One Night With The 2019 Astro A40 For Xbox

Ye Olde Defect Monster Strikes Again!

WAIT, AN ISSUE?

Yes. Sadly, the optical audio port on my new MixAmp didn’t work…at all. In order to connect the A40 to my Xbox (I bought the Xbox version), it needs a USB cable for the chat functionality and an optical connection for the game audio. You’re meant to set the Xbox to output Dolby Digital over the optical connection, but when I did that I was greeted with silence. If I set the console to output uncompressed stereo, I would get a very occasional blip of audio and nothing more.

LACK OF SOFTWARE

Without that PC software, you can’t change the settings on any of the included EQ presets, and you can’t take full advantage of the MixAmp in PC mode.

OVERVIEW

The Astro A40 2019 is a new revision of the venerable Astro A40 headset. I really liked the previous version. This new version still comes in a variety of bundles, including the MixAmp+Headset bundle for $249 at the top end.

THE NEW LOOK

Astro kept the same basic frame for the new A40, but cleaned up the overall look to make it a bit less “Gaming Headset” and a bit more “Pro Audio.” Both the PS4 and Xbox versions use a black base color now, and the metal headband adjusters have a nice, premium-feeling chrome trim. The branding on the removable ear cup backs is more subtle than it used to be, and the only thing that calls out the two versions visually is the accent color: Red for Xbox and Blue for PS4.

THE NEW SOUND

Since the release of the last revision of the Astro A40 in 2015, Steelseries and Logitech both fired shots in the premium priced headset space, with the Steelseries Arctis Pro and several Logitech Pro-G Driver products. And HyperX landed a big hit with the dual-chamber system powering the HyperX Cloud Alpha and Cloud Mix.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Even from my short time with it, this is the best-sounding Astro product I’ve used. It’s not as outwardly “fun” as some of their past efforts, by default, but I’d wager its pro look and more balanced sound will appeal more to today’s gaming audio consumer. And once they actually release the software, you’ll be able to make full use of it on a PC and customize it to your hearts content.

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Alex Rowe

I write independent game reviews and commentary. Please support me directly if you enjoy my work: https://xander51.medium.com/membership