It's been a while since I've reviewed a pair of headsets, in fact it was over a year and a half ago. While the set has served me well, it was PC only, and a recent change in life situation has found me needing a solid headset for my console gaming - one capable of both voice and Dolby Digital playback. There's a wide range of options out there with a wide range of prices, but one of the premier companies known around the gaming circles has been Astro. Enter the recent Astro A30 headsets - a smaller and lighter version of the popular A40 cans, designed not only for consoles and PCs, but for use in portable gaming. Lets take these for a spin, shall we?
The first thing you'll notice about the A30's is the incredible build quality. Actually the first thing you'll notice is just how well everything is packaged, the presentation will remind you of an Apple product with your product laid to rest in quality boxes and padding. The headset itself comes with a hard zip up case with a pocket to hold cables. I've never seen a headset that felt so solid - there's no cheap plastic like material anywhere on it; the piano black finish of our headset oozed style, while the overall size and curves of the pair of cans making it easy to wear. The outside of each ear piece has removable "speaker tags" which allow you to customize the look of the headset. It ships with default Astro branded ones, but you can order custom tags on the website for $20 a pair.
Everything in the package with extras including: optical cables, rechargable battery, and extender cable adapter.
The cushions, which let in very little outside noise are incredibly well put together and comfortable. It's not that cheap fake leather feel of other headsets, the material feels like a high quality cloth. Your ears will never tire wearing them with the material being very breathable, and there's plenty of padding across the top adjustable band.
What's odd is you'll notice there's only a six inch cable off the headset, certainly not long enough to plug into any device. This breakaway adapter takes different style cables that are included for different purposes. You can plug the headset directly into a portable device like an iPhone or PSP, hook it up to the Astro MixAmp, or plug it directly into your PC via one of the included cables. As you can see, versatility is key in the Astro A30's, allowing them to be your go to headset in any device - even the cable to hook up to portable devices as a built in inline microphone, so you can use it with an iPhone to make and receive calls. After spending $150 on the headset, you'll probably want to use these as much as possible, so the versatility and portability is definitely nice.