Peripherals

ASUS TUF H5 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset Review

ASUS has always been a staple name in the computing world since its conception in 1989. Based out of Taiwan they have produced countless incredible products from motherboards, GPUs, peripherals, routers, and laptops.

PRODUCT INFO
ASUS TUF Gaming Headset H5
Manufacture Asus
Available at View at Amazon

The TUF H5 Gaming headset boasts an incredible range of features including virtual 7.1 surround sound powered by a small USB dongle along with a strong and durable build. The in-line mic for mobile use is an excellent addition to an already amazing headset. Alongside the Mic mute switch and volume controls is a nice touch.

The H5 At First Glance.

The fact you can remove the Mic boom is a great addition, especially for anyone wanting a great looking pair of headphones which can be subtle enough to be worn when you are out and about.

ASUS has clearly put a lot of time and effort into considering the kind of tech and features in this headset. This also includes the Airtight chamber and closed-back design to greatly increase sound isolation to the point of near perfection. Some of the best I have heard in a long time. The ASUS Essence drivers also push this idea with great sound reproduction and a great 7.1 surround feature.

However, this is is not a perfect headset, there are a few things holding back the full potential of this headphone which we’ll be discussing in the review below, So let’s get right to it!

Unboxing and Closer Look

The outer packaging of the box is clear and concise. It doesn’t go over the top with graphics. Just images of the product on a simple slate grey backdrop.

Front Side Of The Box

The rear side of the box lists all the incredible features packed into this headset. It includes Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound which is toggle-able with a simple switch of a button, more on that later. It also includes large drivers to provide rich, deep lows and bass.

Back Side Of The Box

Upon opening the box, you are greeted with the headset itself. It is nicely arranged, showing the in-line mic and audio controls. There is also a very classy looking Holographic “TUF GAMING” logo on the top lid. Furthermore, to protect the device there was a thin piece of foam on top of the headset itself in the box, further adding a premium feel to the device.

Before even taking it out of the box, I was loving the aesthetic and looks of this headset. The sleek, satin grey body with the shiny holo TUF logo as well as the slight yellow accents around the ear cup were a nice touch.

Removing the headset inside whilst still inside its blister, presented a small, black box containing the included accessories.

Box Content
  • Detachable microphone boom
  • 3.5mm – USB 2.0 7.1 virtual surround dongle
  • 3.5mm extension cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Design and Comfort

The thick faux leather earcups fit super nice over the ears. I am not a fan of on-ear headphones as I wear glasses, which becomes super uncomfortable quickly. However, with these headphones, they are large enough to fit my ears and soft enough not to be pressing my glasses into my face.

The headband is padded with the same material as the earcups with a metal core, meaning it is not pushing into my skull, but still gives a great, snug fit with plenty of adjustability and durability. The headband has multiple lengths it can be adjusted to, like most headsets and headphones there is a click at each length allowing you to change the size to fit you comfortably.

Faux leather earcups

The subtle yellow accent, as I mentioned before, is a great addition to the sleek and elegant satin effect black plastic of the rest of the headphones and matches the rest of the TUF line really well. You can find the same yellow accents on products like their TUF motherboards.

The USB dongle for the 7.1 surround sound feature is a great addition. It is simple and easy to use. A simple switch of a button and you will activate the 7.1 surround feature. There is no other set-up to use it. The device itself can certainly unify the audio experience.

The in-line microphone is a nice touch for on-the-go. It worked with any mobile phone I connected it to as well as a PS4 controller. The detachable boom mic was also perfect for use on a console however looks strange and out of place if taking a phone call. Don’t get me wrong, it really isn’t all that great, especially for PC or gaming use. However, it is perfect for phone calls and on-the-go.

Boom Arm Mic

The cables on the headset are braided also, which is a nice touch to see. Unfortunately, they are not of the best quality I have seen from similar products. They start to fray very quickly and I feel may deteriorate within a short amount of time if not properly cared for.

ASUS wasn’t kidding when they wrote this on the box. With the stainless steel headband and “TUF” (excuse the pun) plastic earcups, you certainly shouldn’t look anywhere else for some long-lasting headphones!

On the inside of the earcups, there is a very aesthetically pleasing grey mesh style fabric covering the main drivers as shown below. The earcups also pan and tilt to allow them to fit snuggly over your ears without causing any strain.

Performance

As a test of this headset, I played several games on PC as this is what I found best for the Virtual Surround Sound as well on a few different consoles.

In an FPS style game, the sound signature of the objects going past makes for really diverse immersion. I can see this being a great pair of headphones for Virtual Reality.

On this headset, the lows are grumbly and fierce. Just what you would expect from such a versatile piece of kit. This truly comes to life when using the surround sound, again it is an incredible feature.

Great performer

The cross-platform compatibility of these headphones is superb. I spent a whole day carrying these around with me and I could use them on all my devices. PC (with or without the 7.1 surround dongle), mobile phone, PS4, Nintendo Switch and just about anything else I could want that allows sound through a 3.5mm jack.

