ASUS Cerberus V2 Headset Review
Whenever we're reviewing peripherals here at OC3D we often mention how intense the market competition is. There are dozens of £50 mice or £70 keyboards and so it takes a lot to really stand out. The headset market is similarly replete with options around the £60 mark, whether you want the PC/XBOX compatible Steelseries Siberia X100, the Corsair VOID Carbon or, for only £40, the Roccat Renga. Therefore it is important that the Cerberus V2 really brings it otherwise it can be lost in a sea of alternatives.
At this price point about the most important element is build quality. Nobody is expecting some HiFi busting audio performance, but obviously you want a headset that will last the distance. The upgraded Cerberus V2 definitely has this box ticked with the robust metal headband guaranteeing that it will withstand a bit of abuse and keep on trucking. We also like how much colour there is showing. So often if a manufacturer gives you colour choices they, for cost reasons, change as little as is humanely possible. Not so with ASUS as the Cerberus V2 has the headband cushions, the headband itself and rings around the ear pieces that all match up to your chosen shade. We really like the blue they've used too. Any lighter and they'd be in danger of matching the Roccat Ice blue, but any darker and it would have been tedious old navy. The red and green ones are equally bold in their colour choice. Very nice.
The other big change from the original Cerberus is the move from 60mm drivers to 53mm drivers. This has tightened up the sound profile considerably. Bass is always an element that companies, and indeed consumers, like to laud and it is all too easy to compromise the rest of the audio spectrum in the quest for ever lower bass frequencies. The Cerberus V2 is a bass heavy headset, but fortunately without losing too much of the high end frequencies. How much you like this depends largely upon how much you enjoy that thumping bass in your listening. For me it's borderline too much, but that's because I prefer a more neutral sound profile and then tweak it as necessary in the equaliser. With the Cerberus V2 no matter what you do it will be slightly tipped towards the bass side of things, but we know that loads of you will absolutely love that, so the fact ASUS have produced a good amount of bass without it being woolly or flabby is to their credit.
Naturally for this price there will be areas that could do with improving. With the Cerberus V2 we found that both the microphones were perhaps a little quieter than we'd like. This isn't a headset you can quietly whisper into. The larger flaw is that the excellent metal headband is attached to some ear pieces made out of extremely cheap scratchy plastic. So the metal 'boings' easily, because it's thin, and the ear pieces seem empty enough to amplify this. If you're the type of person who adjusts them a lot, or scratches your head, or pretty much anything wherein you'll be in contact with the headset you get a bit dose of mechanical noise into your ears. How much this affects you will obviously depend upon how often you donk them. Curiously with the all-plastic originals this was less of an issue, so the metal headband comes with a drawback alongside its benefit.
The Cerberus V2 feels quite cheap in the hand because of those light plastics, and yet the headband gives it an air of quality. Similarly the audio profile is quite bassy by default, but it's a decent kind of bass. You get two microphones, but neither are particularly responsive. In a world with so many alternatives available it means that you really would have to want what the Cerberus has to offer to make it worthy of a purchase. But, if you do want a coloured headset, if you do like your audio on the bassy side of things, and if you don't plan to use the microphone all that often, then it definitely ticks those boxes, and so it wins our OC3D Value For Money award.