Before I get into this, I’ve gotta come clean that I’m not a big fan of earbud headphones. That doesn’t mean I don’t use them. Whether its going to the gym, out on a bike ride or just traveling in general its hard to find an earbud headphone solution. This is especially because they never stay in your ears properly, seem to give you the best equal balance of sound, bass and style without having to spend a sizable amount of cash on it.
Astro Gaming has been in the game for sometime now, making headsets and MixAmp solutions for pro/hardcore gamers. While their A30 line was the all purpose headset for not only gaming but to use for anything else. They plan to have the same success with their new line of earbud headphones dubbed A*STAR In-Ear Headset. How does it compare to other in-ear headsets? Does it live up to the Astro Gaming name? Read on to see how it stacks up.
When we got our’s in we were immediately drawn to the packaging of the product. Once again I have to hand it to the packaging and design of the A*STAR In-Ear Headset. It comes in a fold out box which has the in-ear headset on one end and accessories on the other. Astro gets an A+ (See what I did there) in product design on this.
Here is an overview of everything it comes with.
A*STAR In-Ear Headset
Y-Adapter for PC use
Astro Multi Function Carry Case
Astro Gaming have not spared any expense to the design of their new in-ear headsets. The A*STAR’s come in one of three colors black, silver or white. With the end piece that goes in your ear being very stylish and can only be described as possibly Thor inspired. The in-ear headset also features non tangle flat cables which is a very smart choice as its not impossible to tangle but makes it very difficult to. I can’t tell you all the wires I have tangled from my electronics right now, it’s a fire hazard to say the least so other companies should take note but enough about me.
The A*STAR’s also have a in-line medallion with mic, volume dial and answer/hang up button. The mic can be muted for voice chatting and even has a dedicated volume control. Tapping the square box on the bottom will either answer or hang up for phone calls. While tapping the square once for music playback will pause or play, double tap will skip the track. It even works for iPod and iPhone devices. The mic has also been designed as a windshield for wind and other incoming noise. I also found the carry case to be something I really liked as it could easily fit any mobile device along with the headset to travel with.
Our only gripe with the design is just a knit pick if you want to call it that. We can’t help but think that since the A30’s-A40’s were made with the users personal style in mind. That the A*STAR’s could have received some sort of interchangeable color or design scheme for the Thor like blade for your ears. Again with the fact of the matter still remaining that these still look better then most in-ear headsets and especially in this price range it is nothing to cry home about at all.
The A*STAR In-Ear Headset have some of the best audio for in-ear headsets around. lows and mids sound great, with enough bass to give you an overall superb quality in sound. Of course the bass also depends on your audio source but can easily get up there without any distortion. We could distinctly hear separate noises from games like Halo Reach, Mass Effect 2 and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. WIth the Y-Adapter for PC use the A*STAR can easily be used for a skype conversation, recording or other forms of chat on the PC which all came in and out clear. This thing works with music devices, handhelds, pc and consoles. The in-ear headset gave a good range of sound that could easily pass for 5.1-7.1.
Highs seem to make sounds a little to sharp for our ears however. While music seemed fine to us, having a call with audio problems from either side or playing games came in kind of rough. We took notice that when you started to get the headset volume up to a higher then normal setting for playing games, one of the sound effects would distort a bit. We also took note that while we could hear things crystal clear and even we were clear to the person we were speaking to from calls, chatting over Xbox live wasn’t as clear. While it wasn’t bad, when compared to the sound of their Astro Headsets or even the official wireless mic, it wasn’t as clear as it could have been. This isn’t anything crazy and our suggestion is that if your using a MixAmp, in particular one of the Astro MixAmp’s that you balance the volume control of the mic with the MixAmp itself to get the best overall sound you can.
We’ve gotta say that the design/quality for an in-ear headset that is made and marketed by a gaming audio company can easily pass as some of the best for use anywhere. The A*STAR In-Ear Headset are very stylish, comfortable and comparable to any of Astro Gaming’s products. A*STAR In-Ear Headset is sold for $79.95 and while you may think thats steep, it maybe some of the best investments you made for an all around quality in-ear headset. Pairing these up with one of the Astro MixAmp’s for the best sound you can get from them as well. For those looking for an all in one solution, want great quality in-ear headset without breaking the bank this won’t steer you wrong.