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Astro A40 TR Review

Astro A40 TR Featured Image
In this guide

Quick take

The Astro A40 TR “Tournament Ready” is legendary within the Call of Duty community because it’s one of the best gaming headsets for listening to footsteps. The A40 TR is one of the few gaming headsets with an open-back design, giving it a unique soundstage ideal for localizing audio cues. Astro also emphasized durability and customization when they designed the A40 TR. Almost every essential part of the headset, the ear cushions, headband cushion, drivers, microphone, and audio cable are replaceable, and Astro sells replacement parts in various colors on their site. There’s even a conversion kit with leatherette ear cups and closed-back speaker plates that transforms the A40 TR into a closed-back headset. The headset dampens loud sounds like explosions and gunshots, while footsteps feel isolated and enhanced. This acoustic wizardry allows you to crank up the volume and sort through the noise without overloading your eardrums with unnecessary decibels.

Astro A40 TR

  • Wide, open soundstage
  • Pinpoint directional audio
  • Replaceable parts
  • No onboard controls
Astro A40 TR
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Design: Open-back
  • Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Mobile
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Weight: 369 grams
  • Freq. response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • Mic: Detachable boom

Headset specs

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Design: Open-back
  • Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Mobile
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Weight: 369 grams
  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • Microphone: Detachable boom
  • Battery life: n/a

Alternative headsets

HyperX Cloud II

The HyperX Cloud II is one of the most popular wired gaming headsets ever, with a winning combination of high-fidelity audio and all-day ergonomics. The Cloud II can usually be found for a lower price than the A40 TR, but it doesn’t include a detachable audio cable, which limits the potential durability of the headset.

Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X

The Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X is an open-back headset, like the A40 TR, designed for studio mixing and critical listening applications. Fans of the A40 TR’s open-back sound mix will also love the DT 900 Pro X, but the Beyerdynamic doesn’t include a microphone and is quite a bit more expensive.

Logitech G Pro X

The Logitech G Pro X is an esports-ready headset with a stellar sound mix, clear microphone, and EQ customization through the comprehensive G HUB software. The main difference between the G Pro X and the A40 TR is a closed-back design, which reduces background noise but doesn’t provide as transparent a soundstage.

Ergonomics

Ear cups

Astro A40 TR Ear Cups Flat
The A40’s ear cups swivel to lay flat. Credit: Jory Hollander

The A40 TR’s ear cup housings are mostly made of lightweight, durable, glossy plastic. The rectangular-shaped ear cups leave plenty of space to accommodate ears of all sizes, and I never felt any uncomfortable ear rubbing or irritation while using the headset.

The back of each ear cup features magnetic speaker plates that can be popped off to reveal the open-back driver design. The magnetic speaker plates cover a microphone jack on each ear cup so you can swap the microphone to the left or right ear cup, depending on your preference.

Astro A40 TR Ear Cup Opened
The back of the A40’s ear cups with speaker plates removed. Credit: Jory Hollander
Astro A40 TR Ear Cup Inside
The inside of the A40’s ear cups with cushions removed. Credit: Jory Hollander

The A40 TR’s ear cushions are made from memory foam and soft fabric, which gives the headset a more transparent soundstage and compliments the open-back design. Like the speaker plates, the ear cushions are magnetic and can be swapped out at a moment’s notice.

Headband

Astro A40 TR Headband
The A40’s headband cushion can be easily removed and replaced. Credit: Jory Hollander

The A40 TR’s headband is made from glossy plastic, with metal arms to adjust the headset’s length and hold each ear cup. The headband’s plastic construction makes the A40 TR more lightweight and flexible, but I wouldn’t trust it to twist as far as headsets with all-metal headbands, like the Logitech G Pro X.

A soft memory foam cushion covered in the same fabric separates the plastic headband from the top of the head. Like the rest of the A40’s components, the headband cushion can be easily popped off and replaced.

Pro tip

The A40’s have a unique feature where the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, and the headset can be hung around the neck when not in use. Other headsets have ear cups that swivel to lay flat, but none that we’ve tried hang around the neck like the A40 TR, and it’s a neat hidden feature that we used plenty during testing.

Clamping Force

The A40 TR has a wide-fitting headband, so the headset doesn’t clamp very tightly. I like that the headset isn’t too tight, but the loose fit and 369-gram curb weight makes the headset feel unstable and can slip off if I bend over or move around too much.

