Featuring dual electrostatic dynamic drivers, the ADATA XPG PRECOG features a bold, edgy design with red LED lighting, giving it an overall premium look. Angled memory foam ear cushions provide an insanely comfortable and snug fit for most people, except those with smaller heads. It’s a powerful gaming headset with cross-platform compatibility, including everything from your PC and consoles to the Nintendo Switch and even mobile phones. The sound quality in all modes – FPS, 7.1 Surround Sound and Music – is competent. However, the high FPS mode can make video games sound bleak. Nevertheless, the XPG PRECOG has a lot going for it, in all likelihood you won’t be disappointed with the overall performance.
ADATA XPG PRECOG Detailed Review
ADATA’s Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG) launched the XPG PRECOG wired gaming headset, reportedly the world’s first dual-driver gaming headset with a pair of electrostatic transducers. In addition to the electrostatic drivers, the headset also includes two 40mm dynamic neodymium drivers for bass response. Gamers can also choose from different modes such as Surround Sound, FPS and Music depending on the situation. So, how does the hybrid system and modes translate into real life when gaming? Let’s find out.
In the box
- hard carrying case
- USB Type-C wired controller with DSP sound card
- 3.5mm wired cable with in-line controller
- Type A to Type C cable
- Y-cable splitter cable
- XPG PRECOG Gaming Headset
Build and design
The packaging that the XPG PRECOG comes in screams “gamer” with its red and black color tones and accents. The hard carrying case is more simplistic in this regard and has a matte black finish throughout. It feels extremely sturdy and robust, but is big enough that you need a hefty backpack to transport it.
Once you’ve unzipped the carrying case, you’ll be greeted by the headphones themselves. If you temporarily ignore the headphones, you’ll see a few different pouches with different cables inside that ensure cross-platform compatibility, be it your PC, laptop, console or smartphone. First, there’s a USB Type-C cable with an inline amp and DAC. If your PC or laptop doesn’t have a Type-C port, the good guys at ADATA also included an extension cable that converts the Type-C into a Type-A.
For hi-res audio or if you just want to go the more traditional route and use an audio jack, there’s also a braided 3.5 cable that plugs into just about anything (except those pesky phones that call the 3, 5mm have removed jack). You also get a Y-cable splitter cable that connects the microphone and headphones separately. We really appreciate how ADATA has gone above and beyond to ensure that the gaming headset can be used on just about any device you can get your hands on today. +1 for being extremely helpful.
Now let’s take a look at the gaming headset itself, which we wouldn’t exactly call “gorgeous” or “stylish”, but “eye-catching”. Striking in appearance, the XPG PRECOG fits right in with the aesthetics that gamers appreciate. It has a dark tone electroplating finish over aluminum. The headband is lined with a braided material which is red and black in color. There are two protruding pipe-like cables above the headband which give the headset some extra height and add to the aesthetics of the unique design.
The headband is completely self-adjusting, meaning you just need to decorate it on your head and it will automatically pull out the elastic extensions when you pull it over your ears. This process is extremely seamless and convenient. We really enjoyed not having to pull on the headphones to get the perfect seal. The headset is extremely flexible overall, and we didn’t hear any creaks or squeaks when we took them off completely.
There are several grooves on the earcups that go around in the round shell. The XPG logo is stamped on the cup in red and below the grooves mentioned above is a red LED that can be switched via the inline controller on the USB-C cable.
The cups can also be folded 180 degrees and are slightly angled for a better fit. At the bottom of the left earcup are the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm jack and microphone port. While most of us in the testing labs found the XPG PRECOG extremely comfortable and snug over the head, the reviewer suffered from a slightly lackluster clamping force due to the smaller head.
Overall, if you have an average size or a large head, this gaming headset should be extremely comfortable to wear, even during long gaming sessions, as there is plenty of soft and pliable cushioning on both the ear cups and headband. The ergonomics of this headset impressed us a lot.
Aside from the handy cross-platform connectivity feature, the XPG PRECOG has quite a few extra tricks up its sleeve that will keep gamers interested. There are a total of three sound modes, including 7.1 Surround Sound mode, FPS (First Person Shooter) mode, and finally, Music mode.
The Surround Sound mode gives you a kind of simulated wide soundstage that allows gameplay to sound immersive and expansive. The FPS mode is specific to photographers, while the music mode uses the hybrid drivers to revive your music listening experience, according to the company. The DSP sound card also offers ENC or ambient noise cancellation for the microphone, which is a boon for gamers as it suppresses external noises.
The headset is also Hi-Res Audio certified and you can enjoy this best with the included 3.5mm connector which delivers competent sound quality. We go into more detail below. In addition, you also have a two-year warranty on this device.
With dual hybrid drivers (two electrostatic and two dynamic) and sound modes such as FPS, 7.1 Surround Sound and music modes, the ADATA XPG PRECOG has a lot to offer when it comes to pure gaming performance. They have many quirks, some pleasant and some not so pleasant.
The 7.1 Surround Sound mode is quite immersive and you get the impression of a wide and high soundstage that extends far beyond your head. The minuscule nuances such as leaves crackling under a character’s feet and bullets firing from a distance were captured quite exceptionally. The difference between someone shooting you at relatively close range and further away was very clear and we enjoyed this a lot.
However, the FPS mode disappointed us quite a bit. The whole sound profile becomes extremely high pitched in FPS mode, which is why shooter video games lack the required punch and drive in their sound. Also the directional information could be improved with a bit of refinement when it comes to imaging. In general, we lacked the punch and accuracy of sound in this mode and usually ended up switching to music or surround sound mode even while playing shooters.
The gaming headset is surprisingly good at music reproduction, with a huge frequency response of 5 Hz – 50,000 Hz. The sound profile is quite pleasant. The bass is punchy but not overbearing and the treble is quite controlled. We found that the treble was slightly distorted at higher volumes, but only when we ventured above 85-90 percent. Soundstage in music is pretty good, but imaging is lacking, with multi-instrument rock tracks just sounding cacophony.
The microphone on the XPG PRECOG is quite capable, with a frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. It uses unidirectional pickup and easily captures the full range of your sound. With built-in ENC, we found that the headset effectively cut out most of the background and external noises that can disturb your teammates during communication.
At the price of Rs 12,000 (Rs 10,649 on Amazon India), the XPG PRECOG gaming headset is worth the money spent. You get cross-platform compatibility so you can use it on almost any device, three different sound modes that work well while gaming, watching TV shows or movies and listening to music (as long as you activate the correct mode) and generally good sound quality . They are built to last and will comfortably fit most heads with their convenient auto-adjusting headband. Despite the FPS mode not being perfect, we were very impressed with the headset’s ability to play music and the expansive soundstage that made most titles sound great.