It's been sometime since we launched our initial impressions of the Astro A38 Headsets. Astro Gaming tried something unique for a hardware launch with them - they decided to beta test their product with consumers before calling it final. What exactly did that entail? Consumers got 50% off the retail price and the ability to upgrade to the final version by trading in their beta headsets towards the purchase price. We've been using the A38's now for a few weeks and here's what we've found.
For the most part, all of our original impressions hold true. The build quality on the Astro A38s are solid. They are comfortable for long, extended sessions of wear and the noise cancelling capability does a great job of blocking out ambient sounds. Audio quality might be slightly improved, it feels like the A38s get louder quicker, but in terms of sound reproduction they are very close to the beta versions.
So what has been improved?
- The headset no longer just powers off after a short period of inactivity, instead utilizing the latest Bluetooth connection the headset is always ready to grab on and listen to tunes.
- The USB cable is now a micro-USB connection instead of a mini. This means many phone charging cables and adapters will power the headset. It took about 4.5 hours to fully charge the headset.
- Battery life overall seems improved. I can go 2-3 full working days with the headset before charging. I'd estimate it around 16-20 hours of usage.
- Connectivity issues have been resolved. I had some issues keeping the betas paired with my laptop, but now those issues have disappeared.
- The built in mic sounds much better. I use the A38s daily for teleconferencing and everyone immediately noticed the improvement in voice quality.
I continued to use the A38s with my phone, tablet, and PlayStation Vita and it works great for every one. The noise cancelling ability is superb when playing mobile games and really helps those titles audio design shine.
While not the cheapest option at $230, the Astro A38s are at the premium end of noise cancelling bluetooth headsets. As a gamer though, the audio profile seems better tuned towards gaming. Thankfully the A38s sound great no matter what content you're listening to, so it'll be a worthy investment.