ASUS’ latest gaming headset, the STIRX Fusion 500 model, sits alongside a cheaper 300 model and upcoming 700 series, boasting features such as 7.1 virtual surround sound, interchangeable earcups and RGB lighting, at a steep price tag of £159.95 here in the UK
In terms of design this ASUS headset is nothing short of superb, the ear cups can be folded for travel and the padded top head-band can be easily adjusted top your needed size, and is remarkably comfortable. Across the headset you see a few premium touches that just scream expensive, something the ASUS ROG brand is very good at it, whether that be the ASUS logo tags, ROG logo on either size or ROG logo in each of the earcups.
The unboxing experience is also nothing short of spot on, with the headset, a pair of fabric ear cup replacements and a long, braided micro USB cable all presented very nicely in a slide-open box. You also get RGB implementation that is identical across the two earcups and can be controlled either via ASUS’ AURA Sync software (and linked with other ASUS peripheralsa such as a keyboard or mouse) or be adjusted through the ASUS mobile app.
The design is also practical as touched on briefly above, with a solid sizing system and comfort that is unparalleled. The surround sound, of the perfectly acceptable virtual variey works very well and allows you to easily pinpoint targets in CS:GO or PUBG, for example. Unfortunately, for me, this is where the endless praise stops, as this headset just seems to lack a few key features – which is a real shame…
Firstly, the audio quality when it comes to music is pretty terrible, the mids seem non existent at times, and the base is eiher really over done, or hard to distinguish, there seems to be no major middle ground for me unfortantly, which is surpising given how good the previous STRIX Wireless headset were in the audio department.
Secondly, there is a crucial lack of features for the, I’d argue, too high price tag. The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack means you can’t take these out and about and use, with say a phone for casual music listening, and when you’re at home you’re dependently tethered on the Micro USB cable, these boast NO wireless functionality, which is a baffling decision to me. The 700 series I expect to include such a feature, but ASUS’ attempt to not canabalise sales on the higher end model, which could near the £200 price range leaves a lot to be desired here.