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ASTRO A20 Gen 2 vs Gen 1 (2021): Is It Worth The Upgrade?

While they’re best known for high-end gaming products, ASTRO has also ventured into making affordable gaming peripherals. The ASTRO A20 Gen 2, for instance, is a $120 wireless headset that’s half the price of the more premium ASTRO A50. It’s also an upgraded version to the A20 Gen 1 first released in 2017 and which marked the company’s entry into the territory of more economical wireless gaming headsets. The A20 Gen 2’s price point is even lower than how the original A20 was priced. With three years having elapsed before this update, is the A20 Gen 2 truly worth the upgrade? Below, we compare ASTRO’s budget-friendly wireless headsets to find out.

ASTRO A20 Gen 2 vs Gen 1 Comparison Chart

ModelASTRO A20 Wireless Gen 2 HeadsetASTRO A20 Wireless Gen 1 Headset
 ASTRO Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Gen 2 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC & Mac - White/BlueLogitech astro A20 Wireless Headset Black/Blue - Playstation 4/PC/MAC (Renewed)
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
CompatibilityBlue variant (PS4, PC-Mac); Green variant (Xbox, PC-Mac)Blue variant (PS4, PC-Mac); Green variant (Xbox, PC-Mac)
Cross-console CompatibilityYes, via USB transmitterYes, via USB transmitter
DesignOver-earOver-ear
Wireless Range49 ft.30 ft.
Wireless Frequency2.4 GHz5.8 GHz
ConnectivityUSB-A to USB-C cableMicro USB cable
MicrophoneAdjustable boom microphoneAdjustable boom microphone
Drivers40mm Neodymium40mm Neodymium
Battery Life15+ hours15+ hours
Auto-Off TimerYesNo
Weight318g320g

Design and Comfort

Except for its black and white body, the design of the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 largely remains the same as the Gen 1.

Here’s a look at the package contents of the A20 Gen 2 (right) and Gen 1 (left)

If you’re looking for a headset that adheres to the gamer aesthetic, then the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 will be right up your alley. Both wireless headsets sport chunky, angular designs, including squarish ear cups that lend them a futuristic appearance. They also sport either neon blue or green accents, depending on your choice of platform.

With the A20 Gen 1, however, you essentially get a black device that looks a little more understated. On the other hand, the A20 Gen 2 sports white headset arms, giving it a tricolor appearance that’s trendy and eye-catching. Both headsets are also made of durable plastic, although without the premium feel found on devices with steel or metal construction.

When it comes to comfort, these headsets fair well enough. The Gen 2 model is only slightly lighter than the Gen 1, so the difference in headset pressure is practically negligible. You’ll find that both devices make use of cloth ear cushions, too, that feels nice on the skin.

Now the U-shaped form of the A20 Gen 1 and 2 translates to an almost flat arc that forms the unpadded headband. It shouldn’t be a big deal, especially since it connects to an adjustable strut you can slide up and down for a better fit. However, the ear cups don’t swivel, so some users might find this headset fits tighter than others.

Sound Performance

You get slightly better music and gaming performance from the A20 Gen 2 compared to the Gen 1.

Front and back views of the A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 show a chunky, U-shaped form.

The ASTRO A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 both deliver a bass-heavy sound performance typical of most gaming headsets. However, you won’t get the same level of bass response here compared to the ASTRO A50, for example. This is where the A20 Gen 2 model has a bit of an advantage. When it comes to music, the Gen 2 handles bass tracks much better than its predecessor. Even at high volumes, distortion is minimized. The midrange feels a lot more solid, too, and you’ll notice the headset offers a bit more clarity and balance than the Gen 1 model.

When it comes to game audio, the A20 Gen 2 also fares slightly better than the Gen 1. Dialogue and sound effects are quite clear on the new model, with game thuds and explosions similarly packing plenty of punch. However, it’s not a huge upgrade from what the A20 Gen 1 is capable of delivering. The 2017 model still boasts a satisfying sound performance for gaming, and users will still appreciate the full and distinct audio quality it offers.

