Reviewed: ROG CETRA True Wireless Earbuds

As consumers we are spoilt for choice when it comes to headphones and ear buds. We can pay as much or as little as we like for a set but the experience does not always reflect the price.

When I was given the opportunity to test and review the ASUS ROG CETRA True Wireless earbuds, I was keen to see what they were like for gaming on my laptop and if I could also use them for everything else. The price of the ASUS CETRA True Wireless was also surprisingly reasonable for an ROG tier product.

I swapped out my other headsets for the ASUS ROG CETRA True Wireless unit to see how it lived up to the marketing material and also how well it aged over a period of four months in various use-cases and environments. At the end of the testing period, the CETRA True Wireless had delivered with flying colours.


Usage ScenarioGaming
ConnectorBTSupport PlatformPC
Nintendo Switch
Bluetooth device
Driver MaterialNeodymium magnetDriver Size10 mm
Headphones Impedance32 ohmHeadphones Frequency Response20Hz - 20KHz
Microphone Pick-up PatternOmnidirectionalMicrophone Sensitivity-38 dB
Microphone Frequency Response100Hz - 10KHzAI Noise Cancelling MicrophoneNo
Active Noise CancellationYesChannelStereo
AuraNoBattery4.8 + 17 hours (ANC On)
5.5 + 21.5 hours (ANC Off)
WeightHeadphone(each side) 5g
Charging case 42 g
Accessories2 pairs of eartips
Charging cable(60 cm)
Quick Start Guide
NoteSupport SBC & AAC Audio Codec

Key Features

  • Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling
  • Low-latency Gaming Mode
  • 10mm ASUS Essence Drivers
  • Up to 27 hours of Battery Life
  • Wireless charging
  • IPX4 water Resistance
  • ASUS Armoury Crate App with EQ feature

Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)

The ANC function takes the edge off environmental noise that would otherwise break your immersion, but it isn’t as effective when music isn’t playing. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, and I found the ANC to work well in several different situations.

The ANC in light or heavy mode was enough to cancel out my fish tank air pump and my split system air conditioner. The heavy mode with light music was adequate for screening out the keystrokes from a Cherry Red mechanical keyboard and other people in the room.

When travelling on a domestic flight, I almost forgot about the engine/wind noise and whilst ANC didn’t completely cancel out the screaming baby at the back of the plane, it did take the edge off in a meaningful way.

The ambient ANC mode allows sound to pass through which is handy when you need to be aware of your surroundings but also want to listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook. I found this most useful when waiting in airport departure lounges.

ASUS Armoury Crate App

The Armoury Crate application is simple and intuitive. It isn’t necessary but does add some useful features like being able to change the equaliser settings, mode and check the battery.

This isn’t a game changer but it’s certainly nice to have and the app does make the earbud functions slightly easier to access at times.

Bluetooth Connection

I couldn’t fault it. Pairing was both reliable and quick every time which is exactly what I want in a set of earbuds. The connection also held for longer than other headsets when I moved away from my device. I didn’t experience any interference or static at any point.

Gaming Mode

If you play a lot of mobile games or want to use the CETRA ear buds with a gaming PC or laptop, there is a low-latency gaming mode. I freely admit that I didn’t really notice much difference in this mode when gaming, but I don’t game on my phone so I’m not the target market for this feature. This is aimed at competitive gamers and those sensitive to the latency that can occur with wireless audio devices. I enjoyed gaming on my PC and laptop with these ear buds and didn’t note any latency issues when playing first person shooter games.


I used these ear buds for 4 months as my daily driver. This included voice calls, music, tablet media consumption (movies/YouTube), podcasts, etc. At the end of this period, I’m impressed with the performance and convenience when pairing to different devices. I used these to listen to content on the following devices:

  • Laptop
  • Surface Go tablet
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Gaming PC
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung Frame TV

The environments varied from a normal home environment, a shared working space, in transit through airports and public transport, and in the evenings watching movies or YouTube videos whilst trying to not disturb others. The content was also variable, ranging from music, through to videos, gaming and podcasts.

General Listening Experience

The first thing I noticed was the clarity and lack of distortion. Any distortion I did hear was as intended by the creator of the content I was listening to – as it should be. The second thing I noticed was that I didn’t need as much volume as I’d expected, especially when using ANC in busy places.

