Logitech G Astro A30 Review - CGMagazine

2022-10-13 04:45:53 By : Mr. Spring Shao

Set to launch on October 4th, the Logitech G Astro A30 is the most ubiquitous gaming headset that the Lausanne, Switzerland and Newark, California-based peripheral manufacturer Logitech has produced yet, and it’s taking serious aim at expanding the Astro brand’s customer base beyond core gamers to connect with casuals, influencers and fashion-conscious individuals. Boldly promising A30 purchasers the ability to play anything, anywhere, on any modern gaming device, Logitech is positioning its latest Astro product as the only headset that gamers will ever need. 

Unsurprisingly, the number one selling point of the Astro A30 is its much-advertised LIGHTSPEED 2.4Ghz wireless compatibility with the “Holy Sextet” of modern game platforms: Xbox One/Series, PS4/5, PC, Nintendo Switch, Mobile and even MacOS. In addition, the A30 also supports Bluetooth for wireless compatibility with countless other devices and wired 3.5 mm connectivity for plugging the A30 into just about anything else you could think of.  

Available in either an Xbox and PlayStation variant with white and navy colourways offered for each, the A30 ostensibly gives users everything they need to connect to any device right out of the box.  

Before we all sit around the fire, join hands and sing Kumbaya however, it should be noted that there are a few small caveats.  

The first catch is that a proprietary USB transmitter is required for LIGHTSPEED wireless, so if you aren’t willing to put up with a modestly small, wireless dongle sticking out of the back, front or bottom of your preferred console or handheld, you won’t be able to enjoy the Astro A30’s surround sound audio in its best form. The second catch is that only one wireless USB-A transmitter comes packaged in the box, and its compatibility type (Xbox/PC or PlayStation/PC) is determined accordingly by the A30 console variant purchased.  

So if you want to use your Xbox-version A30 with your PlayStation console or vice-versa using LIGHTSPEED, you’ll need to purchase the PlayStation dongle from Logitech separately (though it beats having to purchase a second headset, right?) 

Nintendo Switch users potentially get the worst of it though. There is no Switch version of the A30, so Switch owners will need to invest in a separate USB-C type LIGHTSPEED transmitter if on-the-go surround is a priority. Alternatively, the A30 should be able to connect to the Switch via Bluetooth without needing a transmitter, and theoretically the PlayStation variant of the USB-A dongle should work with Nintendo Switch via docked mode (though I don’t currently have the means of testing or confirming those assumptions). 

One thing I initially did not expect to like as much as I do about the Astro A30 is how visually appealing the headset is. The matte navy colourway of the A30 review unit I was sent in particular refreshingly eschews the standard basic black that one tends to expect from gaming headsets, and reflects a sleek, uncluttered design aesthetic that can be paired easily with a variety of looks and outfits. Meanwhile, the contrasting red of the inner ear cushions and dazzling neon iridescence of the A30’s outer earcups make the product stand out with style.  

With magnetically detachable, translucent speaker tags available as a purchase option (one Astro-branded pair is included in the box and the headset is also compatible with the entire library of speaker tags for its cousin the Astro A40), the A30 presents users with the opportunity to add a dash of individuality and personal flair to their headset’s look. A wide selection of alternative tags can be customized and purchased from the Logitech G website, including special edition collaborations featuring Logitech partners, global influencers and pop-culture brands, so there should be no shortage of “A30 looks” to choose from. 

If it wasn’t already obvious, the Astro A30 is intentionally built for wearing out-and-about. The swivel-mounted earcups fold down for easy wearing around one’s neck and showing off one’s tags and/or iridescence, while the detachable boom microphone further slims down the headset’s footprint when removed (a built-in microphone picks up the slack whenever the boom mic is disconnected). For introverts who prefer to keep their headset as pristine and protected as possible while travelling however, a hard carrying case is also provided in the box. 

As far as ergonomics and fit are concerned, the Astro A30 is extremely comfortable to wear yet provides significant enough clamping force to keep the headset securely on one’s head, which is especially important given how well the headset lends itself to travel. I’ve worn it on a number of occasions outside the house as well as indoors over the past week and at no point did the A30 become uncomfortable or lose its grip, even after hours of use.  

