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Reviewed on Apr 20, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Astro A20
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.6
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.7
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.6
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.6
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.5
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.6
TV
Score components:
7.3
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Astro A20 Wireless are an above-average gaming headset with a good sound and build quality. They're easy-to-use and have a great battery life with a lot of power saving features. They're also decently comfortable but can be a bit tight on the head. Unfortunately, like most gaming headsets, they're a bit limited by their design and transmitter base. You won't be able to use them outdoors or with a different console but on the upside, they are compatible with most PCs, they have an efficient control scheme and a good, customizable sound.

Test Results
Design 6.1
Sound 7.9
Isolation 4.4
Microphone 7.5
Active Features 7.5
Connectivity 4.2
Pros
  • Good sound quality.
  • Sturdy build quality.
Cons
  • Poor isolation.
  • Bulky design.

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6.1

Design

Score components:
Astro A20 Design Picture

The Astro A20 a decent-looking and well-built headphones but they will not be versatile or portable enough for more casual uses. They are limited by the range of their USB transmitter base so you won't be able to use them outdoors and, like most gaming headphones, they are not made for running or sports. On the upside, they have a decently comfortable design and a good build quality despite being a bit tight on the head and mostly made out of plastic. They have large ear cups that are well padded, and an efficient control scheme for gaming that's easy-to-use and well thought-out. They also look a bit more premium than other wireless gaming headsets within their price range like the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.

Style
Astro A20 Design Picture 2

The Astro A20 look somewhat similar to the Astro A10 but with a different headband design. They feel like premium headphones, especially compared to other headsets in their price range. Also, despite being mostly made out of plastic they feel strudy and durable. They have square-ish ear cups that are well padded and coated with a microfiber fabric that further adds to their high-end aesthetic. Unfortunately, they have a non-detachable mic, and they're limited by their USB base so you won't be able to use them outdoors.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A20 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.8 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.2 lbs

The A20, like the A10, are decently comfortable headphones but the ear cups do not swivel which makes them a bit tight on the head. The fit may loosen over time, after repeated use, but out-of-the-box they are a bit fatiguing during long gaming sessions. On the upside, they're well padded and covered in a microfiber coating that feels nice on the skin. They won't be the ideal headphones for all gamers due to their tight fit, but they should be comfortable enough for most.

6.8 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Astro A20 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
Yes
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

The Astro A20 have an efficient control scheme that's easy-to-use and well laid out. You get a great volume dial with good feedback. It doesn't have discrete notches but you do feel it click in place as you adjust which is much better than some of the other gaming headphones we've tested like the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. They have an equalizer button that cycles between 3 presets, (which you can customize through the Astro Command Center) and they also provide channel mixing buttons that are well hidden around the volume dial. Overall, their control scheme looks great, feels intuitive, and delivers good feedback.

6.8 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Astro A20 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.6 C

These headphones are decently breathable thanks to their slightly porous pads. However, since they fully encapsulate the ear, they will make your ears a bit warm during long gaming sessions.

1.2 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Astro A20 Portability Picture
L : 6 "
W : 6.9 "
H : 2.8 "
Volume : 116 Cu. Inches
Stand required : Yes

The Astro A20 are slightly smaller than the A10s thanks to their new headband design. However, they are limited in portability since they can only connect wirelessly with their transmitter dongle. Also, like most gaming headphones, they're big, bulky and do not fold into a more compact format. They're a hassle to carry around if you don't have a bag or a backpack and do not come with a case or pouch which is slightly disappointing.

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A20 Build Quality Picture

The Astro A20, like the A10, are decently well-built. They have a different headband design to the A10's that feels somewhat closer to the A50 but does not look as premium, since the frame is mostly made out of plastic. The ear cups feel dense and sturdy enough to withstand a couple of accidental drops, and the Boom mic is flexible and durable. However, the new headband design feels a bit more susceptible to wear and tear than that of the A10's since there are a lot more moving parts.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A20 Stability Picture

The A20 like the A10 are not made for sports or running. They're tight on the head so they do not move much during casual listening sessions or while gaming. However, like most gaming headsets, they will quickly fall if used while exercising or doing more strenuous activities. On the upside, they're wireless so they won't get yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked by something.

