Astro gaming headsets have always been pretty awesome. The new Astro A40 TR and Mixamp TR do not disappoint, with ease to use, eye-catching design and the best sound around from a gaming headset. However, the $250 price tag is difficult to justify. Although its capabilities are beyond those of your typical gaming headset.
With the bundle, you’ll get both the Astro A40 TR headset and Mixamp Pro TR, along with a swappable boom microphone and auxiliary, Micro-USB, TOSLink Optical, and Digital Daisy Chain cables. All of these cables, sans the auxiliary, will only be used if you’re using the headset with the Mixamp Pro.
The headset itself is sleek and stylish, sporting two metal pipes on each side that allow you to adjust how high or low the ear cups sit, but also add some flair, resembling the exhausts you’d find on a truckuy. The headset is also incredibly comfortable, with soft cloth cushions and ear cups that cover the entire ear.
Customization is a highlight of the Astro A40 TR headset. Everything from the cloth cushioning on the ears and headband to the speaker tags and boom mic can be replaced. The option to go from open to closed-backed is particularly cool, but it can cost you an additional $40 – $60 on top of the already pricey $250 you’ll spend for the headset and Mixamp.
The Astro A40 TR’s is minimalistic in design. It’s a wired headset that doesn’t have any onboard controls, accept for an inline mute button found along the auxiliary cable. That means any kind of volume and preset control is limited to the Mixamp Pro TR. While you can purchase the headset and Mixamp separately, the duo compliment each other well.
Video game audio mixers, like the Astro Mixamp Pro TR, are different from audio mixers you’d use for music or radio. They feature ports that are specific to gaming, and are most beneficial to competitive players and/or streamers and content creators.
That said, the Mixamp Pro TR is a nice piece of hardware. It has two dials: The bigger knob controlling volume and the smaller knob regulating the game/chat audio balance. This lets you prioritize the audio you want to hear more, whether it be the team chat or the video game. In between the knobs are four buttons, each with its own equalizer preset. Out of the box, the presets are fairly generic, but you can customize them to suit your own preferences using the Astro Command Center application on PC or Mac. Along the back of the Mixamp are six ports.
On either side of the Mixamp are two ports marked by a chain symbol. These are for Digital Daisy Chain cables, which can be used to connect several Mixamps together. This is useful for teams that game side by side and want to communicate locally, much like you’d find in an esports competition.
The optical port is for the Toslink optical audio cable and connects the Mixamp Pro TR to your console or PC, although it’s not a necessity for PC use (you can just use the included Micro USB instead.) The auxiliary port can be used to add an additional source (like your phone) to the Mixamp, so you can hear it in the headset alongside game audio. The Stream port is the niftiest of the group, connecting to either a PC or capture card and merging all of your audio into one source for streaming or capture. The USB port, of course, connects the Mixamp to either your PC or console.
The A40 TR headset continues to have incredible 3D audio even without the Mixamp, but you won’t be able to enjoy the mixer’s Dolby Audio processing.
The Astro A40 TR also makes for a fine headset on its own but its true potential is fully realized when paired with the Mixamp Pro TR. The duo offer superb audio, customizability, versatility, and a considerable smattering of features that audiophiles playing competitively or working professionally in games can get substantial use out of.