Asus ROG Strix Fu­sion 500

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PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech // Reviews - PRICE $ 329 www.asus.com/au

Here’s

a fine ex­am­ple of the Aus­tralia tax at work. In the US, the Fu­sion 500 head­set is $179.99, or about $228 lo­cally. Be­cause we are where we are on the globe, when the head­set launches lo­cally in April, it’s go­ing to be val­ued at $329. Way more than the ex­change rate, equat­ing to about $259 USD. That’s a prob­lem, be­cause the head­set goes from be­ing at the top end of PC gam­ing head­sets to the realm of Sennheiser, Bose, Au­dio Tech­nica and the like – com­pa­nies with decades of ex­pe­ri­ence cre­at­ing high-end head­phones. When com­pared to the sound qual­ity of head­phones in the price range, like the ex­cel­lent Sennheiser 373D, Ars Tech­nica ATH-M70X, Bose Qui­etCom­fort 25. Granted the Ars Tech­nica and Bose head­sets don’t do vir­tual sur­round or have a mic, but the Sennheis­ers do, and they’re cheaper to boot.

Don’t get us wrong. The Fu­sion 500 head­set sounds great thanks to a HiFi DAC and amp tuned by Bon­giovi Acous­tics. Leav­ing aside the op­por­tu­ni­ties for Liv­ing on a Prayer jokes, the head­set de­liv­ers some ex­cel­lent stereo as well as vir­tual 7.1. As is the case with most vir­tual sur­round, it does sap some power from the bass, but not to a de­gree that it be­comes prob­lem­atic. The on-ear touch con­trols are a lit­tle too fid­dly to be sat­is­fy­ing, and the light­ing, which can be synced up with other Fu­sion 500 head­sets (for Es­ports teams and the like) is a cool, if some­what tar­geted idea. The Fu­sion 500 is a very good gam­ing head­set, but it’s way too ex­pen­sive for what’s on of­fer. DANIEL WILKS

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