ASTRO A20 Wireless: Made of plastic, but with significant inner values
For more than 15 years now, the ASTRO brand has frequented the gaming market with mid- and high-priced headsets, corresponding accessories, and a configurable controller. The US company attaches great importance to the suitability of its products for e-sports and all other demanding gamers. Besides the fact that ASTRO can usually meet the high expectations, it has also been able to win awards for its products.
After this announcement, we thought it was high time to take a closer look at one of their masterpieces. It’s a good thing that ASTRO has just launched the second generation of its A20 headset. This one has largely remained with the design of the previous generation, but has been given one or two invisible modifications.
The Xbox version of the ASTRO A20 Wireless has now fallen on our desk, which is why we will put it through its paces. Let’s see if quality, sound, battery and co. keep what the brand belonging to Logitech promises.
|Driver||40 mm neodymium|
|Frequency range||20 Hz – 20,000 Hz|
|Microphone type||Unidirectional 6 mm microphone|
|Connection||2.4 GHz radio frequency band + USB 2.0 via USB Type C|
|Range (wireless)||15 m|
|Battery power||1050 mAh|
|Charge time||3.5 hours|
|Length charging cable||1.5 m (Type-C to Type-A)|
|Battery life||15+ hours|
|Dimension||117.5 x 262 x 87.2 mm|
|Colors||Black/Green (Xbox style)|
|Price||€ 125.41 *|
What’s in the box?
In keeping with the price range in which the A20 is ranked, the packaging comes in a classy black box with the XBOX green adorning the bottom. Externally, the new headset from ASTRO already makes you want more at this point. But as we all know, you shouldn’t be fooled by fancy packaging – it’s the content that counts.
And that’s not extensive at first, but what does a wireless headset need in terms of extras? All that matters are potent drivers, a snappy look and a lot of potential in terms of battery and wearing comfort. In the case of the 2nd generation ASTRO A20, this is accompanied by a transmitter – which we will get to later in the review – as well as a 1.5-meter USB charging cable. The latter starts from a Type-C plug and changes to a Type-A plug in the direction of the power donor.
Externally, much remains the same
First of all, it is already noticeable after unpacking that little has changed in the design compared to the 1st generation predecessor. The new A20 for the XBOX has only received a different paint job. In the 2nd generation, the frame shines in white, instead of completely black, as in the predecessor. The earpiece, the outer casing of the earphones, the frame and the microphone have remained black.
What immediately stands out is the material, which was mainly processed: Plastic. Although the inner frame is made of metal, this does not change the external impression. The movable microphone is made of rubber material, so it is flexible, but not adjustable. The padding in the inner frame is also made of the rubber. Ultimately, the choice of materials tells us why the A20 is quite light at 318 grams. In return, it also makes a somewhat cheap impression haptically in our eyes – even though we know which manufacturer the headset comes from and the workmanship is impeccable.
Both earphones have a distinctive angular design, in keeping with ASTRO’s manner. Green accents on the microphone, on the left outer surface and in the earpieces as well as the likewise green visible cable, which runs on both sides towards the earpiece, distinguish the A20 as an XBOX headset. The left earpiece also has a total of two function keys, a status LED and a wheel that shifts the audio weight between party voice and game sound. The two function keys are used to turn the A20 on and off, and to switch between the three EQ modes. What these are all about is explained below.
So we conclude that despite the materials, the A20 Wireless boasts good workmanship and a tasteful exterior.
The wearing comfort can be felt
We tried the ASTRO A20 Wireless for several hours and even after that, the wearing comfort of the A20 was phenomenal. It’s at least as comfortable as the battery has juice.
The reason for the positive rating is the ear pads made of fabric and the decent pressure that comes from the headset – neither from above nor from the sides. In most cases, we find ear pads with a synthetic leather cover on headsets in the price range in which Astro usually plays. This often has the disadvantage of quickly becoming itchy or otherwise uncomfortable. We are very enthusiastic about the idea with the fabric cover and the really sufficiently good padding underneath.
