I’ve never really cared about expensive gaming headphones. So long as it projects sound I’ve never really been bothered. The most fancy thing I’ve ever wanted from a pair of headphones was a microphone attachment, so I approached the Astro A40 with a level of uncertainty. Being unsure of what to expect, what I found made me realise what I was actually missing.
The first thing I noticed upon opening the box was the sheer amount of addons this thing had. The ear-covers, headband, speaker-tags and microphone could all be changed around and replaced, and the microphone could even be plugged in on either side, for those who prefer their microphone on the left/right side only. The covers themselves offered very good noise reduction; it was very difficult to hear anything else outside of my game/music, even when it was quiet or when nothing was being played at all. The feeling of the headphones is strange when you first put them on, but after it while it becomes natural and doesn’t feel restraining. It’s not too tight around your head and overall is very comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time.
The primary selling point is the MixAmp, a small device which can be placed wherever you want, so long as it’s plugged into your computer. It’s logical to have it within reaching distance, as you’re going to use this thing while you’re on the computer. It is connected via a USB Micro cord, and the 3.5mm jack is on the other end of the MixAmp, allowing it to easily connect the headphones to your computer. I had some problems getting it to work on my device for some reason. After some fiddling and, turning it off and back on again and plugging it into different ports, it finally worked. Once it did, there was no need to install drives or software; it worked immediately.
The MixAmp allows you to adjust the volume and sound with extreme ease. The dial allows for volume change that is independent from the computer's volume. Not only this, but it allows different audio modes at the press of a button. The button has four quadrants around it and they lit up one indicates which mode you’re on. Starting top-left and going clockwise, the first setting is made for pro gaming, and it amplifies a lot of background sounds, such as footsteps and players changing weapon, something that greatly helpful in games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, where listening to every sound could be the difference between life and death. The second profile is default; the sounds are the way the developers intended them, with no amplifications or balancing. The third setting is the Media setting, intended for listening to music and watching movies, amplifying vocals and bass. (The difference when listening to music between this and the Pro setting is very noticeable) The final profile is the same as the Pro setting, but it also balances the microphone to work better in very loud environments, such as esports or other gaming events.
On the subject of the microphone and sound, the quality of both of these was amazing. Even without the appropriate settings (I spent most of my time playing on the first profile), I was able to pick up sounds I never knew before. A very helpful example of this was in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, I could never dodge the Brimstone attack of The Adversary, until I realised he does a low growl before firing it, something I never heard before using these headphones. The microphone quality was also remarkable. I was playing a tournament match with a few friends and my housemate decided to be a funny guy and yell obscenities such as ‘Penis’ and ‘I love c*ck’ from the other side of my desk. Thankfully my microphone never picked up any of it and my friends were free to carry on the match without his frequent call-outs.
Overall, the Astro A40 is a very pleasant experience of what investing in more expensive hardware can do. The sound quality, the different sound profiles, the customisation, the reduction, the MixAmp, the microphone quality and noise reduction. Everything about these headphones are, simply put, bloody amazing. While they are a bit on the expensive side, the quality is definitely worth the price.
Astro A40 Headset Review
The Astro A40 is a very pleasant experience of what investing in more expensive hardware can do. The sound quality, the different sound profiles, the customisation, the reduction, the MixAmp, the microphone quality and noise reduction. Everything about these headphones are, simply put, bloody amazing. While they are a bit on the expensive side, the quality is definitely worth the price.