Gaming headsets are one of those gadgets that you kinda don’t technically need, since you can just plug in any wired headphones with a decent microphone and Bob’s your uncle. However, if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, a good gaming headset can take your play to the next level with surround sound, an excellent microphone, and superior comfort. The ROG Delta S, priced at $349, is one of those good gaming headsets worth owning.
ROG Delta S design
The ROG Delta S looks like a gaming headset. It’s black, there’s some triangular bits, and it lights up with RBG because no one likes a rainbow more than a gamer, apparently. I say this as a homo who has attended many a pride parade, and yet still I’ve never seen a higher concentration of rainbows than on a gaming set up. I am wholeheartedly in favour of this.
The lights on the ears are really cool. Sometimes these RBG accents on the ears can be over the top or distracting, but these strike the right balance.
In the box you get a choice of pleather and breathable ear cups, and both are very comfortable. I prefer the breathable ones for long gaming sessions, but the pleather ones provide better passive noise cancelling.
The head band is designed so it doesn’t press the ear cups too firmly into your head. This is both good and bad. Good because it allowed it to be more comfortable for longer. Bad because there are ways to do a tight but comfortable fit, and the headset sounds better when it’s pressed in a little tighter.
Attached to the headset is a braided 1.5m USB-C cable which is just not long enough. If you have your PC on your desk, it’s fine, but I have my PC under my desk and found I couldn’t recline comfortably while plugged in. An extra 50cm would have made all the difference. Just seems miserly to stop at 1.5m. You can extend it by plugging in the USB-C to USB-A cable, which gives you an extra metre, though, so it’s not as much of a problem.
On the left ear cup you get a lighting control switch and a volume rocker you can also press to mute the mic. I would have preferred a separate mute switch, but that’s just a personal preference.
ROG Delta S gaming audio
Here is where the headset absolutely shines, which is good, as it’s the headset’s one true purpose. Playing Fortnite the 7.1 surround sound was extremely effective for helping me find loot chests, workout where those footsteps were coming from and generally let me know where stuff is.
Sometimes these virtual surround sound things can be hit and miss, so I’m really glad ROG nailed it, because it’s really the primary reason to use a gaming headset over regular headphones.
The sound quality, however, isn’t quite as high fidelity as I would like at this price point. This primarily seems to be down to the fit. If my head was the shape this headset is designed for, I would be set, because when I press the ear cups down on my ears a bit more, I pick up extra details and the music sounds fuller. But with the fit how it naturally wants to sit, there are details I know I’m missing.
That’s not to say it sounds bad. The bass is very strong, and the mids and treble are there enough that I’m a happy camper. But knowing that it could have been better with a couple of tweaks and better articulation is frustrating.
The internals of this headset are solid. 50mm drivers, support for MQA-encoded high fidelity files and a headphone frequency response of 20 ~ 40000Hz is all super impressive. If you can get a good seal and a strong fit on your head shape, you’re in for a good time.
ROG Delta S music quality
If you’re spending this much on a pair of headphones, you’re going to want them to do it all, and these can, particularly if you like very bassy music and don’t listen too closely. All good gaming headsets are tuned to favour bass, because that’s the most important frequency in gaming audio.
So, MANTRA by Bring Me The Horizon sounds chunky and grounded, though a touch fuzzy. What’s Left Inside by Conquer Divide sounds a little blurry, there’s none of the definition around the drums I would expect from music-oriented headphones, and the female vocalist sounds a little extra pitchy, showing the reduced mid-tone response because all the power is directed towards the bass. The hi-hat flourishes are still present for the most part, but more hidden than usual.
ROG Delta S microphone quality
The microphone sounds really great, it’s a cut above most of the other gaming headset microphones I’ve tried this year (and I have tried a lot). It’s not as good as a standalone mic, obviously, but it’s better than most boom mics, and that’s more than enough for most heavy users.
ROG Delta S verdict
If you can get the ROG Delta S to properly conform to your head shape, then you’re going to love it for gaming. I would use a different pair of headphones, this isn’t a headset that can do it all, despite what the spec sheet claims. But while you can do better for gaming, you can certainly also do much worse, especially at this price point. If you find it comfortable, you like the aesthetic, and you can’t stretch for a different headset, I say go for it.
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