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Astro A20 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated May 19, 2020 at 02:11 pm
Astro A20 Wireless Picture
6.2
Mixed Usage
7.4
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
6.2
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
7.4
Wireless Gaming
6.0
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Astro A20 Wireless are decent wireless gaming headphones. They're easy-to-use and have good battery life. They're also fairly comfortable, but can be a bit tight on the head. Their USB transmitter provides a low-latency wireless connection while gaming on a console or PC. However, since they don't have an audio jack or Bluetooth support, they don't work for mobile gaming. Their default sound profile is also quite excited, and can even sound a bit sharp to some. They have a few EQ presets built directly into the headset though, and are also compatible with the Astro Command Center for more customization options. Note that we tested the Xbox One variant of this headset, but expect similar results for the PS4 variant.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The Astro A20 are specialized gaming headphones, so they're mediocre for mixed usage. They have a simple, well-built design and are decently comfortable, but need to be in range of their wireless USB transmitter to work. This gives them a fairly low latency for gaming or watching movies, but it also means you can't easily use them on-the-go. They also hardly isolate any noise and aren't very portable.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Good microphone noise handling.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Slightly tight fit.
7.4 Neutral Sound

The Astro A20 are decent headphones for neutral listening. Their default sound signature is fairly excited, with lots of punch and brightness. They sound a bit sharp and piercing, though, especially with brighter material or if you're sensitive to higher frequencies. On the upside, you can EQ the way they sound with their companion app, and they have a dedicated equalizer button so you can switch between different preset options on-the-fly.

5.5 Commute/Travel

The Astro A20 are poor for commuting. They're not designed with traveling in mind - they have a bulky design that's not very portable, and they don't block much noise. They're also limited by their wireless USB transmitter, so you can only really use them with your laptop on a long bus trip or flight.

6.2 Sports/Fitness

The Astro A20 are mediocre for sports. They're not made to be worn while running or working out and are limited by the range of their wireless transmitter. However, they have a decently stable fit, so if you wanted to jog on the treadmill in range of their base station, they could work.

5.9 Office

The Astro A20 are inadequate for office use. While you can set them up wirelessly with your PC, they don't block a lot of noise, so you'll likely hear most of what's going on around in the office. They also leak quite a bit of sound, which can distract your colleagues.

7.4 Wireless Gaming

The Astro A20 are decent wireless gaming headphones. They have a good microphone that sounds clear even in noisier environments, a solid 14-hour battery life with power-saving features, and are customizable in the Astro Command Center. On the downside, they fit a little tight on the head and sound a bit sharp out-of-the-box, which means they can be a bit fatiguing to wear during long gaming marathons.

6.0 Wired Gaming

The Astro A20 can't be used with a regular analog audio connection, so they aren't suitable for wired gaming.

6.7 Phone Calls

The Astro A20 are alright for phone calls. They don't support Bluetooth, so you can't use them with your mobile devices. However, if you connect their wireless USB transmitter to your computer, then they're a viable option for conference calls thanks to their good microphone quality.

  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 6.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.9 Office
  • 7.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Update 3/18/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Astro A20 have a visibly gamer-centric design. Like most Astro headphones they have square ear cups with neon color accents that give them a futuristic look. Their blocky style isn't the most versatile, however, especially since their microphone sticks out quite prominently and isn't detachable. However, if you like the gamer aesthetic, they look and feel quite premium overall. Note that we tested the Xbox One variant, which has green accents, but the PS4 variant has blue accents.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.8 lbs
Clamping Force
1.2 lbs

The Astro A20 are decently comfortable headphones. Their ear cups are roomy and well-padded, with a soft microfiber covering that feels nice on the skin. However, like the Astro A10, they fit a bit tight on the head since their ear cups don't swivel. They may loosen up slightly with repeated use, but, out-of-the-box, they're a bit fatiguing to wear during long gaming sessions.

6.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Xbox One
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 have an easy-to-use control scheme with a flip-to-mute mic. The channel mixing controls are conveniently located around the volume dial, which provides good feedback. The equalizer button cycles between three different EQ preset options that are customizable in the Astro Command Center software. However, there are no dedicated controls to play/pause your music.

6.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.6 C

These headphones are decently breathable thanks to their cloth padding. However, they still trap quite a bit of heat under their ear cups, so your ears can get a bit warm while gaming, especially at the end of a long tournament.

5.9
Design
Portability
L 6 "
W 6.9 "
H 2.8 "
Volume 116 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required Yes

The Astro A20 are bulky gaming headphones. While they're slightly more compact than the Astro A10, they only work in range of their wireless transmitter, which makes them much less portable.

