Astro A30 Wireless review

The Astro A30 Wireless gaming headset sounds good, but it’s a bit complicated to control

Astro A30 Wireless on desk
(Image: © Astro)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Astro A30 provides a comfortable fit and a high-quality soundscape. However, it has a steep learning curve and a complex set of controls.

Pros

  • +

    Comfortable, stylish design

  • +

    Versatile connectivity

  • +

    Good sound quality

Cons

  • -

    Convoluted controls

  • -

    Inconsistent software

  • -

    Frustrating second mic

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Astro A30 Wireless: Specs

Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, mobile
Drivers: 40 mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 12.1 ounces

The Astro A30 Wireless is — as its name would suggest — an upgraded version of the Astro A20 Wireless gaming headset. Just like the A20 Wireless, the Astro A30 Wireless provides excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit. And, just like the A20 Wireless, the A30 Wireless suffers from a convoluted control scheme, a difficult pairing process and a general sense that a $230 device should be a little easier to operate.

Still, there’s no denying that the A30 Wireless basically accomplishes what it sets out to do. The device provides great sound for games, movies, TV, music and productivity, and looks pretty stylish in the process. Bluetooth connectivity makes the headset easy to wear out and about, even if the mic functionality could be better. You can even use it wirelessly with both PlayStation and Xbox consoles, provided you’re willing to buy an extra adapter.

While I wish the A30 Wireless were a little easier to control and didn’t rely on a mercurial smartphone app for fine adjustments, it’s a good — albeit expensive — choice for both PC and console gamers who want their gaming headset to do a little bit of everything. Read our full Astro A30 Wireless review to see if it’s for you, or if another one of the best gaming headsets would be a better fit.

Astro A30 Wireless review: Design

To give credit where it’s due, the Astro A30 Wireless is one of the best-looking gaming headsets I’ve reviewed in a long time. Unlike most of its competitors, which tend to be bulky, utilitarian and colorless, the A30 Wireless is sleek, lightweight and full of subtle, stylish touches. The A30 Wireless’ appearance and feature set both speak to a gaming headset that’s just as comfortable out of the house as it is in front of a computer or console. Plenty of gaming headsets aspire to be all-purpose accessories, but the Astro A30 Wireless actually succeeds.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

First off, you can get the headset in either black or white. Either way, it has a plastic chassis with an extendable plastic headband. I’m usually a little leery of plastic headbands, as they’re much easier to break than steel, but the A30 Wireless seems pretty durable. The headset itself is also on the thin side, with a lightly padded headband and earcups that almost look rectangular. At 12.1 ounces, it doesn’t weigh much more or less than its competitors, but it does look much more compact, which is a pretty neat trick. It also has absolutely gorgeous iridescent tags on the outside of the earcups, which are so shiny, they’re difficult to photograph. It’s enough to make you wish that other gaming headsets offered similar aesthetic flourishes.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

However, things get a little more muddled on the back of the earcups. On the right earcup, you’ll find a power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, a four-direction control nub and a USB-C charging port. On the left, there’s a mic mute switch and two 3.5 mm ports, one for a mic and one for an audio cable.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There’s nothing egregiously wrong with the left earcup. But the power and Bluetooth buttons on the right one feel identical, so it will take some practice to pick out the correct control. Furthermore, the pairing notifications are incredibly loud and obnoxious, and you can’t adjust their volume; you can only decide whether you want them on, or off completely. This makes it tough to use the headset without taking it off to monitor the power and pairing modes.

The control nub is what I found most frustrating about the A30 Wireless. This protuberance can control everything from volume to chatmix, but it’s easy to click the wrong way. The volume increments are also absolutely tiny. I’d often hit the nub over and over, unsure whether my media was actually getting louder, until it would suddenly reach an uncomfortable volume. It doesn’t automatically link with volume in Windows, Android, PlayStation or Switch, which means you’ll constantly have to fiddle with two different adjustment settings.

