Officially announced today, Australian and New Zelanders can be excited that ASTRO are bringing their award-winning headsets and gaming accessories to our shores. We've actually had the A40 headset in our office for the past week or so, and we've been more than impressed with this sexy piece of kit. Before we get into the review however, take a look at our unboxing of the wired and wireless versions, then read up on the specs.
||A40 Headset and Astro Speaker Tags
||2M 3.5mm Quick Disconnect Cable, PC Splitter/Adapter
|MixAmp 5.8 Cables:
||3M Optical TOSLink, 3M USB-USB Mini, 1.5M Xbox Live Chat Cable, 2M 3.5mm Audio Cable, Daisy-Chain Connector
||15 - 28,000 Hz
||324 grams (without Cable)
||Less than 0.1%
||6.0mm uni-directional noice canceling
As soon as you open the A40 box you're greeted with a quality looking product. The wired version is a combination of matte white and glossy black, with sturdy and comfortable ear cushions. The wireless model features an all black finish that really stands out and should turn some heads. The A40's are light, yet don't feel cheap as a result. Without the microphone or extra cables, the headset weighs a mere 324 grams, meaning you can use them for extended sessions without feeling uncomfortable. The cups can be repositioned to fit your ears however you please, and the height of the headphones is fully adjustable meaning they will fit anyone with ease. Functional and fashionable, the A40 is well designed.
When it comes to in-game sound or music, I'm a but of an audiophile. Despite my gaming backround, I spent a lot of time recording and listening to recordings from local bands, meaning I've used quite a number of studio headphones in my time.
The A40's have amazing sound clairty, with or without the use of the mixamp. Plugging the headphones directly into a PC, iPhone or audio player will yield amazing results for your musical needs. I tested this headset using a number of different musical styles including metal, hardcore, electorinic and indie rock with excellent reults. The low end rumbles as it should, but never oversteps the boundary to overpower the mids or high ends. The mid range is perfectly balanced, with vocals truly popping and tiny intricies in percussion and guitar work easily heard. The high end has a great mix also, and the claim that these headsets suffer from less than 0.1% distortion can be held true. If you're looking for a great headset for music on the go, the A40's will easily fill that role.
But these are meant for pro-gaming sessions, so how did they hold up? Using the mixamp included with the headset and connected to my PC via optical I was able to achieve amazing surround sound that left me breathless. Gunshots sprayed across the room during numerous rounds of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive truly sounded like tiny cannons firing in my ears. Despite the huge influx of loud noises, flashbangs, grenades and general noise surrounding me, the headset still showed perfect sound clarity. I've never expereinced a gaming headset of this quality.
The A40 includes a removeable, noise canceling microphone that shows great results despite which platform you may use it on. I tested the VOIP capabilities on PC during a intense bout of Day-Z, and on Max Payne 3 on the Xbox 360. Everyone could head me loud and clear, and thanks to the mix function on the mixamp, I was able to find a perfect balance between voice and game sound. If you spend a lot of time gaming with friends, the A40's will give you 100% control of your in-game chats.
Right now I'm rocking a pair of Beats by Dre and SteelSeries Siberia V2's as my music and gaming headphones respectively. I've also been dabbling with a pair of Turtle Beach X41's for use with my Xbox 360. How does that A40's compare to these three headsets?
It blows them all out of the water!
If music is your thing and you want to game on the side, then the A40's will be a perfect solution for both of your problems. The warm mids and punchy low-ends are reason enough to consider these as your next set of headphones, but the fact that they offer fantastic VOIP intergration across your PC, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, they fit every role you could possible need.
Aside from the fact they sound much better than my Turtle Beach X41's, the wireless integration is beyond superior. My X41's often have trouble when in close proximity to other wireless devices or brick walls, while the A40's never failed me once. Perfect clairity while in another room, it's pretty hard to find a fault other than the price point. While offiical pricing is yet to be announced, these are a premium headset so you can expect a premium pricetag.
Is it worth it? I'm replacing every set of headphones I own with a single unit, so for me it is well and truly worth the price of admission. If you want a high end gaming headset that will also easily serve as a premium music headset, then you can't go past the ASTRO A40's.
By Stephen Heller - Bio