One thing we generally find lacking in even the best gaming headsets is microphone performance. We'd love a headset that truly negates the need for a standalone mic, and that seems to be what Asus is insinuating with its new ROG Strix Go 2.4 (opens in new tab), an interesting headset for a coupe of reasons.
As it pertains to the microphone, noise cancelling is part of the pitch, but Asus says it's using artificial intelligence (AI) to make it better.
"The algorithm draws on a massive, 50-million-record deep learning database and tens of thousands of hours of training to accurately identify and counteract up to 95% of environmental noises. The upshot of this smart technology is that everything from keyboard clatter to background human chatter is virtually eliminated—ensuring crystal-clear in-game voice communication with teammates," Asus says.
If you head over to the product page and scroll down about a third of the way, you can listen to a trio of audio samples comparing passive noise cancellation, environmental noise cancellation, and AI-powered noise cancellation. The AI-based clip sounds markedly better, though we'll reserve judgement until we've had a chance to test it for ourselves.
Asus also created the above video showcasing the noise cancellation technology in an extremely noise environment. It does appear to let through some breathing and other sounds that might be a bit distracting, but considering the recording was done at a busy tradeshow (Gamescom?), it's still pretty impressive.
Outside of the mic, the ROG Strix Go 2.4 makes a splash as a lightweight (290 grams) headset built for gaming on the PC and on the go. It's a wireless headset with a 2.4GHz USB-C dongle, and if you happen to own a Nintendo Switch, it works with that. Same goes for smartphones, like Asus's own ROG Phone. According to Asus, it's the first headset with USB-C 2.4GHz RF technology, and as far as I'm aware, that's true. It also comes with a USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter, and can connect via a 3.5mm cable.
- Drivers—40mm neodymium
- Impedance—32 Ohm
- Frequency response—10-40,000Hz 3.5mm, 20-20,000Hz wireless
- Battery life—up to 25 hours
I'm told by Asus the ROG Strix Go 2.4 will be available in December for £159.99 (so it will arrive after the splash of Black Friday deals). I've reached out to Asus and asked if it will also launch in the US at the same time, and what the MSRP will be when/if it does. I'll update this article when I hear back.