Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware and Software
Taking a look at the general appearance, the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air has a very muted design. There is nothing really special about this headset while turned off, which is a great departure from some over-the-top gaming headsets. The whole headset uses a dark grey color scheme aside from the cushioning, making the overall appearance quite flat in my opinion, which is appealing to people who want something more mature looking. Before you ask, yes, there is RGB LED lighting on both sides, so do not worry -- you can shake things up by turning them on. This plastic material is a fingerprint magnet though. Upon taking it out of the box, I had already placed some fingerprints on the sides. With the Syn Pro Air, you should expect to be cleaning it quite often, unless you enjoy the appeal of fingerprints on your device or simply do not care. On each side of the headset, ROCCAT tastefully displays some branding. I appreciate the minimalism as I prefer to have a smaller amount of branding on the products I own.
This headset feels entirely plastic to the touch, making it feel less substantial. However, it is made out of plastic to make it light. The weight of this headset is 286g without the microphone, which is about 50g lighter than other wireless gaming headsets on average. This was achieved partially by what the company calls the Bionic Shell. The Bionic Shell is a honeycomb structure underneath a thin layer of plastic, also found in the Kone Pro Air and Kone Pro. The cushioning on this headset is made from a black and grey athletic fabric that is filled with memory foam. Despite the use of plastic, there is very little creaking when moving or adjusting the Syn Pro Air.
Starting at the ears, the cups use an athletic fabric as previously stated. The cups are filled with memory foam for the cushioning. The amount of cushioning provided is adequate in terms of thickness, as it is not too much and not too little. I found the cushioning and athletic fabric to be quite comfortable, providing a good fit for my ears, while also being breathable. Because these cups are only made from athletic fabric, they will not look as premium as some other options that utilize leather, but it is better to keep sweat away.
This is a good time to mention a feature that Turtle Beach, ROCCAT’s parent company, calls ProSpecs. Keeping this explanation brief, inside the earcups, there will be a tab used to loosen up the tension around where your glasses would rest while wearing this headset. I personally find wearing my glasses to be much more comfortable while using the Syn Pro Air in comparison to other headsets I have used.
Taking a peek at the drivers underneath, you can see Turtle Beach’s 50mm Nanoclear drivers. These drivers have a frequency response of 12Hz to 20kHz according to the retail box, which is beyond the hearing age of a normal human being at 20Hz to 20kHz. These specifications are very similar to the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Pro. It is interesting to note the product page rates the frequency response to be 20Hz to 20kHz, so maybe someone made a copy-and-paste error. Looking away from the numbers, these ear cups can be pivoted to sit flat to rest your headphones more comfortably on your neck.
Taking a look at the top of the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air, you can see how this headset has a traditional headband design rather than a suspended design. With this, you will be able to manually adjust the headset to fit your own preference. I personally prefer this method as I have more control. A complaint I had would be the adjustment point, as it does not look very appealing, but this is just personal preference. It is incredibly noticeable and does not sit flush with the rest of the headset. I also find myself having to readjust it quite frequently.
When considering comfort, I was quite satisfied with the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air. There was a sufficient amount of foam on the ears and head for me to stay comfortable. The headset’s clamping pressure is good as it keeps the headset secure while not being too tight, but it could be a bit tighter as I did sometimes find myself having to readjust the headband. The athletic fabric allows for a more breathable experience at the cost of a more appealing appearance. I never found my ears getting too hot as expected. In my personal use, I noticed most of the weight distribution relied more on the headband, although the clamping pressure did provide a decent amount of support. I found I did not have to take this headset off very often; being able to wear it for several hours on end. This amount of comfort is quite good when considering you should only be wearing a headset for an hour at a time or less.
At the bottom of the headset is where the controls reside for the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air. There are not too many options here, so let us begin with the left ear where the microphone will reside. This side has the USB Type-C port used for charging. Directly beside this port, you will find the power button. The power button needs to be held for about 4 seconds and will take a short while to fully connect. The volume wheel adjusts the master audio for your system. The wheel itself rolls quite smoothly, but my main issue with the wheel is the precision. When adjusting the levels, it adjusts by increments of six. I personally would rather use my keyboard shortcuts. ROCCAT opts to not have a mute button on the headset as the microphone will automatically mute itself when placed in the upward position. On the right ear, we have variable mic monitoring. Like many people, I do not like the sound of my own voice, so I generally keep it off.
The ROCCAT Syn Air Pro has evolved from Swarm and now utilizes a new software called Neon. Neon will be used for all future ROCCAT products and support their AIMO ecosystem. The utility is available from ROCCAT’s support page, and it is a 64MB download. The setup process is pretty easy, and my Syn Pro Air was automatically found. I did receive some updates during my review as Neon is still in its beta phase.
After selecting the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air in the home menu, I was greeted with some settings. This page looks quite nice and has many appealing options for gamers. I will go over the most important functions starting with Superhuman Hearing, which boosts in-game sounds such as footsteps and reloads. This is a great setting for many FPS titles, but on the max setting, I often found myself getting baited by thinking the opponent was closer compared to where they really were. With my personal use with it, it did not help very much as I find those audio cues to be loud enough in most games. The reason being many shooters like VALORANT have what they call Head-Related Transfer Function or HRTF, allowing for better simulated surround sound audio space. I would end up spraying nothing, but it is still a very useful tool that may take some getting used to. 3D Audio helps with the surround sound experience and works just as expected. The Game Spatializer takes stereo sound and adjusts it to mimic multi-channel audio. Channel Mix allows you to control the balance between your game and voice chat services.
There are two other tabs, being Illumination and EQ. EQ allows you to customize the sound signature of the headphones as expected. Illumination is the tab used to control RGB lighting. In previous versions, there was only one lighting effect, which was the classic rainbow cycling. As of right now, this continues to be the case. Because Neon is still in beta, I will accept how buggy it is. I know ROCCAT’s team is working hard on it and Neon should continue to receive many further updates. One issue I found is how slow the software becomes after some of the updates throughout my time reviewing the Syn Pro Air. In some of the updates, I have found the UI to become incredibly slow. As of right now, everything works fine with the occasional errors where the software thinks the device is not connected.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Audio Analysis