Astro wireless headsets have been on firm footing for a while, and now they have recently released the Gen 2 version of their A20 wireless headset. As someone who loves wireless headsets, I was very keen on checking these out. The version of the A20 I received to review is for PC/PS4/PS5, but Astro also has a PC/Xbox version. After using them for a couple of weeks, I’m ready to go over the good and not so good points of this headset. So, let’s dive right in!
- Current price: $119.99
- Microphone: uni-directional
- Ear coupling: over-ear
- Drivers: 40 mm Neodymium
- Wireless Range 15m/49 ft
- Wireless frequency: 2.4 GHz
- Battery charging time: 3.5 hours
- USB connection: USB 2.0 High Speed over USB-C
- Frequency Respons: 20 Hz – 20kHz
- Shutdown after 10 minutes
- Weight: 318g
- Product height: 177.5 mm
- Product width: 262 mm
- Product depth: 87.2 mm
When I first pulled these A20’s out of the box, my initial impression was they were a bit heavier than I expected and I was concerned with the soft silicone like material on the headband. My main concern was it seemed like it might grab onto my hair and pull it when I put the A20 on and took it off; thankfully, that was an unwarranted worry. The ear cups, which do indeed cover my ears completely, have a very soft and cushiony material, which did help with wearing them for hours on end.
This headset features a reasonably standard set-up where the ear cups move up or down on the headband to find the correct fit. On the upside, the mechanism for this is pretty tight, so once I got things fitted correctly, they stayed where they should, even after multiple uses. The downside is that it made it more difficult than expected to adjust the fit while wearing the headset. Most of the time, I will adjust one side and then the other, which seemed not to work very well on these. I had greater success with putting one thumb on each ear cup and then using my fingers to push down the headset. As I mentioned, though, once I got the fit to where I liked it, I didn’t have to mess with it again.
As soon as I put the A20 on my head, I also noticed they have more pressure holding them in place than my regular headset. The main issue with this is I was concerned after wearing them for an hour or two; the pressure would cause me pain due to my glasses’ arms being pressed into my head. Sure enough, right around the four-hour mark, my temples and the back of my ears would start hurting from the A20s pressing into my head. Thankfully there was only a little pain, so it wouldn’t stop me from playing, but it’s preferable not to have this issue at all. Over the course of the weeks with this headset, I didn’t notice any reduction of this pressure either.
Generally speaking, I’m not too fond of headsets with mics I can’t detach because they are often entirely in the way, and headset mics are nearly always worse than a stand-alone mic. The mic on the A20 is pretty awesome, though. It sounds clear, though it is a bit more “tinny” than my regular Samson Q2U mic. This is the first time I have ever gotten on to discord with my guildmates while on a headset mic, and the first thing everyone said wasn’t, “why do you sound so bad?” For anyone who doesn’t want a stand-alone mic, this is a great solution.
Additionally, the mic boom is much longer than most mic arms, which I thought would be a problem. The other issue I often run into with attached mics is that I hit them often, so the longer arm seemed like it would exacerbate this issue. However, the long super flexible arm is perfect for not only angling to capture your voice correctly, but it also can be angled to be out of the way as well. The raising the mic arm to mute also worked perfectly as well.
Sound quality on this headset was also quite good. Regardless of what game I was playing or even when listening to music, everything sounded clear. I also noticed that I could actually have my sound settings a bit quieter than I usually do, and I could still hear everything. I did notice that I didn’t hear the bass quite as well as I do on my regular headset, but I double-checked on the specifications, and my regular headset has 50 mm neodymium magnets as opposed to the A20’s 40 mm neodymium magnets. So that difference makes sense.
The first time I charged up the A20 and used them, they ran out of charge surprisingly quickly. I used them for about five hours, and then they needed to be charged again. At first, I was concerned there was something wrong with them, but every time after that, they lasted a total of 14 hours before I needed to charge them again. Although I am reasonably sure I had charged them all the way the first time, it is possible that I didn’t get a full charge because I wanted to start using them right away. The fact I haven’t had this issue again makes me think that is what happened there.
Speaking of charging, the charging cord is a USB-C cord, which works great and was easy to use. From the headset being utterly dead to fully charged, it only takes about three hours. I was a bit disappointed to see it can’t charge wirelessly. That’s not a make or break feature, but it is an excellent quality of life feature that is available on other wireless headsets in the same price range.
Where this headset fell for me was its USB dongle. It has two settings PS and PC. It always starts in PS mode, so when I plugged it into my PC, I always had to switch it to the correct setting. The key to this was I had to change the setting before I turned the headset on. Otherwise, changing the setting would do nothing, and my computer wouldn’t recognize the headset. The further complication to this was sometimes when I pushed the button to change the setting, nothing would happen. Further complicating this, because of my USB slots’ orientation on my computer, the dongle’s side with the switch faces the floor. Which meant, every time I wanted to use this headset, I would have to lay down in front of my computer so I could ensure the setting changed correctly, which was just needlessly annoying.
On the upside, I had no issues at all using the headset with my PS4 and PS5. This is probably because it defaults to PS mode, so there was no need to switch anything around for it.
The Astro A20 headset is a decent headset for the price. The sound quality is good, and they are reasonably comfortable. Additionally, the A20 features one of the best attached mics I have ever used. Unfortunately, the frustrations of making sure it’s in the right mode with my computer put a significant damper on it for me. Also, missing features such as surround sound and wireless charging, which are available on similarly priced wireless headsets, are significant knocks against the A20.