TheMacFeed and Astro Gaming have been working together for more than a year now. Last year we brought three big stories within a few months of each other; an A40 review in January, an A30 review following in March and an interview in April. Astro has since released a completely revamped product line including a wireless Mixamp; I had the chance to review it.
Last year, there was one issue I found frustrating with Astro’s gaming ecosystem. It was the wires; they went everywhere, and there was no easy way to use the thing in a traditional living room environment without having 4 wires spread across the furniture, kids, and the dog. Now, Astro has created two versions: a wired one for the hardcore gamer, the tournament goer, the tryhard; and a wireless version for the casual gamer, the couch potato, the command center. Frankly, I am the latter with a smidgen of the former.
Setting up the new wireless Mixamp is a bit different than the original. Rather than being USB powered, it plugs into a wall socket –that is the first step to getting it all setup. After/before that (depending on rather or not you are a rebel), the optical cable which you’ll need to buy, gets plugged into the TX Mixamp. On the wireless receiver end of things, there are two wires: one to the headset, the other to the controller. Not much to it right? Right.
Sound-wise, it’s no different than the wired Mixamp with the 7.1 Dolby ®Surround Sound. The sound quality is insane. In Call of Duty you can hear footfall from across the map and shells hit the floor two stories up. Frankly, having reviewed headsets from Turtle Beach and Tritton as well as other big names in the business, it is safe to say that Astro is still the reigning champ in regards to sound quality.
This being a wireless system and all, I suppose I should give battery life a few words. In my use, I found that it lasts approximately two weeks when being used for about 2-4 hours a day. I would recommend a frequent user to purchase Astro’s rechargeable battery pack to save some money in the long run –why this couldn’t be supplied with the system in the first place is beyond me.
Some people do not understand what headphones work with Astro’s Mixamp. Some people think the only kind of headset that will work with its Mixamp is that of Astro’s. To clarify, let me say this: it works with just about every headset around including Apple’s iPod earphones, Astro’s entire lineup, Shure’s lineup, and the notorious Beats by Dre. In order to be able to communicate, you will need to have a pair which has a microphone –obviously.
In the end, after all is said and done, Astro has done it again. It has a perfect streak of flawless products and this new wireless mixamp fits snugly inside the lineup. It gives the gamer an unhealthy advantage, and that alone is truly amazing. It’ll set you back $140 excluding headphones and $280 with. I’d recommend it if you are a gamer at heart. To the casual player who only plays a few hours a week, you’r TV’s speakers will suffice.