As most gamers will tell you, a solid gaming headset that will provide high-quality sound and comfort is essential to the gaming experience. The Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset, while one of the pricier headsets on the market, is one of the most incredible gaming headsets that I have come into contact with thus far.
What’s in the Box
- A50 Headset with Li-Ion Battery
- Astro Wireless 5.8 Ghz Transmitter w/ KleerNet™
- Headset Stand, 1.0M USB Power Cable
- 0.5M USB Charging Cable
- 1.0M Optical Cable
- 1.5M XBOX Live® Chat Cable
- Transducer Principle: Open Air
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20,000 KHz
- Nominal Impedance : 48 ohm
- Weight w/o cable: 0.81lbs/363 grams
- Characteristic SPL: 118 db @1kHzEar
- Coupling: Over-Ear
- Distortion: THD<1%
- Connector: 2.5mm XBOX Live® chat port, Mini-USB port
- Microphone: 6.0mm uni-directinal noise canceling
- Power Supply: USB mini-B (USB 2.0 compatible)
- Battery Life: 8-10 Hours
- Frequency Response: 35-20,000 Hx
- Wireless Radio: 5.8GHz STS Module
- Inputs: Optical In, AUX In (3.5mm)
- Outputs: Optical Passthrough, USB Power & Voice, USB Charging Port
5.8GHz Wireless Technology- By operating at a higher frequency than most other wireless devices, the A50 produces an awesome level of clarity and range with almost zero interference. Whether you are listening to music or gaming with your friends, interference is always annoying and Astro Gaming has gotten rid of it completely.
Astro Mixamp- The built-in ASTRO MixAmp lets you adjust your game-to-voice balancing, with 3 different EQ modes made for gaming/media. Players can even link multiple MixAmps together for a lag-free private voice network.
Multi-System Compatibility- Whether you are a PC gamer or you prefer to spend your time on a console, Astro Gaming has you covered. The A50 Wireless Headset is compatible with PC, Xbox and PS3. The cross-platform capabilities of this headset are just another reason why they rock.
Tuned with Astro Audio- Astro Audio is designed to create flawless sound whether you are listening to music, gunshots, or talking with your friends. Interference has been brought to a halt and all that is left is crystal clear, high-quality audio.
Incredible Sound and Stellar Comfort
Generally, comfort is high on my list of what makes and breaks a gaming headset. It doesn’t matter how good it sounds, how well it functions, or how awesome it looks; if it hurts your head, all of those things fall by the wayside. As a female gamer, I have a difficult time finding a headset that fits my smaller, less manly head, so the ability to be widely adjustable is important to me as well.
Upon taking the headset out of the packaging and setting everything up, I put them on and immediately noticed the exceptional level of comfort. The ear cups are extremely plush and do not cause any pinching or binding of the ears. The headset did need to be adjusted slightly from the in-box settings, however, adjustments were easy to make using the sliding pole adjusters on the sides of the headset.
When I first saw the headset, I was concerned that it might be too heavy or cause neck strain, but that was not the case. They were solid enough to feel like a quality product, but lightweight enough to feel good on my head for an extended period of time. I wore the A50 for three hours of uninterrupted game play with no comfort issues at all. Usually, by the end of a lengthy stent of game play, even the best headset starts to feel a bit uncomfortable. The A50, however, literally felt as though I had just put them on. They really are that comfortable.
Before I received the A50 for review, I read a little about the experiences other reviewers have had with this particular headset. Everyone seemed to really emphasize how great the sound was. It is my experience that wireless headsets seem to have a little more interference than regular wired headsets. Naturally, I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the A50 headset a shot. I had high expectations already from all the praise that the sound quality had received and I was not disappointed. There was absolutely no interference to speak of and the sound quality was nothing short of amazing. Bass tones were deep and rumble-y, and the treble was not screechy or harsh.
Astro Gaming credits their awesome sound to their signature ‘Astro Audio’ tuning that is designed to deliver clarity at every frequency. They attribute their lack of interference to 5.8 GHz wireless technology that operates at a higher frequency that most other wireless devices, thus killing the interference. Genius!
Controls and Ease of Use
As I previously stated, I did a lot of reading about the A50 headset before I used them. One of the more interesting points made about the headset is that some thought the control positioning was ‘awkward’. Although I am not sure why the placement would be considered awkward, I do think that the controls are in a significantly better place than other gaming headsets I have reviewed. While I can see the drawback to having all of the controls on the same ear cup, the A50 controls are unique-feeling enough that they aren’t easily confused with each other and it is nice to not have to worry about remembering which ear cup holds which controls.
As you can see in the photo above, there are four basic controls on the right ear cup. These include:
- Power Button (with power light)
- EQ Mode Select Switch (1. Media Mode, 2. Core Mode, 3. Pro Mode)
- Master Volume Scroll Wheel
- Game/Voice Balance Switch (Located On The Side Of The Ear Cup)
I expected the microphone mute to have a button somewhere as well, however, I was ecstatic to find that the microphone mutes by simply flipping it up away from my face. While the controls are easy to use, I am glad Astro Gaming had the foresight to make the mic mute work this way instead of adding another button.
The Bottom Line
What can I say? If I haven’t gushed enough for everyone to know how I feel already, I haven’t gotten my point across. Although the headset is what I would consider extremely pricey ($299.00), there is good reason for this. The Astro Gaming A50 Headset is, quite possibly, the most superior gaming headset on the market and is a worthy investment for any serious gamer.
While I am sure there are those out there who are skeptical of overly-positive reviews, I can unbiasedly say that aside from the price, I cannot find any flaws with this particular headset. It is exceptionally comfortable, the sound is far above the rest, and set up with the included transmitter and stand are a breeze. I would recommend this head set to anyone who has some extra cash laying around and is looking to purchase one of the best gaming headsets on the market.