At around 320 g, the Vulcan ANC is quite a light gaming headset, making it more comfortable to wear than a lot of the competition. This is quite noticeable when the headset is used for extended periods of time.
The leatherette earpads seem to be very good quality and are well padded, further enhancing the comfort of the headset. As always with leatherette earpads, though, they can become a little uncomfortable after a few hours of intense gaming.
We also find a leatherette pad on the headband which presses against the top of your head when the headband is adjusted correctly. Making sure the headband is adjusted correctly for your head is essential as it ensures a secure fitting and makes it much more comfortable for long periods of time, because the weight of the headset is spread more evenly.
The stand out unique feature of the Vulcan ANC is the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology which Asus have implemented. Asus claim that this will significantly reduce specific frequencies, such as fans inside your system. To enable ANC, there is a small slider switch on the bottom of the left earcup. We are also required to install a AAA battery into the right earcup to enable ANC, as the headset doesn’t receive power from a USB port.
We found ANC worked reasonably well – obviously it can’t block out all external noise but there is a noticeable reduction. We did find that enabling ANC did take some of the ‘fullness’ out of the sound, though, but this didn’t detract too much from the overall experience.
In our tests we found the Vulcan ANC to be very capable all round. The sound balance is well suited to gaming although as we said before the ANC feature did reduce some impact from explosions and gunshots.
Sound directionality was as good as you can expect for a stereo headset but virtual or dedicated surround sound is definitely preferable for both gaming and movie playback. The Vulcan ANC also performed well in our music playback tests, reproducing our test tracks flawlessly with remarkable clarity.
The microphone attaches to the left earcup of the headset using a 3.5mm connector. It has a flexible rubber boom which lets you position it ideally for your mouth. The sound produced by the microphone was good quality and is perfectly acceptable enough for use with Ventrilo or TeamSpeak.