Astro has made a cool upgrade to my personal gaming headset of choice, the A50. It's a professionally tuned, multi-purpose headset delivering wireless, audiophile-level performance for gaming, movies, and music.
Originally introduced in 2012, the new model features not only overall performance improvements, but a handy base station transmitter.
"For the development of the new A50, we took everything we learned from last year's A40 TR launch and applied it to the new A50,” said Aron Drayer, VP of Marketing for ASTRO Gaming. "These two products now share the same all-digital platform, allowing the A50 to utilize ASTRO's Command Centre software for adjustment of every input and output, along with the creation of custom EQ profiles."
Features include Dolby headphone 7.1 surround sound, Astro Audio performance especially tuned for gaming and a built-in mix amp for advanced customisation of all inputs and outputs. You can easily adjust audio levels like master volume and game/voice balancing.
There are custom EQ presetes available -- Astro (tuned with precise bass for general gaming), Pro (tuned for precise mid and high detail for streaming and pro gaming) and Studio (neutral for accuracy and best for movies and music). You can create, customise, save, and share EQ profiles to suit any listening experience or environment.
The noise-cancelling boom mic is optimised for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and has a flip-up function to mute voice output and stow the microphone when not in use.
If there's a headset designed for long gaming sessions, it's this one. It is comfortable, durable, lightweight, and easily adjustable. It has 15 hours of battery life and the new Auto On/Off conserves battery life when not in use, and awakes from Sleep mode when you pick it up.
The new base station isn't just stylish, it's packed with useful features. It has magnetic charging contacts for simple docking and charging, and the 5GHz secure wireless connection with the transmitter also provides automatic headset pairing, battery status, and Dolby Surround On/Off indication.
Connectivity includes TOSLink (optical) pass-through and AUX input/output for convenient audio capturing and livestreaming.
The command centre software adjusts noise gate, side tone, and microphone levels. You can alter game volume, chat audio, mic, and AUX channels individually to generate custom audio mixes for streaming output. Future A50 headset and Base Station firmware updates will also be accessible via the Astro command centre software.
There's a mod kit available with a leather headband and leather ear cushions that can be swapped with the original cushions and headband for additional noise-cancellation and comfort.
Available in late August, the new A50 will be $479.95 for the PS4/PC version and $489.95 for the Xbox One/PC version.