A new home for your ears.
The humble headset. An often overlooked gaming peripheral that can make a real difference to you gaming experience, especially when kids, neighbors, or life seems intent on bursting your gaming bubble. Over the years, I have had the chance to try out many different headsets, from the warzone-ready Plantronics Gamecom Commander, to the Roccat Kave XTD with all of its bells and whistles. Pretty much all of them have been great headsets, each raising the gaming experience to something that simple speakers cannot achieve. And most of them make my ears sweat.
However, ear sweat may well be a thing of the past. A new headset fell onto my desk about a week ago and so far, despite the extra heat of the Summer, my ears have remained pretty much dry. That is not to belittle the impressive feature list of this new headset, but it is something I am most grateful for. So, with my ears feeling comfortable, let’s take a look at the ROG STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset from hardware specialists ASUS.
In unassuming packaging, the headset itself is what stands out the most, but we will discuss that in a moment. Also to be found is a small cardboard box containing a fairly regular wireless dongle, a detachable boom mic and a couple of cables. Seems pretty simple and straight forward.
Using the cables included, gamers are able to connect the STRIX to pretty much any device, from PC and console through to smart phones. Connecting is intuitive and doesn’t present any problems, thanks to the universal nature of the wiring. There is also a handy USB cable, to join the mass of other USB cables that most households seem to have nowadays, that is used for charging the wireless capabilities of the headset. And it is these capabilities that are the real star of the show.
Going wireless is all down to the included dongle. Plug it in and the 2.4GHz wireless technology springs into life, providing crystal clear audio with a range of up to 15 meters. The 900mAh battery fitted into the headset will keep the headset going for as much as 10 hours between charges, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
The real shocker is that the STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset goes cable free not only with the PC, but also the PS4. Yeah, a wire free audio solution while sitting on the sofa playing PS4. In true console tradition, where everything seems a little bit simpler than the equivalent on a computer, connecting the headset wirelessly is just a case of plugging in the dongle to a free USB socket on the PS4 and turning the headset on. It really is that simple. The console picks up the headset almost immediately and then you are free to bathe in the comforting sounds of the PS4 UI. Loving it.
When it comes to the headset itself, I couldn’t be more happy. Out of the box, they seemed both big and heavy, although not the largest or heaviest that I have used over the years. However, once I put them on, any doubts were dismissed. They have a thick plastic and slightly flexible overhead band. However, a floating band with memory foam padding ensures that they sit comfortable on the head without any pressure. This comfort is furthered by the oversized cups, the first I have used that encompass my not dainty ears with room to spare. The padding on the cups is covered with a breathable leather, and it is this and the room to actually move in the cups that contribute to the lack of ear sweat. Put simply, the STRIX headset is supremely comfortable.
And they look great too. The headset is mostly a nice matte black, with some orange stitching on the floating headband. There are a couple of branding logos, a Republic of Gamers on one side and STRIX on the other, along with STRIX on the top of the floating headband, but they are subtle and unobtrusive. Then, on each cup, there is an incomplete raised circle in bright orange, looking like the eyes from some kind of Gundam Eagle. Fold the cups flat for travel and you have an instant Owl mask.
If you want to see the ROG STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset in action, check out TurtleGirl’s video over at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPVeZsF8DeY
The left cup has all of the functionality. Sockets for connecting the boom mic, plugging them in to charge, and using the wires for connection to the likes of an Xbox360 or iPhone, are all on the underside of the left cup. Just beneath the Eagle eye are the buttons for when the headset is wireless, including the power button and volume up and down. There is also a microphone mute button, which is slightly raised, making it easier to find the buttons when actually wearing the headset.
While my poor old ears may not be able to detect the nuances of sound that true audiophiles get excited about, the sound quality is among the best that I have tried, even wirelessly connected to the PS4. Of course, the real magic happens when connected to a PC and, using the ASUS Sonic Studio Software Suite that the headset comes with, you get to play with the 7.1 virtual surround sound. When playing a game that supports it, surround sound really brings everything to life and the STRIX headset do a great job of bringing that to the players ears.
Looking around, the ROG STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset can be pre-ordered from Overclockers for £109.99, which doesn’t make it a cheap audio solution. But you get what you pay for, and here you are getting a quality headset that performs immaculately on PC and offers full and easy wireless compatibility with the PS4. Considering the quality and functionality, the price seems a lot more attractive.
The ROG STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset from ASUS is a quality piece of kit that will be an ideal audio solution for many gamers. Offering a wired connection for almost anything with a headphone socket, and a wireless solution for both the PC and, most impressively, the PS4, the STRIX is the answer for multi-platform gamers. If you are looking for a new headset and fancy a wireless solution for your PC or PS4, the ROG STRIX Wireless Gaming Headset should be top of your list.