XPG is the gaming arm of the computer component company Adata, which is particularly well known for its hard drives. They’ve come out with quite a few gaming peripherals in the last few years and one of their more popular items was the Precog headset. Now, XPG has just released a new product in this popular series called the Precog S.
It’s marketed as an affordable alternative to many of the more expensive headsets on the market that still delivers immersive gaming audio. XPG sent us one of these headsets for a fair and unbiased review. Here’s what we found.
Zoom In: Specs
- Connection: Wired; 3.5mm
- 50mm drivers
- Frequency response: 20Hz- 20,000Hz
- Omnidirectional microphone
- Price: $39.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Inside the box, you will find the Precog S itself, a 3.5mm splitter for PC and an instruction manual. The headset has a minimal, all-black design with the XPG logo printed in silver on either side. It is lightweight and has a braided cable.
The microphone is permanently affixed and cannot flip up out of the way if the user doesn’t wish to use it. This means that, while it is quite flexible, it is always in the downward position. There is a small mute switch behind where the mic arm attaches and a volume dial behind where the cable attaches — all of which are on the left earcup.
While the design generally looks good, we do have some concerns about its construction. To start, the tension in the headband can squeeze larger heads (like mine) a little tighter than is comfortable which can grow uncomfortable over longer gaming sessions.
The Precog 2 also uses a soft inner headband that retracts using very thin cables that feed into the larger more rigid headband. While we didn’t encounter any issues in our time with it, there is a concern that one of these angel-hair-thin cables might snap after the wear-and-tear of prolonged use, rendering the inner headband useless.
It’s also worth noting that the earcups are not padded with memory foam and that they are coated in a mesh material. This breathes better than leatherette, but feels significantly coarser on the skin and makes some crinkling sounds when it moves.
The audio in the Precog S is a lot better than most of the headsets in its price category. It has a clear, neutral sound and the 50mm drivers produce a fairly wide sound-stage. This is good for gaming because it helps the 2-directional studio audio feel more spacious. The overall profile of the sound feels a bit weak when compared to higher-end headsets, but this is reasonable given the price.
We should also mention that the earcups do very little to prevent the leakage of external sound, meaning users will be able to hear ambient noise from their surroundings while wearing them. So don’t expect much when it comes to noise-cancelling.
Sadly, this headsets microphone is one of its biggest weaknesses. The arm is highly adjustable and easy to position, but that’s where the good news ends. The audio produced by the microphone is weak, tinny and tends to cut out towards the end. It sort-of sounds like listening to someone talk on the phone when they have you on speaker. It also doesn’t come with any sort of pop-filter to prevent plosives.
This is particularly frustrating for anyone who might be interested in competitive or team-based games such as Apex Legends or Valorant, since your teammates will be listening to you speak through this headset a lot and it’s important that they are able to clearly understand you on the comms.
Is the Precog S Worth the Money?
The XPG Precog S is MSRPs at $39.99. That’s much more affordable than most gaming headsets, but it still seems ambitious for a headset of this quality. For that same price (or cheaper), users can currently get the Razer BlackShark V2, the Logitech G332, or the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 — all of which are highly rated wired headsets that all come with considerably more features.
We feel that this headset would be extremely competitive should it drop down to the ~$25 range, but it’s hard to recommend at its current price.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The XPG Precog S is an attractive headset that generates a decent sound profile at an affordable price. Unfortunately, it’s microphone doesn’t produce quality audio and some concerning choices were made regarding its construction.
- More affordable than most gaming headsets
- Sleek, lightweight design
- Clear audio quality
- Weak attachments on the inner headband
- Poor microphone quality
- Too much tension in headband