Victrix Pro AF Gaming Headset: the Kotaku AF Review

By Mike Fahey on at

I am not sure what I like more about the Victrix Pro AF universal gaming headset. Is it the way it sounds, or the way its active noise cancelling makes everything else shut up? Or maybe it’s the fact that they called it “Pro AF.”

It’s kind of a ballsy naming convention, putting “Pro AF” right there on the box. Initially I thought that manufacturer Victrix had accidentally come up with the model designation, but then I tore open the package to find it included four AA batteries bearing the label “Juicy AF.” Then I realised we were dealing with jokesters.

I was not kidding.

The jokesters in question, Victrix, is a San Francisco-based engineering and design company that formed in 2015 in order to create the hell out of some esports hardware. They chose purple and black as their colours, which is a fine combination, and went about putting together their first couple of products. One is an interesting-looking arcade fight stick. The other is the £238 gaming headset with active noise cancelling I’m talking about here.

There’s another ballsy move for a new gaming hardware company, coming right out of the gate with a high-priced piece of equipment. There is no budget-priced “Amateur AF” headset to help folks get their feet (ears?) wet. It’s big, bold, and black and purple.

I keep mentioning the black and purple because I really do love the colour scheme of the Pro AF. With the lights on (either solid or pulsing) it looks really badass. With the lights out it’s less dangerous.

Those lights are controlled by the in-line controller. It also allows users to control mic gain and monitoring, volume, active noise cancelling and switching between Euro (balanced and flat) and US (vibrant highs and mids) tuning. It’s a nifty little control device.

The thing it controls isn’t too shabby, either. The Pro AF headset proper is a pair of 50mm drivers housed in sturdy black plastic. The headband, with split inner padding, is made of carbon steel. The yoke is aircraft grade aluminium. The ear cups are slow return memory foam wrapped in leatherette. It’s got a boom mic, for when you want to talk.

It’s also got several different ways to hear sound, both game and chat and outside noise. The unit uses two pairs of microphones to collect and filter outside noise when active noise cancelling is turned on, and it does a fairly good job of shutting everything else out. Even cooler, literally and figuratively, both ear cups feature levers that open them up to vent heat and allow more ambient sound in. When the cups are open, noise cancelling automatically shuts off.

As mentioned previously, the Pro AF comes with four Juicy AF batteries, two of which can keep the unit powered for around 20 hours. When the batteries die, the headset functions passively.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 50mm
  • Speaker Frequency: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Nominal Impedence: 32 Ω per Speaker
  • Active Noise Cancellation:-45db

  • Headband Material: Stainless Steel (SUS301, non-magnetic)
  • Yoke Material: Aircraft Grade Aluminium Alloy (5052)
  • Headband ClampforceP: 500g (4.9N)
  • Headband Weight (Without Cable): 318g
  • Ear Cushion Material: Slow return memory foam with protein enriched polyurethane (leatherette) earpads covers
  • Headset Dimensions:Slider not extended: 7.68” H x 7.47” W x 3.54” D Slider extended: 8.46” H x 7.48” W x 3.54” D
  • Microphone Type: 6.0mm Bi-Directional Noise-Cancelling
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz - 10kHz
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -45 ± 3dB
  • Microphone Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 60 dB

What’s In The Box

I love it when a company provides a picture of what’s inside the box.

We have the box itself, which is lovely. There’s a carrying case, which is always a plus. It comes with a thick manual, which I have around here somewhere, and a small purple pamphlet I lost. The headset itself is present, of course, along with a purple cable housing the boom mic and in-line controls. The tiny thing between the headset and case is a custom boom mic front cover, because Victrix wants to be fancy AF.

What’s Great

Sounds Great AF: Whether in Euro or US modes, distinctions I had no idea existed until now, the Pro AF headset delivers crisp, clear sound. The bass is profound, mids and highs clear and crisp. I enjoy the sound this unit gives me quite a lot.

Comfy AF: Such a sturdy headset should weigh more than this one does, but it does not. So there. I’ve worn the Pro AF for hours on end with no discomfort. And while I never felt my ears get particularly heated, it’s nice to know the option to vent is there.

Sound Cancelling AF: Press a button and it’s suddenly as if you’re inside your own head, the sounds of the outside world falling away. Fun fact, well, not so fun fact—since I became paralysed earlier this year, I spend a lot of time in a hospital bed with a variable air mattress that is constantly hissing and filling to shift me around. The noise drives me bonkers. The Pro AF’s noise cancelling has been a godsend.

Convenient AF: While the in-line controller is a bit beefy, having access to every option the headset has to offer at my fingertips is mighty nice. The cable comes with a round clip, easily fastening to whatever shirt I’m wearing. And if I am not wearing a shirt, I can clamp it to my chest hair. It only hurts a lot.

Pretty AF: Did I mention I love the black and purple? All the Pro AF needs to be perfect is a pair of glowing cat ears. Perfect for me, at least.

What’s Not-So-Great

Mic Is Hissy AF: Maybe not hissy AF, but quite a bit hissy, and I have a theme to uphold here. One day I shall find a gaming headset with a professional grade microphone that sounds as good as the heavy metal things hanging off spring arms in my office. This is not that day.

Final Word

The Pro AF universal gaming headset is a very impressive debut for the fledgling gaming hardware maker Victrix, making me eager to see what other black and purple goodness they’ve got in store. Not being a professional gamer, I cannot say whether or not the device holds up to its boastful name, but it’s certainly good AF enough for me.