Gaming

Flashy and comfy USB-C gaming headset

The Asus ROG Delta comes with a converter cable with a USB Type-A connector that lets you use it with computers and game consoles.
The Asus ROG Delta comes with a converter cable with a USB Type-A connector that lets you use it with computers and game consoles.

The writing is on the wall for the venerable 3.5mm audio jack. Smartphone-makers are ditching it for the USB-C connector in most recent models.

USB-C wired headphones, though, are still a rarity, with only a handful of them out there. Even rarer - a USB-C gaming headset.

Asus is tackling this gap in the market with the ROG Delta, a USB-C gaming headset that works across all types of devices.

It connects to modern smartphones via USB-C and comes with a converter cable with a USB Type-A connector that lets you use the headset with computers and game consoles.

You are out of luck, though, if your phone has a 3.5mm jack but not a USB-C port.

The 1m-long converter cable and the headset's 1.5m integrated cable are long enough that I can use the headset while seated at my sofa, some distance away from my game console.

It is made from aluminium and feels well-built. The ear cups can be rotated 90 degrees, reducing the bulk slightly for storage. The left ear cup has a volume rocker and a switch to turn off the headset's RGB LEDs.

  • SPECS

    PRICE: $399

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz - 40kHz

    DRIVERS: 50mm

    WEIGHT: 387g

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The D-shaped ear cups fit well. They do not get warm easily because the cushions use a well-ventilated mesh design. An extra set of ear cushions made from synthetic leather is included.

Noise isolation is good too. But I had to take a break after a couple of hours because of the clamping pressure on my ears. Its well-padded headband, though, stayed comfy throughout.

Asus says the Delta has four digital-to-analogue converters (DAC). Each converter is responsible for processing a range of audio frequencies, which are then combined to offer a cleaner sound than headphones with a single DAC.

Unlike some gaming headsets, it does not have surround sound to enable positional audio effects in games for greater immersion.

Asus says that surround sound would increase the power consumption, which is not ideal for a headset that may be used with a smartphone.

Its excellent stereo experience helps to make up for the lack of surround sound. I could distinguish between the left and right audio channels to locate enemies in a shooting game.

Audio is clear and well-balanced, without the overbearing bass produced by some gaming headsets.

Unsurprisingly, for a gaming headset, the ear cups have flashy RGB LEDs that can glow and pulse according to specific lighting schemes controlled using the ROG Armoury desktop app. There is no mobile app equivalent now.

I find it a hassle to install the app especially for the headphones. Those with more than one Asus product may have reason to do so as the app can synchronise the behaviour of the LEDs across all compatible Asus devices.

The detachable microphone lights up when it is muted. It is flexible enough that it can be twisted to be closer to your mouth. The microphone picked up my voice and transmitted it loud and clear.

•Verdict: Designed to work with the latest devices, this gaming headset offers good balanced audio for games, music and videos.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Flashy and comfy USB-C gaming headset '. Print Edition | Subscribe