ASUS ROG Cetra Review: Tailor-made for gamers
Following the widespread popularity of wireless headsets, wires have somehow become inconsistent. Audio companies, across all budgets, are focusing their time and resources on creating wireless headsets that not only sound and look but also when it comes to latency, especially since mobile gaming is attracting a lot of attention. However, most gamers, especially at the competitive level, still prefer their latency-free wired replicas. To that end, Taiwanese company ASUS recently launched an in-ear wired pair of gaming headphones designed primarily for gamers. These are the ASUS ROG Cetra gaming earphones equipped with lucrative features like Active Noise Cancellation, Ambient Sound Mode, USB-C Connectivity, High-Race Audio Compatibility and even Lights! Priced at Rs 7,699, the headphones make gaming screams just when you look at them and can show cross-platform compatibility on PCs, mobile phones, laptops and even the Nintendo Switch. Let’s find out how ASUS ROG Cetra works in our review.
Construction and comfort
The ASUS ROG Cetra in-ear headphones are stylistically designed to match the aesthetics of the gamer. Earphones are primarily black in color with the outer lining of earbuds in which the ROG logo is highlighted red when they are plugged into the source device. Speaking of the source device, the earphones draw power from the connected device which gives ANC functionality and power to the light.
The earbuds feature a rather conventional design with an angle nozzle and silicone buds at the end for fit and comfort. However, they come with silicone wings or fins to further improve the fit. ASUS has packed three sizes of silicone ear tips (S, M, L) and an extra pair of memory-foam tips, which was our favorite. Earbuds are comfortable, ergonomic and fit most ears due to the number of ear tips options. The box also has a small carry case and a shirt-clip
The cable length is a generous 1.25 meters which is more than enough for laptop and mobile users and even enough for PC users. The wire, however, is not braid or nylon, which is disappointing at this price point. The in-line module of the earphones has controls for Active Noise Cancellation, Ambient Mode, Playback, Volume and Call. There is also a microphone on the cable.
The in-line remote and microphone unit are made of plastic and look a bit rough around the edges. The buttons, in particular, feel quite plastic and quite indomitable. We’ve often seen the button press a little more than we like. Still, the controls work fine and are intuitive enough. At the other end, the earphones have a USB Type-C connector that is not angled Overall, the earphones make the gaming aesthetically pleasing and a bit of a well-built but tight-knit control experience on the in-line remote.
Two of the biggest headlining features employed by the ASUS ROG Cetra are the Active Noise Cancellation and the Ambient Sound mode. The company has added a separate microphone for the ANC to the earphones. While these earphones aren’t as impressive as the ANC Sony and Apple’s premium on-the-ear headphones and the real wireless earphones, it’s enough to significantly eliminate some of the confusion, such as AC drones, PC hum, and more. The ROG Cetra’s ANC works best with low-frequency, consistent sound, and has trouble sinking high-frequency, irregular, such as a mechanical keyboard or high-speed fan. Unfortunately, we’ve found that when you’re around, the microphone touches your clothes and makes a lot of cable noise.
Ambient sound works quite well and significantly amplifies the background sounds to a point where you can hear them playing music at about 40-50 percent volume. Although we don’t use ambient sound mode like ANC mode since we’re working from home, it’s a good idea to have this feature available when we need it in the future.
Now, if you use ASUS ROG Cetra in-ear headphones with your laptop or PC, you can install Armory II software that offers additional controls and customization. The software is equipped with an adjustable EQ, bit rate and frequency response control, sound preset and a virtual surround sound toggle. You can create different types of profiles for different games and apply them as needed. The software is not available as an app for mobile phones
In addition, as mentioned above, earphones can be used across platforms such as mobile phones, PCs, Macs, laptops and Nintendo Switch. If your phone or laptop doesn’t come with a USB-C connector, you might consider buying an ASUS ROG Cetra Core that comes with a 3.5mm connector, albeit without an ANC. Note that ASUS states that Android phone compatibility is limited to a list of phones mentioned on the official product page, however, the earphones have worked with full functionality on our test device – Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, even on our secondary device – Pocofone F1, which is not mentioned in the official list. .
Performance: Gaming and music
Featuring a 10.8mm dynamic driver with 20-40,000Hz frequency response, the ASUS ROG Cetra certainly sounds like they were tuned specifically for gaming. Earphones have excellent staging and separation features that make games like Call of Duty: Mobile Sound positional-accurate and dynamic. The wide soundstage allows for accurate positioning of gun shots and footprints, and the threefold response emphasizes the sound of the shots. In other games like the Asphalt 9 which has a distinctive background score, the ROG Cetra was not as impressive, but somewhat better than the standard wired earphones. Also, with background music and cacophony of in-game sound, the otherwise great directional signals have diminished somewhat.
The versatile microphone in these gaming earphones is quite efficient and works well for games like ours for which you have to talk in discord. The microphone picked up our voice and relayed it fairly well with minimal distortion. Microphones filter out significant amounts of background noise, such as high-speed ceiling fans and AC drones.
Coming to music, ASUS ROG Cetra is out of their material here. Sound signature suppressed low and shallow, and extremely bright with small heights. The soundstage is quite good and the imaging is great even on tracks with multiple instruments The hunter By Bjork. However, the irresistible low and sharp heights were enough to deter us from listening to a lot of music in these earphones, as the overall signature is a little brighter. It caused some listening fatigue within an hour of listening to the song. Overall, if you plan to buy a pair of headphones just to listen to music, ASUS ROG Cetra will not be the way to go, but if you are looking for a pair of gaming earphones, then these earphones are a great option. With the added benefit of active noise cancellation.
The last row
The ASUS ROG Cetra in-ear headphones are designed for gamers, stylistically and word-of-mouth. They support premium features like ANC and Ambient Sound, as well as multi-platform compatibility and software for PCs and laptops. Sound quality for gaming is commendable with Starler staging and emphasis height which makes for directional-accurate and lively gun shots in FPS games. Earphones are just as good for other games as they are for us because of the tough versatile microphone performance. However, for music, these earphones are a bit brighter and have lower and base response less. Overall, at Rs 7,699, the earphones are quite expensive but if you value the excellent positional signals and gamer aesthetics in gaming, then the ASUS ROG Cetra may be the right choice for you.