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Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.4
Mixed Usage
7.8
Critical Listening
5.2
Commute/Travel
5.7
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
6.9
TV
8.3
Gaming
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

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

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
Weight : 0.82 lbs
Clamping Force
:
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
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
Adjustable
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
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
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
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
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

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

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
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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7.8

Sound

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
Std. Err.
:
2.29 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.01 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.22 dB
High-Bass
:
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
Std. Err.
:
2.21 dB
Low-Mid
:
3.24 dB
Mid-Mid
:
1.34 dB
High-Mid
:
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
Std. Err.
:
4.77 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.84 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.54 dB
High-Treble
:
-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.

7.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
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
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.93
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.86
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
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
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.79 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
4.37 dB
PRTF Distance
:
16.94 dB
Openness
:
9.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
7.5
Correlated Crosstalk
:
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
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.499
Weighted THD @ 100
:
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

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
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-5.73 dB
Bass
:
0.19 dB
Mid
:
-0.94 dB
Treble
:
-16.32 dB
Self-Noise
:
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
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
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

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
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
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.45 dB
HFE
:
3948.06 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.238
Gain
:
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
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
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

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
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

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

7.5 App Support
App Name : Astro Command Center
iOS : No
Android : No
Mac OS : Yes
Windows : Yes
Equalizer
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : Level
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
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

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
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
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
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
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
Type
:
Wired USB dock
Optical Input
:
Yes
Line In
:
Yes
Line Out
:
Yes
USB Input
:
Yes
RCA Input
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Power Supply
:
USB
Dock Charging
:
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
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
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
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
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 2019 TR headphones
  • MixAmp Pro
  • USB to micro-USB cable
  • 1/8” TRRS cable
  • Optical cable
  • Daisy chain cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

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 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.

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.

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

6.4 Mixed Usage
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.
7.8 Critical Listening
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.
5.2 Commute/Travel
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.
5.7 Sports/Fitness
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.
5.9 Office
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.
6.9 TV
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.
8.3 Gaming
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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