Best Alternative to the Astro A50 Headset

By Everett Zarnick

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Shopping for a strong mid-range headset in the gaming world is often a short journey of “reddit research.” That is, googling “what mid-range gaming headset should I get.” looking at the first few answers found on a reddit post of similar inquiry, and making a decision right then and there. 

This method actually works pretty well, actually, and if you don’t know anything about headsets, can be an excellent way to avoid picking out a product from a non-reputable seller or producer. One product that often comes up on these searches is the “Astro A50.” It’s a popular gaming headset, and for good reason: it has a passable amount of reliability, functions with Xbox on Playstation systems as well as PC, and fits the price point pretty well. While decent, we think there are better options than the Astro A50 for the price point it sits on, and would like to go over our solution for a better audio experience. First, more on the Astro.

The Astro A50 is a mid-range headset that’s dug out a name for itself in the gaming market as one of the most popular pieces of hardware for audio needs. It features 7.1 surround sound, decent audio quality, and a big, bulky design that sticks out. Along with this is the obvious microphone one can expect from a mid-range headset. 

The problem we find with the Astro A50 is that, because of its popularity, it can get away with its rather extreme price point to performance ratio. It sits around 300 dollars, but performs like a strong “exiting the budget” realm of a headset. That is to say, it costs 300 dollars, but performs like a 150 to 200 dollar headset. 

Its Audio is mediocre for a mid-range option, although good compared to budget headsets. Its construction stands out, but also makes a user weary after hours of gameplay due to its weight, and all of this for 300 is just a tad too much, which is why we’re recommending the Mobius headset instead 

The Mobius by Audeze acts as an intermediate version of their more high-end headsets, such as the LCD-GX. This means that what you get out of the Mobius is a price point comparable to the Astro A50. Along with a comparable price point is the Mobius’s exceptional audio quality, which is produced by Audeze’s in-house production of their very own planar drivers. Said audio quality is a decent selling point, but since it’s complimented by a number of things the Astro A50 doesn’t have at all, the Mobius goes from a decent mid-range alternative over the Astro A50 to a downright better version all around. 

These complementary features the Mobius has to offer include Audeze’s integrated head tracking technology, which constantly updates your head’s position to alter the sound around you for increased immersion. Additionally, the Mobius features room emulation and sound localization, which also act as methods of increasing immersion by queueing audio to behave differently depending on how you’re moving your head or what setting you or your in-game character are in. 

Of course, you can also count on the Mobius headset to be wireless. It features Bluetooth functionality with a bandwidth that’s up to three times the bandwidth as other Bluetooth headsets. It also features a mic, which one should just take for granted in a gaming headset these days, shouldn’t they?  

Conclusion

The Astro A50 is by no means a poor headset, but if you’re out for a mid-range gaming headset, there is no sense in dropping mid-range cash on budget performance. There is sense, however, in dropping mid-range cash on high-end performance, and the Audeze Mobius fits that “niche” very, very well. 

If audiophile levels of quality and the latest in head tracking and room emulation are things you’re into when gaming, the Mobius is the only option to go with.