In the world of gaming headsets, there are not many brands climbing the ladder as fast as Astro. With the release of the $60 A10 last year, they showed us just how capable they are of producing an excellent entry-level set that perfectly complements their already burgeoning higher-end range.
Now with the release of the mid-priced Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset, the range is complete! With additions of wire-free and sound customization options, and the supreme comfort and booming sound they were already firmly known for, Astro have produced possibly their best value piece of kit to date!
So if you are on the hunt for a fairly priced wireless headset hang about, because we have done the hard yards and put them through our Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Review to see if they hit the mark!
In the box we have:
- Astro A20 headphones.
- Micro-USB charging cable.
- Wireless base transmitter.
- Toslink optical audio cable.
- Micro-USB power and data cable.
- Manuals and Warranty info (one-year standard manufacturers warranty).
Design & Construction
The A20 has borrowed from all the best design points of previous models and mashed them up into a glorious looking and feeling unit. There is a visible game-inspired design aesthetic here, with strong, industrial lines and splashes of neon highlights (blue or green, depending on your gaming system).
The blocky style may not be the most versatile, but will definitely appeal to the obvious target audience (which includes us – yes, we think they look fantastic).
First off, the materials used in constructing these are truly second to none. High grade, shatterproof plastics make up the outer shell of the entire set. Tucked away inside the headband is a sturdy strip of aluminum, which keeps the whole set glued to your head without exerting too much-unwanted pressure.
This is all covered by a puffy, rubberized pad for your head. Each arm can move up and down where it connects to the headband to help create a better fit, and the whole assembly just feels a bit more ‘deluxe’ than that of the A10.
This is combined with amazingly comfortable over-ear, closed-back earcups. This variety of earcups are completely sealed around their back, only producing sound where it can reach your ear. This means that your gaming experience will be more engrossing with maximum passive noise isolation.
Softly padded with a combo of a microfibre on the outside and memory foam inside, the almost square-shaped and extremely roomy cups feel nice on the skin, and more importantly, keep cool for even the longest and most grueling sessions.
When you are in the midst of an intense gaming session, the last thing you want is to be fumbling with the control buttons on your headset. So, thankfully Astro have decided to keep the control layout super simple, a smart choice on any gaming headset.
Opting for a more retro feel with a volume wheel was a good choice, as we found it was much quicker to change volume up or down when compared to the usual buttons. Other than that, there is just a power On/Off button and an equalizer button that changes between three different EQ preset options. These presets are fully customizable with the Astro Command Center software.
To enjoy the benefits of wire-free usage, you will need to hook up the base transmitter to your console or computer. Both types (PS4 and Xbox One) can connect to any computer, but they can’t cross over console platforms, unfortunately. All the cords you need for setup come in the box, and its all very straight forward.
Sound & Performance
To be totally honest with you, telling the difference in sound between Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset and the previous A10 model was not the easiest task. But don’t take that as us talking badly about the A20. Quite the opposite, in fact, with the A10’s having the best in class sound quality for gaming headsets under $100.
And once we had a chance to really test them out, we found that there are some actual improvements in the sound stage. The ability to differentiate the upper mids and lower highs and the overall clarity has been tweaked, which we felt lead to us getting the upper hand in the online gaming sphere more than once.
We have a tradition of testing headsets with older games first, and it was no different here! We dusted off our copy of The Last Of Us, and with its full orchestral score, the A20’s showed us their full potential. Rising and falling like huge open ocean waves, the A20’s handled the background score to perfection and had no trouble letting us know if we were in danger from the horde.
It’s always important to test with an online first-person shooter, and our pick right now is the newest iteration of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. Compared to playing without any headset, our K/D ratio almost doubled, and for the more sneaky game modes, we felt much more in control.
Astro have not redesigned the wheel or anything here, but the 40mm drivers are stellar, and the sound stage was consistently strong. That’s true with all forms of entertainment, making these ideal headphones for whatever kind of media you want to use them for. We tested them with some sound production software, and they did a bang-up job.
Battery & Microphone
The wire-free capabilities are the big change from the A10, and we can talk all we like about how great the transmitter and connection are.
But, none of that matters without having a long-lasting battery to power you through those marathon late-night sessions. There is nothing worse than pausing to charge your battery in the middle of a battle!
And once again, Astro have delivered the goods here. With 15 plus hours available from a single charge, we are yet to run the batteries completely dry during testing. We use them for two or three days then charge them for a few hours and repeat. No issues at all.
We are not here to blow smoke screens. When we have an issue with a part of the products we review, we let you guys know. So we will just say it…
While reviewing the Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset, we found that the microphone is not the best on the market, not by a long shot. We intermittently found ourselves sounding distant and fuzzy, which messed up more than one streaming session. It is also not the worst mic out there. With this feature being a commonly overlooked aspect by manufacturers, but it is worth noting.
With over 33 feet (10 meters) of reach, once the base transmitter station is set up, we did not have one single dropout. We also tested with services like Skype and Zoom for work meetings, and the system works just as it should.
Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Pros & Cons
- Extremely comfortable.
- Great passive noise isolation.
- Convenient and simple control setup.
- Sturdy design.
- Low-quality microphone.
The Games Have Just Begun
Why stop there? With so many gaming options out there, so too are there headphones! So, check out our reviews of the Best Wireless Gaming Headsets, the Best Razer Gaming Headsets, the Best Wireless PlayStation 4 Headsets, the Best Xbox One Headsets, the Best Gaming Headset, and the Best Nintendo Switch Gaming Headsets currently on the market.
Or check out our Playstation Gold Wireless Headset review and “Level Up”!
Our Final Word
For the most part, the Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset excels. You are going to be hard-pressed to find a better set of wire-free headphones with this top-quality sound, comfort, signal strength, response, and price.
These mid-range priced beauties have their issues. But for the most part, they are just great value for money. We actually bought a pair for our house after the testing period finished.
So if you think these could be the ones for you, why not get yourself a pair and try them out!
Let the Gaming Begin…