Review | Astro A40 TR 4th Generation Headset and MixAmp Pro (PS4)
Astro Gaming continues to be a leader in the world of gaming headsets, (and now controllers too). Being in this industry for over 11 years, they’ve made quite a few generations of their flagship Astro A40 headsets. Last year, they released the A40 TR X-Edition to celebrate the ten year anniversary. This year, they released their 4th generation A40 headset with an all new MixAmp Pro. We’ve been using the PS4 headset for a while, putting it through the paces and getting a lot of experience with it. Read on to see what we thought of this “Tournament Ready” headset.
First and foremost, I have to add this disclaimer. We’ve had the headset since April, but one factor was holding up our review. The new generation of MixAmps are only compatible with Windows 10. Of course, the Xbox One can download the new Astro Command Center, but it will only work with the Xbox One MixAmp Pro. I was able to use the headset, but my PC runs Windows 8 (after a past complication with Windows 10). Since I was running on Windows 8, I was unable to download the software to update the MixAmp Pro. This also meant I couldn’t customize the settings. Now I have a Windows 10 PC, so my issue has been resolved. So, as a reminder, before you purchase, make sure you have Windows 10.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the headset. The 4th generation A40 TR looks just like the previous models, with minor design differences. The color has been updated to a black and silver design with blue details on the tags. It looks much nicer and more professional than the previous design with gold accents and striped tags. Of course, the tags can always be swapped out, even for custom options, so you can personalize it however you wish. Regardless of your choice, the overall design is just a good as it always has been.
While the exterior hasn’t changed much, the interior has been upgraded. Using the new Astro Audio V2, the new A40 headset improves on its sound quality immensely. Giving better highs, crisper mids and a solid bass, the headset sounds better than ever. With less distortion and even clearer audio, the 4th generation A40 is an audiophile’s dream for gaming. Adding the MixAmp Pro and Astro Command Center software into the mix, it gets even better. With full customization on the sound levels, microphone communication and even sidetones, you’ll have plenty of options at your disposal. You can even use Dolby Atmos on PC, though unfortunately, PS4 doesn’t support it.
While the sidetones, or mic monitoring, are on the headset by default, you can use the Command Center to turn it off. I for one prefer not to hear myself when I talk in a game, so I turned it off as soon as I could. Since I needed the software to do it, and couldn’t get that for my early impressions, I had plenty of experience with the sidetones. For those that love to hear their own voice to confirm how they sound, it’s a great feature. It does also come through very clearly and I never had an issue with the way my voice sounded in the headset. Not a feature for me, but for those that love it, it’s there, and adjustable too.
The MixAmp Pro has some nice aesthetic improvements too. The orientation is now in a horizontal layout, which is a bit more convenient for quick adjustments. The dials also have lights for their markers, which we’re told took a lot of work to add. It gives a nice look to the MixAmp, though some might complain that there isn’t a switch to turn the lights off. You can unplug the USB cable, but it’s understandable that some people would want a switch. A button switches between four custom modes, each with a default setting for various situations. The new MixAmp Pro even adds options with the new stream out port. This allows better control on what your audience hears, making this a great MixAmp for streamers. It’s worth mentioning that PS4 Slim users don’t have an optical output, so they’ll need a workaround to use this product.
The $249.99 price tag can be a bit steep for some consumers. If that’s the case, the Astro A10 is still a solid option. For those that want premium audio for their PS4 or PC, then you can’t go wrong with the A40 TR and MixAmp Pro. The MixAmp Pro unlocks the full potential, giving 7.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos, giving a full package. They really do make a perfect pair, and makes the whole experience worthwhile. Whether you’re a streamer, pro gamer, or even just an average gamer, this is an excellent headset that won’t disappoint you. At least as long as you have Windows 10 and an optical output option.
Final Score: 10 out of 10
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