Sat. Apr 13th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • The Astro A50 X is a versatile gaming headset that seamlessly switches between Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5, and PC connections.
  • The headset features 24-bit uncompressed audio, ultra-low wireless latency, and Bluetooth connectivity for additional devices.
  • Initial setup can be complicated, but once set up, the headset offers a comfortable fit, solid sound quality, and immersive gaming experiences on each platform.


Since its founding in 2006, ASTRO Gaming has been known as a premium consumer electronics brand with a particular prowess in audio gear. A part of Logitech since 2017, ASTRO Gaming has continued to push the envelope in premium audio gear, culminating in their latest release, the Astro A50 X, part of the Logitech G Gaming Gear lineup.

Pitched as a new type of flagship console gaming headset, the Astro A50 X has the kind of features that audiophiles and serious gamers gravitate towards like 24-bit uncompressed audio and ultra-low wireless latency. But what really sets the Astro A50 X apart is its ability to seamlessly switch between Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5, and PC connections with a tap. Even with its relatively high $379.99 retail price, as long as you meet some of the requirements for placement and usage of your consoles and PC, the versatility and feature set of this wireless headset make it an easy recommendation.

A50 X Headset and Base Station Gen5 3QTR FRNT L Black

Logitech Astro A50 X

The Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset is one of the first true multi-console and PC audio devices. It may not be a fit for everyone, but its premium sound quality and features make it a great choice for audiophile gamers.

Compatibility
Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC, Bluetooth

Weight
363 grams

Driver
40 mm PRO-G GRAPHENE

Frequency Response
20 – 20,000 Hz

Spatial Audio
Dolby Atmos + Windows Sonic Spatial Audio Compatible on XBOX, Window 10/11; 3D Audio compatible on PS5

Mic Frequency Response
60 – 20,000 Hz

Battery Life
24-hours playtime @ 78 dB

Charge type
Charging Dock or USB-C wired charging port

Pros

  • Seamless switching between multiple platforms
  • Premium surround sound
  • Allows an Xbox and PlayStation to use one HDMI port
  • PC and mobile apps for fine-tuning
Cons

  • Lots of connections are required
  • Not all cabling is included
  • Initial setup can be confusing
  • Expensive if not used on at least two of its supported platforms

Connectivity: As Versatile as It Gets

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Sergio Rodriguez / How-To Geek

Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset

As one of the first of its type to support Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5, and PC connections from a single device, the Astro A50 X is arguably one of Logitech’s most important audio products since its acquisition of ASTRO Gaming. Almost every other multi-platform headset to date has supported either Xbox and PC or PlayStation and PC, but never both consoles in the same product without some type of compromise. Of course, when factoring in its Bluetooth connectivity, the Astro A50 X can also support just about any other device, including the Nintendo Switch and mobile phones, allowing further maximization of the investment.

There are two major components to the Astro A50 X: the headset and its base station. The base station, which magnetically docks and charges the headset when placed in its cradle, includes two sets of USB-C and HDMI inputs, one for Xbox and one for PlayStation, as well as a USB-C 5V DC power input and HDMI output.

Besides the headset and base station, in the box is a USB-C combo cable, a USB-C power adapter, and a USB-C to USB-A cable. If you want to connect both an Xbox and PlayStation console, you’ll need to supply three HDMI cables, one for each console and one for the HDMI output, as well as another USB-C to USB-A cable. HDMI 2.1 cables, which are labeled Ultra High Speed and are rated for 40Gbps, are recommended for maximum performance. This is the cable type included with the newest Xbox and PlayStation consoles, so really it’s only one extra HDMI cable needed outside of the extra USB-C to USB-A cable.

The base station is designed to seamlessly pass video and audio unaltered with an effectively imperceptible 1 to 2ms of lag. This means uncompressed and uncompromised passthrough of up to 4K 120Hz video and 24-bit audio. Similarly, the microphone uplink is 16-bit at 48kHz. One nice side effect of connecting both an Xbox and PlayStation to the Astro A50 X is that it acts as an HDMI switch, eliminating the need for two separate HDMI ports for your consoles.

Setting Up: It’s a Bit Involved at First

 Controls on the Logitech G Astro A50 X headset.
Sergio Rodriguez / How-To Geek

The initial setup is a bit complicated, but once everything is set, there shouldn’t be much, if anything, to configure going forward. A lifetime license for Dolby Atmos is included for Xbox owners and is dependent upon having both an HDMI and USB connection to the console from the base station, so switch the headset to Xbox mode, go into the Xbox settings menu, and enable Dolby Atmos for Headphones.

On the PlayStation, if you want to use PlayStation 3D audio, it must be enabled via the 3D Audio for TV Speakers option rather than 3D Audio for Headphones, making sure not to use the option to measure room acoustics. Under the microphone, make sure A50 X is selected. Unlike just the recommendation on Xbox, disabling HDMI CEC is required on PlayStation.

For a PC, you’ll want to install Logitech G Hub, which supports all Logitech G devices and allows for robust configuration of the headset’s audio profile and other settings, as well as firmware updates. Like with the Xbox, both Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic Spatial Audio are supported on Windows 10 and 11 PCs.

When the headset is docked and powered off, audio from the Xbox, PlayStation, or PC will pass through from the base station to your display’s speakers or existing sound system. When the headset is undocked and powered on, audio will automatically be routed to the headset. Powering off the speakers or switching modes will re-enable pass-through audio.

