The Astro A40 is the premier chat-ready 5.1 surround sound gaming headset on the market, compatible with Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. But unlike the Turtle Beach X41, it’s wired.
Price $US250 with mixamp needed to combine chatting and surround sound.
Verdict I still vastly prefer the convenience of Turtle Beach’s wireless X41 headset, but I have to admit, the Astro A40 sounds better.
Both headsets have extremely similar sound localisation. And chatting, on both, is an equal joy.
But there’s one, huge, horrible, despicable Achilles’ heel to the Astro A40s. To connect the headset to an Xbox 360 (or PS3/PC), wires will invade your entire living room because the console needs to plug twice into a mixamp (the big, retro box you see in the lead photo), then the mixamp connects your headphones and controller. That’s confusing, I know. Here’s the full workflow:
Xbox 360 optical out and USB cord => A40 Mixamp => Headphones/Mic and Xbox 360 controller.
So while I knew the A40s sounded a bit better than my X41s, I couldn’t kick back and enjoy the game in the same way. For one long cord or tight quarters PC gaming, I might opt for the A40s. For four cords sprawled across my living room, I’m sticking with the X41s—especially since they’re $US50+ less.
Maybe you’ll feel differently.