ASTRO Gaming are seen by many as being right up there with the most respected gaming headset manufacturers in the world. For good reason too, as for a number of years they have been providing audio options for gamers across all manner of formats. Now though they’ve reworked one of their best selling headsets, that of the Gen-2 A20 Wireless, to lead them into the next generation of gaming. It’s pretty good too.
The Gen-2 A20 Wireless headset from ASTRO has been created specifically for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as gamers gather round for the introduction of the Xbox Series X|S and PS5. The Xbox version is a delight too, running a black, white and green colourway, to ensure that it fits into the Xbox ecosystem delightfully. If you’ve ever gone heads-on with an ASTRO headset previously, you’ll be right at home with the look of this one.
A rather angular product that does away with sweeping curves in order to embrace sharp lines and detail, the black headband that holds this thing together looks great. Complete with the ASTRO logo on the outer side, and benefiting from a great deal of padding underneath in typical ASTRO style, it sits nicely on the head. As with most headsets it’s fully adjustable too, with the striking white sides of the headset moving up and down to ensure that the A20 fits as you wish. This white detailing merges down to surround the earcups, resplendent with Xbox green detail through the middle. It has to be said that this looks great when placed in the largest size fitting, but does come across as a bit too spiky and futuristic for my liking when needs call for a smaller fit. That’s not to say it’s bad; it’s just a little strange and different to the norm.
The black earcups themselves look and feel lovely with ASTRO and A20 logos present and all are held neatly in place with little in terms of flex or swivel. Neither of those are really needed though to be honest because the cushions that caress your ears are gorgeous, feeling great when on the head. Perhaps there could be a bit more padding included as long term tests see the cloth that covers the 40mm speaker drivers begin to rest on the ear – you’ll certainly find yourself needing to take some of the pressure off occasionally – but on the whole, they are absolutely fine.
Those speaker drivers sound good though. Perhaps they aren’t as loud as I’d like, yet for everyday gaming in which you pop on and off your sessions they’ll more than provide the detail in the audio that you are looking for. ASTRO sell the Gen-2 A20 on being able to provide ‘true-to-life’ audio, and from use that statement holds true. There’s hardly ever any distortion either, no matter whether all hell is breaking loose on the latest battleground, or whether you’ve got the volume fired up to the max – it consistently delivers a solid audio party.
Controlling that audio should be simple too. The right earcup holds an easy to use power button, alongside an EQ mode that is capable of running through PRO, STUDIO and ASTRO offering, with the former providing tuning for precise mids and high detail, the Studio option perfect for accuracy, movies and music, and the latter dialling up the bass. Honestly, I’ve found the ASTRO setting is nigh on perfect for all gaming opportunities, but if you wish to mix things up every now and then, the option to do so is there. It is also this side of the headset which contains a volume dial, with button presses allowing commitment to both game and party chat, depending on which you wish to amend.
It is the left cup meanwhile that plays host to the all-important boom mic. Running a flip-to-mute mechanic, this is a fairly lengthy boom but that means it is extremely simple to use and place. It’s also very bendy so positioning this in front of your mouth, or slightly away from it to allow for most clarity, is a cinch. Apparently it sounds good too, with friends more than happy with communication. My only concern with it however is that as there is no cloth covering or wind buff on this mic, as it is moved up to the mute position, it clatters against the outside of the plastic headset itself. That’s not a problem if the headset is in place on the head, but the constant clatter that comes about as plastic mic and plastic headset come together is a tad annoying. It just makes the A20 feel a little cheap in that respect – although with a £100 price tag in tow, it’s certainly not that.
The ASTRO A20 Wireless Headset for Xbox promises to deliver more than 15 hours of battery life, and in use it’s not far off of that. Charging capabilities come about via the included USB-A to USB-C cable, and it’s great to see that ASTRO are working the more modern USB-C route over that of Micro-USB. That should, in theory, mean that this headset is capable of being charged via the plethora of USB-C cables that the majority of gamers have laying around the place, but in practise it’s a little trickier. The included cable happily charges the A20 from the Xbox Series X, but there are a good few others that won’t; Google Pixelbook chargers for instance (something we have scattered all over the place) don’t want to know, while OnePlus phone chargers do. Moral of that story? Keep the included ASTRO cable close to hand and you’ll not have an issue.
This is also a headset that comes with a 15m wireless range, with the included USB-A wireless transmitter connecting in to your Xbox console. Honestly, I’d like to have seen this transmitter be much smaller as when in place it just sticks out far too much. It works absolutely fine though, with constant connection in place pretty much from the get-go, and with secondary transmitters available for purchase it should be an easy enough task to take the A20 from console to console.
So, final thoughts? Well, should you be a fan of what ASTRO Gaming have delivered in the past, then the Gen-2 A20 Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox should certainly be one to consider. It’s not quite as premium feeling as I’d like, and the styling will be a bit marmite, but in terms of audio it provides exactly what is required; both in terms of what is coming into your ears and going out of your mouth. For a smidge under £100, the reworked, redesigned ASTRO Gen-2 A20 Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox isn’t a bad option to have at all.
Huge thanks to ASTRO Gaming for providing us the Gen-2 A20 Wireless Headset for Xbox for unboxing and review. You can pick up a unit for yourself from ASTRO direct.
Related: ASTRO A20 Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox – UNBOXING AND FIRST LOOK