Astro A30 and MixAmp PRO Review
Astro was Founded in 1994 by Brett Lovelady in Palo Alto, California, and a lot has changed since then. Astro was acquired by headphone mega-giants Skullcandy in April 2011, but have managed to retain their unique identity. Astro have always been a leading name in the Xbox headset market – their aim has always been to set the bar so high it’s hard for anyone to get near them. It’s fair to say we were really looking forward to trying out a pair of Astro A30 headphones with the accompanying with MixAmp Pro.
In designing the A30s, Astro has gone for a very sleek, professional look – quite a departure from the in your face look of their bigger brothers, the A40 and A50. Consequently, these sleek headphones don’t necessarily scream gamer and you won’t get too many funny looks sporting these during your normal commute.
The boom microphone is removable, and fits snugly with a reassuring click. The included mic is a great quality piece of kit – the boom is flexible and holds your favoured position with ease.
Weighing in at just 188 grams, the headset sits comfortably on your head – many headsets claim to feel weightless but the A30s do rest lightly and won’t cause any discomfort, even after marathon sessions.
The elegantly padded headband can be adjusted to suit a range of head sizes, while the comfortable ear cups hug your ears without ever feeling too tight. The ear cups can be rotated through 90 degrees, allowing the A30s to be stowed flat when not in use.
The A30s are supplied with a range of connections to make sure you can listen in comfort to just about any device, making these as good a partner for commuting as gaming. Although smaller and slimmer than their stable-mates, build quality is excellent – reassuringly solid and devoid of annoying creaks or rattles.
Of course, build quality and comfort only goes so far – how do these A30s sound?
The sound quality is terrific, with cinematic range and clarity, especially when paired with the MixAmp Pro. Together, the A30s and the MixAmp Pro deliver an unprecedented level of customisation, allowing you to tailor every aspect of the sonic experience.
The Astro A30 headset is the best on the market today for build quality, comfort, design and most importantly, sound quality and clarity.
MixAmp Pro ::
The MixAmp Pro is Astro’s unique selling point and a device for which they have an enviable reputation within the industry. The Mixamp Pro is a smart device that performs the roles of both desktop amp and receiver.
The MixAmp Pro decodes Dolby Digital 7.1 streams, delivering an unrivalled virtual surround sound experience. The equalizer button on the left four pre-set modes, whilst the button on the right applies the Dolby Digital 7.1 processing that delivers the surround sound effect.
The knob in the middle, beneath the master volume, sets the mix level between game audio and chat audio – the analogue nature of a knob allows the perfect balance to be achieved, and easily adjusted on the fly. Balance is key
Along the bottom of the MixAmp you have have two outputs at either end this is for LAN events, allowing MixAmps to be daisy chained together to create a private audio network. Not an everyday feature perhaps, but another indication that Astro have put a lot of thought into the design. Middle left is the audio out for the A30 headset (3.5mm) and middle right is the audio in-out for the controller (2.5mm).
To the rear of the unit there are two inputs – standard 3.5mm for stereo audio, and 3.5mm TOSlink for digital audio streams. There is also a USB 2.0 mini-B socket to deliver both power and audio from supported devices.
We think the MixAmp Pro is a device that, once tried, you won’t be able to do without. It’s a special product indeed.
Key Feature : CUSTOMIZABLE SPEAKER TAGS
One of the things we love about the A30s are the swappable speaker tags, allowing the wearer to customise their headset and express their personality. The speaker tags click into place with magnets and remain in place throughout the most hectic sessions, jostling commute or even your morning run. The AstroGaming website offers a huge range – pictured are our favourites!
Key Specs :
Weight w/o Cable – 188 grams
Frequency Response – 20 – 20,000 Hz
Power Output – 70mW 32ohm per channel
Power Supply – USB mini-B (USB 2.0 compatible)
Microphone – 6.0mm Uni-Directional Noise-Cancelling Mic + 4.0mm Omni-Directional In-Line Mic
Battery Life: 12+ Hours
Inputs front: Headset connector, 2.5mm Xbox Live voice communication connector
Inputs rear: L/R analog RCA, TOSlink digital, coaxial digital, 3.5mm microphone (PC voice), 3.5mm mp3 connector, USB mini-B (audio/power)
If this is you’re first Astro headset or you have only used a stereo headset in the past, you might find it a little harder then a normal headset to set up. It is relatively straightforward though, and the helpful guys at AstroGaming have uploaded the whole process to Youtube just in case you get stuck.
Remember, in the box you’ll have all this fun stuff to play with!
A30 Headset, ASTRO Speaker Tags, and ASTRO MixAmp™ Pro
Headset Cables: 2.0m A30 Inline Mute Cable, 65mm PC Splitter Cable
MixAmp Cables: 3.0m Optical TOSLink, 12′ USB-USB Mini, 6′ Xbox Live Chat Cable, 6′ 3.5mm Audio Cable, Headset Y-Adapter, Daisy Chain Ports
Check out our Astro A30 + Mix Amp Unboxing video!
Overall, the Astro Gaming A30 Headset, along with the MixAmp Pro, is one of the best headsets on the market. At £170 for the bundle it’s no means a cheap headset, but with price comes high quality – and this is the highest quality of style and sound you can buy.
The Astro A30 Headset and MixAmp was provided by Astro Gaming UK for review purposes
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