Knowing exactly where your opponent is can make all the difference between winning and losing. That’s why gaming headsets are such a crucial piece of the gaming gear puzzle and the Strix Headset does this with a full hardware implementation of discrete drivers for a full surround 360 headset. At the heart of each ear cup, there’s an impressive 5 neodymium-magnet drivers for accurate audio positioning.
- Thunderous 60mm drivers – Precise positioning and immersive game audio
- Plug-and-play USB audio station – Intuitive in-game audio controls
- Environmental noise cancellation – Clear in-game communication
- Four game-audio spectrum profiles – Brilliant immersion for first-person shooter (FPS), racing and action/role-playing games (RPG)
The ASUS Strix 7.1 stands out with it’s bold outlandish “owl” design, with orange LED glow accents, which blends well with the rest of the Strix gear. The headset itself is rather heavy, but more than makes up for it with a strong sturdy build, and also comfortable to wear with leather padding around the ears and top of head. Some other reviewers had noted that the headset felt like clamps on the side of your face, but I was able to wear it for a good duration without feeling uncomfortable. The cable is braided and offers a useful 1.5m in length to the control unit, which is then connected to your PC via USB. These headsets can only be used with a computer / PC though.
The separate control unit audio station allows for on the fly volume adjustments as well as access to surround sound modes and noise cancellation effects. The audio station serves as a USB sound card, and it is detected as a 7.1 speaker system in Windows, with individual speaker access. Also setup is driverless, everything is configured through the audio station.The mic is detachable and allows for clear in game communication.
While these are a pair of gaming headphones, the experience for music and movies is quite positive, though not exactly audiophile quality. It offered a good range of frequency response and excellent sound isolation with the ear cups. It handled well across a plethora of different audio files and have a balanced audio representation, especially when you disable all additional EQ-enhancements.
It’s the 7.1 surround mode which is more interesting. The presence of separate drivers does help to make localised sounds more distinct, and the overall experience to be more immersive, especially in first person shooting games or movies. However, due to the close location of all the drivers, positioning of the headset around your ears is extremely important and once you stray out of the sweet spot, audio balance can go off rather easily.
At $239, it is an expensive headset, but has useful features such as the discrete 7.1 channels, audio station control that make it rather appealing to gamers. The driverless nature also make it convenient to bring along for LAN parties as part of your gaming gear. I’m not too keen to look like an owl, but otherwise, this Asus Strix 7.1 is a decent full surround gaming headset, which isn’t all that common in the market.