Good sound is transmitted via 2.4 GHz signal
But now for the nitty-gritty: What can the ASTRO A20 Wireless for XBOX do in terms of sound quality? Answer: quite a bit! The 40mm neodymium drivers deliver the sound of any game in a reasonable frequency range. High, medium and low tones are played out clearly and in good proportion to each other. The ASTRO Audio V2 audio technology is responsible for this. The V2 reveals that it has been reworked here as well – with a positive outcome.
Furthermore, the wireless headset scores with three preset EQ modes, which – as already mentioned – can be changed with the corresponding button on the left earpiece. The ASTRO, PRO and STUDIO modes are available for selection; each with a different audio focus.
- The ASTRO mode is all about gaming sound, which thrives on bassy sounds.
- The PRO mode, on the other hand, tends towards medium and high audio tracks that are suitable for streaming on Twitch and co. as well as for professional gaming.
- Last but not least, the third in the bunch, the STUDIO mode, delivers a perfect sound experience for movies and music.
The whole thing is transmitted via 2.4 GHz signal to the transmitter. There is no loss of audio quality and the range of the A20 of 15 meters allows the wearer to visit the kitchen to get a drink without having to put the headset away and report AFK.
Good transmission, little flexibility
Accordingly, the voice party can continue talking happily. The microphone, which comes with a 6 mm driver, transmits the voice. It is capable of voice isolation. In this respect, it coped very well with the test.
We found the inflexibility of the microphone boom less appealing. We have seen this solved better by other manufacturers. The distance between the microphone and the mouth cannot be varied. In return, it has been given a flip-to-mute feature, which means that the microphone only has to be flipped upwards to interrupt the voice transmission. So, the 2nd generation ASTRO A20 collects both plus and minus points in this part as well.
The better half of the A20: the transmitter
Purely theoretically, the A20 is cross-platform compatible. In practical terms, however, that depends on the transmitters. Yes, exactly, plural. Although the 2nd generation A20 comes with a transmitter that makes the headset compatible with the Xbox Series X and PC as well as Mac in our version, this is of no use if the sound is to be transmitted from a Playstation.
In this case, you can either buy the blue version of the A20, which is suitable for PS4 and PS5, or use the ASTRO accessory store. The transmitter for both console manufacturers can be found there. If you buy the respective counterpart to the purchased A20 version, there is no more incompatibility in the way.
In the end, the advertising on the ASTRO product page of the A20 is a bit irritating. However, one only has to buy another transmitter to give weight to the truth of the advertisement. In the manufacturer’s online store, a separate transmitter costs just 19.99 euros.
Long live the battery
A wireless headset is only as good as the battery that is installed in it. In this case, ASTRO has managed to install enough lithium polymer to guarantee long gaming fun. The 1050 mAh battery provides more than 15 hours of runtime. This puts the A20 on par with other good headsets.
Charging is done with a USB cable, which adapts from Type-C to Type-A. In total, the batteries need 3.5 hours to be fully charged.
Software that the A20 cannot use
Normally, most of ASTRO’s headsets can use the in-house ASTRO Command Center software to perform finer tuning on audio and microphone. Unfortunately, the 2nd generation A20 is unable to do this. It only uses the software for updating the firmware. Unfortunately, the headset is also not recognized in the software with the current firmware, so one can only wonder why the headset is not recognized.
Even if the plastic case and the inflexible arm of the microphone could not convince us, the sound quality, the workmanship, the battery and the wearing comfort did. So, in the end, the good side wins.
However, we also want to note that there are far better headsets in the price range, which are also a higher-quality appearance externally as well as materially; for example, the HS70 Wireless from Corsair. Nevertheless, ASTRO, the gaming brand in Logitech’s brand pool, has already provided plenty of evidence of what kind of quality is in its devices since its inception. And finally, the A20 Wireless for the XBOX could also convince us. So if you don’t mind a plastic casing, you should definitely take a closer look.
The price is okay, but it’s at the pain threshold for what the A20 2nd Gen brings to the table.
ASTRO A20 Wireless (2. Generation)
Value for money
Good-sounding gaming headset that impresses with a long battery life, exciting design and high wearing comfort. If you don't mind a plastic casing, you should send the 2nd gen A20 into the race on the way to making a purchase decision.
ASTRO Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Gen 2 (Playstation 5, Playstation 4, PC, Mac) price comparison
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