What is goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here and if you were interested in the HyperX Cloud II video I did a couple months back then you may want to check this out. Today, I’ve gotten my hands on the ASTRO Gaming A40 headset. Now this is a little bit of a step up over the Cloud II in terms of price SO we’re gonna take a look at them and see if you get what you pay for basically.
So initial impressions were good as the ASTRO presentation is pretty solid. I find that packaging can really make a difference when it comes to first impressions of a new product and they don’t disappoint here.
In the box you actually get quite a few things, the headset itself which comes in a couple different colors, this one is the light grey version. You get a MixAmp, which you’ll use to control your volume, EQ presets, surround sound and a few other things. There’s also a detachable mic and quite a few cables which will give you some options in terms of how you want to use the headset.
There is a PC cable splitter so if you wanted to connect the headset directly to your PC without the amp you do have the option.
There is a USB cable included, this you’ll actually use to power the amp BUT you can still get stereo audio through this cable on PC.
You get an optical audio cable and this cable is important because if you want to take advantage of the Dolby Surround or EQ presets you must connect this to your PC or console.
And you get a 1m daisy chain cable and a 2m inline mute cable, this one will connect the headset to the MixAmp.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the headset itself.
So, it has pretty much an all plastic construction with just a hint of aluminum. For $250 bucks with the MixAmp I’d like to see more premium materials used in the construction of the headset. Early on it doesn’t seem like durability will be an issue granted you don’t sit on them or throw them across the room during a rage quit but still a little bump in build quality would be nice.
I do like the overall look of the headset. They do have somewhat of a gamer aesthetic but it’s not overdone so I can live with it.
They also have these removable speaker tags on the outside of each ear. You can actually purchase additional ones, mostly game oriented that will allow you to customize the look of your headset. I personally like this although I do wish they had more ASTRO themed choices.
As mentioned earlier there is a detachable mic which can be swapped to either the left or right side. I’ll let you guys hear how it sounds in just a moment.
Moving to the inner part of the headset you’ll find cloth padding on the headband and ear cups. I was a little put off by the material at first because it didn’t seem like it was going to be comfortable but after wearing them for a little bit it was a non-issue. Clamping force is not bad either so I’m able to wear them for hours with little fatigue.
Moving on, we have the MixAmp pro which is really the star of the show here. You’ve got tons of functionality included in this little box. On the back of the MixAmp we have an optical port, which is required for Dolby surround and EQ preset adjustments as well as mp3, stream and USB ports.
On the front there are daisy chain ports, which allow you to link multiple MixAmps together and headset and Xbox Live cable ports.
I won’t go too in depth about what each one does for the sake of time but know that there are clear instructions that will guide you through connecting this to your system of choice.
On the main part of the MixAmp you have a power button, large volume knob, an EQ mode button which will allow you to switch between 4 presets, a Dolby Digital button which will turn the surround sound on or off and a game balance knob which will increase either the in-game volume or voice chat depending on where it’s set.
Now regarding the sound of this headset, it’s an open back design although with the speaker tags in place I’d refer to it more as semi-open. Still you can expect some of the sound to leak out if you’re listening at higher volumes.
The soundstage doesn’t seem that large to me even though they are an open style. They also have somewhat of a boomy low-end, especially when you start messing with the presets although I’m a fan of bass so this does not bother me.
The surround sound seems to separate the audio okay but I feel it introduces somewhat of a hall effect in the process. I found myself using the headset with the Dolby Surround disabled more often than not and really, I’ve yet to hear simulated surround that sounds better than stereo at this point.
Overall, the sound signature does get a passing grade from me but don’t expect anything breathtaking.
Anyway, let’s move on to the mic test…
And that’s about it guys, so for my final verdict…Do I think these are worth the price tag?
Well, I think PC gamers would be better off buying a pair of open back headphones and a separate mic, you may even be able to squeeze in a headphone amp for $250. I’m pretty confident that going that route would provide an overall better sound experience.
For console gamers, especially ones that are streaming or participating in LAN events, you may want to give the A40’s some serious consideration because of the mixamp which as I stated before is really the star of the show here. Having built-in controls for streaming and local multiplayer is really a big plus.
So it’s about time to wrap this up, let me know what you guys think about these down in the comments below. If this video was helpful or entertaining be sure to throw me a like. Don’t forget to subscribe for additional content just like this and until next time…see ya!
ASTRO A40 Headset http://amzn.to/1B24w16
HyperX Cloud II Headset Review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8SvJOeIUO0
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