Soon after joining the competition in gaming accessories, Astro has managed to be the best gaming brand. Though the company is popular for most of the gaming accessories, the prominent category is gaming headsets. Astro A50 wireless gaming headset is one of the best gaming headsets that comes with most demanding features.
In its first look, the headset is most appealing and offers more than 15 hours of battery life as well as excellent sound with 7.1 Dolby surround sound features. As you know such specs come up with higher price than an ordinary gaming headset. This is why you have to invest more than $300 for this headset.
Astro A50 Specifications
|Wireless Range||Up-to 30ft|
|Surround Sound||Dolby Headphone|
|USB Output||5.0V – 200mA|
|Transducer Principle||Open Air|
|Color Options||For Ps4 + PC: Blue & black|
For XBox One + PC: Green & gray
|Microphone||6.0mm unidirectional noise canceling|
|Frequency Response||10Hz – 20KHz|
|Nominal Impedance||48 ohms|
|Power Supply||USB Micro-B (USB 2.0 compatible)|
|Battery life||15+ hours|
|Drivers||40MM Neodymium magnet|
|Price Range||$300 (When reviewed)|
Appearance & Design
Let me explain one thing: as i have already mentioned in specifications that the Astro A50 comes with two color options. The Blue + Black color combination is made for Playstation users, while the Green + Grey combination is made for XBoxx One users. Both versions are compatible with PC, so PC gamers don’t have to worry which one to choose from.
The color combinations are really beautiful. Both versions look nice and give a premium look. One interesting about these color schemes is that both are similar to color scheme of respective gaming consoles. It means the company has tried to smartly add beauty to your gaming accessories.
The microphone can be bent and rotated according to headphone position overhead. Another feature of Astro A50 mic is auto-mute, which means you just have to click it in its upright position. Overall, the material is really durable and would not break easily, unless hit it with hammer or try a shot of gun.
Nothing can be expected from Astro A50 without its base station. Slim in design and powerful in performance the base station is great in every aspect. The shiny black color of base adds much to the perfection of the headset.
By joining the small accessories an impressive gaming gadget comes into fruition. This is actually true about Aastro A50. The headset comes with an optical port that helps it to connect with other devices. Also you can connect it to other devices by other available options like speaker cable.
Once you have connected it to other devices like PS4, Ps3, PC, or XBox 360, it first sync with those devices which is quite easy and sync completes in no time. Remember: if you don’t know how to connect the headphones (which obviously is very easy) then the Quick start Guide could prove helpful for you.
For setting up Astro A50 you need to plug-into the USB and optical ports. By pressing the button first on transmitter then on headset, the synchronization will start. After completion of syncing process, you are all set to use the headphones. However, you have to sync again if you like to connect it to other device for proper working of headset.
Remember: If you are using using A50 headset on PlayStation 3, instead of PS4, switch audio from settings menu. The process is easy but may annoy beginner gamers who are less tech-savvy.
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Base Station – Software
The Astro A50 has a software to customize its sound. If there is a sound problem in your headset you may tweak the sound by downloading the Command Center software from Astro Website.
Astro needs to focus now on its software. Sadly the software is old fashioned: means the software lacks retina display updates and you have to update the software every time there is a new update. The software still lacks many features and is not user friendly.
Despite its imperfections, the software works impressively. Even though it is not user friendly, it works like a charm in tweaking the headset. The software contains settings for Streaming that helps to adjust sounds of microphone, chat, game and auxiliary audio. Suffice is to say that not only you can adjust EQ, you can also create custom EQ and then sync it to the headset for custom sound effects. Additionally, the advanced setting tab (in dialogue box) is totally dedicated for audiophiles. My advice is not to go for this tab if you do not know much about sound and sound effects.
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Performance & Features
Astro A50 comes with a prominent feature “accelrometer” which automatically detects position of the headset. It remains on whenever you are using the it and it is in vertical position on your headset. The sensor switches off the headset if you are not using it and the headset is placed on horizontal position. Sadly, it just stops playing music when it is in horizontal position, but the headset is still working and draining battery continuously. So, it would be better leave the headset on its base station than leaving it on table.
The downside is that the base station lose connection after a continuous use for longer time. That is to say continuous plugging in and unplugging will leave you with not option but to use the backup USB charging cable. So, the better idea is to use the USB charging cable more often than directly plugging it in base station for charging. However, the base station is the best option, albeit risky.
As you know this is the wireless headset, it uses 5GHz frequency. The wireless range of this technology is average and offers range up-to 30ft. But the closer you are to the PC, the better the connection and sound will be.
Sound & Mic Quality
In terms of sound performance and microphone quality the headset won’t disappoint you. With deep bass and rich and clear sound you will like the real time studio sound effects. As i have already mentioned, you can adjust its audio, Equalizer and balance through its Command Center software.
Different sound modes are available for different purposes. Studio mode is best suited to listening to music and watching movies, while Pro mode is perfect for gamers who want to hear real time gaming sounds and be alert about footsteps and gunshots of enemies while playing.
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The built-in earpads do not offer greater noise cancellation. However, you will be able to get excellent noise cancellation, if you can manage to replace them with leather earpads. The sound quality is above average, and does not disappoint, but for more better opportunity in this price range, other headsets like SteelSeries Arctis 7 and Logitech G Pro X are most suitable competitors.
The mic quality is a bit below average. The downside is that the mic lacks clarity and does not cancel background noise effectively. If you want to use this headset for calling on skype or something like that, you should opt for better options, other for just gaming purposes the headset mic works average.
The A50 is actually a lightweight wireless gaming headset, though heavier than Astro A40. Though the weight is average and bearable to be placed overhead, you will still feel the weight after a long gaming sessions. But overall the headset is comfortable.
The complete fit with soft cushions over the earcups offer greater comfort. Actually the tight fit is best if you want to play the game for a few hours. For longer hours of gaming you will have to loosen the tight fit of the headset to alleviate squeezing issue.
The earcups of Astro A50 can swivel up-to 90 degrees. Additionally, to get greater comfort and noise cancellation you will have to buy an extra pair of leather earcups that are much better option.
Finally, the Astro A50 is sleek wireless gaming headset that is best for gaming as well as listening to premium quality music. Though the headset is one of the most expensive gaming headsets, its design, build, durability and performance actually deserves higher cost.
The Astro A50 is definitely worth the money for serious gamers who need perfection both in gaming as well as music experience. Buy this only if you are a high-end gamer for whom gaming matters more than anything else as it will cost you higher than other headsets.
Astro A50 FAQs
Is the Astro A50 worth it?
Definitely, Astro A50 is worth it. It offers excellent gaming sound quality, durability, and comfort. Additionally, you can use it on Mac, PC, Xbox 360, or PS4.
Is Astro A50 better than A40?
One prominent difference between A40 and A50 is the connectivity. The A40 is a wired headset while the A50 is wireless. For various reasons the A50 wireless headset is the most appropriate choice, but it comes at a higher cost than A40. The A50 offers greater comfort, and freedom while gaming. On the other hand, the A40 is a wired headset which means you will have to deal with wires while playing which is really annoying for many gamers.
What headset is better than Astro a50?
If you want the most comfortable premium headset, SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the best option to choose from. If, however, you are looking for a gaming headset with a great sound experience and comfort, then go for the Astro A50.