ASUS Cerberus V2 Headset
The ASUS Cerberus V2
The ASUS Cerberus V2 is the follow up to the much loved Cerberus headset, which was launched 3 years ago. A long time bestseller among gaming headsets, the Cerberus headset is easily spotted at e-sports competitions, being the headset of choice for gamers’ needs. Not easy boots to fill for the updated Cerberus V2, certainly, but one that ASUS is very comfortable in. It has a line of gaming peripherals under the Cerberus name, namely, an optical mouse and a keyboard.
The ASUS Cerberus V2 features a bunch of improvements over its predecessor. The body frame is now made of steel. The sound drivers have been upgraded too. ASUS calls them “Essence” drivers and claims that they deliver deeper sound spectrums than the original Cerberus headset. Two microphones, one detachable and one in-line are provided. The faux leather padding is reworked with better quality materials.
The headset comes in three colour options: Blue, Red and Green. For our review, we received the blue version.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the ASUS Cerberus V2 gaming headset.
Design, Build and Comfort
The ASUS Cerberus V2 now uses a full steel frame for the headset, instead of aluminum. These headphones are pretty big in size, even when compared to other gaming headphones like the offerings from HyperX and Corsair. The steel frame does make it travel-friendly, but we still wouldn’t recommend traveling with it because of its size.
The steel frame on which the headset is built on is very solid indeed, and gives the headset a defining stability and structure. It does well in distributing the weight of the headset uniformly across the head of the wearer. This is what makes the ASUS Cerberus V2 perfect for long sessions, as the wearer hardly feels tired. I used the Cerberus V2 for 4-hour plus gaming sessions and they never felt overbearing and uncomfortable. I can’t say the same for other gaming headphones. In terms of comfort, the ASUS Cerberus V2 is definitely up there.
The steel frame is key to the headphones sturdiness, but does come with its own set of limitations. While the headset will fit most heads, those with extra big skulls might face a problem. To add to that, the steel frame’s stiffness can be limiting too.
The earcups use upgraded cushions which, as per ASUS’ claims, are more durable and comfortable than the ones in the original Cerberus headset. The ear cup housings are made from plastic. They fit really well and are snuggly with just the right amount of pressure. Having a comfortable pair of headsets is key to one’s gaming experience, and the ASUS Cerberus V2 passes this department with flying colours. During my long gaming sessions, I never felt tired of uncomfortable, and I mean it.
The material on the ear cups is airy, making it less likely to sweat when using for long sessions. I didn’t sweat at all while I gamed in humid Delhi September weather. The large size of the cups help preventing the headset from overheating. Also, one thing I noticed is that it is possible to walk around with the Cerberus V2 on. Maybe you can run a little too, without shaking the fit of the headset on your skull. To those who it matters, it’s bonus of a feature. Most gaming headphones would never pass the “walk test.” The seal the earcups provide is good, but not up there with the seals of in-ears and good old noise cancellation. The sound barely leaks too, which is again, a commendable aspect. You’re certainly not going to have your neighbour complaining about leaking gun shot sounds.
As mentioned above, the ASUS Cerberus V2 has two microphone options. One is the detachable omnidirectional boom mic, the other is the in-line unidirectional microphone. This feature makes it possible to use the Cerberus V2 with consoles and mobile phones. Another bonus addition for me, to say the least. The cable is nicely braided with fibre. The in-line controls house a mic mute switch, which works with both the microphones, depending on which one is at use. It also house a volume wheel.
During my initial listening sessions, the ASUS Cerberus V2 appeared to me as being more on the bassy side. Not in an overbearing way though, it would suit gamers. After the headset burnt in for 15 hours, the sound opened up further, and that’s when I felt that the bass was perfect. This is still very subjective from person to person. To counter that, I was pleased with how the ASUS Cerberus V2 responded to equalisation. The headphone drivers manage to cover up almost all of the notes I was looking for during my listening tests.