Cable
Astro A20 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 3.3 ft
Connection : USB

These headphones come with two micro USB cables and an optical audio cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.9

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Astro A20 Frequency Response

The Astro A20 is a good sounding closed-back over-ear gaming headset. These headphones have a punchy and powerful bass with very good extension, a well-balanced mid-range, and a good treble. This makes them quite versatile and suitable for most genres, including bass-heavy music as well as video games. However, their bass is prone to a bit of inconsistencies on certain users, their mid-range is a little recessed on vocals and lead instruments, and their treble is noticeably bright, especially on S and T sounds. Additionally, they have great imaging and produce low distortion, but their soundstage is about average. It should be noted that these headphones were tested with the factory tuning EQ preset 1.

8.7 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Astro A20 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.89 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
25.2 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.97 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.49 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.74 dB

The bass of the A20 is great. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 25Hz, which is very good. Accordingly, low-bass is within 1dB of our neutral target. This means for the most of the sub-bass range, the Astro produces just the right amount of thump and rumble, which is common to bass-heavy music genres and video game effects. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of the bass guitars and punch of the kick drums is overemphasized by 2.5dB, bringing excess emphasis to this region, but some users may find it pleasing. However, the 2dB overemphasis in high-bass adds a bit of boominess to the sound.

8.1 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Astro A20 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.57 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.47 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.25 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.49 dB

The mid-range is very good. The response is relatively even and flat, but for most of the range, it is a bit recessed and under our neutral target. Low-mid and mid-mid are lacking by about 1.5dB and high-mid is underemphasized by about 3.5dB. This nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix by thinning them out and giving more emphasis to the bass and treble ranges.

7.7 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Astro A20 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.77 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.65 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.46 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.12 dB

The Astro A20 has a good treble range performance. The overall response is relatively even, but shows a 15dB tilt towards 10Khz and is mostly overemphasized throughout the range. This brings a bit of extra brightness and emphasis to vocals, lead instruments and cymbals. It also means that these headphones could be a bit sibilant, that is, sharp and piercing on S and T sounds.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
7.2 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Astro A20 Consistency L Astro A20 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.57 dB

The frequency response of the A20 is decently consistent. In the bass range, the maximum deviation measured across our five human subjects is about 4dB at 20Hz, which is subtle but noticeable. However, the biggest drop in bass delivery was on the subject who wears glasses, and the response was more consistent on other test subjects. In the treble range, up to 10KHz, the maximum deviation measured across five re-seats was about 9dB, but mostly in a narrow range around 7KHz.

8.2 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Astro A20 Group Delay Astro A20 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.27
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.11
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
4.77

The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.27, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response never crosses the audibility threshold, indicating a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test bench were well-matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects) in the stereo image.

7.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Astro A20 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.03 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.67 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
13.28 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
6.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.5
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The Astro A20 has a decent soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna activation with good accuracy. However, there's no 10KHz notch present really. This suggests that the soundstage will be perceived to be relatively large and natural, but located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front.

7.5 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Astro A20 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.203
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.593

The harmonic distortion performance is good. In the bass range, the amount of THD produced is within good limits, even at 100dB SPL. In the mid and treble ranges, however, there are sharp peaks in THD which could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle.

4.4

Isolation

Score components:

The Astro A20, like the A10 and A50, do not have the best isolation against ambient noise. This is most likely due to the slightly porous padding material on the ear cups, which improves breathability but also makes them worse to use in loud, noisy environments, like being at a gaming competition. You can mask some of the chatter and ambient noise of your surroundings by increasing the voice or game volume, but unfortunately, they also leak quite a bit so they may be a bit distracting to the people around you in quieter conditions. 

3.9 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Astro A20 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-10.42 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.27 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-4.06 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-27.58 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
20.14 dB

The Astro A20 has an inadequate isolation performance. In the bass range, occupied by the rumble of bus and airplane engines, they don't achieve any isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved about 4dB of reduction, which is sub-par and barely noticeable. In the treble range, where sharp sounds like S and Ts sit, they isolate by more than 27dB, which is above average.

5.2 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Astro A20 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
48.78 dB

The leakage performance is sub-par. The significant portion of their leakage sits between 300Hz and 6KHz, which is a relatively broad range. This means their leakage will be fuller sounding compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage is also moderately loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at around 49dB SPL and peaks at 62dB, which is a bit louder than the noise floor of most offices.

