ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Review
ROCCAT has built its reputation on delivering exceptional performance and build quality throughout its rich history, but it’s clear that ROCCAT tends to play it safe with basic and somewhat outdated designs. This is in contrast to the latest trend of flamboyant designs that feature excessive RGB and style lines that belong on exotic cars, not gaming peripherals. This all changed for ROCCAT with the release of the fantastic Burst Pro gaming mouse as ROCCAT combined performance and style with a sleek design that showcased how RGB illumination can enhance the look of a product without oversaturating it.
It then comes as no surprise that ROCCAT has maintained this philosophy with its newest addition to their headset range, the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air. The Syn Pro Air features the same subtle, yet stylish RGB illumination as the Burst Pro that compliments the headset’s modern design. This design is backed by the performance and features and that you expect from a ROCCAT product; 50mm drivers, 3D audio, wireless connectivity, and the introduction of ROCCAT’s latest software, ROCCAT Neon, but has ROCCAT done enough to justify the $249.95AUD price tag? Or are there better options at this ultra-competitive price point?
At first glance, the Syn Pro Air is a noticeable improvement over the previous Elo range as it resembles your classic modern-day gaming headset with a matt black finish, oversized fabric ear cups, and a detachable mic that is finished with its subtle RGB illumination. The headset is also extremely light – 311 grams – thanks to its plastic chassis and clever engineering. This is noticeably lighter than some of its direct competitors such as the SteelSeries Arctis 7 (375g) and Razer Nari (433g) – and even 34g lighter than ROCCAT’s very own Elo 7.1 Air (345g).
Much like the design of Burst Pro, each earcup of the Syn Pro Air features a plastic honeycomb housing that is used to reduce weight but also allows for clever use of RGB lighting to create an elegant lighting effect that complements the headset’s overall look.
Adjusting the headset is as easy as moving each earcup up and down along its vertical slide, however, there are no notches, tactile feedback, or visual aid to know where each ear cup is positioned. This can be annoying for kids or anyone who shares this headset with someone else as it can be annoying to constantly guess the positioning of the earcups you had last. The overall design of the headset (in regards to fitment) is also disappointing as it feels like the headset is gripping onto your head for dear life rather than becoming one with the shape of your head and creating a comfortable fit.
The earcups themselves are extremely comfortable thanks to their thick memory foam cushioning that is finished in a breathable mesh material. This is my favourite material for headsets as it helps reduce and dissipate the heat generated by the headset and creates a pleasant gaming experience – kudos, ROCCAT.
A new addition to the Syn Pro Air (when compared to the Elo range) is its detachable microphone. This microphone looks quite basic but ROCCAT has added as much flexibility and customisation as possible. Not only can it be removed when not required (with an included plastic cover to insert in the hole that you may or may not lose), but ROCCAT has also included a flip-to-mute function with the microphone. This is a rare feature for detachable microphones but is a nice quality of life feature that comes in handy more often than you would think.
ROCCAT has kept the onboard controls on the headset to a minimum, which I love. There is nothing worse than accidentally adjusting the game/chat wheel instead of the volume, or turning the headset off when trying to mute it. On the left earcup, you will find the volume wheel, power button, and a USB-C charging port. On the right earcup, there is nothing more than a mic monitoring wheel. It is worth noting that there is no 3.5mm audio jack included with the headset, meaning gamers looking for the ultimate multi-platform headset may have to look at other alternatives.
The Syn Pro Air takes full advantage of its 50mm Nanoclear drivers that feature a 20hz – 20,000Hz frequency range that produce a clear and natural sound. ROCCAT has delivered an impressive balance between low, mid, and high range with none of these being overpowered. This produces a broad soundstage that is great for gaming and music alike.
ROCCAT has also include Turtle Beach’s signature “Superhuman Hearing” with the headset, which is designed to amplify key in-game sounds like enemy footsteps, nearby weapon reloads, enemy vehicles etc. This is a great addition for FPS gamers where the difference between life and death can come down to who hears who first. When testing this feature I did notice that picking up footsteps in FPS games such as Valorant and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was more evident, now I just have to learn how to aim… It is also worth noting that enabling Superhuman Hearing didn’t impact the overall quality of the audio. This has been previous criticism of the feature but it appears that Turtle Beach has been busy improving it as I experienced no impact on audio quality.
Another feature that ROCCAT has included is a 3D audio mode. Like Superhuman Hearing, 3D Audio can be enabled through the new Neon software. I know I previously said that less is more in regards to onboard controls, but it would have been nice if the headset included a button/switch to enable and disable 3D audio as some games aren’t designed for it. With that being said, 3D Audio is a noticeable improvement from your traditional virtual surround sound as it produces noises from above and below your position, not just on either side of you. When this is combined with Superhuman Hearing, the level of immersion is fantastic as you can hear enemies climbing up and down stairs like never before. Is it perfect? No, but it does add another level of immersion to gaming and is an impressive feature to test out.
ROCCAT claim that you get around 16 hours out of a full charge, and up to 24 hours with RGB disabled. Despite not being able to see the RGB illumination when the headset is on my head, I still prefer it on (it makes me play better, obviously!) and was able to get around 12-13 hours out of a single charge. This was over multiple days with varying use, so I would be confident that if you typically LAN for 16 hours straight I am sure you would get close to the advertised use out of a single charge. The headset also features USB rapid charge technology, meaning that it can completely recharge the battery in around one hour – Not bad ROCCAT, not bad at all.
Syn Pro Air is one of the first products to take advantage of ROCCAT’s next-generation software, ROCCAT Neon. Neon works similar to ROCCAT’s previous software supporting app, ROCCAT Swarm, except it features a much more user-friendly interface that is streamlined and easy to navigate, in fact, it could almost be used as a mobile app. It is worth noting that Neon is still in its beta stage with features constantly being added and in its current build, is quite basic but offers the essential customisation and options you expect with a headset, but there is still some improvements to be made.
ROCCAT fans will be disappointed to know that the Syn Pro Air is only compatible with Neon, meaning that if you have multiple ROCCAT products then you will be forced to have both ROCCAT Swarm and Neon running. This may not be the end of the world, but it is nevertheless, quite annoying as Neon doesn’t include support for ROCCAT’s existing product range.
The ROCCAT Syn Pro Air is a noticeable improvement from ROCCAT’s Elo range with a modern design that looks fantastic and sounds great thanks to its huge 50mm drivers. ROCCAT has included a host of impressive and innovative features such as its detachable, flip-to-mic microphone, Superhuman Hearing and 3D Audio, but ROCCAT’s transition from ROCCAT Swarm to ROCCAT Neon software leaves a little to be desired. With a price point of around $250AUD, the Syn Pro Air is up against some tough competition such as the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless, HyperX Cloud II Wireless, and Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL, but there is no doubt that the Syn Pro Air is a great option for gamers who want a lightweight, wireless headset that looks and performs great – especially hardcore FPS gamers that will love 3D Audio and Superhuman Hearing where sound is survival.
ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Review
- DESIGN - 87%87%
- AUDIO PERFORMACE - 93%93%
- MICROPHONE PERFORMANCE - 88%88%
- COMFORT - 76%76%
- VALUE - 81%81%
The ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Wireless is a great-looking gaming headset that has exceptional features and performance. Unfortunately, it suffers an ultra-competitive price point ($250AUD) where its poor software support and a tight fitment get exposed.
ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Review – For more on Roccat, check out our previous coverage.