ASTRO’s A40 line is one of the most popular gaming headsets out there, but after having gone through many iterations, it’s hard to tell the models apart from one another. As a quick refresher, there are four generations in total. The first and second generations are simply known as the A40s without the TR branding, which stands for Tournament Ready. The whole TR thing started with the third-generation A40s, and the latest pair at the time of writing is the A40 TR Gen 4.
Throughout the series, major upgrades have been far and few between. Compared to the first generations, the latter two really only had TR Mod Kit compatibility added in, which isn’t a bad thing, needless to say. Now the changes between the A40 TR Gen 3 and Gen 4 are even smaller, and it pretty much boils down to audio quality and their corresponding MixAmps.
ASTRO A40 Gen 3 vs Gen 4 Comparison Chart
|Model||ASTRO A40 TR Gen 3||ASTRO A40 TR Gen 4|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Frequency Response||20 – 20 kHz||20 – 20 kHz|
|Transducers||Dynamic, open||Dynamic, open 40 mm|
|Nominal Impedance||48 ohms||48 ohms|
|Microphone||6 mm unidirectional||6 mm unidirectional|
|Weight||360 g||369 g|
The ASTRO A40 TR Gen 4’s coat of paint is more pleasing to the eye.
Aesthetically, the A40 TR Gen 4 is nicer to look at. It sports a sleeker paint job and more refined accents—blue for the PlayStation variant and red for the Xbox. The third-generation A40 TRs are available in black and gray or black with gold tones for the PlayStation version and white with red accents for the Xbox. Elsewhere, the A40 TR Gen 3 and Gen 4 are more or less the same.
Both are compatible with TR Mod Kits, as noted. Thanks to this, they have swappable components that can be improved and customized. The accessory pack includes a padded headband, a voice-isolating microphone and noise-canceling synthetic leather ear cushions. There are also speaker tags that come in various designs, offering not just a way to jazz things up but also the option to turn the open-back ASTRO A40 TR into closed-back headphones.
The ASTRO A40 TR Gen 4 improves on the A40 Gen 3 with ASTRO Audio V2.
Sound quality is where the main difference between the A40 TR Gen 3 and Gen 4 is. ASTRO updated the latest model with what it calls ASTRO Audio V2 to enhance general performance. Based on real-life usage, that translates to a slightly weaker bass that results in a cleaner sound overall.
Despite the upgrade, there’s not much of a noticeable distinction. Both still have rich bass, clear mids and highs that aren’t tinny. Their microphones aren’t the best, but they’re certainly far from the worst. There’s a buzzing sound when you crank up their volume beyond ASTRO’s recommendation, but that’s not a huge issue.
It goes without saying that the audio and microphone can be tweaked to perfection—or at least, to your liking—via the ASTRO Command Center. And that brings us to the MixAmp Gen 3 and Gen 4.
The new MixAmp Pro TR can go a long way.
Besides the headsets, the MixAmp has also been revamped. Going from the second generation to the third saw the new digital design. Afterward, the move to the fourth generation brought the new horizontal layout with the volume and game/chat balance dials side by side and ports on the back. ASTRO also added a bit more weight to the MixAmp Gen 4, so it’ll stay put better than the previous model, which is a tad too light to sit still.
In the ASTRO Command Center, there are four equalizer presets available: ASTRO, Balanced, Natural Bass and Tournament. All of these can be fine-tuned, allowing you to hit that sweet spot according to your audio preferences for different situations, be it listening to music, playing games or watching movies.
When it comes to the microphone, you can adjust things like sidetone to the point that you can hear yourself while chatting and modify audio gate levels based on the noise in your environment.
For the record, the MixAmp Pro TR Gen 4 is compatible with all A40s. That means you don’t have to trade up your A40 Gen 3 for the newer Gen 4 cans if you simply want to use the newer audio peripheral.
If you have to upgrade, getting the fourth-generation MixAmp Pro TR is more worthwhile than replacing the headset itself.Amazon product
Put simply, there’s virtually no difference between the ASTRO A40 TR Gen 3 and Gen 4, save for the latter’s new ASTRO Audio V2 processing, new colors and polished design. All things considered, the newer model doesn’t exactly warrant an upgrade, unless those small upgrades really matter to you.
The ASTRO A40 TR Gen 4 builds on the A40 Gen 3 with ASTRO Audio V2, new color accents and a sleeker finish.
Yes, all ASTRO A40s are compatible with the new MixAmp Pro TR Gen 4.
No, ASTRO A40s work even without a MixAmp. However, the audio peripheral is recommended because of how much it can improve the headsets’ performance.
If you’re coming from the ASTRO A40 TR Gen 3, then no, it’s not really worth it to trade up. The small improvements are nice to have but don’t seem to be worth the cost.