Bit of a different product today, we’re looking at these earbuds that are pretty fancy. If you’re a big mobile gamer, you might want to check these out. We have the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless earbuds with us, and while I’m typically quite ambivalent about RGB, these really do look quite cool.
So let’s talk design first. The case itself is sleek, with a curved taper from the back to front. There’s a glossy ROG logo near the front of the lid and between where the lid and the body meet, there’s a small recessed area for easy opening. Right under that, there’s an LED strip that lights up when you open the lid or when the case is charging. There’s a USB-C charging port on the rear, although there’s also wireless charging here.
Open up the lid and you get the earbuds inside, along with a dot-matrix RGB Asus ROG logo in between them. There is also a strip of dots along the side of the stem, which seems to only glow in red. The ROG logo in the case itself does shift colours, from red to orange to yellow to green, blue, purple and more.
The earbuds are stemmed, and I actually quite like it, since it does provide something to grip onto when taking the earbuds out of the case and adjusting in the ear. The earbuds also sit quite securely and comfortably in the ear, which is great since the last thing you want when you’re in the middle of a match is to have to fiddle with your earbud.
You get touch controls with these, and they’re all activated via the top of the earbud. On the left side, you get the ANC toggle with a double tap while a tap and hold activates the voice assistant. On the right, a single tap controls play/pause, a double tap skips tracks forwards and a triple tap skips tracks backwards. A tap and hold switches between game mode on or off. Unfortunately, no volume control here.
There’s an app for the earbuds on the phone, which is ROG’s Armoury Crate. You get to adjust the EQ for the earbuds, as well as select what sort of game you’re playing, whether it’s FPS, Racing or more, so that the sound profile changes as well. Aside from that, there’s really nothing much else in the app. It would have been nice to see touch control customisation here, but oh well.
There is ANC here though, which is a nice touch and it’s actually not too weak either. It quite effectively dampens commute noise, and there’s heavy noise cancelling, light noise cancelling, ambient sound and noise cancelling off. Higher pitched noises, though, aren’t as effectively cancelled out and you do hear it even when music is playing. For some reason though, the earbuds default to ANC off whenever I put them on, so I always have to remember to double tap on the left earbud to get it back to heavy noise cancelling.
These run on Bluetooth 5.0 and there is support for SBC and AAC, so that’s fine. As for latency, you do notice a bit of lag with gunshots and the like when game mode is off, but once turned on, it does improve.
As for battery life, you get 5 hours in the earbuds with ANC on and 5.5 hours with ANC off, with a total of 22 hours or 27 hours with the case when ANC is on and off respectively. It’s definitely within the average, so that’s good at least.
There’s IPX4 water resistance here so you don’t have to worry about sweat and the likes, but I’m not sure I would recommend these for exercise. They sit relatively snug, yeah, but it’s not like, snug enough to withstand a workout.
Microphone quality is pretty decent, you’ll probably be using these to talk to your teammates if you’re playing battle royale games and such, so rest assured they can hear you well enough.
As for sound quality, it’s actually better than I expected. The 10mm driver inside does a good job of keeping the sound detailed, although with more complex tracks, it does start to get a bit blended together. For most tracks I tried though, it was actually pretty decent. The bass is definitely emphasised, which does start to drown out the mids if you’re listening at higher volumes, so you might want to tweak this in the EQ if you’re looking for a more balanced sound.
The treble is also a bit boosted, which is certainly what you’re looking for in a pair of gaming earbuds as it helps to get those footsteps and gunshots a bit more distinct. The soundstage is pretty average, nothing much to shout about here.
At S$199, it’s not a bad option if you’re looking for a pair of earbuds specifically for mobile gaming. It’s decent enough for sound as well, and the ANC isn’t too weak, which is always a nice plus.