The A50 from Astro Gaming has long been one of our favourite wireless gaming headphones. The revised 2019 edition improves on the look and adds a few essential functions, while the 2016 version earned an Editors' Choice in its category. It's still a great wireless headset for your PC and PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but other manufacturers have stepped up their game in recent years, putting the $299.99 A50 up against some tough competition, including the Editors' Choice SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset


The newer A50 headset is essentially comparable to the 2016 model in terms of appearance. The headphones are well-built, with visible pipe-shaped vertical metal supports connecting the big, rounded rectangular earcups to the headband. The design is substantially more subtle than the previous iteration, with anodized metal replacing primary colours and an almost totally black colour scheme on the PC/PlayStation 4 version and gold accents on the PC/Xbox One version.

The boom microphone is permanently connected to the back of the left earcup and may automatically mute by flipping up out of the way. A volume dial, an equalisation preset button, a Dolby surround sound button, and a power switch on the back edge, as well as a game/voice mix rocker switch across the back panel, are all located on the right earcup. If you don't want to utilise the base station, a micro USB connector on the bottom of the right earcup allows you to charge the headset through a cable connection.

Each earpad has a significant quantity of memory foam coated in breathable fabric, and the bottom of the headband has cushioning as well. While the headset's side supports are made of metal, the remainder of the headset is made of tough matte black plastic. As a consequence, you'll get a light, comfortable fit that you can wear for long periods of time.

The greatest difference between the current A50 and the 2016 version is the base station. It's around two-thirds the size of the previous base station and looks like a charging cradle. It's a 4.8-inch-wide, 3.3-inch-deep inverted black plastic trapezoid with big recesses supplied with charging connectors to keep the headset vertical. The front of the base station's indication lights are now directly below the charging recesses, rather than to the right, as they were on the bigger 2016 model. The lights indicate whether the headset is in PC or console mode, if Dolby simulated surround sound is activated, and which of three equalisation settings is now active.

A micro USB port for charging and connecting to your PC or game console, a USB port for connecting to the headset for playing while charging, optical audio input and output for connecting PlayStation 4 (or any other optical audio source, optionally) sound to the headset, a 3.5mm aux input, and a PC/console mode switch are all found on the back of the base station.


You can use the A50 headset with either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, depending on which version you buy. You may use any version on your computer. Simply plug the base station into a USB port on your PC using the provided micro USB cable (only one comes with the headset, so if you want to play while charging, you'll have to acquire your own). Connect the micro USB connection to the base station to activate the microphone and power the headset on either console, then connect the optical audio output of your console to the station's input using the provided optical audio cable to allow sound through the headphones.

Unless you have a PS4 Slim, it's simple to set up. The optical audio output on this version of the basic PS4 has been removed, thus you can't connect game audio straight from the console to the headset. Astro suggests adding an HDMI splitter or audio converter with an optical audio output between the PS4 and your TV, or utilising the optical audio output on your TV.

With the Astro Command Center programme, you may personalise how the A50 acts and sounds when connected to a PC. The software allows you to create three EQ profiles, which are accessible via the headset's button, utilising presets or a custom profile with a five-band EQ. The noise gate mode and sidetone level of the microphone may also be adjusted, however the customization choices aren't quite as extensive as those found on the Logitech G Pro X or Sennheiser GSP 670. The balance between game audio, chat audio, mic input, and any source inserted into the aux input for the Stream Port, the line input device that appears as an alternative to the microphone input, may also be adjusted (helpful if you want to adjust volume levels and balance while streaming or recording).

Performance of the Microphone

With a little tweaking, the microphone on the A50 is quite good. The noise gate defaults appeared to be a little harsh at first, but after some testing in Astro Command Center, I discovered that the default mic gain values were just too low. My test recordings cut through the slightly muffled sound I encountered in my early testing and delivered clear, reasonably clean sound once I raised the gain slightly above the suggested setting. However, in terms of microphones, the A50 falls short of the Sennheiser GSP 670 and the connected Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2.

Performance of Music

The headset is more than adequate when it comes to music, with noticeable but not overpowering bass. The bass synth notes and kick drum beats in The Knife's "Silent Shout" come through with real intensity and don't distort even at maximum volume in our bass test track.

In Yes' "Roundabout," the initial guitar plucks have a lot of resonance in the lower frequencies and a lot of string texture in the upper frequencies. When the electric bass kicks in, it's strong without being dominating, allowing the delicate strumming in the left channel to shine through. The percussion and vocals are also given adequate prominence in the mix, resulting in a well-balanced sound that supports all of the track's features.

On the A50, "Born Too Slow" by The Crystal Method sounds robust and lively, with enough of response across the frequency band. The backbeat is aggressive and heavy, and the shrieking vocals, guitar riffs, and snares all have a lot of high-mid response to propel the music forward.

Gaming Capabilities

With the A50, I played some Apex Legends. The gunshot had a lot of intensity, and the sounds of fighting were sharp and realistic. Footsteps and other sounds came through loud and clear, alerting me to the presence of soldiers close. The Dolby simulated surround sound gives the game a wonderful, broad sound field with powerful stereo panning, but when it comes to tracking down the source of noises, it only provides imprecise directionality. It's a solid performance that allows all of the sound come through loud and clear.

With the A50, I also played some Call of Duty: War Zone. The varied guns had unique and loud sounds, allowing me to distinguish between different sorts of firing in the distance. The Dolby simulated surround gave me a good sense of when the action was far away or just around the bend, thanks to the firm directionality given by the Dolby simulated surround. Apart from the gunshots, footfall and character talk could be heard well above the action.

Wireless Gaming Audio of the Highest Quality

The Astro Gaming A50 is a great wireless gaming headset that keeps getting better. It has a very handy charging base that has been shrunk down from the previous edition. It feels excellent, sounds well, and has a very convenient charging base that has been shrunk down from the previous version. The Astro Command Center allows you to make some important adjustments to the headset's sound and microphone functionality, which improves the overall experience. However, it only feels like a little improvement over the 2016 model, and numerous competing gaming headsets have already shown to be similarly capable, if not better in certain cases.

The $330 SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless delivers outstanding performance, Bluetooth connection, and a pair of hot-swappable batteries for a little more than the already pricy A50, while the $350 Sennheiser GSP 670 features fantastic sound and an equally fantastic mic, as well as Bluetooth compatibility. For less than half the price of the A50, the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero and Razer Nari Essential sound great. None of these headsets have charging bases, but they all have their own compelling features and are worth considering, demonstrating how much this category has progressed since the original A50 was released.