If the dystopian atmosphere of 2021 makes you tired of a desk full of Gothic black gaming peripherals, Asus has a solution with the Rog Strix Go Core Moonlight White gaming headset. The color matches a full line of Asus ROG Moonlight White products, including the Zephyrus G14 and G15 notebooks, Scope NX TKL keyboard, Impact II mouse, and Cetra II Core wired earbuds. Whether you just want to spice up your gaming setup or make your gaming setup look like home in an industrial cleanroom, this headset is just one step you can take to add some (muted) color to your gaming setup.
ROG Strix Go Core is similar in design to the wireless ROG Strix Go 2.4, but lacks the wireless and USB connectivity options of that headset. However, these 3.5mm cans cost just $79.99, versus $199.99 for the wireless version.
Cheap, comfortable and light, this wired headset offers good audio that doesn’t suffer in any major areas, but also doesn’t stand out. It is not the best in its class in terms of sound quality, as you can find on the best gaming headsetsbut some gamers will find that the modern style more than makes up for the missing content here on the audio front.
Asus ROG Strix Go Core specs
|Driver type:||40mm. Neodymium Magnet|
|Frequency Response||20 – 40,000 Hz|
|Microphone Type:||Unidirectional Boom Microphone|
|Connectivity Options||3.5mm cable|
|Cables||3.5mm (3.9 feet/1.2m)|
|Additionally||3.5mm extension cable (4.5 feet/1.4 m)|
Design and comfort
The “Go” in the name implies portability, and the ROG Strix Go Core delivers on that front. It’s lightweight at just 0.56 pounds, and the cups fold flat and pivot inward for easy storage in a carrying case. (unlike the wireless) Go 2.4 version, no case is included.)
Unfortunately, the 3.5mm cable isn’t removable, so you’ll need to wrap it with the included Velcro fastener to keep it tidy. It’s a shame it’s not detachable as it means the headset is useless if a pet, child or other ominous element were to damage the cable. The included 3.5mm extension cable splits the single TRSS connector into dedicated microphone and headset plugs.
The tasteful moonlight white design is accentuated by light gray on the headband and leatherette ear cups. Overall, it’s the antithesis of the blingy RBG you’ll find on many competing gaming headphones, but there are still plenty of subtle nods to the Republic of Gamers branding in the headset. In particular, there are embossed ROG logos on the earcups and almost invisible “Republic of Gamers” atop the headband.
The ear cups are quite comfortable, with the twist mechanism allowing them to fit snugly against your head regardless of the shape. The leatherette on the earcups is supported by a lightweight foam, rather than the thicker, denser and heavier memory foam found on many headsets. This helps keep the pressure on your ears low, while still maintaining a good seal for audio isolation. The leatherette cover can be a bit hotter than fabric though, and it wasn’t as comfortable as the fabric lined one Epos H3 Hybrid during long gaming sessions.
Controls are minimal, with a mic mute switch and volume rocker on the left earcup, along with the detachable mic. While more elaborate volume controls can be cool, like with the touch controls on the Creative SXFi Air GamerI appreciated the simplicity and precision of the Rog Strix Go Core’s classic analog dial on the bottom of the cans.
I’ve put the gaming capabilities of the ROG Strix Go Core to the test with the help of the upcoming beta battlefield 2042, as well as a variety of other titles, including: Watch Dogs: Legion, Far Cry 6, and IL-2 Sturmovik. In general, the sounds were clear across the spectrum, from low gunshots to high alarms, as well as more subtle sounds such as screeching alarms, distant footsteps and conversations with bystanders.
As you’d hope with gaming headphones, the bass here is strong, but it’s not overdone or accentuated to the point of distraction. Nearby explosions were dramatic enough to make me jump, and the roar of a Spitfire’s engine in… IL-2 was compelling. However, high tones are not lost and even at medium volume subtle ambient sounds are apparent.
The headset doesn’t include surround audio software, so I tested it with Dolby Atmos for Headphones on the PC and Xbox Series X, and Tempest 3D on the PS5. The effect was more subtle than some hardware-based 3D audio solutions, but was definitely noticeable as the soundscape seemed to spread out more completely around me than before. Overall, the gaming audio quality is good, but the 40mm drivers don’t quite have the details of the larger 53mm drivers in the Fnatic React+that can better separate sounds into complex soundscapes.
Music sometimes feels like an afterthought with gaming headphones, but the ROG Strix Go Core handles it surprisingly well. As you’d expect with the accentuated bass, hip-hop tracks like Kanye West’s Hurricane sounded accurate, with both the backing beat and vocals clear and crisp. At the other end of the audio spectrum, the instruments in Pink Floyds are predominantly instrumental The endless river were all clear and plain. While all the music styles I tried generally sounded good, the audio richness and detail were nothing compared to my audiophile-focused Sennheiser 3.0 cans, but they cost $299 and aren’t suitable for gaming.
There’s no noise cancellation, but the isolation is generally strong, with only the loudest ambient sounds leaking in, and even then only if the volume was quite low. When my son tried this one, I heard the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War the sound is audible despite being about a meter and a half away from him.
The detachable omnidirectional cardioid microphone features a pop filter and a flexible yet rigid arm that stays firmly in place during use. It lacks the AI noise canceling feature of the Go 2.4 model, but it focused on my voice well and only picked up the loudest background noise. Even with it very close to my noisy mechanical keyboard, keystrokes were barely perceptible.
Overall, my voice sounded clear and accurate, and the mic wasn’t as overly sensitive or fussy about being positioned just right as some other headsets, like the Razer Barracuda X.
Features and software
As is often the case with cheaper wired headsets, there’s no bundled software here, so you’re left to the capabilities of your device and/or game when it comes to tweaking the equalizer and adding 3D surround audio.
The ROG Strix Go Core isn’t cutting edge in any area, but it’s also relatively inexpensive. It has a more understated style than many alternatives, especially when you combine it with other Asus Arctic White peripherals. It offers excellent portability, a comfortable construction and performance that won’t blow you away, but it won’t disappoint you either.
The Fnatic React+ is a serious competitor to the ROG Strix Go Core, as it has larger 53mm drivers that produce slightly clearer sound, as well as an even better microphone and hardware-based 7.1 surround sound support, all for just $20 more. The React+ doesn’t look quite as nice as the Asus set, though, and the ROG Strix Go Core pairs well with white game controllers.