Enhanced Battery Life and Slick Accelerometer
As I mentioned, I loved my old A50’s but the battery life was hot garbage. I pretty much had to plug in the A50’s after every play session as they died within 3-5 hours. This new and improved A50 now has a 15-hour battery life. Every gamer wants more battery life and 15-hours is a huge step in the right direction. Another neat feature is the A50’s use an accelerometer to determine when a user is wearing them. So if the headphones remain idle, they power down into standby mode to preserve battery. Those with kids, barking dogs or a small bladder, like myself, who need to take frequent gaming breaks will absolutely love this feature.
The Charge Base is Sexy
Let’s face it, the old A50 stand where I hung my headset looked cheap. It is nowhere near as dead sexy as the new A50’s charge base. The stylish new A50 base station features magnetic charging contacts for simple docking and charging. It works like a charm and no longer do you have to hide it out of view. The base station transmitter also provides automatic headset pairing, battery status, and Dolby Surround on/off indication. If there is one area that is a huge improvement over older A50’s, it is definitely the new and improved base station. It’s dead sexy!
Fully Customizable Audio Experience
I could have devoted an entire article on the many customizable features of the A50’s. There are so many. Everything from the ear cups to the EQ settings, Astro has gone out of their way to ensure you are getting the audio experience you want for your play style. For starters, you can upgrade the A50 headset with the optional A50 Mod Kit for improved comfort, style, and noise isolation. The A50 Mod Kit (which costs around 50 bucks) includes a leather headband and leather ear cushions that can be swapped with the original cushions and headband for additional noise-cancellation and comfort. Sound wise, the A50’s work with Astro’s command center software, so you can adjust inputs, outputs, noise gate, sidetone, microphone levels, chat audio, Aux channels, custom EQ profiles, and more. There are three preloaded EQ settings but you do have the option to tailor your audio needs the way you want. It’s all about options and the A50 certainly gives you that.
You Can Switch Between Console and PC
Granted, I use this headset strictly for the Xbox One but I know many, including several writers on staff that bounce between Xbox One and PC. Being able to use the A50’s for both your PC and Xbox One gaming needs is pretty damn rad. Unfortunately, you can’t use them on your PS4; however, the ability to get USB surround sound from my PC is hella sweet. No need for an external switch or extra cables. Needless to say, I love having a headset I can simultaneously use on two gaming setups.
Have you got experience with the Astro A50’s? What do you think of them? Tell us in the comments below.