PROS / The A40 is probably the most customizable and upgradable model we reviewed.
CONS / It's not quite as comfortable as other models in our review.
VERDICT / The A40 is a great headset for serious gamers who want the ability to customize the look and feel of their headset.
The Astro A40 is an excellent headset that offers very precise audio, customizable looks and an ergonomic, flexible microphone. Although we thought the Astro could do a little better in the comfort department, it is overall a very good headset and a good choice for the serious gamer. To get the most out of this headset, you may want to consider adding the MIXAMP PRO to your purchase. It ups the price by a hefty $100 but gives you precise control over your sound as well as the ability to enable virtual surround sound for PCs and consoles.
This gaming headset's earphones can pump out frequencies as low as 20Hz and as high as 21kHz. The commonly cited human hearing range is 20Hz to 20kHz, so the A40 can reproduce just about everything you can possibly hear. However, there's quite a bit of variation in hearing ability, especially among the higher frequencies. It's nice to see that Astro went a little beyond the average human perception. So, if you can hear really high frequencies, then the A40 sounds a bit better there.
The microphone's range is a bit more limited, at a minimum of 70Hz and maximum of 15kHz. The human voice is capable of frequencies as low as 85Hz and as high as 255Hz. So, imagine the deepest voice you've ever heard and you won't be far off from what this PC gaming headset's microphone can register.
Overall, the A40's audio quality is about par for the course in its price range. While that's commendable, it'd be nice for Astro to really push the limits of quality.
The Astro A40 is built to be comfortable, thanks to a combination of a well-designed headband and ear couplings. The headband puts under 2.6 newtons of pressure on you, which is not much. Still, it’s a good deal more than we felt from our most comfortable options like the HyperX Cloud II.
The headband has a thick pad and snug padded ear couplings which help disperse the pressure as well. The ear couplings are circumaural, which means they enclose your ears completely. This is partially done for comfort, but mostly it is for reducing external noise. You can also buy mods for the A40 to increase the noise cancelling effect.
The connection is the typical dual 3.5 mm analog type, one for the headphones and one for the microphone. The cable for this PC gaming headset is about 6 feet long, which is plenty if you keep your tower close by, but a couple extra feet would have been nice.
The Astro A40, with the 3.5 mm dual-jack PC connector, is cross-compatible with any audio device that uses the same connection. You'll also get a splitter cable. The MixAmp comes with an optical cable, micro-USB cable for power and a daisy-chain cable. The included cables give you many connection options.
There is a volume and mute control built into the cable itself. This is a common and extremely convenient feature. Without it, you are forced to minimize your game and use the system volume controls. This is not a big deal if you aren't in the middle of actually playing, but it can be quite irritating otherwise.
The last feature that we want to mention here is the carrying case that comes with the Astro A40. The case makes it easy to travel with your headset, whether you are headed out of the country or to a local LAN party.
The Astro A40 is a great choice for the gamer who is looking for a headset they can upgrade over time. Although the MIXAMP does increase the cost quite a bit, it’s good to know that you can always add it on later if you decide that virtual surround sound and precise sound control are important to you. This is a great-sounding headset that’s reasonably comfortable, but it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd for any particular reason.