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Reviewed on May 17, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.4
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.8
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.2
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
5.7
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.9
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.9
TV
Score components:
8.3
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Astro A40 2019 TR + MixAmp Pro 4th Generation are great gaming headphones that have a pretty good audio reproduction and a great microphone for online games. They keep the same comfortable and sturdy build of the previous Astro A40 model. They have a newly designed MixAmp, but it still offers the same multiple inputs and controls, just on a horizontal design. These headphones are open-back, so they are designed to be used in a quiet room alone so to not bother others and they won’t be suitable for loud environments. Although we managed to use our Xbox One model on the PS4 using PC mode, this might not work if you try using the PS4 variant on Xbox One, so be sure to get the appropriate console variant for your needs.

Test Results
Design 6.9
Sound 7.8
Isolation 2.8
Microphone 8.6
Active Features 7.5
Connectivity 6.7
Pros
  • Comfortable and sturdy design.
  • Good audio reproduction with EQ and presets.
  • Great microphone.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.

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6.9

Design

Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Design Picture

The Astro A40 2019 are well-designed gaming headphones. Their overall build is the same as the previous model, but now comes with a different styled MixAmp. The headphones are still very comfortable and well-built, but have the same bulky and heavy design. They come with multiple cables and you can switch which ear cup you want to put the microphone on. However, the headphones can feel tight and heavy and aren’t easy to carry around. You’ll also need to buy the appropriate console variant for your needs, although we managed to use our Xbox One model on PS4 with the PC mode on the amp.

Style
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Design Picture 2

The style of the newest generation of the A40 headset is practically identical to the previous model, but comes in different color schemes. The main frame is now all-black, while the color accent indicates the console variant. The biggest difference in style is the new remodeled MixAmp that now sits horizontally and has a more premium finished look. They have a bulky gaming design with a detachable mic. They look well-made and durable, and will definitely stand out from other headphones.

8.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.82 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

These headphones are very comfortable to wear during long gaming sessions. Like the Astro A50 and the previous Astro A40 TR, the cups are very large and spacious, which fits most ear sizes and shapes. The fabric is also soft and feels nice on the skin. The headphones are a bit bulky, but the headband does a good job at distributing the weight. They are also a bit less tight than the A50 and feel fairly similar to the previous model.

6.8 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
Adjustable
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Presets + Surround Sound

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. This cable is connected to the MixAmp, which offers multiple additional 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 has buttons that allow you to cycle through the EQ presets and enable/disable Dolby Surround Sound. You also have a switch at the back 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.

6.3 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.1 C

Even if the Astro A40 2019 are technically open-back headphones, they trap as much heat as the closed-back Astro A50. However, the overall difference in temperature 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 for a while.

5.3 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Portability Picture
L : 7.2 "
W : 7.5 "
H : 4 "
Volume : 216 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like most gaming headphones, these headphones are quite bulky and take a lot of space. They aren’t very portable, but thankfully, you don’t need the MixAmp to make them work, like how you would need the Astro A50's base to use the wireless-only headset. The headphones don’t fold into a more compact format, but the cups lay flat, which makes it easier to slide inside a bag. These gaming headphones won’t be very outdoor-friendly and should stay around your gaming setup most of the time.

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

The Astro A40 do not come with a case or a pouch.

8.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Build Quality Picture

The Astro A40 TR MixAmp Pro 2019 are very well-built gaming headphones and are practically identical to the previous model. 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 ones with a metal frame.

6.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Stability Picture

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 activity. This means they won't be suitable to go jogging with, as they are not designed for that use.

Cable
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 6.8 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

The A40 2019 come with multiple cable options. The headset is connected to the MixAmp with a 7-foot 1/8” TRRS cable, but the amp itself is connected to your console or PC via a 10-foot USB cable. They also come with an optical cable and a short daisy chain cable if you want to link multiple MixAmps in a tournament setting.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.8

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Frequency Response

The Astro A40 TR 2019 are good sounding open-back over-ear gaming headphones that are tuned slightly differently than the previous Astro A40 model. Their bass is great and not as overemphasized as the Astro A40 TR 3rd Generation and their mid-range is well-balanced and even, but their treble is uneven and lacks a bit of detail. Additionally, they will sound a bit muddy and 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.

