(Pocket-lint) - Now that Turtle Beach and Roccat have combined forces, products such as the Syn Pro Air represent the ethos of the two companies. Here it's a combination of a great-looking headset with intriguing sound design features.
The Syn Pro Air wireless gaming headset has loads on offer, too, including great sound, 3D audio, eye-catching RGB lighting, and more besides. But are its combination of good looks and tempting audio features enough?
Snazzy design with flaws
- ProSpecs earpads
- Turnable, lay-flat earcup design
- Breathable athletic moisture-wicking fabric
- Detachable flip-to-mute TruSpeak microphone
- 24-hours battery life with fast-charging (5 hours recharge in 15 mins)
Out of the box, the Roccat Syn Pro Air is undeniably eye-catching. We were first struck by a few interesting design choices which make this headset particularly stand out.
One of those is the lay-flat design of the earcups and the unusual layout of the headband extension. This headset's earcups can be easily twisted and turned to make it flat and portable (or worn around the neck) and also extended easily to fit nicely on the head. The design has been cleverly thought-out too, with memory foam padded ear cushions that are built to give a comfortable fit for spectacles wearers.
We both love and loathe those earcups though. They're large and deep and appear, at first glance, to offer a high-quality style. But when you pop them on you'll find they're scratchy and not terribly nice on the noggin. Certainly not as ear-pleasing as the ultra-soft pads on the Corsair HS80 as one comparison. That said, they are big enough to cover the ear nicely without adding unwanted pressure.
Despite not being faux leather, they also block out a surprising amount of environmental noise, especially when you start gaming. The bonus of this style is they're crafted from athletic moisture-wicking fabric - which is perfect if you get hot and bothered when gaming.
The headset itself weighs in at 390g, which isn't too heavy, and the earcups material is also used across the entirety of the headband too. So it's far from uncomfortable in terms of the pressure it puts on your head.
One area it falls down though is clamping force. It's a tad too loose so we found that if we bent forwards that it would just clean fall off our head and drop onto the floor. If you flick your head around quickly for some reason, it'll also fly off that way too. So if you're a particularly energetic gamer who likes to move around a lot when you play then this headset might not be for you.
Another striking part of this headset is the RGB lighting. Like the Roccat Kone Pro Air, the Syn Pro Air has a partly honeycomb design hidden under a solid outer shell. That is used to show off some eye-catching lighting that's adjustable within Roccat's Neon software.
Immersive 3D audio?
- 50mm Nanoclear drivers with neodymium magnets
- Superhuman Hearing sound settings
- 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response
- Waves 3D audio tweaks
This headset boasts 50mm Nanoclear drivers which are capable of cranking out some serious volume. This headset offers satisfying audio, with a rich sound, solid bass delivery, and an overall satisfying experience.
Download Roccat's Neon software and you can open up a world of other customisation options - from custom equalisation (EQ) tweaking to adjustment of various sound settings.
Those settings include Superhuman Hearing mode, which emphasises essential game-changing sounds so you can get the upper hand on your opponents. This includes simple things like enemy footsteps or weapon reloads which you might have otherwise missed. Roccat claims this tech could improve your Kill/Death Ratio (KDR) as much as 44 per cent - but in reality it's just a neat addition to the audio settings.
But we found it a little tough to get these settings down to a personal preference. Superhuman Hearing, for example, is certainly good for games like Rainbow Six Siege or other competitive shooters where hearing footsteps is key. But it also washes out a lot of the warmth and bass from the game audio - making things sound a lot tinnier.
Those controls are all within the software, so you'll need to fiddle with that to get it working. On the headset, you have limited hardware controls for power and volume. There are two volume wheels, one per earcup. One adjusts overall volume, while the other is a mic monitoring adjustment. So if you're using the headset's microphone, you can tweak how much or how little of your own voice you're hearing on the fly. We found this is pretty essential - but, again, it'll be a personal preference.
Although this headset doesn't have any other connection options in terms of 3.5mm or Bluetooth, it is possible to connect to your phone using the USB-C dongle and play music that way. The small USB-C dongle has a USB-A adapter for PC in case you don't have a port, but this design makes the Syn Pro Air that little bit more flexible.
This headset has a removable unidirectional TruSpeak microphone. If you don't want to use it you can pop it off and use the included bung to cover the hole. Alternatively, it's a flip-to-mute microphone with fairly decent capture capabilties. As we've said, it's certainly useful for things like hearing yourself talk if you're gaming with friends.
As you can hear (snippet above), it's certainly not as good quality as a standalone dedicated microphone. It's quite compressed but does an okay job of blocking out background noise, apart from plosives. Certainly good enough to game with your friends though.
The Syn Pro Air headset has a lot to offer, with rich-sounding audio, plenty of game-winning sound customisation options, a stylish finish, and ultra-fast charging. It lacks in comfort for us though, and is too loose a fit, both of which count against its score.
Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless
If comfort is more important to you, then turn to the Corsair HS80. This is an insanely comfortable wireless headset with great sound, understated looks and a lot more to offer besides.
Creative SXFI Air Gamer
It might not be wireless, but if you're after custom sound with a similar sort of game-winning audio, then the Creative SXFI Air Gamer is a pleaser. Comfortable earcups, Bluetooth connectivity, and Creative's SXFI Battlemode are real highlights.