Logitech Astro A50 X Review: This Is The Best Headset I’ve Used But It’s Not Perfect
On a personal note, I’ve long been a devotee of the Astros A50 series. I once owned and actively utilized the third iteration, and I found them to encompass all the features I desired at that point. However, the gaming headset landscape has since undergone substantial transformations, particularly within the premium tier. Heightened expectations for superior audio fidelity, extended battery life, and compatibility with cutting-edge audio formats are among the facets where, in my perspective, Astro found itself trailing.
Enter the Astro A50 X, the venture by the Logitech-acquired company into the echelons of the finest models available, presenting a fresh iteration tailored for the new decade.
The initial indication of Astro operating under Logitech’s umbrella is evident in the decision to equip their new flagship models with Logitech’s 40-millimeter graphene drivers. Furthermore, the headphones communicate wirelessly via Logitech’s Lightspeed interface with the base station. Otherwise, the design bears striking resemblances to previous generations of A50, including the soft material on the cushions adorning the ear cups.
The base station alone stands out as a distinctive feature of the A50 X. As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, there’s no direct communication between the headphones and the device to which they are connected. Instead, audio signals are transmitted to the base station, where they are processed and decoded before being relayed to the headphones.
Connectivity (Pros & Cons)
For PC, the signal is transmitted over USB, with a Y-shaped USB Type-C terminating in a Type-C connection on the base station. At the other end, a Type-C plugs into a Power Delivery-compatible port or power adapter, and a Type-A connects to the computer.
In Windows, the headset appears as two separate speakers, labeled “Game” and “Chat,” facilitating independent volume control for chat and main content. The chat audio is transmitted at a maximum of a 16-bit stream, while the main audio reaches up to 24 bits. Through the Dolby Access app, users can activate Dolby Atmos sound, which can be sent via the virtual “Game” device.
For those looking to connect a gaming console or two, this is done through HDMI instead. Previous versions of the A50 relied on extracting audio via an optical Toslink cable. As this standard has more or less been abandoned for newer audio formats over HDMI, the A50 X now adopts this method. In addition to HDMI, the base station also requires power through the USB Type-C connection used for PC connection and an additional USB connection to the console.
This way, with a quick button press, you can seamlessly switch both audio and video between your consoles or exclusively focus on the audio from your PC. The technology feels incredibly streamlined and is ideal for those with a PC, Xbox, and PS5 in the same room. To make this work, you need to connect all devices with cords to the docking station. If your computer is in another room, you’ll likely have to run a cable to the docking station for it to function as intended. This is also where the biggest Achilles’ heel of the Astro A50 X becomes apparent, and in my opinion, the weakness of the technology is exposed.
I would have appreciated a separate USB receiver for the PC. It seems more like the rule than the exception to have the computer in a different room than the TV, and in such cases, the current solution falls just short. The range of wireless communication however, is among the best I’ve tested. With the receiver placed next to my computer (I live in a house with wooden walls), I can freely move around more than with any other devices I’ve tried. Of course, this will vary depending on factors such as other wireless devices, walls, and so on, but I am impressed.
Let’s shift focus to what’s really good with the headset – the sound. The A50 X delivers excellent gaming audio, and much of this can be attributed to Logitech’s PRO-G GRAPHENE speaker elements featuring a 40mm graphene diaphragm. The new driver is claimed to enhance audio reproduction and reduce distortion, aiding in quicker identification of in-game enemies, for example.
The audio quality is commendable, and my gaming buddies give positive reviews for the microphone. It sounds clear, and the microphone is actually designed to capture additional bandwidth with a 16-bit 48kHz setup.
The result is clear audio that captures a broader spectrum, not too far off from the sound one can achieve with a microphone like the Logitech G Yeti GX, even though there is, of course, a significant difference overall (16 bits 48kHz compared to 24 bits 96kHz). However, in everyday situations, such as on Discord, the average user is likely to notice minimal differences, especially with pre-set selectable options like “broadcast” available in G Hub, Logitech’s software for adjusting headset settings.
The battery life seems to align well with the stated 24 hours. However, it should be noted that under normal usage, depleting the battery is quite challenging unless a deliberate effort is made. If I want to use my console with TV audio, the headphones need to be on the charger and powered on to transmit the sound through the base station. Therefore, it’s more or less natural for them to reside on the charger when not in use. To run the battery down, I actively need to choose not to place them on the charger and then disable the auto-off feature.
In all honesty, the Astro A50 X has become my new favorite headset. It checks off most of the boxes I look for in this product class. The headphones are some of the most comfortable I’ve tested—light on the head and allowing the ears to breathe. After an 8-hour session, I hardly even feel like I have the headphones on. The battery life lives up to its promise, and I experience very few issues with the stability of the wireless signal. The audio quality, both from the headphones and the microphone, is absolutely top-notch.
While the Astro A50 X comes with a hefty price tag, it caters to the extremely discerning gamer who seeks a headset that performs exceptionally well regardless of the game or system in use.
In summary, for those willing to invest the required amount for the Astro A50 X, there’s a lot to love about these headphones. High comfort, impressive sound, and a good microphone make for a winning combination in my book. Taking all of the above into consideration, I am more than happy to award the Astro A50 X with the “Excellent” designation and provide my warmest recommendations.