ASUS has been firing on all cylinders with its peripheral offerings and today we have the latest addition to their gaming audio lineup, the ROG Strix Fusion family of gaming headsets. In this review we’ll be taking a look at the brand new ROG STRIX Fusion 700. A dual-mode gaming headset offering both wired and wireless functions that ASUS hopes is enough flexibility for many high-end gamers to consider it. Not only that, the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 brings AURA light syncing via the AURA mobile app and not only one, not two, but multiple Fusion 700s can be controlled at a single time which ASUS intends to be an accessory for eSports teams looking to dress it up further during tournaments and LANs. Positioning at the top of the pack though, there’s so much more that this headset has to offer to gain its position. Let’s find out more as we dive deeper about the new flagship headset from ASUS, the ROG STRIX Fusion 700.
Features & Specifications
- Bluetooth 4.2 for chatting with teammates via VoIP or phone call, or even listening to music while gaming on PC, PS4, or mobile
- Hi-fi-grade ESS ES9018 DAC and SABRE9601K amp deliver realistic, unparalleled gaming audio
- Finely tuned ASUS Essence drivers and exclusive airtight chamber technology for an immersive audio experience
- Exclusive plug-and-play virtual 7.1 surround sound developed with Bongiovi Acoustics
- RGB light synchronization across headsets via Bluetooth, using a dedicated mobile app
- Headset touch plate lets you pick up calls, adjust volume and playback functions, and control RGB light synchronization
Packaging & Contents
Surprisingly against ROG STRIX tradition, the ROG STRIX FUSION 700 is packaged in a medium-sized box with a predominantly black. A glamor shot of the product is printed on the front along with the model namme and some marketing bullets. A Playstation4 compatibility badge is also here along with the Bluetooth and Hi-Res Audio audio icons. At the back we get some details about the features of the ROG STRIX Fusion 700.
Removing the slip cover shows us the actual box of the ROG STRIX Fusion 700, which has an accented flap which when opens up as below:
ASUS places some great details on this part of the packaging, lining molded cardboard with some cloth to give it a real premium feel and the holographic flaps does a nice job accentuating the entire package.
Tucked underneath the flap is a bag which contains some accessories including a user guide, a warranty card, the USB cable, replacement mesh ear cup cushions and a travel sleeve.
The included cable is 2-meter long and is plenty of length for many applications. Its not that flexible but its sleeved nature gives it a certain feel of durability and quality. The gold-plated connectors round out the cable to give it a complete premium feel. There are no inline connectors as you’ll find out why later.
The ROG STRIX Fusion 700 boasts large, 50mm drivers housed in its oval earcups. The front and back silhouette of the headset is quite sleek and clean, easily lending itself as streetwear headphones. Given its wireless nature, its just begging to be used on the streets.
Side profile shows us the glossy plates of the ROG STRIX Fusion 700’s earcups. They’re relatively flat and don’t have much going on for them aesthetically but the glossy, smoke silver surface is an attention-magnet not to mention fingerprints as well. As denoted by the label sticker, which you can remove and you should, the left earcup features the control touchplate where you can control your paired device when using the ROG STRIX FUSION 700.
As the label shows, you can tap on the middle to Play/Pause, tap and hold to control lighting modes, swipe up or down for volume and swipe left/right to switch tracks. The ROG STRIX Fusion 700 touch controls support swipe-and-hold to continuously increase or decrease volume. Swipe-and-hold does not switch to seek RW/FF on the track controls.
The build quality on the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 is impeccable and ASUS goes really detailed on this headset. The headband cushion, as seen above uses mesh fabric which is an entire assembly instead of being fused to the headband itself. The choice to use mesh removes the possibility of cracking leather and the way its attached makes sure it doesn’t fall apart when the covering material does tear.
We highly prefer using the leather ear cups as it gives the best possible listening experience thanks to its sealing properties but ASUS’ mesh fabric cushions do a good job as well and they offer a cooler experience as they are breathable.
ASUS features only two physical buttons on the ROG Strix Fusion 700 headset: a 7.1 virtual surround toggle button and a Bluetooth button. Pressing any once activates the function, holding down the Bluetooth button begins pairing mode.
