I remember when I bought my Astro A50s. As a relatively casual gamer, it felt kind of insane to be spending $300 on a gaming headset. Up until then, I used sub-$100 headsets that were fine but would eventually have issues and crap out on me. After doing a ton of research, I settled on at least giving the A50s, which were beloved by the gaming community, an honest try.
Sometimes, something is more expensive because of the hype, and sometimes it’s more expensive because of the quality. In this case, it was both. The A50s were certainly hyped by gamers who used them, but for good reason — they have been the most performative, most comfortable, and most reliable pair of gaming headphones I have ever owned. And now, they’re getting a new version.
In a blog post, Logitech has announced the Astro A50 X, a new version of the A50s that adds new features as well as a big leap in connectivity. Ujesh Desai, general manager of Logitech G, said in a statement that the new version of the A50 “elevates” the experience for gamers.
“Over the last decade, the A50 has become an icon in gaming headsets due to its focus on gamer-centric design, premium sound, and superior comfort and durability. Our new A50 X elevates this beloved headset with an unmatched level of performance by combining the A50’s award-winning design with several new features and advanced technologies that truly revolutionize gameplay.”
So, what’s the deal with the A50 X, especially since it looks eerily similar to the A50? It’s all on the inside and in the dock. First, the new version of the headset features what Logitech and Astro are calling PLAYSYNC, which allows gamers to hook up their Xbox Series X/S, their PlayStation 5, and their PC to the headset and seamlessly switch between all of them.
The company is accomplishing all of this by utilizing HDMI passthrough, which will require gamers to run HDMI cables in and out of the dock. Logitech says that video and audio quality and features won’t be impacted when using PLAYSYNC.
A50 X is a two part Base Station and Wireless Headset system that works directly with high performance game consoles as well as 4K UHD Televisions using HDMI 2.1 technology. Using HDMI, the Base Station directs audio wirelessly to the A50 X Headset, while passing the console’s video through to the TV without impacting the source’s intended fidelity and features such as 4K 120Hz HDR, VRR, and ALLM. The result is high performance and ultra-low latency video.
The A50 X also gets an upgrade in audio with the use of graphene diaphragms, which the company is calling the PRO-G GRAPHENE Audio Driver. According to Logitech, graphene enables “improvements in sound reproduction accuracy [and] time to signal accuracy and distortion reduction.”
Optimized for the multi-platform player who requires the highest levels of audio and visual fidelity, and demands both style and design excellence, the A50 X headset system is purposefully designed to work with high performance game consoles using HDMI 2.1 & USB-C connectivity, allowing A50 X to deliver uncompressed audio at up to 24-bit fidelity.
The headset also gets the benefit of Logitech’s 24-bit LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, which helps with improved audio quality, reliable connectivity to the dock, and better battery life (Logitech says it will reach 24 hours of use before needing to be docked again). The Base Station also features Bluetooth connectivity if gamers want to mix in audio chat from Discord or listen to music while they are playing.
The company also notes that the Astro A50 X is the first to feature its new 16-bit 48 kHz LIGHTSPEED microphone, which Logitech says provides a “much broader spectrum of sound delivering unrivaled performance, clarity, and quality in a boom microphone.”
The Astro A50X is available to preorder now directly from Logitech G. It will cost a whopping $379.99 and launch “in the first half of 2024.”
While I won’t be upgrading since I only play Xbox, I can see why there would be great value for serious gamers who want one headset that can work across all of their consoles and PCs. It’s a huge price tag to get there but, for gamers who are already dropping thousands on their setup, it’s a drop in the bucket. I’m sure these will be a hit for the gamers who need something like this.