7.5

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
No

The Astro A20 have a good boom microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively warm and full-bodied, but it will lack a bit of detail and brightness. However, it will still be easy to understand and comprehend. In noisy environments, it can separate speech from background noise in most situations, even loud environments like gaming competitions and subway stations.

7.1 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Astro A20 Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
91.1 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
1.96 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
1974.03 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
0.157
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
43.26 dB

The recording quality of the microphone is decent. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 91dB, suggests that speech recorded/transmitted with the mic will sound relatively warm and full-bodied. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 2KHz, but since the cut-off is not very sharp until 6KHz, speech may lack a bit of brightness and detail, but it won't sound muffled and it will be easy to understand.

7.9 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Astro A20 SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
27.21 dB

The microphone is very good at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 27dB, meaning they can easily separate speech from ambient noise in most loud environments, even subway stations and gaming competitions. However, they may struggle a little bit in extremely loud and demanding situations.

7.5

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Astro A20 have a good battery life and customizable software support. They can play continuously for 14 hours, which should be long enough for most gaming sessions, and they also have a lot of power saving features which makes their battery performance even better. They will automatically turn off when inactive, and you can use them while they are charging for longer gaming marathons. They also support the Astro Command Center, unlike the A10,  which gives them access to a great parametric equalizer, presets, and microphone customization options. It's not as versatile as when paired with the higher-end Astro A50 but it's good enough for most gaming use cases.

7.5 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
14 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
3 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The Astro A20 have a fairly long-lasting battery life of 14 hours and have great power saving features. They will automatically power down when no music is playing and you can use them while they're charging for longer gaming sessions. They take a bit of time to charge but it's to be expected for a gaming headset, and they have no passive playback since you cannot use them wired.

7.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A20 App Picture
App Name : Astro Command Center
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : Yes
Windows : Yes
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : Yes
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : No

The Astro Command Center is an easy-to-use and efficient support software. It provides a great parametric equalizer that you can assign to the EQ button on the A20s right ear cup, which lets you cycle through different saved EQ presets. They also have a microphone tab that gives you control over the microphones sound profile and its noise gate. The Command Center is a bit more feature-packed when paired with the higher-end Astro A50 but it's good enough for most gaming use cases with the A20s.

4.2

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Astro A20 come with a good wireless base that has low latency and a decent range. The base has fewer connection options than the Astro A50 but works with PC and the Xbox One (they're one of the best Xbox One headsets we've tested) or the PS4 depending on which console variant you chose for your headphones. Unfortunately, they can only connect wirelessly via their base so you won't be able to use them wired with console controllers. Also, they're not Bluetooth headphones like some of the other gaming headsets we've tested like Turtle Beach Elite 800.

0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
N/A
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

These headphones are not Bluetooth compatible. If you want a gaming headset with Bluetooth support, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

These headphones do not come with an audio cable that you can use without the base station. Unlike some other gaming headset like the SteelSeries Arctis 7, the A20s will not be compatible with mobile devices and will not work with the Xbox One or the PS4's controller.

5.3 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
Proprietary Dock
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
Yes
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
USB
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
No

The Astro A20 come with a good base transmitter but do not have as many connection options as the A50s. They have an optical input and audio via the USB cable when plugged into your PC. Unfortunately, the base does not work across platforms so you won't be able to switch between your PS4 and Xbox One unless you purchase an additional base station, and they do not have a line-in, optical out or dock charging like the A50, which makes them less versatile.

7.3 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
31 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
105 ft

The Astro A20 have decent wireless range when the USB transmitter is obstructed and in direct line-of-sight. They will rarely cut out if you're gaming directly in front of your TV, but their range is a little shorter then typical Bluetooth headphones. This means if you have a large home or office, then they may start to cut out after 30ft.

8.2 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
62 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The A20 have low latency, making them a suitable option for gaming. They're slightly worse than some of the other gaming headsets we've tested at 62ms of latency, but you will rarely notice any sync issues between the audio and the images on the screen. This also makes them a good choice for home theater use.

