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.
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.
Good for neutral 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.
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.
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.
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.
This wired gaming headset can't be used wirelessly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Astro A40 do not come with a case or a pouch.
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.
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.
Update 02/23/2021: Some users have reported that their headphones' sound profile changed when used wired via USB on the Xbox Series X|S after a firmware update. We first ran a frequency response sweep with the new firmware update, but there wasn't much of a change. You can see the comparative results here. While we don't run sound testing on consoles, we also did a subjective sweep to compare audio quality between PC via USB and Xbox Series X via USB. We noticed that audio sounded tighter and sharper on the PC while audio from the Xbox was more bass-heavy. Unfortunately, we don't have a measurement of the Xbox's audio pre-firmware update to compare it to.
The Astro A40 2019 TR headphones have a warm sound profile. They deliver a bit of extra boom, which can help emphasize sound effects in action games. That said, they have a balanced mid-range, so dialogue sounds clear, although a bit dark and veiled. If you prefer a different sound, they can be customized using their graphic EQ and presets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These are passive headphones that don’t 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.
Note that for this headset, you need to use the Astro Command Center for Windows 10, which can be found inside the Microsoft Store.
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.
Since the A40 are wired headphones, you practically don’t get any latency when watching video content and when playing games, which is great.
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.
Update 02/23/2021: Some users have reported that their headphones' sound profile changed when used wired via USB on the Xbox Series X|S after firmware update 36797. While we don't run sound testing on consoles, we did a subjective sweep to compare audio quality when connected to PC via USB and Xbox Series X via USB. We noticed that audio sounded tighter and sharper on the PC while audio from the Xbox was more bass-heavy. Unfortunately, we don't have a measurement of the Xbox's audio pre-firmware update to compare it to.
These headphones are fully compatible with both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles when using either their 1/8" TRRS cable or their wired USB connection.
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.
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.
The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 and the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are both great gaming headphones. The A50 are wireless-only while the A40 are wired only and are open-backs. The A50 has a better audio reproduction but won’t have the soundstage of the open A40. If you also don’t want to be limited by battery life, then the A40 are a better option.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are more versatile than the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 thanks to their wireless design. They also feature a useful dual-battery system that makes it near impossible to run out of power, and they can also be used via Bluetooth as well. The Astro, on the other hand, reproduce sound more accurately across different users and are slightly more comfortable.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC and the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are both impressive headphones for wired gaming. The open-back Astro have a better mic and reproduce audio more consistently across users, but are a bit boomy in the bass. The SteelSeries’ audio reproduction depends a lot on who’s wearing them, but they come with a great onboard 10-band EQ, so you can quickly customize their sound to meet your needs on-the-fly.
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 Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2019 is a better wired gaming headset than the Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset. Both have a balanced sound quality and comfortable design, but the open-back design of the Astro makes them sound more consistent and can be less fatiguing during long gaming sessions. The Logitech are much more customizable thanks to their companion software, but the Astro come with an excellent base station that gives you channel mixing and more connectivity options.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2019 are geared towards different uses. The Astro are designed with streaming in mind, while the Beyerdynamic are studio headphones. However, if you don't need a microphone, the Beyerdynamic are also a viable option for wired gaming thanks to their well-balanced sound. They can sound a bit sharp or piercing, though, and the Astro are more comfortable for long gaming sessions.
The Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better open-back gaming headphones than the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. The Astro have more controls and better customization support via their app, which the Sennheiser are lacking. The Astro feel better built and have a great bass performance despite their open-backs. On the other hand, the Sennheiser 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 Astro.
The Astro A40 TR + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 SuperAmp. The Astro 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 Astro also have a better companion app with more customization options. On the other hand, the Turtle Beach 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.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are much better wired gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken Ultimate. The Astro are more comfortable, have better controls that you can tweak on-the-fly, and they have a slightly better build. Their sound profile is also better balanced, they have a more consistent frequency response, and their detachable boom microphone has a better overall performance. However, the Razer have an adjustable surround sound feature.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better wired gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Revolver. The Astro have a more comfortable design for long gaming sessions, and their open-back design reproduces audio more consistently across different users. They tend to sound darker than the HyperX, and their mic isn't quite as good. The HyperX aren't customizable, though, so the Astro make for a more versatile choice thanks to the features available in their support software.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better wired gaming headphones than the JBL Quantum ONE. They’re very comfortable, well-built, and offer a high degree of on-the-fly adjustability when used in conjunction with the MixAmp remote, which offer physical controls for channel mixing, volume, EQ preset cycling, and surround sound activation. The Astro's open-back design also provides a far more immersive listening experience. However, that design philosophy means that the JBL are slightly more versatile, as they a much better job of blocking out ambient noise, and don't leak nearly as much audio.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 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. The A40 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 TR headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are significantly better wired gaming headphones than the Corsair HS60 PRO SURROUND. The Astro are more comfortable, and their MixAmp remote gives much better control options than the basic control scheme found on the ear cups of the Corsair. The Astro also have a better-balanced and significantly more consistent sound profile, a much better-performing microphone, and a slightly better piece of companion software with more control options. On the other hand, the Corsair have better noise isolation thanks to their closed-back design, as opposed to the open-back style of the Astro. They also may represent better overall value for some people.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better for wired gaming but the Corsair HS70 Bluetooth are more versatile. The Astro are more comfortable and have a mixamp that allows you to adjust their sound on-the-fly. They also have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and a better boom mic. However, the Corsair support Bluetooth and have around 24 hours of playback time.
|Xbox One, MixAmp||