Astro A40 BXR Special Ed. Wireless Audio System for Gaming
Recently, we had the opportunity to fully test one of the best gaming peripherals out there, an audio system compatible with all the current game platforms. It's widely used by gamers and it's also the official headset of MLG (Major League Gaming)
We have tried a couple other third-party stereo sets and headphones in the past, but we were pleasantly surprised by the ASTRO A40 BXR Special Edition Audio System from the moment we opened the box. As you know, packaging is very important nowadays. Highly regarded companies like Apple spend good money in research and material to create a good impression right out of the box, and it looks like ASTRO has done just that, offering a high-quality product carefully packaged in hard cardboard boxes that are split up into a few different sections, with flaps to lift up, a cover to slide out, and plastic baggies to protect each valuable component - a great presentation indeed.
Inside, there is the Tx receiver – a discreet black box powered via an AC adapter and connected to the game console via an optical audio cable. Then, there is the MixAmp 5.8 Rx unit, a small wireless device with two dials that allow you to control the volume of the game and the volume of the voice chat independently, as well as the overall volume of the sound coming through the headset. Being able to adjust both the volume of the game and the voice chat separately in such a simple way is no doubt one of the highlights of the set, and I was very pleased with its functionality and precision. If you enjoy subwoofer effects, you can also push the Bass Expander button, which is a nice option to customize your experience.
You can attach the little Rx device to your clothing easily with the built-in clip. Then, you can plug any standard headphones into it to complete the system. Luckily, we also unwrapped and set up a fantastic A40 headset. It’s solid as a rock, built out of hard plastic and metal bars on the sides to adjust it comfortably to your head. Its comfy ear cushions are perfect for long gaming sessions, with heat being the only possible hitch. The fancy, interchangeable (and customizable) covers on the sides of the A40 BXR Special Edition stick to the headset by four magnetic points, and you can add special foam pads in between them and the headset to reduce or neutralize outside noise if you prefer an impecable aural experience. There’s also a removable microphone you can plug into one of the sides via a 1.5mm microphone jack if you plan to use voice chat.
Needless to say, the audio quality is outstanding. Everything sounds crystal clear, and the microphone picks up your voice without a problem, blocking out external noises that may interfere with the communication. With additional cables, you can plug in the MixAmp 5.8 Rx Unit to your Xbox 360 or PS3 controller, as well as your PC, iPod, smartphone, or anything else you can think of, making it a universally compatible device.
With 5.8 GHz wireless technology, the audio experience is crisp and uninterrupted, unlike the one offered by other devices such as telephones, controllers, and computer mice, which often suffer from interferences due to the 2.4 GHz connection. To top it off, the ASTRO A40 Wireless Audio System supports Dolby® 7.1 Surround Sound, being one of the most compact high-end audio systems on the market.
We were certainly delighted with it, pleasantly surprised by its sleek form factor and high quality of its components. Sure, the price point of the ASTRO A40 BXR Special Edition Audio System, at around $250-280, is on the expensive side, but not for what you get and the risk-free trial policy the company offers. If you want something highly professional that will last for years to come, this is it. Whether you’re a gamer (Call of Duty, Halo, anyone?) or a big music aficionado, this may be just what you need.
If you'd like to find out more about this special edition set, check out the A40 BXR's features on the next page.
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An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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