While there are headphones specially meant for music and movie enthusiasts, gamers often look for more than just performance. Features is one of those things and style is the other.

An equally fancy carry case for the Vulcan ANC headphones

An equally fancy carry case for the Vulcan ANC headphones

ASUS’ Republic of Gamers series of hardware components span across several categories. Their recently launched Vulcan ANC is designed for gamers who would like some noise cancellation ability in their headphones.

Design and build quality

Unlike most headphones in the market, the ASUS Vulcan comes in a fancy, but sturdy pouch. The pouch is hard and should protect the headphones from damage while travelling. There’s even a small gap made for the bundled microphone.

Detachable cable that connects the headphones to the source

Detachable cable that connects the headphones to the source

The headphones are slightly bulky. The earphone area itself is small, but the clamp holding the speakers in place are larger. The band used is made of plastic, but it’s been reinforced with metal. There's also a hinge that lets you fold the headphones tight. This makes it easier to carry them with you in the bundled pouch or a bag. The headphones are made out of good quality plastic. The patch that makes contact with the top of your head has a thick foam padding wrapped in a synthetic material and makes wearing the Vulcan comfortable. The surface on the insides of the headphones are covered with cloth while the cushions covering the ear are lined with the same texture as the top band. 

The cushions make wearing the headphones comfortable, but for a somewhat high-end pair of headphones, more exotic materials could’ve been used.  The quality of cables used on the Vulcan ANC are of good quality and the sides of the headphones have the Republic of Gamers branding. 

Features

ASUS claims that the Vulcan ANC is capable of rendering audio frequencies between 10Hz and 20 kHz. It does this using two 40mm drivers. Impedance is 32 Ohms, which is generally the norm for most headphones. The headphones come with a detachable microphone unit that snaps into the port on the headphone. The tip of this extension is flexible, so there is some space for adjustment. A single cable runs to the PC port which branches out into two separate 3.5mm analog connectors. This is detachable and it’s handy because you can't pack it up easily. There’s also a microphone muting feature and a volume control dial on the same cable. The clip-on design allows you to fix it on your shirt.

A separate volume control unit

A separate volume control unit

One of the key features of the Vulcan ANC is active noise cancellation. The feature is enabled by a small slider along the bottom of the headphones. The feature requires you to power the headphone using a single AAA battery. The battery is housed in the right compartment of the headphone. Removing the cover is easy – a simple press of a button allows the casing to be released.

Performance

The Vulcan ANC sounds pretty decent across all genres of music. It’s loud, but it lacks the vibrancy and detail that you get from mainstream music and movie oriented headphones. The bass, for example isn’t as punchy as we’d like it to be. The tone and nature of the headphones are more inclined towards the highs than they are towards the bass and mids. As a result, vocals and classical music tends to suffer. Rock and metal sound are decent but the weaker mids and bass make them sound less than impressive.

The key feature, active noise cancellation works exceptionally well. The headphones fit well and there’s little to no gap left for outside sound to seep into the headphones. So, noise isolation itself is fine. Slide the noise cancellation slider and the Vulcan ANC successfully cuts out a lot of low and mid frequency sound from the headphones. Higher pitched sounds still can be heard though. Unlike some other headphones that emit a very clear frequency to the headphones, there’s no such problem with these headphones. Everything does become eerily quiet when you turn it on.

Although noise isolation is great, it does tamper a bit with the audio quality. There’s a change in quality and the richness and volume seems to be turned down a notch. We recommend disabling noise isolation when you’re listening to music or gaming at high volumes. 

Verdict

The ASUS Vulcan ANC’s do a fair job for audio listening and for gaming. It’s not as impressive as the Audio Technica ATH-M50.

A rather attractive design

A rather attractive design

The Vulcan is more comfortable though, and the noise isolation works rather well. It’s priced at Rs. 7,100, which makes it a decent buy, only if you’re looking for noise isolation. If you’re a gamer and you’re looking for great audio quality, then you’re likely to find it in other options.

Publish date: August 26, 2011 5:37 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:24 pm

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