I’ve never been a big audio guy when it came to games. Sure, games have to have good sound design, but I usually just listen to the games through my television’s speakers because I’m too lazy to do anything different. When offered to review the newest headset from Astro, the A40 Headset + Mixamp M80 – Halo 5 Edition, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about when it came to a quality set of headphones. What I didn’t realize for all of those years prior was that all speakers aren’t created equally and the sound I was hearing previously through my speakers was at a fraction of the quality when compared to what I was about to experience with these headphones.
Taking the A40 out of the box for the first time and feeling it in your hands will be your first notion that this is a headset truly above and beyond others. The quality of the headset was the first thing to stand out. The heaviness and overall sturdy design can be seen and felt as you remove it from it’s packaging. The headset comes with 1.0m cable that can be connected to a device directly, or more important, into the Mixamp M80 that connects into an Xbox One controller. You can use this headset with other devices, but to truly experience everything with this headset, an Xbox One and a controller is required.
These are Astro headphones, so it’s assumed the quality is going to be great and that level of quality is found here. Where this headset stands apart is with it’s M80 Mixamp that connects directly into the Xbox One controller. With this device, you can balance out audio to favor game or chat (or squarely in the middle) and the large microphone mute button at the bottom of the controller ensures you never have to touch your headset to mute yourself. My other headshet of choice I used in the past was the Sony Pulse headset and my major gripe with those was that all of the knobs and switches were on the headset. If you wanted to mute your mic, you had to feel blindly on the headset to do so. That’s not the case here with the A40s – that is all done right on the controller with a big, brightly lit button that also doubles as a volume nob when you turn it. This simple device sold me on the headset immediately and I actually found myself buying Xbox One games over PS4 not because of visual fidelity, but because I knew I could use the Mixamp with these games. The voice quality of the microphone is top notch and in all of my online games, I never had anyone complain about not hearing me or understanding what I was saying. Using the mixamp with it’s features and how it stands above others without is not to be taken lightly.
There is one thing that needs to be said about the A40 with A80 mixamp that might be a dealbreaker – they are pricey. How pricey? Well, the MSRP is $220 and Amazon sells them for about the same. You really need to ask yourself how serious you are about audio in games because you’re getting one of the best headsets on the market tailor made for a next gen console. You can use this headset with other devices, but the mixamp is specifically made for the Xbox One. If you game on the PS4 or PC, I’d say go with another Astro headset as you’ll get more bang for your buck there. But on the other hand, if your main console of choice is the Xbox One and you are an audiophile craving top notch audio, then I can’t think of another headset that would give you a better experience.
The Astro A40 Headset with M80 Mixamp is a stylish headset, for a premium price, that delivers the best audio I have ever heard while gaming. It’s a HALO 5 edition, so the colors will mirror what you’d see in the Xbox One game (silver and bright blue with other variants available that include orange) but even with the branding, it’s a beautiful headset. If you have an Xbox One fan in the family who loves their audio in games, you can’t go wrong in buying this headset for them, especially with Christmas around the corner. Full the full specs, see the image below and head on over to Amazon.com to see more details and other reviews on their product page.
We were provided these headphones for review by Astro