Both the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 lack any in-headset surround sound feature. Instead, all you get is panning on stereo channels. It’s decent if you want directionality, but you do end up relying more on a game’s mixing or a third-party app to improve the immersive sound quality. There is no active noise cancellation here, too. In noisy gaming environments, ambient sound is bound to seep in given the not-so-perfect fit of the headset.

Microphone

Both the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 are capable of solid voice recording with their boom microphones.

The boom mic of the A20 Gen 1 and 2 is attached to the left ear cup.

The ASTRO A20 Gen 2 doesn’t offer anything new in terms of the microphone. You still get the same unidirectional mic with a flip-to-mute feature present in the Gen 1 model. And it still is non-detachable. But despite the lacking upgrades in this area, you’ll find that the microphone performance of both headsets is quite respectable.

Voice recordings on the A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 are surprisingly clear. They both handle ambient noise quite well, although more demanding environments — loudspeakers or booming music — may not be as forgiving as the casual chatter or passing car. However, users have shared that the Gen 2’s microphone still produces a slight hissing sound in recordings, an issue found in the Gen 1 model, too.

Battery Life and Compatibility

Battery life and compatibility are still the same for both headsets. The A20 Gen 2, however, boasts a larger wireless range.

Here’s a look at the Xbox variant of the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 (right) and A20 Gen 1 (left).

For largely budget headsets, the battery life on the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 and Gen 1 is pretty good. The Gen 2 doesn’t offer much more mileage, though. You’re still getting 15 hours of battery life on a single charge. Charging time can range between 3 to 3.5 hours for both headsets. The A20 Gen 2, however, sports a USB-C charging port and cable, which is more convenient than the Gen 1’s micro USB option. Plus, it comes with an auto-shutdown feature to save on battery if your headset has been inactive for 10 minutes.

Perhaps the big difference in features is that the A20 Gen 2 now has a 49 ft. wireless range. This is all thanks to the switch to a lower 2.4 GHz frequency. Nonetheless, if used purely for gaming, we’re not sure just how advantageous a larger wireless range is. But if you plan to use the A20 for listening to music, then the extra feet will give you a bit more freedom to move around.

Just like the Gen 1, the A20 Gen 2’s color corresponds to platform compatibility. The Blue variant is for the PlayStation 4, while the Green option is for the Xbox. Both color variants, however, are compatible with PC and Mac. If you want to use the Blue model for Xbox or the green model for PlayStation 4, you’ll need to get a separate USB transmitter for that specific console — an extra $20 expense.

Verdict

All things considered, the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 is just a minor upgrade from the A20 Gen 1.

It took about three years before ASTRO’s A20 wireless headset got a follow-up. A quick look at its features, however, reveals only a few improvements on the device instead of a considerable upgrade. The ASTRO A20 Gen 2 offers slightly better performance and expanded wireless range compared to the A20 Gen 1. But the hardware remains largely unchanged except for the presence of a USB-C charging port on the new headset.

Is that enough of a reason to upgrade? Probably not. The A20 Gen 1 is still a capable gaming headset, and the micro USB issue is probably a small inconvenience that can be easily dealt with. But if it’s your first time purchasing any of the two headsets, the A20 Gen 2 should be your default choice. USB-C, after all, is become the industry standard. The Gen 2 is also coming in at a lower price point compared to the Gen 1 when it came out. This certainly gives more value to purchase it over the Gen 1.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the ASTRO A20 Gen 1 and Gen 2?

The ASTRO A20 Gen 2 comes in a black and white body, with the same neon blue or green color accents as the Gen 1 model. The Gen 2 models, however, sports a USB-C charging port and a larger 49 ft. wireless range compared to its predecessor.

📌 Is the boom mic on the ASTRO A20 headset detachable?

No, the ASTRO A20’s headset is not detachable.

📌 What’s the difference between the ASTRO A10 and the ASTRO 20 gaming headsets?

The main difference between the ASTRO A10 and ASTRO A20 is that the latter is a wireless headset.

📌 How does the flip-to-mute feature of the ASTRO A20 work?

The ASTRO A20’s microphone automatically mutes when flipped up. You don’t need to press any buttons or change any settings.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.