In amongst a war fought between die-hards on both ends of the Console versus PC spectrum are a handful of people that sit happily on the fence of enjoying gaming on both. An important and often overlooked aspect is how sound and voice comms. should be handled across these platforms.
Today, gaming headsets are the status-quo and this space is filled with a plethora of options with wireless microphone headsets taking centre-stage. For us fence-sitters, such a headset that’s affordable, compatible with console AND PC is a non-negotiable – It just so happens to be the space where Astro Gaming shine brightest.
This week I traded my SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless for a pair of 2nd Generation Astro A20’s to get a taste of the Astro Gaming experience on their entry level range.
Before jumping into how it performs on my favourite titles let’s talk specs:
- Microphone: uni-directional
- Ear coupling: over ear
- Drivers: 40 mm Neodymium
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 100 dB SPL 1kHz @ 1mW
- Nominal impedance: 32 Ohm
- Total harmonic distortion: < 3% (20 Hz – 10 kHz)
- Wireless range: 15m
- Wireless frequency: 2.4 GHz via USB dongle
- Battery type: rechargeable Lithium-Polymer, non-removable 1050 mAh, 17 g
- Battery charging time: 3.5 hours to full charge
- USB connection type: USB 2.0 High Speed over USB-C (charge cable)
Getting up and running
The headsets minimal hardware and universal approach to common connection standards like USB-C make this headset so easy and intuitive to setup you are quite literally 1 connection and 1 button press away from getting sound through your headset and enabling voice for those sweaty gaming sessions – However if you need help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9imCX1WHmUo.
Sturdy construction, easy adjustments and just enough flex
The headsets can be adjusted by sliding the sides smoothly up and down their own struts and just enough friction to keep them in place but also not so much that it makes the process of getting the headphones to fit your head and cumbersome exercise.
The headset itself is constructed with just enough flex and clamping pressure to be comfortable but at the same time seal out most ambient sounds while feeling plush and soft around your head.
Preset EQ Profiles buttons, volume wheel as well as the power button are all a thumb-press/scroll away allowing on-the-fly adjustments. The microphone boom arm, when lowered allows open mic communications and can be muted completely when moved upright.
Preset sound profiles for better immersion
No matter if you require higher mid-tone for battle royale sessions or deeper bases for racing sims, switching between the 3 present modes directly from the headphones is a breeze with the dedicated button. There’s a profile that fits most preferences and game types to give you the best immersion and sound scape no matter what title you’re playing.
No cables, no bulky receivers
Wired gaming headsets are dead. There’s no excuse to have a wired gaming headset with the A20’s 15m range, undiscernible output delay, and wide sound stage all being transmitted through a tiny receiver. Thrash the racing wheels, bash the controllers and flick those mice without a care for a single cable getting in the way.
Tuned for gaming right out of the box
One of the most frustrating things is when certain features are limited to PC due to manufacturers decision to implement them via software solutions. This makes the value-adding proposition of console compatible headsets useless especially if the same level of control and features do not exist cross platform. With the Astro A20, there is none of that. Once you’re plugged in, you are quite literally good to go on any platform.
Road testing the A20. My experience.
The most notable thing about the Astro A20 is nice loud and crisp highs and deep and full bass. For an entry-level headset playing Warzone and Counterstrike was no issue as it had picked up foot steps as well as providing a wide sound stage for a truly immersive feel. Having been accustomed to 7.1 surround sound headphones, although definitely not the same class, these faired quite well in comparison. The microphone was clear and did not pick up any ambient noise, making open-mic and discord sessions a painless experience for those that are on the receiving end of my comms.
The Astro A20 delivered as much as what I expected at the price point and surprisingly more, but not from a gaming perspective. Having misplaced my regular 3.5mm jack headphones I normally use for work Zoom meetings I resorted to the A20’s. If the gamer look isn’t an issue in your office/work setting then consider these a great productivity headset too.
The Astro A20 are available from JB-HiFi and authorised resellers for RRP AUD$279.95, it comes in a PC/Mac + Playstation or PC/Mac + XBox One variants.
DRN would like to thank Astro Gaming for their on-going support.