ASTRO was founded in 2006 as a spinoff of Astro Studios, designers of Alienware computers and the original Xbox 360. ASTRO has maintained that design focused mentality and released their first professional headset, the A40, in 2008. The A40 was a professional grade headset, designed for the competitive gamer and featuring dolby digital support support. In 2010 the a30 model a was released, a smaller, portable solution. This allowed fans of the already famous A40 models to be able to get similar quality on their smaller devices and up nongaming devices as well, like m93 players. Also in 2010 the MixAmp 5.8 was their first foray into wireless they were the first to utilize 5.8hz for gaming in a tethered format. The A50 is wireless solution that takes everything great ASTRO has done so far, mixes it all up and homogenizes it into one sexy solution. This is their competitive wireless headset in a beautifully complete package.
The A50 takes the iconic A40 design and adds the most complex internal battery ever seen in a gaming wireless headset. The controls are located in 1 location with 3 eq modes designed for different usage and an on the fly control for audio and voice. The first mode is the media mode, with a concentration on bass and mids. This mode is ideal for movies and music and allows the user to immerse themselves in their media. Core mode is the second mode, it is balanced for gaming. There is a significant focus on creating a smooth mix of the audio effects of the game while making sure the user experiences a theatrical audio presentation while enjoying their game. Pro mode is for the hardcore competitive gamer, there is a focus on highs and drops lows out slightly because a competitive gamer needs to hear every detail. This is the true FPS solution.
I experienced their headset while playing the recently released Ghost Recon: Future soldier and was almost immediately amazed by how each one of the EQ modes could be easily identified from one another. The audio/voice control was pretty slick since I could cut out intrusive voice chat and focus on my game or turn up what would be the voice chat of my teammates. One of my most favorite features of the headset easily was the mute controls though. Since I play most my games in my living room, I have to mute often and the A50′s mute works my simply flipping up the boom mic on the headset. No more fiddling around with switches or accidentally forgetting you turned mute on! Also, I loved the feel of the chassis, it is metal and built to take a beating.
It was explained to me that the headset uses the clearnet 5.8 ghz chipset, which is the strongest premium option. What this does is present the used with limited compression of their audio, creating a superior high bandwith signal that honestly sounds friggin great! The charger/transmitter and a stand come with the headset as well and is powered off of USB, so keeping it near you gaming device won’t be a problem yet with the included extension cable it can still be in a safe spot. Did I tell you this headset is also featuring Dolby Pro Logic IIx sound processing technology? No? Well, it does and a beautiful 7.1 surround sound can grace your eardrums.
The MSRP on these bad boys will be $299.99 and preorders will be available in a few weeks, with them shipping in 4 weeks. Order them at astrogaming.com!
Boom! Spec sheet!