Strix 7.1 Review: Pumped Up with more Power

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We’ve seen more gaming headsets that are having upgrades. Now ASUS’s Strix headset series will also be joining the upgrade spree, packed with 7.1 surround audio, will the Strix 7.1 topple all the gaming headset competitors for its powerhouse features? We’ll soon find out.

Here is the specifications of the Strix 7.1:

  • Connector: USB
  • Platform: PC/MAC

Headphones

  • 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
  • Frequency Response (headphones): 20 ~ 20000 Hz

Microphone

  • Pick-up Pattern: Uni-directional
  • Frequency Response: 50 ~ 16000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40 dB

General Info

  • Cable: Braided fibre cable (headset cable 1.5M + USB cable 1.5M = 3M (Max.)
  • Cable Length: 3 meter
  • Weight: 450 g
  • Accessories:
  • Detachable microphone
  • USB cable
  • Quick start guide
  • USB audio station
  • HDMI-to-3.5mm speaker splitter cable

Note

  • Audio station
  • ENC performance: >90% environmental noise cancellation
  • Power: USB powered
  • Features: Headphone amplifier, stereo mode, environmental noise cancellation, game audio spectrum profiles
  • Speaker output: speaker jack with HDMI-to-3.5mm speaker splitter cable included

 

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In terms for the design, the Strix 7.1 is strikingly similar to the original Strix Pro headset; stylish and futuristic, the only slight difference is the illuminated lights for the drivers on each side. The design is already good enough to make an impression to target consumers so it’s great to see that ASUS did not make any drastic changes, and that means it is still the same heavy headset that some might not like. But like the Strix Pro, the weight compliments it by being a sturdy built headset, giving you a durable gear without the worry of breaking it after several uses.

Surprisingly the Strix 7.1 boasts a total of 10 neodymium-magnet drivers, so there are 5 drivers in each ear (two 40mm drivers for front and sub, two 20mms for the side and rear and a 30mm for the center), giving you a true 7.1 surround audio experience.

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Replacing the audio control box is the USB audio station, this large black hexagon object is the power source and sound processor for the headset. It has all the necessary features to optimize your audio experience, it has the volume control that lets you adjust the different channels from the front, rear, side, center and even the sub-woofer, it even has a toggle switch that lets you change from 2.1 to 7.1 and an amplifier switch for those who want more loudness to their audio, you can even select a spectrum presets (ranging from FPS, Racing, Action and footsteps) depending on the gamer you are playing to help optimize your gaming performance, and you can also select the type of lighting effect for your headset, whether it’s in stationary or a breathing effect.

You may notice that the USB station only has HDMI ports, that’s because the Strix 7.1’s headset only has a HDMI cable, which is a downside however, as it just made unusable to any other devices such as smartphones, tablets and even gaming consoles, which is an opposite to the Stix Pro, which is compatible to a lot of these devices. The speaker output also lets you use any 3rd party speakers with the audio station as the package includes an adapter for the HDMI port and you can toggle from using the headset or a speaker with a press of a button.

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In terms of performance, the Strix 7.1 can produce good amount of bass and treble, giving a balanced audio pleasure and when the 7.1 function is activated, it really upped the audio quality even on a default preset. But when switching to a different spectrum preset, things started to get interesting especially for gaming.

Each preset is catered to different scenarios and games that could potentially enhance your playing style, the FPS footstep preset enhances the footstep audio, giving you the advantage in pinpointing enemy locations for strategic planning, and this preset is recommended for shooters with a more tactical gameplay such as Rainbow Six and Counter Strike. The FPS Gunfire preset is catered more to shooting games that has more action, which means more gunfires and explosions, this preset improved the channels for explosions and louder gunshots that enhances your audio pleasure in games like Battlefield and Call of Duty. The racing preset is more on improving the audio for engine noise and tire screech to further heighten the audio experience in racing games. And finally the Action/RPG preset is more on improving the audio channels for the voiced dialogues and special effects (magic spells, sword impacts, etc.), in which RPGs and Action games are more known for.

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The Strix 7.1 also produces great audio when watching videos and listening to music, which makes this headset a versatile gear for all around purpose. You can even turn off the Spectrum preset and just use the default preset for videos and music to your liking and you can still enjoy the quality. A surprising feature is that the USB audio station has a hidden microphone that is used to detect any environmental noise (from TV noise, keyboard clicking noise and even mouse button noise) and then adjusts the volume on your headset to provide optimal noise cancellation. The detachable microphone returns with the Strix 7.1 and still offered the same voice recording quality from the Strix Pro, it still matches well in the headset design plus it is flexible and can be adjusted to the user’s desire.

The Strix 7.1 is a great gaming headset for anyone who wants to experience an eargasm on their games, its versatility in terms of audio quality for different media also makes this a good headset outside of gaming. Though some hardcore audiophiles may not pick the Strix 7.1 as their top choice, as it lacks the compatibility to other devices outside from the PC and it still retain head fatigue issue with the previous Strix Pro. But regardless of these problems, the Stix 7.1 is a solid headset especially when used for gaming. So if you are looking for a PC dedicated gaming headset and some spare cash, then the Strix 7.1 is for you.

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