The market is bristling with new gaming headsets and ASUS is no newcomer, but with their latest release they hope to top all they’ve done before. Today, we’re looking at the new ASUS ROG Delta RGB Quad-DAC Gaming Headset. It boasts four ESS DACs, Hi-Res certification, redesigned comfort, and more, but is it worthy of its flagship pricing? Find out in our full review!
Current Price: $179.99 (ASUS Store)
- Key features: High resolution sound, ESS 9218 Quad-DAC for lossless audio processing, Hyper-Grounding technology, Signal Diversion technology for frequency separation, Swappable Ear Cushions,RGB illumination with AURA Sync
- Connector: USB, USB-C
Platform: PC, MAC, Mobile device, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
- Note: Support PCs and PS4 via using included USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter
- Warranty: Two-Year
- Driver diameter: 50 mm
- Driver material: Neodymium magnet
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Frequency Response: 20-40000 Hz
- Supported Resolution: Up to 32-bit 384kHz
- Signal-to-Noise (SNR) Ratio: 127dB
- Pick-up Pattern: Uni-directional
- Frequency Response: 100-10000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -40 dB
- Cable: USB-C cable: 1.5M; USB 2.0 cable: 1M
- Weight: 387 g
- Included Accessories: Detachable microphone, User guide, ROG Hybrid ear cushion, USB-C to USB 2.0 (Type-A) adapter
If there’s one thing ROG products nail, it’s presentation. Unboxing the ROG Deltas feels like you’ve brought home a prize. ROG products typically come at a level of esteem over competitors and this is one of the reasons why. They do a good job of making their products seem elite to match their “Elite Community.”
Inside the box, you have the headphones themselves, a quick start guide and warranty manual, a USB-C to USB-A adapter cable, an alternate pair of hybrid ear cushions, and the detachable boom microphone. All in all, it’s a good package that allows you to use the Deltas on multiple devices and offers a bit of customization in the cushion department.
The headphones are well built. I appreciate that they used a metal headband. It offers a lot of flex without too much clamping force around the ears and ensures the headphones will never crack and snap along the band. Marking the headband is a small but noticeable touch that many manufacturers don’t take and saves a lot of fiddling if they ever get out of size.
Apart from the headband, there’s a good amount of plastic in their construction. I like to see metal at the most common breakage points, but the plastic here feels rugged and well considered. The joints holding each ear cup attach inside housing itself, so the only real point of breakage would be the arms themselves should they take a good drop and a little care will prevent that.
On the back of the left earcup is where you’ll find your volume dial (clickable to mute the microphone) and a switch to turn the lighting on and off. This is also where the braided cable connects. It’s non-detachable, which is disappointing at this price point, but ASUS has taken care to reinforce the connection to make breakage very unlikely.
The ROG Delta is also one of the first gaming headsets we’ve seen to ship with a USB Type-C connector by default. They paired automatically with my Note 8’s USB-C connection for both sound and microphone, but you’ll be out of luck for smartphone use if you don’t have a Type-C charging port. For PC’s without a Type-C connection and PlayStation 4, the Deltas ship with a 1M Type-C to Type-A adapter cable, giving you a total of 2.5M/8.2ft of slack.
The headset also features a unique earcup design that’s a bit like a rounded-off triangle from the outside. Inside, you can see the cushions are actually formed around the shape of your ear. This gives the a unique look and, as ASUS says, reduces unnecessary contact aiming to make them more comfortable over longer periods of time.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the shape of the earcups or not, but the Deltas are very comfortable. They’re lightweight, coming in at only 387 grams and have just enough padding to keep the top of your head from getting sore without feeling bulky. The gripping force is also just enough to keep it in place without feeling tight. I have a smaller head and it did feel a little loose but I could bend over just fine without them falling off, which is as much as most users will need.
ASUS has also included two pairs of ear cushions. Pre-installed are a pair of nice protein leather pads which do a good job of isolating sound at the expense of some heat build up. The other pair are hybrids, blending leatherette inner rings with mesh outers to offer a more breatheable option. The hybrid pair is also thinner for use out of the house. The Deltas are gamery enough where I personally wouldn’t wear them out of the house, but they sound good enough that you just may.
The RGB illumination it easily the best I’ve seen on a gaming headset. Each housing features its own 8-zone light ring and logo that’s bright and eye catching. Yes, yes, it’s on a gaming headset and you won’t see it, but it looks great on a desk. Just make sure you turn it off if you do decide to wear these out and about.
The most important part of any gaming headset, and the big reason why the $179 price tag seems more reasonable than it may, is just how good these sound. Under the hood, they’re packing some serious audiophile grade tech. The ROG Deltas feature four ESS SABRE DACs. These digital-to-analog converters are far better than what you’ll find on most motherboards or USB headsets. Paired with their driver and earcup design, which they refer to as Signal Diversion Technology, the bass, mids, and highs stay clear and articulate no matter what you throw at them.
Out of the box, I was surprised to hear that ASUS opted for a more Hi-Fi tuning to them - the bass is full but tame and the treble is slightly elevated. There’s a nice wide sound stage despite being closed-back and excellent stereo separation. Inside the downloadable software, this can all be tweaked with software complete with presets for different types of content you might be enjoying. You can also turn on ASUS’ virtual surround sound, which works well, or you can opt for Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic if you’re playing games where spatial surround is supported.
These headphones are fantastic for music, games, movies - whatever you care to throw at it. In games, that absolute clarity, stereo separation, and volume headroom allows you to hear every little detail of the soundscape and pick out exactly what it is you’re hearing. If there’s water dripping around the corner, you’re going to be able to place it in space. That’s a real competitive advantage in games.
I particularly liked them for music though. The tightness and clarity they’re able to deliver is truly impressive at this price. For a gaming headset, particularly one so dressed up in RGB, they’ve got it where it counts. They sound fantastic.
Lastly, we come to the microphone. Just like the audio delivery, microphone capture is some of the best we’ve heard. The microphone maintains the bass in your voice and keeps the natural mids and highs. Inside the software, you can enable something called Vocal Clarity but I didn’t find it necessary at all. Helpfully, there’s also a noise gate option to get rid of any white noise that might crop up in the background. Have a listen.
I’ll admit, when I went into this review, I expected to be paying a bit of the ROG premium. Instead, for $179 the ROG Delta Hi-Fi Gaming Headset is one of the best money can buy today. I make no exaggeration when I say that they’re contending for the top spot in my collection, fighting out even my $249 Sennheisers. They’re a little too unique for me to wear outside of the house but I honestly wish I could. Combined with the excellent detachable mic, ASUS has knocked it out of the park with this headset.
- Quad-DAC technology featuring ESS SABRE DACs
- They sound amazing for the price
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Solid construction
- Eye-catching RGB on the ear cups
- No 3.5mm connection
- USB Type-C cable is non-detachable
The product discussed in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.