Astro A40 TR Headset + Mixamp Pro 2017
Astro Gaming has recognized itself as one of the most reliably high-quality gaming headset manufacturers. Its wireless A50 headset offers exceptional build quality and performance, and its A10 remains one of our top picks for economical wired headsets. The newest version of Astro’s wired A40 TR headset with MixAmp Pro TR faces some very inflexible competition in the high-end wired headset field, however. The $249.99 package, which comprises both the Astro A40 TR Headset + Mixamp Pro 2017 TR USB headphone amp has a light, comfortable fit and actual strong audio performance. It’s value your attention if you’re observing for a tournament-level wired gaming headset, even if it doesn’t stance out as the total best in its field.
Design of Astro A40 TR Headset + Mixamp Pro 2017
The headset himself is very similar to the preceding A40’s design, with some pinched colors and finishes. It’s typically matte black plastic about the earcups and headband, with aluminum struts on the flanks connecting them and allowing for flat vertical adjustment to tweak the fit. The over-ear earpads are memory spray covered with soft, breathable black cloth. The foundation of the headband has a rectangular pad made of the same material as the earpads, mounted between two flexible, sturdy plastic bands.
The back boards of the earcups are made of sleek black plastic with silver accents, and break attached to the headset with magnets. These panels, which Astro noises speaker tags, leave a gap above the earcups, giving the open-back 40mm drivers plenty of space to breathe and provide better spatial imaging.
The speaker tags then the top of the headband take the only hints of color on the defaulting versions of the A40, with blue accents for the PlayStation 4 version and red pronunciations for the Xbox One version. There are also X-Editions that substitute the shiny aluminum finishes of the cross struts and boom mic grille with red, by way of the black plastic surfaces of the headband and side inflections of the earcups.
Connection and MixAmp
The A40 connects to your favorite device with an included 6.5-foot cable with an parallel mic mute switch. It dismisses in a four-pole 3.5mm plug, so you can use it with any modern game console, PC or smartphone with a headphone jack.
If you devote the extra $100 for the A40 + MixAmp Pro TR we verified, however, you’ll perhaps be plugging that headset cable straight into the front of the comprised MixAmp Pro TR, a headphone amp and mixer designed to work with your PC and either PS4 or Xbox One. It’s a reshaped version of the MixAmp Pro TR obtainable with the 2016 model.
The new MixAmp Pro TR is a shady gray box measuring 1.8 by 5.4 by 3.6 inches (HWD), with honestly stark corners and edges in contrast with the glossier, more round design of its precursor. The top panel is conquered by two large, gunmetal knobs with backlit pointer notches that glow white when the microphone is lively and red when it’s muted. The left knob panels master volume, while the slightly smaller right handle controls voice chat and game audio equilibrium. Two small buttons between the handles toggle Dolby audio dispensation and switch between four different EQ settings.
Software and Mic
If you use the A40 and MixAmp through your PC, you can modify your audio with the Astro Command Center software. To start, it leases you customize the MixAmp’s four EQ presets with a five-band equalizer, if you don’t like the evasion settings. You can also regulate the mic’s gain and sidetone levels, besides set one of four noise gate settings to block out outdoor noise. You can even set the heights of the audio that originates out of the 3.5mm stream port, mixing the game audio, voice chat audio, mic input, and any sound coming done the 3.5mm input separately.
The A40’s microphone sounds outstanding. Test recordings were spotless and warm, neither sounding uncertain nor overly sibilant. This is a very good receiver microphone for voice chat, commentary, and smooth podcasting.
Doom sounds powerful on the A40. The super shotgun and rocket launcher become plenty of low and low-mid character to give them lots of punch, and the many hisses, grunts, and growls of enemies come done with lots of clarity in the high-mids and highs. Mick Gordon’s grungy manufacturing metal soundtrack alternates between frantic and ominous done the headset, with the thumping bass notes sounding full smooth without reaching into head-rattling sub-bass levels. The simulated 7.1-channel mantle sound provides accurate left-right imaging with the stereophonic drivers of the headset, giving a good intelligence of the source of different sounds.
Forza Motorsport 7 sounds similarly imposing, thanks to the A40’s generous response across the frequency range. The loud roar of a spontaneous truck’s engine sounds distinct from the aggressive complaint of a sportscar, each getting just the right amount of attendance. Every knock and crash into other cars, and each rumble of the edge of the track below tires, sounds low and full for plenty of impact.
The A40 is very accomplished at handling music, especially if it’s run finished the MixAmp Pro TR with its substantial power output. In testing, the headset sounded decidedly more powerful through the MixAmp than finished the headphone jack of my Google Pixel 3a, which isn’t astonishing seeing the headset’s justly high 48-ohm headphone impedance.
Our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” noises full and bottomless at maximum (and unsafe) volume levels, without any obvious distortion. It doesn’t reach quite low sufficient into sub-bass territory to rattle your head, but the bass synth minutes and kick drum hits still get sufficiently of low-end force behind them.
Yes’ “Roundabout” sounds excellent on the A40, predominantly if you turn off the Dolby audio dispensation and simply listen to the stereo channels. The open-back design permits for very pronounced stereo imaging, a far better experience for sure music tracks than a simulated surround mix.
Listening to the path in lossless quality on Tidal, the string texture of the audio guitar notes in the opening come through with sufficient detail to pick out the locations of the tools in the recording studio. The electric bass obtains enough low-mid attendance to drive the track, but it doesn’t sound overly thumpy, while the vocals, guitar riffs, and drums can all effortlessly be discerned in the dense mix.
A High-End Contender
The Astro Gaming A40 TR headset by MixAmp Pro TR is an imposing headset/amp combination that delivers excellent audio in a light and contented build that feels very premium. At $250 it’s a very luxurious package, but one that justifies its price with quality. It faces stiff rivalry in audio quality among high-end headsets, however; the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp, HyperX Cloud Mix, and SteelSeries Arctis 9X all offer likewise high-end audio and build quality for $50 less each. The HyperX and SteelSeries also eye a Bluetooth mode that let them double as high-quality wireless headphones.
If you want to devote less on a good wired headset, meanwhile, the Astro Gaming A10 offers strong presentation at a fraction of the price of the A40, however it lacks the MixAmp and doesn’t feel closely as comfortable. The PDP LVL50 Wireless is also unusually inexpensive, and adds wireless convenience.