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Zeealex

Astro A40- thoughts

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hello, sorry this is a little late, there were some problems with the computer and it took ages to suss out.
so! where to start, well, first of all, I would like to sincerely thank Rocky, Wombat50 and Apexmods, all of you are astonishingly wonderful :)
secondly, congrats to all those who won a prize in the LoL competition well deserved guys :)
and thirdly, i do apologize for the bad Jpeg compression, the photos were very high res originally, and also for the state of my computer desk, it's quite literally being held together with duct tape.
On with the show! i'll keep it short
Comfort 9.8/10:
Comfort is key, and my old headset (giotek EX-05) dug into my head because it had NO padding on the top at all, it wasn't very ergonomic and it also didn't have good weight distrubution, causing my neck to hurt with prolonged use and the padding promoted sweating (ew). Thankfully, Astro have thought of all 4, and padded the top and ears generously, it almost feels like they've surrounded you with pillows, and in theory, you could probably replace your bed's pillow with them. they've also designed them so the weight is well distributed, and wont hurt your neck after a while. they are also designed to lie flat around your neck, so as not to obstruct head movement or cause neck strain. I've worn them all day with no issue, other than my hair getting caught in the adjusters XD
Style 9.7/10: Gotta give it to 'em, the headset and the mixamp is very stylish, the customization options of the headset is a huge plus, you are able to get your own custom speaker tags ordered from the USA, and also change what side you have the mic on or even remove it completely is brilliant.
The mixamp's piano black, white and red colour scheme is gorgeous only tiny problem, fingerprints show up very quick.
Durability 10/10: they are very robust, obviously I haven't thrown them about like a CoD championship player would ( :P ) but they aren't flimsy for sure and it doesn't feel like they will break easily and for the use I will put them under (i'm a very calm player) they won't break.
Packaging 11/10: well, this is going to sound really funny, but the box was the most AMAZING box i've ever seen, it wasn't a cheapo cardboard thing with a clamshell package, it was a smooth card sleeve encasing a well printed box with the most amazing box art I've seen ever! the casing allowed the headset to be grabbed easily, and was held closed with tiny magnets, and opened by conveniently placed tabs. i'm keeping the box, it's too good to throw out!
Performance: 10/10
I tested the surround capabilities by using a variety of videos and games on the Xbox, they included these two videos:
This Surround sound test was brilliant, and scary, but the LFE was handled well, as well as the high volume, I didn't hear any horrible crackling noises from the headset.
This one was really good for directions, with the helis whizzing in from behind you and whizzing past your head etc etc
I also tested games, and overall i was amazed at the jump in quality between this and my old headset, i could hear the roar of jet engines clear as crystal, the direction of shooters, and the tiny sounds of footsteps behind me, i never got bored of hearing jet aircraft whizz past and grenades go off behind me.
I've loved every second so far.
Piccies:
IMGP8695_zps05d9f22d.jpg
Did i mention the mixamp was huge!
IMGP8690_zps428b1565.jpg
The Stylish goodness of the headset and the box
IMGP8683_zpsbebbb211.jpg
the smooth card sleeve
Verdict: after a weekend and a bit, VERY pleased, they perform well, they didn't meet my expectations at all, they were better by far! and also bigger, i was expecting the mixamp to be tiny, i'm not complaining though. the sound that comes out of them is not a sound you can easily get used to, in a good way. you'll never get bored... ever!
i will definitely be using these again and again for years to come. thank you guys! :)
Overall, I've got to give it a 10/10 I can't fault it largely.

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I hope you did not pay the full $200 for those. :S

If they make you happy, then okay.. they are not terrible... but still hope they were on a good sale.

IDK, I am no audophile but <3 my Sure SRH840 + separate mic. *shrug* Though some people complain about them being heavy I have not had an issue. As for long hair, idk, mine is tied back when I use em.

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They are awesome, thanks for taking the time to type that up and take the photos. Amazing headset. Enjoy, and congratulations.

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I hope you did not pay the full $200 for those. :S

If they make you happy, then okay.. they are not terrible... but still hope they were on a good sale.

IDK, I am no audophile but <3 my Sure SRH840 + separate mic. *shrug* Though some people complain about them being heavy I have not had an issue. As for long hair, idk, mine is tied back when I use em.

Somebody is an optimist.

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Well, as long as they are not Beats by Dr.Dre, then zeealex is probably going to be ok. :P

*Edit

riley, it is just that $200 seems a tad steep and if you are spending $200 you have some nice quality options.

Edited by Oelmuvun

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woah hey, that's a little harsh! I'm going to put this gently, I believe the A40 headset a part of that "nice quality" list don't put them down if you haven't tried them!

so you've got your SRH840 you don't see me saying "i can't justify £150 for that headset it seems like a terrible headset to me" but notice, i'm not.

I've got my Astro A40's which I put the review up for because apexmods kindly requested we all reviewed what we won when we won it, not to shove it in people's faces that I've got new gear, so honestly, I don't see the problem you have here.

Edited by Zeealex

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I actually got mine used for $100 CAD. I know I got lucky, but totally worth it and I am not above buying used things. After trying my SRH840s, I too would say that I would pay full price if I had to. though if I am paying full price I am looking at other options too.

(Apparently the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 are supposed to be wicked for gaming, and only $100 USD on amazon.com.. but $150 on amazon.ca. Only downside is that they are open-air so people around you might hear what you are listening to and that might bug them)

Sorry zeealex, my initial post was mostly based on the presumption that you paid full price for your A40 headset. But if you can get them for less than $200 they would be nice to have, full steam ahead!

I know that sometimes I seem like I am elitist but I have multiple things that were available at the right price and/or right time but would not have otherwise been desired at full price. And there is nothing wrong with that if it can be made to work reasonably. You are happy with your headset and that is the important part.