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

These headphones don't come with a case.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Astro A20 are well-built headphones. They don't look quite as premium as the higher-end Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017, but they still feel like sturdy headphones. Despite being made mostly out of plastic, they feel solid enough to withstand a couple of accidental drops every now and then. While their boom mic isn't detachable, it's flexible enough to still feel quite durable.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Astro A20 have a decently stable fit. They stay in place on your head fairly well, so you don't have to worry about them sliding around too much in the heat of battle. Their wireless design also eliminates any cables from getting in your way thanks to their wireless design. However, they're not stable enough to wear while running or working out.

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

  • Astro A20 headphones
    • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Wireless base transmitter
    • Micro-USB power and data cable
    • Toslink optical audio cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.56 db
Treble Amount
0.38 db

These headphones have a fairly excited default sound profile. They have lots of punchy bass, but can also sound a bit boomy. Their treble is very bright and present, which helps cut through the extra bass but also makes them sound quite piercing, especially if you're sensitive to the higher frequencies. However, these headphones also have a few different EQ preset options that you can cycle through, and you can also customize the way they sound in more detail with the Astro Command Center software.

7.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.57 dB

The Astro A20 have decent frequency response consistency. They perform quite consistently in the bass range, although you might notice a slight drop in bass if you wear glasses. Their treble performance is a bit sensitive to positioning, however. Depending on how the headphones are seated on your head, they can sound a bit more, or less, sharp or piercing.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.45 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
23.78 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.34 dB
Mid-Bass
4.27 dB
High-Bass
4.36 dB

The Astro A20 have good bass accuracy. Their bass is full-bodied and punchy, but also slightly boomy. If you're playing an immersive single-player game, their extra bass can help make some sound effects more dramatic and engaging, but if you're playing a competitive FPS, you might find it a bit intense.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.79 dB
Low-Mid
0.24 dB
Mid-Mid
0.31 dB
High-Mid
-1.71 dB

These headphones have excellent mid-range accuracy. Instruments and sound effects in this range are accurately positioned and present. Voices in the high-mids are a bit more distant, but the range as a whole is still very well-balanced.

6.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.01 dB
Low-Treble
0.66 dB
Mid-Treble
7.4 dB
High-Treble
-3.84 dB

The Astro A20's treble accuracy is passable. The under-emphasis in the high-mids continues into low-treble, but the rest of the range is significantly overemphasized. This means that while some frequencies lack a bit of detail, their treble still sounds very bright and present. If you're sensitive to sounds in the higher frequencies, you'll likely find these headphones sound quite sharp, piercing, or even painful to listen to.

6.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.35 db
Dips
1.5 db

Their peaks/dips performance is okay. The wide bump in the bass range brings some excess boominess to their sound, but it's not too bad. However, the abrupt dip in high-mid/low-treble followed by the sharp peak in mid-treble makes them sound more unbalanced in these ranges, with certain frequencies lacking detail while others sound excessively sharp.

8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.27
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.11
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.2
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.77

These headphones have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is within good limits, and the graph also shows that the response never crosses the audibility threshold, indicating a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, both the left and drivers of our unit are well-matched in phase and amplitude, so voices, instruments, and video game effects are accurately placed and localized in the stereo image.

7.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.03 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.67 dB
PRTF Distance
13.28 dB
Openness
6.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
5.5

The Astro A20 have a decent soundstage. The pinna activation is quite accurate, suggesting a soundstage that's relatively large and natural. It still sounds as if it's inside your head, as opposed to outside in front of you.

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

The Astro A20 are advertised to support Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic 3D spatial audio on Windows PC.

8.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.176
WHD @ 100
0.087

The Astro A20 have great weighted harmonic distortion performance. Even at higher volumes, these headphones produce a clean and pure sound.

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

The test results are valid for the headphones with these settings.

Isolation
3.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-10.42 dB
Bass
0.27 dB
Mid
-4.06 dB
Treble
-27.58 dB

The Astro A20 isolate a poor amount of noise. They don't reduce any noise in the bass range, and their mid-range isolation is barely noticeable. They reduce a bit more noise in the treble range, but it's still not great. If you're gaming in a noisy environment with these headphones, you'll hear the ambient noise seep into your audio.

5.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
48.78 dB

Their leakage performance is sub-par. It sounds quite full and is also rather loud. You probably won't bother people in another room, but if you share your living room with family or roommates, they may overhear sound coming from these headphones.

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

These gaming headphones have a non-detachable boom microphone.

7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
91.1 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.96 dB
HFE
1974.03 Hz
Weighted THD
0.157
Gain
43.26 dB

The Astro A20's microphone recording quality is decent. Speech recorded and transmitted with the mic sounds relatively full-bodied, but lacking in brightness and detail. Your voice should still sound fairly clear and easy-to-understand, though.

7.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
27.21 dB

Their microphone has very good noise handling. It separates speech from ambient noise quite well, even in noisy environments like a gaming convention. However, it struggles more in extremely loud and demanding situations.

