The Astro A40 TR MixAmp Pro are great gaming headphones that are not very versatile for other uses. They are well-built and very comfortable for long gaming sessions. Their audio quality is good, with overemphasized bass. They have a great microphone for online multiplayer gaming and their dock gives good controls. They are advertised to be console locked to either the PS4 or Xbox One, but when using the optical cable, which is needed on either console, we managed to get audio and mic support on both (tested with the Xbox One model variant). Unfortunately, the headset is very bulky. Due to the open-back design, they won’t be ideal to use in a loud environment. Note that we tested the Xbox One variant of this headset, but we expect similar results for the PS4 variant.
The Astro A40 MixAmp are well-built and very comfortable gaming headphones. They are a wired version of the very similar Astro A50. Their style and design won’t be great for outdoor use, especially since they are open-back headphones. The materials used feel premium, but the plastic headband feels fairly cheap. They come with an amp that offers good controls, but you don’t have to use it to make the headphones work, which is the case with the wireless A50's base station. Unfortunately, they won’t offer the freedom of a wireless design, but their long cables should give you enough range to play from your couch without a problem.
The Astro A40 are very similar in design to the Astro A50, but they have a different color scheme and are wired headphones. They look and feel like gaming headphones with their bulky and flashy design, which won’t be great for outdoor use. On the upside, you can remove the mic on the A40, which you couldn’t do on the A50. These headphones look well-made and sturdy, but definitely stand out. The PS4 model variant is black, while the white model is compatible with Xbox One.
The Astro A40 Xbox One are very comfortable headphones to wear during long gaming sessions. Like the Astro A50, the cups are large and spacious, which means most ear sizes should fit in. They are a bit heavy, but the soft ear cup and headband padding distribute the pressure well. Some may feel fatigue after a while due to their weight, but they do feel a bit less tight than the A50, which some may prefer.
The A40 MixAmp have good gaming controls, but they don’t offer call and music management, which shouldn’t be an issue for most gamers. They come with an in-line remote that only has a mic-mute button, which is connected to the MixAmp, which offers multiple controls. You get a volume knob and a channel mixing one which has a notch in the middle, for an equal 50/50 mix between game and chat audio. The MixAmp also allows you to cycle through the EQ presets and enable/disable Dolby Surround Sound. The power button also allows you to switch between console and PC mode. The buttons are easy to use and offer good feedback, but the volume knob doesn’t feel as nice as the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 SuperAmp.
Even if the Astro A40 are technically open-back headphones, they trap as much heat as the closed-back Astro A50. However, the difference in temperature overall is not too drastic and won’t be too warm. The pads still create a good seal around the ears, which obstructs a decent amount of airflow. These are not sports headphones and won’t be a good option to work out with, but this shouldn’t be too big of a problem when gaming.
The Astro A40 TR Xbox One are very bulky gaming headphones. They are not very portable, but they do not need to be used with the MixAmp and you can detach the mic if you ever want to use them outside. The cups don’t fold into a more compact format, but they do swivel to lay flat, which makes it easier to slide them in a bag. These gaming headphones won’t be very outdoor-friendly and should stay around your gaming setup most of the time.
The Astro A40 do not come with a case or a pouch.
The Astro A40 TR MixAmp Pro are very well-built gaming headphones. The materials used are premium and the overall build feels sturdy. The cups are dense and should survive a few accidental drops without too much damage. However, like the Astro A50, the headband is somewhat open and a little hollow with only a plastic mid-section resting on the head. It's flexible but doesn't feel as resistant as a regular headband, especially those with a metal frame.
These headphones are not very stable and won't be ideal for anything but casual listening sessions and gaming. They're not too tight on the head and the ear cups are bulky and heavy, which causes the headphones to sway a lot if you use them while doing any physical activities. This means they won't be suitable to go jogging with as they are not designed for that use.
