A thunderous boom crashes into my eardrums. My car explodes again. I shake my head in minor annoyance and whisper a vow of sweet revenge on my opponent. I respawn and rev my engine like a madman. My car shoots into the air of the virtual pitch and slam the giant ball straight into the back of the net for an incredible aerial goal. The roar of my goal explosion resonates in my core as I celebrate with some deep thumping EDM. The joys of Rocket League feel that much better while wearing Roccat’s latest SYN Max Air headset.
I happen to have the Syn Pro Air headset (last year’s edition), and I don’t initially see much of a difference in the headset itself. The Max Air is nearly identical in look. Each has the same honeycomb RGB design. They both have the same removable flip microphone. However, upon closer examination the SYN Max Pro has some serious upgrades.
Right out of the box I see Roccat includes a wireless docking station. This must be Roccat’s new MO as the Kone XP Air mouse includes one as well. I connect it directly to my PC, and I can now charge my device without wires. I am a huge fan of this idea, but I’m starting to run out of desk space as I used to simply hang gaming earphones from the bottom of my desk. The docking station acts as the connectivity hub as well. This is a big improvement as the former SYN Pro Air’s occasionally struggled to connect via the included USB dongle. Connectivity is now a non-issue – thank you, Roccat.
I place the new cans on my head, and I find a few welcome changes in the fit. The most noticeable is the improvement in the ear cup materials. Roccat replaces the old cloth memory foam with a leatherette that breathes much better. The old material was itchy and annoying for long sessions. Again, kudos to the improvements here. I can still comfortably wear these with glasses and now I play games for long periods of time without sweating and scratching my ears.
Sound improvements abound. I didn’t hate the sound of the Syn Pro Air’s, but many criticized it. The SYN Max Air’s come with 50mm drivers and 20Hz-20kHz frequency response to deliver pulse pounding delight in each game I play. Low ends stand out particularly in explosions but the overall balance is crisp. Music is equally balanced particularly with the fun of adjusting levels using the Swarm App (PC). Of course, it wouldn’t be a Turtle Beach/Roccat product without the inclusion of “Super Human Hearing” to boost critical sounds like opponent footsteps. The 3D sound immersion helps me to fight off enemies from any direction with this mode on. The majority of my test is on PC, but in an additional upgrade, they feature bluetooth connectivity as well.
I connect them to my phone and take a 30 minute walk on my treadmill. I crank the sound in the latest episode of She-Hulk and find a good pace. Sound is equally as immersive here but suffers a bit without the Swarm equalizer options (PC software). When I go to adjust the volume down due to a particularly loud scene, I reach up and turn the dial on the bottom of the left ear cup. Nothing happens. In order to adjust the volume via bluetooth connections, I have to use the device I have the Max Air’s connected to. This definitely needs improvement in the future. I’m hoping a firmware update from Roccat can solve this.
I enjoy connecting to my Switch, PlaystPlayStationation, mobile phone, and obviously PC. Again, the prior model did not include a Bluetooth feature, and Roccat is joining the fray with this much needed upgrade. Unfortunately, there is no Xbox connectivity. For Xbox, I still use my Turtle Beach 700 Gen 2 Max headset. I do find the SYN Max Air device a lot more comfortable though. The Gen 2 Max’s squeeze my head just a bit too much.
Overall, a host of upgrades make Roccat’s SYN Max Air headset a worthy successor. Better connectivity, sound, compatibility, and comfort all drive what should make the short list for any gamer. At the time of this writing, they are on sale for $199 (normally $249). Grab them for the gamer in your family/crew. They will not be disappointed!