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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.6 update for Headphones! Read the Latency R&D Article to learn more.

Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Review updated Nov 30, 2023 at 04:41 pm
Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless Picture
7.3
Neutral Sound
5.0
Commute/Travel
6.1
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
7.2
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Calls

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. On the upside, even though they come in console-specific variants, you can always purchase an additional dongle for cross-platform compatibility.

Our Verdict

7.3 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. However, 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.
5.0 Commute/Travel

The Astro A20 (Gen 2) are poor for commuting and traveling, though they aren't designed for this 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 will 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.
6.0 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 can't stream music off 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.
7.2 Wireless Gaming

The Astro A20 (Gen 2) are decent for wireless gaming. They're decently comfortable and have very low wireless latency, so you won'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 will 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 via 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.
  • 7.3 Neutral Sound
  • 5.0 Commute/Travel
  • 6.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 7.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Nov 30, 2023: We've updated this review's text to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. Updated Nov 02, 2023: The following test group has been updated following TB 1.6: Wireless Connection (Dongle). There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages and product comparisons to match these results.
  3. Updated Nov 02, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  4. Updated Apr 22, 2022: We've retested non-Bluetooth wireless latency as our original results seemed to indicate a communication issue between our software and headphones, which didn't reflect real-life usage. The new measurements are a result of changes to our methodology, and the scoring of this test has changed.
  5. Updated Jan 18, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  6. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Review published.
  7. Updated Feb 02, 2021: Early access published.
  8. Updated Dec 24, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  9. Updated Dec 22, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  10. Updated Dec 18, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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 compatible with PlayStation consoles and PCs, while the 'White/Green' variant is compatible with Xbox consoles and PCs, so it's important to ensure you get the right variant for your needs.

If you come across a different variant, let us know in the forums 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, look at our recommendations for the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best wireless gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets.

Astro A10 Gen 2

The Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless and the Astro A10 Gen 2 have different strengths. The A20 deliver more bass, which can make game audio more immersive. They have a wireless design and a more comprehensive control scheme, including controls for channel mixing. However, you might prefer the A10 because they have a wired design and only come in one variant compatible with PlayStation, Xbox, and PCs. The A20 come in separate variants depending on your console, so they aren't quite as versatile.

Astro A30 Wireless

The Astro A30 Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless. The A30 are better-built, have a better mic performance, thanks to their detachable boom mic, and have a significantly longer continuous battery life. They also have companion app support, so you can adjust their sound to your liking, and support Bluetooth, so you can use them casually or stay connected to your console and PC simultaneously. That said, the A20 Gen 2 have a more spacious and immersive passive soundstage. 

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.

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, and more consistent audio delivery. 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.

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.

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.

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 deliver audio more consistently.

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.

HyperX Cloud III

The HyperX Cloud III are better than the Astro A20 Gen 2 Wireless. The HyperX are better-built, more comfortable, and offer a better mic performance. They have sound customization features in their companion software. However, you may prefer the Astro because of their default sound profile, which packs more bass. They also create a wider, more spacious-seeming passive soundstage, which helps make gameplay more immersive.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

They 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 you can't remove their boom microphone. Note that the Xbox variant of these headphones have a green-and-white color scheme. The PlayStation variant of these headphones have a white design with blue accents.

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 can cause a bit of discomfort if you have large ears, as they won't fully accommodate your ear.

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 audio cues or physical feedback once you reach a maximum setting. There's also no way of determining the voice/game balance either.

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 will start to get toasty during long listening sessions.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 7.3" (18.5 cm)
W 8.1" (20.6 cm)
H 3.4" (8.6 cm)
Volume 200.70 inยณ (3,288.87 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required Yes

They 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
7.5
Design
Build Quality

These over-ears are well-built. They're mostly made of plastic with cloth ear cup padding and a silicone-like material lining the headband. On the downside, the mic isn't detachable. Still, they feel sturdy enough to survive being accidentally dropped without taking too much damage.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Astro A20 (Gen 2) are decently stable. They won't have much trouble staying in place if you wear them while gaming, but they 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. The exaggerated mid and treble ranges are meant to help dialogue and instruments sparkle amongst the extra bass, but it can sound harsh. Sibilants like cymbals also 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

These over-ears have great frequency response consistency. You won't experience too much of a deviation in bass delivery on separate occasions, but 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 will please fans of action-heavy games with a lot of explosions and gunshots, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.