Just do not try anything better unless you are ready to upgrade because it shatters the illusion, and that hurts. :( You can never ever go back.

To be fair I bet Ghost Recon's audio is maxed out by some pretty cheap headphones in the first place so anything better is likely plain overkill.

I know that my cans are only "nice" too, and not higher up. that is also A-OK as long as they are better than Beats by Dr.Dre. hehe :P

Didn't Riley also get some headphones recently? I cannot remember what he has, but he is quite happy with them as I recall.

(inb4 he actually has Beats and I forgot. :oops: )

Edited by Oelmuvun

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I got a twenty dollar pair at Walmart lol

However I got a seventy dollar pair this week that are wireless and the sounds quality is disappointing compared to my cheap ones. This new pair doesn't fit over my ears and therefore doesn't give me the same awesome sound or comfort.

But let's stay on topic :)

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no worries, the astro headset is high end, and certainly the best i'll ever need, have you looked the specs for the 2013 edition? I don't always use them for gaming either, i use them for music, and for playing movies, the great sound quality comes in handy, and the surround sound comes in great for the movies too so they are versatile, and just what i need. i'm more than happy with them, and i won't buy a new headset for quite a while :)

it's actually the mixamp that packs the price, because of the dolby enabled hardware etc etc and I'm no audiophile myself, but i love this headset!

I'm not a fan of beats, tried my friend's no, thank you!

no offense riley ;)

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Actually I have a legitimate question:

" they are also designed to lie flat around your neck, so as not to obstruct head movement "

Are you talking about the bottom of the earcups being smooth and sloped instead of stepped with edges? Or am I missing something?

Riley, Yea, it is sort of important when gaming to get some wired circumaural cans. The cheap wireless ones are not really that great. Open or closed depends on your perference and if you will be using them around other people. But if you are not using them in bed beside someone trying to sleep or something, and will not use them in quiet public places then open can offer a better experience.

*Edit

Riley you should try(and then review) these, free shipping in USA even:

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-AD700-Audiophile-Headphones/dp/B000CMS0XU

*Riley's mind(and ears) blown in three.. two...*

*Edit

damn, now I want some open headphones too. :<

Edited by Oelmuvun

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Actually I have a legitimate question:

" they are also designed to lie flat around your neck, so as not to obstruct head movement "

Are you talking about the bottom of the earcups being smooth and sloped instead of stepped with edges? Or am I missing something?

good question, if forgot to explain that bit :P they are designed so the earcups rotate up to 90 degrees, it may not be the first time it's been done and it may seem pointless, but it's VERY useful for storage.

I'll get photos of them flat.

Edited by Zeealex

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Flat? Oh, do you mean like these are:
05605.jpg

I can see that being useful if you had to lower them to hear something for a bit or were taking a break.
Mine have a little twist like that but not much at all, so you have to flip the earcups facing outward if you want to hang em around your neck. It is not very classy :P
But they do fold up nicely under the headband for portability.

For the sake of user preference/choice it is good that not all have the same range of motion. :thumbsup:

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jah! like that! :) if you needed to hear something, you just switch the mixamp off, and audio stops coming through ;) but yeah, if you need a break, you just rotate them to rest around your neck.

I don't like the idea of ones that fold, not a preferential issue, it's great for transport, but i often get afraid of what happens if i fold them too far :P

sorry, little late :P

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well, after a good year of solid every day use, these old babies are actually starting to show some signs of wear, I'm not sure if it's the cable, but there's the ominous crackle of death coming through on my left speaker every now and then, it's bugging me so much!
it could be a blown speaker, but I doubt it, the headset works perfectly one minute, then starts crackling the next, same sound, same volume, it would strike me to be more of a cable/jackplug problem. from previous experience, a blown speaker tends to be more consistent.

either way, they're still going after a year, longest lasting headset I've had, after a pair of very old altec lansing ones, funnily enough I blew out the speakers on them.

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After 18 months, my Turtle Beaches P11's doing the same good as they did brand new, I use them every day for more than 5 hours.

Buying the expensive stuff doesn't always come with long-term durability.

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It was actually a bit of muck, blew on the speakers, no more buzz :P

don't get me wrong, now that that muck's gone, they still work like I took them out of the box yesterday, absolutely love them, they come in handy in arma as I'm normally the first to hear, and get a direction to the hostile forces just by using the sound of their speech, footsteps or gunfire, not saying other headsets don't to the same, it's just these seem to be showing their worth in gaming situations like that, when everyone else is shouting out "where are they shooting from!?" and I can say with confidence "North West/South East" etc


there will be cheaper headsets out there that do exactly the same as these, but at the end of the day it could be a £10 headset a £100 headset, or a £1,000 headset, either one will have a weakness or a manufacturing fault, durability is never guaranteed, ###### happens, but not all of the time.

I wouldn't really blame Astro if they broke though, the amount of times I've tripped over the cable or fallen off my chair and yanked on the Q/D cable in doing so it would be my fault if they broke.

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Well, Astro's do seem to tell directions well.

Here's a short stream highlight of GoldGlove's white Astro smash over 'loose' instead of lose.

Edited by Blame

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So I said 'goodbye' to them today, after nearly 4 years of excellent service. Took an upgrade to the new A40 and Mixamp Pro TR system, which is 7.1 over 5.1 with better software and a better mic. The old gen 2's still work, and still looked great after so long, with only the pads looking a little shabby. I've given them to my friend for no cost other than a promise to look after them. 

It was kinda sad to see them go, after so long they kinda became my favourite thing, but alas, things move on, things change. 

So thanks again Rocky and gang, the headset has served me well, and is now continuing to make a friend very, very happy. 

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