This article compares the Astro A40 wired headset and the Astro A50 wireless, the 4th Generation of Astro gaming headsets.
Mind you though, if you won't be using the headsets primarily for gaming, then you might better checking out my review of Sennheiser HD 450BT instead.
In summary, if you’re looking for a high-quality wireless headset with superior sound and don’t mind paying a premium price, the Astro A50 is a perfect choice. But, if you’re looking for a wired headset with good sound quality, the Astro A40 is not far behind in performance and comes at a much lower price.
- Also, absolutely check out Astro A40 vs A50 side-by-side comparison chart here on Crutchfield.com before you buy.
Well, I don't like wires...
...and would gladly sacrifice the mic not being detachable (wouldn't be using it anyway). So I'd get the A50 over the A40.
- Astro A40 is a wired headset, while the Astro A50 is entirely wireless
- Astro A50 is twice as expensive compared to the Astro A40
- Astro A40’s microphone is detachable, while the Astro A50’s is fixed
- Astro A50 has a Bluetooth feature, while the Astro A40 has none
- Astro A40 has more swappable components (Mod Kits) compared to the Astro A50
- Astro A50 comes with a base station, while the Astro A40 is stand-alone or can come with a MixAmp Pro TR
Check out the manual of Astro A40.
Design and build
The Astro A40 is a wired gaming audio headpiece with swappable components. The microphone, headband, speaker tags, and ear cushions are all swappable when you purchase a Mod Kit that contains those accessories.
The Astro A40 can be bought as a stand-alone headset or paired with a MixAmp Pro TR. The MixAmp is for serious live streamers. It functions as a dual-channel external sound card for the perfect voice balance. If you want to tweak the sound settings to suit your ear’s satisfaction, you should get a MixAmp with the Astro A40 headset.
The Astro A40’s dimensions are 8 inches in length, 7.75 inches wide, and 3.75 inches in height. It weighs 0.80 lbs, which is not considered lightweight (around 0.50 lbs) among gaming headsets, but it does not compromise durability and comfort.
The Astro A50 is a premium, fully wireless headset that comes with a base station. You cannot purchase an Astro A50 headset without the base, but you can buy an additional base if you want. It is also important to note that the base station works only on the Astro A50 model it is paired with and not with any previous models.
The Astro A50 consumes power through a rechargeable, lithium-ion, single-cell battery. It has a standby battery life of 20 months, and its active battery life is 15 hours. The Astro A50’s base station charges through USB Micro-B.
The Astro A50 weighs slightly heavier at 0.83 lbs, but like the Astro A40, the weight does not affect wearability and comfort. The base station measures 8.5 inches in length, 4.25 inches in width, and 1.15 inches in height and weighs 0.70 lbs.
The Astro A50 wireless headset allows freedom of movement while gaming. It has a wireless range of 49 feet, so there’s no problem if you need to stand up and stretch after long hours of sitting. You will not miss out on what’s happening during the game because you can still hear and communicate even when away from the console.
The Astro A40 wired headset is best for marathon gaming. Unlike the Astro A50, you don’t need to worry about the headset’s battery life because it’s wired. It has a swappable boom microphone, which means you can switch the mic’s position from left to right, whichever is more comfortable.
What’s inside the Mod Kit?
Both headsets are Mod Kit ready, which means you can modify the headpieces to adapt to loud gaming environments such as tournaments and game houses to filter background noises. It can change from an open-back to a noise-isolating closed-back headset.
The A40 Mod Kit is pricier because it contains more pieces. The box includes a padded headband, closed-back speaker tags, a voice-isolating microphone, and noise-canceling ear cushions. It comes in colors green, blue, red, and a special Call of Duty design.
The A50 Mod Kit contains noise-canceling ear cushions and a padded headband made of synthetic leather for style and comfort. This is only compatible with the A50 Gen 4.
The A40 and A50 both use the Astro Audio V2 for top-of-the-line acoustics. This is a collaborative effort with Pro Gamers to deliver more balanced music and in-game sounds. It helps eliminate background noise and amplify the voice and in-game sounds for immersive gaming performance.
The advantage of the Astro A50 is that it uses a Dolby audio system with a game voice balance. The unit comes with a free Dolby Atmos activation code for the Xbox version for a more immersive sound experience.
The Astro Command Center Software gives users complete control of their audio experience. The system requirements to install the software are Mac OS, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Here is the Quick Start Guide for Astro A50 Wireless Headset.
Both headsets are over-ear pairs with padded cushions. They are so comfortable that you won’t experience any irritation even after long hours of gaming. It is designed and built specifically for extended gaming sessions. For further comfort, pads and cushions are available for purchase separately.
As of writing these lines, we checked into the Astro Gaming website for price reference.
The Astro A40 costs $149.99, while the MixAmp Pro TR is sold separately and costs $129.99. The additional Mod Kit for the Astro A40 costs $59.99.
The Astro A50 will cost higher at $288.60 and already comes with the base station. Want an additional base station? You can get one for $99.99. The Mod Kit for the Astro A50 costs $39.99.
These prices are based on the Astro website as of writing and may change in time. Prices may also vary in other independent stores.
There is no doubt that the winner of this comparison is the Astro A50. If you have the money to buy a top-of-the-line headset, the Astro A50 will not disappoint. It is a winner in performance, sound quality, and ease of use because of its wireless feature.
Here’s a rundown of our winner by comparison:
- Weight and balance - Astro A40 (by a tiny margin)
- Comfort - It’s a tie
- Design and build - Astro A50
- Sound quality - Astro A50 (open-air transducer principle)
- Mic quality - Astro A50 (because of the voice isolating feature)
- Portability and mobility - Astro A50
- Price - Astro A50 (more expensive but worth every cent)