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Astro A40 2013 Edition + Mix Amp Pro Review




Hello,

This is a product review / user overview of this model.

Now without having people click off because this is a "gaming" headset, don't click off yet or start posting horrible comments now.

What I've used previously;
Tritton AX Pro
SteelSeries Siberia V2
Sennheiser PC320

So I'd think that based of kind of the last 2, I have somewhat of an understand of the topic at hand. So being mostly "gaming oriented" headsets / headphones before I can tell you right off the bat, the A40 2013 editions are the best I've used so far and here is why.

My thoughts:

Construction:
Simplstic design, although plastic, very strong headrest.

Due to the twistable earcups (more on that below) the headset will not break when the earcups are turned, twisted on in a weird / non standard angle on any head. (Have had this happen on Tritton Ax Pro's and Plantronics, I myself do no recommend any of those)

++Very sturdy, one of the most study I've held / used to date.

Comfortability:
Compared to others I would have liked different options for earpads for leather ones, but the ones that come on are perfectly fine, I've just used leather ones longer and find them more comfortable. These are still comfortable though.
After constantly gaming with these on for 6+ hours for 2 months now almost everyday, I feel that there is a little bit of a break in period for the cushions.

Twistable earcups are amazing, I don't know why other headsets haven't adopted this but I feel that this is an excellent feature as when browsing the web with these on, I don't usually have two on until on a video. So being able to rotate the cups to actually sit on my head makes it a lot more comfortable. This I find is a good selling point as many people have one ear on, one ear off.



The detachable microphone is nice and can be positioned anywhere that you want. Although I would've liked a boom mic.



++Guaranteed by me for 6+ hours gaming (size of ears and your preference obviously dictates your outcome though)

Buttons:
Hardware mute for microphone on cord is a nice feature.



On the Mix Amp Pro;
Volume knob on Mix Amp Pro
EQ mode changer
Dolby Digital 7.1 surround
Gaming to Voice optimisation (another knob which allows total game or total voice and everything in between)

+- Would've like a hardware mute button on the mix amp or on the headset cord.

(Picture below on longer write up)

Connectors:
Xbox mic chat connector
3.5mm adaptor for pc connection
Nice thick Optical cable (I use this for PC and for consoles obviously)
USB chat / power (although it isn't needed to power the headset as you can run the headset off the 3.5mm)
Daisy chain functionality with other Astro's at lan parties / tournaments.



++ Enough connectors for anyone, works on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC without a hassle

Mix Amp Pro:


Without this the headset still performs well even with onboard audio solutions.

But with this it turns the listening experience into another world. I feel that using the Mix Amp Pro enables so much more depth and richness to the sound as it is hardware and not so much a software add on. There is Virtual 7.1 Dolby if you want which in certain games coupled with the different modes provided on the Amp, provides different ranges and feels.

The 4 modes on the the device are;

Pro: For games where you need to hear footsteps, usually echoes the footsteps in games

Core: Used for a more general gaming experienced with balanced audio. I use this for any video on the web, some music(depending on quality) and racing games but can depend on what you want accentuated in the game. (Second highest bass out of all)

Media: I use this mode for movies, generally provides nice rich bass but not too overpowering (Highest bass out of all), calming mids to music in the movies and nice lows. A very balanced mode but you can notice the difference between all 4 modes.

Sports: I hardly use this mode but it does provide another option which delivers another experience to listening.

You can also customise the EQ's yourself with a firmware download.

++Nice range of default EQ modes which fit a lot of varying medias.

My expectations and final thoughts:

As I got these I didn't expect much due to them being "gaming" oriented and thought that on Consoles it would be like the others and I was wrong.

They aren't the lightest headset on the market by they aren't the heaviest by any stretch.

On consoles there isn't too much of a discernible difference between others unless used with the EQ modes. Although they are better than other console headsets. I've used pretty much every other console headset from Turtle beach, Plantronics, Razer and etc.

On PC I was blown away by this "gaming" headset, comparing them to the PC320's used on a Asus DGX (not mine) and the other listed above, they are better.

Now I'm not sure about pricing with these as I'm from Australia and compared to other headsets avaible they are pretty much the same cost wise.

I feel that if you are in the market for a cross platform compatible solution that doesn't comprise the PC aspect of the headset than you will be pleasently supprised with this headset. I was and I still am amazed by the sound, worlds away from the other "gaming" headsets I've used.

Rating:
9/10
thumb.gif


Things I would've liked:
An adjustable boom mic instead of having a detachable one, although the one included is great and is gold plated (so it should suffer more in and out inputs).
Interchangeable earpads / headrests.
Clip for cord to attach to shirt
Hardware mute button for sound
 

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good review as i have been trying to work out if i should upgrade my old (2012) mixamp. i was wondering if you have used the stream output on it? if so how good is it (distortion and drop outs) thanks
 
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