Astro A30 Wireless review: Comfort

The Astro A30 Wireless feels good to wear most of the time, although I wish it were a little easier to get a good fit. I wore the headset for a few hours at a time during each gaming or work session, and never felt any discomfort, even with glasses on. The earcups felt sufficiently plush, and created a tight seal without making my ears sweat.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On the other hand, the adjustable headband doesn't have any notches or numbers, so finding a consistent fit is difficult. This is especially true since the A30 Wireless comes with a carrying case, and you'll have to make the headset as small as possible in order to fit inside. I was always able to adjust the A30 Wireless to approximately the right position, but I didn't like that I had no real way to tell.

Astro A30 Wireless review: Performance

When it comes to in-game performance, Astro headsets generally excel, and the A30 Wireless is no exception. I tested the A30 Wireless with a variety of PC and console titles, including Nioh and Assassin's Creed Valhalla on the PS5, Age of Empires IV and Diablo Immortal on PC, Live A Live on the Switch and Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android. Whether I was playing via USB or Bluetooth, the soundscape was rich and immediate. While the A30 Wireless is heavier on treble than bass, this works well for most games. The headset did an excellent job of balancing voicework, sound effects and music, whether I was slicing through hordes of demons or building up a medieval city.

Similarly, the device sounded excellent for music and other multimedia. Watching an episode of Bob's Burgers, the characters' voices came through loud and clear. I also listened to tracks from Flogging Molly, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Rolling Stones and G.F. Handel. While the headset doesn't really provide enough bass for hardcore music aficionados, the songs sounded more than good enough for everyday listening. That's fitting, since the A30 Wireless is, in theory, easy to carry and wear outside of the house.

Astro A30 Wireless review: Features

One excellent feature of the Astro A30 Wireless is that it can connect to just about any system in your house. A USB-A dongle makes it compatible with PCs, PlayStation consoles and docked Switches. Bluetooth connects it with handheld Switches, Android and iOS phones and smart TVs. A 3.5 mm audio cable covers it for older devices.

The only complicating factor is that you can buy the A30 Wireless in either PlayStation or Xbox configurations, and they’re not cross-compatible due to Microsoft’s arcane wireless protocols. Having to buy an extra $20 dongle to pair the headset with both PlayStation and Xbox consoles is obnoxious, but at least Astro offers the option; most of its competitors simply don’t.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

However, beyond basic connectivity, the A30 Wireless can be a real pain to configure. The A30 Wireless runs on a proprietary smartphone app. That means you have to connect your headset to your phone via Bluetooth every time you want to change the sound profile or mic settings. And you’ll have to change those settings more often than you think, because the headset occasionally resets to its default values. This is especially annoying if you hate mic sidetone, as the default value is at 40%, rather than turned off.

The mic is yet another area where the A30 Wireless is not nearly as seamless as it should be. The headset has two mics: a removable boom mic and an internal mic that’s supposed to activate automatically whenever the boom mic isn’t around. However, in my testing, the internal mic often failed to activate, and neither my phone nor my computer would recognize that it was even there. Even when the mic was working properly, it was too quiet and garbled to carry a conversation effectively.

Astro A30 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The boom mic offers excellent sound quality, and the flexible design makes it easy to position near your mouth. But the internal mic is more trouble than it’s worth, and it makes me wonder why Astro included it in the first place. The device probably would have been cheaper without it, and just as functional.

Finally, there’s the battery life, which Astro estimates at 27 hours. During our tests, the A30 Wireless seemed to discharge at this rate, although we imagine that your exact battery life will depend on whether you use USB or Bluetooth connections, as well as how much you need the mic.

Astro A30 Wireless review: Verdict

The Astro A30 Wireless is one of those solid "good, not great" gaming headsets that should please most prospective buyers. The sound quality is up to usual Astro standards, and you can wear it comfortably for hours at a time. The controls are too complicated for their own good and the software could work better, but these aren't the primary selling points of a gaming headset.

Furthermore, the A30 Wireless occupies a relatively small niche as a wireless gaming headset that works with both PS5 and Xbox Series X, but still offers Bluetooth. The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is a little cheaper at $200, but doesn't have Bluetooth; the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT has better design and sound quality, but also costs $270. The A30 Wireless may not be perfect for either work or play, but it's more than good enough for both, and that's rare.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.