Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro


PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - BEN MAN­SILL $369 •­trogam­

Log­itech-owned Astro Gam­ing has gone above and beyond with the Astro A40 +MixAmp Pro. At close to $400 it’s ob­vi­ously some­thing to be sniffed at, but what you get el­e­gantly solves one of PC gam­ing’s most an­noy­ing prob­lems.

Namely – bal­anc­ing game au­dio with voice chat vol­ume. The MixAmp Pro box has a mas­ter vol­ume, but also an­other sep­a­rate dial to bal­ance game sound and voice. It can do this mag­i­cal trick be­cause it as­signs one au­dio de­vice to game sound and an­other to voice – and it can pro­vide one for each, too. This al­lows on the y and per­fectly pre­cise bal­anc­ing in-game. It is all pos­si­ble be­cause the MixAmp box con­tains two au­dio pro­ces­sors, and can use your ex­ist­ing sound card to re­place one, or both if you like.

It can be con gured many ways. On my setup I have game au­dio from a Sound Blaster ZxR fed into the MixAmp via TOSLink Op­ti­cal, and voice chat us­ing the MixAmp’s own DSP, con­nected via USB to the PC. That means no sacri ces in game au­dio qual­ity. It can also be fed game sound via a 3.5mm plug if you don’t have op­ti­cal. The box also has op­ti­cal-out to pass through to a sec­ondary amp if you want.

It’s an ex­tremely well thought out set of con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions that doesn’t lock you into a setup that may have compromises. And – most im­pres­sively – the MixAmp box has two au­dio DSPs in­side it, so you can by­pass your PC au­dio en­tirely and as­sign one DSP to game au­dio, and the other to voice chat. The head­phones them­selves are also supremely good. The sound is clean and neu­trally equalised. Though, via the MixAmp, at the push of a but­ton four dif­fer­ent EQ pre-sets are avail­able, while an­other but­ton en­ables/dis­ables Dolby Sur­round, mak­ing it de­light­fully sim­ple to change set­tings in-game and quickly set­tle on what suits what you’re play­ing at the time. The sur­round po­si­tional in­for­ma­tion is ex­tremely impressive, even with­out Dolby en­abled.

They’re large and com­fort­able, fully en­close the ear and you can swap out the cov­ers to have them open, or fully en­closed. The mic boom can also be at­tached to the left and right.

Astro A40 de­liv­ers supreme ex­i­bil­ity and con­trol, plus au­dio qual­ity equal to the very best.

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