ASUS Strix 7.1 Review – Almost the polar opposite of the ATH-R70x headset, the ASUS Strix 7.1 comes with all the bells and whistles you associate with gaming headsets. There are lights, EQs, an attached mic and a flashy design that makes the headset look something akin to a giant owl that is disappointed with your chosen lifestyle, no matter what it might be. To say the headset is huge is something of an understatement. It weighs in at 350g minus the cable and has huge ear cups, complete with giant orange “eyes” that can be set to breathe or simply glow orange. The size of the headset makes sense when you take into account everything in it, however. The Strix 7.1 headset provides real, not virtual 7.1 surround sound, and you need a lot of realestate to fit all of those neodymium drivers. There are 10 in all – two 40mm pairs for the front speakers and sub, a 30mm pair for centre speakers and two 20mm pairs providing the grunt for the rear and side channels. The upside of the ear cups being so huge is that even the biggest ears should fit inside them comfortably, the downside being that the cups do have a tendency to press on the hinge of the jaw, making them progressively less comfortable over a prolonged gaming session.
The most impressive feature of the Strix 7.1 isn’t the headset, but rather the appealingly chunky control box it attaches to. Inside this box is a sound card and a host of easy controls for volume and settings. The Strix has four preset game modes to choose from that tweak the EQ to suit a chosen style of gaming. FPS gives a boost to the bass and low range making gunfire punchier and the Footstep Enhancer does the opposite, boosting the mid and upper ranges to enhance background noises. Both the Action/RPG and Racing presets focus on the mid ranges, with the Action/ RPG setting focussing on the higher mid-range to accentuate dialogue and soundtrack and Racing focussing on the lower mid-range to make engine noises gruntier. The mic works well for the most part, but if you used the environmental noise cancelling built into the control box (inconveniently hidden on the bottom of the unit) it does sometimes identify your voice as environmental noise and try to occlude it. Speakers can be passed through the control box, giving them access to the EQs and simple controls. It’s a neat touch that’s much appreciated.
If you’re looking for surround sound in a gaming headset, virtualisation will never be as good as the real thing, but you have to pay for it. The Strix 7.1 isn’t a cheap headset but the sound quality is excellent if you’re looking for an immersive soundscape and don’t mind your headset being tied to your PC or looking like an angry raptor has perched on your head to judge all you current and future misdeeds.
- Great control box
- Good sound
- Huge and plastic
ASUS Strix 7.1 Specifications
- Connector USB
- Driver diameter : Front : 40 mm, Subwoofer : 40 mm, Center : 30 mm, Side : 20 mm, Rear : 20 mm
- Driver material : Neodymium magnet
- Impedance 32 Ohm ± % @ Hz
- Cable Braided fibre cable (headset cable 1.5M + USB cable 1.5M = 3M (Max.)
- Cable Length 3 meter
- Weight 450 g
- Detachable microphone
- USB cable
- Quick start guide
- USB audio station
- HDMI-to-3.5mm speaker splitter cable
- Product Page : https://www.asus.com/Sound/STRIX_71/
- Price $249