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Astro headset guide: premium audio and sheer quality in headset form

Astro headsets: Astro A50
(Image credit: Astro)

Astro headsets have been a by-word for high-end gaming indulgence for the better part of a decade now, and their reputation for delivering luxurious sets remains rock-solid. Owned by parent company and gaming peripheral behemoth Logitech, Astro itself has always offered a comparatively small lineup of headsets that were traditionally skewed towards bigger spenders. But as the market’s grown and Astro’s name has remained desirable, the California company has filled in some gaps along the pricing spectrum.

Which leads to the fundamental question: which of these ostensibly similar headsets is actually right for you? Are you an A40 kinda character, or are your needs inarguably better suited to the A50?  Our Astro A50 review might help with folks looking directly to the top of the pyramid but there's plenty of info to mull over. After all, if you're potentially investing large and aiming for a contender for best PS5 headset, best Xbox Series X headset, or best PC headset for gaming then you'll want to be fully informed.

We can’t speak exactly for you in which is best, however, but we’ll do our damndest with the others. Below we’ll cover why Astro garnered such a reputation in the first place, which features define the brand, and what the product delineations actually mean. 

Broadly speaking though, Astro headsets have cemented their place at the top of many gamers' lists and you'll see them top many lists of the recent generation as well as making waves in the new-gen of consoles and on PCs. So, if you're looking for something that might be the best PS4 headset, or best Xbox One headset then an Astro headset could very well be for you - and last you a good long while.

So, strap in for a short but intense ride through the very best Astro headsets you can currently get, starting with the biggest and best...

Astro headsets: Astro A50

(Image credit: Astro)

Astro A50

The flagship Astro headset

Acoustic Design: Closed Back, over ear | Wired/wireless: Wireless | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 380g | Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Mac

Unbelievable sound quality
Rock-solid mic and voice chat

Let’s start in the deep end - deep here referring to the gully in your wallet left by the outlay required to actually own an A50. The latest (gen 4) version features a wireless charging base unit that’ll have the set fully juiced up for between 5-8 hours depending on usage. The headset itself features a chat mix control, volume adjustment, an EQ profile cycler, mic mute, and on/off switches. And it does so without feeling overladen with buttons or requiring you to fumble around mid-session to find the one you need thanks to a sensible layout. 

The sound quality is what pulls the crowds in though. It’s like a high-end hi-fi system taped to your head, except infinitely more comfortable than that image conjures. There’s a slamming bass response that doesn’t get muddy and leaves space for precise articulation higher up the frequency response range, and where you really notice that finely tuned response is - guess what? - gunfire. 

Astro made their name in part thanks to the rise of COD multiplayer, and just as the oft-maligned shooter series delivers peerless bullet cracks and Hollywood explosion rumbles, the A50 voices it in your ears like a multiplex. Voice chat quality is rock-solid too through the mic.

All in, this is the best Astro headset out on the market right now, and absolutely one of the best wireless gaming headsets money can buy right now too.

Note: You'll need to select the right variant for your console and for PS5 you will have to acquire an additional HDMI adapter given the console's lack of an optical port.

Astro headsets: Astro A40

(Image credit: Astro)

Astro A40

A more affordable wired option

Acoustic design: Closed Back, over ear | Wired/wireless: Wired | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 369g | Compatibility: PlayStation, Xbox ,PC, Mac

Range of choices of exact variant
Astro-quality audio
Range of choices
Good value

This is where it gets a bit more complicated. While the A40 is consistently less expensive than the full-blooded A50, there are a few different variants to it, so exactly how much less expensive it is depends on which precise headset you plump for. 

In brief, the PS4-compatible A40TR + Mixamp Pro TR sits at the top of the A40 pricing hierarchy, followed by the Xbox-only A40TR + Mixamp M80, then a COD Esports special edition of the A40TR without a mixamp, which is compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox and PS4, and finally the cheapest A40TR, again sans mixamp, which will work with your PC, Mac, Xbox, and PS4. It is among this considerable - and more than slightly confusing - range of Astro headset that lie great options for PC and last-gen hardware. 

The chief difference in features is that A40s are wired, so no fancy charging station here. Just a 3.5mm audio cable with 1.5m of length with the splitter cable or 1m for smartphones - remember when they had wired audio ins?

If it sounds like the A40 was designed for a bygone era of tech, you’re bang on. But particularly if you’re a PC gamer, there’s nothing legacy about the experience beyond being tethered by a cable. The sound is nearly as good as you’re treated to from an A50, and comfort levels are very close too. You will get a better sound if you drive the audio through an amp via one of the mixamp models, however, so that old adage about getting what you pay for holds up here. A solid choice still.

Astro headsets: Astro A20

(Image credit: Astro)

Astro A20

An exquisite wireless middle-ground

Acoustic Design: Closed Back, over ear | Wired/wireless: Wireless | Battery life: Up to 15 hours | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 318g | Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Mac

Trademark Astro audio quality
Good mic with lift-to-mute function
Wireless via dongles

This is a fine headset in every way. It offers an affordable entry point not only into the higher-end Astro headsets, but particularly wireless Astro headsets, which is enormously important  - and tempting - as the world moves en masse to cut the cord.

There are two generations of this headset too, with Gen 2 being the latest and most up-to-date. The slightly older one might still be available, though, and is worth a shout for a now cheaper wireless gaming headset. The Gen 2 version, however, does take the biscuit and is a real quality gaming headset. The A20 retains the Astro quality in audio and communication with a particularly excellent mid-range given to your ears, while the flip-to-mute mic is neat, and handy, but a top performer too.

There are a couple of caveats, though. There's no Bluetooth or audio jack options so you are limited a little in terms of connectivity, and its battery life isn't the longest - though at nearly 15 hours or so, it should suffice generally speaking.

This could be the entry point into wireless gaming headsets that many folks are after, and the fact that it's an Astro headset really could seal the deal.

Astro headsets: Astro A10

(Image credit: Astro/Logitech)

Astro A10

Stripped-down simplicity

Acoustic design: Closed Back, over ear | Wired/wireless: Wired | Drivers: 40mm Neodymium Magnet | Weight: 346g | Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Mac

Excellent price point
Simple and effective design
Excellent audio
Great value

Available for a fraction of the price of a set of A50s or even the A40s, this is Astro’s budget version of the same popular headset design that’s been doing the rounds since All Ghillied Up was the talk of the gaming land. Like the A40 it’s another wired Astro headset, so that helps to keep costs down. No base station, no rechargeable battery, just you, a 2-meter cable, and a lightweight (346g) headset which bears many of the same lines and range of motion as its bigger cousins.

The materials aren’t quite as lavish, and the padding around the ears feels noticeably less - well, premium. But with that lighter weight than the other models comes less depressive pressure on the old bonce, so it doesn’t need to pile the memory foam on to keep things comfortable. 

Audio quality too is noticeably less precise, as you’d expect, but still very competitive next to other models from rival manufacturers at the same price point. And, this being Astro, there are all manner of colorways and special Call of Duty designs to choose from, so aesthetes have that to consider. At this price point, this is a very tempting gaming headset and you get that Astro headset pedigree bundled in all the same.

We are at the stage now where we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the best gaming headsets. As well as our best lists, it might be easier - like with this Astror headset guide - to browse by brand. And we've got you covered if that's your preference. Check out our guides to Razer headsets, Turtle Beach headsets, Logitech headsets, HyperX headsets, Sennheiser gaming headsets, and Sony headsets for gaming.

Writer for Edge Magazine.