Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.1
Mixed Usage
8.0
Neutral Listening
5.1
Commute/Travel
5.1
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
8.3
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
7.3
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Astro A50 Gen 4 are great gaming headphones that also sound good. They kept the same design as the previous Astro A50 Wireless, but with slight improvements like better padding and a noticeably smaller base station. These headphones can only be used wirelessly with the base station, which offers minimal latency. They have a great microphone, but won’t be the best option if you play in a noisy environment, as they don’t isolate very well. On the upside, they have a better battery life than the previous model and have a sleeker look.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and well-built.
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Great sounding microphone.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
  • Base station is required to make the headphones work.
  • Bad isolation performance.

Test Results
Design 6.4
Isolation 2.8
Microphone 8.7
Active Features 7.9
Connectivity 1.8
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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6.4

Design

The Astro A50 Gen 4 are fairly similar to the previous Astro A50 Wireless, with a slightly different look. They have a sleeker design and the base is noticeably smaller. On the upside, they're still very comfortable and well-built. However, their design is very bulky and won’t be ideal for any use other than gaming. Their control scheme is very gaming-oriented, and unfortunately, you need to be in range of their transmitter to be able to use them.

Style

The Astro A50 Gen 4 have a sleeker look than the Astro A50 Wireless. This upgraded version follows a similar style to the newer Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019. The overall style didn’t change much, but the color schemes are now more neutral and darker, rather than flashy. The design is still very bulky and won’t be ideal for outdoor use. You also can’t remove the microphone, which gives it a gaming-only aesthetic. On the upside, these look great for gaming headphones.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.8 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.3 lbs

The overall comfort of the Astro A50 didn't change. The design is pretty much the same, so the cups are spacious and deep, which will be great for most ear shapes and sizes. They feel slightly less tight than the Astro A50 Wireless. The coating on the padding is also a bit softer, which feels nice on the skin. However, they're quite big and heavy, but on the upside, the headband does a good job of distributing the weight around. Wearing these for hours while gaming won’t be a problem.

6.8 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
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 control scheme of the Astro A50 Gen 4 is pretty decent, and quite useful for gamers. Although you won’t have music control, these headphones have plenty of controls oriented towards gaming. Their mic is flip-to-mute, you have a volume wheel, an EQ preset cycle button, and even a button to disable/enable Dolby Digital Surround Sound. They also have two additional buttons on the right ear cup that lets you control the mix between in-game audio and voices from a chat. The only difference between these headphones and the Gen 3 Astro A50 is the fact that the switch with 3 presets is now a cycle button, and the base now has a screen that shows you which preset you're on. There’s good audible and tactile feedback and all the controls are easy to use.

6.4 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.9 C

The Astro A50 Gen 4 are decently breathable due to their pads. However, heat will still be trapped inside the ear cups since they create a good seal around your ears, restricting airflow. These headphones aren't designed for sports, as you'll sweat more than usual when working out. This shouldn’t be an issue during casual gaming.

1.1 Portability
L : 8.4 "
W : 7.6 "
H : 3.6 "
Volume : 230 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : Yes

The Astro A50 Gen 4 are not portable at all, so you'll leave them in the same usual spot. They're very bulky and don’t fold into a more compact format. They also need to be within range of their stand to work wirelessly, which further limits their portability.

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

The Astro A50 Gen 4 don’t come with a case.

8.0 Build Quality

Like the Astro A50 Wireless, the Astro A50 Gen 4 are very well-built and feel durable. The cups are dense and made from solid plastic, and the headphones feel like they could handle a few accidental drops without too much damage. The hinges are sturdy and made out of metal, but like the previous model, the headband seems to be the weakest point of the whole build.

6.5 Stability

The Astro A50 Gen 4 aren't very stable and won’t be ideal for anything other than casual gaming or music listening sessions. They aren’t tight and head movement can easily make them sway off your head. These shouldn’t be used for physical activity, as they'll fall off.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

The Astro A50 Gen 4 are very good sounding closed-back over-ear gaming headphones. Their frequency response is quite accurate and well-balanced, resulting in excellent bass with accurate reproduction of vocals, lead instruments, and higher treble frequencies. They also sound quite like the Astro A50 Wireless. It should be noted that we tested these headphones with the EQ setting that scored the best and was fairly similar to the previous model, which was the ‘Studio’ preset.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
9.0
Bass-Heavy
:
5.6
Warm
:
5.8
Bright
:
7.1
8.0 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.3 db
Dips
:
0.92 db
8.6 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.29 dB

The Astro A50 2019 have great frequency response consistency. This means that it performs the same way on different users and between reseats. However, people with glasses may break the seal and experience a drop in bass.

8.0 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.28
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.95
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.92

The stereo imaging of the Astro A50 Gen 4 is very good. The weighted group delay is low, which is good. The 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, meaning that 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.

6.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.23 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
2.51 dB
PRTF Distance
:
7.77 dB
Openness
:
9.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
6.7

The soundstage of the Astro A50 2019 is just okay. There isn't a lot of pinna activation, although it's fairly accurate, and the perceived elevation and distance is fairly small. This will result in a decently large soundstage, but it might sound unnatural and located inside the listener’s head rather than in front.

7.5 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.282
WHD @ 100
:
0.174
2.8

Isolation

The leakage performance of the Astro A50 Gen 4 is very bad. Although these headphones are closed-back, they don’t isolate noise very well and are quite leaky. They won’t be suitable for commuting as they let in a lot of noise, and won’t be the best option for the office as you won’t be able to block out ambient chatter and their leakage may disturb surrounding coworkers.

2.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-5.39 dB
Bass
:
0.01 dB
Mid
:
-0.37 dB
Treble
:
-15.61 dB

These Astro A50 2019 have very poor noise isolation performance. They don’t really block out any ambient noise in the bass and mid ranges. This means they won’t be good for commuting as they won’t block out the rumble of bus engines, nor will they be great in an office setting. They also have a pretty disappointing performance against S and T sounds and A/C system noise.

4.2 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
53.37 dB

The leakage performance of the Astro A50 Gen 4 is bad. Even if these are closed-back headphones, they aren’t the best to use around people in quiet environments. They leak similarly to semi-open headphones and will be fairly loud.

8.7

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
No

The Astro A50 Gen 4 have a great microphone that performs quite better than the previous model. Recorded speech is clear and full-bodied, and people won’t have an issue understanding you. It also does a good job of separating speech and background noise, so people should still hear you even if you’re in a fairly noisy environment.

8.6 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.36 dB
HFE
:
6267.15 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.105
Gain
:
16.63 dB

The Astro A50 Gen 4 have a great recording quality. Their boom microphone sounds clear and full-bodied. People online or in third-party voice chat won’t have an issue understanding what you say. The microphone also sounds slightly better than the Astro A50 Wireless.

8.7 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
39.29 dB

The Astro A50 Gen 4's boom mic has great noise handling performance. It does an excellent job of separating the background noise and recorded speech. You have four mic profiles inside the app with four different noise gate settings. We tested the microphone with the ‘Streaming’ setting, as it had the lowest noise gate.

7.9

Active Features

The Astro A50 Gen 4 has an improved battery life over the Astro A50 Wireless. They have over 17 hours of continuous battery life but, unfortunately, still have the same aggressive auto-off timer that can trigger even when you’re wearing the headphones. On the upside, they're compatible with the Astro Command Center software, which gives access to a few customization options.

7.9 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
17.5 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
17.5 hrs
Charge Time
:
4.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

The Astro A50 Gen 4 has a good battery life. It has over 17 hours of battery life, which will be more than enough for most gaming sessions. They can also be used when charging, which is useful. They only take about 2 hours to charge with the micro-USB cable, but more than 4 hours with the dock. On the upside, this is still noticeably shorter than the previous model. These headphones also have an auto-off timer like the older generation, which turns off the headphones after 8 minutes without movement. This can be an issue if you stay still when playing games, as it will still trigger the headphones to turn off, even if audio is being played.

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

The Astro 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 right ear cup; this lets you choose between different saved presets. Unfortunately, you can’t control the mic’s frequency response like it on the Astro A50 Gen 3. There’s also still no option to extend or disable the gyroscope auto-off feature, which can be a bit frustrating at times. They also have no surround sound effect menu or true button mapping beyond the EQ presets.

1.8

Connectivity

The Astro A50 Gen 4 have poor connectivity options. These headphones are wireless-only and can’t be used wired. It comes with a base station that acts as a transmitter, which offers minimal latency and can also be used to charge the headphones. Their range is short, but won’t cause any issues when playing games. 

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Astro A50 Gen 4 aren't Bluetooth compatible.

8.7 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
57 ft
Non-BT Latency
:
17 ms
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : 3.5 ft
Connection : USB
Wired Latency
:
N/A

Unfortunately, the Astro A50 Gen 4 can’t be used wired, even via the USB to micro-USB cable, which is only for charging.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
N/A
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
N/A
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
Audio Only
9.0 Base/Dock
Type
:
Wireless Dock
USB Input
:
Yes
Line In
:
Yes
Line Out
:
No
Optical Input
:
Yes
RCA Input
:
No
Dock Charging
:
Yes
Power Supply
:
USB

The dock of the Astro A50 Gen 4 is great. It has a lot of inputs and acts as a charging station for the headphones. This variant is fully compatible via USB on the PS4 and PC. The base station is advertised as console-locked for either PS4 or Xbox One, but the headset can connect to both base variants. Our PS4 variant couldn’t connect to the Xbox One, unlike our Gen 3 Xbox One base that we could connect to the PS4 via optical. You can only get audio on the Xbox One if you use the optical cable, but via USB, nothing is supported.

In the box

  • Astro A50 Gen 4 headphones
  • Astro A50 base station
  • Charging micro-USB cable
  • Optical cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Astro A50 2019 are great gaming headphones, but aren’t the most versatile as they can only be used wirelessly. You’ll also need to buy the appropriate console variant for your needs. They're still one of the most comfortable and better-built gaming headphones we’ve reviewed, and are one of the better-sounding ones too. See our recommendations for best wireless gaming headsets, the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best Xbox One gaming headsets, and the best PC gaming headsets.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are slightly better gaming headphones than the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019. They have a slightly better sound profile with a bit more accurate bass, and the soundstage is quite decent for closed-back headphones. Also, the SteelSeries can be used wired which makes them more versatile, while the A50 are wireless-only. The dock of the SteelSeries can also hold a physical battery while you’re using another one in the headset, so your headphones can always have power when used wirelessly. On the other hand, the A50 are a bit more comfortable.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are slightly better gaming headphones than the Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017. They are quite similar, but the main difference is the small base station on the 2019 model and the fact that the battery now takes less time to charge and offers a bit more continuous playback. Additionally, the microphone on the 2019 model sounds a bit better.

Turtle Beach Elite 800 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are better gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Elite 800 Wireless. The A50 have lower latency, which is great for wireless headphones, and they are noticeably more comfortable and better-built. Their audio quality is also quite better and the microphone is clearer. On the other hand, the Elite 800 are Bluetooth compatible and can also be used wired, so they are a bit more versatile than the A50 2019. They also have a noise cancelling feature, although mediocre, that isolates more against ambient noise than the fit of the A50.

6.1 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. These headphones are designed for gaming, but can also be used for watching TV or simply listening to music. They have a great sound profile and their base station has very minimal latency, which is great. However, since you need the base to use the headphones, they can’t really be used for commuting and sports. Their isolation performance is also almost non-existent, meaning they won’t be great for an office as well. On the upside, they are very comfortable and well-built.

8.0 Neutral Listening

Good for critical listening. They have a very good frequency response and have a neutral sound profile. Their bass is punchy and extended, while their mid and treble ranges are well-balanced and accurate. They won’t sound as open as open-back headphones, which some may prefer for this use, but they are still very good sounding headphones.

5.1 Commute/Travel

Not designed for commuting and traveling. These headphones need their base station to work, so unless you travel with a laptop and want to connect the dock, you won’t be able to use the A50. Also, even if you did, they have quite poor isolation performance, which will let a lot of noise seep into your audio.

5.1 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports. You need the base station to make them work, so you won’t be able to bring them around for a run or at the gym. You would need to work out at your home near the base station and even then, they are quite bulky and not very stable. You’ll also sweat more than usual.

5.9 Office

Okay for the office. They have a great sound and their battery life will last you for a whole work day, but if you work in a crowded office, they won’t be ideal. Their isolation performance is quite poor and they are also leaky, which can be bothersome to people working around you.

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