8.5 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.29 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.01 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.22 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.46 dB

The A40 2019 have a very good bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Accordingly, their low-bass is within 1dB of our target. This indicates a deep bass with just the right amount of thump and rumble, which is important for bass-heavy genres like EDM, hip-hop, and film scores. However, there’s a small 2dB and 3dB overemphasis in mid-bass and high-bass, which will result in a bass that is a bit boomy and muddy.

8.3 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.21 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.24 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.34 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.14 dB

The mid-range of the A40 2019 is also very good. There’s a 3dB overemphasis in the low-mid, which is actually the continuation of the bump in high-bass. This will result in vocals and lead instruments that sound slightly thick and cluttered. On the upside, the rest of the response is flat and follows our target curve well, resulting in accurate reproduction of vocals and leads.

6.4 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.77 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.84 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.54 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-7.58 dB

The treble range is okay. There’s a noticeable lack of detail and presence on vocals and leads before the 6kHz mark and the response throughout the range is fairly uneven. Some sibilants (S and T sounds) will sound overly sharp, especially on already bright tracks. However, not everyone hears treble frequencies the same way, so your experience may vary.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
7.1 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Consistency L Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.6 dB

The A40 2019 perform more consistently than the previous model. There’s minimal variation in the bass range, but our human test subject with glasses did get a small drop in bass due to breaking the seal. There’s also a 7dB maximum deviation in the treble range around 5kHz, which means these are sensitive to the placement of the headset on the head.

8.3 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Group Delay Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.93
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.86
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
7.82

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.

8.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.79 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.37 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
16.94 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
9.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
7.5
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the A40 2019 is quite good and noticeably better than the previous model. The PRTF graph shows a good and accurate activation of the pinna, which results in a relatively large and natural sounding soundstage. However, there’s no real notch around the 10kHz region, which means the soundstage will sound inside the listeners head rather than in front. On the upside, their open-back design will help make them more open-sounding than the similarly designed, but closed-back A50.

7.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.499
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.884

The harmonic distortion performance is decent. The THD in the bass range is slightly elevated especially under heavier loads, and it is fairly elevated in the mid and treble ranges, especially at the peaks between 2KHz and 6kHz. This may result in these frequencies being harsh and impure, which may get fatiguing for some after a while.

2.8

Isolation

Score components:

By design, the open-back A40 2019 won’t be suitable for very loud environments since they practically don’t isolate against any noise. They are also quite leaky, so they shouldn’t be used in crowded quiet places either. 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 purchase the Mod Kit to make these headphones closed-back, which might slightly help with isolation, but we haven't tested this ourselves. You can also completely take off the backplates to make them even more open.

2.5 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-5.73 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.19 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-0.94 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.32 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.03 dB

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 noticeable. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts and A/C noise, they achieve about 16dB of isolation, which is sub-par.

3.5 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
56.31 dB

The Astro A40 have a poor leakage performance, but this is due to their open-back design. The significant portion of their leakage is between 400Hz-14kHz, 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.

8.6

Microphone

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

The boom microphone of the Astro A40 2019 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.

8.4 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
1.45 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3948.06 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
0.238
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
28.71 dB

The boom mic has great recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 20Hz, which is excellent. The HFE of 4kHz 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.

8.8 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
41.84 dB

The boom microphone has excellent noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 41dB, which is very good. 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.

7.5

Active Features

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

The Astro A40 2019 are wired gaming headphones and therefore do not have a battery. However, they have a USB connector, which gives you access to the Astro Command Center on PC. This app offers a decent amount of customization and controls over the headset. There’s no difference in available features between this model and the previous one.

N/A Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
N/A
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
N/A
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
N/A
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
N/A
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
N/A

These are passive headphones that don’t need a battery.

7.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 App Picture
App Name : Astro Command Center
iOS : No
Android : No
Mac OS : Yes
Windows : Yes
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : Level
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : No

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.

Note that for this headset, you need to use the Astro Command Center for Windows 10, which can be found inside the Microsoft Store.

6.7

Connectivity

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

The Astro A40 are wired-only gaming headphones that come with a great amp with multiple inputs. They don’t have any wireless component like the Astro A50, but you won’t have any latency when playing games or watching videos. This also means you’ll be limited by their cables’ length, but with 17ft of cables, you should be able to play from your couch without a problem. Also, while the headset is advertised to be compatible for a specific console, we used the console mode on Xbox One, and the PC mode on the PS4 (tested with the Xbox One model variant).