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 sound full-bodied and present within the mix. However, a bump in the high-mid gives these notes a harsh, honky quality.

6.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.54 dB
Low-Treble
4.29 dB
Mid-Treble
6.65 dB
High-Treble
-3.59 dB

These over-ears 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. There are some deviations from the sound profile, meaning the headphones struggle to control their sound profile. A peak in the low bass range adds extra thump and rumble to some mixes. Meanwhile, a dip in the low-mid affects the left driver more prominently and thins out dialogue, vocals, and lead instruments. Spikes in the low-treble range make vocals and lead instruments from the left driver sound harsh, while the peak in the mid-treble affects the right driver more, giving sibilants a piercing, painful quality.

4.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
10.51
Weighted Phase Mismatch
70.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.37
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.83

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

These over-ears have a decent passive soundstage. Even though they're closed-back headphones, their soundstage feels fairly open, wide, and natural. However, your audio will seem to come from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.347
WHD @ 100
0.124

They have good weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's a bit of distortion at moderate listening volumes in the low-mid range. However, it only affects the right ear at moderate volume, and the spikes are a bit hard to hear with real-life content as they affect a narrow portion of the frequency 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
2.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-6.5 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
0.17 dB
Mid
-0.9 dB
Treble
-18.59 dB

These gaming headphones have terrible noise isolation performance. They filter out almost no ambient noise across the bass and mid ranges, so you'll hear the low rumble of passing trucks from an open window 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 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. Audio bleed is mostly concentrated from the mid to treble range, which sounds somewhat thin. However, if you're gaming at high volumes and in a shared place like a living room, others around you can hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
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 flippable boom mic delivers mediocre recording quality. Recorded speech sounds thin and muffled but fairly natural and mostly free of distortion.

7.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
22.8 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The boom mic's noise handling performance is good. Even if you're talking to teammates in a noisy environment like a shared living room, your voice will be clear and easy to follow. If you're looking for gaming headphones with even better noise handling performance, try the ROCCAT Syn Pro Air Wireless.

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

These over-ears have a great overall battery performance. The manufacturer advertises them to last fifteen hours continuously, exceeding the older Astro A20 Wireless' roughly 14-hour battery life. While we measured over that, it's important to note that battery life varies depending on your usage, including your volume level and mic use. That said, there's a built-in auto-off timer, which turns the headphones off after ten minutes. They don't support passive playback, but you can use them while charging via their USB cable.

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

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

0
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Quick Pair (Android)
No
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - SBC
N/A
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Recorded Latency Codec No Bluetooth Audio
AAC Support
No
8.8
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
130.00 ft (39.62 m)
Latency - Dongle
22 ms
Recorded Latency

Although we measured very high negative latency when we first tested these headphones, we've improved our latency methodology. Our results better reflect the headphones' capabilities and what you can expect with your own unit. As a result, the Astro A20 (Gen 2) have quite low latency, so you can game without worrying about lip sync issues.

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

Whether you have the PlayStation, Xbox, or PlayStation variant of these headphones, you can wirelessly connect them to your PC with full audio and mic support.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

These headphones' PC and PlayStation variants can wirelessly connect to PlayStation consoles using their dongle. If you have the Xbox variant, you won't be able to connect them to this console.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

The PlayStation and PC variants of the Astro A20 (Gen 2) aren't compatible with Xbox consoles. However, the 'Green/White' variant comes with a dongle that's compatible with Xbox consoles and PCs.

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. It's either compatible with PlayStation consoles and PCs or Xbox consoles and PCs, depending on the variant. However, you can always purchase an additional dongle with the compatibility you want down the road. As we tested the PlayStation variant, a white indicator light showed that the dongle was in PC compatibility mode. However, pressing the button on its top surface turned the light to a solid blue, denoting it was in PlayStation compatibility mode.

Note: Our dongle was stuck in PlayStation compatibility mode during testing, and it took several re-pairing attempts to revert it to the PC compatibility mode.