Active Features
7.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
14 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
14 hrs
Charge Time
3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The Astro A20 have a good battery performance. They get 14 hours of battery life on a single charge and automatically power down when no music is playing. While they take quite a while to charge, you can use them with their wireless transmitter to get audio and mic support while they're charging. However, they can't be used passively with a regular audio cable.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Astro Command Center
iOS No
Android No
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

Update 04/19/2019: We've slightly adjusted the score of the Astro Command Center to better reflect its features when compared to other gaming software and software updates.

The Astro A20 have good compatibility with the Astro Command Center. You gain access to a graphic equalizer so you can customize your own EQ presets and assign them to the equalizer button on the headset. There's also microphone tab that gives you control over the microphone's sound profile and noise gate.

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

These headphones aren't Bluetooth compatible. If you want a gaming headset with Bluetooth support, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless.

7.7
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
105 ft
Non-BT Latency
62 ms

The Astro A20 have a low latency non-Bluetooth wireless connection, making them a suitable option for gaming.

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

Unfortunately, these headphones don't support audio over a wired connection. You can, however, use them while charging, but they still get audio from their wireless transmitter.

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

The Xbox One version of the Astro A20 only provides audio on the PS4. However, it also has a "PC Mode" for full support on PC. Although we haven't tested it, the PS4 variant is expected to work with both PC and PS4.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
Audio + Microphone

Since this headset has a variant that's optimized for the Xbox One, you get full audio and microphone support with this console.

4.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless Dock
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
Yes
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

The Astro A20 come with a base transmitter that provides a wireless connection but is inferior to other models. The base connects to your console via USB and optical, but there are no other features. It doesn't work across platforms, so you can't easily switch between a PS4 and Xbox One, nor can you pair multiple headsets to a single base station.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

There are two variants of these headphones, one for Xbox One/PC and another for PS4/PC. We tested the Xbox One variant, but we expect the PS4 variant to perform similarly.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Astro A20 are well-built wireless gaming headphones with a good microphone and battery life. However, they're less comfortable than the more premium Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019, sound less neutral by default than the Corsair HS70 Wireless, and can't be used wired like the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless. They're still a decent option overall, but there are better options available. See our recommendations for the best Xbox One headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.

Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017 โ€‹are noticeably better gaming headphones than the Astro A20 Wireless. The A50 are better made and are noticeably more comfortable, which is great for long gaming sessions. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is also slightly more neutral and their microphone has a more natural recording quality. The A50 charging dock also has inputs, which is convenient. On the other hand, the A20 have slightly better battery life and take less time to charge. However, their latency is also higher than the A50.

Astro A10
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A20 Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Astro A10. The A20 wireless design gives you more freedom and more range to play from your couch. You also get channel mixing and a mic mute switch, which are features the A10 are lacking. On the other hand, the A10 will give you a gaming experience without any delay, and their microphone is noticeably better than the wireless A20. However, the A20 have better sound quality and a companion app that lets you EQ the sound to your liking. Unfortunately, you can’t use the headset wired, so you’ll need to keep it charged, which you won’t have to do with the wired A10.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A20 is a more neutral sounding gaming headset than the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. You also have access to an EQ in the Astro Command Center app to customize them to your liking. However, if you need a microphone to play online with friends, the Stealth 700 has the edge in that category. Speech transmitted will be clearer and decently full-bodied. On the other hand, the Astros feel better-built and not as plasticky as the Stealth 700, but you won’t be able to stream music via Bluetooth while gaming, which you can do with the Turtle Beach headset.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 are better wired gaming headphones compared to the Astro A20 Wireless. The A40 are more comfortable, have a slightly better build, and their boom microphone outperforms the A20. They also have a MixAmp that allows you to make audio adjustments on the fly as well as a wired USB connection that offers full microphone and audio support to the PS4 and Xbox One. However, the A20 come in console variants, which is nice if you're dedicated to one gaming platform over another, and they have 14 hours of continuous battery life.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless and the Astro A20 Wireless are both decent wireless gaming headphones. The Astro feel much better-built and are easier-to-use, but the Turtle Beach are more comfortable. While the Turtle Beach also have a more neutral sound profile by default and longer battery life, their microphone doesn't perform as well as the Astro's.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 are slightly better wireless gaming headphones than the Astro A20 Wireless. The Arctis 7 are a bit more comfortable, feel better-built and more stable, have a better-balanced sound profile, a better microphone, a longer battery life, and can be used wired. On the other hand, the A20 have better controls, are much more consistent among different users, and have a wider and more open soundstage.

LucidSound LS31 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LucidSound LS31 is a better gaming headset than the Astro A20. It has lower latency, is more comfortable, and has more control options thanks to the channel mixing dials. It also has a better microphone for online gaming, and its battery life lasts a bit longer than the Astros. On the other hand, the A20 have better sound quality and also have an app to EQ the headphones to your liking. Unfortunately, they can’t be used wired like the LS31 can, and their latency and wireless range are a bit worse.

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Astro A20 Wireless Price

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