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Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Feb 08, 2021 at 09:04 am
Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless Picture
6.0
Mixed Usage
7.4
Neutral Sound
5.1
Commute/Travel
6.1
Sports/Fitness
5.7
Office
7.4
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless are the second generation of the Astro A20 Wireless. They have a reasonably well-balanced sound profile, low wireless audio latency with compatible devices, and enough battery life for long gaming marathons. Unfortunately, since they have a plug-in-and-play design, they also don't feature any virtual soundstage features and aren't Bluetooth-compatible. Note that we tested the PS4/PS5 and PC-compatible variant, and we can't currently confirm that the Xbox One/Xbox Series X and PC-compatible variant will perform similarly.

Our Verdict

6.0 Mixed Usage

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are mediocre for mixed usage. They're quite bulky and aren't Bluetooth-compatible, which severely limits their suitability for day-to-day use since they can't be used with your phone out-of-the-box. They also leak a lot of audio and let in a lot of ambient noise, which may be annoying during your commute or time at the office. On the plus side, they have a reasonably versatile sound profile and feel quite well-made.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Long battery life.
  • Decently comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
  • Lack of Bluetooth compatibility.
7.4 Neutral Sound

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are decent for neutral sound. They have a slightly V-shaped sound profile that's still reasonably well-balanced overall. The overemphasized bass response adds a little more thump and rumble to mixes without overwhelming dialogue or lead instrumentals, though the exaggerated treble range can make some notes sound piercing and harsh. They also feature three onboard EQ presets to adjust your listening experience.

Pros
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • No physical playback controls.
5.1 Commute/Travel

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are poor for commuting and traveling, though they aren't designed for this kind of use. Since they aren't Bluetooth-compatible, you need an adapter to plug their USB dongle into your phone. They block out almost no ambient noise in the bass and mid-range, like the low rumble of bus engines and the chatter of other passengers. They're also quite bulky and lack any sort of carrying case. Thankfully, they're decently comfortable and should have enough battery life for long trips.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Long battery life.
  • Decently comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
  • Lack of Bluetooth compatibility.
  • No physical playback controls.
6.1 Sports/Fitness

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are passable for sports and fitness, though this isn't their intended use. You need an adapter to plug their dongle into your phone, which isn't especially practical. They're also fairly bulky overall. That said, while they might fall off if you wear them while working out, their wireless design eliminates the risk of having an audio cable snag on something while you're on the move. They also feel quite well-made.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Long battery life.
  • Decently comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Lack of Bluetooth compatibility.
  • No physical playback controls.
5.7 Office

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are middling for office use. They leak a lot of audio, so you may annoy people nearby if you listen to content at a high volume. They also let in a lot of ambient noise, meaning that you're likely to hear the chatter of coworkers nearby. Since they aren't Bluetooth-compatible, you also can't stream music off of your phone while remaining connected to your PC.

Pros
  • Long battery life.
  • Decently comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
  • Lack of Bluetooth compatibility.
  • High levels of audio leakage.
7.4 Wireless Gaming

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are satisfactory for wireless gaming. They're decently comfortable and have very low wireless latency, so you shouldn't miss a crucial audio cue or line of dialogue in the moment. They also have a fairly well-balanced sound profile with just a little added bass, which should emphasize sound effects without overwhelming more delicate audio. Unfortunately, while their boom mic is fairly effective at isolating your speech from ambient noise so teammates can hear you clearly in noisy environments, recorded speech sounds a little thin and muffled.

Pros
  • Low wireless audio latency.
  • Decent microphone noise handling capability.
Cons
  • Mediocre microphone recording quality.
  • Lack of Bluetooth compatibility.
5.6 Wired Gaming

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are wireless-only headphones and can't be used on a wired connection.

6.1 Phone Calls

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are unremarkable for making phone calls. They let in a lot of ambient noise, so you may have trouble following what's being said on a call. Also, their boom microphone makes your voice sound thin and muffled. Thankfully, it does a decent job of isolating your voice from fairly loud ambient noise.

