Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review

Often referred to as the king of the console offerings, how does Astro's high-end A40 compare with the best that the PC market has to offer?

@smithymayo
Published Tue, Apr 28 2015 9:15 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 87%Manufacturer: Astro Gaming

Introduction, Specifications, Pricing & Availability

Astro Gaming is generally known for producing some of the best console headsets on the market alongside their competitor, Turtle Beach. Seemingly existing since the dawn of competitive console time, Astro is also well known for their MixAmp bundles, meaning any 3.5mm jack headset can plug into this USB Dolby surround-sound beauty and enjoy game play on consoles, PC, or Mac.

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 14 IMAGES

We'll be testing Astro's A40 with MixAmp Pro bundle in this review and comparing it mainly to the likes of the Kingston HyperX Cloud II as both headset manufacturers claim the utmost quality and comfort in their marketing of these champion products. The Cloud II has become my personal headset of use since reviewing it, but the large community support behind the Astro A40 leaves a lot to prove. Can it live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

Specifications

Released in October 2014, this product allows you to enjoy Dolby 7.1 surround-sound through a USB connection (when used with the MixAmp Pro), coupled with a frequency response of 20-21,000 Hz and a nominal impedance of 48 Ohms through it's 3.5mm jack into the MixAmp Pro supplied.

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 02 | TweakTown.com

Weighing in at 324 grams, it's a little heavier than other headsets we have tried like the Cloud II and Tt eSPORTS' Dracco captain, but Astro combat this heavy weight by providing plush cloth in the earcups and headband.

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The detachable rubber microphone connects to the base through a 3.5mm jack and offers a unidirectional sound pick-up.

The MixAmp Pro supplied features four pre-installed equalizer options, a button to enable and disable the Dolby Surround-sound, the ability to toggle your sound to enjoy louder gameplay or voice communication alongside a power button and your normal volume control. The MixAmp Pro helps you to connect your A40's to a PC (through USB with an optional Optical connection), a PlayStation 3 and 4, or an Apple Mac computer.

Pricing & Availability

This version of the Astro comes with a $249.99 price tag on Amazon at the time of writing. It's sitting at around $100 over the Kingston HyperX Cloud II, however, this headset comes bundled with the MixAmp Pro, which is valued at $130 by itself. This means that although it costs $100 more, you're getting a $130 MixAmp Pro bundled into the kit.

What's in the box?

Where do we begin? This model comes with the A40 headset, the MixAmp Pro with a USB cable to power it, an optical cable sound connection, a single 3.5mm female to dual 3.5mm male adaptor, a small 3.5mm extension cable, the separate microphone, a quick-start guide, and finally the warranty information.

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 04 | TweakTown.com

There's unfortunately no carry pouch included with this product, I can foresee a hard carry pouch with various slots for the cables to be placed would come in handy. Otherwise you're going to have to carry the whole original box to your local LAN party or friends house. Manageable yes, but not optimal.

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 05 | TweakTown.com

The myriad of different connections look extremely daunting at first, but in the end, they are actually quite useful given this headset can be suited to many different applications.

PRICING: You can find the ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for $249.99 at Amazon.

Australia: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for $329 at PLE Computers.

Canada: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for CDN$269.99 at Amazon Canada.

A Closer Look, How They Feel & Listening Experience

Let's dig deeper

At first the cloth ear cups and headband had me feeling a little cautions about the comfort quality of these highly priced cans, but it has now been proven to me that the only reason other manufacturers have uncomfortable cloth offerings is because they're poorly manufactured or designed. The Astro A40's provide no issues in the comfort department, even when gaming for extended timings of four hours or more.

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Absolutely comparable to the comfort factor of the plush leather HyperX Cloud II offering and also to the high-end Sennheiser PC350 headphones, Astro has proven that cloth is a viable option. If you're into customization, Astro also offer the unique experience of changing the external plate on your ear cup to whatever you wish - meaning you can add your own cool image, clan logo or gamer name.

The microphone has a solid attachment to the headset and bends easily to suit whatever position you may require it to be placed in. The game > voice control on the MixAmp Pro also works quite well, somehow identifying the voice and gaming channels coming through your PC, thus enabling me to adjust my Mumble volume in conjunction with Dota2 to the optimum level.