Audio

Driver Size (mm)Wired Frequency Range (Hz)Wireless Frequency Range (Hz)Nominal Impedance (ohms)
4020-20,000n/a48

Gaming

The A40 TR has superb audio for competitive games like Call of Duty: Warzone 2 and Fortnite. The secret to the A40’s audio is the open-back design, which allows air to pass through to the drivers and creates a large soundstage. Headsets like the A40 TR with a large soundstage make the game’s audio feel like it’s happening around you instead of in your head.

The A40 TR also has an esports-tuned sound mix that makes it easy to hear minute audio cues. When playing Warzone 2, I was amazed at the distance I could hear footsteps; it almost felt like cheating and made me wonder how many Astro headsets I’ve died to in the past.

The Astro’s sound mix also changes the volume of audio cues. The headset makes loud sounds like gunshots and explosions quieter, while less-noticeable sounds like footsteps and reloads sound louder. This super-tuned sound mix comes default out of the box; you’d need to mess with tons of EQ settings to achieve the same effect on other headsets.

Music

The same sound mix that helps the A40 TR excel at gaming makes it a poor choice for listening to music. Listening to songs with the A40 TR sounds distant and muted, lacking the punchy vocals and immersion you’d expect from a dedicated pair of music headphones. If you want a 2-in-1 open-back headset for gaming and music, check out our review of the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X.

Features

Tech

The A40 TR excludes additional tech features like chat-mixing or active noise canceling.

Software

The Astro A40 TR does not include any companion software. Additional acoustic options, like EQ, balance, and microphone settings, are available with the MixAmp Pro TR, which is sold separately on the Astro website for about the same price as the A40 TR.

Carrying case

The Astro A40 TR does not include a carrying case.

Controls

The only onboard control for the A40 TR is a mute toggle switch on the audio cable. Additional controls, like volume, must be adjusted on the PC or console.

Pro tip

The A40’s have a unique feature where the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, and the headset can be hung around the neck when not in use. Other headsets have ear cups that swivel to lay flat, but none that we’ve tried hang around the neck like the A40 TR, and it’s a neat hidden feature that we used plenty during testing.

Connectivity

Connections

3.5mm (wired)USB (wired)Bluetooth (wireless)2.4 GHz (wireless)Dual Connectivity
YesNoNoNoNo

The A40 TR connects to devices via the 3.5mm audio cable or PC splitter. One of the drawbacks of the A40 TR’s audio cable setup is the length of the PC splitter. When the PC splitter and audio cable are combined, the cable reaches 3.5m. This is about twice as much cable as you need, and it causes the audio cable to bunch up in your lap or get caught under the wheels of your chair.

Compatibility

PCMacPS4PS5Xbox OneXbox Series X/SSwitchMobile
YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

The A40 TR is compatible with almost any device with a 3.5mm audio jack. Although Astro sells a Playstation, Xbox, and PC versions of the headset, they all have identical functionality as far as we can tell.

Microphone

Astro A40 TR Mic
The A40 TR’s mic can be swapped to either side of the headset. Credit: Jory Hollander

The A40 TR uses a detachable boom microphone with a unidirectional pickup pattern. The microphone is unique in that it can be swapped to either side of the headset and flipped up out of the way when not in use.

The A40’s boom microphone reproduces voice with clarity and captures a wide range of vocal tones, so you can ensure your comms are understood during battle. During our testing, the microphone also did a good job reducing background noise, like the sound of a nearby fan. We recorded a sample of the A40’s mic below to hear the quality for yourself.

In the box

Astro A40 TR In The Box
Box contents included with the Astro A40 TR. Credit: Jory Hollander
  • A40 TR Headset
  • A40 TR Microphone
  • ASTRO Speaker Tags
  • 2.0m A40 Inline Mute Cable
  • 1.5m PC Splitter
  • 1 Quickstart Guide

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Jory Hollander

I'm a Southern California native with over 25 years of experience gaming on PC and console. I love writing about gaming peripherals, esports, and a variety of FPS games. AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D | MSI Ventus 3X OC GeForce RTX 4080 Super | Teamgroup T-Force Delta RGB 32 GB DDR5-6000 CL30 | Gigabyte B650 Aorus Elite | WD Black SN850X 1TB | Thermaltake Toughpower GF A3 850 W 80+ Gold | ID-Cooling Frostflow 240X | Montech AIR 903 MAX