Author: Chris Barry
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, September 17th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/asus_vulcan_anc/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
Neoseeker recently took a look at the Sonuz gaming headset from CoolerMaster, and for its $70 price tag we were pretty impressed. However, we also noted that better sounding headsets can be had if the user was willing to pony up a bit more cash. Today we'll be looking at a headset that is almost double the price of the Cooler Master Sonuz, the ASUS Vulcan ANC. With a $120 price tag, we are expecting quite a bit from ASUS' offering!
As you may have already guessed, the ANC stands for Active Noise Cancelling. That's correct, the ASUS Vulcan ANC is the first active noise cancelling headphones made specifically for gamers. If you've got a loud computer, or a roommate that won't stop talking, simply put on your Vulcan ANC headset and turn the noise cancelling on! The removable mic adds versatility and does let the pro gamer headset come across as a headphone more geared toward audiophiles. So let's move on to the testing, and see how much noise these things can produce on their own!
|ASUS VULCAN ANC Specifications|
|Impedance||32 Ohms @ 1kHz|
Maximum > 15 dB
Effective Bandwidth > 600Hz
|Maximum > 30 dB|
|Battery Life||Up to 40 hours (with one AAA battery)|
|Product Dimension||8.1" H x 7.7" W|
The front of the ASUS Vulcan ANC's packaging was mostly black but featured a picture of the headset to provide accents of red, as well as the ROG logo. It was also made very clear below the name of the product that the Vulcan ANC has active noise cancelling capabilities. A flap located at the front of the packaging opens up to reveal a clear window. Through the window you'll be able to see the included black carrying case. Located on the inside of the flap are sketches of the Vulcan ANC.
Flipping the box over reveals the product specifications, as well as a few of its features like the portable design, durable and detachable cable, and In-line volume control. Also listed on the back of the packaging is a list of the contents, and a graph demonstrating how well the ANC works. The side of the package features a few brief statements about the Vulcan ANC translated into many different languages.
The included carrying case is black and extremely durable. One thing I've come to expect from ASUS products is that everything, including the accessories, seem to be of very good quality. Opening up the carrying case reveals the ASUS Vulcan ANC headset neatly folded in the bottom half. The top half of the case contains the detachable microphone and the cord/In-line volume controller.
Once unfolded, the Vulcan ANC actually looks to be extremely comfortable. It also doesn't look ridiculously bulky, so you won't have to feel awkward wearing it. The black and red color scheme, which matches the usual ROG color scheme, also looked very appealing. I was also very pleased to see that the headset was extremely adjustable, which should make it a comfortable fit for almost anyone!
The cable and mic both attach to the headset on the left ear cup. Also located on this left ear cup is the switch to enable or disable the ANC feature, which requires a single AAA battery. This must be installed via the right ear cup.
Now that we've seen how the headset looks, let's put them on and see how they sound!
All I can say here is wow, this headset is definitely comfortable! The ear cups fit nicely around the ears, and the headset is very lightweight so you won't even notice you're wearing it after a while. At first I was a little worried about it sliding off of my head, but this didn't prove to be an issue after adjusting it a bit. The mic meanwhile comes down to a nice distance away from your moth, so you won't have to worry about adjusting it frequently as you speak into it. Not only that, but the headset can easily pass as a nice pair of headphones which can be used on the go with your preferred portable media player.
The ASUS Vulcan ANC worked great with music while the ANC was turned off. I couldn't hear any of the noise from my surroundings even when the ANC was turned off; I couldn't even hear myself clapping. Turning the ANC on definitely had a noticeable effect on the music, however. The bass didn't sound as deep, but it did appear to clean the sound up a bit. The ANC certainly did its job, because I could not hear any surrounding noise even while playing music! The same goes for movies, with ANC turned on there was a slight change in sound quality, but movies remained completely immersive!
This headset was made for gaming and for gamers, and as an ASUS product you can bet it does what it's intended to do! The audio in games was completely immersive, especially because you can keep the external noise out with ANC. The ANC also plays nicer with games, because there was no discernible change in quality, at least not one that I noticed. Gun shots in shooters sounded effective and realistic, and those quiet noises, like footsteps, came through loud and clear!
The Vulcan ANC's microphone performed just as well as the rest of the headset. It did pick up a small amount of background noise, but not enough to cause any real problems during conversation with others.
The ASUS Vulcan ANC was not only a great headset, but one of the better sets of audio headphones I've listened to in a while. The reaction I got from it was kind of like when you first try on the brand name sound canceling headphones at retail. Granted, the ANC on the Vulcan ANC isn't quite as powerful, but I was very impressed and would say they're well worth their factoring in to $120 price tag. In all honesty, I'd actually be willing to pay a bit more for them if only because they double as a great pair of headphones as well.
As far as performance goes, the ASUS Vulcan ANC sounded great! If you're looking for more engaging gaming experiences, a set of these babies is the easiest way to put yourself into a completely immersive environment. Not only that, but they work great for music and movies as well. Plus if you've got an annoying roommate or barking dogs and just want to focus on homework or gaming, simply turn the ANC on and you'll be able to tune out the entire world! The ASUS Vulcan ANC definitely gets two thumbs up from me!
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