ASUS Strix Fusion 500 Headset review

Soundcards and Speakers 106 Page 7 of 8 Published by



Here, I will try to give you an idea of how the headset stacks up against some of the latest titles. Remember, an audio-based review is inherently subjective, given the matter at hand. You will have to judge for yourself, therefore, if the unit is of interest to you. Before I get to any of the results, however, I will say that the implementation of the virtual Dolby 7.1 Surround on this unit was done particularly well. I genuinely preferred - when gaming - using the headset with said mode enabled, which was a bit of a shock.

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is a multiplayer focused first-person shooter (FPS) that released in late 2016. Aside from the stunning visuals and fast-paced (yet surprisingly teamwork focused) action, the game features a truly excellent sound design. The whole experience, when listened to through a competent headset or audio equipment, can be quite overwhelming. The sound of explosions, flying bullets, falling shells, and men's screams are all part of the package. It does, therefore, make it an obvious choice.


The unit starts well, it must be said. Battlefield 1 has a great deal of detail in its sound design, immersing you in the experience of being on a chaotic battlefield. The headset allowed this to come across very well, and I was impressed. Clarity was very nice, and I felt truly that there was no loss of said clarity or 'muddiness' anywhere that I could notice. It got 'plenty' loud as well, to the point where I had to turn down the volume in order to continue playing. Even maxed out, however, there was no detectable noise distortion. It's a small touch, but the 'howls' of incoming artillery shells were really bought to life here, thanks to this unit's decent range and strong liking of bass. I knew where the shells were coming from, and even where they would land. Very enjoyable, and a highly pleasant gaming experience. Moving on..!


Another game with a heavy emphasis on sound, but this time coming much more from a 'musical' basis. We have all heard Doom's famous theme, and the entire game relies on heavy metal, bass-focused soundtracks in order to get the player's blood pumping. Along with the fast-paced action, a good headset can make the experience intoxicating... and intoxicating it was. The Fusion 500's emphasis on bass shines through here, with each track sounding good. In fact, the headset was able to get so loud that I was forced to turn Windows' volume down. Even at 100% though, I could detect no distortion attributed to the loudness at all. It was here, however, that I unearthed one weakness of the Fusion 500. I personally felt that - for all the drive toward powerful bass - the mid levels were a little flat and lacking in richness. It was a little hard to put my finger on definitively, but there was something missing in the midrange. A deal breaker? To me, no.

Project Cars

Project Cars is a racing title aimed at a variety of different player levels, ranging from 'take me round the track' to 'I want to crash, a lot'. I reverted to my standard test, here, namely a run around Brands Hatch with an Audi R8 V10. A good headset should aim to entirely immerse the player in such a title, as racing sims are inherently highly repetitive. Due to the 500's exceptional bass coverage, the unit does just that. I winded up doing at least ten laps of the track, enjoying my experience greatly. The surround (detailed more below) enhanced, rather than detracted, as well. The low revving, growling V10 of the R8 sounded superb, and I especially liked the sound of the car backfiring (a 'pop' of the exhaust, if you will). The unit also proved able to provide audio-based feedback on what the car was doing, with me successfully catching the vehicle as it began to step out of line. Excellent.

Dolby 7.1 Integration

As mentioned before, the 7.1 algorithms used in the Fusion 500 was developed in conjunction with Bongiovi acoustics, and Asus' own product info PDF sent our way advertised this 500's as being tailor-made with FPS titles in mind, where good 7.1 surround sound could be very desirable. I can normally take or leave artificial Dolby integration on high end headsets, but I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the experience on this unit. Whilst there was certainly a loss of clarity and 'loudness' when turning on the surround, it was very minimal. Thanks to this, the 500's left me having the feature turned permanently on, at least while gaming. I felt it provided a fuller experience, undoubtedly, whilst sacrificing only a little clarity or loudness. Battlefield 1 was truly brilliant with this headset, and I will admit to uttering some choice expletives whilst enjoying the new Turning Tides maps on the beaches of Gallipoli. At 1440p using maxed out settings, combined with the audio, it was entirely immersive.

The Microphone

As said before, the 500 features your fairly standard omni-directional microphone, that inherently provides some level of noise cancellation due to receiving sound from (you guessed it) one direction. The tests were conducted in a one on one chat room on a Discord server, as well as the capturing of a sentence recorded using Audacity. This program was used also to play back said clips, to keep things even.

Playback using the unit was absolutely fine, and - to my ear - the quality wasn't especially lacking anywhere. Certainly my partner on the other end of the server reported no issues, and could hear me perfectly well with good clarity. I also live in a fairly central London location, so ambient noise can be a problem. The uni directional feature worked as advertised, keeping the majority of unwanted background noise to a minimum. Then again, I expected it to. If I were being 'very' picky, the playback could be described as a little bit 'flat,' perhaps, but for 99% of people who want a gaming headset to talk to teammates with, I would have zero issues here. If you want to run a YouTube channel, or record voice, get a standalone. It's that simple. As I said in my review of the (albeit lower priced) Cougar Phontum, it's a gaming headset. It is not, categorically, a microphone, and should not be expected to perform as one. The value in this unit is in the gaming audio experience, and its performance above reflects that.

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