Getting a gaming headset has almost become a requirement these days for both gamers and content creators. The immersion from a pair of good gaming headsets just can’t be compared with normal speakers. A good pair of headsets can distinguish between a cheap listening experience and an experience where you become a part of the game.
Astro has been the go-to for a long time for good gaming headsets and has given gamers a great selection of headsets that caters to everyone, from beginners to masters.
But which Astro headset is best for you? And which one gives the best value for money? To answer that question, we’ve picked up the Astro A50 and the Astro A40 and pitched them against each other to see which one is better.
What Matters Most?
In this review, we’re going to be going over the essential things in gaming headsets. We’ll be comparing things like sound performance, whether the headsets are wired or wireless (and whether that makes any difference to the audio), compatibility with consoles, comfort, and controls.
So let’s get into the review!
The driver’s diameter and the frequency response are the most critical things in speakers and headsets. They control how loud the device can get without messing with the audio quality and how well the device can play the low, middle, and high tones.
The Astro A40 and the Astro A50 both have 40mm drivers, and the frequency response on both devices ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. In terms of sound quality, both devices are practically the same. Both devices can play the highs and lows of sound and give a great listening experience.
Both devices are also compatible with Dolby Atmos, which provides 7.1 surround sound, adding to the immersive experience. Surround sound is vital for competitive gaming and helps pinpoint enemy locations and walking. Almost every player of CSGO prefers a surround sound headset since it helps identify precisely where the enemy is.
Music listeners and movie enthusiasts also gain a lot from surround sound if the music is 8D or the scenes in a movie have really diverse action scenes where dynamic audio is essential.
But one advantage that the Astro A50 has over the Astro A40 is that the Astro A50 has the additional MixAmp Pro already built into its charging base. You can buy the MixAmp pro for the A40 as well; otherwise, you’d be missing out on being able to control the headset remotely.
Build and Design
In terms of design, both devices have a great, futuristic look and wouldn’t look out of place with a stylish PC build or a console-setup. The headsets look premium, and the flip microphone gives it a look that shows it means business.
The headsets have adjustable sliders, which you can use to fit your head, and these can even accommodate larger heads. The headsets both have padding on the headband and on each ear cup, which is great for those long hours of gaming.
The Astro A40 has pivot ear cups, which means they can easily rest on your shoulders if you take them off your head. So you can easily keep them on your shoulders while you answer a call or talk in person, and they won’t cause any fatigue.
Wearing a headset for more than a few hours usually results in sweaty ears, mild pain on the head and around the ears, but this is prevented by the comfortable foam padding and the fabric earcups in the Astro A40 and the Astro A50. You can wear these for 10-11 hours before you start feeling any sort of irritation.
The clamping power of the ear cups is tight at the start, but loosens up after a few hours of use and gets really comfortable.
Wired vs. Wireless
The feature that most listeners probably base their decision on is whether the headset is wired or wireless. Many users like to roam around while listening to music or even having a conversation. Others prefer sitting at their table or sofa while playing games and don’t really mind having a few extra wires in their way.
The main difference between the Astro A50 and the Astro A40 is that the Astro A40 has a wired connection, whereas the Astro A50 is entirely wireless.
The Astro A50 has a battery of about 15 hours per charge, which isn’t great but still manageable. That’s almost the only reason stopping this headset from being the clear winner. The wireless range on the headset is advertised at 49 feet, which means you can walk around from room to room without having the audio affected.
The Astro A50 and the Astro A40 are compatible with PC, Xbox, Mac, and PlayStation. However, for the PlayStation 5, you need an external adapter to have the Astro A50 run with the PS5. This adapter is available on the Astro website.
Both headsets are compatible with the Astro Command Center software, which allows you to customize presets and sound effects. You can change your EQ presets, adjust the sidetone of your microphone, and customize the streaming audio for the exact volume that you want. An advanced equalizer further increases the customization you can do with the headsets.
Color and Style Customization
Gaming headsets usually need a unique look, and Astro has excellent customization options for both of its headsets.
The Astro A40 is available in three distinct tones, which are:
- Black with Blue overtones
- Black with Red overtones
- X-edition: Sporty red on the headband and earcups with black overtones.
The A40 also has magnetic Speaker Tags, which you can browse between special editions or customize yourself if you’re buying from the website, and can change different speaker tags on the same pair of headsets. It’s effortless to change them since they simply snap onto the headset.
The Astro A50 is available in the following styles:
- Black with Gold overtones
- Black with Grey overtones
Getting a separate microphone is always the better option for users who usually play competitive games or stream online since headset mics just don’t deliver on recording and clarity. Between the Astro A50 and the Astro A40, we’ll be checking out which one has the better microphone and whether you need to get a separate mic or not.
The Astro A50 has a flip-mute mic on the side of the headset, which will automatically mute when you flip it up. The sound quality on the Astro A50 mic is flatter than the Astro A40 and comes with voice isolation, which will eliminate background noise so others can hear your voice more clearly.
The Astro A40 has a removable mic and has better clarity and sound when compared to the Astro A50, and you can connect the detachable mic to any one of the earcups. Getting a mod kit for the Astro A40 also gives you an extra mic, earcups, and speaker tags.
To mute the mic on the Astro A40, there’s a small dongle on the wire which lets you toggle between muted and unmuted.
The Astro A40 weighs around 370g, whereas the Astro A50 is slightly heavier, at around 380g. As a result, both headsets are extremely easy to carry around or place on different parts of the table or shelf.
Pros and Cons
Astro A40 TR
It all comes down to price and whether you want a wired headset or not. For console gamers who prefer laying back while gaming or watching movies, the A50 is a great option, with excellent audio but a higher price.
The Astro A40 is more for the hardcore gamer who doesn’t want to deal with battery life and just wants a good gaming headset, wires included. The headset offers great customization, good audio, and the only downside is that you need to get a MixAmp Pro for that added remote control.
However, if budget isn’t an issue and you prefer wireless, then the best option is the Astro A50. Even if the battery life is around 15 hours, you probably won’t be listening for 15 hours at a time, and you’ll naturally be placing the headset in the base charger when you’re not using it, which will keep charging it.
In conclusion, A50 is the best wireless option, whereas the A40 is the well-tried wired classic.