Unboxing & Specification
The big reveal
If unboxing the 500's was a premium experience (verbatim what I said in my review of the said product), then the 700's provided unboxing nirvana. I won't even attempt to shy away from the use of 'Apple-like,' as whilst this is not an Apple product, the unveiling experience is tantamount to one. On a separate note, it is interesting that a company such as Apple has colloquially given rise to such a term. I do see this phrase being used almost exclusively whenever a product is packaged particularly well. This really is one of those times.
The product comes first in a simple cardboard 'wrapper', displaying the 700's in all their glory prominently on the front. Asus isn't shy about lauding their product, either, with 'Design Award 2018' being obviously visible on the top right of packaging.
I will admit, going by picture alone, I knew the 700s were going to be a sleek product (though sleek, in this sense, doesn't necessarily mean 'good looking,' as we know that aesthetics are highly subjective). The product name is also printed bottom-left with a stamped holographic effect. Is it needed? No. Is it good to look at? Of course.
Flipping the box around, we see more marketing material. Asus seems happy to tout the ability of the 700's to function as a simultaneous gaming and audio device for your various consoles and/or mobile devices, even being to pick up calls if paired with a phone. Yes, even whilst gaming. I must admit, I do like this. Coming home late at night means I sometimes just want to game with the game's volume at unreasonable levels. It's all too easy to miss an important call or message this way. Of course, this is a bit of a double-edged sword, because then a totally inane text can ruin your 'groove,' if you'll forgive the cringeworthy expression. The marketing material continues, of course, but I won't delve into it now. That is a matter for the rest of the review.
Sliding off the cover, and we see what looks like a repeat of the 500's. A split box design. 'Nice,' I thought, but I was about to be surprised. The box itself is made of a 'soft touch' material that is very pleasing, feeling similar to high-quality dashboard materials that you might find on a nice car's dashboard. The box actually opens, as you may see from the photos, like a clamshell, splitting open down the middle. I think 'Neat' was the word I used, here. The inside of the second box is lined with a pearlescent foil. It's not overdone, in my opinion, and looks fantastic. Call me a sucker for some occasional bling, and I'll happily admit that using some fancier RGB/glittery products during my time at Guru3D has somewhat converted me over to the glowy side (Hilbert: I am so sorry for that ;).
The headset and what lies below is covered by a placard. 'Welcome to the elite Republic of Gamers community,' it reads. I'm not sure about that, especially in my case. I'm pretty terrible at most types of game, with turn based or real time RTS(es) being much more my thing. I will admit, however, that the placard looks very appropriate for what this product is trying to convey. 'You have bought the best, be happy with it and enjoy.' I think that's about right, and it sounds it. Taking off the placard reveals, finally, the Fusion 700's in all their glory.
In person, the design is almost unchanged from the 500's. I expected nothing else, and that's ok. In my opinion, the 500's looked fantastic. Sure, the mirrored finish on the outside of the ear cups may be a touch gaudy, but otherwise, they do not scream 'gamer' to me, at all. Add to this that the RGB can actually be switched off entirely in software, and I was perfectly happy to do these in public spaces. Asus doesn't even plaster the 700's with their branding, with the famous ROG logo only being noted on the sides of the headband, as well as on the earpads. For a flagship product, I respect Asus' decision not to cover the 700's with branding. It is allowed to do the talking, and that's great, in my view.
Rounding off the unboxing, the product comes with a braided micro-USB to USB-A cable, Bluetooth dongle, as well as a separate set of mesh earpads (which I immediately used, as I have a hot head). The included and (again) subtly branded Asus carrying bag is a very nice touch. For around 200 GBP, I would certainly expect one, but it's large enough for the headset, cable, and even some other extras.
The 700's come in at exactly 360g, identical to the 500's. Their relevant specifications in terms of audio are identical as well. 50mm drivers, the same DAC and Amplifier, 32-ohm impedance, and a 20-20,000Hz frequency response. The microphone? Same story. 50-10,000Hz response, and a sensitivity of -39DbA +/- DbA.
Asus doesn't include any EQ control software in the 700's product page, nor do they produce anything of that nature. Since audio is a subjective experience, I will use the same suite as before to tweak EQ to my liking (if needed). It is the 'Equalizer APO,' available here from Sourceforge. Your mileage may (and probably will) vary, here, so just keep in mind that my review will be heavily biased toward what I like to hear from a headset. Though there is, naturally, a common theme amongst many as to what sounds good, some may be more or less sensitive than others to certain ranges/tones, and so on.
The 700's feature the same virtual 7.1 Surround Sound solution, tuned by Bongiovi Acoustics. This time, I will refrain from the all too obvious joke about living on a prayer... oh I did it again, shame. 7.1 solutions in units that are fundamentally 'not' 7.1 is always going to be a bit hit or miss. If done well, it can really improve your gaming experience. Last time, I used the 7.1 solutions on the 500's whilst gaming, as I found Asus/Bongiovi clearly knew what they were doing. Certainly, I look forward to uttering some choice expletives in Doom or Battlefield 1, which I did with gusto back earlier in the year. I am sure the same will be said of the new product, and I might even hope for it to be a little optimized to perhaps iron some of the loss of clarity that the implementation could deliver on the 500's. With that, we can move on to a little (but brief) showcase of the 700's, before getting on with what we all really want to see.