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Meet the Astro A40s, a high-end headset that is compatible with just about everything under the sun with a headphone jack. While they are quite pricy, you definitely get what you pay for, as the A40s are a well-performing, solid headset with a dizzying array of connectivity options. If you are a cross-platform gamer, these warrant a good hard look.

The rivals the lyre bird in its mimicry.

This headset keeps distortion well below the noticeable 3% threshold at a normal volume, but that all changes when you crank it up. In our labs, we measured a sound pressure level of 112.05dB before the Astro A40s reached a level of 3% total harmonic distortion (THD). While that’s good and loud, we’d like to remind you to never crank your cans that high, ever. You could seriously damage your hearing, and then how would you know if someone’s sneaking up on you?

Made for comfort, it seems.

When you first put on the s, you'll notice how little pressure is put on your skull and ears. On top of that, you'll notice that your ears don't hit the speaker element, as the drivers are properly angled, so there shouldn't be much heat buildup either. The speaker element is ensconced in a thin mesh, so placed to prevent bio matter from destroying your high-end headset. As an added bonus, the drivers are angled, so as to make the most room for your pinna.

The Astro A40 is compatible with almost every system under the sun.

Of design note, this headset has many plugs. To start, there's what appears to be a dongle, with a tiny microphone plug and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Once you plug that into the extension cable, that in turn ends in an integrated 3.5mm headset jack. If that can't plug into your computer, then there's another accessory that splits the microphone and headphone elements into two separate plugs. This allows the to be a generalist, it is compatible with almost every system under the sun.

Outside of the frequency response, not bad.

Mid tone ranges are extremely downplayed, and that may have to do with the fact that the sounds of most small arms live in these ranges. The downside to that? So do footsteps. If someone’s sneaking up behind you, it may be a good idea to boost the volume a bit, though you’ll have to balance that with the maximum sound level of other ambient noise, because explosions will still rock you.

The A40s don't really have any distortin to speak of.

The A40s don't really have any distortin to speak of, but for most of the low end and mid tones, the Astro A40s have an extremely even tracking with a couple issues in the higher end. You’ll notice shifts in volume from left to right if you know what you’re looking for, or if you’re listening to a frequency sweep, but this is nothing terribly out of the ordinary.

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The has a puzzle piece missing from a portrait of perfect sound.

Tones at the 2-8kHz range were downplayed by the to the tune about 20dB. In gaming terms, small arms fire will be more tempered, but footsteps will also be muffled to sounding about 1/4th as loud as they normally would be. Turning the volume up will help remedy this at the tradeoff of making explosions super loud. We'd advise against it.

Certainly impressive, certainly expensive.

At the end of the day, what you get with the Astro A40s is certainly very impressive, if you’re looking for a headset that can work with just about anything you can play games on. While it is very pricy compared to some of the lower-end headsets, you definitely get more headset for the extra cash.

While it does have that weird dip in the high midrange, it may not actually be a bad thing if you’re accustomed to playing games with a lot of small arms fire or electricity noises, as those can get quite loud and distracting in-game. Aside from this, the downsides to buying this headset pretty much only lie with the total cost of the unit, which is quite expensive at $250 from the manufacturer.

Overall though, what you’re getting with that money is a headset that performs well, is comfortable, and compatible with almost every possible platform. If you’re looking for something that can do it all, and you’re wiling to pay for it, the A40s are a great choice.

Tracking, Isolation

Tracking is measure the evenness between the right and left cans on a set of headphones. The has an extremely even tracking, although there are a couple issues in the higher end. Even this issue will be difficult to hear, unless you're specifically searching for it.

Isolation is a two pronged aspect. There's keeping sound in and keeping sound out. Being a gaming headset, the is not good at keeping outside noise from entering. However, on the flip side, this headset was able to prevent a lot of leakage. Your family won't be able to hear all the explosions and profanity that you're hearing.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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