The included detachable boom microphone is not anything special. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It sounds cheap and poorly made, but will definitely get the job done for communication with your buddies in-game! I really wouldn’t recommend it if you are planning on streaming or making videos using it. For a really good set-up, look for a decent USB microphone, Blue is definitely the market leaders here, or better yet, an audio interface with an XLR connected microphone would be far better for streaming or gaming videos.

This headset will not only offer a great gaming experience, with or without the virtual surround, it can also offer a really good music listening experience. Due to its versatility and cross-platform compatibility, it allows the headset to be modular enough to work in a variety of different applications including listening to music or watching movies and TV shows.

Gaming

For gaming, the crisp highs allow for accurate sound reproduction as the developers intended. When it comes to your AAA titles with complex audio consisting of vocals, music, and other background sounds, sometimes all at once, can be a bit much for the drivers especially at a high volume.

However this is mostly overcome with the 7.1 surround feature enabled, it allows the audio to hit your ears at the different directions and doesn’t make for an over cumbersome experience. On the other end of the spectrum, for major e-Sports titles, like CSGO and LoL, I really wouldn’t recommend turning on the 7.1 surround, it can really ruin the overall experience. Especially if coercing with your teammates either through VOIP or apps like Discord. The surround sound feature is unable to accurately place the voice of your teammates and makes them sound distant and occasionally slightly distorted.

Music & Movies

Most people won’t use their headphones solely for gaming, let’s see how the H5 stacks up against music. Though, as great as the surround feature may be, it ruins any music listening experience. Lead vocals feel like there is a reverb effect on them and get lost in the rest of the song. Drums and bass feel pushed back allowing too much high and mid ends through. This was rectified slightly with some tinkering in the ROG Armoury software, however, still does not make for a great listening experience.

However, on the contrary, without the 7.1 surround, the TUF H5 really shines through. Crisp and clear highs and sticking with the lovely grumble in the low end is really where the sound signature of the device shines through. This allows for a great music listening experience. When it comes to movies, I was really split down the middle.

The 7.1 surround feature is really impressive. It creates great immersion in games and movies and adds a whole other level to them. If you have ever watched a movie with 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound in their living room, this is the next level, and it fits into such a small form factor which is great feat of engineering. Although, this only really felt the case when watching an action movie or similar. Lots of different sounds coming from different places on the screen makes for a really immersive experience.

Other movies like comedies or drama, really do not react well to the 7.1 surround, similar to music. It is something that is not meant to be watched with this kind of a feature. However, turning off the 7.1 made for a perfectly pleasant watching experience as it does with music. Great sound reproduction and with the comfort of the headphones and large earcups as mentioned before, I could sit through a whole movie or binge a series of a TV show without any ear strain at all.

Mic Audio Test

Software

Armoury II is a software that offers extensive controls and an intuitive UI, so you can easily tune your TUF Gaming H5 to play your way.

Armoury II

It allows you to take full control of your audio experience, from equalization (EQ) to 7.1 speaker-level balancing, and even create and apply audio profiles for different game types and scenarios, such as first-person shooters and racing games, with ease.

Armoury II EQ Settings

It is simple to use for anyone and intuitive enough for the audiophile to enjoy messing around with and fine-tuning their audio settings.

Conclusion

I can’t get over how incredible the built-in 7.1 surround is. It brings a whole new depth to some of your favorite games. As previously described, you can almost feel objects moving past you. From bullets and helicopters in an FPS to Magic spells and minions in a battle arena style game. Definitely, something you need to try for yourself.

The H5 could be your next budget pair of gaming headphones!

I am disappointed however that the surround sound feature only works on a PC with the included dongle, I would like to see it featured fully internally, allowing it to work on any device you wish to connect the headset to. Overall the H5 is an amazing headset that can not only do gaming but can do almost anything at a very reasonable price tag. This is great as a lot of gaming headsets can’t perform well when it comes to music and other stuff. However, don’t expect an audiophile-level experience in terms of music. I can safely recommend the H5 to anyone who’s looking to get into PC gaming and wants to buy a headset that can do almost anything.

ASUS TUF Gaming Headset H5

Genuinely TUF

  • 7.1 virtual surround
  • Lightweight
  • Dual Mic (In-line & Boom-Arm
  • Suitable for music and gaming
  • Sub-standard mic performance
  • Quality of the braided cable could be better

1 Reviews

Frequency response: 20 ~ 20000 Hz | Impedance: 32 Ω | Drivers: 50 mm Neodymium magnets | Connection type: Analog 3.5 mm/USB

VERDICT:Rounded up, this is not just a great gaming headset, but a versatile pair of headphones perfect for music and movies too as well as on the go! Plus, it is offered at a very competitive price compared to some other bigger brands with similar features.

Price at the time of review: US $79.99 / UK £79.99

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