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ASTRO A50 Xbox Series X Review (2021): Is This Popular Gaming Headset Future-Proof?

The ASTRO A50 has been a long-time favorite in the gaming community, known for its excellent audio quality, solid build, and ergonomic design. While it has stood the test of time so far, is it still worth buying now that next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X have been released? If you’ve been eyeing the ASTRO A50 but you’re not quite sure if it’s a future-proof headset, here’s an in-depth review that might help you answer some questions.

ASTRO A50 Xbox Series X Review & Specs

NameASTRO A50
 
PriceCheck Price at Amazon
Microphone6.0mm uni-directional, voice isolating
Drivers40mm neodymium magnet
WirelessUp to 30 feet
Battery Life15 hours; 20 months on standby
Transducer PrincipleOpen-air
Frequency Response20Hz – 20,000Hz
Compatibility RequirementsMac, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Weight380g without cable
Base Station Dimensions8.5 x 4.25 x 1.15โ€
Base Station Weight318g without cable

Xbox Series X Compatibility & Setup

You need to install a firmware update to use the ASTRO A50 and Base Station with the Xbox Series X.

You can use Dolby Atmos on the A50 by downloading the Dolby Access app on your Xbox Series X.

So is the ASTRO A50 compatible with the Xbox Series X? You can breathe a sigh of relief because it is. ASTRO made it a point to announce to the gaming community that their entire collection of gaming headsets is indeed future-proof. This includes the Gen 3 and 4 of the A50 Wireless as well as its Base Station. You do, however, need to install a firmware update via the ASTRO Command Center software to enable game sounds and voice chat via USB. That shouldn’t take you too long though. You can also use Dolby Atmos on your A50 simply by downloading the Dolby Access app on your Xbox.

Once your A50 headset and Base Station are updated with the latest ASTRO firmware, you can then set them up with your Xbox Series X by following these steps:

  1. Turn on your Xbox Series X system
  2. If you don’t have the Dolby Access app yet, download it on your Xbox
  3. Get the included cable and connect its Micro USB end to the Base Station’s Micro USB port
  4. Locate the switch on the back of the Base Station and make sure that it’s on Xbox mode
  5. Get the USB-A end of the same cable and connect it to your Xbox Series X’s USB-A port (Note: If your Xbox is turned on and you’re signed in, the headset will automatically be assigned to you. If several users are signed in, be sure to assign the headset to the right user.)
  6. Turn your Xbox on if it isn’t already, access the settings menu, and select “Volume & Audio Output”
  7. Under “Volume Options”, make sure that the party chat output is put to headset
  8. Under “Headset Audio”, set the audio format to Dolby Atmos
  9. Open the Dolby Access app on your Xbox, access the settings menu, and choose from the EQ presets or customize your own EQ profile
  10. You can close the menu and start playing games

Design

The latest version of the ASTRO A50 is solidly built and is comfortable to wear for long hours.

The A50’s ear cups and headband are padded with a thick layer of memory foam.

The Gen 3 and 4 A50 headsets are nearly identical, save for a few tweaks on the newer version. The latest A50 showcases a more subdued, minimalist design, ditching the bold colorway for an all-black matte look. For those who want a little more flashiness, however, you can always go for the PlayStation 4 version which has gray detailing or the Xbox One version which has gold accents. Colors aside, the new A50 has the same solid build that the previous version is known for, equipped with aluminum struts that securely connect the massive ear cups to the headband.

While the A50 is a heavy-duty headset, that doesn’t mean all comfort has gone out the window. Both ear cups are padded with a generous amount of memory foam and are protected by a soft and breathable fabric. You’ll find the same materials on the underside of the headband. So even if you spend several hours a day gaming, your ears and head don’t have to suffer from any aches and pains. Also, majority of the headset is made of light yet durable plastic so you don’t have to worry about it weighing you down while you’re crushing your virtual enemies.

As for controls, you’ll find all of them conveniently located on the right ear cup (sorry to the lefties out there). You get a Dolby surround sound button, an EQ preset button, a game-voice mix rocker switch, and a volume wheel. There’s also a Micro USB charging point in case you want to charge via a cable instead of the Base Station. Speaking of the Base Station, it’s a lot more compact than the 2016 version. But even though it looks nothing more than a charging station, you can use it to connect to your PC, game console, or optical audio source as well as view your headset’s settings.

Performance

The ASTRO A50 delivers impressive game sounds and is just as capable of handling music.

Turn on the Dolby surround sound for a wider sound stage and better directionality.

So how does the A50 sound like? It tends to emphasize the lows more than the highs so you can expect bass-y sounds like gunfires, explosions, and footsteps to be extra clear and punchy. This way, you know exactly when your enemies are nearby and you can be on high alert. If you want an even more immersive gaming experience, turn on the Dolby simulated surround sound for a wide sound stage, impressive stereo panning, and crystal clear audio. You can also expect good directionality, allowing you to determine where a sound is coming from and how far away it is.

The A50 is just as capable of handling music, delivering a strong bass performance without being overwhelming. You’ll be able to easily pick out sounds like the kick drum and synth notes but even if they come through with quite a bit of force, they don’t get distorted even at higher volumes. The highs and mids are well-balanced as well so you can expect snares, guitar riffs, and wailing vocals to come through and give some excitement to the mix. If you’re not happy with the default EQ settings, you can always customize your own profile via the ASTRO Command Center app.

As for the A50’s mic, it might not be as impressive as that of other gaming headsets. But with a little customizing, you can get pretty good results. Because the mic gain is a little too low, you can try to increase it via the ASTRO Command Center app. This should fix the muffled sound that seems to be present with the default settings.

Verdict

The ASTRO A50 and its Base Station are worth the investment.

ASTRO A50

Compatible with Xbox Series X

Base Station

Paired with ASTRO A50

The ASTRO A50 has no problems keeping up with next-gen gaming consoles. Designed to be future-proof, you can use this headset along with your Xbox Series X simply by updating its firmware. Pairing the A50 with the Xbox Series X will level up your gaming experience, allowing you to enjoy Dolby simulated surround sound. Aside from impressive audio quality, the A50 also boasts of a sleek and ergonomic design which will make you look and feel great as you play your favorite games. With that, we think the ASTRO A50 and its Base Station are definitely worth the investment.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you use the ASTRO A50 with the next-gen Xbox Series X?

Yes, the ASTRO A50 is future-proof and can be used with next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X. All you have to do is install a firmware update via the ASTRO Command Center software to enable game sounds and voice chat via USB.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can you use Dolby Atmos when you pair the ASTRO A50 with the Xbox Series X?

Yes, you can. You can also use Dolby Atmos on your ASTRO A50 simply by downloading the Dolby Access app on your Xbox.

๐Ÿ“Œ What does the Base Station that comes with ASTRO A50 do?

The new Base Station is a lot more compact than the 2016 version. But even though it looks nothing more than a charging station, you can use it to connect to your PC, game console, or optical audio source as well as view your headset’s settings.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the ASTRO A50 worth it?

Yes, we think that the ASTRO A50 and its Base Station are definitely worth the investment. Not only does the ASTRO A50 boast of impeccable design but it will also level up your gaming experience through impressive audio performance.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.