So recently I was talked into spending yet more money on headphones. This time it was primarily for my Xbox. I opted for the Astro A-40 Audio System, replete with Penny-Arcade Cardboard Tube Samurai tags. I also decided to get custom tags made up, with my "Cowboy" logo from my Halo 3 team.

In use they are pretty amazing. They sound great, and the simple ability to have in-game sound and Xbox Live chat through the same headset is such a benefit. While I haven't really put the "Dolby Surround" part of the system through a serious test, the audio quality coming through is very, very nice and very detailed. Unfortunately it doesn't make me a better Halo player, just means I get a little more auditory warning before dying like a chump.

The biggest downside: cable spaghetti. Mini USB and TOSLINK optical from the back of my Xbox to the Mixamp. That I can deal with. But then I have a wire from the Mixamp to my headset (understandable, and plenty long enough) and a wire from the Mixamp to my Xbox controller for the chat integration. This is the single most frustrating thing of the entire system. Every cable that Astro supplies is ridiculously long, except the Mixamp-controller link, which is so frustrating. Because of this one cable, I have to basically take the Mixamp from next to the Xbox and have it on the floor/table within arms reach. Most annoying. But this was something I knew about before I bought it, and seemed a better alternative after reading some of the reviews of the wireless solutions.

In short, fairly expensive and, sure, maybe a little overpriced-stuff-white-gamers-like ... but I like them. A lot.


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