ASUS ROG Fusion II 500 gaming headset review

ASUS ROG has some of the best headsets in the game, can the Fusion II 500 continue the streak?

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Ever since ASUS hit the market with its novel Delta S Animate, we’ve been eagerly anticipating its next audio offering, which has finally arrived – the ROG Fusion II 500. It may lack a gimmicky animated display, but does this headset have it where it counts?

ROG Strix 11 Fusion Headset 1
Asus Logo

ASUS ROG Fusion II 500 gaming headset

Connectivity

USB-C (USB-C to USB-A adapter dongle included), 3.5mm

Driver diameter

50mm

Frequency response

20Hz – 40KHz

Pros

Great out-of-the-box sound quality

Very comfortable

Stealthy aesthetic

Accurate 7.1 virtual surround sound

Large amount of hardware controls on headset

Cons

Mic is prone to background noise.

Confusing controls on headset

Tech Specs

Connectivity

USB-C (USB-C to USB-A adapter dongle included), 3.5mm

Driver diameter

50mm

Frequency response

20Hz – 40KHz

Impedance

320 Ohms

Cable length

1.5mm (USB-C), 1.5m (3.5mm)

What’s in the box and setup

  • ROG Fusion II gaming headset
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter dongle
  • Two sets of ear cushions: 1x ROG Hybrid fabric, 1x ROG 100% protein leather
  • 3.5mm Analog cable
  • USB Digital cable
  • Quick start guide

ROG has packed this headset very well, the box is remarkably solid and you can count on it to withstand the rough and tumble journey all the way to your door. It opens like a suitcase and immediately presents you with the headset itself, secured in a soft cradle with a couple of strategically-positioned fabric pads to protect the headband from scratches. After lifting the cradle free of the box, you are greeted by a box of accessories, containing everything you’ll need to get this headset working.

Setup is easy, with plug-and-play support via the included USB Type-C cable. ASUS has also provided a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box. Additionally, you can optionally download ASUS’s Armoury Crate software, however, the headset still functions without it. We do recommend it, however, as it allows you to further tune your experience.

Design

The word ‘stealthy’ comes to mind when trying to describe the Fusion II 500. Almost everything is matte grey plastic and the only instances of flair are three relatively reserved applications of branding, the RGB lighting, and the shiny plastic sections on each side of the headband. These shiny bits should have been metal, as it would have given the headset some additional premium prestige.

The aforementioned branding takes the form of a barely noticeable ‘Republic of Gamers’ logo embossed on the top of the headband, and additional ROG branding on the exterior of each earcup. One takes the form of ROG’s eye symbol, and the other simply reads ‘ROG’. This level of branding doesn’t detract too much from the overall aesthetic and results in a design that’s fairly slick, rather than littered with logos.

Two sets of earcups come in the box, (one leatherette, one fabric), and their designs look so similar that your personal preference between the two will have essentially no effect on how the headset looks. This is a nice addition, that allows the user to further customize their own experience with the Fusion II 500.

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The RGB lighting is well implemented, taking the form of a sort of crescent shape on the back of each earcup. Interestingly, these crescents have thick black lines splitting them into three sections, but these sections aren’t individually addressable, so these black lines serve only to disrupt what would have otherwise been a delightful, unbroken crescent of color. They don’t look bad, but it’s just a weird design decision as we think they’d have looked far cooler without being interrupted by these black lines.

Build quality

Despite the all-plastic construction, ASUS has a headset that feels robust and hard-wearing, the plastics feel premium to the touch and the texture is pleasingly smooth and impressively resistant to scratches. Both sets of earcups are equally impressive and have proven impervious to some fairly rough yanking and prodding with no tears developing during our testing period.

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The headband is a particular stand-out, as it clicks confidently between settings and is reinforced by a strong band of aluminum. We put the headband through its paces with some pretty unrealistic flexing, and it returns to form even after bending it far past any realistic use case scenario, which is a testament to the rigidity of this headset, which is very impressive.

