It’s been almost a year since we put the feature-packed ASUS STRIX DSP Gaming Headset through its paces, and it certainly did well in our review. The latest from ASUS, the STRIX 2.0 may not have as many features as its big brother, but with a more affordable price and multi-format support, it’s certainly an attractive option for those looking for a new gaming headset, so we’re eager to see what it can do.
Picking the right headset can make or break your gaming experience, not to mention they can also be great for general multimedia use. The STRIX 2.0 is equipped with support for PC/MAC, mobile devices and PlayStation 4, although in all fairness it’s also widely compatible with a lot of things, so long as the have a 3.5mm jack. It’s certainly great if you game on multiple devices, and this setup could save you money as you wouldn’t need to buy multiple headsets.
“STRIX 2.0 is powered by 60 mm neodymium-magnet drivers to deliver punchy, high-fidelity sound. In addition to providing fantastic gaming audio, STRIX 2.0 is a great way to enjoy listening to music. Connect STRIX 2.0 to your desktop, laptop, PS4 or smart device and experience superb sound with brilliant details and punchy bass from games, music, and more.”
The hardware certainly seems promising, with a pair of powerful 60mm neodymium drivers, which are quite simply massive for any headset, so I’m expecting some good bass performance here. There’s also a uni-directional boom microphone, which is also fully detachable should you not need it.
The packaging for the STRIX 2.0 is absolutely massive, the box looks big enough to house two of these headsets. There’s a large window section showing off one of the ear cups of the headset, as well as a few major specifications dotted on the front of the packaging.
Around the back, more details about the 60mm drivers, dual microphones and cross-platform support.
In the box, you’ll find the quick start guide, warranty information, a detachable boom microphone, as well as some good quality braided adaptor cables for PC and mobile devices.
A Closer Look
The headset comes hard-wired with a braided cable and a 4-pole 3.5mm jack, meaning it’s plug and play ready for mobile devices and PlayStation 4; you’ll need to use the adaptor cables to split it to dual 3.5mm jacks for use on PC.
There’s an in-line controller on the wire, but it’s strange quite high up the cable, meaning it hangs about shoulder height. This means that it’s near impossible to see it to check the controls, but since there is only a volume wheel and a microphone mute slider, that’s fortunately not an issue. There’s also a built-in microphone here, which is handy and no doubt explains why the control is mounted so high.
On the base of the ear cups, you can see where the wire connects to the headset, as well as a proprietary jack that allows you to fit the microphone boom. There’s also a few small holes on the base of each driver, helping give them a semi-open back design.
The STRIX branding is quite clear here, with the owl eyes design built around the back of those massive drivers which are delightfully on show through the perspex backing. This is seriously cool, and certainly unique compared to most other headsets.
The headband is nice and durable giving a rather large frame to those massive ear cups. What is surprising, however, is that despite the big design, this headset is remarkably lightweight.
The outer headband has a fixed size, designed to stay above the top of your head and hold the ear cups firmly in place.
The interior is a soft padded and sprung headrest that auto adjusts to fit when worn; it’s very comfortable to wear and needs no adjusting between different users. The lightweight design of the headset is a welcome surprise though and it’s easy enough to forget that you’re wearing it after a while, even if the drivers do feel like you’re wearing a Princess Leia hairpiece at first due to their large size.
Each ear cup is mounted on a pivot too, which means they’ll auto adjust to suit your head shape, giving you a nice clean fit over your ears.
The soft leather backing is nice and comfortable to wear, but also does a great job of blocking a lot of external noise. The 60mm drivers are massive, but this means that there’s a lot of room for your ear between the padding, giving you a very comfortable over-the-ear fitting. The close fit does a great job of tightening up the bass response and there is certainly plenty of bass here. The drivers are loud and powerful to give a really big soundscape while gaming, but there’s a noticeably boosted EQ at play here. When listening to music, the sound is far from accurate and there’s quite a boost on the treble. There’s a lot of detail to the mid ranges, and the bass is rich and distortion free, but listening to heavy rock music left me a little unimpressed; movies were equally uninspiring with this headset.
The microphone attached easily enough, just plug it in and you’re ready to rock. The in-line microphone on its own works rather well, perfect for making a few phone calls, chatting on Skype and gaming. If you want much better microphone performance, however, the boom microphone does work really well, but I often prefer the built-in one simply for the convenience that it offers. Which one best suits your needs and usage is really down to you, but it’s nice to have a choice.
The drivers are certainly powerful, capable of putting out some often impressive and punchy audio while gaming, but switch from games to any other media and it all falls apart. Playing a few hours of Battlefront on this headset was nothing short of amazing, the sheer scale of the sound is something to behold and it does give the impression of a wide open battlefield. The enemy footsteps ring through nice and clear, explosions are detailed in sound, but not overpowering in the mix and gun fine sounds great. Whatever ASUS did to the drivers, it works, so long as you’re gaming.
The ASUS STRIX 2.0 Gaming Headset is available from most major retailers. In the UK, you can pick one up for £55.03 from CCL Computers, which is pretty reasonable given the features and specifications.
The ASUS STRIX 2.0 Gaming Headset is certainly a mixed bag of tricks, some of them are great, some of them not so great, but overall it’s still a fantastic gaming headset. When it comes to listening to music or watching a movie, the Strix 2.0 is certainly capable, but those who care about the finer points of the audio will be left unsatisfied, for those purposes you simply cannot beat a dedicated set of music headphones for around the same price as this. However, this is the tricky part, I can’t really knock ASUS for this because this is literally branded as a “gaming” headset, and that’s certainly the thing it gets right.
The gaming performance on this headset is unreal, which baffles me why I didn’t get a similar experience with movies. but I digress. The large drivers do give some very clear and detailed low-end frequencies that really bring out some of the finer details in games like Battlefront and fallout 4. There’s a large soundscape that really draws you into the game here and anyone who plays a lot of games, single player or online, will love it.
Despite its large size, this headset is nice and light and super comfortable even after a long gaming session. The large ear cups required to house those big drivers give you more surface area for padding, which spreads out the force they apply to the sides of your head, while allowing plenty of room for your ears to sit comfortable within the padding and the auto-adjusting headband rest softly on your head.
The dual microphones are a nice touch, as you can quickly switch between devices and get gaming straight away. When playing with the boom microphone, you do get better performance, but there’s no harm in having a choice of convenience and quality. The EQ on the drivers lends well to voice chat, giving a clear audio mix that cuts through noisy gaming environments, but it would have been nice to have a gaming/chat volume mixer in here somewhere too.
- Cool design
- Powerful 60mm drivers
- Great for gaming
- Dual microphones
- Multi-format support
- Foldable design
- In-line controller (if somewhat basic)
- Not ideal for movies and music
- No game/chat volume control
“The ASUS STRIX 2.0 Gaming Headset is great for those who spend love marathon gaming sessions. It’s super comfortable to wear for hours on end, and packs a big sound that really brings the battlefield to life.”
Thank you ASUS for providing us with this sample.