Astro Gaming is popularly known for its expensive and sophisticated A40 and A50 gaming headsets, but the company provides a more affordable option, too. The A20 is the company’s economical wireless headset, and it’s been renewed for use with the latest game consoles.
These $119.99 headsets come in a PlayStation version that works effectively with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and in an Xbox version that works perfectly with the Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. If you possess both next-gen game consoles, you can use the headset with both consoles by buying an additional transmitter for $19.99. The Astro A20 Gen 2 is a powerful option, and it’s better than its predecessor in some significant ways.
Astro A20 Gen 2 Design
The new Astro A20 wireless Gen 2 Headset redesign isn’t basically different from the 2017 version. Instead of it being a black chassis, it’s white presently.
The A20 Gen 2 looks quite similar to the A10 headset, the difference between them is that the A20 Gen 2 is wireless and it’s a bit bigger. The square-shaped ear cups are placed on plastic struts which allows them to easily turn up and down. The struts are connected to a wide plastic headband with a soft rubber bottom. The earpads are constituted with soft foam covered in breathable cloth, which offers a comfortable fit that doesn’t ’t cause heat when used for long sessions.
All controls are placed on the right earcup’s back edge, and they consist of a volume wheel, a power button, voice/game audio balance buttons, an equalization mode button (they are three, and each of them has a different tone), and a USB-C port for charging. While the long, rubber boom mic is placed on the left side of the earcup, and it can easily be flipped up to automatically mute your voice.
Astro A20 Gen 2 Performance
The over-ear cups with soft and breathable ear cushions are fluffy and comfortable but they usually leak a lot of audio. The sound quality of the A20 Gen 2 headset is good enough to make feel the absence of that powerful oomph-ness to it. The A20 G2 Bass is good, but not good enough. It sometimes feels like the audio sounded a bit too sharp and dull. Background noises or instrumentals sounded very disconnected from the vocals, even when gaming and listening to other media.
It seems like the audio isn’t rich enough. But the mids and highs were okay, the bass didn’t sound deep enough. Bass is essential for gaming because you’ll like to feel every vibration and deep sound of explosions or blasts. The major reason for purchasing a gaming headset is to have an intensive play experience and audio plays an important role. Sadly, the headset doesn’t deliver well on this aspect.
Imaging on the A20 Gen 2 headphones is on an average level, it doesn’t have any true-blue 360-degrees surround sound function. There are times when you might want to move the camera angle too fast, but the sound direction wouldn’t transition inherently.
Another problem observed with the ASTRO A20 G2 headphones is that the mic automatically mutes if you flip it up, but there isn’t any sound to notify you whenever the mic is switched off, which is a danger to a user’s privacy. Also, when alternating between the equalizer presets, there is no notification to tell you what mode you’re on, you just have to go by what you feel.
The audio cannot be customized and the A20 G2 headphone is not compatible with the ASTRO Command Center software. The presets are intended to optimize audio for various settings, but none of them assisted with the case with the subpar bass. This was a major disappointment.
Even low-grade software can’t conceal the fact that the Astro A50s are an exceptional gaming headset. Astro moved to 2.4Ghz radio this year as opposed to the high 5.8. Theoretically, this is a downgrade, because 5.8GHz offers improved speed and little interference. Practically, 2.4Ghz is more dependable as regards connection with the included advantages of using less battery. Doing that allowed Astro to reduce the headset’s batteries, in turn decreasing the weight of the snuggly and comfortable headset.
Astro A20 Gen 2 Battery life
As regards battery life, A20 Gen 2 has sufficient capacity for 15 hours of playback, according to Astro. Well, that’s a number that was discovered to be mostly accurate, if a bit on the high side. During the battery test, we were able to get almost two workdays while playing music and gaming with it before it needed to be re-charged.
Even as 15 hours is certainly sufficient to get you through the weekend, it’s still half the amount of time that the Astro A20 Gen 2’s competitors can provide. Those two headphones work for about 30 hours wireless, and the battery life is not even near to the Sennheiser GSP 370 that claims to reach about hours of playback before recharging.
Fortunately, the Astro A20 Gen 2 possesses an auto-shutoff feature that will start after 10 minutes, thereby decreasing the amount of battery wasted in standby mode. Although it only seems to work properly on PC, and not on consoles, it’s a pleasant feature that helps maximize battery life if you usually forget to turn off your headset. Recharging takes about a little over an hour and uses the USB-C port.
The ASTRO A20 G2 gaming headset feels like an unfinished product. It’s quite humiliating considering the excellent reputation of the brand. Certainly, ASTRO fixed the mic issue, but other features such as software support and sound quality remain flawed.
Another disappointment is that you can’t precisely know the battery level of the headphone or the audio settings you’re using. All these problems made it seem like the A20 Gen 2 was made hastily. It looked as if ASTRO just wanted to have a next-gen compatible headset out in the market very early. Because lots of these problems would have been attended to.
There are lots of better gaming headsets available more or less for the same price. For instance, the Turtle Beach Stealth Gen 2 is a good suggestion for next-gen consoles. But, you will have to pay an additional $20 to enjoy a better headphone.