I used the V2 for my session with Dark Souls 3. Dark Souls 3 is an atmospheric games with beings creeping up on you from unexpected directions. The game has a lot of subtle sound effects from its dynamic environment. I was very happy with how the ASUS Cerberus V2 performed with Dark Souls 3. The surround sound is pinpoint exact, and the Cerberus V2 captures the essence of being in the Dark Souls world very, very well. Sword slashes, footsteps, sounds made by far off creatures, all come out really well, with good soundstage visualisation.
The next game I used the ASUS Cerberus V2 was for Battlefield 3. I don’t play multiplayer FPS games much but I know that many esports gamers will use the ASUS Cerberus V2 for this purpose. Compared to the HyperX headset, I felt that the V2 had a much open sound, a bigger “thud” and significantly higher clarity. Grenade explosions come to life and with speed, without sounding distorted ever. The V2 really shine on the lower end spectrum of sound.
For judging the ASUS Cerberus V2’s music performance, I used a wide variety of music. From Hindustani Classical, classic rock, pop to dubstep, EDM and Bollywood. I won’t go into details of how every genre sounds on the ASUS Cerberus V2, but I can give a summary of what I concluded on the audio performance of ASUS’ latest gaming headset. The bass performance, just like in gaming, shines. While the headset doesn’t touch the extremely low sub-bass elements, its performance overall is more than acceptable. I can see audiophiles enjoying this headset for music. One aspect in particular I liked about the Cerberus V2 is its imaging and speed. It catches effortless with fast sonic changes and high bpms.
The boom microphone is omnidirectional and detachable. It is worthy to note that you can fit the boom mic into its slot in one fixed direction only, which might be bugging if you’re doing it while your eyes are transfixed to the screen. Regarding its performance, there is a slight hiss present when speaking into the boom mic. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great mic for in-game chat and casual recording, but not one I would use for live streaming. The in-line mic is unidirectional, and performs like how most in-line mics perform i.e. muffled sound with little clarity, a lot of noise and a lot of hiss. It would still do for in-game talking and making phone calls.
ASUS had big shoes to fill when updating the much loved and bestselling original Cerberus headset. Did they succeed with the Cerberus V2?
A bunch of clever upgrades throughout the headset would make my answer a BIG YES! All the improvements make sense. The steel frame adds an incredible amount of durability and longetivity to the headset. The ear cups are hands down the most comfortable ear cups I’ve used among gaming headphones. These would be my default choice for those really long gaming sessions, because they are really comfortable and snuggly, and don’t heat up or cause sweating. Built with a steel frame, they never feel heavy on the head either.
In terms of audio performance, the upgrade from the original Cerberus isn’t significant enough, but looking at the ASUS Cerberus V2 as a product on its own feet, I would say that sound quality is great, especially for what you’re paying. Performance in games is exceptional, the headphones have a good soundstage. You will enjoy any genre of game you play on the ASUS Cerberus V2.
Music performance is commendable too. This headset would suit serious music listening, as music is enjoyable and detailed. The mid-range could have been better, as sometimes it gets overpowered by the bass, but at the asking price of the ASUS Cerberus V2, what more could you ask for?
My only complaints with the Cerberus V2 would be the microphone performance, and average mid-range audio performance. A detachable cable for the headset would have been nice too, making the V2 last longer. It only makes sense, because the V2 is built to last and is extremely comfortable.
In the end, it all comes down to price. This is a competitive bracket, and many companies like HyperX, Corsair, Steelseries, Logitech and Razer have offerings directly competing with the ASUS Cerberus V2. It comes at an MRP of ₹5,100, but can be found in the open market for as low as ₹3,100, which I think is an absolute steal.
The Steelseries Siberia P200 is available for around the same price. It has better aesthetics and better microphone performance, but the Cerberus V2 beats it in audio quality, comfort and build quality. The Logitech G230 is another option for those looking for a gaming headphone in the same price range, but again, it doesn’t come close to the audio performance of the Cerberus V2.
+Sturdy build quality
+Exceptional comfort during long gaming sessions
+The ear cups are airy. No sweating!
+Good audio performance across games and music
-Average boom mic performance
-Underwhelming in-line mic performance
-Steel frame might not suit all
-Bass overpowers mid-range at times