There were a few standouts from general use after testing different music genres:

  • Damned Anthem’s cover of The Cranberries ‘Zombie’ sounded amazing. The drums, bass and strings all sounded clear and did the track justice.
  • Chris Cornell’s 2011 ‘Songbook’ live acoustic album sounded great, with everything coming through clearly from the crowd noise, vocals and guitar.
  • Rock, classical, jazz all sounded great without any tweaking of the equalizer through the phone app.

Podcasts and audio books are the least demanding, but we can’t forget them. Voice only audio comes through very clearly making it easy to hear what the hosts and guests were saying without distraction.

Watching YouTube and movies was also great. I noted that the ear bud shape gave good physical isolation, and the ANC completed the package for watching content while travelling.


These can get loud if you let them thanks to the 10mm drivers. I found that moderate volume levels (50%) with ANC were ideal to listen to music comfortably.

Phone calls

There were no issues hearing people or being heard when using the CETRA for calls.

The only feedback I had was that my voice sounded a little softer than usual which I put down to the change from the default iPhone wired earbuds with inline microphone. Ambient noise was also notably less with the CETRA than with standard iPhone wired earbuds.

Battery Life and Charging

This is the element that delayed my writing of this review. I wanted to see if there was any notable degradation in battery life over the course of four months of daily use and I can happily say that the battery performance is the same as the first week of use as far as I can tell.  Whilst my usage isn’t identical between each charge, the frequency of charging and the rate of drain when looking at the ASUS app on my phone has been very consistent.

A typical charge of the ear buds will give 5 hours of solid music listening at 50% volume without any ANC enabled. Enabling ANC shaved about 30-45 minutes off the battery life depending on the environment. The charging case holds enough for 4 full charges and one partial charge based on my testing. This works out to be a about roughly 20-24 hours of power stored in the case plus the 5 hours of charge in the ear buds themselves – depending on how heavily you use the ANC function (if at all). In real-world use, this isn’t as obvious because I tend to store the ear bud in the case when not in use, which charges them.

Charging the case is easy via either the included USB-C cable or wirelessly. The ear buds charge quickly in the case. I found that a 15-20 minute spell in the case would give me a little over 2 hours of playback time before the ‘battery low’ cue. The case has an LED status indicator on the front so that you can tell when its charging which can be handy for contactless charging pads.


At $180-190AUD I’d consider the price reasonable. Whilst not ‘cheap’, I find it hard to consider the CETRA True Wireless an expensive option either. This is a quality product at a suitable, if not competitive, price point.

The RGB ROG Logo in the case is a nice touch but perhaps unnecessary when other vendors may have just had a blinking LED. ROG gear tends to have those extra bells and whistles that go with the above average price – and I have to admit that when I buy an ROG product I always feel like I’m treating myself a little because they inevitably have some bling or a feature that’s nice to have even if I know I don’t really need it.

Final Thoughts

The ROG CETRA TRUE Wireless gaming earphones are a brilliant product that are available at a very reasonable price. The build quality is very good and the audio experience is balanced enough for use in calls, gaming, movies and music which makes them a great all-round selection for a gamer on the go. Active Noise Cancelling works well for typical real-world scenarios including the white noise of air travel and general ambient/office noise – in conjunction with music or media content.

The ear buds themselves are comfortable and were secure in my usage. They are light enough that you can forget that you are wearing them after a little while.

Battery life and recharge time is also very good, I didn’t notice any degradation in the 4 months that I used the earphones while writing this review. Getting 4.5-5 hours from the earphones from a full charge and having a total of around 20-24 hours in the charging case is a good result for the size and price point.

Whilst optional, the software for PC and mobile devices was also simple and intuitive.

Aesthetically, the charging case is understated and the black ear buds stand out less than alternative bright white products. The RGB is a bit of a luxury but it does serve a purpose by providing an indication of the power level and charging status. Given that the consumer doesn’t appear to be getting slugged an ‘RGB surcharge’ on the retail price, I’m all for a colourful logo in the case.

I can’t fault the ASUS ROG CETRA True Wireless ear buds – they did everything they claimed on the box and to a high standard.

I’d be very happy to buy a pair for myself or as a gift for someone else in the upcoming festive season and would easily recommend these earbuds to anyone as a day to day audio solution across multiple devices.


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