New generation hardware deserves new generation accessories. My Uncharted Gold Wireless headset was a real workhorse during my PlayStation 4 days, regularly used for Monster Hunter: World and ESO sessions. After years of loyal service, it was time for an upgrade. And what better to inherit that coveted spot on my head than a pair of ASTRO Gaming earmuffs? The sleek new A20 Gen 2 headset is compatible with PlayStation 5, which is now my primary console. With a solid reputation behind the brand, what did I have to lose?
ASTRO A20 Gen 2 Review – On Air
Most of the time I hunker down in my favorite chair and game using my television’s speakers. This lets me alter my game settings to best suit my needs. Sometimes I just don’t want to listen to the in-game radio and want to blast my YouTube Music playlist. But the times when I want to block out the world and sink into a digital skin? Easily accomplished with a solid headset charged up and ready to go.
The very first game I played using the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 headset was Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition. Holy bleep bloops, Batman! Choosing an atmospheric game like this wasn’t intentional. It was, however, the best way to get acquainted with my newest accessory. I was immediately taken aback by how clear and real everything sounded. I could have sworn I felt wind on my back as I leapt through Iceland’s beautiful fields. A level of clarity and realism that you don’t quite get from built-in TV speakers.
Just how dynamic the audio coming from them is I discovered when I booted up my favorite time-waster. Super mutants on my left, Mr. Gutsy wardens on my right; pinpointing where my enemies were without relying on my eyesight is so important. With fuel burning in my right ear, I heard my Heavy Rocket All Rise swing from one earmuff to the other. My jaw dropped and eyes opened. This is how I should always be playing games.
When we’re caught up in a good conversation, no one wants to put it on pause just to grab a snack from the kitchen. I can now rummage around in my pantry and not have to worry about my friends cutting out on me. The A20 Gen 2s have a 15 meter range. A huge step up from my old headset which would get choppy at about 10 meters or so. (Editor’s Note: That’s about 50 feet and 33 feet respectively.) It also held up really well when I was pacing back and forth in the room using it on a Discord chat. I’m so thrilled to have a better option for PlayStation and PC chats.
The flip to talk microphone arm is pretty darn impressive. The ease of muting just by flipping up the arm is so handy. My only issue is remembering to check my PS5 controller to make sure that is also unmuted. Nothing like having a one way conversation with a friend who can’t hear you for five minutes because the orange light is still on. Comparing the audio output to using my Blue Yeti, my voice isn’t as clear however it does sound like there’s less static than my old PS4 headset seemed to produce.
ASTRO A20 Gen 2 Review – The Freedom Sessions
I’m one of those people who can’t do earbuds. Partly because they refuse to stay in my ears, partly because they make me feel like I am drowning. An over the ear headset is my preferred way to go. With the Gold Wireless headset there was a bit too much space for my tiny sound retrieval instruments. They’d shift around quite a bit and I would need to stop and reposition the headset. The ear cushions on the A20 Gen 2’s fit just a bit more snug, meaning less slippage. Not only are the earmuffs better for me, the overall weight of the headset is much lighter than my old one. Lighter materials means I can wear it for longer periods of time and not feel as though my head is really inside my power armor helmet.
One of the perks of this headset is that it is compatible with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Pop the USB transmitter into either system for easy plug and play. If you are using both (or multiple) PlayStation systems, you can pick up a second transmitter. I’m leaning towards nabbing another one for myself. I tend to move from one room to another when working on my reviews for PSLS. Getting all set up in one room and forgetting the transmitter in the other room can be a real pain. An extra $20 seems like a good purchase for someone like me.
Longevity is the name of the game. What good is a comfortable headset if the telltale beep happens just a few hours in? The A20 Gen 2 headset boasts a pretty decent 15 or so hours of runtime. I didn’t pull out the stopwatch but I think I may have nabbed closer to the 18 hour mark off my first charge. It wasn’t a continuous 18 hours (my headset didn’t make it in time for my Extra Life marathon); that time was spread over about five or six days, including a three hour Discord chat from my laptop. If you do happen to find yourself in a pinch, ASTRO includes a 5ft USB 2.0 to C cable in the box.
I only have one issue when it comes to the A20 Gen 2’s battery. There doesn’t appear to be a way to know when the headset is fully charged. On every other headset I’ve owned the light on the headset turns off when the capacity is maxed. Both times now that the headset required juicing I left them plugged in overnight and found the light still on in the mornings. Frustrating, to be sure, but not the end of the world.
Would I recommend the ASTRO A20 Gen 2 headset? In a heartbeat. I haven’t experienced audio this crisp in a long time. Pair that with the fact I can easily wear it for hours and have zero discomfort. This headset is a clear winner. Whether you are an aspiring streamer, starting a pro gaming career, or simply someone who prefers audio beamed straight into your ears, the A20 Gen 2 PlayStation headset is for you.
Astro A20 Gen 2 review unit provided by Astro Gaming. For more information, please read our Review Policy.