Wireless headphones are convenient, but they’re rarely the best option for gamers. Even the best Bluetooth audio codecs have some latency, and if you want to play without lag audio, you’ll have to deal with a drop in sound quality. The solution may be simpler than expected, at least in the eyes of ASUS.
The new ASUS ROG Cetra True Wireless Pro Earbuds feature a detachable USB-C audio cable (with built-in ESS 9280 Quad DAC and noise-cancelling microphone). Essentially both are wired and wireless earbuds. If you want to push the earbuds’ 10mm drivers to the limit (and enjoy them without lag), you can simply plug them into the included headphone cable.
This idea isn’t unique – many over-ear headphones work in both wired and wireless modes. But earbud brands like to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the benefits of wired audio. So the fact that ASUS offers a two-in-one solution is a pleasant surprise.
For what they’re worth, the ROG Cetra True Wireless Pro earbuds should offer premium audio with minimal latency even in wireless mode. That’s because they use the new Snapdragon Sound codec, which delivers CD-quality lossless audio (44.1kHz, 16-bit) with just 45ms latency.
Snapdragon Sound is an emerging technology. At the time of writing, ASUS, Edifier, and Nura are the only major brands offering this Bluetooth codec outside of China. Unfortunately, you can’t take advantage of Snapdragon Sound without a compatible smartphone (although the new ROG Phone 6 range supports the codec).
I should note that the ROG Cetra True Wireless Pro earbuds offer seven hours of playtime. With the charging case, you have a total battery life of 21 hours. That number drops to just 13 hours with ANC enabled – oh, did I mention ANC is there?
ASUS says the ROG Cetra True Wireless Pro earbuds will launch in September or October. Pricing is still a mystery, but for what it’s worth, I expect these earbuds will compete in the premium market.
Source: ASUS via Digital Trends
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