If you’re lucky enough to have an ace new Xbox Series X or Series S, and you’re looking for just the right wireless headset, here’s the Astro A20 Gen 2 wireless.
The first thing that you’ll notice upon removing the new Astro A20 from its box is… a black plastic clamshell! But, once you open that up you’ll be looking at a very stylish headset. The design is quite strikingly angular, mainly white with black as well as Xbox green highlights, and may not be to everybody’s taste, but we reckon it makes a nice change from the black, black and more black of many gaming headsets. These look like they could have easily made their way out of a classic TV sci-fi series.
While instantly distinguishable from the original A20 by its whiteness, the Gen 2 also improves upon some less obvious features. Chief amongst these is the use of USB-C for charging, rather than clunky legacy Micro-USB. Naturally a charging cable is included, for plugging into the righthand earcup when the decent 15-hours or so of battery life reaches its end.
In the button department, the righthand side has a bright green volume knob, with a wing-shaped button either side for power as well as three different takes on equalisation. On the left earcup there’s a flip-to-mute mic, that’s not removable, but folds away fairly inconspicuously. Also, as this is a wireless setup, you’re not going to be taking the Astro A20 with you on public transport or suchlike, making the lack of removability quite a moot point.
Wireless connectivity remains via a fairly large 2.4GHz USB dongle, with which we had no issues connecting to either an Xbox or PC.
Right, time for testing. Comfort-wise, the A20’s unique design means that each earcup can be adjusted up or down – there’s no notch system on the nicely padded headband. It can be a bit awkward to find the right fit at first, but once we’d adjusted to this slightly different way of fitting a headset we found its comfy spot. Even with glasses, the super-soft earcups adjusted admirably, and the surprisingly light headset remained comfortable after a few hours of use.
As we always say, sound is the best test of a headset – after all, beyond the bells and whistles, if a headset sounds cruddy then what’s the point? The original A20 was a very nice sounding piece of kit, and nothing has changed in that department. We concentrated on gaming, and our usual tests from shooters to music-based games all delivered impressive bass, and great overall clarity. If something doesn’t sound quite right to your ears, a stab at the EQ button just may deliver something that even Goldilocks would be satisfied with.
While updating the A20 to suit the new generation of consoles, the Astro people didn’t lose sight of what made them so popular in their first iteration. As such, the Gen 2 Astro A20 is less revolution and more evolution, but it’s an impressive one nonetheless.
The Astro A20 Wireless is available now for Xbox/PC (as tested) and PlayStation/PC.