ASUS Strix Fusion 500 Headset review

Soundcards and Speakers 106 Page 8 of 8 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words

I have - in my PC gaming time - used a few headsets, ranging from the super cheap to the 500's, easily the highest value unit I have come across. I guess the question is... do they justify their 150.00 GBP MSRP? Well, we have said this before (but I will say it again), giving our readers an objective view of such a subjective subject is inherently difficult, and gamers tend to be a group of people who really know what they want. Aspects of this unit that I loved are aspects that you - the reader - may hate, and turn the 500's from a great unit into one to avoid.

For me, however, the 500's deliver 100% on what they promise. They are, at the end of the day, a gaming headset targeted toward gamers. Anything else they can do as an extra is... well, just that, a very welcome extra. The gaming experience is sublime, truly. Asus pushed this unit as FPS friendly, and it is. The experience of playing Battlefield 1 was, genuinely, awesome. There isn't another word. Other titles that I tested were equally addictive, even if they didn't fall into the FPS genre. The sound delivered was powerful, rich, and - through the use of EQ software - you can even amplify this to higher levels. A word has to be said also for the truly impressive Dolby integration, and I feel as though Asus' work with Bongiovi has paid off here. It was so good, actually, that I even didn't mind it during some film watching. Well done, Asus. For gaming, however, just take my word for it and use the 7.1. It's rather fun. Should you listen to music with it? No. Should you watch films with it? Well, maybe. Turn it on and see what happens.


Comfort and touch controls

This is a subject that I feel can make or break a headset. Too heavy? Your neck can hurt. Too tight? Enjoy an earache. Cups too thick? Your ears will burn. For me, the Fusion 500's are very comfortable. Even loosening the headband/cups to well beyond their ideal allowed the headset to stay on my head, and this indicates a well-designed product. I suffered zero fatigue whilst wearing this headset, even for my famously large bonce. The inclusion of different earpads was very appreciated, even if I did immediately swap out the faux leather ones for the mesh style. Here, Asus deserves top marks. Aside from my regular pair of Kingston Hyper X Cloud II's, the 500's are the most comfortable headset I have ever used.

There is not much to say on the matter of touch controls. They work, and when I got used to making small adjustments with them (oddly, whilst skipping through tracks on my laptop as I type this), I liked the fact they were there. A gimmick? Some may say yes, and I would agree to a small extent. However, they certainly work and work very well. For that, they are not a gimmick, and I applaud Asus for doing away with the traditional 'on cable' controls, that can add bulk and get easily caught.


This will be a short section, as I feel as though I made my feelings clear in the dedicated microphone segment. It is an attached headset microphone. It does its job and does it perfectly well. Buy this unit for the gaming experience, the microphone being 'good' is a bonus.


Not all is rosy, however. The software was unreliable for me, even occasionally forcing me to reboot just to restore the headset's status quo. What I am about to say might be controversial, but I believe this when I say that of all the things to go wrong with a new unit, I really couldn't care less. Sure, an aspect of the sample clearly not working as intended is disappointing, and I would have genuinely liked for this to have gone as planned. That said, it does not impact the performance of the headset at all and didn't detract from my enjoyment of it. It was much more a case of 'Oh, well that's frustrating', and then I moved on. Having said that, whilst I can appreciate that there is always scope for teething problems, I got this in for review. I, therefore, did not pay for it and must recognize that a 150.00 GBP paying customer might be significantly more annoyed than I was. The lighting, however, is done well, with a pleasing subtlety, and I have no doubt that any issues found by Asus will be fixed rapidly. One also has to remember that - sometimes - a user's particular OS configuration or 'some other' piece of software on the machine can interfere in unknown ways. Certainly - in scouring the web for other 500 reviews - better luck was had here that I encountered.



So, the big question. Would I buy, for myself, the Fusion 500's? Well, I have to give points for the headset doing exactly as advertised. They are a great gaming headset, and I loved my time with them playing Battlefield 1, and other assorted AAA titles. They made games sound punchy, full of depth, and the Dolby implementation was done 'just right.' The product looks great, is built like a tank, and is extremely comfortable. For me, this effortlessly ticks all three necessary elements of a gaming headset. One could potentially argue that - for 150 GBP at MSRP - the headset should be capable of doing more than just gaming. Well, it can. Listening to movies was thoroughly enjoyable, and whilst the 'musical' experience fell a bit short sometimes, it was also something I expected. You do not pay for 'gaming' headphones and expect a premium audiophile experience across the board. Audio is subjective, that is why there are EQs. Simple.

We can't end this conclusion without talking about the software, sadly. To me, it's a shame. I'll be fairly clear in that I really do not care one bit for RGB... well, anything. The fact that it didn't work wasn't a problem for me personally. However, for a buyer looking for the ultimate in RGB headwear to complete a battle station, this news of unreliable software might well be an immediate turn-off. We must also talk about the price. £150.00 /  159 Euro / 169 USD is a lot to pay for a headset, putting it a firm way ahead of Corsair's Void Pro RGB unit, which is also wireless. I should make it clear, as an aside, that to pay this kind of cash for anything which lacks reliable functionality anywhere isn't ideal, even if the said functionality doesn't actually affect how the piece does its main job. Does the gaming experience (i.e. the one advertised) offer enough to warrant that tag?

Yes, in my opinion, but with some caveats. The first is that RGB isn't 'your thing,' and you are ok with leaving the headset in it's out of the box lighting configuration. The software is new. The unit is also new. Please bear that in mind, however. The second is that you have some money to burn, but are genuinely in the market for a high-end unit that sounds excellent whilst gaming and (with some tweaks) can provide a suitable musical/cinematic experience as well. All headsets need some tweaks. Neither are these. Go ahead and order some if you have some money in your pocket, and want a top sounding gaming headpiece that you can wear for hours on end.

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print