ASUS ROG Vulcan ANC Headset Review

Conclusion

ASUS ROG Vulcan ANC Headset Review

Conclusion

We've spent a week with the Vulcan ANC as our primary headset, using it for every thing possible from listening to the radio, through movies, VOIP and, of course, gaming.

We can report that the sound quality is fantastic. With 40mm drivers you could expect a slightly tighter frequency response than we are used to from larger drivers, yet the Vulcan ANC was spectacular whether we were listening to soft voices or thumping bass lines. The sweet spot is undoubtedly the midrange, with gunfire, vocals and ambient sounds all being reproduced with crispness and clarity. Indeed the Vulcan ANC is so good that it is one of the rare breed of headsets that can make you hear things you haven't heard before, such is the clarity and space given to every sound. The microphone is equally good, combining excellent placement and focus to ensure that your every utterance is transmitted clearly. As a pure set of headphones it is up there with the very best and with the addition of the good microphone it becomes a very desirable headset.

Comfort is an area we're always keen on and the Vulcan ANC meets the comfort test with complete confidence. Indeed we can't recall a headset being this comfortable to use for hours upon end. It's extremely light and yet has a robustness to the build quality and careful design to allow you to wear it all day if you desire without ever becoming fatigued. We like our ear pieces to fit snuggly for both comfort and passive noise reduction reasons, and the Vulcan nailed this too. There are few things worse than being aware that the top of the ear pieces is pressing hard upon your head and yet the bottom is flapping, but thankfully the Vulcan ANC avoids this issue completely.

As befits a gaming headset designed for LAN parties the Vulcan comes with a very robust carry case and folds down into a compact size. With the microphone being removable you can use them as a pair of headphones when the need arises without having to tolerate your left ear being heavier than the right or having a large microphone sticking out unnecessarily. The removable cable is high quality too, although we'd prefer to see a cloth braid to help with some of the twisting issues we've experienced. Thankfully because it's removable you can swap it out if you wish, but it would have been nicer to not have the need.

The main event is undoubtedly the Active Noise Cancellation that gives the Vulcan ANC its name. You need to be aware that ANC wont stop you being able to hear the person next to you talking, or the television if you're at home, but rather it helps remove the hum that you hear from your system, or an air-con unit. It's not a "make the world silent" switch, but instead it's something that dulls the edges. Unfortunately there is a very steep price to pay and as soon as the ANC is activated the bottom drops out of the sound completely. It's less dubstep and more Motown. The last time we heard something this thin and tinny it was an 80s car stereo. No amount of adjustments with equalisers will remotely give you the lower frequencies back, or indeed bring warmth to the rest of the register. You'd have to be driven completely crazy by ambient humming to even consider turning the ANC on, such is the hefty reduction in sound quality that you experience.

The only other slight niggle we had with the Vulcan ANC is that the height adjustment isn't quite rigid enough. Once on your head they stayed in place perfectly, but when taking them off the ear pieces always slid downwards. A tiny niggle, but if you're taking them on and off regularly it's enough to be worthy of mention.

All in all this is very much a tale of two headsets. Without the Active Noise Cancellation the sound quality is outstanding, some of the best we've heard, and with it turned on it's so thin and tinny that it's sounds like the noise is coming from a box in the next room. In either scenario though it's extraordinarily comfortable, capable of being worn for the whole of a work day without any fatigue or 'hot ear' problems at all. Priced at £80 the Vulcan ANC is excellent enough that you can consider the Active Noise Cancellation to be a free extra, which is probably for the best as it's too detrimental to the sound quality to be used in all but the most extreme circumstances.

So whilst the unique selling point isn't as useful as we'd hope the rest of the ASUS ROG Vulcan ANC Headset is well priced with outstanding audio reproduction and incredible comfort, and thus worthy of our OC3D Gold Award.

    

Thanks to ASUS for supplying the ROG Vulcan ANC headset for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

25-09-2013, 07:13:22

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...113452231l.JPG

Today we're looking at an active noise cancelling headset from ASUS, the ROG Vulcan ANC.


Continue Reading

25-09-2013, 07:38:17

ShaunB-91
Interesting read, deffinelty one to consider when I buy one for my rig. 80 seems reasonable too.

