Astro is by far one of my all time favourite gaming brands. Their gaming headsets are quite simply some of the best around and have even given pro-audio and audiophile grade headsets a run for their money too. We’ve reviewed several Astro headsets over the years and they’ve always been premium quality products, with legendary performance and a great design. Of course, this kind of quality comes with a price and while Astro aren’t known for being budget-friendly, the phrase “you get what you pay for” has certainly rung true in past reviews. So, will we see a repeat performance today? And will Astros’ own reputation be tough to live up to?
“Just as consoles evolve, so do our headsets, so we’ve fine-tuned and updated our A50 to make the best available headset in wireless gaming to your Xbox One. Broadcasting with cutting edge wireless Kleernet 5.8ghz technology, the A50 employs three varied EQ modes designed to fit your audio needs. The uni-directional microphone delivers communication to your teammates by isolating your voice from any background noise in the room. We’ve designed this headset to be lightweight and adjust easily to your cranium to ensure maximum comfort for those games that last long into the night. And when you’re done it fits perfectly on its own headset stand.”
The Astro range covers all major formats, but their latest effort is designed specifically to work with the Xbox One. That’s not to say I can’t use it on the PC, but the re-branding of the A50 in this case means that it comes with a lovely black and green design to match the Xbox One official colours, an Xbox One controller connection adaptor and it’s certified to work with the console. As you can see from the specifications, the A50 is very well equipped with high-quality drivers, high-end wireless tech and a whole lot more.
The headset supports Dolby Digital 7.1 signal processing, 5.8GHz Wireless and more.
I don’t normally care for the packaging on products, but the box for the Astro is really nice and doubles as a storage box for the headset; everything is laid out nicely on the interior.
The headset and transmitter base at are the front of the box, behind which you’ll find the headset stand components and a few cables.
There’s also a clearly laid out quick start guide, which will make setting up the headset a much easier process.
All the included cables are of a good quality. There’s a pair of USB cables, the Xbox One cable, which has a flat tangle-free design and a TosLink optical cable.
The base unit is nicely designed, with a soft matte finish on the top and a little bit of glossy trim. There’s a pair of buttons on the top, one for main power, the other for Dolby mode.
The base of the unit has a thick rubber grip, so there’s little chance of it sliding around when placed on your desk or TV stand.
Around the back, you’ll find all the major ports, but most interestingly is the Opt Out, which allows for optical pass-through, great if you want to feed the audio to your TV or AV receiver when not using the headset, as it means you won’t have to swap over cables.
The headset is absolutely gorgeous, which I know is a subjective matter, but the look and feel of it just screams ultra-high quality. The soft touch black finish on the back of the drivers looks stunning and provides a nice contrast to the bright greens of the trim and cables that surround it. The back of the driver says “Voice” and “Game” on it, this whole panel is actually a massive two-way button and just tapping either side of the headset allows you to switch between channels for volume control.
The ear cups can be rotated inwards to provide a better fit on your head, as well as when wearing the headset around your neck. The side of the ear cup has a power button, profile switch and volume control wheel.
The ear cup padding is a high-quality memory foam with a very soft and comfortable cloth cover. The ear cups are quite large and are an over-the-ear design.
On the other ear cup, there are two more ports, one for the Xbox One cable hook up and the other is a micro-USB for charging the headset.
The headband is expandable with a cool sliding mechanism.
You can see the wire coiling up as you compress it, which is a nice touch. Despite this only being a push-through to adjust system, it feels incredibly strong and locks firmly in place once adjusted.
the headband has two solid support bars with a pivoting center part, which will help provide a clean fit over your head, without throwing the headset off-balance.
There’s more luxurious padding on the underside, which will help provide you with a comfortable fit.
The microphone has a fold up design and features a flexible and positional boom.
Overall, this is one fantastic looking headset and the build quality is nothing short of exceptional.
As I said before, this headset comes with a headset stand. The stand can be clipped together from the three plastic components included in the box and even has a small section on the bottom to house the transmitter base unit; perfect for keeping your headset stored neatly and preventing it from getting scratched which charging.