Astro A40 and MixAmp TR Review

Astro A40

When you think of Astro you think quality, you think expensive, and of course, you get what you pay for in every sense. The wired A40 and wireless A50 headsets have been around in some form for years, and they remain highly regarded for team-based competitive gaming. They’re also very pricey compared to nearly every other gaming headset on the market. The latest version of the Astro A40, the A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR, is a wired headset with a separate amp/mixer and an RRP of £200 price tag.

The Astro A40s are the epitome of quality, comfort, and style. Even just opening the gorgeously premium box is an experience – Astro’s attention to detail is clear. It’s not often it takes 10 minutes to open a box! Inside you will find the headset, the MixAmp Pro (more information to follow), 3.5 mm jack cable, optical audio cable and micro USB cable. At this price you expect quality, but we were pleasantly surprised that the premium Astro build quality didn’t mean heavy – the A40 headset is refreshingly light.

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Setup is beautifully smooth, too – just make sure your console’s audio output is set correctly, and you’ll have no issues. It doesn’t take long at all to get everything connected, and the supplied instructions are perfectly clear.

“The Astro A40 and MixAmp Pro TR package cuts no corners and makes no concessions;  it’s designed purely to deliver an unparalleled gaming experience.”
This headset is beautifully made; not only is it extremely light weight, it’ one of the most comfortable headsets we have ever tested. The unusual vertical adjusters make for a perfect fit, though the smaller your head, the more it looks like you have antenna above your ears and are trying to call home to your home planet. Astro makes no concessions to non-gaming use in their headsets – the beautiful pearlescent finish is stylish, but there’s no way the A40s could ever be mistaken for anything other than a gaming headset. We don’t care, though; we think they look great.

The ear cushions and speaker tags can be swapped out to convert the A40s from the supplied open back (expansive, open sound) design to a noise-cancelling closed-back design, using an optional kit that includes synthetic leather noise-cancelling ear cushions, voice isolating mic, padded headband, and closed back speaker tags. In fact, there is a range of magnetically attached speaker tags to choose from, or design your own using Atros’s online tag designer.

Astro A40

The MixAmp Pro – which sits between the console and the headset, is where the audio magic happens, converting your listening experience from simple (albeit extremely clear) stereo sound to a range of stereo and surround modes. The MixAmp provides no-fuss control over every aspect of the audio experience. A wonderfully tactile knob controls the overall volume, while a smaller one controls the game and audio chat volume.

The MixAmp was specifically developed for enhancing the audio and communications experience of video gaming, with full PC compatibility, Dolby® 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound. The free ASTRO Command Center software for PC and Mac allows the customization of every input and output, and create of your own EQ settings, though there are four presets built into the device to choose from if tinkering with settings isn’t your thing.

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The sound quality is fantastic, and once have your favourite EQ and volume settings through the MixAmp you’re good t go. Playing Call Of Duty, we could hear enemies creeping up on us by their footsteps , giving us a fantastic advantage. In Forza Horizon 3 we truly appreciated the roar of the engines and the blaring music as we tore through the outback.  In almost every game we played – whether quietly atmospheric or loudly bombastic – we heard nuance and detail that had hitherto gone unnoticed. Chat quality was suitably premium, and the highly sensitive omni-directional mic focuses on your voice and minimizes background noise. It can be positioned on either side of the A40 headset.

Astro A40 and MixAmp TR package provides a premium audio experience for that premium price tag. It cuts no corners and makes no concessions; it’s  designed purely to deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. If you’re in the market for a premium headset, this package should definitely be on your shortlist.

RRP for the package is £200 but if you shop around you should be able to grab it for around £180.

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