Design & Features
The Strix Go 2.4 looks pretty sleek – more like a pair of Bluetooth headphones for everyday use, than a gaming headset. The memory-foam-padded band and long, oval earcups are covered in matte black plastic, with shiny silver accents. The small silver logo and “ROG” stamps – short for Republic of Gamer – are a little more flashy than something you’d see on a pair of Bose or Sony headphones. Still, they’re more discreet than most gaming headsets, and wouldn’t grab more attention than any other nice pair of headphones on a bus or a train.
For a smaller pair of earcups, the Strix Go is surprisingly comfortable. With a slim profile and weighing in at 290 grams, it’s on the lighter side for a gaming headset. It isn’t so light that you’d forget you’re wearing it, but it doesn’t weigh you down, even after a long play session. The leatherette-coated cups and top band have a thick layer of memory foam padding, which keeps the cups from clamping too hard. Likewise, the cups, while relatively long and thin for headphone coverings, are roomy enough for my ears. (I find smaller, tighter earcups often pinch the corners of my ears, so I was pleasantly surprised.)
On the inside, the Strix Go uses Asus’ 40mm “Essence” Neodymium drivers. For a gaming headset, I found the sound to generally focus a bit more on mid-range sounds than bass, which is abnormal for gaming headset. (Most headset makers focus on bass because explosions and gunfire are the most common loud in-game sounds.) The fidelity, in general, is very high: With a mid-focus sound, the whole audio range of this headset tends to come in more clearly most of the time.
Your sound quality does vary, though. Technically, the Strix Go is rated for “Hi-Res Audio,” which means its frequency range is very wide, topping out at 40,000KHz. Here’s the catch: It only achieves that high range when you use a wired connection. When connecting via the wireless dongle, the headset reaches just 20,000 KHz, which is on par with most gaming headsets.
To be clear, frequency range is not an overall indicator of sound quality, so it isn’t as if cutting it half automatically means the sound is worse. In this case, however, I did find that there is more nuance in the sound when you’re plugged in. I’d say the wireless mode is great for most games, but you might consider plugging in if you’re planning to listen to music or otherwise want to listen to complex audio.
Best Gaming Headsets
The vast majority of the switches and ports on the Strix Go are on the left-hand cup. Facing directly down, you have a 3.5mm port for setting up a wired connection, which you’ll need in order to use it on PS4 and Xbox One. You’ll want to use the headset in wired mode when listening to music or generally want the best possible audio experience.
On the front of the cup, just above it, there are two microphones. First, there’s a small hole for a built-in mic, similar to the ones found in Bluetooth headphones. There’s also a detachable wire boom, similar to what you’ll find on most headsets. The built-in mic is useful for audio/video calls, but the boom mic provides additional noise-canceling features to prevent ambient noise from cluttering your chat when playing games.
Just above that, there’s a power switch that toggles between wired and wireless mode. Strangely, you need to turn wireless mode off to connect via the headphone jack. Many headsets make using the headphone jack completely seamless regardless of any other modes: Toggling a switch isn’t exactly a hardship, but it’s easy to forget if you switch from one mode to the other.
Lastly, there’s a single media control button that can play/pause and skip or go back a track in playlists. Finally, facing directly backward is a volume wheel, which doubles as a mic mute button.
There’s also a solitary USB-C charging port on the right earcup, which makes for cluttered cords if (read: when) you run out of power and switch to a wired connection while charging the headset. You also need to plug your headphones into a PC from time to time via USB-C to update its firmware.
The Strix Go is one of a handful of new ASUS ROG products that supports the company’s new PC configuration app, Armoury Crate. Crate is a flashy, new app that lets you change your audio mix, both manually and using presets. You can also set and adjust a number of settings related to the headset’s virtual surround sound and the noise canceling in the boom mic.
There’s one issue: You have to connect wirelessly to sync the Strix Go with Crate. Given that the sound quality differs based on your connection, this winds up being a significant limitation for players looking to get the absolute best audio quality on PC. As far as I can tell, making changes in one mode carries over when you switch to the other, so it isn’t as if you can’t change the settings at all, but it’s far from ideal.
As one of the first devices transitioning to using Crate, the Strix Go also supports Asus’ legacy config app, ROG Armoury. Both apps offer all the same features, so technically you can use either one, Armoury definitely feels less polished, and forces you to sit through a long load on startup. That said, if you already use some ROG gear, you may want to stick with it until Asus adds Crate support for legacy devices.
Though the quality of the sound coming out of the Strix Go varies, depending on how you connect it, it works well with games across the board. I used it while playing a variety of games on the Nintendo Switch and my gaming PC, including Modern Warfare, Doom Eternal, Gears Tactics, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and Ape Out.
Across platforms and connection types, the Strix Go delivers quality sound. As I discussed, the sounds tend to be more mid-forward than the average headset, which makes it great for games with a lot of dialogue and pop/rock music (or Jazz, like in Ape Out.) The only times I really noticed the increased frequency range of the wired connection was when listening to synthy, electronic music on Spotify.
While the sound comes through clear, the virtual 7.1 surround sound doesn’t really deliver. Though it is capable of giving you some spatial awareness, you have to listen very closely to hear the difference between sounds coming to the side versus something behind you. You don’t ever really get the feeling that you’re surrounded by the sound. Simulated surround sound almost never compares to the real thing, but often seems at least moderately useful in headsets: This version, unfortunately, misses that lowered bar.On the plus side, though, you don’t have to worry about charging it too much. The Strix Go gets an estimated 25 hours of power on a single charge. Anecdotally, I found that I needed to charge about once a week with the sleep timer set to five minutes. It also supports USB-C quick-charging, so with the right cord and power source, you can get the battery back to an acceptable level quickly.
That said, It has some annoying “habits” around monitoring battery life. The Strix Go uses audio cues to let you know when it’s going to sleep, waking up, and hitting various battery milestone. Those pings interrupt the sound of whatever you’re listening to, watching, or playing.
Even though the disruption is momentary, it’s annoying and it can’t be turned off. Likewise, the headset defaults to turning off after five minutes of silence: This can be adjusted using the Armoury apps on PC, though that will feel like a chore for Switch-first players.
The Asus ROG Strix Go 2.4 is available for $199 at Amazon and other major retailers starting.