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Astro A30 Wireless

Astro A30 Wireless

The Astro A30 Wireless Gaming Headset has good sound quality but is difficult to use.

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Astro A30 offers a secure fit and great audio experience. However, it has a tricky set of controls and a steep learning curve.

Positives

Comfortable and modern style

Flexible delivery

Excellent sound quality

cons

Complex controls

inconsistent program

Annoying second microphone 

Suggested video

Specifications of ASTRO A30 Wireless

PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms are all compatible.

Drivers: 40 mm

Frequency 20Hz to 20kHz response

no wireless

Size: 12.1 ounces

As its name suggests, the Astro A30 Wireless is an improved model of the Astro A20 wireless gaming headset. Just like the A20 Wireless, the Astro A30 Wireless delivers great sound quality and a comfortable fit. Similar to the A20 Wireless, the A30 Wireless has a confusing control design, tricky pairing procedure, and an overall feeling that the $230 item should be a little easier to use.

However, it's indisputable that the A30 Wireless basically succeeds in achieving its goals. The gadget has excellent sound for music, TV, movies, productivity, games and other media, and has a stylish look. Although the microphone capability could be improved, the Bluetooth connectivity makes the headset comfortable to wear when out and about. With the appropriate add-on adapter, you can use it wirelessly with both PlayStation and Xbox systems.

The A30 Wireless is an excellent, if pricey, option for PC and console gamers who want their gaming headset to do a little bit of everything, although I wish it was a little easier to handle and didn't rely on finicky smartphone app tweaks minute. To find out if the Astro A30 Wireless is right for you or if one of the best gaming headsets is a better fit, read our full review.

The design

The Astro A30 Wireless is one of the more attractive gaming headsets I've reviewed in a long time, to give credit where credit is due. The A30 Wireless is sleek, lightweight, and packed with subtle, eye-catching details, unlike the majority of its competitors, who often sport bulky, functional, and colorless designs. Both the design and feature set of the A30 Wireless means a gaming headset that's as at home away from home as it is in front of your computer or game console. The Astro A30 Wireless really lives up to its claim of being a multipurpose accessory, unlike many other gaming headsets.

The headset is available in two colors: white and black. It has an extended plastic headband and plastic shell in each case. As plastic headbands are more likely to shatter than steel, the A30 Wireless seems to be fairly sturdy. With a barely-cushioned headband and earcups that roughly resemble rectangles, the headset itself is also on the thin side. It doesn't weigh much more or less than its competitors at 12.1 ounces, but it feels a bit smaller, which is a really clever trick. Plus, they feature incredibly striking, hard-to-photograph iridescent markings on the outside of the earcups. You can't help but wish your add-on gaming headsets had a similar level of aesthetic decoration.

On the back of the earcups, though, things get a bit more confusing. The power button, Bluetooth connectivity button, four-way controller, and USB-C charging port are on the right earcup. There are two 3.5mm ports—one for the audio cable, one for the microphone—and a microphone mute switch on the left.

The left ear piece doesn't have anything blatantly wrong with it. It will take some experience to discern the right control, as the power and bluetooth buttons on the right feel the same. Pairing notifications are also very annoying and loud, and you can't control their volume — you can only choose to turn them on or off completely. As a result, using the headset without taking it off to check the power and pairing modes is a hassle.

What I didn't like the most is the A30 Wireless' control group. This bump can regulate anything from chat mix to volume, but it's easy to flick in the wrong direction. Additionally, the increases in size are minimal. I would frequently hold the nub, suspecting that my media volume was actually getting any louder, until it suddenly reached an uncomfortable volume. On Windows, Android, PlayStation, and Switch, it's not automatically linked to volume, so you'll have to keep messing around with a couple of different settings to adjust.

  Comfort

While I wish it was a little easier to achieve a proper fit, the Astro A30 Wireless generally feels comfortable to wear. During every game or work session, I wore the headset for a few hours at a time, and never experienced any discomfort—even with my glasses on. The earcups were comfortable enough and produced a tight seal without making my ears sweat.

