ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Review: "Walks The Walk"
The ROCCAT Syn Pro Air is one of the better looking headsets from recent years, and it works great in many of the ways a headset should do so, but some extra features don't quite justify the price you'll be paying. There are some innovative ideas here, and if you don't mind the entry cost, you'll be netting yourself a very competent headset that's great for gaming and casual computer use. It doesn't quite feel feature complete though, and seems like a prototype to a much better headset down the line.
From a physical design and aesthetic standpoint, the Syn Pro Air stands out with a sleek, and almost grand look, making for a great looking peripheral in any setup. Taking it out of the box was a surprise even after seeing pictures of it beforehand. When not in use, it's all black apart from the ROCCAT Syn lettering on both ear cups, which feature a silver shine to them, and it's fairly lightweight despite how thick and encompassing it feels.
The frame is made of a durable plastic, and the ear cups are surrounded by a mesh padding that protects the light memory foam inside. The part that connects the top band to the headphones themselves is also surprising, as ROCCAT went for a pair of cylinders that lock onto the outside of the top band, instead of the typical segmented sliders that interlock. The bottom of the left headphone is where the power button is located, next to a USB-C port for charging. There are also two dials on each side, with the left one controlling overall volume, and the right monitoring your microphone in the mix.
Some of the nicest looking parts of the headset are the RGB sections on the outside of each headphone piece. When it's activated you can see a honeycomb pattern on the inside that covers the bottom quarter of each piece. A lot of RGB can be overbearing and drown out the rest of the peripheral, but it feels like a subtle implementation here that contrasts the all black design quite nicely.
As a wireless headset, part of the package is a little USB dongle you'll need to plug into your PC, which lets it discover your headset and connect it. This runs on a 2.4 GHz wireless connection and when it's up and running, it's reliable and constant, and I never feared that I was at risk of a sudden disconnection while using it. When you turn on the headset to sync with the dongle though, it's very slow and requires you to be super close, meaning it frequently takes longer than it should to connect.
Another slight annoyance comes from the fact you can't just connect the headset by USB when charging, and you'll still need the dongle to be plugged in still. For users with little room for cables, this can be a bit of a hindrance, but luckily the battery makes up for it.
ROCCAT boasted 16 hours of constant use while using RGB, and 24 hours with all the extra stuff turned off, and this mostly seems accurate - if not better. My testing saw the headset routinely last for 2-3 days of frequent use without the extra settings activated, and even after a day of RGB and 3D audio use, it still had some charge left. Charging it up to full capacity also takes a little under one hour, so you can be back to use in no time if it ever runs out.
It's also worth pointing out that there is a detachable microphone included with the headset, that can be plugged into the outside of the left earpiece. From my testing it seems fine and competes with most headset mics, plus the flip-to-mute feature is a nice touch. You'll be clear enough when talking, but there are some issues with background noise and the occasional fuzziness.
Part of the Syn Pro Air package is a piece of software called ROCCAT NEON, which allows you to monitor aspects of the headset, adjust settings, turn on features, and customise the RGB. The concept is great and massively useful for customisation and altering the headset for different use, and the settings page features great additions like the option to see battery life, boost dialogue in-games, activate 3D audio, and more.
The equalizer page is also a good option for when you listen to music, giving you the choice to activate bass boost or treble boost, along with adjusting various dB levels. Most of these could do with some explanatory text to fully elaborate on what they do for the users, as it hinges on people having prior knowledge to work it all.
The rest of the software is where it falls flat though, as there is an assignment page that seems to give you the option to change the function of the right dial on the headset, but this doesn't work. The page dedicated to RGB also seems to be broken, as I couldn't ever activate custom profiles. There is an option called AIMO which seems to work for a short while, but it requires you to go back into the app and activate it. Many of these are fixable issues, as it's all in the software, but until they fully work, it's just a half-baked feature.
If you're planning on buying the Syn Pro Air headset, then it will likely be for gaming, and without any of the extra audio features turned on, it delivers respectably. It enunciates the extra effects you'll hear in games to really immersive you in the experience, like the explosive and gory effects in the latest Shadow Warrior, or the clang of metal on metal in Elden Ring.
For competitive games the 3D audio feature is an excellent addition that incorporates new angles and directions into the sound experience, letting you follow footsteps more closely or track the location of a gunshot. I tested this with VALORANT, trying 3D audio on and off, and it makes quite a big difference when activated. I found it hard to adjust to a game afterwards without the extra dimension of sound, so this is a welcome feature that is sure to give you an edge in similar multiplayer titles.
The headset is a comfortable fit for the most part too, with the memory foam ear cups fitting snugly around the ear. The extra protection along the bottom of the top band stops the immediate pressure of wearing it, but after long use my head started to feel sore. Part of the problem is that the cylinder design for extending the headset is too short, and I couldn't get the slightly looser fit that I prefer. Wearing a hat can help alleviate this, and those with slightly smaller heads may not have the same issues, but it was an obstacle to wanting to wear it all the time.
If You Can Afford...
The ROCCAT Syn Pro Air is a mostly solid wireless headset that looks great across the board, and functions to a high standard in the majority of situations. It sounds good by default, and can be made even better with the 3D audio mode for competitive gaming, and the battery life walks the walks. However, the included software doesn't quite hit the mark due to some broken features, and wearing it may not be the comfiest at times due to the short extension length. If you can afford the price, it will likely serve you well, but there are cheaper alternatives which offer more bang for your buck.
Product provided free of charge.