When it comes to Xbox accessories, we believe in providing choice for gamers. Our Designed for Xbox program enables collaborations with top-tier hardware partners to deliver not only choice but also the best possible gaming experiences. The newest device from one of our top partners is the Victrix Pro AF – a premier headset for esports pros, streamers, and core gamers – which launches today for Xbox One. We were lucky enough to sit down with Victrix’s General Manager, Ozhan “Oz” Maker, to learn more about this highly anticipated headset.
Oz, whats your ‘elevator pitch’ for the Victrix Pro AF?
The Victrix Pro AF is arguably the first gaming headset created specifically for esports pros to fulfill their exact needs in tournaments. It’s the end result of a three year research and development project which began with direct input from pro players. We used this input, coupled with aviation and military tech to ultimately put together an incredibly advanced gaming headset.
Who is the Victrix Pro AF for?
The headset is mainly designed for esports pros, but streamers and most discerning gamers will appreciate its design and tech offering too. Pro players – who practice and stream very long hours – want a super comfortable and high-performing headset that just works. The Victrix Pro AF delivers exactly that.
Specifically, how are their gameplay experiences enhanced with the Victrix Pro AF?
First off all, tournament floors – especially open tournaments – can get really loud from the crowds and other matches in adjacent stations. The Victrix Pro AF has a hybrid noise cancellation feature where four dedicated microphones listen and eliminate over 40dB (~70%) of background noise. By electronically cancelling out most of that noise from the tournament floor, the headset helps the player focus and better hear those important in-game audio cues – directly helping their performance.
Secondly, while a regular headset mic may work OK in a quiet room at home, when the pro player takes the same gear to a tournament, they realize they need to yell into their mics in order to be heard clearly. To solve this, we drew inspiration from the headset mic filters that originated from Cobra military attack helicopters. The Pro AF passive mic filter rejects background noise while focusing on the player’s voice. You’ll see the teams who use Pro AFs speak in a normal and calm manner as if they are in a quiet room, which allows them to avoid wasting energy yelling and trying to be understood.
Finally, when we asked the pros about their priority in a headset, they all said “comfort” is by far the most important aspect. They actually want to forget that they are wearing a headset. During the short breaks between tournament rounds, they must keep the headsets on – to talk and strategize for the next round – which can get uncomfortable after a long period of time. With this in mind, we’ve invented an elegant and effective cooling mechanism: mechanical levers that open up the back of each earcup, allowing airflow and cooling the player, while keeping the comms active to prepare them for the upcoming round.
Is there anything particularly unique about this headset?
Yes! Headsets used in tournaments are always passive and non-powered, and therefore pretty low-tech in terms of capability. This is because tournament-legal headsets need to plug in to the mixamps on every station, provided by the organizers. USB powered headsets are not allowed, meaning auxillary 3.5mm audio output is the only option to obtain game/chat audio. To offer features such as electonic Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), mic gain adjustment, and custom audio presets, we needed power. So, we built a capable In Line Controller (ILC) to house batteries and our hardware electronics. This also allowed us to keep the wearable portion of Pro AF very light on the head. While the headset will still function with ILC turned off, once the ILC is on, this headset truly shines with high tech features.
What’s your favorite feature of the Victrix Pro AF and why?
The cooling mechanism is my favorite. In fact, my levers remain open most of the time when I play at home. While we invented these levers to provide relief and stay cool between tournament rounds, they also allow ambient awareness. I test our products quite extensively, and while my wife (who’s also a gamer) is in full support of my late-night product validation efforts, she especially likes that I’m responsive whenever she calls out. These levers can be a life saver in such moments!
I’m sold. How can I get one?
Starting today, the Victrix Pro AF for Xbox One is available for $299.99 exclusively on Amazon.com.
Big thanks to Oz for taking the time to chat with us about the Victrix Pro AF Wired Gaming Headset for Xbox One, which is available starting today. We’ll bring you more interviews with hardware partners in the future, so stay tuned to Xbox Wire.