Pros
  • Decent microphone noise handling capability.
  • Decently comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Mediocre microphone recording quality.
  • Terrible noise isolation capability.
  • 6.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 5.1 Commute/Travel
  • 6.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.7 Office
  • 7.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Astro A20 Gen 2 look very similar to their predecessor, the Astro A20 Wireless. They have an eye-catching color scheme along with Astro's distinctive blocky headband shape. They aren't likely to be confused for anything other than gaming headphones, especially as their boom microphone can't be removed. Note that the Xbox variant of these headphones have a green and white color scheme.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
0.7 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. They feel lightweight on your head and have fairly plush microfiber-lined ear cups. Unfortunately, the ear cups don't swivel, which could cause a bit of discomfort if you have large ears.

6.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
PC/PS4
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
Yes
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Astro A20 Gen 2's control scheme is passable. It's easy to use, with dedicated buttons for power on/off, EQ preset cycling, and channel mixing between game and voice audio. You can mute the mic by simply flipping it upwards. There's also an infinite scrolling wheel for volume adjustment, though it doesn't offer any audio cues or physical feedback once you've reached a maximum setting. There's also no way of determining the voice/game balance.

6.5
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.8 ยฐC

These headphones are fairly breathable. While they don't trap as much heat as some over-ear headphones thanks to their microfiber ear cup padding, your ears are still likely to start sweating during long listening sessions.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 7.3"
W 8.1"
H 3.4"
Volume 200.7 inยณ
Transmitter Required Yes

The Astro A20 Gen 2 aren't very portable. They're quite bulky, and since their ear cups don't swivel flat, they can be hard to store in a bag or pouch, though their boom mic can swivel upwards to avoid snagging on something. You also need to carry around their wireless transmitter for them to work.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don't have a case or pouch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These over-ears are well-built. The ear cups, hinges, and headband have a fairly high-grade plastic construction that should survive a couple of drops and bumps. The cloth padding on the ear cups and the silicone-like material lining the headband are also quite soft. Unfortunately, these headphones don't have an IP rating for dust or water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are decently stable. They shouldn't have too much trouble staying in place if you're wearing them while gaming but can fall off with vigorous head movements. Thankfully, their wireless design eliminates the risk of having an audio cable snag on another object and yanking them from your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Astro A20 Gen 2 headphones
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • USB wireless dongle
  • Quick Start guide

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.15 dB
Treble Amount
0.72 dB

When using the 'ASTRO' EQ preset, these over-ears have a somewhat excited V-shaped sound profile. Their bass range is slightly overemphasized, which can intensify the thump and rumble of sound effects in action-heavy games, but it doesn't totally overwhelm more delicate in-game dialogue or music. Their exaggerated treble range can make some higher notes, like cymbals, sound piercing. If this isn't to your liking, you can cycle through three built-in EQ presets: 'Astro', which emphasizes bass, 'Pro', which emphasizes vocals and dialogue, and 'Studio', which provides a more neutral listening experience.

8.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.39 dB

The Astro A20 Gen 2 offer great frequency response consistency. You shouldn't experience too much of a deviation in bass delivery on separate occasions, though a slight drop in bass may occur if you wear glasses or have thick hair, which can interfere with their seal against your ears. Treble delivery can vary a little more noticeably depending on their fit and positioning.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.72 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
19.15 Hz
Low-Bass
2.06 dB
Mid-Bass
3.08 dB
High-Bass
2.83 dB

These over-ears have great bass accuracy. Most of the range is overemphasized but very flat, yielding a bit of extra thump, punch, and warmth without sounding too boomy or muddy. This should please fans of action-heavy games or listeners of genres like EDM and hip-hop.

