Astro A50 review: Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset

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Typical Price: $349.95
4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Excellent sound reproduction. Simple set-up. Well made and comfortable. Rechargeable. No external power bricks.

The Bad Stand is strangely cheap feeling. An expensive investment.

The Bottom Line The Astro A50 headset isn't cheap, but it does give some of the best sound we've heard in a nicely designed and very comfortable package.

9.0 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Sep '12

Gaming headsets run the full gamut of prices and quality, from no-frills headphones, that just happen to have a mic attached, through to, well, gear like the Astro A50.

The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset — to give it its full name — is a set of wireless cans that have a noise cancelling mic and work in conjunction with the Astro MixAmp 5.8 for a Dolby 7.1 (and 5.1) surround sound experience.

Designed for consoles and PC, set-up was refreshingly simple. Simply plug the optical cable from your PC, PlayStation 3 or Xbox into the MixAmp, which then hooks into your device via USB, which is all the power it requires. Once the headphones are charged up — also USB power, thanks to the in-built rechargeable battery — just turn them on. The headset and the amp are pre-paired, so all you need to do is possibly tweak some settings on the PC or console, and you're up and gaming.

Features and design

We liked the build on the headphones a great deal — these are solid, well made cans that still feel comfortable, even when worn for a long time. The right ear-cup has the volume wheel at the back, in a perfect position for thumb access when worn. Above that is the power button and the switch for the pre-sets. The whole outside of the right cup is a giant toggle switch for voice/game balance — it's nice, but we occasionally accidently adjusted the balance while just trying to re-seat the headphones on our ears.

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