Astro Gaming A50 Wireless review: How good is the premium headset?

Price Fairness

Quality

Performance

Design

Gear-Rating

70

82

85

82

79.75

PROS
  • Decent sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • Convenient charging base
  • Well designed headset controls
CONS
  • A lot of $$$
  • No wired connection to mobile
  • Pretty average microphone

The Astro Gaming A50 Wireless continues to focus on easy charging with a base station and compatibility with various devices. The Astro Gaming series has been pretty popular across the board because of their comfortable products and specialization on gamer’s needs.

The A50 has been around for about 8 years now, but Astro decided to add some features and improve the design with their revamped A50 Wireless release last year. The headset still is the same for the most part; it has good audio quality, an adjustable build and costs you a small fortune. This headset was great 8 years ago, but is the price of $ 300,00 still justified when compared to today’s competition?

Design

Obviously, the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless is aiming to be a premium headset. When you open the box you can find the headset, a wireless charging base station, a micro USB cord and an optical cable. You can use the micro USB to charge or connect the headset to a device of your choice, and the optical cable to connect it to a console.

Astro Gaming A50 Wireless package

On paper, the A50 really delivers: Adjustable design, strong battery life, very comfortable velour earpads and a set of features. The components are there, but the execution isn’t perfect.

The main build component is matte black plastic which doesn’t make for an extraordinarily robust build, but results in comfortable light wear. You get big rounded rectangular headphones that are attached via pipe-shaped aluminum supports to a hollow plastic headband. The metal bars allow you to adjust the height and rotation of the ear cups. The cups themselves are covered with breathable fabric memory foam pads. These don’t give as much isolation as leatherette materials, but are more comfortable to use for long durations and especially for gamers with glasses.

The build is almost identical to the 2016 version of the headset, but the color scheme is much less prominent. The newer version focuses on anodized aluminum and almost exclusively black tones. You can find additional gray accents on the PS version and gold accents on the Xbox version.

Astro Gaming A50 Wireless comparison

Astro does offer their compatible “Mod Kit accessories”, which include leatherette replacements for various parts like ear pads and band cushions. The replacements are held magnetically, allowing for an easy and fast change of attachments.

The headset offers quite a lot of rather useful control buttons. There’s a power switch, a volume dial, buttons for equalizer presets and a Dolby sound switch on the back of the right headphone. On the right side of that, you can find buttons for adjusting the audio balance between game and voice. The permanently attached, flexible boom microphone is located on the left headphone. A pretty neat feature is the auto-mute when the microphone is flipped up.

Connecting the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless to a PC or console is very convenient when using the base station. You just pop in the USB cord of the station, place the headset on top of it and it automatically connects. While this process does sound great on paper, the connection isn’t 100% reliable. Sometimes you’ll have to unplug the station for a second as it won’t connect or charge at all.

The base station itself got changed quite a bit in the past years. With a size of 4.8 inches (12,2 cm) wide and 3.3 inches (8,4 cm) deep it shrunk to about two-thirds of its predecessor. On the station are charging contacts to hold the headset vertically. The indicator lights allow you to track the current status of charging, as well as what you’re connected to and the currently selected EQ preset.

Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Base Station

Performance

Once you’ve set up everything and got the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless connected via the base station, the headset connects using a 2.4GHz RF signal. This connection allows the headset to be absolutely lag-free and reliable. According to Astro, the connection can be held up to 30 feet (9.1 meters), which seems to be accurate.

Astro also stated a single charge of battery to last for about 15 hours, depending on the use you might even go a bit over that. The A50 also has a battery-saving feature included, which turns the headset off if it’s not moved for 30 minutes. This is really convenient as you won’t drain much battery when you forget to turn the headset off when leaving your setup.

All the minor flaws aside, the headset does give a great experience while gaming. The various sounds and soundtracks feel very pronounced while keeping a distinct balance without blending. Most of the audio was very detailed with a lot of power in the gunfire, while footsteps and dialogue could be heard easily over the action.

The included Dolby Audio simulated surround sound works fine and can be used on consoles and PC. However, the directional audio isn’t perfect and could still be improved on. The difference to stereo sound was diminishable for the most part, but that is given that current stereo signals are pretty accurate already.

The Astro Gaming A50 Wireless has typical characteristics for a gaming headset: A slight over-emphasis on bass notes and under-emphasis in the highs. Activating the Dolby Audio changes the headset’s frequency response and further de-emphasizes the highs, but is still hardly noticeable.

When you’re a fan of bass-heavy genres, this is the frequency response you’re looking for. The A50 did very well, as it was consistent even at maximum volume.

The attached microphone of the Astro Gaming A50 is of average quality among other gaming headsets. Just like many competitors, there is a noticeable de-emphasis in the bass range, which makes people with deeper voices sound a little distorted. The microphone itself is rather quiet, so you might have to turn up your input volume when gaming. When you push the mic gain level slightly above the recommended settings in the software, you should get the best results.

Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Software

In the “Astro Command Center” you can save up to three different EQ profiles, that can be cycled through with a button on the headset. For the microphone, you get to adjust the sidetone level and noise gate, but the software is lacking behind in customizability compared to other brands.

Verdict

When you’re looking to buy the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless you’re probably looking for a premium headset. While it’s decent, the headset can’t really set itself off of the competition, but still is charging a pretty high price of about $ 300,00. The build quality, microphone and audio are about average and sometimes you’ll run into minor connection errors.

Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Front

Obviously, you also get a lot of comfort, a very convenient base station and well-designed audio features. Whether that justifies the price is up to you. The 2019 model has only minor improvements to the older models. In the meantime other gaming headsets established them to be on a similar level, sometimes offering even better sound.

The competition for the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless has definitely grown over the past years, making it shine a little less.

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Price fairness
70%
Quality
82%
Performance
85%
Design
82%
  • 79.75%

    Gear rating

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