8.1
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.58 dB
Low-Mid
0.8 dB
Mid-Mid
1.86 dB
High-Mid
2.8 dB

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have impressive mid accuracy. Most of the range is fairly flat, so voices, vocals, and lead instrumentals should sound full-bodied and present within the mix. However, a minor overemphasis in the high-mids can give these notes a slightly harsh, honky quality.

5.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.54 dB
Low-Treble
4.29 dB
Mid-Treble
6.65 dB
High-Treble
-3.59 dB

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have sub-par treble accuracy. The entire range is overemphasized, meaning that dialogue, vocals, and lead instruments can sound harsh and painful while higher notes, like sibilants, can have a piercing quality. Since their treble delivery can vary a little depending on their fit and positioning, your experience may vary.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.91 dB
Dips
0.92 dB

These headphones have satisfactory peaks and dips performance. A peak in the low bass range adds extra thump and rumble to some mixes. Meanwhile, a dip in the low-mids can thin out dialogue, vocals, and lead instruments. Spikes in the low and mid-treble range can make vocals and lead instruments sound harsh and give sibilants a piercing, painful quality.

N/A
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
N/A
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
N/A
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
N/A
Weighted Phase Mismatch
N/A

We encountered issues in testing the Astro A20 Gen 2's stereo imaging performance. The results obtained are not indicative of the headphones' real-world performance, and we are currently investigating the cause of this discrepancy. While we haven't evaluated their performance accurately in this regard, other comparable Astro headsets, like the Astro A20 Wireless, generally deliver great stereo imaging performance, resulting in the accurate placement of objects like voices and footsteps within the stereo image.

7.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.82 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.82 dB
PRTF Distance
8.89 dB
Openness
9.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
6.3

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have a decent passive soundstage. It should be perceived as being fairly open and natural, but also as though it's coming from inside your head instead of out in front of you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

The Astro A20 Gen 2 don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.347
WHD @ 100
0.124

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have good weighted harmonic distortion performance. Audio reproduction should be clean and pure at both moderate and high listening volumes, though some users may notice a bit of distortion at moderate listening volumes in the low-mid range.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Wireless (Proprietary)
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Astro
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test the Astro A20 Gen 2. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
2.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-6.5 dB
Bass
0.17 dB
Mid
-0.9 dB
Treble
-18.59 dB

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have terrible noise isolation performance. They filter out almost no ambient noise across the bass and mid ranges so you're likely to hear the low rumble of passing trucks as well as chatter from people nearby. They do a better job of isolating you from higher-pitched background noise, like the hum of an AC unit, but their performance in this regard is still sub-par.

4.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
51.51 dB

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have poor audio leakage performance. People nearby may be annoyed by escaping audio if you listen to content at high volumes, even in a busy environment like an office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have a flippable boom microphone.

6.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
522.85 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.6 dB
HFE
3,417.19 Hz
Weighted THD
0.672
Gain
19.17 dB

The boom mic delivers mediocre recording quality. Recorded speech is likely to sound thin and muffled, but fairly natural and mostly free of distortion.

7.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
22.8 dB

The boom mic's noise handling performance is decent. Teammates and people on the other end of a phone call should be able to understand you, even if you're in a loud or crowded environment.

Active Features
8.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
19.7 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
19.7 hrs
Charge Time
3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Astro A20 Gen 2 have impressive overall battery performance. They provide almost 20 hours of continuous playback time, which outlasts the advertised claim of 15 hours and exceeds the older Astro A20 Wireless' roughly 14-hour battery life. It should be noted, however, that battery life can vary depending on your real-life usage. They also feature a 10-minute auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. While these headphones don't support any sort of passive playback option on a wired connection, you can use them while they're charging.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones don't have a dedicated companion app.

Note: The Astro Command Center companion software can be used to update their firmware, but no update is currently available, and we were unable to connect to the software in the meantime.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

The Astro A20 Gen 2 aren't Bluetooth-compatible.

9.4
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
130 ft
Non-BT Latency
0 ms

The Astro A20 Gen 2's USB dongle offers a decently long transmission range and very low latency, making them a great fit for gaming.

