high performance without software fireworks
ASUS's ROG Strix product range has recently received a new addition: the Fusion 500 Gaming Headset, which the company offers as its average offering on Orion Pro and Fusion 300 models on the lower level and the Strix Wireless and ROG Centurion on the top level. With a premium and high-performance "on-board" hardware, this pair of headphones could be the most attractive model for gamers who are passionate about ASUS
Design and construction
ASUS is typically trying to impress through its design for ROG products, adding all sorts of designer fireworks and strident lights. The ROG Strix Fusion 500 headphones are more elegant at first glance. The cups are covered with glossy brown plastic, which does not stand out too much, while the rest of the exterior is decorated with matte black plastic, pleasant to the touch, which looks very resistant. Being a gaming product, they could not miss the colored lights, but they are elegantly integrated and fortunately can easily be turned off.
The headband from the top is covered with foam-filled textile material with very soft and pleasant memory, like sponges on cups. The headphones come with two pairs of sponges, the second one is covered with organic leather. Extensible arms are made of metal and reinforced with plastic to limit the risk of bending.
The cable is completely detachable, but unlike other headphones that can offer USB connectivity or a classic audio jack, ASUS chose the full digital path. The cable is a simple USB Type-A-to-micro-USB cable. It is, however, long enough to be used on a PC, while the textile coating provides resistance over time and prevents congestion.
Another unusual feature for these headphones is the lack of a remote wired remote. As for digital headphones, we did not expect a potentiometer for volume, but we even hope to see some physical buttons. ASUS preferred to integrate a tactile left-handed touch panel that can control volume and multimedia applications with gestures and touchs. So we have horizontal control for "next" and "previous", while vertically we have volume up and volume down. A push in the center provides the play / pause function.
The microphone is made of flexible rubber and is integrated into the left bucket. Folding it into the dedicated slot activates the mute function automatically. Last but not least, there is a button dedicated to surround sound 7.1, a feature we'll talk about later.
In terms of construction, the ROG Strix Fusion 500 seems to be a strong gaming headset. When it comes to design, these are quite surprising, as they are produced by ASUS. They are neither very "aggressive" to the outside nor have too much breeze-breezes. Lights may distract attention, but they seem to be one of the strengths that ASUS promotes alongside these headsets, so we can understand why they have been integrated: there is a very passionate audience of RGB LEDs
The ROG Strix Fusion 500 headphones work without software. Being designed to be used in eSports competitions, they only need LED control software. We do not have sound profiles, complex equalizers, or other special features. Even virtualization of surround sound is controlled only by the headphone button and in no other way
The lack of software could be both an advantage and a disadvantage, but in the present case I think simplicity can be appreciated. The settings of the beacons are simple on the subject. You can set either a permanent static shade, a "breathing" effect, or a classic rainbow. Also, the beacons can be set to illuminate in the rhythm of the music played on the PC, or can be synchronized with the rest of the AURA devices. Alternatively, they can be permanently stopped.
There is also a mobile application that can control the LEDs, and a feature we could not test is the synchronization of several headphones to light in the same color, something that is probably only for those who participate in eSports team tournaments. Connecting to the mobile application is simple, requiring just touching the left-hand touch panel for 3-5 seconds. One or more Strix Fusion 500 headphones must then be selected from the application, then the desired color or effect selected and the "Apply" button pressed. The mobile application interface is rudimentary and is not optimized for the iPhone X on iOS.
AURA (Peripheral) desktop and Aura Headset for mobile (iOS and Android) applications are simple, work without headaches and do not hinder the user