They have a powerful and extended bass and a virtually flawless mid-range, but a just okay treble that is underemphasized and lacking in detail. Their bass is also prone to inconsistencies and is noticeably overdone, but some may prefer the extra thump of it. However, they sound muddy and slightly cluttered. Overall, they will be better-suited for bass-heavy genres and video games with lots of explosions. We measured these headphones with the “Natural Bass” EQ preset. For a more neutral sounding wired gaming headset, we suggest taking a look at the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition or at the newer version of this headset, the Astro A40 2019.
The frequency response consistency is sub-par. Their bass delivery is inconsistent across our human subjects and the maximum deviation at 20Hz is about 6dB. If you have a lot of hair between the headphones and your ears, or have glasses that are not flush to your temple, then you may experience a noticeable drop in bass. In the treble range, we measured more than 9dB of deviation under 10kHz, which is not good and will be noticeable as well.
The bass range performance of the A40 is decent. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is down at 10Hz, which is excellent. The response throughout the range is very flat, but it is noticeably overemphasized. There’s an average of 4dB over our target curve in the response. This will result in excess thump and rumble, which some may like, but will also make the sound noticeably boomy and muddy. Overall, the bass of the A40 is overdone, and there is a small mismatch between our drivers in the low-bass.
Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users and is sensitive to the quality of the fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.
The A40’s mid-range is excellent. The response throughout the range is virtually flawless after 400Hz and follows our target curve very well. There is a small 1.6dB bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the overemphasis in high-bass. This will result lightly make the vocals and lead instruments thick and cluttered, but this won’t be too noticeable. Overall, vocals and leads will be accurately reproduced.
The treble performance of the A40 is just okay. The response throughout the range is noticeably under our target curve. This results in a bit of lack in brightness and detail on vocals and leads. However, not everyone experiences treble frequencies the same way, so your listening experience may differ, especially since they don’t deliver sound consistently across different users.
The imaging is excellent. Their weighted group delay is at 0.17, which is within very good limits. The group delay graph also shows that the entire GD response is below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude and phase response, but there was some room for improvement in terms of frequency matching. Regardless, objects (like footsteps) and instruments will be located very accurately in the stereo image on these headphones. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.
The Astro A40 have a decent soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna activation with good accuracy. However, there's no deep 10kHz notch present. 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. Their open-back design will help make them more open-sounding than the similarly designed, but closed-back A50.
By design, the open-back Astro A40 are not suitable to use in loud environments. They don’t isolate any noise in the bass and mid frequencies, so they won’t block out the noise and ambient chatter at a gaming event. You also won’t be able to listen to your audio content at high volumes in crowded quiet places, since they leak a lot and the leakage will be audible to people surrounding you. Overall, these headphones should be used for gaming in a quiet room, but won’t be ideal if you don’t want to disturb a roommate or partner. You can also purchase the Mod Kit to make these headphones closed-back, which might slightly help with isolation, but we haven't tested this ourselves.
The isolation performance is bad, but it is by design since they are open-back headphones. In the bass range, they don't isolate at all. This means they will let in all the rumble of the airplane and bus engines or the sound of a subwoofer at a gaming event. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 1dB of isolation, which isn’t very noticeable. However, in the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts and A/C noise, they achieve about 15dB of isolation, which is sub-par.
The Astro A40 PS4 / Xbox One have a poor leakage performance, but this can be due to their open-back design. The significant portion of their leakage is between 400Hz-10kHz, which is a very broad range, spanning both mid and treble ranges. This make their leakage more full-bodied sounding than that of in-ears/earbuds and closed-back over-ears. At 100dB SPL and a foot away, their leakage will be relatively loud. The leakage averaged 56dB SPL and peaked at 80dB SPL, which is significantly higher than the noise of an average office.
The boom microphone of the Astro A40 TR is excellent. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound detailed and natural but will lack slightly in airiness and brilliance. In noisy situations, the A40’s mic performs great and is capable of separating speech from noise in the most demanding environments, such as a subway station and big gaming events.
The boom mic has great recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 20Hz, which is excellent. The HFE of 4.6kHz is decent, resulting in a speech with presence and detail, making it very clear and easy to understand. However, it does lack some openness and airiness, and will sound slightly muffled.
