It's rare that a set of cans is versatile enough for gaming, music, and talking on the phone, so we've become accustomed to switching out our headsets based on the device we're using. But you only have one set of ears, so why do you need multiple headsets?
The ROG Strix Fusion 700 headset is designed to connect to all sorts of different devices, and it can do so via a wired connection or a wireless one. Sometimes, it can do both at once, giving you tremendous flexibility in what you’re listening to, and how and where you’re doing it.
[Insert “one headset to rule them all” joke here]
A gaming headset's principal use is for drowning out the world around you while you lose yourself in your favorite games, and the Strix Fusion 700 is designed to work for any type of gaming. The headset’s USB 2.0 connector supports PCs and Macs as well as the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. However, its Bluetooth 4.2 capabilities ensure that you can connect wirelessly to a host of other devices, including your phone. I’ve been using the Fusion 700 for a few weeks now, and it’s easy for me to leave it on my head and just swap around the devices I’m using at any given time. I keep it plugged into my PC via USB while playing games, but I can quickly switch to a phone call, or unplug and play a podcast from my phone while doing chores around the house.
Usually when I’m using a wireless headset, I’m constantly minding the battery life. But because the Fusion 700’s battery promises to hold out for more than eight hours even with its RGB lighting ablaze (and more than double that with the lights off), I never concerned myself with how much time I spent on Bluetooth. I just got in the habit of reconnecting the cable every time I sat back down at my desk.
The flexibility is handy for more than switching between activities. The headset can handle USB audio and Bluetooth at once, so you can simultaneously listen to your game and stream music from your phone. You can even keep up a chat conversation via Discord on your phone while you’re gaming, saving precious bandwidth for the actual gameplay. And if needed, you can answer your phone in the midst of the action, too.
Take a call without getting fragged
Being able to take calls in the middle of a firefight is useful only if you can do it without getting blasted by your enemies. The Fusion 700’s touch controls make it easy (to take the calls that is, not get fragged). When the headset is connected to your phone via Bluetooth, you can answer an incoming call by quickly tapping in the middle of the left earcup. You don’t have to pick up your phone or pull off your headset, so you can keep blasting through your favorite title while you chat with whomever dared to disturb your sacred gaming reverie.
When I picked up a call, the person on the line had no idea I was in the midst of a game, despite all the explosions and gunfire that I could hear on my end. We could hear each other talking as clear as a bell. The digital boom mic stays inconspicuously tucked away around the front edge of the left earcup. When you need it, you can flip it down with a quick sweep of the finger. When you want it out of the way, or to mute your voice, flip it back up.
The ability to stay in touch with the outside world is useful, though my favorite setup was playing music on my phone while gaming on my PC and letting the mix of sweet tunes and machine gun fire carry me away from the real world. I plugged the headset into my PC via USB and connected to my phone via Bluetooth. I liked having the soundtrack on top of the gameplay, and the ability to control the volume and tracks without having to fuss with anything on my actual PC allowed me to focus on the game.
When not gaming, the ROG Strix Fusion 700’s onboard media controls make controlling apps like Spotify or YouTube a breeze. To skip a track, you just swipe forward, and to pause a video, you tap the center of the left earcup. Cranking up the jams is intuitive, too. Volume is adjusted by swiping up and down, so I got pretty used to swiping up and holding my finger there until my ears couldn’t take the growing volume.
Delivering the goods
Any gaming headset needs to be comfortable enough to wear for a prolonged period. Ideally, it should be snug enough to stay in place without being so tight that you’re constantly aware of your headphones. The Fusion 700 headset strikes just the right balance with a tight fit that doesn’t crush my skull. It was refreshing to be able to wear these cans not just while sitting at my desk, but while working around the house or in the yard.
The headset comes with two different types of earcup covers, one made of protein-leather and one a fabric mesh. Although it’s generally accepted that protein-leather has a nicer feel, it can get hot after long sessions. Personally, I found the protein-leather earcup covers perfectly comfortable, but the mesh covers will ensure that your ears won’t be dripping with sweat after a long gaming session or work day at your desk. Both options have leather on the inner part of the cups so as to keep the sounds balanced, and the earcups are large and oval shaped to better accommodate the size and contours of the human ear. The head strap is sturdy with thick extensions that have a metal layer on top. You get the sense that you could throw these things across the room in a ragequit, and they wouldn’t break. (Disclaimer: Please don’t try that at home.)
Lots of gaming headsets have loud colors that are generally too flashy for everyday life, but the Fusion 700’s styling is discreet enough for your commute or listening to tunes while you work. The black and gunmetal gray colors are set off by the glossy, metallic-looking earcups. They’re totally smooth, shiny, and free of any lettering, and they cleverly hide the touch controls.
When it’s time to light ‘em up, RGB illumination augments the slick looks with large lit-up sections on both earcups. Because the Strix Fusion 700 is Aura Sync-enabled, you can synchronize its lighting with other supported devices, like your mouse and keyboard. You can control the RGB and effects via the Aura Sync software on your PC, but it’s even easier to do so via the Aura Headset app on your phone. The app’s lighting controls even work over Bluetooth.
Bigger, better sound
The strong construction and smart ergonomics extends to the speaker quality. Along with larger-than-usual pads, bigger chambers allow for more air, which gets you a wider soundstage. An airtight seal ensures less audio leakage and reduces vibration.
The Strix Fusion 700 has its own ESS 9018 DAC and 9601 amplifier, which are similar to the audio goodness packed into our higher-end motherboards, and are perfect for high-definition audio. The audio quality is consistently high, unaffected by whatever noisy nonsense would otherwise be introduced by the onboard DAC from connected devices.
To further ensure consistency and balance between each earcup, every pair of speakers is carefully matched. Because there’s a variance of up to 3dB whenever speakers roll off the production line, it’s possible that you could get left and right ones that are 6dB off from one another. We measure the variance of each speaker and pair the ones with similar profiles to create a more consistent stereo image.
You can switch from stereo mode to 7.1 virtual sound at the touch of a button. Using an algorithm we developed along with Bongiovi Acoustics, the Fusion 700 is specially tuned for immersive sound in titles like PUBG, Fortnite, CS:GO, and Overwatch. It’s striking to toggle back and forth between the two modes in the middle of a game; with 7.1 virtual sound on, you get a much more pronounced spatial sense, which can give you an edge when you’re trying to figure out where the enemy is coming from.
||Strix Fusion 700
||$219.99 USD / $277.19 CAD
Head of the family
The ROG Strix Fusion 700 is the biggest brother in our latest family of headsets, joining the ROG Strix Fusion 500 and Strix Fusion 300 to complete the trio. They all share several traits, including the extra earcups covers, airtight chambers and large drivers, 7.1 virtual surround, and more. The ROG Strix Fusion 500 also has the 700’s ESS DAC and amp, RGB lighting, digital boom mic, and touch controls, but only the Fusion 700 has Bluetooth connectivity for wirelessly connecting to your phone.
You can snag the Strix Fusion 700 for $219.99 USD and $277.19 CAD from the North American retailers listed above. Ask your local ROG rep for details about pricing and availability in other regions.