The controls are pretty good, too. Positioned on the rear of both earcups, they feel satisfyingly clicky, though we did miss the supremely premium-feeling volume rocker that was found on the Delta S Animate. It did take a bit of practice to remember what control did what as they all feel identical, with no definition between buttons. So, it can be pretty difficult to get used to, and we ended up taking off the headset to double-check that we tapped on the correct button, which is disappointing. However, it’s worth pointing out that the functionality of the headset can be largely controlled by software so once you’ve set it up to your liking you won’t have to fiddle with the confusing physical controls very often, but we’d have liked to have seen a bit more effort from ASUS.

Sound quality and gaming performance

It’s all well and good having a headset that’s built well and sits comfortably atop your head, but how does it sound?. Out of the box, the soundscape is pretty balanced, perhaps a touch heavy on the bass, but less aggressive on the low end than a lot of gaming headsets. The mix continues to stay reasonably clean even when you get to the top of the volume range too, you do lose a bit of definition in the mids but overall the Fusion II 500 has impressed us.

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The gaming experience is amongst the best we’ve seen recently, with the virtual 7.1 surround sound making it easy to pick out the direction of incoming enemy fire or footsteps, especially if you use the FPS preset in the Armoury Crate software.

Armory Crate isn’t the most user-friendly of software, but the EQ adjustments are simple enough to do and ASUS has provided several presets that avoid the fiddly job of manually modulating frequency ranges. If you’re an audiophile, you can adjust the EQ settings to your liking and save them as a preset. Though, if you’re an audiophile it’s probably not likely that you are going to pick up a gaming headset. This is a handy option to have nonetheless.

The lack of an external mic had a little worried as internal mics are historically worse than the boom-style mic that is standard on gaming headsets. We are pleased to say that this isn’t the case for the Fusion II 500 headset. The mic manages to pick up your voice with surprisingly impressive clarity. There are a few drawbacks, the primary one being the less-than-ideal background noise that the mic tends to pick up, especially in louder environments. There is also a handy roller on the right-hand side of the headset which allows you to adjust the balance between game audio and chat audio, which is a nice touch and makes for convenient and rapid mid-game audio adjustments.

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The decision to forgo the traditional boom mic in favor of an internal mic is somewhat of a double-edged sword: It results in a far cleaner aesthetic and not having to bend or flip a mic up out of the way to eat is a benefit that no gamer can argue with. However, if you’re a competitive gamer who cannot allow the risk of less-than-perfect communication we’d recommend going for a headset with a boom mic. As impressive as the internal mic on these is, it’s still not quite as reliable as external mics are.

Final verdict

It may not tick every box for the most competitive of gamers, but we can’t argue against the build quality and broad soundscape of the Fusion II 500. The headset fits comfortably and has an impressive amount of hardware controls, allowing you to mostly avoid tabbing out to software mid-game. Additionally, we enjoy the cleaner look provided by the internal mic, though its pickup quality does leave a little to be desired for gamers who count on flawless communication.

We also appreciate the 3.5mm jack, as it creates more use cases for this headset. Combined with the clean look of an internal mic, the Fusion II 500 is perfectly capable as a daily driver set of headphones. Its only downsides include the confusing aesthetic of the RGB lighting and the practice needed to navigate the confusing controls without taking the headset off to orient yourself.

ROG Strix 11 Fusion Headset 1
Asus Logo

ASUS ROG Fusion II 500 gaming headset

Connectivity

USB-C (USB-C to USB-A adapter dongle included), 3.5mm

Driver diameter

50mm

Frequency response

20Hz - 40KHz

0 /5
Editor's Rating
4/5

The Fusion II 500 is a good all-rounder in terms of premium headsets, and the internal mic makes for a clean aesthetic but it’s prone to a lack of clarity here and there. The construction and design are nice and not too aggressive, but the RGB lighting could have been implemented better.

Overall, we recommend the Fusion II 500 for those of you who want a gaming headset with outstanding audio, comfort, and build quality