ROG Strix Fusion 500 full review
While Asus’ Republic of Gamers (or ROG) brand has produced a number of great gaming-focused products in the world of PCs, laptops and even smartphones, the manufacturer wants to extend that high-end look to gaming headsets. The ROG Strix Fusion 500 isn’t the company’s first gaming headset, but we do think it’s one of the best it has produced, despite a couple of issues. Find out why the ROG Strix Fusion 500 stands out in our review.
If the Fusion 500 doesn’t scratch that gaming headset itch, take a look at our selection of the best gaming headsets to help point you in the right direction.
ROG Strix Fusion 500: Pricing and availability
Though the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 has an RRP of £159.99/$179.99, the headset can be picked up at discount from various retailers. Those in the UK have a choice between Amazon (£117.99), Overclockers UK (£124.99) and Very (£159.99), while those in the US can pick the Fusion 500 up at Amazon ($158.99), Walmart ($158.99) or Best Buy ($179.99).
That certainly makes the ROG Strix Fusion 500 a tempting option for PC gamers, especially with a high-end build, virtual 7.1 surround sound support and the ability to work on consoles too.
ROG Strix Fusion 500 review
In terms of design, the ROG Strix Fusion looks slick. Sporting metallic, glossy earcups and a thick fabric-and-plastic headband, it’ll certainly turn heads – and we haven’t even mentioned the built-in RGB lights.
The headphones feature RGB strips on the rear of each cup that can be customised via Bluetooth and a smartphone app (or the ROG app on your PC or Mac). The best part? You can sync the lighting to match other ROG peripherals, giving you a slick, futuristic look whether you’re an eSports player or a dedicated gamer at home. The downside is that the Bluetooth connectivity is exclusively for RGB syncing, and you can’t actually connect smartphones or other devices wirelessly.
The headphones feature a touch interface, removing the need for clunky buttons that can be hard to locate on-the-fly (and providing a much tidier overall look). Using swipe functions, you can adjust the volume and control media without having to leave your game.
It works well overall, though it requires multiple swipes to turn the volume up or down more than four percent, and it doesn’t always detect swipes. Oh, and despite boasting overall compatibility with PS4, the swipe features won’t work on the platform, meaning you’ll have to adjust the overall volume on the PC beforehand and finetune it on the PS4.
Anyway, it’s in the audio department that the Fusion 500 really shines. Due to the wired nature of the headset, Asus could pack in some impressive audio tech that’d drain the batteries of many wireless headsets. First up, it boasts an ESS 9018 DAC that delivers 24-bit/96kHz lossless playback with an ESS 9601 amp on hand to provide punchy bass, making huge explosions and epic game soundtracks sound incredible.
You’ll also find virtual 7.1 surround sound developed with Bongiovi Acoustics that’ll help you locate the exact direction of those nearby footsteps. Overall, the audio is crystal clear with no noticeable distortion, even at high volumes, though we must note that it is pretty bass heavy (standard for gaming headsets).
You’ll also find a retractable digital boom mic that automatically mutes when retracted, negating the need to fiddle around with controls when you need to have a private chat (or accidentally leaving it unmuted for the whole party to hear!).
With the recent price drop, the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 is now more tempting than ever before. It may not have some of the bells and whistles of other gaming headsets on the market, but it’s well-built, comfortable to wear and most importantly, it sounds incredible.
The virtual 7.1 surround sound support immerses you in your favourite games, allowing you to pick up directional audio that can enhance your overall gameplay experience – especially in fast-paced online shooters where split-second reaction times are a necessity.