In late 2012 I gave up on Astro Gaming headsets. I saw potential quality control issues and experienced accessory incompatibility. My gaming system has changed since then and I bought another Astro A50 headset early this year. I dislike it more than the first...
Astro A50 Battlefield and PS4
Here's a quick recap:
I bought a release day Xbox One. I noticed [what I considered] excessive freezing when playing Battlefield 4. I know it's a release day console. I know bugs existed. I sold my Xbox One while they were still hard to come by. I recovered my expenses and bought a Playstation 4 (PS4). My PS4 didn't display any freezing and had a better framerate so I kept it.
I also bought a Turtle Beach XP SEVEN wired headset last year. I returned the headset twice for the same issue. The sound in the left ear cup stopped working. Turtle Beach provided great customer service each time and send me a new headset in return. I did have to wait about 30 days for each exchange.
Astro vs Turtle Beach
Astro and Turtle Beach both make great headsets. I'm still partial to the first pair of Astro A50's I purchased. The audio quality in Call of Duty was beautiful (read my original Astro A50 review).
I returned my A50 headset because of quality control concerns. As it turns out, certain Turtle Beach headsets also have issues. The XP SEVEN is noted on several forums and the Amazon reviews as having the left ear cup issue. The Turtle Beach support ticket system even lists OneSideBad (sic) as a type of problem.
Although my blog hosts a number of Turtle Beach posts and reviews (and gaming headset giveaways!), sound quality is a matter of personal preference, and I prefer the original A50 headset. In January 2014 I purchased a new Astro gaming headset.
Buying an Astro A50 Battlefield Edition headset
When I purchased my Astro A50 BF4 headset I bought it from Best Buy, hoping to take advantage of Geek Squad Protection if I had issues. Foolproof plan, right?
The good news
- Astro Gaming reintroduced Mac OS X compatible firmware updates. Download the Astro A50 Battlefield 4 firmware for Mac OS
- The Battlefield 4 presets sound phenomenal in BF4 compared to the stock presets
- The BF4 A50 is as comfortable as the stock A50
- Pairing the A50 with the PS4 is dead simple. Astro Gaming provides instructions. Read How do I pair my Astro A50 to my PS4?
The bad news
- Best Buy doesn't carry the A50 BF4 edition in stock in many, if any, stores. Even if Best Buy exchanged the headset I would probably have to wait a week for delivery
- My Astro A50 Battlefield 4 headset arrived intact, but with issues. My A50 won't turn off. And I'm not the only one:
- Astros A50 does not turn off
- Problems with my A50
- Won't turn off (Astro A50)
- Astro A50 in frozen state, will not turn on or off
- A50 after charging does not turn off
- Astro A50 freezing, just about had it with them
- A50's won't shut off
- A50 stays on
- And on... I only went back 20 pages in the forum and looked for A50 in the post title
Astro A50 won't turn off fix
The fix noted in most of those forums is to let your A50 headset battery die and then recharge. I don't recall any poster saying It worked! as a follow up. The solution didn't work for me so I had to contact support on my month old headset. I thought about taking it in for Geek Squad repair but they'll just order me a new [likely] also-broken headset.
The A50 solution: Stay away from the Astro A50s or Astro in general
To Astros credit—and this is the only credit I'll give them—Fletcher in customer support was friendly. Fletcher sent me a prepaid (because I'm in the US) postage label to send my headset in for repair after walking me through the support troubleshooting steps.
As for the rest of it, I'm done with Astro. I bought a Sony Gold Wireless Headset last week and so far I'm pleased. The build quality seems low but not for the $99 price tag. It works out of the box and the 7.1 sound works natively. In most cases the headset sounds equal to or better than the Astro A50.
My recommendation: save $200 and buy the Sony Gold headset for the PS4. If you feel the need to punish yourself, buy the Astro Gaming A50 wireless headset (or the Battlefield Edition). Do yourself a favor and buy a warranty.