The boom microphone has outstanding noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 58dB, which is outstanding. It indicates that this mic will be able to isolate speech from noise even in the noisiest and demanding environments. This microphone uses a noise gate, which you can't disable, but can select between a few different sensitivity options. Note that we tested the microphone with the noise gate set to "Night" mode.
The Astro A40 TR MixAmp Pro are passive, wired gaming headphones and therefore do not have a battery life. However, they have a USB connection which gives you access to the Astro Command Center on PC. This app offers a decent amount of customization and controls over the headset.
These are passive headphones that do not need a battery.
The Astro A40 Command Center is an easy-to-use and efficient support software that's missing a couple of features. It provides a great graphic equalizer that you can assign to the EQ button on the MixAmp, which lets you cycle between different saved presets. You can also create your own EQ presets. Furthermore, the microphone tab gives you control over the mic level and the noise gate. However, the EQ only offers 5 bands, which won’t be as customizable as the Logitech G635 and Logitech G935 with the Logitech G Hub.
The Astro A40 are wired-only gaming headphones that come with a great dock that offers plenty of inputs. They can’t be used wirelessly like the Astro A50, but on the upside, this means you won’t get any latency when playing video games or watching videos. While you won’t have the freedom of a wireless headset, you still have about 17ft of range with the headset’s cable and the amp’s cable. While the headset is advertised to be compatible for a specific console, you need the optical cable to have audio and microphone support on both consoles. This means all you need to do is use the console mode on Xbox One, and the PC mode on the PS4 (tested with the Xbox One model variant).
These gaming headphones don’t have Bluetooth compatibility. If you want a Bluetooth-capable gaming headset, check out the Turtle Beach Elite 800, the HyperX Cloud Mix, or the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Thanks to their wired connection, the A40 practically don’t have any latency, which is great for watching video content and playing video games without any delay.
These headphones can be used with or without their USB dock. They have a normal 1/8” analog connector that will offer audio and microphone on all consoles when plugged into the controllers. Over USB and optical, you can have audio and mic on PS4 by using the PC mode of the amp, while you need to use console mode for the Xbox One.
The A40 Xbox One / PS4 come with a great USB dock that offers plenty of inputs and controls. They have a regular line-in audio jack, an optical input, and audio via the USB cable when plugged into your PC or console. These headphones are advertised as Xbox One compatible or PS4 compatible, but we managed to get both audio and microphone support on our Xbox One model for both consoles. We used the PC mode of the amp for the PS4 and the console mode for the Xbox One.
The Astro A40 are great gaming headphones that set themselves apart by their unique design and good amp. However, they aren’t as customizable and don’t offer as much controls as other gaming headsets with amazing software. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PC headsets, the best headsets for Xbox One, and the best headsets for PS4.
The Astro A40 are the wired variant of the Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017, so they are very similar. The A40 are open-back and their microphone is better than the wireless A50. Both can be used with PCs, Xbox One, and PS4, but you might have to play around with settings to get audio and mic support. They have the same great build quality, and both can be used with the Astro Command Center software on PC. If you prefer the freedom of a wireless headset, go with the A50. If you don’t want any latency and don’t want the hassle to charge your headphones, get the A40.
The Astro A40 are better gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud II thanks to their good controls on the MixAmp and customization software on PC. Sound-wise, they will also be a bit better, and you can EQ them easily in the app, which you can’t do on the Cloud II. On the other hand, if your gaming environment is somewhat noisy, the closed-back design of the Cloud II will be better than the open-backed A40.
The Astro A40 are better gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Alpha thanks to their great controls on the MixAmp and their significantly better sounding microphone. The A40 are also compatible with the Astro Command Center, which offers decent controls and a few customization options. They also come with a nice dock that offers controls, and great cable length which will allow you to play easily from your couch. On the other hand, the Alpha have a slightly better sound quality out of the box, but they can’t be EQ’ed inside a companion app like the Astros. Their closed-back design will also isolate more noise and leak less, which will be better for some.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better headphones for mixed use than the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017, but the Astros will be a noticeably better pick for gaming due to their great dock and great sounding microphone. The XM3 will be better for every day use as their ANC will block out ambient noise, and they are a great option for commuting or to use at the office. They can be used for single player games if used wired, which makes them a decent option for some games, but won’t be the best for multiplayer games. On the other hand, the Astro are open-back, which means they won’t be a good option for outside use.
