(This review was updated on the 6th February 2017. You can find the new additions at the bottom of the page.)
After having tried out ROG’s Claymore keyboard, I was excited to get my hands on their headset next, the Centurion. A high-end headset with a retail price of £200 and true 7.1 surround sound with 10 discrete drivers, I wanted to see what ROG had to offer in the audio department. Here’s my review.
The ROG Centurion – In Review
Much like the Claymore, the Centurion is a stunning peripheral. With ROG’s typical Mayan aesthetic and refined finish, this headset is a beauty. It’s made of highly-polished rubber, leather and plastics, combined to give the Centurion a high-end look, and it works. The dual-headband design gives great comfort and style, and the LED-lit earcups add that sense of style.
The USB audio station that comes with the headset is another story. Like something out of the Aliens Vs. Predator films, it wouldn’t look out of place as an ancient Mayan artefact – a look I’m sure the designers were going for – but doesn’t seem to fit in well on your desk. It’s not to my taste, but it’s certain to appeal to some.
It has two dials for changing volume and lighting levels, choosing audio spectrum profiles such as FPS and FPS footsteps and more, and several buttons all of which allow you to enable features such as 7.1 surround sound, the built-in hi-fi grade amplifier, headset and speakers (if attached).
The headset enjoys a detachable microphone and removable ear-cups for washing, as well as allowing you to switch out the leather cups for the material alternatives, should you wish to do so.
The cables are thick and braided (something I look for in high-quality peripherals), meaning you’re not likely to bend, snap or twist them easily, which is great to see.
Overall, a mixed bag aesthetically. I love the look and design of the headset, though it’s much larger than what I’m typically used to using (my own pair of cans being the Logitech G430s). The USB station is where my love for the product ends, as I found the design a little too out of place for my tastes – that said, some will certainly love it’s unique look.
What Comes In The Box?
Much like the Claymore, the Centurion comes boxed nicely. After removing the sleeve, opening the box reveals the headset. Removing the headset, you’ll find the ROG stand for the headset (a nice touch and a useful addition), the USB station, the fabric ear-cups, cables, and documentation.
ROG seem to have high-quality packaging down to a fine art, and the Centurion is no exception. Both the boxing and interior packaging were very well done.
Price: £200 (as of publishing)
Driver: Driver diameter : Front : 40 mm, Subwoofer : 40 mm, Center : 30 mm, Side : 20 mm, Rear : 20 mm
Driver material : Neodymium magnet
Impedance: 32 Ohm ± % @ Hz
Frequency Response (headphones): 20 ~ 20000 Hz
Cable: Braided 3m Fibre cable (Headset 1.5m + USB Cable 1.5m)
OS Support: PC, Mac
ASUS ROG 7.1 Sonic Studio – The Software
The software doesn’t differ from ROG’s other applications, offering a simple and ROG-styled design and a focus on functionality. The software contains a surprising array of features, up to and including Reverberation, Bass Boost, Perfect Voice, Equalization, and individual volume settings for each volume area of the headset.
There’s even profile options that you can import and export as necessary, a great addition for those who like to take their headset on the go, use several PCs, or like to change their settings up often.
Overall, it’s a great functional piece of software, that doesn’t seem to leave users wanting for any more features.
What Is The ROG Centurion Like To Use?
The ROG Centurion is a stunning headset, visually, there’s no doubt of that. However, my experience actually using the headset is a different story, and consists of a somewhat long list of things I wish it did a little better.
My first issue is with the size. Being used to much lighter and smaller sets, the Centurion was an unwelcome surprise as it dwarfed my head while being worn. I did eventually acclimatize to the size, but for those users with smaller heads, be warned – the Centurion is big.
The next issue I had was the most important parts of any headset, the sound quality. Despite all my attempts to edit settings and adjust levels, I couldn’t shake the ‘tinny’ sound I got out of the Centruion. Voices sounded muffled and louder in-game sounds took precedence in the set, to the point where it was hard to define the smaller audio details.
Trying them out playing games such as Watch_Dogs 2, and even attempting them yesterday with the For Honor beta, I had to lower settings to even be able to hear friends talking.
The microphone quality wasn’t much better either; the people I tested it with remarked that it wasn’t poor, but it wasn’t anything to praise. Overall, it offers an average experience that you’d likely expect from any headset, which is a little disappointing considering the price-tag.
Another issue for me was the cables. While you get 3 metres worth of braided cable, they’re chunky cables. That’s fine with the cable from the PC to the USB station, but a serious drawback when it comes to running the cable from the station to the headset. You’re left with a thick and somewhat short cable hanging over your keyboard, and generally getting in the way, an inconvenience you don’t want while gaming or typing.
Overall, an average and underwhelming experience. The headset, while large, is very comfortable. The options for volume adjustments is staggering (a great thing), and I’m sure with some tinkering, I could get the volume to where I want it. It’s just getting to that point that I found frustrating and my attempts fruitless.
Combine that with the average mic quality and the issues with the cabling, and I found using the Centurion headset to be a sub-par experience overall.
The Conclusion On The ROG Centurion
Overall, I wouldn’t personally recommend the Centurion. There are just too many issues I had to offer a strong recommendation, with average sound and mic quality, frustrating cabling, and an odd-looking USB station.
That said, there’s potential for a good experience, with some tweaks and the right setup, and moreover, audio is a subjective experience. Some people will pick this headset up and love them with the deep bass levels, some won’t.
It’s just unfortunate that I’m the latter group. There’s potential here, but my experience didn’t offer much reward for my efforts.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that I haven’t given this headset a fair chance since writing this review. After another weekend of putting the Centurion through its paces, I’ve changed my tune about the Centurion. It’s a great headset. Where I fell short initially, and what led to an underwhelming experience the first time around, is the abundance of options and how varied your experience can be by simply disabling/tweaking some of therm-. After some time of tweaking, alt-tabbing out of games to adjust the EQ, I’ve found a fantastic balance that’s perfect for music, general video consumption, and most importantly, gaming.
Having participated in this weekend’s Rainbow Six: Siege open time, shots sounded powerful and punchy, footsteps were clear (there was actually a moment where everything in-game was perfectly quiet, save for a very faint footstep I could hear, which allowed me to lead the round to a winning conclusion).
I still find the headset to be a bit big compared to my light and of course, less powerful G430s. However, with 10 discrete drivers and a whole lot of hardware, it makes sense that the headset is on the bigger side. I’m also still not convinced on the cabling, but with the right set-up, it becomes a non-issue.
Overall, with some plenty of tweaking and even more testing, I’m changing my opinion – the Centurion (with tweaking) is a stellar headset. My advice if you pick up a pair? Download the software, and disable all the frivolous options and play with the equalizer. This is definitively a headset for enthusiasts, and not for someone looking for a plug-and-play experience.