Asus Strix Fusion Wireless Headset Review

Soundcards and Speakers 106 Page 6 of 6 Published by


Final Words and Conclusion

Final Words

First up, some general thoughts. I legitimately believed, going into this review, that this headset was going to end up being a heavily or 'notably' downgraded version of a headset I very much liked, i.e. the Fusion 700's. The only thing that stopped me emphatically recommending the 700's was the price tag and the full knowledge that there were other headsets out there for less that sounded just as good. Not for the first time, in history, however, I was proven 100% wrong. This headset, to the everyman, is a very solid bit of kit, and that should give you some idea of how the rest of this conclusion is going to pan out. This will, sadly, depend on where you happen to live in the world.

Why should you buy the Fusion wireless?

Let me say this right away. If you live in the United States, then for 119.99, these are nearly a no-brainer over the wired Fusion 500's and significantly higher priced Fusion 700s. In my 'layman's' opinion, these are the better buy even over the near £200 GBP Fusion 700's. In fact, I will. Why, though?

Well, let's take a look at the obvious, first. I think they look better than both cousins, period. The total lack of RGB (though I do wish Asus had entirely removed the light bars, it's a very minor gripe) and now matte appearance earcups make, for me, a much improved visual flair. One could even call them understated. In fact, I will. They're understated, and actually very elegant. Perhaps Asus could have toned down the angularity a tad, but I get that manufacturing costs mean that having the same chassis (in effect) for all three main 'Fusion' branded ROG headsets is the ideal for them. Less money spent, more profit made. Easy.


Another reason (and this is an easy one)? Wireless. Sure, the lack of Bluetooth is a tad irritating and limits the headset to compatibility with PC's/Laptops almost exclusively. No using your Fusion's as VOIP devices here..! That said, even if they could do VOIP and comms, like the 700's, I really struggle to see how would do so? They have a totally serviceable microphone for all of your PC gaming/PS4 gaming needs through the likes of Discord or PSN, and that - to me - is all they really need to do. If I want to take a call through my headphones/phone, I'll buy a pair of earbuds with a microphone, thanks. It's also good to see that the wireless implementation is done well, with absolutely no loss of clarity that I could detect, as well as a very respectable operating range. Battery life is, also, entirely adequate. I got around 3 days of use out of mine before needing to re-juice it. Given that I game for about 2.5-3h at a time, and also used it for a bit of testing on my laptop, that equates to around 10-11h. Asus claims 15h, which is a good way more, but name me a manufacturer who hasn't favourable bigged up their own product's battery life performance?

Naturally, we also have to talk about sound. This is where I expected the Fusion Wireless to... well, for lack of a better term, 'tank hard.' I thought there was no way it would be able to hold a candle to the more amply equipped Fusion 500's or 700's. Out of the box, though, it doesn't, and it really is a case of software to the rescue (though some of this was the bizarre out of the box config set by the Asus Armoury suite).

The audio performance of this headset, except in really 'have to pay attention closely' scenarios, is excellent, truly. Sure, it needs software to help it do what the others can do exceptionally well out of the box, and it DOES lag behind the 700's even when assisted, but not in a meaningful enough way for me to either care or be bothered by it. The mid tones and highs can sometimes be a little absent, but - again - that's with me really having to concentrate. I suspect that someone purchasing their first headset wouldn't either care or notice a difference. In fact, I suspect the only reason I can is that I have both reviewed a few headsets by now, and also specifically looked at this unit's close cousins.

Either way, then, there are many reasons to like the Fusion Wireless', and they genuinely impressed me with how good they sound, along with the usual Asus benefits of looks, build quality, and features (i.e. the software).

Why shouldn't you buy it?

We come to this segment with me struggling a little. Let's get the obvious out of the way first. They're going to be expensive. Better value or not over the regular Fusion 500's, approximately 150 GBP/USD/EUR is a lot to pay for... well, anything. Let's also not forget that cheaper headsets or earphones can almost certainly do as good a job (from an audio perspective), which possibly makes this unit (and other like products) a harder sell. Whichever way you cut it, they're a luxury item and your money is almost certainly better spent elsewhere in your PC, e.g. something that might actually make a performance difference. I feel a little harsh in pointing this out as this could, quite literally, apply to virtually every other gaming peripheral on the market in 2018. Mechanical keyboards, many mice (though that is arguable), other headsets, etc.

The lack of any Bluetooth is annoying, sure, as it limits compatibility to just PC's/laptops and PS4. That said, for reasons I outlined earlier, this isn't as much of a gripe as it could be. It's a gaming headset, meant for use on PCs and consoles, possibly laptops. I'd argue the addition of Bluetooth is a luxury alone, likely meant to further justify the higher price tag of the top-end Fusion 700's. Would you miss it? Well, that depends on who you are, I guess.

The only other problem I have with the Fusion Wireless' is actually the same one as I had with the other two models. Asus hasn't, for me, quite nailed the comfort aspect down as much as I would have liked. My head, even with the addition of the mesh cups, did get hot after a while, which wasn't ideal for a product intended to be worn for what I presume to be extended periods of either listening or gaming. That said, comfort is a highly subjective thing (perhaps the most), and other people's mileage may vary wildly. I have a big head, for sure, and this does drastically limit the varieties of headsets I can wear. Still, to this day, the only headset I can happily wear for extended periods without any measure of discomfort are the Hyper X Cloud IIs.

However, I must mention location and pricing, and this is where the Fusion Wireless can be either made or broke. I mentioned above that if you live in the US, then this product is a no-brainer (assuming you're in the market for a pair of cans that cost 100+ of whatever currency you use). I've said that before. If you're in the UK, then, again, I'd recommend these over the wired 500's. They happen to come in at similar price points and for the convenience of wireless, I would take the tiny drop in sound quality. However, if you're on mainland Europe? Much harder call.

As it stands, the wired Fusion 500's cost about 150 EUR, with these kicking in at about 20 EUR higher. I would still take these over the 500's, any day of the week. However, given that you are suddenly near the 200 EUR mark, are you not better off buying a dedicated/true pair of cans that seek to be the best headphones they can be? Then again, you could argue that for 'X' drop in quality, the wireless sells it. It's a very tough call, but just beware that there is such a thing as 'too much' for hardware, and 170-180 EUR for these is, in my view, really pushing it.



Chief amongst the questions I need to answer, definitively, then, is whether the Fusion Wireless' are actually worth your time? Comfort (subjective, remember) and lacking Bluetooth aside, I really do struggle to find problems with this product, and that is not the conclusion I expected to come to when I first looked at this unit in person or on paper. Again, this is dependent on the location problem I mentioned above, but given that this is a factory largely beyond my control, I'll elect to ignore it from now on. In fact, that basically answers the question. I do recommend this product and can say so with 100% certainty. It has issues, sure, but they're minor. We know they're a luxury and expensive purchase. We know they lack Bluetooth. We know they might not quite measure up to the 500's and 700's in terms of audio... but they're a long way cheaper than the 700s, and have a looks/feature set one-up over the regular 500's. The excellent software, really, just further sweetens the deal, though I'm aware it's also available for the other Fusion products, it offers them less than this one.

To me, therefore, it's fairly clear. If you want a truly excellent sounding, good-looking, and well-built pair of headphones that you only ever intend to couch-game or maybe travel with, then the Fusion Wireless' should absolutely be on your shortlist. With that, Raff out.

ATH +++

- Raffaele out

Everyone is mine to torment.” — Joffrey.”

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