In the box

Astro A20 In the box Picture

  • Astro A20 Headphones
  • Base Transmitter
  • USB Power and Data cable
  • Optical audio cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

Astro A20 Compare Picture

The A20 are a decent gaming headset with a good sound and build quality. They come with a base that's limited to the console variant you purchased and doesn't have as many inputs as Astro A50 or the SteelSeries Arctis 7, but it offers a good wireless range and low enough latency for gaming. They have a decently comfortable design although they can be a bit tight on the head for some users. If you value a good sound quality for your gaming headset and you mostly game on one console or PC, then they're a good choice. However, they won't be as versatile as some of the competing models below. See our recommendations for the best Xbox One headsets.

Astro A50

The Astro A50  is a great gaming headset with a wireless base that provides more connection options than the A20. These headphones are comfortable, have low latency suitable for gaming and a good set of wireless features including dock charging with their base. Unfortunately, like the A20s, they're not as compatible with all consoles. They're considerably more expensive than the A20 but have a better performance overall. If you have the budget, then get the Astro A50 since they're higher-end, better-sounding and better-built headset of the Astro lineup.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 is a good gaming headset with very low latency. These headphones have a decently balanced sound, they're Bluetooth-compatible and can be used wired. Unfortunately, they have a mediocre build quality that feels a bit cheaper than the Astro A20s despite being about the same price. They also have a poor noise canceling feature that makes their battery life relatively shorter than the Astros. If you need a headset you can use with your console, PC, and phone, then the Bluetooth-capable Stealth 700 are a good option but the A20s are better-sounding and more durable.

Astro A10

The Astro A10 are simple, wired gaming headphones. They have an excellent microphone and a low latency connection but won't be as versatile convenient as the A20s for gaming. Their range is limited since they are not wireless gaming headsets but their wired design is more compatible with consoles since you can just plug them into the controllers. Unfortunately, they do not support the Astro Command Center so you won't be able to customize them like the A20s but if you're on a tight budget, they could be a decently comfortable and well-built wired alternative.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a versatile gaming headset that can also be used wired as casual headphones. They have a lot more connectivity options than the Astro A20 but no optical input. However, since they have a wired option, you can use them with both the PS4 and the Xbox One when plugged into the controllers. They're a better gaming headset than the A20s and they're a bit better suited for a wide range of use cases but they're also bit more expensive. Get the Arctis 7 if you can, but the A20s are a viable option, especially if you only game on a single console or on PC.

Conclusion

6.6Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Astro A20 are above-average gaming headphones but won't be ideal for all use cases. They have a simple, well-built design with well-padded ear cups and a good base that offers an optical input. They're decently comfortable and have a fairly low latency for gaming and watching movies. However, they are limited by their transmitter, so you can't use them with a different console or outdoors and they're not designed for casual use.
7.7Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. The Astro A20 Wireless have a good bass and a decently balanced treble reproduction although they can be a bit bright with some tracks. They won't have the most spacious soundstage since their closed-back headphones, but on the upside, they should sound good enough even for more critical listeners.
5.6Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Poor for commuting. The Astro A20 are not made for traveling so they do not block a lot of noise, and they have a bulky design that doesn't fold. They're also limited by their USB transmitter so unless you use them with your laptop, on a long bus trip or flight, then they will not be suitable for travel.
5.6Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Sub-par for sports. They are not made for running and jogging. They're big and bulky headphones limited by their transmitter base.
6.5Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Average for office use. They don't block a lot of noise, so you will hear what's going on around you. They also leak quite a bit so they may distract your colleagues. On the upside, they're decently comfortable, they're compatible with PCs, and they have a long battery life so you can listen to your music continuously for hours.
6.6TV
Score components:
Average for home theater use. They have a good sound and a decent wireless range for most home theater set-ups. They also have a low enough latency to be suitable for watching movies and an optical input. Unfortunately, they do not have as many connection options as the A50, and they tend to be a bit tight on the head, which may get slightly uncomfortable during long viewing sessions.
7.3Gaming
Score components:
Above-average for gaming. The Astro A20 have low enough latency to be suitable for gaming, a convenient wireless design, and they're decently comfortable. They won't be the best headphones if you have a particularly noisy gaming environment, like being at a competition. However, they deliver on most aspects that make a good gaming headphone. They have a clear and reliable microphone, a good battery life with power saving features, and a well-balanced sound that you can customize through the Astro Command Center. Unfortunately, they are a little tight on the head which may get a bit fatiguing during long gaming marathons.

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