The Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless are a great set of gaming earbuds. They’re light and compact, fit well, and sound fantastic. The addition of hybrid ANC and a low latency wireless connection is great for gamers who need to focus, and their 27 total hours of battery life means they can go the distance. Just watch out for the iffy touch controls, which can take some getting used to.
- Marvellous audio with plenty of detail
- Suave looks with a smattering of RGB
- Great hybrid ANC
- Temperamental touch controls
- Software is a little cheap-feeling
- 10mm driversThe ROG Cetra True Wireless feature 10mm drivers that offer up superb distortion-free audio
- 27-hour battery lifeAll in all, these earbuds will last for 27 hours – 4.5 hours from the buds themselves, and 22.5 hours from the charging case
- IPX4 water-resistantThe ROG Cetra True Wireless are also IPX4 water-resistant, meaning they can withstand splashes from any direction
I’ve reviewed a fair few gaming headsets in my time, but I’ve never had the pleasure of trying out some gaming earbuds. Enter the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless earbuds.
These are a true wireless version of Asus’ ROG Cetra earbuds. Offering the benefits of low-latency connectivity, a 27-hour battery life and hybrid ANC, they’ll set you back around £100. This puts them up against the likes of the Razer Hammerheads, as well as more premium wireless earbuds such as the EPOS GTW 270.
So, are these new true wireless in-ears from Asus worth your time? Let’s find out
- Suave looks
- Solid fit
- Temperamental touch controls
In terms of appearance, the Cetra True Wireless do look rather classy. While they’re predominantly made of plastic, they feel well made – and, thankfully, don’t scream “gaming earbuds” when you look at them. Sporting a glossy finish, they’re quite attractive – although, do note that they can become a bit of a magnet for smudges and grease over day-to-day use.
Asus has always had a knack for delivering headsets and earphones with a more muted aesthetic, helping them to exude a premium look overall, and this is certainly true of the Cetra True Wireless. You’ll find a smattering of RGB on the stems and the case itself, with an illuminated ROG logo the first thing that greets you when you open it up.
As for fit, the default tips on the Cetra earbuds sat nicely in my ears without any major issues. They delivered a good seal, which helped to get the full effect of the hybrid ANC. The one issue I did encounter is that the right earbud became a little loose, and attempting to make even slight adjustments without enabling the touch controls proved fiddly at times.
On the point of touch controls, the Cetra’s left earbud allows switching between the different ANC modes, including low and high. Plus there’s an Ambient mode for those times you want to hear what’s going on around you. The right earbud offers controls for all media playback: a single tap for pausing and playing your music; two taps to skip forward and three taps to go back; and pressing hold enables and disables Gaming mode.
The touch controls feel pretty responsive, but adjusting the actual fit of the earbuds is fiddly, since it can result in accidental presses that impact playback, which did become annoying from time to time.
The Cetra’s charging case feels weighty and well made. It isn’t your usual rounded shape, with Asus instead opting for a more curved design with a couple of contoured lines. The case fits well in a pocket and shouldn’t take up too much space, which is useful if you’re frequently on the move.
- Great battery life
- Hybrid ANC works a treat
- Software is underwhelming
For features, the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless earbuds pack in plenty for the price. When it comes to battery life, Asus states a total of 27 hours from both the buds themselves and the charging case. This works out at 22.5 hours from the case, and 4.5 hours from the buds with ANC off. In the real world, the Cetra lived up to these targets, lasting for around five hours with ANC off.
When you do run out of juice, the earbuds can be charged via USB-C or, for cable-free topping up, any wireless charging pads you may have knocking around. Handily, a 10-minute quick charge via the bundled USB-C cable delivers an hour and a half of playback.
The Cetra earbuds also come with hybrid ANC, which can help to block out any noise from the outside world. There are a couple of different settings, so you can choose the level of noise that’s blocked out.
The heavy ANC setting did a good job of blocking out super-noisy environments, while the lighter option allowed a little more through if you wanted a degree of awareness of what’s going on around you. These buds have an Ambient mode, too, so you can still engage in conversations while keeping the buds in your ears.
You can enable voice assistants with a simple tap of the left earbud, and the Cetra buds will work with any voice assistant apps you have on your phone. With my Galaxy S21 Ultra, this was either Bixby or Google Assistant. It’s a useful feature to have, especially if you don’t want to turn to your phone to search for the answers of any burning questions.
Asus’ Armoury Crate app is available to accompany the Cetra earbuds. Through it you can play with any EQ settings, enable the earbuds’ Gaming mode, virtual surround sound or a Bass Boost function, and check the battery levels of each earbud. It’s easy to use, but I can’t help feel that it looks a little cheap compared to other companion apps out there.
- Audio is detailed with no distortion
- Wonderfully agile, working well for games or music
- Mic is crisp and clear
For a pair of earbuds designed mainly for gaming, the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless sound pretty good. Their 10mm Asus Essence drivers offer detailed audio, without distortion in the highs and lows, with a marvellous mid-range punch that makes listening a real joy.
Whether I was listening to The Who’s Pinball Wizard, Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall or King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King, the Cetra earbuds held up wonderfully well. Even when using the Cetras for a few rounds of CS:GO on my PC, gunshots and speech were crisp and clear.
That combo of superb audio and the power of hybrid ANC makes the Cetra buds a versatile pair, whether you’re using them for gaming in the comfort of your own home, or listening to music or podcasts on a busy morning work commute.
I can see why a pair of gaming earbuds with a low-latency wireless connection over Bluetooth would be appealing, and the reason that buds are perhaps a better bet than a traditional gaming headset for portability and for general day-to-day use.
However, if you want to use them for marathon gaming sessions, then in-ear headphones in general deliver far shorter battery life compared to their purpose-built over-ear counterparts. For gaming in short bursts, though, these Cetra buds should work really well.
The mic on these earbuds also holds up rather well, offering clear comms with little in the way of distortion or vocals sounding noticeably thin. It performs well compared to gaming headsets of a similar price, ensuring that if you did want to wear these while on Discord chatting to your mates, you most definitely can.
Should you buy it?
You want some great audio
The ROG Cetra True Wireless are a marvellous choice if you’re looking for detailed and balanced audio for both gaming and music.
You don’t like fiddly touch controls
The only real downfall of the ROG Cetra True Wireless is its temperamental touch controls. If you’re looking for a more accurate means of controlling your earbuds, you should look elsewhere.
The Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless perform admirably for the price. They sound great, offering plenty of detail and a nice mid-range punch, which is superb for both gaming and day-to-day use. Hybrid ANC is definitely welcome and ensures you can stay focused on your game, while the total 27 hours of battery life means the Cetra earbuds are punching above their weight somewhat.
Whether or not you should take the plunge will depend on whether you’d like a pair of gaming earbuds, or prefer to stick with a more traditional headset. For on-the-go gaming in short bursts, buds such as these are fantastic; but note that they do lack the battery life offered by a £100 wireless headset, as well as the additional functionality of proper PC connectivity.
How we test
We use every headset we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by using it in a variety of games, as well as playing music in order to get the full experience.
We also check each headset’s software (if applicable) to see how easy it is to customise and set up.
Used as primary gaming headset for a week.
Tested with a variety of games.
Tested music playback performance.
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No. The Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless use Bluetooth, so will only work with hardware that supports this connection. This includes PC, Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch.