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Astro A40 vs A50. Is the newer Astro A50 gaming headset better?

Updated on January 23, 2016
Astro A40 vs A50
Astro A40 vs A50 | Source
Astro A40 or A50?
Astro A40 or A50? | Source

Do you already own the Astro gaming A40 headset and is looking for an upgrade to the Astro gaming A50 headset?

Are you an avid gamer and have heard about the fantastic raves that your fellow gamers had about the Astro A40 and now that the Astro A50 is out, you want to know which is better before you buy and you have been searching for a comparison analysis?

If you are one of those people, you are not alone. Many of my gaming friends have been seeking my opinion about these two gaming headsets from Astro as they know that I have both of them and I have been very selective about my headsets.

Astro A40 vs A50 - so which of these Astro gaming headsets is better? With these two excellent gaming headset, it is always very difficult to make the appropriate choice. If that is the challenge that you have, then you have come to the right place.

In this hub, I will make a point by point comparison between the Astro A50 and Astro A40 so that you will have a good understanding of these two high end headsets from Astro to make the best choice for yourself.

So up front, in my humble opinion as an owner of both the Astro A40 and A50, I felt that it is not a matter of a better headset; only which is better for you. This is because both the Astro A40 and the Astro A50 are some of the most excellent headsets in their price range that you can get in the market today.

What is the difference between the Astro A50 vs A40?
What is the difference between the Astro A50 vs A40? | Source

Astro A40 vs A50. A quick apple vs pear comparison summary

Here is a quick bird's eye of the Astro A40 vs A50.

I have put the main features side by side in a table so that you can easily see the difference between these two gaming headsets.

Then I will go into the details on the features that will differentiate these two gaming headsets. The easiest and quickest way to see the difference is to place them side by side.

(click column header to sort results)
Features  
Astro Gaming A40  
Astro Gaming A50  
Sound
Excellent
Excellent
Wired or wireless
Wired
Wireless
Power
Always plug in to power
Uses Li Ion batteries - depending on use, can last for about 10 hrs
DOLBY DIGITAL 7.1
Yes
Yes
MixAmps
External
Internal
Platform
Windows 7, PlayStation 4, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Windows 7, PlayStation 4, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Open or close back
Open
Close
Microphone
Detachable
Permanent
Weight
324 gm
364 gm
Astro A40 vs A50 main feature comparison

Astro A50 vs A40

On the outside, the Astro A50 looks different from the A40 due to a non-glossy finish on the earcups with a red color cord on the partially visible internal wiring.

As for the other differences, here are some of the features that you might want to look into more detail when you are comparing the Astro A40 vs A50 to enable you to make the decision to select the headset that best suits you.

Wired vs wireless

Wired vs wireless matters a lot if it affects the quality of the sound.

However in the case of the Astro A40 or A50, there is no discernible difference in the quality of the sound. So in the aspect of sound quality, it does not really matter whether it is wired or wireless with either the Astro A50 or A40.

The advantage of having a wireless headset is that you do not have to mess around with dangling wires. You also have the freedom to move around and to be anywhere within transmitter range when you game. This is also ideal when you use the headset to listen to some soothing music after hours of hard battle on a comfortable couch at another location in your room.

Wired or wireless?
Wired or wireless? | Source

The Astro gaming A50 comes with a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery. Depending on how you use it, the battery can last you for 8 to 10 hours on a full charge.

Contrary to the popular belief, the quality of the sound also do not drop as the battery level goes down. On top of that, you also don't have to worry about the battery suddenly going flat on you as the unit will warn you with a beeping sound once the battery has about 10-20 minutes of juice left.

The Astro A50 headset has a range of around 10 meters or 30 feet which is more than sufficient for any gaming or other practical purposes.

Some people also don't like having wired headset because they find that the wires lose their connectivity once they start pulling out.

On the other hand, with a wired headset, you don' have to worry about the battery running out or having problems with the transmission etc

Xbox 360
Xbox 360 | Source

However there is one thing you need to take note if you are using the Astro A50 wireless headset for voice chatting on the Xbox 360.

Yes, everything is wireless for the Astro A50 except for the use of the voice chat on the Xbox 360.

If you are using the Astro A50 wireless with your Xbox 360, you will need to connect a thin cord from the left earcup to the controller.

Apparently this is not a technical shortfall but a commercial arrangement that Microsoft has with another manufacturer to allow the manufacturer a monopoly for a total wireless solution for the Xbox 360. A minor issue for most Xbox 360 and Astro A50 owners...just a heads up for you if you plan to use the Astro A50 on the Xbox360.

Both Astro A40 and A50 are very comfortable headsets
Both Astro A40 and A50 are very comfortable headsets | Source

Comfort

Both Astro A40 and Astro A50 are very solidly build and super comfortable. As a result you will expect them to be slightly heavier than those flimsy headsets at 324 and 364 grams respectively.

Knowing that gamers sometimes can have a tendency to be engaged on their games for a long period of time, Astro has also put in a significant amount of padding over the headband and soft form for both Astro A50 and A40 to make it comfortable for you to put the headset on for long periods of time. The soft foam that keeps the weight of the headset dispersed across the top of your head instead of a single spot.

The Astro A50's earcups has also been slightly widened for additional comfort. Those with bigger ears will definitely welcome this change.

In fact many people found these two headsets to be so comfortable that they sometimes forgot that they have them on!

Even with the battery, the Astro gaming A50 is not much heavier than the Astro gaming A40. Unless you are very sensitive to an even slight difference in weight, most people hardly feel perturb over the minuscule additional 40 grams of the Astro A50 vs A40.

With the Astro A50, you can rapidly and easily mute and unmute the mic by moving it up or down in the vertical position. The mixer and volume knob quality is both ergonomic and solidly built with the volume knob easy to adjust without suddenly putting it into maximum loudness.

Mixamp
Mixamp | Source

MixAmp

The mixamp of both Astro A40 and Astro A50 are multi-system compatible. In today's environment where people have many systems, this multi system compatibility is a great boon. You can use your Astro A50 or A40 with your PC, Xbox360, PS3 or PS4.

The Astro A40 has an external mixamp while the Astro S50's mixamp is very nicely incorporated into the headset's right earcup.

You can choose between 3 different presets, adjust game, voice balance and volume on the Astro A50 on the headset.

On the other hand, the advantage with Astro A40's external mixamp is that you can daisy-chain it with other mixamps at LAN parties for a direct mixamp-to-mixamp communication without having to go through the computer first. The Astro A40's mixamp also has some sound processing build into it.

Sound quality is excellent on both Astro A40 and A50
Sound quality is excellent on both Astro A40 and A50 | Source

Sound

The audio quality of both the Astro A40 and Astro A50 are flawless. Their custom 40mm drivers can produce loud and pristine audio while their Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound gives better directional audio than many other headsets in a similar price class; allowing you to immerse yourself in the realistic sounds of your favorite games.

The virtual surround sound of both headsets really enhances immersion in games that support the feature.

The excellent audio quality of both these gaming headsets will let gamers will use the very clear and pristine sounds of every action such as gunshots and footsteps to pinpoint exactly where the fight is for that tactical advantage to take a drop on their opponents.

Astro A40 vs A50 - Is your choice the Astro A40 or A50
Astro A40 vs A50 - Is your choice the Astro A40 or A50 | Source

So what is your choice?

To sum it up either the Astro A40 or A50 is an excellent gaming headset.

However at the end of the day, when it really boils down to putting the Astro A40 vs A50 side by side, it is all about personal preference.

Some gamers will not touch anything wireless even with a long pole while some others absolutely hate anything that comes with wires. There is no right or wrong here. Just personal preference.

What is important here is basically the sound quality and the budget. Both Astro A40 and Astro A50 have excellent sound quality with Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound effects to give you a realistic sound experience for your gaming. The other benefit is that you can also use it for your listening pleasure or for watching TV or movies without disturbing anyone and getting the same excellent sounds.

The wired A40 is $50 cheaper than the wireless Astro A50 at the time of writing. If you are going for the wireless Astro A50, I think the $50 is a fair premium to pay for a wireless gadget over a wired one. This is because more material and technology has to go into a wireless gadget than a wired one.

Astro A40 vs A50? I hope by now you will be very clear which of these two Astro gaming headsets is the most suitable for you.

Questions on Astro A40 headset?
Questions on Astro A40 headset? | Source

Additional questions you may have on the Astro A40 headset

1. Does the Astro A40 produce real 5.1 physical surround or is it digitally processed?

You see, if you really want to have a 5.1 surround sound then you would need 5 physical speakers that need to be at certain positions to give you that actual 5.1 surround sound effect.

However with a headset, you have only two speakers! As such, in order to get that similar 5.1 surround effect, you would need the mixamp to do its magic.

What the mixamp does is that it processes the data from the optical output sound signal from your PC or console source into a surround sound effect to your headphones. The 3.5 mm analog output from the source also works in a similar fashion.

So technically you cannot get a "physical 5.1" surround sound because you only have two headphone speakers. However through the use of technology as well as the enclosed headphone, you will get a simulated 5.1 or better sound with the Astro A40.

While we are at this, the Astro A40 is in fact DOLBY DIGITAL 7.1.

2. Can the Astro A40 be used with both PC, PS4 and Xbox one?

It can be used with both the PC and PS4 but you will need to buy a separate adapter at a cost of approximately $40 for the Xbox One. However if you are having the PS3 or PS4, then it is recommended that you go for the Astro A50 due to its wireless capabilities.

3. Can the Astro A40 also be used for listening to music from my phone?

Yes. You use it via the 3.5 mm stereo socket. However if you are on the go, you might find the headphones a bit bulky.

In summary, if you are going for the Astro A40, you can:

  • Enjoy DOLBY DIGITAL 7.1 surround effect that allows you to pinpoint where the fight is through the clear identification of the direction and location of every gunshot and footstep. Get your opponents before they even hear you!
  • Adjust your game-to-voice balancing from 4 different EQ modes
  • Customize your speaker tags
  • Have flexibility in the gaming platform such as the Xbox 360, a PS3, PC or a mobile platform
  • Look like a pro with the Astro A40 flat around your neck

I want the Astro A40!

ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro PS4 - Dark Grey [2014 model]
ASTRO Gaming A40 and MixAmp Pro PS4 - Dark Grey [2014 model]

If fantastic, accurate sounds and comfort are important criteria to you and you are looking for a wired headset, go for this professional looking dark grey Astro A40.

 

Additional questions you may have on the Astro A50 headset

1. Do I need a surround card to get a 7.1 surround effect?

No. You do not need a PC 7.1 surround card for a 7.1 surround sound effect. The surround sound effect will also work with the Xbox and Playstation.

2. Has it got a stand for me to hang the headset?

The Astro A50 comes with a base stand so that you can easily hang the headset with the base having an input power connector, optical connector and a USB port for charging the headset. The mixamp sits below the base.

3. Does it allow me to hookup via digital optical audio Toslink cable?

Yes. You can use a digital Toslink cable to connect to you PC if it has a Toslink port. You can also use the Toslink for both the PS3 and Xbox.

A sound engineer's opinion of the Astro A50
A sound engineer's opinion of the Astro A50 | Source

You must hear what this sound engineer has to say...

"...Look no further, perfection has found a home in the Astro A50's. I have never been more satisfied with a purchase in my life, this headset really has it all..."

What better person than for a sound engineer to say about the Astro gaming A50.

You must read more about Alex Davis, the sound engineer's experience with the Astro gaming A50 by clicking here...

In summary, if you are going for the Astro A50, you are looking at:

  • Having one of the best available headset in wireless gaming to your Xbox One and other gaming platform
  • Going deep into the Dolby Digital 7.1 surround effect whereby you pinpoint where the fight is through the clear identification of the direction and location of every gunshot and footstep. Give your opponents no chance, get them before they even hear you!
  • Using the 5.8 Ghz cutting edge Kleernet higher frequency wireless technology to ensure less interference from other wireless devices so that you get absolute clarity and range when you game. You get three varied EQ modes designed to fit your all your audio needs
  • Enjoying the benefits of a uni-directional microphone that delivers communication to your teammates by isolating your voice from any background noise in the room
  • Enjoying maximum comfort for those games that last deep into the night with the lightweight headset that adjusts easily to your cranium
  • Saving money and clutter by having the flexibility to use it on multiple gaming platform such as the Xbox 360, a PS3, PC or a mobile platform
  • Looking like a pro with the headset flat around your neck

I prefer the Astro A50!

Click on the link below to get the Astro A50 from Amazon.

The best gaming headset

5 stars for Astro A50
ASTRO Gaming - A50 Wireless Headset [2013 model]
ASTRO Gaming - A50 Wireless Headset [2013 model]

Wired vs wireless. If you prefer a wireless headset, then go for the Astro A50. You get fantastic sound and comfort with the excellent Astro A50! Once you have it, you will find that you can't do without it!

 

Astro A40 or A50 - What was your choice?

Share with us your choice...

Astro A40 vs A50

Which do you prefer - Astro A40 or A50?

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Need more information on other gaming equipment?

If you are looking for more information on other gaming equipment, here are some other hubs that you must check out:

Some of the fastest cable modems in the market today
Some of the fastest cable modems in the market today | Source

Do you have a good cable modem?

