ASUS AI Noise-Cancelling Mic Adapter Review


With the COVID19 pandemic still in full swing and a lot of companies forced into a work-from-home arrangements, a lot of organizations and businesses have switched the board room for a Zoom/Teams/Discord call. Regardless of platform,  the need for clarity in communication is key in keeping a streamline business day in the WFH revolution.

The challenge comes in when the entire family is at home and regardless if its a neighbor on a music binge dialed to max or a neighbor doing construction work, there’s always going to be a source of noise.

ASUS recently launched their AI noise-cancelling technology, bringing in 4 models that offer noise-removal technology for the built-in microphone. The other product in the list is the ASUS AI Noise-cancelling mic adapter. This USB-C device takes in a 3.5mm TRRS headset jack and automatically removes background noise from the input mic.

Original Product Page

The ASUS AI Noise-cancelling mic adapter is also platform neutral. It works with a majority of USB-C and USB2.0 compatible systems like smartphones, tablets, laptops/PCs as well as the Nintendo Switch.

My video review is below with multiple noise sources. Notice the emphasis on noise removal as this adapter definitely has a good success rate but it does miss some times. Notice the air buzzing once the drill vents is throwing air to the mic, also as this are quite noisy sources, humans are prone to raise their voice, noting my rather emphasized speaking.

Conclusion

As the video shows, the ASUS AI Noise Cancelling mic adapter definitely works but detailing how it affects quality is something I wanted to expand on. In the video, I didn’t add context to to the conclusion because again, to hear is to believe. And for the most part of the review I was satisfied with the results but for those that want to hear a more detailed account of my experience, I’m putting it here.

ASUS does not provide much technical information about how AI noise cancellation works but does state that the AI noise cancelling mic adapter has a built-in chip which has been trained to recognize 50 million background noise which is then removed on the output that goes into the client device resulting in clear audio. For predictable noise sources like fan whirs and other redundant noises in terms  of their audio waves, its quite easy for the device to lock on to your voice waves and amplify those while filtering out the noise waves hence output on the ASUS AI Mic noise cancelling mic to be a little louder.

Another thing worth noting is that irregular noise source can get through like impact noises like hammer strikes and to some extent, keyboard strokes. Also if the noise is too high, sometimes the ASUS AI Noise cancelling mic will amplify the audio to the point of clipping which results in some inconsistent audio but again, this is for heavy strike noises like very close bangs, thumps and twangs and other such noises.

Other than that, the audio is good and if you’re in the category of people where you may have the following noise sources:

  • People talking in the background
  • Keyboard strokes and mouse clicks
  • Fan noises
  • Wind directly blowing on the mic
  • Background music or
  • Neighbor holding a videoke concert at 3PM on a Monday
  • Cock  Rooster crowing
  • Pet noises
  • Kids screaming
  • General construction noises (hammering, drilling, sawing, etc.)
  • much more…

Anything that would be audibly more powerful than your speaking would nullify the mic adapter though as the soundwaves would be so weak that they can’t be interpreted by the mic. That said, a jackhammer right next to you or a rock concert would clearly be strong noise sources that your speaking is almost always muffled to the point that shouting will only be treated as noise by the AI Mic.

RTX Voice vs. ASUS AI Noise Cancelling Mic Adapter

This is being asked to me frequently and the quick answer is that both solutions work but recommending one over the other is purely situational. Given that newly-transitioned work-from-home staff are using general use laptops, recommended an RTX-equipped device might be a tall order for many employers. On the other hand, NVIDIA RTX gamers who already have the card have a good and free solution already to use and from an audio quality standpoint, it is really subjective. I feel the NVIDIA audio feels more wet, acoustically, but doesn’t have the clipping issue that the ASUS AI Mic has but again, you probably won’t have your RTX gaming laptop or PC close to a powerful noise source. So again, this comparison’s point is moot.

Final words…

ASUS AI Noise Cancelling Mic Adapter Review

In closing, just like I said in the review, the ASUS AI Noise-Cancelling Mic Adapter simply works and provided your noise situation is pretty much on the general side of things with expected noise sources, this mic will definitely work.

Times right now have forced the entire globe to take steps into pushing the economy forward despite the current economic handicap, and these times call for a more unified workforce and business owners have to be proactive in accepting technology into the workforce. As communication is one of the most vital factor in these kinds of arrangements, keeping those communications clear would really help in reducing wasted time due to mistakes from misheard instructions as well as full confidence in conversations thanks to the clarity of the ASUS AI Noise-Cancelling Mic Adapter.

ASUS lists the AI Noise Cancelling Mic Adapter for Php1750 or around $35 but check with local pricing, I’ve been asked why AU pricing is at US$50.

ASUS backs the AI Noise Cancelling Mic Adapter with a 1-year warranty. We give it our B2G Recommended Award.

ASUS AI Noise-Cancelling Mic Adapter Review
Final Thoughts
As communication is one of the most vital factor in these kinds of arrangements, keeping those communications clear would really help in reducing wasted time due to mistakes from misheard instructions as well as full confidence in conversations thanks to the clarity of the ASUS AI Noise-Cancelling Mic Adapter.
Performance
9.5
Build Quality
8.6
Functionality
8.5
Bundle
8.3
Value
9.8
Reader Rating2 Votes
10
Pros
Very effective noise reduction/removal
Good price
Cheaper than RTX Voice because no hardware requirement
Platform neutral. Works with PC, Mac, iPad. Nintendo Switch, smartphones, etc.
Cons
Clipping on very loud noises
Supports only TRRS 3.5mm jack
8.9
Rating