However, the adjustable headband lacks any notches or numbers, making it difficult to achieve a consistent fit. This is especially true since the A30 Wireless includes a carrying case, which you'll need to shrink the headset to fit. While I could always set the A30 Wireless roughly where I wanted it, I didn't like that there was no actual way to tell.

 The performance

Astro headsets often provide excellent in-game performance, and the A30 Wireless is no exception. Age of Empires IV, Diablo Immortal, Nioh, Assassin's Creed Valhalla on PS5, Nioh, Assassin's Creed Valhalla on PC, Live A Live on the Switch, and Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android were some of the PC and console games I used to test the A30 Wireless. Regardless of whether I used Bluetooth or USB to play, the sound environment was full of life. Although the A30 Wireless has twice the bass, most games benefit from that. Whether I was slashing swarms of demons or building a medieval city, the headset did a great job of mixing voice-over work, sound effects, and music.

The device also produced great sound for music and other entertainment. The voices of the characters in an episode of Bob's Burgers were both audible and distinct. I've also listened to The Rolling Stones, GF Handel Show, Flogging Molly, and Old Crow Medicine. The songs sounded more than good enough for everyday listening, though the headphone really doesn't give out enough bass for die-hard audiophiles. This makes sense given that the A30 Wireless is, in principle, easy to wear and carry outside the home.

 Features

The Astro A30 Wireless has the ability to connect to almost every system in your home, which is a nice feature. It is compatible with PC, PlayStation and consoles installed thanks to a USB-A dongle. It communicates via Bluetooth with portable keyboards, Android and iOS phones, and smart TVs. For older devices, the 3.5mm audio cord acts as a cap.

The only complication is that the A30 Wireless is available for purchase in either PlayStation or Xbox configurations, and due to Microsoft's obscure wireless protocols, they're not compatible. It's annoying having to spend an extra $20 on a dongle to connect the headset to both PlayStation and Xbox systems, but at least Astro offers the option; Most of its competitors do not.

However, it can be quite difficult to configure the A30 Wireless beyond the basics of connectivity. Powering the A30 Wireless is a unique smartphone app. To change the audio profile or microphone settings, you must Bluetooth connect the headset to your phone every time. Since your headset resets to its original settings from time to time, you'll need to adjust these settings more frequently than you might expect. Since the default is 40% instead of off, this is especially annoying if you hate side mic sound.

Another area where the A30 Wireless doesn't live up to expectations is the microphone. The headset has two microphones: a detachable boom mic and a built-in microphone that should turn on automatically when the boom mic is not in use. However, the built-in microphone repeatedly failed to work during my tests, and neither my computer nor my phone could detect it. It was too quiet and noisy to hold a conversation even when the microphone was working properly.

The boom microphone's flexible design makes it easy to adjust close to your mouth while still providing great sound quality. However, the internal mic bothers me more than it's worth, which makes me wonder why Astro even bothered to add it in the first place. Without it, the device would likely be less expensive and just as useful.

Battery life, which Astro estimates at 27 hours, is the last consideration. The A30 Wireless seemed to drain at this rate during our testing, but we expect actual battery life will depend on whether you use USB or Bluetooth connections and how often you use the microphone.

The verdict on the Astro A30 Wireless

The Astro A30 Wireless is one of those reliable “good and not-so-great” gaming headsets, and it should appeal to the majority of potential customers. You can wear it comfortably for hours at a time and the sound quality is Astro level. The software needs to be improved, and the controls overly complex for their own good, but those aren't the main benefits of a gaming headset.

Plus, the A30 Wireless fills a somewhat limited niche as a wireless Bluetooth gaming headset that's compatible with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. While the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT costs $270 and has better design and sound quality, HyperX is Cloud The Alpha Wireless is a bit more affordable at $200 but lacks Bluetooth. While the A30 Wireless isn't perfect for work and play, it excels in all areas, which isn't uncommon.

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