Asus R.O.G. Vulcan ANC review
There are of course two key features beyond the comfort of a headset that makes it a great product or a completely useless one, the transducers (speakers) and the microphone. In case of the drivers we're looking at a pair of 40mm moving coil drivers (the most common type in headphones of this type), also known as dynamic drivers. Asus makes some claims about a fine tuned chamber space inside the ear cups and we'll have to take their word on this one as we're not audio technicians and couldn't say if it was a good design or not even if we would've torn the headset apart. What we can say though is that the Vulcan ANC produces very clear mids and highs and it's a great headset for both voice communications and gaming where you need to be able to pin-point sounds.
What did surprise us though was the lack of bass, although the Vulcan ANC is far from the worst headset or headphones we've ever heard, we expected the 40mm drivers to produce a lot more bass. This means that the Vulcan ANC's aren't great for listening to music with heavy bass tracks or for games where the music track is key to the overall ambiance of the game. That said, we feel that Asus has gone the right way here as we think it's more important to have a clear sounding headset for gaming rather than a really bass heavy one.
What about the microphone then? Well, it produced very clear sound, at least based on several Skype calls using it, as the people we spoke to said it sounded much better than our regular headset. The fact that the mic is removable makes the Vulcan ANC much more usable as a pair of headphones as well, as you don't have to worry about the microphone being in your way all the time. We're not so keen on the stiffness and limited adjustment range of the mic though, as it felt like it was too far away from our mouth, but no-one was complaining that it sounded muffled or too far away, so this is most likely just a matter of perception.
On top of everything else, Asus has also added a detachable cable for the Vulcan ANC and this not only makes it easy to transport the headset in the included carrying case, but it also means it should be possible to get a replacement cable if for some reason you'd end up breaking the cable. There's a mic mute switch and a volume control located on the cable, but we'd like this to be a little bit higher up on the cable, especially as there's a clip on the back that allows for it to be attached to your clothes. The current location of the volume control adds too much cable between it and the headset and there's no need for that much slack. An interesting little feature at the end of the cable is a storage compartment for the mic jack for when you want to use the Vulcan ANC's as a pair of headphones rather than a headset.