Roccat Syn Pro Air Wireless PC Gaming Headset Review
Roccat’s new flagship combines proven performance and lightweight comfort with powerful 3D audio
The ever-evolving $150 wireless PC gaming headset market is crowded with great options, so a new competitor has to stand out in order to make a difference. Roccat already has an excellent sub-$100 wireless option in the ELO 7.1 Air, and they could have just chosen to beef up its specs and build and call it a day when targeting this higher price bracket.
Instead, Roccat crafted an entirely original design for the new Syn Pro Air, which is now the flagship of their PC headset lineup. It uses the same design language as their excellent lightweight mice, and also benefits from their recent Turtle Beach merger, inheriting time-tested speaker drivers and other popular audio technologies from the long-running headset brand. The Syn Pro Air also has full 3D audio support thanks to the award-winning Waves technology, which has impressed me in the past.
If you’re looking for a virtual surround sound listening experience for your PC games, movies, and music…it’s hard to beat. And it’s also one of the lightest and comfiest wireless headsets I’ve ever used.
NOTE: Roccat graciously sent me an early production retail unit of this gaming headset to review at my discretion alongside marketing assets and technical information. I don’t receive a kickback if you decide to buy one, and none of the links in this article are affiliate links. I wasn’t sponsored to write this, and I had full editorial control over this article.
The Roccat Syn Pro Air sells for $149.99 (official site here). It’s a wireless, closed-back gaming headset designed for use with PC. It has full RGB lighting, a 24-hour battery life, USB-C quick charging, and a detachable microphone. It integrates Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing feature and ProSpecs glasses comfort foam, and is also launching alongside Roccat’s brand new Neon software platform. It features Waves-powered 3D audio and also offers compatibility with the Windows Sonic spatial audio platform.
In the box, you get the headset itself, some documentation, a USB-C charging cable, a wireless USB-A dongle, and a small USB-C to USB-A port adapter for using the dongle with newer laptops that don’t include the larger USB port.
I had the chance to test the headset for about five days across both my gaming desktop and my Surface Laptop Go. The Neon software received active updates during that time, and while it’s not a replacement for Roccat’s Swarm just yet, it’s off to a promising start. You can read more details about the new software below in the “features” section.
While the Syn Pro Air will technically produce audio plugged into a PS4 (or other consoles that will recognize generic USB devices), just like with the Elo 7.1 Air you’ll lose most of the extra functionality and have no control of the volume on the headset itself. This is a headset designed for PC gamers, first and foremost. If you’re looking for a similarly-performing headset for your console with the same driver technology inside and added Bluetooth support, perhaps consider the awesome Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2.
The Syn Pro Air uses Turtle Beach’s 50mm “Nanoclear” speaker drivers, with a new tuning thanks to a new housing design. I’ve been impressed with these drivers since they first appeared years ago, and they still sound great here. They produce an accurate, balanced, detailed sound that’s easily up to the level expected for this price point.
Bass, midrange, and treble are all well-represented and reasonably accurate to the source presentation, with only a little bit of extra sweetening at the bottom and the top of the range. They aren’t quite as accentuated as the fun new Eclipse drivers in the recent Turtle Beach Recon 500’s, but instead offer a sound close to what I expect from a nice pair of studio headphones.
Soundstage is wonderful and accurate, and should allow for easy pinpointing of enemies in games. If you want to take things up a notch imaging-wise, you can use the Neon software to turn on Superhuman Hearing mode, which will re-equalize the sound to emphasize spatial cues and drop away all other sounds. This mode really works, and while it’s not great for normal listening, it will help you to better detect enemies in multiplayer games.
I tested the headset for several days straight across all of my favorite games, and for several hours of music listening as well. It performs as well as I could ask of a gaming headset, or of a normal pair of headphones at this price. Compared with the excellent HyperX Cloud II Wireless, the Syn Pro Air has a bit more emphasis in the midrange and treble, and a slightly wider sense of space as well.
As far as raw stereo audio performance, these two models are close competitors. Fans of bass response and warmth will prefer the Cloud II Wireless, but the details really shine on the Syn Pro Air.
The stereo listening mode is great then, and up to the level I’ve come to expect from the way these drivers sound in other products. But that’s not the true star of the show here, and not actually how I preferred to listen to this headset. Turn on the 3D audio mode, and the Syn Pro Air becomes one of the most enjoyable wireless PC headsets you can buy right now.
