Every now and a headset comes along thats make you very happy. The Astro A40 made Rich a happy bunny and the Astro A40 TR’s (Tournament Ready) make me very happy indeed.
Retailing at £199.99, the Astro A40 TR edition is an awesome piece of kit, in the box you’ll get;
A40 TR Headset
A40 TR Microphone
ASTRO Speaker Tags
MixAmp™ Pro TR
2.0m A40TR Inline Mute Cable
3.0m TOSlink Optical Cable
3.0m Micro-USB Cable
0.5m Digital Daisy Chain Cable
I love a well packaged product and the A40’s are no exception, it doesn’t just make a lovely swoosh as you first open the box but everything is easy to pull out so you can begin the setup.
Thankfully this is another simple task, using possibly the sturdiest digital optical cable in history, connect that to the Xbox One and MixAmp Pro, as well as the USB cable, then it’s just a case of plugging the inline cable into the MixAmp. Once you have made sure the headset is assigned to your controller and you have assigned the right outputs in the Xbox Settings you are good to go. (Chances are the settings are already ok, but it’s always worth double checking in case of any troubleshooting issues). Some people arent keen on the face there is a wire involved, but it hasn’t been a problem for me as I’m one of those people who sit closer to the TV.
Having always been a Turtle Beach headset user I was looking forward to hearing the difference between the two, for me the Astro just pips Turtle Beach to the post. I’ve tested the headset over the past few weeks over a massive range of games and I’ve been really impressed. Gears of War 4 has been incredible, especially during my insane co-op run through, if you have tried it you know you’ll need eyes and ears everywhere, thanks to the A40 TR’s ability to push out Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound decoding I’ve been saved on more than one occasion, those pesky trackers…
Comfort levels are at a premium with this headset, I could wear them for hours! Being able to hook up the headset with my iPhone is great as they sound great, but this isn’t the style of headset I’d wear out and about, as Rich has mentioned in a previous review, there are some Astro Bluetooth earphones that are much better suited.
I’m a huge fan of the MixAmp Pro TR, it looks very sleek and is an absolute breeze to use. There are only three buttons and two dials and I can swap things around in an instant. The main dial is for the volume while the smaller one gives me control over the balance between voice and game. I now use the Mixamp in our streams as its pretty easy to set up, you may need a isolation cable as you can get some feedback noise otherwise.
Aside from the power button, which allows you to switch between PC and console there is the EQ setting button which switches between the four presets you have defined, the final button sorts out the processing for the Dolby Surround Sound. Swapping the Mix Amp Pro over to a PC is also really simple, and allows you to configure lots of details to improve your experience. Elsewhere on the MixAmp is a 3.5mm port to allow you feed your headset into a stream, broadcast or recording. One of the coolest features is the daisy chain port, this allows you to link up an infinite number of MixAmps for tournaments or livestreams. I’ve only been able to test it with one other but it was easy to setup and worked brilliantly.
Using the Astro Command Centre, you can configure a huge amount of options. Initially my party had trouble hearing me, but after adjusting a few settings it was no longer an issue. I’ve been quite impressed with the microphone, when playing with friends I’m always heard clearly. It’s also detachable for the times when I just want to listen to music.The command centre lets you make changes to all of your EQ presets and also download extra presets for your favourite games, with a press of a button your settings are saved and you can swap back. The beauty of this set is that it’s also compatible with PC, the MixAmp actually acts as it’s own sound card making it perfect for recording podcasts. Another tick over Turtle Beach is how easy the hardware worked with the PC.
If you are one of those players who likes to have their volume up high and indulge in late night gaming it’s worth in pleating in a MOD kit, which Astro Kindly provided us with to test the difference. The MOD kit comes with a Voice Isolating microphone, padded headband and two noise cancelling ear cushions and closed back speaker tags. They come in a range of colours and there are also Halo and Call of Duty special editions too. Taking apart the headset to replace the parts is really simple, the headband clips out while the other parts are all magnetic.
The first thing you’ll notice is the microphone, it’s a lot longer than the standard set, and sits right in front of your mouth. though its annoying when you want a drink! Generally my voice was clearer though you may need to adjust some settings in the Astro Command Centre. The headband is really comfortable as are the ear cushions. They work really well, not only do they block out all outside noise, but teamed up with the speaker tags they stop the sound leaking too, no longer do I have the family complaining about the noise coming from my headset.
The ASTRO A40 TR is a great headset, its a shame you’ll need to pay put extra to enhance things like noise cancellation, as it is something I would expect as standard when you are being charged over £200, however the versatility it has with the MixAmp really does make it stand out as a headset you need in your life.