When you think of a gaming headset, you probably have a specific form factor in mind – closed-back headphones with a microphone protruding out of them. The Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R gaming headphones eschews this traditional form in order to provide PC gamers a new level of audio fidelity specifically tailored for those who like to get absorbed into other worlds.
As such, it's hard to find exactly what other gaming headset even exists on the same playing field as the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R, as its $199 (about £150, AU$280) price tag would put it in direct competition with the likes of the $199 (£199, AU$249) Razer Nari Ultimate or the $199 (£179, about AU$290) SteelSeries Arctis 9x. However, there are core differences right off the bat – the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R is wired, and doesn't have any of the gimmicks that typical gaming headsets rely on, as it all comes to Beyerdynamic's storied audio fidelity.
And, really, that's precisely where these headphones shine. The open back design makes for a much more open and clear soundstage, which particularly shines in single player games where you just want to feel lost in the world, without it sounding like you're, well, wearing headphones.
Taking these headphones for a spin in the brilliantly atmospheric Metro Exodus, the wind blowing all around us in-game, was all the more realistic thanks to the open back design. Whenever we fire the gun at a mutated crab jumping out of the water, the echoing sound of the gunfire is all the more realistic. Even without the virtual surround, 3D audio or even haptic feedback that other gaming headsets offer, the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R provides one of the most compelling gaming audio experiences we've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
And, unlike a lot of gaming headsets out there, these headphones actually sound good when listening to music. Over the course of, like, two months with these headphones, we listened to music on them constantly. No matter what we're listening to, whether it's the sullen Goth atmosphere of Bela Lugosi's Dead or listening to 100 gecs' Money Machine for the billionth time, everything sounds fantastic.
Even better, the headphones are also extremely comfortable over long periods of time. The earpads themselves are extremely plush without being warm enough to make you start sweating after a couple of hours. The padding along the headband is also extremely soft, covering the metal build of the headphone.
The headband itself is a bit on the flimsy side, but not enough to really make us worry about it breaking or anything. But, it may be wise to exercise some caution when handling it, as it does feel like the metal frame could be bent.
Luckily, it seems like almost every individual element, beyond the drivers themselves and the cable, are replaceable. The padding on the headband is attached via Velcro, which makes it easy to remove if you're so inclined. The earpads are also replaceable, but you'll have to wrestle with a thin layer of leather-like material to get it secured in place. Annoying, but still very doable.
For headphones that are this expensive, one of the things we would have liked to have seen was a replaceable cable. Beyerdynamic is pitching the Tygr 300 R as a long-term investment that will last years, and while pretty much every element of the headphones backs that claim up, the lack of a replaceable cable really stands out here.
As for the cable itself, luckily it's robust enough that you shouldn't be able to break it just because you trip over it or stand up too fast. It's thick, and is reinforced where it meets both the headphones themselves at one end and the 3.5mm audio jack at the other. Beyerdynamic also includes a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter for gamers who have more sophisticated audio setups.
That does kind of define who the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R is for, though. This is a gaming headset that has its entire existence predicated on PC gamers that run their sound through some kind of DAC or headphone amplifier. If you're just going to plug your headphones into your onboard audio, whether through the front panel connectors on your tower, or through the headphone jack on your gaming laptop, there are way cheaper wired options out there.
Another thing you're going to want to take into consideration is what type of games you're going to be playing with these headphones. The Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R is ideal for single player games where immersion is the name of the game. However, if you spend a lot of time playing esports games where voice communication is key, the lack of a built-in microphone is obviously going to be an issue.
One way to get around that is to use a standalone USB microphone, which is what we do either way, but the open-back design does tend to make that approach a little weird. Depending on where you have your mic set up – ours is hanging off of a microphone arm mounted on the side of our desk – you could experience sound bleeding through the headphones and into the microphone, which could be annoying for anyone you're hanging out in Discord with.
If you have access to technology like Nvidia Broadcast, however, you could easily mitigate this, but it's still a thing that you'll have to be aware of.
Buy it if...
You play mostly single-player games
The level of immersion gained by the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R's open back design is an excellent selling point for anyone who spends all their time playing games like The Witcher 3.
You already have DAC or headphone amplifier
These headphones always sound pretty good, but if you want to take the audio experience to the next level, you're going to want a DAC or headphone amplifier.
You want something comfortable over long periods of time
The Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R is one of the most comfortable gaming headphones we've ever used, perfect for those long gaming sessions.
Don't buy it if...
You're on a budget
At $199 (about £150, AU$280), this is an expensive headset, especially when you consider that it's wired and doesn't include a microphone. This is for people that have money to burn and just want top-notch audio quality.
You need a built-in microphone
If you do a lot of online gaming and need a headset that will let you play with your friends, you're going to need to invest in an external mic if you go with the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R.