I’ve reviewed Waves 3D audio twice before: once through its standalone software package and again on the head-tracking enabled HyperX Cloud Orbit S. The Syn Pro’s implementation of this award-winning virtual surround tech is excellent, and while it doesn’t track your head position, that’s not a feature I’d expect at this price point.
Waves is a great alternative to the 3D audio systems built into Windows. It creates a very convincing sensation of an open soundstage with sources that emanate from the room around you instead of inside your head. It’s also one of the only 3D audio systems that I actually enjoy listening to music with. Normally, I only use a headset’s virtual surround when listening to games and go with regular stereo for music, but on the Syn Pro Air I preferred leaving 3D audio turned on during nearly all of my listening tests. It’s the best way to listen to the headset.
In the new Roccat Neon software, you can choose from three different sound presets designed for Games, Music, and Movies. The “Games” mode has the most accurate, reference-like sound, and the other two options add a bit more virtual room noise to make it feel like you’re listening to speakers in a space.
This is a superior and easier-to-use spatial audio system compared to the THX spatial audio software included with Razer’s products at this price, and it also bests the surround mode on the HyperX Cloud II Wireless. Those other systems both handle games very well, but they have obvious “sweetening” and EQ adjustments that make the sound more accentuated and artificial than in standard stereo mode. The Syn Pro Air’s 3D mode is more precise and accurate to the original source.
Surprisingly, the performance here lives up to the expectations I’ve had set by more expensive products using Waves 3D technology. It renders Borderlands 3’s detailed soundscape perfectly, with plenty of realistic spatial depth and enough precision that the many small sonic details don’t get lost under the explosions. It’s a best-in-class virtual surround experience.
If you’ve already paid for a Dolby Atmos license or prefer using Windows Sonic, it’s easy to disable the Syn Pro’s 3D Audio and use those systems instead through Windows. And the tuning of the headset still works well even when not using its built-in spatial tech. As detailed above in the Sound Quality section, the standard stereo audio is also great. But with the Syn Pro’s 3D Audio turned on, these impressed me in a way that $150 headsets don’t always manage.
The Syn Pro Air is probably the most comfortable wireless PC headset I’ve ever used, just edging out the Cloud II Wireless thanks to its light design. It weighs just 289g without the mic attached, making it one of the lightest wireless models on the market today. The memory foam padding is very soft, and the ear cups have plenty of room inside so my ears don’t run into anything.
Aside from a gentle clamp that keeps the headset in place on my head, I barely feel these while wearing them. The smooth adjustment sliders hold their place well , and I have a little bit of extra room even on my larger head, so these should fit most head sizes just fine. The ear cup swivel mechanisms are heavily-articulated, and I had no trouble getting a great seal even around my glasses.
Those articulated adjustment mechanisms also lay flat, for easy wearing around the neck. I found it just as comfortable on my shoulders as I did on my head.
There’s no “but” coming. This is an exceptionally comfy headset even over long multi-hour gaming sessions, and it’s clear that it was designed with user comfort and exceptional virtual surround as its main goals.
Everything about this headset is engineered for a perfect balance of solid materials and lightweight comfort, making this one of my favorite PC headset industrial designs on the market right now.
At first blush, the headband bares a passing resemblance to the Astro A20, and the ear cup supports look a little like those on the Steelseries Arctis family. But in practice, the stylish design of the Syn Pro Air exceeds both of those.
The headset feels both light and premium right from first use, and that vibe doesn’t go away over time. The headband contour is perfectly engineered to balance the headset across your whole head, and the ear cup swivels and adjustments have a sturdy feel that should hopefully stand the test of time.
When I first saw that Roccat would be using their “bionic” shell design from their lightweight mice in the ear cups here, I was intrigued. To my knowledge, no one has ever applied the techniques that have cut weight out of gaming mice to a headset before. Sure enough, the cups here have the same translucent honeycomb shell that’s on top of Roccat’s recent mice, and also have RGB lights shining through.
The ear pad and headband pad material is a nice soft sports cloth that helps prevent sweat buildup while also blocking enough noise that these did fine in my usual coffee shop isolation test. (It’s such a relief to actually be able to do that test again!). While the fabric looks like it might have a coarse texture, it actually feels very nice against my face and head, sort of like a comfortable car seat.
