ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700
Gaming Headset (Wireless)
When you get into the more premium price range for audio equipment, including headsets, naturally there are a few expectations on the part of the consumer or listener. First up the build quality needs to be of the highest order, eschewing quality from every little rivet and indentation to real leather used for the cushions right down to fancy features like lighting and stylish flourishes here and there. Further down on the list, but by no means inessential, comes the overall packaging – for a premium price the quality of the materials to little bonuses like carry cases and interchangeable cushions to suit various settings are important. It’s here where those crucial first impressions are made.
The ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700 wireless gaming headset, which is indeed a mouthful to both say and type, is a premium offering from the hardware maker. One that not only attempts to pack in several high-end and meaningful features into the hardware make-up, but also serve as an exercise in style. Of which the ROG Strix Fusion 700 has won a design and innovation award. For us though it was that first impression - the box. Opening like a set of elaborate and shiny double doors to reveal the Fusion 700 headset sitting there on a bed of silk. Like some sort of ancient deity. And it only got more impressive from there.
- Type: Closed
- Driver: 50mm ASUS Essence Drivers
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Microphone: Unidirectional
- Microphone Frequency: 50 Hz – 10 kHz
When it comes to frequency response numbers rarely change across various headsets, nor are they the true indicators of sound quality or clarity. For the ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700 the numbers may look higher than normal or like any number of “high-res audio” headsets we’ve reviewed in the past. But the truth is far more interesting and impressive. In addition to the excellent ASUS Essence Drivers which we’ve found
to offer clear and impressive sound across the board the Fusion 700 goes the next step to include both a hi-fi grade DAC and amplifier. In the world of portable audio, the quality of the interface normally dictates that of the audio itself. A dedicated sound card with built in DAC and headphone amplifier can make all the difference in the world. And in the case of the Fusion 700, the ESS ES9018 DAC and SABRE9601K amp both result in the sort of balanced and impressive sound that right off the bat impresses.
When a headset can sound brilliant without any tweaking when thrown a variety of different games, movies, and music at it – it’s a testament to going this extra step. Whilst also justifying the more premium price point. Although wireless (via Bluetooth) the Fusion 700 can be used in wired mode via the provided USB cable. With the inclusion of a DAC and amplifier this negates and straight up removes the option for a 3.5mm connection, as all audio hardware is included within the headset itself. Bringing the overall weight up a bit to 392 grams, means it can feel a little heavy after extended periods, but the trade-off is exceptional sound. Of premium quality with detailed and sumptuous bass with an excellent mid-range and snappy high-end.
Design and Comfort
In terms of looks the Fusion 700 keeps the general look and feel of the entire ROG Strix Fusion range, albeit with metallic finish to complement the additional Aura-sync compatible RGB strip not found in cheaper models. In our review of the non-RGB Fusion Wireless we noted that the overall design and build quality was “sturdy and robust in ways that stand out, from the leather and mesh-hybrid interchangeable ear cushions to the metal-plated joints to the headband and rugged cup shape and overall look”. A sentiment that still rings true here because for the most part, outside of the lighting, the look and feel is mostly the same.
And it’s here where one of the more outlandish design choices still manages to feel not quite as forward thinking as it might sound on paper. That is, the addition of touch controls where one of the headsets serves as a touch-pad of sorts where you can raise and lower volume via a simple slide of the finger. In execution it lacks the finesse of dedicated media controls, but we do like being able to mute via a simple tap. A mute function that cleverly fades audio in and out without any sort of harsh transition.
With the one-two combo of the ESS ES9018 DAC and SABRE9601K amp the sound quality of the Fusion 700 is exceptional, with music sounding great immediately out of the box – with the sort of balance that doesn’t require messing about with EQ settings. When it comes to games, the Fusion 700 takes it all to next level – on PC – with the addition of built-in 7.1 surround that is also hardware driven. Well calibrated out-of-the-box the surround can also be fine-tuned with the ASUS Armory software which in turn offers a complete solution that can sit alongside quite a few of the better examples out there. Although still virtual in its representation of in-game audio the results are especially impressive when paired with action-heavy titles like Battlefield V.
In the end though there are some oddities when it comes to the ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700, namely with wireless functionality being limited to Bluetooth with the only wired option being via a somewhat stiff USB-cable connected to a PC. But the premium price feels entirely justified here – the sound quality is some of the best we’ve heard in quite a while, thanks in part to the quality in-built DAC and amplifier and the excellent ASUS Essence Drivers. Plus, there’s nothing quite like opening a box to find your peripheral sitting on a bed of silk.