Reviewing the ASUS Cerberus gaming headset - Taming the hound of Hades
Brought to you straight from the gates of the Underworld, this fiery dog will surely howl in a way that will make your skin crawl! Well, okay, actually no, this gaming headset from ASUS is no satanic creation, but equipment that can not only enhance your gaming experience, but also be a great companion for listening to music. It has some defects as well, but nothing that could become a deal-breaker, especially when you take into consideration its affordable price. Read our review to learn more about the ASUS Cerberus gaming headset and what is has to offer:
Packaging and design
You don't necessarily have to be a gamer to have met ASUS: they are known not only for their gaming products, but also for their motherboards, laptops, networking equipment and so on. Gamers however, are probably familiar with their RoG (Republic of Gamers) line of products, that includes laptops, desktop PCs, hardware components and accessories - all made and designed for gaming. Although the RoG brand includes several headsets, the Cerberus is not part of this product line. It's an entry-level gaming headset that was created for those of you that cannot afford ASUS's products from the Republic of Gamers portfolio.
Where To Buy
The packaging used for the ASUS Cerberus gaming headset hints of a mid-range product and it features the most important colors of anything that is related to gaming: red and black. We really don't understand why this cliché came to life, but it seems that all manufacturers think that every gamer loves these two colors. ASUS surely does this (just take a look at the RoG Orion) and you surely remember the Genius HS-G500V or the HyperX Stinger.
Anyway, this is not a big deal, these colors are quite energetic, just not very unique. ASUS Cerberus comes in simple cardboard box, with a large plastic window showing off the headset inside. The rather large box features a series of awards and compatibility information on the front and its most important features on the back. Inside the box there is a piece of red plastic that houses the headset, and a black cardboard box. Inside this smaller box you will find a splitter cable, a jack extension cable a quick start guide and a warranty notice.
By default, the headset has a single jack cable that connects to most modern jack inputs, combining the microphone input and the headphone output. Does your equipment have separate jack connectors for the microphone and the headphone? No problem, the ASUS Cerberus comes with a splitter cable that solves your problem. There is also a simple jack-jack extension cable in the box, which is rather short, but it might come in handy anyway.
It's worth noting that all cables are covered in durable textile, which is a much better choice than plastic - it can seriously increase the lifespan of the cables and it feels much better too, that's why it is usually used only on premium headsets.
The headset itself is also much higher quality than we have expected. It has circumaural earcups that cover your ears so they are very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The earcups are covered with a layer of red textile on the inside and with high quality leatherette on the outside. There are usually two types artificial leathers used: the first kind is the one that is easily torn and then there is the more durable kind - this one is the latter.
As for the headband, it is made of two parts: there are two plastic parts on top, and a flexible band below - this is the one that comes in contact with your head, making the ASUS Cerberus even more comfortable to wear. Also, thanks to this flexible construction, there is no need for an adjustable headband, as it fits your head perfectly, no matter its size.
If you have a quick look at the headset, it might seem that it has no microphone, but this is quite far from the truth, as it has two! The first one is mounted on the cable, inside a small piece of plastic. This has a small clip on its back, so it can be attached to your clothes. It also comes with a mute button and a volume control for the headphone. The manufacturer recommends using this omnidirectional microphone for "on-the-go chat", making the ASUS Cerberus a nice choice for your smartphone as well.
The second mic is in the box and it's detachable, you just need to plug it into the jack port on the left earcup. This is intended to be used for gaming, or when you're making calls in front of your computer. Its quality surpasses the in-line microphone, so it's a better choice, use it whenever possible.
As for its technical specs, the ASUS Cerberus gaming headset is a circumaural headset with a closed back, meaning that it covers your ear and the 100 mm cushions isolate surrounding noise. It comes with a 3.5 mm combined audio/mic connector and also two split 3.5 mm jacks on an extension cable. The headset has a frequency response range of 20 Hz - 20 KHz, an impedance of 32 ohms and comes with 2 60 mm neodymium magnet drivers. It has a 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) headset cable and a 4.2 feet (1.3 meter) splitter cable, weighs 9.38 ounces (266 grams) and it's 7.18 x 5.96 x 3.98 inches large or 182.55 x 151.6 x 101.33 mm. Further technical details are available on the ASUS website.
Using the ASUS Cerberus gaming headset
Once we took a look at the headset and its neat headband and detachable microphone, we were quite eager to try it. When you put it on for the first time, it's a bit tight, but this is completely normal. After a couple hours of wear, it will adjust to your head and will fit perfectly, without being uncomfortable.
The earcups are rather large, although they are not the largest we've seen. This can be a problem only if you have really large ears, like I do. In this case you should take it off for a couple of minutes every once in awhile, but thanks to the cushioning and the large cup size, you surely won't have serious issues.
As for sound quality, the ASUS Cerberus is a strange device. It performs quite well in almost any area of use, although it's not outstandingly good in any of them. And don't take this as a strong criticism: although it's labeled as a gaming headset, I found myself wearing the Cerberus for listening to music as well. What it lacks mostly is a powerful bass (fortunately it doesn't make up for it with some annoying artificial rumbling like some other headsets do), but it's still decent. Everything else is quite all right, we think you'll find it a great companion for music, even if it's not made for audiophiles.
It's also really good for gaming: it's design makes you feel that you're inside a game, the sound profile is very spacious and the noise isolation is great. Nothing will disturb you while you're getting better and better at your favorite game.
Having two microphones might seem like overkill at first, but consider this: you got used to some really good audio quality with the headset and don't want to give it up during your travels. Just take out the detachable microphone, and you're good to go! Of course, the ASUS Cerberus still is rather large, but nowadays it's even fashionable to wear something bigger than an in-ear headset. Oh, and it keeps your ears warm in the winter.
Also, it can be used just like any other headset, together with your smartphone, since it has an in-line microphone as well, so you can make a call to anyone. Of course, if you're using the ASUS Cerberus with your computer or gaming system, it's better to have the external microphone attached, as it's of better quality.
After using the Cerberus for quite a while, I knew rather well what it is capable of, so I estimated its price before looking it up. And I have to say, I was surprised: at the time we published this article, the Cerberus is being sold for about 50 USD at most retailers. Of course you can find cheaper gaming headsets, but for this price you get above average sound quality, great materials, an especially good headband, a detachable microphone and textile-covered cables. All these are a very good deal!
Where To Buy
Pros and cons
The ASUS Cerberus gaming headset has quite a lot of great features:
- Above average sound quality, both in-game and during music playback
- Two microphones: detachable and in-line
- High quality materials
- Small extras: a really comfortable headband and textile-covered cables
- Great price/value ratio
The headset doesn't have any major flaws, just some barely notable negative aspects:
- The earcups can be a bit of a strain for large ears
- Mild bass that doesn't compare to what you get from premium headsets
I have never really been a fan of any headset that wears the gaming label: my philosophy is to buy quality audio equipment that offers great sound quality during games as well. I think ASUS knows what I'm talking about and, although they label the Cerberus as a gaming headset, they have created something that is also a great general purpose headset. Besides the stereotypical red and black colors, it doesn't have any superfluous features that are highly uncalled for, which is great. Being available at a very affordable price, ASUS Cerberus is no creation of the Underworld, but rather an above average headset that can serve the needs of any gamer, while also offering little extras that will just make using it a better experience, that's great for other tasks, not just gaming.