Practical testing …
Teufel Cage One Listen to music …
cBefore we dare to play – the experienced reader knows the test author’s quirks – we have to listen to music samples. We always use a well-known music streaming service with recordings in “Ultra HD” and supplementary FLAC files to sound out the musical qualities of an earphone. We use tracks that emphasize the strengths and weaknesses, and of course, the listening impression is always subjective. For a gaming headset, it is only a secondary criterion how music is resolved. However, Teufel itself emphasizes the kick bass and mentions music listening as a possible field of application.
|Music playback title 1 – Paper Trails from Darkside|
|Sound description Cage One directly on the PC via 3.5 jack||Droning bass in the last section barely tolerable, vocals mix heavily with deeper sound elements|
|Sound description Cage One via Lehmannaudio Linear USB via 6.35 jack adapter||Detail level away from bass slightly more noticeable, slightly improved spatial separation|
Paper Trails delivers a flawless recording of Nicolas Jaar’s vocals – flawless because it seems controlled, detailed and mildly tuned in the singer’s vocal range. At 113 BPM (beats per minute), the music track is not as leisurely flowing as it might sound. The everyman pop song is definitely in the very high double-digit or low triple-digit range as well. Every now and then a clearly contoured snap comes through in this song, as the voice and mouth movements were recorded very intimately and cleanly. Jaar’s vocals reach down very low, particularly representing the lower-midrange frequency spectrum. The selection is no coincidence, as this is precisely the range that tends to be overpowered by overly dominant bass. At the beginning, the monotonous finger snapping and the first “kicks” could hardly be distorted and even convince in the sense of the product description. There were still too few things happening simultaneously in the song. But shortly thereafter, as feared, the bass overlapped sections of the vocals, which are actually the essence or rather the charm of Paper Trails. The electric guitar was also mapped an idea too shrill. Finally, the last 30 seconds were even difficult to bear in terms of booming bass. Due to resonances, the voice reverberated strongly and lost some clarity and locatability, although it probably isn’t resolved that badly behind the bass ceiling. Admittedly, the young, dynamic gamer does not necessarily listen to Darkside and we have documented the worst case from the test listening here.
Even or especially high-end headphones with low sensitivity are paired with an amplifier+DAC. In this case, the Lehmannaudio Linear USB is the perfect playing partner for a closed headset. The amplifier has already provided many headphones with a bit more spatial depth and does not distort the bass into warmth, at least not on its own “impulse”, but plays up almost neutrally. Sometimes sibilants are even presented a bit too sharp in return. The finger snaps got slightly more contour by adding the amplifier. This doesn’t prevent a booming bass, but even the most important voice in the battle for meaning came through a bit more dominant and accentuated, also because the individual sound elements were spatially staggered a bit better – within the limits of the possibilities. It should be emphasized, however, that the improvements were only nuances. It would take the devil to remove the physical disadvantages from the small earphones. The good news: There is another way.
|Music playback title 2 – Solar Patrol from B.Fuse|
|sound description Cage One directly on the PC via 3.5 jack||powerful sound, bass significantly extended by resonances|
Solar Patrol puts powerful and repetitive-long bass passages in the foreground instead of an angelic vocal voice. The genre DnB fits the devil like classical music fits St. Peter. The resonances of the – admittedly still very constricting sounding – headset amplified the bass and it thus came through intentionally dominant. Even some much more expensive headphones sometimes lack the necessary energy for a full-bodied presentation of the lowest frequencies. The more minimalistic and straightforward the low tones come across, the better it is to listen to music with the Cage One. Nevertheless, we remain: The headset unfortunately lives up to its name in terms of spatiality; on the other hand, Teufel does not advertise the opposite. We did not need an external amplifier to bring out the headset’s strengths this time.
Teufel Cage One Gaming …
As in other reviews, Gangplank from LoL proved to be the perfect game character for testing the location of sound sources in the surrounding world. His ultimate ability also has a certain plasticity in view of the cannonball impacts, while the area-wide explosions of the bursting wooden barrels can usually be nailed down spatially precisely. Without a doubt, there was a tremendous bang when Gangplank activated his abilities and here the user of the Cage One is provided with a sound spectacle that is not to be despised. The headset’s resonances interfered a bit with the acoustic orientation and the ultimate ability lacked a subtle texture aside from the thunderous banging. Because of the latter characteristic, the exploding barrels could also not be located as precisely as it might have been possible with headsets or headphones with better spatial staggering and tonal tuning. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take much effort to basically identify an attack from the upper right or a signal from teammates on the lower left of the map.
The main purpose is to concentrate on the essential game content including multiplayer communication and there are no complaints worth mentioning here. If you listen to music at the same time and leave the game sound on, you might get a bit overwhelmed because the bass level can get tiring very quickly. In defense, 15% of music listeners prefer 3-6 dB more below 300 Hz according to Harman’s research, which is compensated by a slight increase above 1 kHz compared to the normal Harman curve.
Teufel Cage One Microphone …
There are no concerns about an adequate speech transmission. Our recording was perhaps a tad too bright. With sufficient distance, there is no breathing noise and we could not detect any audible interference, although the connection to a notebook with a mains connection does not necessarily have to be perfectly interference suppressed. We heard a slight hissing at very high levels, but our test recording was subsequently played back on the computer via an amplifier on high gain and this generates a corresponding hissing at such levels. Therefore, we consider the headset to be quite clean in this sense.
Not even the devil can stop you from throwing various sayings at your own teammates in CS Go when they miss the flash grenade once again 😉
Teufel Cage One Comfort …
The comfort is slightly disturbed by the high contact pressure of the earphones. However, this helps to not be interrupted by external influences during a crucial playing session and prevents a roll-off in the bass.
Teufel Cage One Gesamteindruck …