If you play internet games, one of the most important equipment that you will need is the cable modem; assuming that you are subscribed for the right bandwidth.

Motorola makes one of the best modems in the market today. Two of the fastest cable modems that you can get in the market today are the Motorola SB6183 and SB6190.

Find out if you should use one of these super fast cable modems in the market today i.e. the Motorola SB6183 and SB6190 is more suitable for you.

Some people still prefer the older Motorola SB6141 or SB6121.

If the Astro A40 or A50 is out of your budget, you are still undecided etc, check out this link to find out what are the other best gaming headsets in different price ranges.

Was the information provided enough to help you make your decision?

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This Bluetooth speaker is absolutely fantastic and really gives you plenty of value for your money.
This Bluetooth speaker is absolutely fantastic and really gives you plenty of value for your money. | Source

Wanna let others hear your audio too?

Well, with the Astro A40 or Astro A50 you can enjoy all the excellent sounds; be it from your games, movies or music.

However this enjoyment is only by yourself but... good things need to shared! This is where a wireless Bluetooth portable speaker comes in handy.

I have owned many Bluetooth speakers but I recently found a speaker that is small and portable but yet its clarity and roar is just unbelievable! Ever since my friends heard the audio from my Roar, many of them has just gone out to get one for themselves.

If you like good loud audio without your headsets on, then you must check out this fantastic speaker and I am sure you will absolutely love it too!

If you enjoy good, simple but comprehensive reviews, then you can find out more about the Creative Sound Blaster Roar that was just recently released here in US.

Help others! Please share this information by using the social media buttons on the left edge if you find it useful.

We would love to hear of your experience on the Astro A40 vs A50.

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    • profile image

      LifeGivesYouLessons 2 years ago

      Excellent article and very helpful! Helped me make my choice. Your page earns its #1 google rank.

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 2 years ago from Huston, Texas

      Thanks you for your kind comments. I hope others will find the hub useful as well.

    • profile image

      Landsharkk 2 years ago

      Awesome post and very in-depth comparison. It's exactly what I was looking for when comparing the two.

      Although, still not totally decided as I'm a big fan of wireless, but it does confirm that if I was to buy the A40's I wouldn't lose out on anything other than the wireless part.

      Last time I bought headphones was over 8 years ago, definitely time for an upgrade!

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 2 years ago from Huston, Texas

      Thank you for your kind comments Landsharkk. I am glad that you like the comparison review of the Astro A40 vs A50 and found it useful. I hope you have made your decision and is enjoying yourself with the headset.

    • profile image

      Gamingman 22 months ago

      Do the A40's work with windows 8?

    • profile image

      EliteSpace 22 months ago

      Do A40's work with Windows 8, or only Windows 7?

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 22 months ago from Huston, Texas

      Yes the Astro A40 works with Windows 8

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 22 months ago from Huston, Texas

      The Astro A40 works with both

    • profile image

      tacomagor 10 months ago

      Hi James,

      I still can't decide from them, however your article is really helpful.

      I have the dilemma because of these:

      1.) I broked two wired headsets because I forgot that it's on my head and when I stood up ... you know ... borken. This can be a problem with the A40 or the cable probably will detach from the headset to avoid this to happen? Do you have any experience about this?

      2.) I saw other tests about these headsets and one of them say that A40 has a better sound - more powerful and clearer bass - because of the external AMP. Can you be more specific about this? You say there is no significant difference among them or there is noticeable sound "quality" difference? I will use it mostly for gaming (BF on PC).

      3.) Your article is half years old. Perhaps there is a better choice since then than these headsets?

      Thank you for you help!

    • profile image

      Beans 4 months ago

      I've owned the a50 and a40 must say I was really impressed with both but for games like csgo I seemed to hear footsteps a lot better than on the a50s but I did like that I had the mix amp with the a40 so you can just adjust sound easier and quicker. The a50s you can still adjust the sound easy but it takes time to remember what the buttons do. I found the Astro a50s better then the a40s but there is not much difference the wireless feature is amazing. I can be gaming and I can get up and go do what I need to do while I listen to my friends talking. The a50s are wireless up to 10m or 30 feet. I know some people say they don't like the wireless because you have to charge them but they last around 5 hours for me and after I'm finished gaming you just put them on charge and come back and there ready to go. Anyways go with what you think is good there is not much difference just the fact that one is wireless one isn't and one has a mix amp the other doesn't but the Astro a50s have better sound but If u get a50s don't get gen 2 there the most likely to have problems get gen 1 or any above gen 2. Hope this helped

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