Victrix Pro AF Headset review - Excellent quality makes up for missing features

I like them

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • December 2, 2019 at 11:04 a.m. PST

Victrix has been in the business of making "high-end" video game accessories for a few years now including their impressive fight sticks. Their products reach far beyond the fighting game community too.

We were recently given the opportunity to review Victrix's new Pro AF headset which is made to be a more streamlined version of their $300 Pro AF active noise cancelling set minus a few bells and whistles.

The new Pro AF headset is still not a cheap or entry-level product with its retail price of $180, so is it worth the price of admission when there are similarly priced options that include more features?

When I first opened the hefty packaging from Victrix with the black and purple V motif and all, the unit itself wasn't immediately very impressive. It's visual design was quite pleasing, yet there seemed to be something missing.

The Victrix Pro AF doesn't look much different than a more standard headset you'd find at places like Walmart considering its only method of connection is through headphone jacks on the PlayStation 4 or elsewhere while also not including any-built in audio adjustment tools aside from the volume knob and mute button.

Build quality, as expected for something from Victrix, felt like a fairly premium product with its metal band and adjusters making it feel like the most sturdy pair of headphones I've owned — and I've owned a lot of all varying price ranges.

My only negative in that regard is the volume knob on the side of the left cup which seems quite loose and finicky compared to the rest of the unit. It almost feels completely unnecessary since it only controls the master volume level.

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Despite its metal body, the set itself is still fairly light weight, and I never felt it really dig down or press into my head uncomfortably even after multiple-hour-long play sessions. That was certainly a nice surprise considering I was initially worried about the seemingly minimal amount of cushioning up top.

The cups fit snugly but not too snugly on my ears though we'll get into their coolest feature in just a bit. First, I'm sure you're all wanting to know what it actually sounds like.

Sound

Upon first plugging it into my Dualshock 4 controller, I was immediately greeted with the game music coming through loud and clear. Its range of sounds seems to rival that of my $200 Cleer noise cancelling headphones, which was my previous favorite to play games with.

If you're a fan of listening to the music or things like Spotify while playing your games, they sound great in that regard. One thing I did notice, however, was that in most games the music was actually mixed too high.

While I was trying the Pro AF out with Guilty Gear Xrd — because how could I not — the in-game tracks overpowered the rest of the sound effects on their default settings. I actually have had to turn the music down a few notches in almost every game I've played them with so far.

That's not really a negative since it still sounds great, but it will likely take some adjusting within the system and games to get it just the way you like it.

Bass is something you might have to play around with, as it sounds a bit hollow on my PC by default but moving over to my phone makes speakers bounce quite nicely. It's not the most powerful bass on the market by a long shot, but the deep sounds don't overpower the finer tones.

The Pro AF's best qualities come in picking up some of those higher frequencies where you'll probably be able to pick up on more subtle arrangements like the solo violinist doing his thing that's not easily audible on cheaper pairs of headphones.

It does still run into the issues that all headsets face when used on the Dualshock 4 where the audio will cut or stutter for brief instances, but that didn't impact the quality much overall.

Party Chat / Microphone

One of the bigger selling points of the Pro AF is aimed at streamers and competitive players offering a fully removable microphone, which the noise cancelling version does not let you take off.

In this regards, the game-centric headset left me fairly impressed, especially with the quality and power of the microphone.

I tested out the headset and compared it to three other older sets I had lying around in PS4's Party Chat, and my friends voted it the best-sounding by far.

The mic was actually a little too strong on its default settings, and I had to turn it down a few notches — which is not something I've ever really had to do before.

Using them to record / stream games is also a very viable option unless you have your own separate, condenser mics and mixers. Its sound is clear and strong without really picking up any background noises.

I also love how sturdy the mic arm is. Once you place it in a position, it's going to stay there no matter what it seems.

I'll honestly probably start using it to stream sometimes when I don't feel like setting up my whole sound rig.

This process is made even easier by including a unique female to double male cable splitters, so you can easily have it hooked up to your monitor / console and recording PC at the same time. The extension one-meter cable also helps out a lot.

Cooling Mechanism

Potentially the most unique thing about the Victrix line of headsets is the cooling mechanism on the cups themselves. No, there's no fans or anything like that blowing on your ears, but they can still get a nice reprieve during the downtime.

Switches on the side of each cup open up a hinge between it and the cushion allowing air to more freely enter the set and release some of that built up heat. You'll also be able to more easily hear what someone is trying to say to you in person without actually needing to take off the headset.

I actually tested them by trying to not take them off whatsoever for a three-hour play session which was actually fairly easy. Whenever I was out of a match or was on the home screen, I'd pop one or both of those hinges open and cool off without being left sweaty or uncomfortable.

You'll still be able to clearly hear what you're listening too, but obviously it's much quieter since the speaker is farther away from your ear.

The mechanism itself feels solid and like it won't break after vigorous usage either.

As for an actual negative, opening up the cups to use this feature will actually slightly change the fit of the headphones — especially if you're wearing glasses. The shift and position and weight felt like it was pushing on my glasses at times or start to slide a bit towards the back of my head. Nothing a little adjustment won't fix though... even if that kinda defeats the purpose a bit.

Overall

The Victrix Pro AF gaming headset sits at a very odd spot on the market. It's a clear cut above $60 sets you can find at stores, but it's also missing a few features that others in its price range offer like wireless or Bluetooth support.

At $180, it's biggest selling points boil down to being a well-built and great sounding product even without those extra bells and whistles to take up extra space.

The metal body feels like it will hopefully hold up for years to come, and the built-in hinges for cooling offer a different enough option that makes them stand out next to its competition.

It's not very portable since it doesn't come with a case and doesn't really fold up beyond swiveling, but everyone has different needs to fill when looking at new headsets.

I quickly grew to like the Victrix Pro AF the more I used it after my initial first impressions. If you're looking for a new headset in this $150–200 price range, it's easy to recommend since it's now my headset of choice for most situations. Just as long as you're okay going in and fine-tuning your listening experience for yourself.

Victrix Pro AF Headset

Pros

  • Sturdy metal body and quality parts
  • Great sound quality
  • Surprsingly good detachable microphone
  • Cooling mechanism works as advertised
  • Easy setup for gaming and streaming

Cons

  • Volume knob feels loose and out of place
  • Missing features that other sets in the same price range have
  • Cooling mechanism can change the fit of the headset

Note: A review unit of the Pro AF headset was provided to EventHubs by Victrix.

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