25-09-2013, 07:38:37

Michaeljcox24
Interesting review, I had a pair of Vulcan ANC's and I took them back to the shop. Presentation wise they are the mutts nuts, but I didn't think much of the sound quality at all.

25-09-2013, 07:40:51

ShaunB-91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaeljcox24 View Post
Interesting review, I had a pair of Vulcan ANC's and I took them back to the shop. Presentation wise they are the mutts nuts, but I didn't think much of the sound quality at all.
Did you use them for gaming? Could you comment on the quality in-game such as BF3? I'm looking for something that gives a punch behind the guns, and vehicles.

25-09-2013, 07:49:34

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaeljcox24 View Post
Interesting review, I had a pair of Vulcan ANC's and I took them back to the shop. Presentation wise they are the mutts nuts, but I didn't think much of the sound quality at all.

Bry did say turn off the noise cancelling......

25-09-2013, 08:03:45

SPS
I could have sworn these had already been reviewed when they came out..?

Also these are extremely heavy to wear over a long period of time.

25-09-2013, 08:12:35

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
I'm looking for something that gives a punch behind the guns, and vehicles.
You mean your beats aren't doing it for you?

25-09-2013, 08:14:04

ShaunB-91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
You mean your beats aren't doing it for you?
Lol I doubt they'd be suitable for gaming. They are a bit irritating today actually, compressing my head!

25-09-2013, 08:15:59

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
Lol I doubt they'd be suitable for gaming. They are a bit irritating today actually, compressing my head!
Hate to say I told you so :P

Tbh, headsets are all well and good, but not much touches proper headphones. I'm sure james will say DT770 but I still maintain BF3 (and in a week BF4) sounds utterly superb on AKG's

25-09-2013, 08:20:47

ShaunB-91
The Mixrs are quite uncomfortable, it only takes 15 minutes before your ears are in need of a break. Super super tight fit. They work for running, I've tried it once but not something I'd like to use them for. They also block out all noise so if I run after work through the woods it's quiet and not very safe, but at the weekend when there are runners, cyclists and dog walkers it's okay.

But looking for some that are good for BF before I buy some in-ears for running. My pockets just aren't deep enough. BF4 is so close as well. :|

Edit: What's the price tag on these AKG's?

25-09-2013, 08:23:48

B0GiE
I have the Vulcans and a pair of AKG K451's.

Clarity is much better on the AKG's. ASUS Vulcan's are distincly average imo.

25-09-2013, 08:44:23

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
Edit: What's the price tag on these AKG's?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...rds=AKG%20K702

I have the K702's, I'd advise a Xonar Essence to go with them for best results

25-09-2013, 08:46:00

ShaunB-91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...rds=AKG%20K702

I have the K702's, I'd advise a Xonar Essence to go with them for best results
Oh shizzle, they aren't cheap!

25-09-2013, 08:53:17

Michaeljcox24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Bry did say turn off the noise cancelling......
Yeah even with the noise cancelling off I didn't rate them. It was probably more a case of I wanted some high end head phones, and not a headset - mic combo.

In the end I went to one of those hi fi shops and spent 150 on a pair of quality Gredo's.

For the average joe though (assuming you have fairly small ears) these would be fine.

25-09-2013, 08:55:52

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunB-91 View Post
Oh shizzle, they aren't cheap!
You get what you pay for

The other option is DT770's which are cheaper but are closed back. My research/preference led me to the AKG's. BUT we're totally derailing in here now. This could be discussed elsewhere if necessary.

25-09-2013, 17:22:49

critical
v-moda do a mad cable that integrates a boom mic called the BoomPro. Turns your headphones into a headset. No more sub par gaming experiences.


http://v-moda.com/boompro-microphone/

26-09-2013, 04:01:28

SuB
Or y'know Antlion modmic...

26-09-2013, 14:09:29

critical
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
Or y'know Antlion modmic...
That would work but it also gives you another cable to deal with..

28-09-2013, 02:58:56

Xploited Titan
No fan of noise cancelling technology.

And I have heard enough complaints from people using such headphones, bout the tiring white noise and the feeling their ears are always "under pressure".

They should find something else imho.
Reply
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