The Best Headset for Those Don’t Like Charging Batteries


WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A step behind the A50, the A40 is still one of the best gaming headsets around.

Price: Check Price
Sound: Surround sound
Weight: 12.7 ounces
Battery Life: N/A
Compatibility: Depends on model
Mic: Semi-flexible flip-up
Drivers: 40mm neodynium

Design

While the Astro A50 is designed for the newer generation of consoles, the A40 is perfectly compatible with the PS3, more affordable, and comes with its own audio controller for quickly controlling volume and muting (like the A50, it also offers a mod kit with thicker earcup cushions and a noise-isolating mic that’s made for particularly loud environments, although we didn’t get to try those particularly accessories).

While slightly heavier (perhaps due to the cables that the A40 requires), the design of the A40 matches the excellent A50 very closely, and has much of its lightweight advantages, so there shouldn’t be many problems with fit.

Buttons are once again well-placed and while volume controls could be a little easier to use, it’s quite manageable. Actually, if you prefer in-line controls or an on-the-table audio controller, you may like the design of this headset even more than the A50.

The audio controller is a different beast from the Turtle Beach Elite version, focusing on a primary volume dial, a game chat balance dial, and a few buttons for quick muting and mode-switching. It’s ideal for streaming and, with practice, can be an asset in highly competitive play.

The flip-up mix has undergone almost no changes between the A40 and A50, and remains one of the best mics we’ve seen, a rubberized semi-flexible model that does its job without getting in the way. However, if you get a model that includes that alternate mic with better noise cancelling abilities, we suggest you make the switch. There’s not much difference in outward design, and you get better communication capabilities.

Sound

the-best-headset-for-those-dont-like-charging-batteries The Best Headset for Those Don't Like Charging Batteries

Astro A40 with controller.

The A40 provides downright excellent wireless sound, and with less chance of lag than the A50.

The downside is, of course, that the A40 has no wireless capabilities, so you will need a setup where dealing with cables isn’t a hassle. But if you can make it work out, then you get top notch sound that’s crystal clear at most ranges, has a pleasantly sonorous bass, and will make it easy to pinpoint audio cues. It may not be quite as accurate on directions or crystal clear in sound at the A50, but make no mistake, this headset still excels.

For mic communication you may need to adjust the volume ranges a little to make sure you can be heard easily, but otherwise there no problems here.

There are two additional features worth mentioning for sound.

First, via the audio controller you can customize your chat and game audio very easy for 2-channel Dolby Surround streaming, which makes this headset an affordable pick for you amateur streamers out there.

Second, there’s a “daisy chain” tether cable for a digital audio connection when communicating and listening. Use this cable to help cut down on lag!


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