In parallel to the Logitech G Astro A30 Wireless, I had the opportunity to test the Roccat Syn Max Air, another wireless headset specifically designed for gamers. Both models fall into the same price range, with a price tag of 250 USD. Like its competitor, the Roccat Syn Max Air offers versatility by combining 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth connectors. However, upon testing, I noticed significant differences between the two models.
Is the Roccat Syn Max Air worth the investment? I aimed to answer this question by testing it in everyday use. Here’s my conclusion.
Roccat Syn Max Air, Technical Sheet
|Compatibility||PS5, PS4, Switch, Windows, Mac, tablets|
|Microphone type||Detachable unidirectional microphone|
|Microphone noise reduction||No|
|7.1 / 3D rendering||Yes|
|Weight||325 grams without cable|
|Connections available||Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz, wired (USB)|
The Unboxing of the Roccat Syn Max Air
The Roccat Syn Max Air is a wireless headset, but its usage may be limited by the connection. Upon unboxing, you will find the headphones, two cables, a docking station, a USB-C to USB-A adapter, and a detachable microphone.
The headset itself is aesthetically similar to the Sync Pro Air, a model released in the summer of 2021. The design is simple and the build is solid. The headband is made of soft plastic and allows for subtle adjustments to the height of the ear cups for a comfortable fit. These ear cups are held by a brushed aluminum component.
The docking station serves a dual purpose when used with a PC: it not only charges the headset but also acts as a wireless receiver. Unlike many other headsets that come with a discreet USB dongle, the Roccat Syn Max Air relies on the versatile docking station. However, this does require some installation logistics as outlined below.
My initial impression of the materials is very positive. The materials are high-quality and the headset is comfortable to wear. The experiment looks promising!
The installation process is somewhat complicated.
The Roccat Syn Max Air can be used in three different ways: wired with its USB-C cable, wireless with its 2.4 GHz docking station, or wireless via Bluetooth. The use of the docking station is optional, as the headset can be charged by simply plugging it in, but this may not justify the expense of the model.
The supplied docking station has two USB-C inputs and the package comes with two cables, one with a lightning bolt symbol and the other with a computer symbol. It is possible to connect the docking station to your computer, but this will slow down the charging of the headset. To take advantage of fast charging, you must connect it to another USB-C port or a mains charger. The package does not include a mains charger, only a USB-C to USB-A adapter.
If your computer does not have a USB-C port, you will need to use the adapter. Fast charging can be achieved with a smartphone charger, but this requires additional logistics. Additionally, the supplied cables may be too short depending on your computer setup.
Installing the docking station may be a bit tedious and if you are a cable management enthusiast, you may not want to change it regularly. However, connecting the headphones via Bluetooth is much simpler and can be done easily with devices such as PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch or a smartphone. Additionally, if your laptop PC has Bluetooth, you can connect the headset to it without any difficulty.
A comfortable helmet to wear and adjust
The Roccat Syn Max Air is turned on by a small button on the left earcup. It will verbally indicate the activated connectors and its battery level. Once it’s on your head, it is extremely comfortable, it does not constrict the skull and its balanced weight does not put pressure on the neck. It weighs 325 grams which is in the lower range of the market average. The ear cups can be adjusted to the right height with the metal rods present on the side.
The ProSpecs pads are also comfortable and there is enough room for the ears, a must-have feature for circum-aural headphones.
The TrueSpeak microphone is detachable, but it can also be raised on the side of the helmet when not in use. If you want to use the headset to listen to music, you can remove the microphone and secure the connectors with a small plug provided.
In terms of usage, the Roccat Syn Max Air is generally satisfactory. However, during my daily use of the headphones, I encountered several occasions where I lost the signal from the headphones which seemed to be working but wasn’t broadcasting the PC sound. I had to turn off and on the headphones to regain the signal and be able to use it. I couldn’t figure out if it was a headset or PC issue. This problem did not appear when using Bluetooth.
Immersive sound quality with the advantages of Turtle Beach
The Roccat Syn Max Air offers good sound quality right out of the box. Its 50mm diameter transducers provide a sound that is both powerful and soft, with a well-balanced overall sound. However, it is by adjusting the functions and settings within the Roccat Swarm software that the headset truly shines.
Activating the 3D Audio feature takes the sound experience to a whole new level, with sound spatialization that is highly immersive. It gives the impression of rediscovering certain games, and the good passive sound insulation only adds to the overall experience. The Turtle Beach headset also offers the option to use the Superhuman Hearing sound adjustment, which emphasizes sounds in fighting games for better precision during gameplay.
The ability to make adjustments to the settings while experiencing the real-time rendering is also a big plus. The Roccat Swarm software is easy to use and encourages refining the sound experience with the headset’s rich potential. It is also possible to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone and the backlight of the headset (which has nothing to do with the sound, but I find it visually appealing).
The Roccat Syn Max Air is suitable for mobility, but …
The Roccat Syn Max Air performs effectively when used in Bluetooth mode, making it a pleasant option for listening to music. However, its size may be too bulky for mobile use, and the lack of an additional microphone in the headphones makes taking calls difficult without having the flip-up microphone attached to the headset, which may not be ideal when not gaming.
Another downside is the lack of a mobile application for fine-tuning the headset’s settings when used in Bluetooth. Currently, the Roccat Swarm software is only available for use on PC. This is a missed opportunity for such a high-performance headset that emphasizes its versatility.
A very correct autonomy, carried by the docking station
According to Turtle Beach, the Roccat Syn Max Air boasts a battery life of up to 16 hours, which is a fairly accurate estimate. However, with the convenient option to place it directly on the docking station after use, the issue of battery life is not a major concern. As long as the headset is not worn for 16 hours a day, battery drain should not be an issue.
The Roccat Syn Max Air can be charged via USB-C while in use, although it may not be the most convenient option.
- Premium finish
- Very comfortable to use
- Adjustable and detachable microphone
- Very complete Roccat Swarm software
- Useful and design docking station
- A little tedious installation
- No small USB dongle
- Some loss of wireless connection
- No mobile application
- The Roccat Syn Max Air is an expensive helmet but its price is justified in use.
- It is a very comfortable model that displays a high sound potential for an immersive and personalized gaming experience.
- It is well-suited for both single-player and multiplayer gaming, including in competitive games where sonic precision is an asset.
- Its microphone is also of very good quality.
- Its versatility, ensured by its Bluetooth connectivity, is also a positive point.
- The main complaints are its somewhat tedious installation and its design, which makes it more of a headset to be used at home on different devices than on the move as a hands-free kit.
Overall, it is a good product from Turtle Beach.