The Asus Strix wireless headset is pure ear candy!

Asus, one of the leading providers of quality gadgets and devices in the world today, has been on a roll as of late. While the company have been focusing on their Zenfone 3 and ZenBook 3 launch, they surely haven’t forgotten about us gamers. They certainly have been amping up  their offering through their Republic of Gamers brand that it’s hard to decide on which items are worth the purchase (answer: most, but you already know that :p). As an ROG laptop owner, I’ve been in the market for a wireless headset that offers great sound and wireless features, I guess our friends from Asus heard we were looking for one and they decided to send us a little surprise to try on.

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This sweet (and WHOA) looking thing right here is the Asus Republic of Gamers Strix 7.1 wireless gaming headset. Aside from the fact that it looks totally awesome, this headset packs various features that will make it THE go to headset for whatever you wish to do. The Strix headset features 7.1 virtual surround (only when connected to a PC), easy to reach control buttons build into the headset, wired and wireless mode, multiplatform capability, and a whopping 10 hours of battery life. Read along to see more details about these features!

Sweet looking packaging meant for a premium item.
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Sweet looking packaging meant for a premium item.

 

Build quality and portability

First thing you notice when handling Asus products in general is the solid build quality. One touch and you immediately feel that it is well made and built to last and this headset is no different. As you lift it from out of the box, you immediately feel the weight of the headset. It is not lightweight by any means, BUT it is built that way to be solid and sturdy. Unlike other similarly priced headsets with flimsy headbands that break and crack easily after a few uses, the Strix will stand the test of time. It has a cushioned band that will easily contour to the your head and provide comfort despite the weight of the headset. The ear cushions are very soft and comfy and while I was testing it, I failed to realize that 2 hours have passed already since the fit was snug and comfortable. Just a warning for gamers who zone out while playing, I got scolded by my wife because I couldn’t hear her calling me while the headset was on! That’s pretty good noise cancelling if you ask me!

The earpieces can be flipped sideways and this allows you to hang the headset over your neck after extended use. For headsets that offer the same feature, you immediately look at the pivot points and see if they are thick and solid enough so that you don’t accidentally crack or break the joints while twisting the earpiece and with the Strix, you can rest easy since the parts are made of tough plastic that can take the punishment.

The earpieces can be flipped so that you can wear it around your neck comfortably during gaming breaks.
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The earpieces can be flipped so that you can wear it around your neck comfortably during gaming breaks.

Some gaming headsets provide a slimmer and sleeker profile but due to the technology behind the speakers, size is relative and can prove to be somewhat of an issue. The Strix does not have a slim profile at all, but what it has going for it is that it has a very aggressive looking design, with sharp lines and contours that fit well with the RoG branding. A couple of things that add to the size of the headset are the generous amounts of cushioning that can be seen on the earpieces and on the top band, which I feel are very welcome additions. I didn’t mind wearing this simply because it was comfortable, and while going on for a couple of hours of gaming, you’ll definitely choose comfort over form factor any day. One thing I wished this had was a carrying pouch so that I can choose to carry this along for when I go on out of the house gaming sessions. See the snaps below to check out a couple of size comparisons with similar gaming peripherals.

Size comparison with a PS4 controller.
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Size comparison with a PS4 controller.

Size comparison with a similar gaming headset.
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Size comparison with a similar gaming headset.

Compatibility and sound quality

The bottom part reveals the ports for the detachable mic, charging slot, and a 3.5mm socket for wired mode capability.
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The bottom part reveals the ports for the detachable mic, charging slot, and a 3.5mm socket for wired mode capability.

