Microsoft’s design goals are clear: Create a minimalistic headset that gives private sound experience for…
Best Astro Headset Black Friday Deals 2020
Astro Gaming’s A50 has long stood as you of well known wireless gaming headsets. The 2016 version was an Editors’ Choice in its category, and the updated 2019 version increases on the look and adds a few useful features. It remains an outstanding wireless headset that may work with your personal computer and selection of PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but other manufacturers have really stepped up their game within the last couple of years, pitting the $299.99 A50 against some pretty stiff competition, just like the Editors’ Choice SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Physically, the most recent A50 headset is practically identical to the 2016 model. It’s a solidly built couple of headphones with prominent pipe-shaped vertical aluminum supports that hook up the large, rounded rectangular earcups to the headband. The look is a lot more understated compared to the previous version, foregoing primary colors for anodized aluminum and buying an almost totally black color scheme, with gray accents on the PC/PlayStation 4 version and gold accents on the PC/Xbox One version.
The boom microphone is permanently mounted on the trunk of the left earcup, and may flip up taken care of to automatically mute. All physical controls take a seat on the right earcup, you need to include a volume wheel, an equalizer preset button, a Dolby surround sound button, and a on / off switch on the trunk edge, in addition to a game/voice mix rocker switch over the back panel. A micro USB port on underneath of the proper earcup enables you to charge the headset through a wired connection unless you want to utilize the base station.
Each earpad includes a generous amount of foam covered with breathable fabric, matched by padding on the lower of the headband. As the supports on the sides of the headset are aluminum, all of those other headset is durable matte black plastic. The effect is a light, comfortable fit you can wear for long play sessions.
The base station may be the biggest change between your latest A50 and the 2016 version. It’s about two-thirds how big is the prior base station, and will be recognised incorrectly as a charging cradle. It’s an inverted black plastic trapezoid measuring 4.8 inches wide and 3.3 inches deep, with large recesses built with charging contacts to carry the headset vertically. The indicator lights on leading of the bottom station are actually located directly below the charging recesses, rather than to the proper like these were on the wider 2016 model. The lights show the headset’s current charge, be it set to PC or console mode, whether Dolby simulated surround sound is enabled, and which of three equalizer presets are on.
The back of the bottom station includes a micro USB port for both power and connecting to your personal computer or game console, a USB port allowing you to connect to the headset for playing while charging, optical audio tracks input and output allowing you to connect PlayStation 4 (or any other optical audio tracks source, optionally) sound to the headset, a 3.5mm aux input, and a PC/console mode switch.
Based on which version of the A50 you get, you need to use the headset with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Also you can use either version together with your PC. For PC, just plug the bottom station right into a USB port with the included micro USB cable (only 1 includes the headset, so you need to get your own if you wish to play while charging). For either console, plug the bottom station in with the micro USB cable to permit the microphone and power the headset, then hook up the optical music output of your console to the input on the station with the included optical audio tracks cable to permit sound through the headphones.
It’s simple to setup, if you don’t have a PS4 Slim. This version of the typical PS4 removes the optical audio tracks output, which means you can’t hook up game audio tracks directly from the console to the headset. Astro recommends either making use of your TV’s optical audio tracks output, or connecting an HDMI splitter or audio tracks converter with an optical audio tracks output among the PS4 as well as your TV.
If you are using the A50 with a PC, you can customize how it acts and sounds with the Astro Command Center app. The program enables you to set three EQ profiles accessible through the button on the headset, by using a collection of presets or with a custom profile with a five-band EQ. Also you can adapt the microphone’s noise gate mode and sidetone level, although customization options here aren’t anywhere near the mic-tweaking that can be done with the Logitech G Pro X or Sennheiser GSP 670. You may also change the total amount between game audio, chat audio, mic input, and any source connected to the aux input for the Stream Port, the line input device that presents up instead of the microphone input (helpful if you wish to modify volume levels and balance while streaming or recording).
The A50’s microphone is quite solid, with a tiny amount of tinkering. The noise gate presets seemed rather aggressive initially, but after some experimentation in Astro Command Center, I came across that the default mic gain levels were simply a lttle bit low. Once I pushed the gain slightly above the recommended setting, my test recordings cut through the slightly muffled sound I experienced in my own first tests and produced clear, fairly clean sound.
As mics go, however, the A50 doesn’t shine quite around the Sennheiser GSP 670, or the wired Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2.
The headset is a lot more than capable at handling music, making appreciable however, not overpowering bass. Inside our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the bass synth notes and kick drum hits come through with palpable force, and do not distort even at maximum volume.
The opening guitar plucks in Yes’ “Roundabout” get a lot of resonance in the low frequencies and adequate string texture in the bigger frequencies. When the electric bass kicks in, it sounds punchy without overpowering the mix, letting even the delicate strumming in the left channel come through clearly. The drums and vocals also get enough occurrence in the mix, providing a balanced sound that serves all factors of the track.