For mobile phones with Bluetooth, there’s also a Logitech G Mobile app for iPhone (iOS 16 and later), and Android 13 (and later), devices.

Since the headset communicates exclusively through the base station, like with the wired Xbox, PlayStation, and PC connections, the Bluetooth device needs to be in the same room as the base station to remain connected. To put it more simply, it’s the base station that provides the connection to your Bluetooth device, not the headset. While this limits mobility, it also maximizes audio performance and the headset’s battery life, which can be up to 24 hours between charges at a loud 78dB listening volume.

Design and Fit: Conservative and Comfortable

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Sergio Rodriguez / How-To Geek

Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset

Available in either all-black or all-white, the Astro A50 X features a relatively conservative angled design. Although there’s a lot of plastic in the headset’s structure, it feels solid and durable. The adjustable headband, which has a removable fabric cushion at the top for comfort, slides smoothly and stays in place once set. Even though there’s no active noise cancellation (ANC), the ear cups do a good job of passively dampening outside noises.

At this price point, I would have preferred a different, more breathable material than cloth for the removable magnetic ear pads, but they are well-cushioned. It would have been a nice touch to include pleather or similar ear cups to switch out in the box, but it’s at least understandable from an audio engineering standpoint how the experience is tuned for cloth. In any case, I can’t deny the ear cups are quite comfortable even after hours of play.

Starting on the front of the left ear cup and working down is the power switch, Playsync input switch button, Bluetooth button, and volume knob, with the game voice balancer on the side. The base station indicates the charge level, input selection, and whether Bluetooth is connected.

Sound and Immersion: You Get What You Pay For

ports-on-the-rear-of-the-logitech-g-astro-a50-x-dock-1jpg_53397068547_o
Sergio Rodriguez / How-To Geek

Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset

Control and graphical quality will likely always dominate the discussion when it comes to video games, but there’s no denying that strong sound design can elevate a great game to the next level. Fortunately, we’ve long since passed the point where either sound engineering or hardware can hold the other back. If a game has good sound, it can be exploited. The Astro A50 X does exactly that.

The Astro A50 X uses 40mm Pro-G Graphene drivers that are firm, with little of the wobble found with traditional drivers. As a result, they offer a sound that’s best described as crisp and detailed, similar to the popular planar magnetic drivers found in other high-end headphones like the Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset. It’s worthy of debate about what’s best between graphene and planar, but there’s a lot to appreciate about Logitech’s solution, including its ability to handle highs. About the only area where its sound capabilities may disappoint is if a sound profile is tuned toward heavy bass, which can sound a bit muddy, but for more balanced profiles and overall usage it’s a wonderful listening experience.

The omnidirectional microphone extension is easy to bend at just the right angle from your mouth and flips up to mute or simply get out of the way. Even better, it has excellent pickup and clarity. It’s clear that as much attention was paid to the quality of the microphone as was to the sound output—not a guarantee with these types of headsets.

In terms of actual usage, I had no complaints. For example, on the Xbox Series X, “Diablo IV” was incredibly atmospheric and immersive, and the voiceovers during the cut scenes were clear enough that I didn’t need the usual subtitles. On the PlayStation 5, I had a similarly top-tier experience with “Horizon Forbidden West.” On the PC, I play a lot of “Fortnite,” so being able to hear the exact type and direction of sounds, and in particular footsteps, far better than my current daily driver of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 made me a believer. The Astro A50 X headset really does feature superior clarity, separation, and sound placement when gaming on each of its main platforms.

When playing music via Spotify on PC I was struck by how clean the audio was. Playing the same audio on Spotify over Bluetooth via my iPhone was similarly excellent with clearly defined instruments and spatial placement. Although it’s easy to further tune the sound via the PC or mobile apps, the default sound profiles are excellent out of the box for those who don’t like to tinker.

Should You Buy the Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset?

Dial and charging points on the Logitech G Astro A50 X.
Sergio Rodriguez / How-To Geek

As a multiplatform owner, the idea of a peripheral that works on more than one console plus a PC has obvious appeal. Even if you don’t presently own multiple platforms, being ready for future growth is always a bonus. Of course, versatility doesn’t mean much if the accessory is not at or near the best in class on each of the target platforms. In the case of the Astro A50 X, it’s definitely at or near the top of Xbox, PlayStation 5, and PC headsets in terms of sound quality. Considering the vast number of individual options, that’s no small feat.

The main downside to the Astro A50 X is that each of the three platforms needs to be in the same room, and preferably close to each other to make maximum use of its feature-set. While I happen to have both my Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 near each other, my main gaming PC is in a completely different part of my house. With such a relatively high price point, it’s a shame that I can’t take advantage of the seamless switching between all three platforms.

While I suspect most other would-be owners are in a similar situation, where maybe two of the three platforms are near each other, for those lucky few who have the right setup, there’s simply nothing else on the market quite like it. Fortunately, the sound quality, features, and versatility also make this headset a serious consideration for those without every one of the three platforms available in the same room.

A50 X Headset and Base Station Gen5 3QTR FRNT L Black

Logitech Astro A50 X

The Logitech G Astro A50 X Gaming Headset is one of the first true multi-console and PC audio devices. It may not be a fit for everyone, but its premium sound quality and features make it a great choice for audiophile gamers.



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By John P.

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