Asus RoG Vulcan Pro Gaming Headset Review


Today we are going to look at Asus’ latest gaming headset in the Republic of Gamers line, the Vulcan Pro.  It’s very similar in design to the Vulcan ANC but with two differences.  It boasts a slightly different microphone which is longer and easier to adjust and is supplied with an external USB sound card which features virtual surround sound and a built in headphone amplifier.
Over the past few years there has been a substantial growth in the number of manufacturers offering a range of gaming peripherals on the market.  Last year we looked at Asus’ first attempt at a gaming headset under their Republic of Gamers brand, the Vulcan ANC.  We were very impressed with what it had to offer so we gave it our most prestigious ‘Must Have’ award.
Features
  • Exclusive ROG Spitfire USB audio processor – driver-free hardware DSP (digital signal processor).
  • 7.1 virtual surround, headphone amplifier, and FPS EQ one-click gaming sound enhancement modes.
  • World’s only active noise cancellation created specifically for gaming reduces 85% low frequency noise, especially from PC components.
  • 30dB passive noise cancellation of high frequency environmental noise and human voice.
  • Neodymium magnet drivers deliver crystal-clear directional audio detail.
  • Ultra-soft cushions made from memory foam and breathable Japanese protein leather for long-lasting comfort.
Specification
  • Driver Driver Diameter: 40 mm
  • Driver Material: Neodymium magnet
  • Frequency Response Headphone: 20 ~ Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Input Sensitivity: -42 dB
  • Cable Length: 2.5 metre
  • Distortion (T.H.D): 0.01%
  • Noise Cancelling Performance
    Active: Maximum > 15 dB : 85 % ambient noise cancellation
    Passive : Maximum > 30 dB
  • Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 7 cm
  • Weight: 326 g
Asus supply the Vulcan Pro in a very good quality cardboard box which is decorated in the distinctive red Republic of Gamers livery.  The front of the box features an image of the headset alongside some a list of key features.
The front of the box is actually a door which opens to reveal a window through which you can see the included case.  The headset is supplied within the case for extra protection during transit.
Turning the box around reveals a lot of detailed information about the headset including a list of specifications and a breakdown of the key features.  These are illustrated with a series of images.
We are quite impressed by the included bundle which is reasonably plentiful.  It includes a carrying case for transport, a detachable microphone, a USB sound card, the headset cable and a user guide.
The styling of the Vulcan Pro reminds us a little of Asus’ range of Republic of Gamers motherboards as it features a black and red colour scheme.  The majority of the headset is finished in matte black with gloss red being reserved for the edge of the earcups.
On the back of the earcups there are brushed aluminium effect inserts which features large Republic of Gamers emblems.  These give the headset a more sophisticated appearance.
Underneath one of inserts we can install a battery which enables the Active Noise Cancelling feature of the headset.  This insert can easily be removed by pressing the button on the bottom of the earcup.
The build quality of the headset is quite good and the materials used in construction feel generally solid.  We do think that there are better built headsets on the market for similar money, though.
As we mentioned earlier in the review, the Vulcan Pro is supplied with a substantial carrying case which should do a good job of protecting the headset if you take it to LAN events such as Multiplay’s i46.  Inside the case there is plenty of room for all the bits and pieces that go along with the headset.
The headset cable is completely detachable and plugs into the left earcup using a single 3.5mm connector.  At the other end of the cable it breaks out into separate 3.5mm connectors for headphone input and microphone output.  In the middle of the cable there is a small controller which lets you adjust the volume of the headset.
These two connectors can be plugged into the sound card which plugs into your PC using a USB connector.  This sound card features three buttons.  These are to enable the FPS mode, the Surround Sound mode and the Amplifier mode.
The microphone also plugs into the left earcup of the headset and can easily be adjusted to achieve the best performance.
Like most headsets on the market, the Vulcan Pro is adjustable on both sides which makes it easy to achieve a comfortable fit.  The headset is also very lightweight at 326g.  It’s very easy to forget it’s there, even after extended periods of use.
The leatherette earpads are very soft indeed and fell great around your ears.  These are quite comfortable to use for long periods of time but they can get a little sweaty in hotter conditions.
Asus has also padded the headband which distributes the weight of the headset evenly across your head when it’s adjusted correctly.  This further enhances the comfort of the headset.
The stand out feature of the Vulcan Pro is the Active Noise Cancelling technology that also featured on the original Vulcan ANC headset.  This is enabled using the small switch on the underside of the left earcup.
We were quite impressed with the performance of the active noise cancelling technology.  Obviously it doesn’t block out external noisecompletely but there was a noticeable reduction in noise with ANC enabled.  It seemed to block out lower pitch sounds much better than higher pitches which is ideal for dulling out the drone of fans in a system.
Moving on to the gaming performance of the headset, we were very impressed.  The FPS mode on the USB sound card does a good job of optimising the sound balance of the headset for this type of game.  This, combined with the virtual surround sound, makes an ideal headset for FPS gamers.
The sound produced from the headset is very clear and is slightly biased towards the lower registers.  This makes it ideal for listening to bass heavy music.  The virtual surround sound also shows its benefits when watching movies, improving sound directionality considerably.
We are very impressed with what the Asus Republic of Gamers Vulcan Pro headset has to offer.  We’re glad to see that Asus are building on the strengths of their original Vulcan ANC headset.
The Vulcan Pro offers great sound quality and is perfect for FPS gaming when you use the USB sound card.  The FPS mode and virtual surround sound features really enhance the gaming experience.
We also like the headphone amplifier feature which boosts volume to an impressive level.  This is one of the loudest headsets we’ve tested and we’re happy to say that sound quality doesn’t suffer even when you crank up the volume.
We love the design of the headset and the red and black colour scheme is sure to win favour with gamers.  Build quality isn’t quite top grade, but is far from bad.  The materials used in construction feel solidly put together and it’s great to see Asus including a braided cable.
At a price of £100 from CCL the Vulcan Pro is quite expensive and will only be available to those with big budgets.  We feel it’s worth the money as the FPS mode and virtual surround sound really enhance the experience compared to the original Vulcan ANC.  If you don’t require these features or have a restricted budget, you can buy the Vulcan ANC for £70 from Overclockers UK.
Pros
  • Attractive design.
  • FPS mode.
  • Headphone amplifier.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Quality carrying case.
Cons
  • Quite expensive.
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