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ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR (2022): Choosing Gaming Headsets

The ASTRO A40 has gone through numerous iterations since its inception, eventually becoming known as the ASTRO A40 TR, which stands for Tournament Ready, for later generations.

The differences aren’t exactly clear, and all ASTRO really says is the two are the same except that the A40 TR is compatible with TR Mod Kits—on its help article, at least. While that’s true, that doesn’t really paint the entire picture. We take a closer look at the gaming cans to see what else makes one distinct from the other.

ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR Comparison Chart

ModelASTRO A40ASTRO A40 TR
 ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR
PriceCheck Price at Amazon.com
Frequency Response20 – 21 kHz20 – 20 kHz
TransducerDynamic, openDynamic, open 40 mm
Nominal Impedance48 ohms48 ohms
Microphone6 mm unidirectional6 mm unidirectional
Weight324 g369 g

Design

The ASTRO A40 TR has new colors to get with the times.

ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR Design
Here’s a look at the TR Mod Kit.

One of the most obvious differences between the ASTRO A40 and A40 TR is the latter has new color accents. The PlayStation version has blue speaker tags, while the Xbox variant sports red. Both definitely look more modern than the older model, which is starting to look relatively plain. Besides that, both headsets are more or less the same across the board in terms of design.

As mentioned, the ASTRO A40 TR is compatible with what the company calls TR Mod Kits. That means it has removable components that you can swap out. These include a padded headband, closed-back speaker tags available in a variety of designs and a voice-isolating microphone. There are also noise-canceling ear cushions made with synthetic leather, which come in handy if the default pads included in the box aren’t up your alley.

Features

Besides the headsets, the new MixAmp is where it’s at.

ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR Features
The new MixAmp Pro TR (in photo) is horizontal and digital, rather than vertical and analogue.

The MixAmp has also been refreshed throughout the iterations of the ASTRO A40 line. First off, the second-generation ASTRO A40 had a vertical analogue MixAmp, and then the third-generation ASTRO A40 TR built on it by going digital. Lastly, the fourth-generation ASTRO A40 TR upped the ante by overhauling the form factor to horizontal.

More than just a new look, it’s now slightly heavier so it would stay in place, seemingly addressing concerns over the previous model that wouldn’t sit still because it was too light.

In addition, the new MixAmp and ASTRO Command Center let you tweak the audio settings extensively. There are four equalizer presets by default, and you can customize all of them to your liking. Once you get the hang of things, this really has the potential to take the sound quality to all new heights.

However, it’s not perfect. The MixAmp doesn’t have a power button, and the LED notches on the volume and game/chat volume dials don’t turn off by themselves when not in use. 

Performance

The ASTRO A40 and A40 TR are pretty similar in audio performance.

ASTRO A40 vs A40 TR Performance
According to ASTRO, the new A40 TR (in photo) uses ASTRO Audio V2 to enhance sound quality.

Needless to say, sound is among the most important factors to consider in a headset, even in gaming cans. Straight from the horse’s mouth, ASTRO says that the A40 TR performs better than the A40 because it’s powered by ASTRO Audio V2. In other words, the older model will be working with dated drivers and tuning. On top of that, the new digital MixAmp is designed to enhance overall clarity of the audio.

Another advantage the ASTRO A40 TR has is it can be used as closed-back headphones via the TR Mod Kit, which can minimize leaks. However, that does sacrifice the wide soundstage inherent in open-back headphones.

Despite all that, the two deliver a similar sound performance. By that, we mean that the bass is still full and rich, the mids come through clearly and the highs aren’t over the top. Meanwhile, the microphone is decent enough. You can adjust the side tone and hear yourself on the fly, for one thing. There might be a slight buzzing in the mix if you turn up the volume beyond what ASTRO recommends, though.

Overall, audio of the headsets themselves are decent, but they’re not exactly the best. However, they’re exceptional when used with the MixAmp, but the thing is, that makes the peripheral more of a necessity rather than an add-on.

Verdict

The ASTRO A40 TR isn’t much of an upgrade, but the new MixAmp is something else.

To sum things up, the fourth-generation ASTRO A40 TR is a bit of an upgrade over the second-generation ASTRO A40. It has ASTRO Audio V2 and comes with swappable parts for TR Mod Kits, allowing it to turn into a closed-back headset, among other things.

All in all, the ASTRO A40 TR doesn’t really make a strong case for trading up from the ASTRO A40, especially if you own a pair that still works fine. If anything, it’s the new MixAmp that really sells, and the best part is, it’s compatible with any ASTRO A40 headset.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the ASTRO A40 and A40 TR?

The ASTRO A40 TR is compatible with TR Mod Kits, and it features ASTRO Audio V2, which improves sound quality. It also sports new color accents: blue for the PlayStation variant and red for the Xbox version.

📌 Is the ASTRO A40 TR worth it?

If you don’t own either headset, then the ASTRO A40 TR is worth getting. However, if you’re upgrading from the ASTRO A40, it’s not really worth the money, and you might be better off getting the MixAmp Pro TR instead.

📌 Does the ASTRO A40 TR need the MixAmp?

No, you can still use the ASTRO A40 TR even without the MixAmp, though it’s recommended to use the audio peripheral to get the most out of the gaming cans.

📌 Is the ASTRO A40 compatible with the MixAmp Pro TR?

Yes, all ASTRO A40 headsets work with the new MixAmp Pro TR.

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.