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

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.

10 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio + Microphone

Just like their previous model, 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, you can have audio and mic on PS4 by using the PC mode of the amp, while you’ll need to switch to console mode for Xbox One.

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

The A40 2019 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 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. However, we don't expect you to be able to use the PS4 model variant on the Xbox One. You can also daisy-chain multiple amps together in a tournament setting.

0 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
N/A

Like the previous model, the Astro A40 have great cable length but they aren’t wireless so you won’t have the freedom of the wireless A50. With the long 10ft amp cable going to your console and a 7ft cable going from the headset to the amp, you get a total of 17ft of wired range, which should be enough for you to play games and watch TV content from your couch.

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

Since the A40 are wired headphones, you practically don’t get any latency when watching video content and when playing games, which is great.

In the box

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 In the box Picture

  • Astro A40 2019 TR headphones
  • MixAmp Pro
  • USB to micro-USB cable
  • 1/8” TRRS cable
  • Optical cable
  • Daisy chain cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 Compare Picture

While being almost identical to their previous generation, the Astro A40 set themselves apart by their unique design and great amp. However, they won’t have the same amount of customization as other gaming headsets on the market. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PC headsets, the best headsets for Xbox One, and the best headsets for PS4.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017

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.

Astro A50 Wireless

The Astro A40 2019 are the wired variant of the Astro A50, 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.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 SuperAmp

The Astro A40 2019 are better gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 SuperAmp. They have a noticeably better dock that offers more inputs and more controls like channel mixing, on top of having a more spacious soundstage as well thanks to their open-back design. The Astros also have a better companion app with more customization options. On the other hand, the Elite Pro 2 SuperAmp is Bluetooth compatible so you can stream music from your phone while playing on consoles, and they have a more secure and stable fit, but that’s about it.

Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset

The Astro A40 2019 are better open-back gaming headphones than the Sennheiser Game One. They have more controls and better customization support via their app, which the Game One is lacking. Also, they feel better built and have a great bass performance despite their open-backs. On the other hand, the Game One might offer better value if you don’t really have a need for an app, as they are quite versatile and work with every console that has the appropriate jack, while you need a console specific model for the A40.

Conclusion

6.4Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Okay for mixed usage. These headphones were designed for gaming thanks to their great amp with inputs and controls, on top of having a great microphone for online games. They also have a good audio reproduction that can be used for critical listening as well. However, these headphones are open-backs, which means they won’t isolate any noise and will leak quite a lot. They shouldn’t be used in commuting or at the office. Additionally, they are very bulky and won’t be good for sports and working out. On the upside, they are a decent option for watching TV as they have a good cable length range and will offer a delay-free experience, thanks to the wired connection.
7.8Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. Their bass is great and not as overemphasized as the A40 TR 3rd Generation, their mid-range is well-balanced and even, but their treble is uneven and lacks a bit of detail. Additionally, they will sound a bit muddy and 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.
5.2Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Poor for commuting. They are bulky, hard to carry around, and their open-back design isn’t suitable for public transit. They practically don’t block any ambient noise, which will seep into your audio. They are also quite leaky, so people surrounding you will be bothered by what you are listening to.
5.7Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Sub-par for sports. Even if they are open-backs, there isn’t much airflow cooling your ears and you will sweat more than usual when wearing these. Also, they are quite bulky and their wired design will get in your way during your workouts. They are also quite hard to carry around and won’t be easy to bring to the gym. Their bulky design also sways a lot with head movement, so the headphones could easily slip off your head.
5.9Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Sub-par for the office. They leak quite a lot so you shouldn’t use this in a crowded office as you’ll bother your colleagues. They also don’t isolate against ambient noise very well, meaning a lot of noise will seep into your audio and it won’t be helpful to concentrate on your tasks. On the upside, they don’t have a battery life that you need to manage since they are wired passive headphones, but that also means you don’t get the freedom of wireless headphones.
6.9TV
Score components:
Decent for watching TV. They are quite comfortable to wear for long periods of time and have good audio reproduction too. Their wired connection gives you no latency issues and with the amp, you get about 17ft of cable length, which should be enough for you to watch from the comfort of your couch. However, these headphones won’t be the best choice if you’re looking for headphones that won’t bother your household while you’re watching TV, as they are quite leaky.
8.3Gaming
Score components:
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.

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