The microphone is stealthily concealed on the left earcup and folds down to activate. Folding it mutes the mic. There is a tactile bump at the bend and you’ll know you’ve muted the mic when you hit that bump. The microphone is also flexible with a rubber mid-boom to allow to flex around.
The ROG STRIX Fusion 700 lighting modes can be used on both wired and wireless mode. Of course battery life is a affected when in battery mode but with an 8-hour continuous usage rating on lighting mode, that’s still plenty of juice. You can download the ASUS AURA app for your mobile. (Download Android | iOS)
As you can see above, you can set the color the Static, Breathing and Off. You can also choose to cycle the colors or choose a single one.
Another feature of the app is the ability to control multiple devices and sync them at once. ASUS markets this is a way to create a uniform look particularly for LANs and team play events.
User Experience & Conclusion
Let’s talk comfort first. The headband is concerningly soft but given the overall weight of the headband, the compression against the ears help shoulder most of the weight and the cushion on the headband does its job well due to that. Speaking of earcups, the leather earcups are what we predominantly use on testing this product. As much as we like mesh fabric and its more breathable nature, sound quality is best observed in the sealed, leatherette cups. The earcup cushions are just right, the leatherette being a bit more firm than the mesh fabric ones. Sealing is quite good although there is some slight leakage but nothing seriously disturbing to anyone beside you unless you’re in a very quiet room or are very close together. The headband adjustment is decent and the flex adjusts quite well to larger head sizes.
Controls are intuitive although the touch feature may need some getting used to. There is no mute button so you’ll have to pause if you want a quick touch of silence. Answering calls mutes any background audio when your phone is paired to the headset, nothing major but its a good feature to have especially if you’re using the headset in-game and you get a call. And yes, you can use Bluetooth mode while connected to a PC or console. Also, having the ability to switch between 7.1 and stereo with a button press is a handy feature and having them on-ear is a great touch as you wont need to fumble on your cord to find your inline dongle.
Moving over to audio quality, let’s discuss game performance first. The ROG STRIX Fusion 700 is a gaming headset first and foremost and its rendering of game audio including gunfire, footsteps and ambient effects are detailed. Since the headset has a very small sound stage, everything feels close and if you’re used to it, does help identifying positional audio but actual distance is slightly varied. Still, everything is clear and even on max gain, the Fusion 700 doesn’t get distorted.
Going into further details about the sound quality, the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 has a smeared feel to it. While the audio is warm and clear in the low and midrange the highs tend to spill and gets tinny. This is very prevalent in metallic audio like crash and cymbals, richochets ingame also get an extra ping to their note because of this. The rendering is clear but there isn’t much detail to the audio and it lacks separation. But this is nitpicking already. As it is, the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 delivers vibrant and good audio but those looking for an audiophile grade experience will want to look elsewhere.
Given the price, it’s not surprising someone might expect more. But ASUS has went out of their way to create a highly, functional headset that incorporates great technology for both audio performance and usability. Add to that its lighting function and you have some extra creds. If you’re a street fashion rocking geek/gamer trends, this is the sort of accessory you’d rock to give you that extra swag but that stylish look belies a great gaming headset, flexible enough to go with you both on mobile to PC/console gaming.
No official SRP has been announced for the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 but estimates peg it around $200 making it a premium offering. It doesn’t have much competition in its price range bearing the same feature set and most would be torn between this and the wired-only ROG STRIX Fusion 500 if they’re into most of the features of the headset. It’s going to be a tough decision and you really have to like, and by that I mean, REALLY LIKE, the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 to justify its price premium. For gaming, it’s main contenders are mostly from SteelSeries and Logitech high-end offering while for streetwear, Sony’s XB950N1 which is a bit on the same price range.
Ultimately, you’d need to be in a very specific niche to fit the feature offering of the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 but if there is one reason that you’ll want to buy this headset, its for the sheer simplicity of having to be able to sit down and play on either PC or console and then stand up with your headset still on and make a phone call. All without doing anything. This seamless experience is the biggest draw of the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 with plenty of sugar on top it in the form of RGB lighting, app syncing, touch controls. Not to mention the incredible build quality and attention to details.
ASUS backs the ROG STRIX Fusion 700 with a 1-year warranty. We give it our B2G Silver Award!