There are only four control points on the headset, and they are all quite easy to find by feel, those being a Mute toggle switch at the bottom of the left rear earcup, and a Power Button, Bluetooth sync button and a 4-way navigation joystick nub button, all located on the rear of the right earcup.  

Of course, none of the above qualities matter in a wireless gaming headset if the device itself can’t deliver immersive, top-of-class surround sound. Thankfully, the Astro A30 has exceeded my expectations in this area by almost every measure. The A30 is Dolby Atmos for Headphones-ready, and is also compatible with other virtualized surround apps like Windows Sonic, DTS-X for Headphones and PlayStation 3D surround. 

Even better, the A30 remarkably sounds the part and actually puts its money where its mouth is, even going as far as to include two surround profiles, “Immersive” and “Footsteps” as the default EQ settings in its companion Logitech G Mobile App, along with a short, FX-laden audio test loop that confirms without a doubt that the positional audio is working. 

For overall sound, I personally still regard the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 (my daily driver headset) and the 700 Gen 2 MAX as the gold standard of wireless gaming headsets available in the market today, but the Astro A30 is the closest I’ve seen a competing set of cans come to dethroning them. Delivering rich, powerful bass without distortion, crystal clear mids and highs, and convincing positional audio, the Astro A30 is a more than worthy challenger. In fact, if it weren’t for the Gen 2 and Gen 2 MAX’s noticeably more powerful 50 mm audio drivers, it would be a dead heat. 

A second marquee feature of the A30 that will no doubt be of interest to streamers and other content creators is the headset’s ability to “mix and balance” up to three audio sources all at once via LIGHTSPEED, Bluetooth and 3.5 mm connections. Unfortunately, the feature is far more limited than it sounds. In fact, during the initial setup of the A30’s Logitech G Mobile App, the introductory tutorial sets expectations quite low when it recommends that users “adjust each source independently from the device if desired.”   

In other words, any actual mixing and balancing of audio signals on the A30 has to be done via the devices that are providing the audio source, such as the volume rocker on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, or the bespoke volume buttons on a wired-in Nintendo Switch or PS Vita, which makes for a regretfully no-frills mixamp experience. 

But despite the above shortcoming, the Logitech G Mobile App still remains an invaluable tool for managing all the Astro A30’s key functions that are otherwise only accessible physically through the headset’s joystick nub (which shares controls for both LIGHTSPEED and Bluetooth remote options), as well as enabling a number of handy, quality of life features.  

It’s within the app, for example, that users can adjust the timer on the Astro A30’s built-in accelerometer that automatically powers down the headset after a period of inactivity or zero movement. And it’s also where users can create and save custom audio profiles for different use case scenarios (e.g. “On-The-Go,” “At Home,” or “Streaming”) and effortlessly flip between them as needed in seconds. 

Finally, there are a few additional conveniences that I’d be remiss not to mention. In addition to the detachable boom mic and swappable speaker tags, the ear cushions are also magnetic and can be easily removed and replaced, making it possible to spruce up and refresh those elements over the lifetime of the product.  

On paper, the Astro A30 boasts a wireless range of 15 feet and a jaw-dropping 27+ hours of power, but even when the headset does run out of power (which took me a week of solid on-and-off use to achieve), users won’t be completely SOL. Plugging in both the detachable boom mic and 3.5 mm audio cable will allow the A30 to work as a completely wired, non-powered headset on just about any device. 

In closing, the Logitech G Astro A30 is an excellent gaming headset that impresses with versatile, well-thought-out and feature-rich options that just about any gamer in the market for a new surround sound gaming headset will be able to appreciate. The $299.99 CAD price tag might prove eye-watering for some, especially given the A30’s ultimately limited mixamp feature, but when its cross-platform compatibility, quality of life features and fashion-forward aspects are taken on the whole, the Astro A30 is a game-changer of a device that’s well worth the investment for core gamers and content-creators alike.

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