There seems to be quite a push in the gaming headset market towards wireless functionality. All of the major manufacturers now offer their take on gaming headsets without wires, promising plenty of battery life, good range, and high-quality sound, often with 7.1 virtual surround. Today’s review product falls right into that class, welcome to our ASUS ROG Strix Wireless Review.
ASUS ROG Strix Wireless Review – Packaging and Bundle
The Strix Wireless arrives in a plastic box with the headset visible through the right side. A list of key features can be found on the left with further detail on the other sides. Inside the headset is held in place by plastic casing and our bundled items are found in a smaller box. Those are manual, 3.5mm cable for mobile devices/consoles, 3.5mm splitter cable for devices with separate mic/headphone connector and a USB cable for charging, but not data transfer.
Also included with the Strix Wireless is a USB transmitter. Roughly the same size as the average USB drive it transmits on the 2.4GHz band and has a range of 15 meters using the Strix Wireless dual antenna design. ASUS also build in interference avoidance technology (channel switching) to minimise any chance of audio issues from other equipment.
ASUS ROG Strix Wireless Review – The Headset
The Strix Wireless uses an over the ear design with lay flat option, ideal for travelling. The headset is primarily matt black plastic though there are flashes of orange throughout and our extending headband is foam padded, extending from within that section due to an elasticated strip. The weight of the headset is 350g.
For the earcups ASUS go with a fabric lining, surrounded by memory foam which is covered by protein leather. Under that bright orange fabric are 60mm neodymium magnet drivers with the following specifications:
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Frequency Response: 20 ~ 20000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 98 dB
The controls for the headset are found on the side of the left cup and are volume, mic on/off and power on/off which also acts as the sync button if needed. Inside the cups is a 900mAh battery and on the bottom edge of the left cup we find the 3.5mm port, USB port, and microphone port. Speaking of the mic…
ASUS go with a removable mic on the Strix Wireless and it features a flexible arm. The frequency response is 50-16000Hz with sensitivity rated at -40dB.
ASUS ROG Strix Wireless Review – Software
To control our headset on a desktop or laptop we use Sonic Studio. This control panel uses a single screen design with all of our options available from this one window. All the options we would expect are present here such as the ability to switch from stereo to virtual surround, adjust EQ levels, set the volume of the headset/mic and select from pre-defined profiles. ASUS also allow us to import/export our settings, enhance mic quality and control reverb. It is also possible to update the firmware on both the headset and USB transmitter.
ASUS ROG Strix Wireless Review – Conclusion
Starting with the build quality and design of the Strix Wireless we have a headset which overall impresses. It feels fairly solid in the hand and while the all plastic construction can sometimes feel cheap, here it minimises the weight of the product. We noticed no defects in the finish or construction of the headset and there is plenty of movement available on the cups to fit a wide range of head shapes.
There are a few minor issues though. Firstly the headband and earcups form some sort of vibration/echo combination. This means that if you get up and walk around with the headset on, the movement of walking causes the headband to move slightly and this vibration passes down to the earcups where it echo’s around the chamber. Over time this seems to be reducing but it was very noticeable to begin with. ASUS also note the benefits of the ability to fold the headset flat and remove the mic… so it would have been nice if they had bundled a case or travel bag in the box.
As far as the comfort goes. No real complaints there. The headset sits solidly in place with a decent amount of pressure. The headset feels light and we noted no discomfort from the headband over prolonged periods of use. The earcups are noted as using breathable protein leather however they do tend to get a little warm over time.
Installation of the Strix Wireless was simple. Basically plug and play on PC. PS4 users can also make use of wireless functionality with other devices/consoles using the bundled wires instead. The control panel provided by ASUS is easy to use and responsive with all the key functionality that users expect and it is good to see firmware updates are supported. That said, the USB cable ASUS provide is charge only. To update the headset firmware we need to find another cable (e.g. from a phone) to perform this task. Bizarre cost cutting indeed on a £100+ headset!
So that brings us to sound quality where the headset performs very well. The mic is decent though those who want to stream professionally will want a stand alone model (which makes the removable aspect a bonus). On the listening front, first up this is one of those useful headsets which is able to perform well in music tasks as well as movies and gaming. Often on gaming headsets we find games are fine (and movies which use a similar soundscape) but music leaves a lot to be desired. Not so here. This is very much a multi-purpose headset with a nice balance across the range for a wide range of music genres. For gaming we get plenty of bass with a good amount of detail in the high end. The virtual surround sound is good, offering a vast soundscape with good directional audio, especially in FPS games.
As a final point, it was great to note that the Strix Wireless has the best range of any wireless headset we have tested to date, often double some other wireless gaming headsets. It was also impacted less by other strong wifi signals and large appliances which often block or interfere with competing models.
Summary: A well-rounded gaming product which has a few quirks but overall provides good gaming audio end excellent wireless performance.