One thing I’m on the lookout for when scouring the market for a gaming headset is its compatibility with multiple platforms. I enjoy my games on the PC and the PS4 and I would personally want a gaming headset that I can use on BOTH platforms. Enter the Strix, as it boasts compatibility between PC, PS4, and Xbox thanks to the accompanying wires and bluetooth dongle. The headset is pretty much plug and play and was really very easy to setup, it took me all of 10 seconds to turn on the headset, plug the dongle, and listen to the sound kick in from where I was seated. I tried playing Overwatch wirelessly on the PC and I was surprised at how good the sound quality was, there was no noticeable lag in the audio and the sound was very crisp and solid considering it was wireless. I mostly use Lucio and I could feel the bass thump from the game as I “amp it up” and activate my sound barrier, it wasn’t too overpowering that you could still hear the other details, but you can definitely feel the bass. There were some sound details that I was surprised to hear while playing simply because I have not heard those sound clips ever which, as it turns out, I just couldn’t hear them before on my speaker system. When you’ve got bad eyesight and you suddenly wear a perfect pair of glasses for the first time, it’s like seeing things in a whole new light; the same goes for the audio experience I felt when using these cans. I was so used to listening to audio output from a pair of 2.1 speakers and from substandard earphones that I was immediately blown away at how clear and detailed the output was.

The Strix bluetooth dongle boasts of 2.4ghz wireless technology without quality and signal loss of up to 15 meters!
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The Strix bluetooth dongle boasts of 2.4ghz wireless technology without quality and signal loss of up to 15 meters!

Included in the package is a USB cable for charging, a 3.5mm combined four pole audio and microphone adapter, a detachable mic, and a USB dongle (not shown in pic) for bluetooth connectivity.
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Included in the package is a USB cable for charging, a 3.5mm combined four pole audio and microphone adapter, a detachable mic, and a USB dongle (not shown in pic) for bluetooth connectivity.

PS4 setup was easy as well, but the sound output to the speakers was a bit weak. I plugged in the dongle to the USB port on the PS4 and was able to hear the sound almost immediately but was surprised that I could hardly hear anything at first, I even thought that it wasn’t working properly until my clanmates started talking. I turned the volume up to max and to my dismay, it turned out still a bit too weak for my taste. It was “ok” when I wanted it to be “OK!”. I tried the wired attachment and the output was immediately “fixed”, which leads me to believe that the PS4 probably does not handle the wireless mode very well. To be fair? There are a few headsets out there that will support PS4 mic / chat capabilities while on wireless mode, and the Strix is one of them.

There is additional customizability for PC users via the Sonic Studio software and changing settings it really easy due to the very easy to use and understand interface. You may choose to change equalizer levels, playback volume, mic volume levels, and much more. Save these configurations to profiles as well so you may switch between gaming / music preferences easily.

Asus Sonic Studio provides the user with full customizability in one intuitive interface.
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Asus Sonic Studio provides the user with full customizability in one intuitive interface.

Verdict

Pros:

  • Very solid and sturdy, even the wires have braided cords
  • Comfortable even after hours of use
  • Easy to reach volume and mic controls while on wireless mode
  • Takes around 10 seconds to set up and use
  • Multiplatform connectiity
  • Wired and wireless mode
  • Great battery life and sound quality

Cons:

  • A tad bit heavy
  • Bulky, design could be a little bit sleeker
  • Does not have a pouch or carrying case which you would kind of expect from a premium product
  • Very minor, but the ‘sharp’ edges of the design is off putting. Rounded corners would have been a nice touch.

The Strix wireless gaming headset is a good piece of hardware at a premium price. It has numerous features to keep even the pickiest of audiophiles at bay. I appreciate the wired / wireless mode capability, and the appreciation to durability is very much welcome. One downfall of wired headsets is that the wires give in after extended use and with the braided cords that come with the Strix, you can be assured that this will not happen anytime soon. A very big plus for me also as a gamer is that it allows me to have just 1 headset for all of my gaming platforms. I don’t need to switch up my gear when transitioning systems during game time and this may seem like a small inconvenience for other people but is a very big consideration for me. I game on the go and while this headset is “portable”, it doesn’t have a carrying case and is somewhat bulky, which makes it a bit cumbersome to bring along unless you have a very big bag dedicated to carrying your gaming hardware.

The Strix Wireless Gaming Headset retails for SRP Php 8.500.00 and you may avail of this at official Asus retailers across the country!

 

 

Author: Chris Garcia

Chris has been part of the Philippine eGaming scene ever since his Level Up! days working on Ragnarok. This Dota 2-talking, Yeezy-wearing and technical-gaming proficient geek, enjoys eSports on an international and local level. He's doing his bit for the industry as well as he continues to work with wonderfully talented local game devs at Altitude Games.

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1 Comment

  1. Where can I buy this headset in makati??

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