Every decision made in the design of this unique-looking headset makes it more sleek and comfortable to wear.
Battery life on the Syn Pro Air is great, with a 24–hour use rating that seems accurate in my testing. The headset supports fast-charging over USB-C, and you can get back about five hours of battery life with just fifteen minutes of charging.
The microphone is detachable, and uses one of Turtle Beach’s “TruSpeak” capsules. It has a clean, accurate sound, and while it has a little bit of wireless compression noise, your friends should have no trouble understanding you in-game. It’s also impressively sensitive, with no volume issues and no need to jam the mic right into my mouth in order to get a good signal. Unlike many detachable mics, you can flip this one up to mute it! That means you’ll have to insert it at the right orientation, and there are little notches to assist with that. When you’re not using the mic, Roccat has included a small rubber plug to cover up the port. Here’s a test of the mic I recorded.
The new Neon software is slick and simple to use , but not quite yet a complete software package. It’s still in beta as of this writing, and I used two different versions during testing. The first version ran perfectly on both my desktop and laptop, but the release day version threw a bit of a fit on my laptop and wouldn’t detect the headset no matter how many reinstalls I tried.
Now, Roccat is aggressively developing this platform and I have no doubt these issues will get better quickly and it’ll be working again on my laptop in no time. And on the plus side, the release day edition of the software added a full graphical EQ, something that competitors like the Cloud II Wireless lack.
I’m a fan of Roccat’s old Swarm platform for its ease of use and integration of multiple devices across their ecosystem. Neon only supports the Syn Pro Air for now, which means that you’ll now have to have multiple packages installed if you have multiple Roccat devices.
It also means that you can’t synchronize the AIMO RGB lighting on the Syn Pro Air to your other Roccat devices as of this moment. That’s my only significant complaint with this headset. I love the AIMO system. It makes it easy to sync your lighting effects and never think about it again. So losing that functionality is a bit of a bummer here. Roccat’s official page for Neon does say that it’ll support their other peripherals very soon, so this won’t be an issue in the future, but right now it’s not ideal.
Fortunately, the RGB is still customizable outside the AIMO setting, so you can easily pick a lighting scheme that suits your tastes. Also, RGB lighting on headsets is more beneficial for stream viewers and others around you since you can’t see it while you’re wearing the headset.
Other than the lighting sync issue, Neon makes it very easy to toggle the 3D audio features on and off. It also features a game/chat balance setting, and a noise gate control for the mic. Normally I turn those off, but I found the noise gate here tastefully applied so I left it on.
I’ll revisit the Neon software package again in the near future as it receives more updates, and I’m optimistic about its continued development. It controls the headset very smoothly, and has a more modern interface than Swarm does.
Wireless range is very good on the Syn Pro Air. I can get about thirty feet away with a couple of walls in the way inside my apartment before I have signal loss. You should have no trouble using it in any normal gaming contexts.
The controls on the headset are simple and easy to reach. There’s a large volume wheel on the back of each ear cup. The left wheel controls volume and the right wheel controls mic sidetone level. The power button lives on the bottom of the left ear cup, so you won’t accidentally turn your headset off when trying to change the volume.
I was worried when I first got into this one. Another $150 headset in a market that already has so many great contenders? And it’s launching alongside new software? Fortunately, the Syn Pro Air’s amazing new comfortable design, proven sound performance, and excellent 3D audio system quickly won it a place among my personal favorites.
It’s not designed for non-PC players and it doesn’t currently have lighting sync compatibility with other Roccat peripherals, but otherwise this is one of the best wireless headset choices at the $150 price point. The Cloud II Wireless is its closest competitor, and while that pair has better console compatibility, the Syn Pro Air’s features package edges out that still-excellent model.
You’ll get a bit more flexibility out of a wired pair at this price point just due to the PC compatibility limitations and the bandwidth issues inherent to wireless mics, but for PC gamers the Roccat Syn Pro Air offers a light comfy fit, solid microphone, and class-leading 3D audio performance. It has the same blend of cutting-edge tech and reasonable value that other Roccat products are known for, and it’s both a worthy addition to their lineup and a serious competitor in this crowded market.