The PS5 headset situation is honestly fairly dire. Unless you’re using PlayStation’s own Pulse 3D headset, you’re going to be missing functionality in existing headsets or those marketed for use with the PS5 (much like the Astro A20 Gen 2 headset).
Headsets that previously took advantage of two channel audio through the use of the optical port and USB port can no longer do so due to the fact that the PS5 has no optical port. This means that high-end headsets such as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless or Astro A50 will no longer perform to their full capability. It also means that there isn’t a single headset on the market (to my knowledge) that can take advantage of a game/chat audio slider outside of PlayStation’s own Pulse 3D headset.
This is a damn shame, because the Astro A20 Gen 2 is a great mid-range headset that is a little held back by the current limitations that Sony has put on headset manufacturers. The Astro A20 headset fits really nicely. It’s a little bit heavier than most headsets, but the super soft padding on the top of the band as well as the adjustability means that it’ll sit snug on your head.
In terms of the buttons on the headset, they’re well laid out which is one of the most important things on a headset for me. You’ve got the power button, a volume wheel which is easy to access, buttons to increase/decrease game or chat balance (which don’t currently work due to Sony’s limitations with the PS5 and can still be controlled via PS5 OS) and an EQ button that changes between three preset settings (Astro for general gaming, PRO for high detail and Studio for music/movies).
Playing games with this headset is an absolute joy. The Pulse 3D headset isn’t bad, but I noticed a huge improvement as soon as I put these on. Footsteps in Fortnite became clearer, gunshots in Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War became crisper and everything sounded a little less tinny. If you’ve currently got the original version of this headset, you’ll notice a decent improvement thanks to Astro’s V2 audio engine.
One of the biggest criticisms that I have of PlayStation’s own Pulse 3D Audio headset (outside of the horrific button placements) is the microphone which was a pretty big letdown. Thankfully, not only does the Astro A20 Gen 2’s microphone sound a lot better, but it also has a flip to mute microphone rather than a button. Although, my team mates did mention that they could hear themselves a little through the microphone although this was fixed by turning it down on the PS5 settings.
As far as connecting these up to my PS5, I just had to plug in the USB dongle and away I went. Astro has been pretty clever with the creation of these and you can buy a second dongle for your Xbox Series X in order to go back and forth between the two consoles. Whilst I couldn’t test this, some people online have mentioned that it is a bit fiddly and you do have to do a bit of fairing if you’re going back and forth.
Battery life is advised to be at around 15 hours and that’s exactly what I got. They are charged by USB-C (thankfully) and another minor gripe I have is the fact that it doesn’t let you know once they’re completed charging. It is minor, but worth mentioning.
Honestly, if you’re after audio quality and comfort and the game/chat audio slider issue doesn’t bother you, then I’d be going for these. They feel a lot more premium than the Pulse 3D headset and sound a lot better too. When it comes to price, you can currently grab the Astro A20 for roughly $279. You can grab the PS5 version HERE and the Xbox Series X version HERE.
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In terms of comfort, sound and microphone quality, the Astro A20 Gen 2 trumps Sony's own Pulse 3D PS5 headset. It's a really nice looking headset that perfectly compliments the design of the PS5. Due to no fault of its own it is missing chat/game slider functionality, which will hopefully come in a later update.
Comfortable On The Head
Microphone And Sound Quality Are Great
Button Placement Is Easy To Access
Game/Audio Slider Doesn't Work (But It's Not Astro's Fault)