There isn’t a big difference between the Astro A40 TR 2018 and the Astro A40 2019 model. The main difference is that the newer model was tuned differently in the bass range, which now follows our target curve more accurately and won’t feel overdone. Other than that, you don’t need to use the optical cable with the MixAmp, but that’s about it. Other differences are mainly aesthetic-related, like the Amp design or the color scheme of different model variants.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are better mixed-usage headphones than the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017, but the Astros will be a noticeably better pick for gaming due to their great dock and boom microphone performance. The QC 35 II will be better for every day use, as their ANC will block out ambient noise. The Bose can be used for single player games if used wired, which makes them a decent option for some games, but won’t be the best for multiplayer games. On the other hand, the Astro are open-backs, which means they won’t be a good option for outside use.
Both the Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless and the Astro A40 are great gaming headphones. They each are better in their own categories. The Astro come with a great dock that offers controls and they are slightly more comfortable. Their microphone sounds better and you won’t have to worry about battery life with this wired headset. On the other hand, the Arctis can also be used wirelessly. However, you can’t use them for full audio and mic support on Xbox One and won’t be as versatile. On the upside, the SteelSeries Engine offers more controls and customization options than the Astro Command Center software, and their closed-back design isolates a bit more noise than the open-back Astros.
For gaming, the Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2017 will be a better option than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x thanks to the boom microphone and its dock, which offers plenty of controls. The Astro are also more comfortable and have a good app that lets you EQ their sound profile. The Astro are open-backs, so they’ll feel more open-sounding, and won’t be great for everyday casual use, while the M50x are very versatile. Also, if you have a stand-alone microphone, the ATH-M50x can be a good choice for gaming, thanks to its very accurate audio reproduction.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro are better for gaming than the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition due to their very comfortable and durable build. They also have a better microphone for online games and their dock has tons of controls and input options that the Arctis 5 is lacking. On the other hand, the Arctis 5 have better sound quality and might offer better value than the A40.
Mediocre for mixed usage. The A40 are designed as great gaming headphones thanks to their great microphone and good sound quality. They can also be used for critical listening, but they’ll be better suited for bass-heavy genres. However, their bulky and open design won’t be ideal for commuting. They are also not very stable and won’t be suitable for sports. Also, due to their open-back design, they are quite leaky and will disturb surrounding colleagues in an office setting. On the upside, they’ll be a decent option for watching TV as you won’t have any latency thanks to their wired connection, and you should have enough range with their 17ft of cable.
Good for neutral listening. The Astro A40 have a powerful and extended bass, a virtually flawless mid-range, but a just okay treble that is underemphasized and lacking in detail. Their bass is also prone to inconsistencies and noticeably overdone, but some may prefer the extra thump of it. However, they sound muddy and slightly cluttered. Overall, they will be better suited for bass-heavy genres and video games with lots of explosion noises. You can also easily cycle through EQ presets on the amp, which is useful.
Poor for commuting. These headphones are very bulky and hard to carry around. Also, they are open-back and barely isolate against ambient noise, which means all the ambient chatter and deep rumbling of engines will seep into your audio.
Sub-par for sports. These headphones are not designed for this use case as they are very bulky and trap a decent amount of heat inside their ear cups, which will make you sweat more than usual. They are not stable and will easily fall off your ears during physical activity.
Sub-par for the office. Their open design doesn’t isolate any noise, but it also means it will leak quite a lot, which can disturb surrounding colleagues. On the upside, you won’t have to worry about a battery life since they are wired and they are comfortable to wear during long periods of time.
Great for gaming. The A40 are comfortable for long gaming sessions, have a great sounding microphone, and their sound quality is also good. Their wired connection means you won’t have any delay when playing games, which is great but may not be as convenient as the wireless design of the Astro A50. On the other hand, they come with a great dock with plenty of controls and inputs. You can also control and customize them a bit inside their good software on PC.