Since the PS5 is now out, I thought it was the perfect time to test out some older headsets to see how they stack up on Sony's newest console. Some do so better than others, and in the Astro A40's case, the MixAmp will need a separate adapter if you want full compatibility. Without it, you'll need to be content without chat mixing.
My only experience with an Astro headset previously was during a preview event for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Remember when we could actually travel and be around people way back when in 2019? I'm not positive what model headset it was, but it was definitely an Astro headset that they had us use. Ever since then, I've been eager to get my hands on one to properly test it out, and I finally did with the Astro A40 and MixAmp Pro.
At a glance
Bottom line: As a PC headset, the Astro A40 with MixAmp Pro is phenomenal. When you consider it as a PS5 headset, it's great with some annoyances. Astro makes it look, sound, and feel premium in nearly every aspect, and allows it to be customized with swappable parts. It's just a shame that the game/voice balance on the MixAmp doesn't work with PS5 without a separate adapter.
- Audio quality is second to none
- Fabric earcups offer long-lasting comfort
- The entire build looks and feels premium
- Astro Command Center customization software
- Mod Kit-ready for swappable parts
- MixAmp Pro needs a separate adapter on PS5 for game/voice mixing
- The headset clamp is more forceful than others
- Very expensive
Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro What I like
|Weight||369g (without cable)|
|Frequency response||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Battery life||N/A (Wired)|
Straight out of the box, you can tell this is a premium headset. Every inch of it screams "expensive," and it is at $250 ($200 when it's on sale). What's more is that it's Mod Kit-ready, meaning you can swap out several of its parts — the ear cushions, speaker tags, microphone, and headband cushion — for others that Astro sells separately. You don't get this kind of physical customization options elsewhere. While I can't see myself actually taking advantage of them, it's nice that they're there. At the very least, should you ever need new ear cushions, the ones on the Astro A40 can easily be removed.
Every aspect of the Astro A40 headset screams premium.
The audio quality that it provides is outstanding, as well. PC is another story since you get a few more features there with the Astro Command Center software, but it's commendable on PS5. Should you purchase the HDMI adapter for it, you'll need to fiddle around with the audio settings on your PS5 (Astro has a handy guide on how to do so). Without it, just plug it in through the included micro-USB cable and you're good to go. It delivers crystal clear audio with excellent bass.
I mention this a little bit in the next section, but despite the initial clamp feeling like too much pressure on my head, it ends up being a really comfortable headset. Its fabric earcups are backed by synthetic leather, and they have just the right amount of give, even with my glasses. The cushion up top is equally as comfortable. It's not as weightless as the ski goggle band that I mentioned in my SteelSeries Arctis 7P review, but it's much better than some other headsets I've worn.
Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro What I don't like
This is usually a $250 headset if you get the MixAmp Pro package when it's not on sale (the headset itself is $150). That's a steep asking price for anyone. Because it wasn't initially designed for the PS5, the MixAmp isn't fully compatible. Since the PS5 doesn't have optical audio ports, you'll hook up the MixAmp as you would to PC, via a micro-USB cable. While you can adjust the volume just fine and the microphone will work, the game/voice audio balance does not. I tested it out and found that favoring game audio would lower all of the audio, including chat. Favoring voice would keep both game and chat levels the same. This may not be a deal-breaker for some, but if you want that full compatibility, you need a separate $40 adapter ($25 if you get it from Astro and register your headset). When it's all said and done, you're looking at spending nearly $300. That's unreasonable for a PS5 headset.
Getting past its MixAmp woes, there's not a lot of bad things to say about the A40. I did feel like the clamping pressure of the headset was more than I'm used to initially, but the headset is quick to break in so that it doesn't become a problem.
This is a high-end headset, and as such it has high-end competition. SteelSeries offers the Arctis Pro with GameDAC for $250 as well. The GameDAC offers high-fidelity digital to analog audio and features an OLED menu that allows users to adjust the game/chat audio balance and 10-band equalizer. It's fully compatible with PS5 through an optional firmware update will add a PS5 input mode to the GameDAC. Like the Astro A40, it is a wired headset
Not to be outdone, Astro also offers the wireless AstroA50 and base station, where the MixAmp is built in. It's just as good, if not better than the Astro A40, but you still lose functionality on PS5 without the adapter. It's also $300, and for that price you can buy a whole Xbox Series S.
Now if you're looking for something less pricey, there's always the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro. At $180 it offers cooling gel-infused cushions, THX 7.1 surround sound on PC, and 24 hours of battery life. In my Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review, I said it's an excellent headset for PS5.
Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want top of the line equipment from a well-known company
- You want the best audio quality possible
- You want to be able to swap out different parts with Astro's Mod Kit
You should not buy this if ...
- You don't want to spend a fortune
- You want a headset fully compatible with PS5 out of the box, without separate adapters
- You're looking for a wireless headset
Anyone looking for a PS5 headset should consider other options before splurging on an Astro A40 and MixAmp. That's not to say it's a bad headset — because it isn't. There are just cheaper headsets out there that are fully compatible with PS5 without the extra adapters and cables. You don't need to spend over $250 to get a headset that suits your needs on PS5. Despite that, I do feel comfortable saying it's one of the best PS5 headsets purely based on audio capabilities if you grab the adapter. On PC, however, the Astro A40 is sublime right out of the box.
As good as the Astro A40 can be, I'd wait until the company comes out with a headset specifically designed with PS5 in mind. Logitech, and Astro by extension, prides itself in being one of the best peripherals manufacturers in the business. You can bet that a headset built for PS5 will be nothing short of amazing.
As a PC headset, the Astro A40 with MixAmp Pro is phenomenal. When you consider it as a PS5 headset, it's great with some annoyances. Astro makes it look, sound, and feel premium in nearly every aspect, and allows it to be customized with swappable parts. It's just a shame that the game/voice balance on the MixAmp doesn't work with PS5 without a separate adapter.
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