The same amazing comfort and control you had before now tuned with Astro Audio V2
- Manufacturer: Astro
- Platforms: Xbox One, Windows PC
- Reviewed on: Xbox One X
- Supplied by: Astro
The Astro A40 M80 kit is back, and I could not be happier.
The kit has largely stayed the same, having received the same visual update as the rest of the A40 editions. This change is, however, more apparent in the M80 kit than the rest.
The previous M80 kit came with an exclusive look to the A40, with a stunning green mod kit adorning it, which included green ear cups, green speaker tags, green head cushion and a green accented mic. Now you will receive the same A40 as in the rest of the A40 bundles, with the new matt black cup backs, silver adjustment rails and the newly designed speaker tags.
The A40 itself is the same upgraded A40 you can now purchase from Astro or that you will get with the Mixamp Pro TR, the design itself has stayed the same with some minor colour scheme changes like the adjustment pipes being silver and the cup backs now being matt black rather than gloss.
It’s not a disappointment, however, that they are all the same. The design for this generation is stunning and has a real premium tone to it, and it also allows you to pick your Astro kit based on the specs and features alone, rather than the special design of the M80 kit.
The speaker tags are the largest change to the design; they now feature an intricate design that changes depending on whether you have a PS4 or Xbox version and both have a reflective chrome border, this really does make them stand out and gains a sleek tone.
The biggest change to the A40 headset is the new Astro audio V2 tuning, and the Dolby Atmos support. This has combined to really push the envelope in terms of what console gamers have considered to be premium audio, especially in games such as Battlefield V where the sound quality and fidelity add so much to the experience.
The M80 mixamp itself has received a slight change in design. The layout is still the same, consisting of a row of LEDs across the top, a central eq button, two buttons either side to adjust voice and game mixer, and a dial on the front that doubles as volume control and mute, with the mute button on the face of it.
The M80 is now completely black, with a silver Astro text logo adorning it, which is in contrast to the previous silver M80. I did love the silver, but the understated matt black is more sleek, and in terms of texture, gives a great feel to the M80.
The biggest changes are in line with the rest of the range; the M80 is now tuned with Astro Audio V2 and supports Dolby Atmos, and this is where the real change comes in. The previous M80 was an amazing piece of kit worthy of your attention, but now, backed by Dolby Atmos and having an updated audio tune, the current M80 is even better.
Audio quality for the M80 Mixamp is brilliant, though considering you are wearing a set of Astro A40s, that is no great surprise. The new V2 audio seems to have really honed in on the specific Eq tune that gamers want, and Dolby Atmos amps your whole audio experience to a new level.
Games like Call of Duty and Rainbow Six: Siege will, in my opinion, see the biggest benefit from all of this (competitive online-gamer here, so take that with a pinch of salt). The directional awareness that you experience becomes almost key to your play style. I cannot count the number of times that hearing those subtle sounds and footsteps has saved my bacon, nor the number of times I have been in a game yelling at my friends because they have not reacted to sounds I can hear but they can’t.
It almost feels unfair, but it really does become a crucial part of your gaming experience. I have become so accustomed and reliant on Astro’s audio tune that I can’t stand to play without them or with a headset that isn’t loaded with my EQs.
This isn’t to say that non-competitive games don’t benefit, I just experience more action whilst online than I do offline, however, I have played Gears 5’s campaign, and that was amazing. Gears 5 is a prime example of a game that is fully compatible with Dolby Atmos, and paired with the Dolby Atmos subscription you get with your M80 kit and the fact it’s fully supported culminates in an amazing experience that has to be heard to appreciate.
On a separate note, The wonderful people over at Astro were kind enough to send me the Halo A40 mod kit (I’m a huge Halo fan, so I almost passed out from excitement). In the kit you receive a head cushion, two ear cups, two speaker tags, and a TR mic.
The head cushion is mostly for aesthetics, and being Halo themed it looks sweet. The cups, tags and mic do, however, serve a purpose; the cups being made of synthetic leather create a more isolating fit, paired with the tags that turn your headset into a closed back design and make for a complete noise isolating experience. The TR mic is designed for situations like gaming arenas, LAN parties or even multiple gamer set-ups. They are meant to sit in front of your mouth and ignore ambient sound, only picking you up, so if you’re sitting next to your teammates, you wont get an echo or pick-up from them.
The whole mod kit is Halo themed, and for me, that’s just perfect. It’s coloured in an almost dusty camo-green with a Halo style design. The left cup is adorned with the UNSC logo on the top layer, giving it a shadow box floating effect. The top cushion has the Halo text logo across it and the right mic cup has a Halo striped design, sharing the same floating effect effect as the UNSC logo.
I could not find much to fault in the A40 M80 kit. It performs superbly, looks amazing, and as is always the case with Astro, is one of the most comfortable headsets you will ever wear. The only fault I could find is that while the M80 does support Dolby Atmos, unlike the rest of the range there is no way that I could find to turn it on and off.