A top of the line gaming headset can really elevate your experience to new heights. The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset is the manufacturer’s flagship model. Yet while the A50 model has been around for a quite while now, the newest iteration (generation 4) is the best version yet of an already impressive line of gaming headsets.
I currently use the previous (generation 3) version of the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset as my personal gaming headset at home. As such I’m definitely already very familiar with the brand, and its outstanding quality. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to extensively test many elite gaming headsets, and the A50 is my favourite for a reason.
The jump from generation 3 to 4 in terms of sound quality isn’t staggering. Still, it’s certainly enough for anyone to want to ensure they pick up the latest model. An already incredible audio experience is made marginally better with the newest A50 headset.
The key difference is that the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset is tuned with Astro Audio V2. This means that the headset benefits from the latest drivers and advances in high fidelity audio technology in the works at Astro. It is also the first A50 model with specific tuning for 3D spacial sound with programs like Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic.
Ultimately, the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset remains one of the best audio experiences available in gaming. If you currently own the generation 3 model, the improvements here are present but nominal, so upgrading isn’t imperative. However, for new owners in the market for a high-end headset, it’s a great choice.
Battery life and comfort
The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset isn’t just at the top of the game in performance, but in function as well. Its design is both lightweight and flexible, delivering exceptional comfort over long gaming sessions. The soft fabric ear cushions and headband are both breathable and durable.
It’s impressive how much high fidelity audio performance the headset packs in without becoming over-encumbering. The weight of the headset is light enough not to cause strain over time. Yet it still has enough of a satisfying heft not to feel cheap or shoddy either. Of course, the latter is purely an aesthetic hang-up regardless, as it’s already clear this headset is anything but.
The battery life of the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset is also a huge plus. Astro claims the headset will deliver up to 15 hours on a single charge. In my experience, this figure is likely very accurate.
During my time with the headset, I spent nearly an entire day of gaming on a single charge. Over this period the battery indicator did not even drop below half. Suffice to say the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset can cover marathon gaming sessions without requiring a break to charge.
The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset packs in a number of great features that make it an elite gaming headset. It allows for up to 3 unique presets that owners can customize through the free Astro Command Centre Software. Users toggle between these as well as enabling or disabling Dolby Atmos on the fly using buttons located on the right ear cup.
One of the best features of the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset is the built-in mix amp. The mix amp is a staple of the Astro line and is no longer a separate unit with the A50 wireless model. Instead, the A50 incorporates the mix amp directly into the right ear cup. It’s a simple matter of applying pressure to either the left or right side of the ear cup, each of which acts as a button input.
The function of the mix amp is to allow players to adjust the balance of voice chat audio vs. in-game audio. With other headsets these sort of adjustments have to be made in the game or hardware settings, interrupting the flow of play. With the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset’s built-in mix amp, however, balancing audio is a seamless process.
Finally, the base station that comes with the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset also provides the device with a charge when not in use. This is an incredibly handy feature as it makes it clean and simple to store, display, and regularly charge your headset. It’s also another area where the generation 4 A50 model shows improvement—the new docking station is smaller, and the headset itself seems to fit into charging position with greater ease.
Astro A50 is compatible with multiple platforms
The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset comes in 2 specific models—either “PS4 and PC” or “Xbox One and PC“. While both headsets are fully compatible with PC, each model only offers full functionality with either the PS4 or Xbox One console. There is a switch on the base station that lets users toggle between console and PC.
The reason I say each version only offers “full” functionality with its respective console is because, to an extent, the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset actually works on both PS4 and Xbox One—except when it comes to chat. The technology involved in wireless audio chat is what makes it necessary to have a separate model for PS4 and Xbox One. If you try to use the PS4 model with Xbox One, for example, your microphone simply won’t work.
However, in-game audio will actually work regardless of platform. This is great news for players who tend to play solo, or even those who do most of their multiplayer game on one platform. If having chat across multiple consoles isn’t imperative, you can actually enjoy and utilize the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset’s outstanding in-game audio experience across Xbox One, PS4, and PC regardless of which model you own.
The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset improves and remains an elite gaming device
In its newest iteration, the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset makes subtle but positive improvements to quality and design. It features the latest in tuning for impeccable audio fidelity. Furthermore, some quality of life upgrades are also present—such as the smaller base station.
If you are already the owner of a previous model of A50 headset, you’re likely already aware of their pedigree. The jump from generation 3 to 4 may not be quite enough to entice most owners to upgrade right away. However, that’s really due to the fact that the Astro A50 line is such an elite product overall. For those looking for a new headset, the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset is among the best out there.