Astro A50 X review - near-perfect multi-platform audio

Amazing sound meets attractive design

The Astro A50 X on a table.
(Image: © Dashiell Wood/Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Astro A50 X is easily one of the best sounding wireless gaming headsets on the market, delivering pristine audio that’s perfect for the vast majority of games. Its useful switching function makes it easy to jump between Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, but the lack of active noise cancellation and tricky setup are disappointing for the price.


  • +

    Incredible audio quality and Dolby Atmos support

  • +

    Comfortable design

  • +

    Clear mic

  • +

    Excellent on-board controls

  • +

    Convenient platform switching feature


  • -

    Lacks active noise cancellation

  • -

    Awkward setup process

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If you have $379.99 / £359 / AU$749.95 to spend on a high-end wireless gaming headset, then the Astro A50 X is a fantastic choice. This is a supremely comfortable peripheral, with a lightweight headband and gorgeous plush ear cups that make it an absolute joy to wear over extended gaming sessions. It also offers by far the best audio quality of any of the wireless gaming headsets that I have ever tested, with rich bass, crystal clear mids, and dazzling high-end frequencies that are a perfect match for almost any game. 

Cinematic adventures like The Last of Us Part 1 and Death Stranding: Directors Cut are elevated by superb clarity and a detailed sound stage, while intense first-person shooters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 benefit from accurate spatial audio that makes it much easier to track enemy movement. Throw in an excellent microphone that enables you to communicate with friends or teammates clearly with little background noise and this is one seriously compelling package.

Unfortunately, while the use of 24-bit HDMI 2.1 audio does increase the sound quality, it also makes for a complicated setup process that requires multiple extra cables compared to other sets. The lack of active noise cancellation (ANC) is also a let-down at this lofty price point and I found that loud background noises can occasionally bleed through, disrupting the otherwise peerless immersion.

Design and features

The controls of the Astro A50 X.

(Image credit: Dashiell Wood/Future)

The Astro A50 X boasts an eye-catching design that feels premium in the hands. It has large, almost square earcups that offer plenty of room for the onboard controls and sport magnetically attached plush cushions that sit snugly around the ears. A flexible rubberized microphone, which can be raised, lowered, and shaped into position, is attached to the left ear cup. The power switch, platform switch button, and Bluetooth connectivity button are then positioned on the back of the right ear cup, above a small volume dial. 

The switches are all well-spaced and pleasantly tactile, while the volume dial has a satisfying notched motion and rubberized finish that lends it a high-end feel. The flat exterior of the right ear cup also functions as one large extra button, offering a handy way to control the balance between game and chat audio.

The headband is very lightweight, constructed from two thin flexible plastic strips that sandwich a small plush cushion. It is connected to each ear cup with robust metal tubes that can be slid up and down in order to adjust the fit. There are markings denoting various headband sizes, making it easy to keep at a consistent size once you’ve managed to find the perfect setting. 

Small metal contacts are present on the bottom of each ear cup, which enables the Astro A50 X to dock into its included base station. This is a convenient storage solution that means the headset can be charged between uses, though the roughly 24-hour battery life means that you're well covered by a full charge. The base station has a good level of heft to it, just weighty enough to avoid slipping around on a surface but not too heavy to reposition easily if needed. It’s also a relatively compact size, with an overall width that’s about equal to the width of the headset itself.

While the front of the base station features a row of LED indicators (including a battery level indicator, a Bluetooth connectivity indicator, and illuminated text denoting your current platform) the rear has three HDMI 2.1 ports and three USB-C ports. These ports are all in service of the headset’s flagship feature: the ability to switch between multiple platforms.

This is accomplished with a quick tap of the headset’s platform switch button, which automatically changes the HDMI output over to your selected platform and seamlessly switches the audio to match. It’s impressively quick and convenient and makes this headset by far one of the easiest to use if you are often alternating between Xbox, PlayStation, and PC on the same display. It is worth bearing in mind that the headset does not feature power control functionality though, so each system needs to be switched on separately first. 

The software of the Astro A50 X.

(Image credit: Logitech)

Like other premium wireless gaming headsets such as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X, the Astro A50 X features Bluetooth dual connectivity, allowing you to connect your mobile phone and take phone calls or chat via the Discord mobile app while still hearing game audio. It’s also compatible with Logitech G Hub PC software and the Logitech G mobile app that can both be used for firmware updates, alternating between preset equalizer profiles, or fully customizing the equalizer settings to your liking.


The controls of the Astro A50 X.

(Image credit: Dashiell Wood/Future)

Connecting the base station to an Xbox or PlayStation requires at least two HDMI cables and one USB-C cable. The first HDMI cable connects the HDMI output of the console to the HDMI input of the base station, while the second connects the HDMI output of the base station to your gaming monitor or gaming TV. The USB-C cable then provides an additional connection between the base station and the console. You can add a second console to the same video output by hooking up another HDMI cable and a second USB-C cable. Connecting to a PC is then a little simpler, requiring only a USB-C connection which is conveniently attached to the base station’s USB-C power supply cable.

