom mic attached; you plug the 3.5mm connector into the base of the speaker unit, and you can adjust the fully flexible boom to fit in front of your mouth comfortably.
If you don’t want to use the headphones with the boom mic, there is another cable you can install that has an on-cable mic for phone calls. The only thing missing from either cable is an in-line volume control, but that’s easy enough to handle from your main device.
So my overall impression of the headphones right out of the box is that they are light, easily customizable, and ready for gaming or simply listening to music. The headband is made of flexible plastic that’s been coated with a rubbery black paint; did I mention that they are very light? They are also able to withstand twisting, torquing, and spreading wide — in other words, they won’t fall apart if you are in the habit of ripping off your headset when frustrated with your gaming performance.
Sound through the Fnatic Gear TMA-2 Duel headphones is exceptionally clear and clean. Highs are pure, and lows are strong without booming; mid-range is also clear, not muddy at all. The TMA-2 Duel headphones sound amazing. Even a song like Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch”, which almost can’t help but sound muddy and hard to understand with Thom York’s voice competing with an almost overbearing electronic orchestra sounds amazing. David Bowie’s funky “Yassassin” pulsates with just the right amount of non-overpowering bass; David’s wailing voice is beautiful. Whether listening to rap, rock, pop, classical, movies, or games, the Fnatic Gear TMA-2 Duel Modular Gaming Headset sounds great. The mic is clear; communication done over it is clear and crisp.
The TMA-2 Duel headphones are a great choice whether you are a gamer or simply a music lover; these minimalistic, lightweight, comfortable, and configurable matte black headphones are the sleeper hit of 2016.
The Fnatic Gear TMA-2 Duel Modular Gaming Headset retails for $199.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer as well as other retailers including Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Comfortable and light; Customizable with modular design; Excellent sound; Strong bass; Padded headband and choice of on-ear or over-ear padded cups; Choice of cables with detachable microphone
What Needs Improvement: Not cordless; No in-line volume control