Asus Strix Fusion Wireless Headset Review

Soundcards and Speakers 106 Page 4 of 6 Published by


Game Tests

Getting a game on...

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.

Note, here, that the default audio experience with this headset was actually pretty dire, and that isn't a word I use lightly. I couldn't, however, figure out why. Hint, the software came to the rescue. I feel, therefore, obliged to mention that the below tests were conducted with the software in 'Music' optimisation mode, whereas by default comes in 'Communication' mode. This made, it has to be said, all of the difference, but it's something worth bearing very heavily in mind if you plan to splash the cash on this pair of cans. For those curious about why I chose music over the also available 'gaming' mode, well, the latter seemed to heavily prioritize bass over basically anything else. I wasn't too keen on this, as the low's performance of the Fusion Wireless is entirely fine as is, and doesn't need any assistance. As to how this came about... well, read on.

Battlefield 1

Yes, I'm fully aware that Battlefield V is now out and available. However, I am not flush with cash, and the BF1 servers remain plenty populated enough in order for me to get onto a map with consummate ease. Anyway. This title features DICE's as usual excellent sound design. As such, 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 various shouts/screams are all part of the package. It does, therefore, make it an obvious choice. Naturally, headsets with heavy bass tend to do very well in this title. Remember, here, that the product we have today is a technical downgrade from the regular 500's due to it lacking the inbuilt Amp and DAC that were so prominently featured on the other products.

Naturally, being able to accurately pick out differences in headset performance between something I reviewed nearly 8 months ago, and today, is tricky. However, when putting on W's, I immediately noticed that, yes, there was something missing when comparing them to something like the Fusion 700's. This is to be expected. One doesn't go into battle lacking a major component of his army and then wonder why you didn't do so well. For what it's worth, however, the product we have here today felt very 'familiar' to me, and it took perhaps a day to figure out why. In terms of soundscape, the wireless fusion's sound exceptionally similar in profile to my much loved Hyper X Cloud II's. This, for the record, is a very good thing. Whilst my now very venerable pair of Kingston's are not as strong in terms of bass and overall 'punch' as the 500's or 700's were, they are exceptionally well rounded. That is a good word, I think, to describe the experience of gaming on the Fusion Wireless overall. Rounded. I was still happily able to game with them, in Battlefield 1, and after a few minutes, I was focused far more on the game than I was on anything the headset was perhaps lacking.

So, all in all, a very enjoyable gaming experience. Moving on..!



Until the release of Doom: Eternal, the 2016 version of the game will continue to feature in any audio test I do. This is 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...

I suspected before I began that this is where the weaker on paper specs might hurt the item I have with me today, and I was right, at least in part. Doom's soundtrack is just that, a soundtrack. The Wireless' slightly weaker mids and lows, when compared to the aforementioned products, meant that 'worse' performance in this title than the others, certainly the 700's. However, as above, I just didn't care, especially after only a short while. The product was punchy 'enough', and provided mid's/low's 'enough' for me to still thoroughly enjoy the experience of playing Doom. Ultimately, I knew there was something missing, but I didn't find myself minding enough to really notice after not much time at all. This is certainly a plus point in the wireless' favour, for sure. If I can get 'close enough' performance from a product that also packs wireless without having to fork out nearly £200 for the fully featured 700's, I can see it being a reasonably successful product.

Normally I would include a segment about the product's performance in Project Cars. However, I would merely be echoing what I have already said above. Naturally, there is a somewhat notable caveat to all this relative positivity coming, but that is saved for the next page.

The Microphone

As far as I can tell, the Fusion Wireless' feature the exact same microphone as is found in the more expensive 700's. Uni-directional is a nice addition and is - oddly - not something you'll find on the regular and wired 500's. Testing of the microphone was conducted as per standard procedure, here, meaning in a one on one 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 entirely fine, and the quality (for an integrated solution) wasn't lacking anywhere. Certainly, my partner on the other end of the server reported no issues and could hear me perfectly well. I also live in a fairly central London location, so ambient noise can be a problem. The unidirectional feature worked as advertised, keeping the majority of unwanted background noise to a minimum. Then again, I expected it to. As with the previous unit, 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 for a specific purpose, get a standalone. It's that simple. I think I have said this in every gaming headset review I have ever done, and I will continue to do so. The value in this unit is in the audio experience, and its performance above reflects that. The microphone being uni-directional, noise cancelling, digital, and providing a decent experience is just a bonus, really.

Asus Armoury Software

Download and installation of the software did require a system reboot, which normally annoys me slightly. That said, it's 2018, and I think most of us are at least running the OS of our PCs off a halfway decent solid state drive? Anyway, the software loaded up is actually rather nice, albeit austere in nature. The interface is, to my mind, a little cluttered, but it certainly does lack for functionality. The software features, to my mind, a fair bit of functionality that is easily understood by even the 'knows nowt about audio' end user. Suffice to say, though, that your main time will be spent with bits of the suite. The EQ, and the 'Sound Optimisation' feature. Note, whilst not advertised as part of the Fusion Wireless' feature set (because it technically isn't), the software allows for virtual surround sound using a simple toggle.

Talking about the rest of the application for just a second... I know I usually bemoan additional software (and, for the record, I still do), but this is perhaps an example of additional suites 'done right.' Asus offers many a customisation option, here, but the true value of this software isn't to be known fully until... well, actually, I'll save this for later. Trust me, the payoff is worth it, as I legitimately think that this is the best bit of 'add-on' software I have ever used, in terms of being bundled with something else. With all that said and done, shall we put these through some tunes?

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