The Astro headset is just… it’s amazing. I should’ve bought it a long ass time ago.
The build quality seems quite sturdy; it has a heft to it that says “I’m made to last”. It fits over the head nicely, and squeezes the skull with a fair amount of pressure. I thought it squeezed a little too much, but I went on to play for several hours and never noticed it. The ear cups fit fully around the ear. This is a must for me; I can’t stand on ear headphones for long gaming sessions. The ear cups and head piece are covered with cloth material, which is also a must. The fake leather vinyl crap gives me a rash wherever it touches my skin, usually right behind the ear. The ear cups also do a great job sealing out room noise.
The sound quality is superb, highly directional, crystal clear and with no background hiss or noise of any kind. For the first time I really felt like I could hear sound coming from behind me and in front of me. The audio had dimension and space to it, where other headsets you can tell the sound is coming straight in from the left and right sides. When I first landed at the Tower and my jumpship pulled away behind me, I was all “holy shit”, to which Mrs. Owl inquired what was wrong. Nothing my dear, nothing is wrong at all.
I haven’t used the chat feature yet, but I do know the mic isn’t feeding back unwanted noise into the ear pieces like my Trittons. I also like that the mic easily swivels up and out of the way for solo play. It uses the Optical Audio out on the PS4 as well as the USB, but it came with all the necessary cords neatly placed in the box, which is itself a thing of beauty. The cords are plenty long enough for where I sit in relation to the TV. Then there is one cord that comes out of the mix amp and to the headset, which again is plenty long and has a mute switch for the mic.
Volume adjustment is done on the mix amp with an oversize dial for master volume and a separate game/chat balance knob. They all turn smoothly, with nice resistance and reek of quality. If I have a complaint, it’s that the master volume is a bit sensitive. Slight adjustments drastically change the audio level, which is a shame, because such a large knob should allow for very fine adjustments. The mixamp also has its own power button, an EQ button which lets you select from four different preset EQ profiles, and some other button I know not what it does. I think it kills the surround simulation. As far as EQ, I use the ‘core’ option which is basically flat, it applies no equalization to the original signal, allowing me to hear the game as the developers intended.
5 stars in every category except value, which is a bit more subjective. I always play using a headset, whether I’m in a party or not. I just prefer headphone sound to the TV speakers and it doesn’t disturb the rest of the house. I also game a lot, usually two to four hours every weeknight and four to six on weekends. That’s a lot of time to spend with headphones on, so for me, it’s a 4 or 5 star value (assuming they hold up over time).
//Most people would probably opt for the wireless A50, but I actually prefer wired.