Note: The result of the 'Non-BT Latency' test isn't an input error and could be a consequence of YouTube overcompensating for wireless audio latency.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These over-ears don't support any wired connections. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

This variant of the Astro A20 Gen 2 offers full audio and microphone compatibility with PS4 and PS5 consoles as well as PCs when using their USB dongle. Pressing a button on the USB dongle switches between PlayStation and PC compatibility, which is indicated by a blue or white light, respectively.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

This variant of the Astro A20 Gen 2 isn't compatible with Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles.

Note: The 'Green/White' variant of these headphones is advertised as being compatible with Xbox One consoles and PCs, but we haven't currently tested it.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

These over-ears come with a wireless USB dongle for use with PS4 consoles and PCs. A white indicator light shows that the dongle is in PC compatibility mode, but pressing the button on its top surface turns the light to a solid blue, denoting that it's in PS4 compatibility mode.

Note: The dongle did get stuck in the PS4 compatibility mode during testing, and it took several re-pairing attempts to revert it to the PC compatibility mode.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Astro A20 Gen 2 come in two variants: 'White/Blue' and 'White/Green'. We tested the 'White/Blue' variant, and you can see its label here. The 'White/Blue' variant is advertised as being compatible with PS4 consoles and PCs, while the 'White/Green' variant is listed as being compatible with Xbox One consoles and PCs, though we haven't tested their performance.

If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Astro A20 Gen 2 are simple wireless gaming headphones. Compared to their predecessor, the Astro A20 Wireless, they have a longer battery life, more consistent audio delivery, and lower wireless latency, though they're similarly designed otherwise. If you're looking for alternatives, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best wireless gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets.

Astro A20 Wireless

The Astro A20 Wireless and Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless perform similarly overall. The older A20 are sightly more breathable, a little more compact, are currently compatible with the Astro Command Center companion software, and offer superior overall microphone performance. The Gen 2 have a longer battery life, more consistent audio delivery, and lower wireless latency.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless are wireless over-ear headphones that are good for different uses. The Beats are designed for casual day-to-day use, as they're Bluetooth-compatible and can be easily paired with your phone. They're also better-made, a little easier to carry around, and block out a lot more ambient noise courtesy of their ANC system. Meanwhile, the Astro aren't Bluetooth-compatible but offer lower wireless audio latency when using their wireless USB dongle, which is good for gaming. Their boom mic also delivers superior recording quality and noise handling capability than the Beats' integrated unit.

SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless are better for wireless gaming than the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless. The SteelSeries are more comfortable, better-built, have a more comprehensive, easier to use control scheme, and offer superior overall microphone performance. They can also be used on a wired connection thanks to their included 1/8" TRRS cable. Meanwhile, the Astro deliver audio more consistently.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless

The Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless are better for wireless gaming than the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless. The Astro have an easier-to-use control scheme, better build quality, a more stable fit, more consistent audio delivery, and lower wireless latency. Meanwhile, the Turtle Beach are comfier, have a longer battery life, lower audio leakage, and superior noise isolation performance. They also offer better microphone recording quality, though their boom mic doesn't isolate speech from background noise as well as the Astro's mic.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Wireless

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Wireless are more versatile than the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless. The Turtle Beach are Bluetooth-compatible, allowing you to stream music from your phone or chat with friends while gaming. They're also slightly more portable, better-built, block out more ambient noise, have a more stable fit, and offer superior microphone recording quality. Conversely, the Astro last longer on a charge and exhibit lower wireless audio latency.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless are better wireless gaming headphones than the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless. The SteelSeries are comfier, better-built, have a more stable fit, block out more ambient noise, leak less audio, and have better overall microphone performance. They also have longer continuous battery life and offer full microphone and audio compatibility on all devices with an AUX port thanks to their included 1/8" TRRS cable. However, the Astro have lower non-Bluetooth audio latency and deliver audio more consistently.

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