The Astro A40 gaming headset is arguably one of the most popular gaming headsets on the market. Of course, it’s not without its flaws but overall, it has received largely positive reviews from gaming critics and casual gamers alike for years now.
Building on its popularity, Astro released a new edition of their A40 headset in 2013, aptly called the Astro A40 2013 edition gaming headset. The Astro A40 review and unboxing video below shows you some of the new features the 2013 boasts. You also get to take a peek at the popular mixamp, which has been redesigned with some awesome new features.
When I did my original Astro A40 review, I really couldn’t imagine the headphones improving much. The regular A40s have been around for a good while and they’ve become something of a go-to gaming headset for a lot of gamers. They’re reliable, sound, great, look great and feel great. But the 2013 version of the A40s brings some really exciting new features to the table that you should definitely know about.
In this post-I’ll stick with reviewing the 2013 edition of the A40s, but if you want to know how they stack up to the Astro A50s, make sure to watch the video above because you get a side by side comparison of the two.
Looks wise, the 2013 edition of the A40s looks about the same as the original A40s. But appearances aside, virtually everything about the 2013s has been updated. First of all, Astro built new Best Motherboards For Gaming speakers and drivers into the ear cups for a better overall sound quality. Next, they reworked the ear padding to make the 2013s fit more comfortably (and they do).
An annoying feature of the original A40 gaming headset was that the cable connecting to the headphones was built in, which meant you had to either take off your headset if you wanted to go get a soda or something or disconnect the headset and drag the wires around with you. With the 2013 edition, this problem is solved! The cable connecting to the headphones now plugs in and out, rather than being built-in, which means you can keep the headphones on your ears and go take a whiz or whatever, without any hassle. By the way, this also makes replacing a bum cable much easier since it isn’t soldered right into your headset.
Even though the A40 2013 headset itself is superior to the original A40s, the real difference that sets this new version apart is the new mixamp pro. Astro completely redid their old mixamp and this new one is a significant improvement over the original. Heres why.
First off, the new mixamp has ditched the battery pack that plagued the first edition. The problem with the battery pack on the original was twofold. One, it made the mixamp heavy. Two, almost nobody used it because there was a USB power output. The new version doesn’t have a battery pack (just the USB power out) and thus, its lighter.
Just like the original mixamp, the 2013 has the daisy chain jacks on the bottom if you want to connect your mixamps in a string for a LAN party or gaming tournament or what have you. It also has the jack for connecting to your headphones or controller. Theres also a new output jack on the bottom of the mixamp called the stream output, which combines game audio with incoming/outgoing voicechat. This is perfect if you like to live stream or record your gameplay sessions and post them on youtube. There’s also a mp3 board for listening to music. And finally, there’s the optical port which sends your audio up to your headset from your console.
One standout feature of the A40 2013 mix amp is the EQ button. By pressing the EQ button, you can toggle one of four EQ presets.
Pro Mode The first preset is called Pro Mode, and it accentuates certain details in the game such as gunshots, footsteps, and other audio clues. The pro mode preset muffles background noise so you can hear vital audio information that’s particularly useful in first person shooters like Call of Duty or Halo.
Core Mode This is the second preset and is where none of the audio levels are changed. This is the preset you will want to use when you want to hear the game as its meant to be heard. This is mostly for single player games that dont necessarily require tinkering with the audio to give you a competitive edge.
Media Mode Preset number three is media mode, which enhances mid and bass frequencies. This is preset is designed for improving your experience while listening to music or watching movies.
Sports Mode This final preset is meant to give you the feeling that you’re in an actual stadium and it pulls it off surprisingly well.
At the moment, you can’t change these preset but Astro has promised to make them customizable later in 2013.
No Astro40 review would be complete without mentioning some of the downsides. One of the most common complaints about gaming headset mics is that they are inflexible. Another problem is that many of them can’t be removed (which is the case for the A50s by the way). This can be a pain in the butt when you’re trying to adjust them exactly the way you want. Thankfully, the 2013 A40s feature a removable, flexible mic, so you can rock these bad boys as just a regular pair of headphones.
As far as compatibility goes, the A40 2013 gaming headset can be hooked up to just about anything. And in extra cool gesture by the folks at Astro, they include a how to hook it up pamphlet in the box when you pick up your pair.
For a brand new pair of Astro A40s 2013 edition, you’re looking at about $250, although you can usually find them a bit cheaper on Amazon.
A lot of people raise concerns about the mic quality of this headset. Personally, I’ve found it to be more than satisfactory. I mean, were not narrating National Geographic movies here. But in any case, I’ve found a video of the A40 2013 review during actual gameplay with specific attention to the mic so you can make up your own mind.« Back to News and Opinion