Once I had set the base station up with my Xbox Series S, PS5, and PC there were a grand total of six extra cables running through my desk. The sheer number of cables required makes setup a time-consuming task, especially if you want to make sure that they tidied away neatly. While the two USB-C cables are included in the box, alongside the power lead, the headset does not come with an extra HDMI cable for the video output so you’re either going to need to find a spare or buy one which could be a major annoyance.

It’s also important to note that, while the headset works with any old HDMI 2.0 cable, the newer HDMI 2.1 standard is recommended for the best audio experience, adding another hurdle. Including a single HDMI 2.1 cable in the box would massively reduce the hassle and is definitely not an unreasonable ask given the price.

The Astro A50 X base station.

(Image credit: Dashiell Wood/Future)

Once the setup is completed correctly, however, you’re rewarded with incredible audio performance. In-game sound is perfectly balanced, with just the right level of bass to feel suitably punchy but never overpowering. Voices come through impressively clearly and the PS5 3D audio or Dolby Atmos spatial audio lends everything an incredibly cinematic feel - just make sure you enable it through your console settings or via the Dolby Access PC app.

The Astro A50 X also manages to hold its own when used outside of gaming. Every song I tested with the Apple Music app on PS5 sounded brilliant and I found the wireless range of the base station was more than enough to allow me to wear the headset around the house unimpeded. It also performed exceptionally well while watching movies and TV, delivering immersive, rich sound. While it doesn’t sound quite as good as leading dedicated music-listening headphones like the Apple AirPods Max or Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, it’s still easy to recommend the Astro A50 X if you’re an audio enthusiast.

It also feels superb on the head, with the soft ear cups and headband offering an excellent level of support and comfort. Sadly, the lack of active noise cancellation can sometimes negatively impact the overall experience. While the padding largely does an excellent job of blocking out low-level outside noise like console fans or rain, I found that the occasional loud sound like a passing siren would bleed through. It’s by no means a dealbreaker but is still disappointing.

When it comes to microphone performance, the Astro A50 X is almost flawless. Even with loud background noise I found that my voice came through clearly in almost broadcast quality, though the mic does seem to produce a slightly sibilant sound with its out-of-the-box configuration. Luckily, this can be easily adjusted and is unlikely to pose a problem unless you intend to use the headset for streaming or podcasting.

In fact, the only other major issue I encountered was a very occasional screen flickering which saw my display turn black for a split second at very sporadic intervals. I can only assume that it has something to do with the base station, which functions as an HDMI pass-through. Thankfully, the headset received a firmware update during my testing period that seems to have solved the issue for good.

Should I buy the Astro A50 X?

The Astro A50 X in its docking station.

(Image credit: Dashiell Wood/Future)

With rich sound and support for Dolby Atmos and 3D audio, the Astro A50 X is a top choice if you want one of the absolute best sounding wireless gaming headsets on the market. The complicated setup process and lack of active noise cancellation are unfortunate given the high asking price, but they’re only small complaints in the face of a headset that performs so well elsewhere. 

 Buy it if…

You want absolutely beautiful sound quality
The Astro A50 X sounds nothing short of stunning in-game and boasts support for Dolby Atmos and PS5 3D audio for a truly immersive experience. It’s perfect for a wide range of genres, not to mention more general media consumption. 

You play games on multiple platforms
The switching feature of the Astro A50 X makes it easy to alternate between PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on the same display.

Don’t buy it if… 

You play in loud environments
One of the only shortcomings of the Astro A50 X is the lack of active noise cancellation. Loud background sounds can bleed through its thick cushioning, which is going to be an issue if you often play in loud environments.

You want to cut down on cables
For a wireless gaming headset, the Astro A50 X certainly has a lot of wires. Consider other high-end options like the <a href="" data-link-merchant=""">SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless or <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""">Turtle Beach Stealth Pro if you want a simpler setup with fewer cables. 

How we tested the Astro A50 X

I used the Astro A50 X as my primary gaming headset for over a month with a PC, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5. During that time I played a wide range of games, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Last of Us Part 1, and The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered on PS5. On PC I played lots of matches of Counter-Strike 2 and a few hours of Death Stranding: Directors Cut, plus plenty of time in strategy games like Endless Space 2 and Civilization 6.

On Xbox, I played the opening of Hi-Fi Rush, not to mention a large chunk of Mirror’s Edge and Alice: Madness Returns via backwards compatibility. I was also careful to test the headset’s performance while listening to music via Apple Music on PS5 and YouTube on other platforms, in addition to enjoying the film Prey and the first season of Hazbin Hotel on Prime Video.

For more on gaming audio, see our guides to the best gaming headsets for Call of Duty or the best gaming earbuds.

Dashiell Wood
Hardware Writer

Dash is TechRadar Gaming's Hardware Writer. Before joining TechRadar, he was a print journalist writing articles for some of the UK's biggest gaming magazines including PLAY, Edge, PC Gamer, and SFX. Now, when he's not getting his greasy little mitts on the newest hardware or gaming gadget, he can be found feverishly devouring the latest Nintendo Switch otome.