The first rule when designing any gaming headset is to make it comfortable. Failure to do so makes any number of amazing audio advancements pointless, because if your headset doesn’t fit right or even hurts to wear after a short time, what good is it? The Roccat Syn Max Air suffers from this exact issue and despite having genuinely high-quality audio, the comfort factor throws everything out of balance.
Audio quality and features alone would probably see the Roccat Syn Max Air compete among the best wireless gaming headsets on the market, instead, it falls just short of its potential, especially with such a premium cost attached to it.
- Rapid charging dock
- Superhuman Hearing feature
- RGB is visually pleasing
- The microphone picks up too much ambient noise
- Build quality looks and feels cheap
|Roccat Syn Max Air Specs|
|Connectivity||2.4GHz + Bluetooth 5.1|
|Battery Life||16 Hours|
The Roccat Syn Max Air makes use of many features found in the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro. This is no surprise given that Turtle Beach owns Roccat, but sharing tech between brands is sometimes still a no-no.
Here, the Syn Max Air benefits massively from the 5omm neodymium drivers and features such as Superhuman Hearing but stops short of adding a complete noise cancellation option which is questionable for a $250 headset. Perhaps there were concerns over it being too similar to the Stealth Pro.
3D audio is fast becoming a new standard and is certainly considered as such in premium headsets, so having it featured on the Syn Max Air is a given.
Simultaneous 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth connections are also present, meaning you can connect to your PC or gaming laptop while also staying connected to your phone or tablet.
The microphone is removable and features flip-to-mute technology, something I’m not personally a fan of, but understand is far easier than having to blindly reach for a mute button on an earcup.
A charging dock is also included and it features a similar RGB setup to the headset itself. It’s weighty and the Syn Max Air connects via magnets, which can sometimes be tricky to position right to get it charging, but it’s a far better solution than just trailing a cable across your desk. Granted, similar headsets have adopted a removable battery system to prevent having to pause usage to charge at all.
I have mixed feelings about the overall design of the Roccat Syn Max Air. It has a cheap feel to the build which is comprised of a mix of plastics and metals. When turned off, you could easily mistake the Syn Max Air for a budget gaming headset. It’s only when it’s turned on with the RGB active that this feeling is somewhat dampened.
There are attempts to offer comfort with the design of the Roccat Syn Max Air. This includes a layer of cooling gel on top of memory foam in the earcups and a ProSpecs glasses-friendly approach. On paper, this is great, but in reality, as someone with a slightly larger head, the Roccat Syn Max Air felt too small and rigid for me, even when adjusted to its largest setting, and it moved around far too much, completely negating the glasses comfort that was promised.
I do, however, love the design of the charging dock, with flowing RGB around the rim and the magnetic contacts, which can be tricky at first, but are simple enough to get used to.
I wish the microphone had been fixed, rather than removable, for fears that repeatedly plugging and unplugging it could create an aspect of wear and tear that was avoidable. The layout of the volume and mic monitoring controls is well thought through, with one each per earcup, but it will take some time to remember which is which.
Unlike its design, the performance of the Roccat Syn Max Air is anything but subpar. As has already been mentioned, Roccat has access to the same technology that made the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro an audio powerhouse.
Having 3D audio is a must, as once you’ve tried it, there is no going back to standard stereo audio. It offers additional layers of depth for ultimate immersion in any game you play, and just generally improves your experience all around.
Superhuman Hearing is part of this deal and is a game-changer for all competitive shooters like CS2 and Valorant. Activating this feature puts a greater emphasis on crucial sounds like footsteps or reloads, offering an audio advantage over other players.
Just 16 hours of battery life is okay, but given that there is no way to swap batteries, and instead, the headset must be charged to be ready for use again, it is just another aspect of the Syn Max Air that falls short compared to its competitors. The saving grace is a rapid charging system that has you ready to go again in as little as 15 minutes.
When it comes to the microphone, it’s basic at best, and unfortunately, it tends to pick up a lot of ambient noise like keyboard tapping and heavy breathing. It once again raises issues with the pricing of the Syn Max Air, because for $249, the last thing you should be worrying about is ambient sound ruining how you sound to others.
I struggle to recommend the Roccat Syn Max Air, not only because of the comfort issues I faced, but because for $249, there are simply better overall gaming headsets on the market.
If you are looking for market-leading performance and comfort, I recommend the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless or Turtle Beach Stealth Pro. The price can vary for each, but both earned stellar reviews from PCGN and are a better option at a premium price point.
Packed with quality audio features and performance to match, the Roccat Syn Max Air is let down by a cheap feeling build, subpar microphone, and poor long-use comfort that is inexcusable for a premium price north of $200.
Great visual design, audio features and a handy charging dock do what they can to make up for the lack of comfort and poor microphone in the Roccat Syn Max Air. Ultimately it’s a headset that is just behind it’s premium competitors, but audio quality does a lot of heavy lifting for the overall appeal.