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 07 | TweakTown.com

The only real improvement I can see made to the headset as a whole would be to allow interchangeable leather ear cups for those who wish to experience this feel. Sure, the cloth may be just as comfortable, but leather is easier to keep clean and smelling fresh, whereas cloth will soak up sweat and dirt as you sweat away at a LAN or at home.

A Dota 2 analysis

As mentioned previously, Astro are commonly known as one of the 'king of the console' brands, holding a large portion of console gamers under their control, but how exactly does it perform with PC-related tasks?

Astro Gaming A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Loading up Dota2 saw a great experience. These cans are seemingly worth the high price tag in the sound department, offering deep and rich bass whenever needed and in scenarios such as Phoenix's egg rumbling as it explodes or Slardar's bone-crushing slam as he stuns enemies.

I experienced no ear discomfort, but the same was not said for my team mates in the VoIP program 'Mumble' and in-game. Labelling this microphone as 'the worst one you've reviewed yet by far' they said it was a mixture of low overall quality and lack of bass, making me sound a little like a robot. Another niggling issue comes with the fact that the microphone will play what you're speaking through the headset by default - annoying at first, you get used to it quite quickly.

There's a slight buzz in the background when your sound is turned low or off. It's similar to what I've experienced when using Bluetooth headphones in the past for reviews and it's only annoying when nothing is happening.

Let's keep gaming

Moving on to Hotline Miami and cranking the in-game music up saw a similar experience encountered. There was no lack of bass or clarity whenever needed, my background tunes ranging from Tyler, The Creator to hard-rock from the Amity Affliction reported back no issues whatsoever alongside the cool old-school groove of the in-game tracks sounding well polished.

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The microphone didn't pick up too much background noise, with my girlfriend in the same room playing Far Cry 4 on the PlayStation not disturbing my friends in Mumble, however, once again, the quality was the major concern in this department.

The Astro A40's with MixAmp Pro most certainly offer an easy connection experience (as long as you've got the quick-start guide on hand) and my Windows 7 PC easily self-downloaded and installed any drivers needed to operate. This is a big plus in my books as going through the task of finding and downloading drivers is quite annoying when on a slower internet connection (thanks Australia!) alongside having no optical drive installed.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

What's Hot

The feel: This headset proves that cloth ear cups can most certainly be comfortable.

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The sound: Certainly as good as the Sennheiser PC350's and the HyperX Cloud II, the bass is crisp, the treble is clear and it handles everything from single player beat 'em up's to Dota2 just fine.

Comfort in the long-run: Expect to game for hours with full comfort.

Strong backbone: With a solid backbone and sturdy ear cups, this product will survive years of abuse.

Useful MixAmp: However expensive this may be, the MixAmp Pro will ensure connectivity to multiple devices for many years no matter what headset is plugged in.

What's Not

No leather option: It's comfortable, but cloth attracts dirt, dust and sweat.

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The microphone: Rated by my friends in Mumble as the worst they have heard thus far, it also plays through your headset by default, which is annoying at first.

USB/Optical Only: Unless you plug the 3.5mm connection directly into your PC or Mac, this headset is USB or Optical only - but who has optical on their list of connections nowadays? Not many.

Final Thoughts

The sound is great and the comfort is there, however, the microphone leaves a lot to be desired and there's also no carry pouch. At first, I was reserved due to the large $249.99 asking price, however, Astro has proven to me that their products are certainly worth further investigation.

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If the microphone could be improved and the slight USB-powered buzz removed, this headset would be pushed straight to the top of my list alongside a very short list of others. As far as I'm concerned, the compatibility, sound quality, and comfort justify the scary sounding $249.99 price tag.

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PRICING: You can find the ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for $249.99 at Amazon.

Australia: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for $329 at PLE Computers.

Canada: The ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro retails for CDN$269.99 at Amazon Canada.

TweakTown award
Performance (audio quality)80%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money80%
Overall87%

The Bottom Line: The compatibility, sound quality, and comfort justify the scary sounding $249.99 price tag of Astro Gaming's A40 Headset with MixAmp Pro, but the microphone leaves a lot to be desired.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

I'm a competitive gamer and was an eSports employee. Recent changes have seen me hang up the mouse and move over to the technology world, covering all news for TweakTown, ranging from gaming news to opinion articles and the latest tech releases. Expect to see a few different articles on international eSports news and competitive game releases, as well as audio and mobile device content.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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