I got some time with the Astro A40 TR headset and tried to put it through its paces. Its a wired, moddable headset, and the TR stands for ‘tournament ready’. So without any tournaments at hand I decided to seal myself in my office for the whole weekend for a serious gaming marathon (the things I do for you guys) to see how they held up.
I don’t have the smallest ears on the planet. Many headsets feel uncomfortable to me and there is actual pain after a few hours with some over-ear setups. The A40 is really comfortable, with soft spongy cloth earcups. I managed to play all weekend without needing to swap to another set, or take a few hours break from them.
When I switched from one headset to the other, I tend to tell people in comms that I am doing so, so that I can get a response on the difference. Wanting to avoid a placebo effect, I changed mid game and immediately someone asked “What did you do to your mic? You sound so clear”. The mic is a removable solid boom and stays slightly away from your face, removing those annoying noises that come from skin or beard contract causing an odd scratching noise. Sticking out like this does leave it in your peripheral vision, if that bothers you. As an added bonus, you get to choose which side you prefer your microphone to be on.
At 100db this headset is a little softer than other gaming headsets, but generally I find that headsets can be turned up to the point where I feel pain, so I don’t find this to be a bad compromise. Rich, natural bass and clear sounds are to be heard across the board. I enjoyed listening to music on these, as well as playing games with equal enjoyment and satisfaction.
At R2,200 the headset is asking for a lot. Depending on how often you use your headset, or what you demand from them, you might find the price daunting. But if you need something that performs well in several areas: a clear, solid microphone, comfort and good sound quality, the Astro A40 starts looking like a really good option.
I also checked out mod kits and a mixamp for the A40, which will be up on a later date.