When it comes to gaming headsets, I’ll be the first to admit that there are more than a few to choose from. So when it comes to actually splashing the cash, you want something that can withstand regular use, as well as providing outstanding sound quality. Is this where the ASTRO A40 Gaming Headset + M80 Mixamp comes into its own? I’ve had a blast finding out!
As soon as the headset arrived, the packaging was the first thing to impress. It comes packaged in a weighty cardboard box which is mightily impressive. The box itself has a matching colour scheme so that it goes hand in hand with the headset itself. The box is held closed by magnets and upon opening the box (after removing the cardboard sleeve), you are greeted by the headset, which is held in place by a moulded plastic casing. As well as the headset in the box, you have the M80 Mixamp, a 3.5mm audio cable, and all documentation.
The A40 headset itself, simply put, looks amazing! The eye catching sky blue and grey colour scheme is stunning, and the build quality feels top grade. The headset feels not only sturdy, but also very well made. The build quality does not leave the headset feeling overly heavy or as if it would cause discomfort during use – something that I’ll get to a little later. The ear pads are made of a cushioned, breathable material, which provides not only comfort, but also keeps the sweat at bay! When you combine the cushioned ear pads with the swiveling ear cups, a good fit is pretty much guaranteed for heads of all shapes and sizes. The swiveling cups also make it easy to sit back between games, and take some time out from the headset, making it incredibly easy to twist the cups and lower the headset down so you can wear it around your neck without being prodded by them. Lastly, the ASTRO branded head band has a strip of the same cushioned material, which only adds to the comfort, making long gaming sessions more enjoyable. While it felt as if the headset was hugging my head, it was in no way uncomfortable. I felt reassured that the headset would not end up sliding off my head!
Before hooking up your headset to your controller, make sure to check that your controller is updated via the console so that you are good to go. ASTRO even provide a Micro USB cable in the box, making it easier for you. Once that is done, you simply connect the M80 Mixamp to your controller – that’s it! Now, ASTRO are known for their famous Mixamp which is used by gamers all over the world. Combining the Mixamp with the chat adapter, the M80 was born – and it’s just as easy on the eye as the headset itself! On the Mixamp itself, there is a switch on both the left and right side – you use these to balance out the voice chat and game sound to how you like it. There is also a volume dial which is found on the bottom of the M80 – there is also a button in the middle of the dial that you use to mute the microphone. This button lights up red when you are muted, which helps eliminate the whole “hello, is this mic on?” phase. Between the two switches on the sides of the M80, there is the button that gives you control of the equalizer. There are three preset EQ settings that are as follows.
- Pro: Boosted high frequencies for competitive gameplay
- Core: Balance for single player gaming
- Media: Enhanced bass, for movies and music
I will admit that I tend to keep mine set to Pro (I am definitely no pro!) because I tend to play Call of Duty a lot when playing online. IF I need to change it, it’s a simple button click, with the LED lights across the front of the M80 telling me what I have it set to. I will also say that distinguishing sound direction, etc, while using the Pro EQ setting, is a breeze, and being able to set the mix between game sound and voice chat is a massive help! All buttons on the M80 are very well placed and there is not much chance of you hitting the wrong one if trying to change levels without taking your eyes off the screen. The overall sound quality from the A40 headset is beyond impressive! I have used my fair share of gaming headsets in the past, and I can quite honestly say that the quality from this headset blows the rest out of the water. Everything comes through crystal clear, and when watching a video or listening to music, there was no interference or crackling at all!
Cable wise, you have the cable that runs from the M80 to the headset itself. This is only detachable from the headset end, and with the cable running into the M80 at a slight angle, you do have to be pretty careful not to damage it as you’d need a whole new unit, not just the cable. Also included is the 3.5mm audio cable that enables you to use your A40 headset with a smartphone, or other device of your choice. I do this quite often, usually just through my phone, and I love the fact that ASTRO actually provide a cable for you to do this. I am a huge fan of how well they worked while listening to music through Spotify on my phone. Personally, I wouldn’t use them outside for listening to music on the go as they are a bit big for me to walk around with. Lastly, there is an app available (iOS only as far as I know) that adds to the whole experience. Since I only have an Android device, I have been unable to see what features are available.
If you are new to ASTRO products, then I doubt you are aware of the customisable speaker tags. These tags are held on to the outer side of the ear cups by magnets, and you can design your own, or order set designs from the ASTRO website. The ones provided with this headset match the theme, sticking with the sky blue and grey colours. Another very handy thing to mention is that not only can you swap out the speaker tags, but also the microphone. Simply disconnect the microphone, un-snap the tags, choose the side that you want to use the microphone and then replace the speaker tags again. It really is that simple!
Whilst on the subject of the microphone… Not only can it be attached to the ear of choice, it is also extremely flexible and can be moved into a position that suits you, with ease. During my online game sessions, I have been informed numerous times that my voice is coming through nice and clear, and there was an noticeable difference when compared to my previous headset. There was no annoying noise caused by my breathing – an issue that I did have previously – and it doesn’t even pick up the sound of the oscillating fan that has been used daily since the horrible warm weather began.
When considering all of the factors of this headset, I have to admit that the ASTRO A40 Gaming Headset + M80 Mixamp is by far the best headset I have used. With its comfort level, mic quality, and other small features like customising the speaker tags and being able to swap the mic from left to right, it all forms a neat package that any gamer would like to have. The price tag could be what stops many gamers from getting this headset, but you really do get what you pay for!
This headset is also available in orange & grey.