ASTRO Gaming announces wireless MixAmp (and new mobile headset)

by: Ben Berry -
I can't believe it's been over two years since I reviewed the Astro Gaming A40. I was one of the first people to review the product, in fact i still have a prototype A40 headset in my test bench of gaming headsets. The A40 was really the first premium 5.1 headset on the market, and in combination with the Astro MixAmp, started what has become a very competitive space in high end headphones. Along with the TRITTON AX Pro, the A40 was the gold standard of high end gaming headsets until the recent release of the Psyko Audio Gaming Headset which really took things to the next level of realistic sound in personal gaming audio.

My primary concern with the A40 back when I reviewed it was the number of cables and being tethered to the gaming system. With the rampant growth of motion-based controls, being tied to the console of the PC is becoming less and less advantageous. Astro Gaming has solved that problem with the next big innovation in high end headsets: wireless. The new MixAmp 5.8 uses a two piece design to give you all of the flexibility of using the original MixAmp (in game volume and chat blending and volume control), but now you can do it without being tied to the gaming machine.

In slightly less exciting news, Astro has created the A*STAR in-ear headset for mobile gaming and audio. While I'm sure it's got all sorts of quality sound and with Astro definitely quality design; it's hard to get worked up about ear buds. 

ASTRO GAMING ANNOUNCES WIRELESS AND MOBILE AUDIO PRODUCTS FOR GAMERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8, with Dolby® 7.1 Works with Any Headset to Create the Ultimate Wireless Gaming Solution
ASTRO A*STAR Series of In-Ear Headset Provides Top Audio Performance for Handheld Gaming, Mobile Phones and Media Players

SAN FRANCISCO – November 1, 2010 – ASTRO Gaming, creators of premium video gaming equipment for professional and hardcore gamers, announces two new products this Holiday season: the ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8, a two part, wireless 5.8 GHz version of ASTRO’s award-winning MixAmp™, and the ASTRO A*STAR Series In-Ear Headset, a sleek and stylish pair of earbuds that delivers ASTRO Gaming’s renowned audio and voice performance in a discreet, mobile friendly package.

“We’re excited to offer both professional and casual gamers alike two exciting new products that will change the way they play at home and on the road,” said Aron Drayer, Director of Marketing, ASTRO Gaming. “The ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 improves upon our award-winning MixAmp™ formula by delivering clear, lag-free audio and voice communication wirelessly with no interference by utilizing 5.8 GHz technology. Our new ASTRO A*STAR In-Ear Headset gives mobile, smart phone and tablet gamers a critical lifestyle accessory, with tangle-free cables, a unique design and the unmatched audio quality and iconic design ASTRO Gaming is known for around the world.”

Both products will be available this November directly through the company website at www.astrogaming.com. ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 customers can pre-order now for the introductory price of $99.95, or bundled with ASTRO A30 and ASTRO A40 headsets for $199.95 and $249.95 respectively. ASTRO A*STAR In-Ear Headset customers can sign-up to reserve black, white or silver units now for only $79.95, with pre-sales going live in mid-November and product shipping in early December.

About ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8
The ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 retains the core features of the original award-winning ASTRO MixAmp™ while eliminating the wires. While optimized for ASTRO’s A30 and A40 headsets, ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 also turns any headset into a wireless surround sound experience. Featuring 5.8 GHz wireless technology, the ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 provides crystal-clear audio and voice without interference from other home wireless devices and gives control of the mix levels to the player.

Features of the ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 include:
7.1 channel Dolby® Surround Sound via Dolby® Pro Logic IIx decoding and Dolby® Headphone Surround Sound output
5.8GHz Wireless: this high-powered and secure connection operates on a spectrum relatively free from interference from other wireless devices
Point-to-Multipoint Pairing (PtMP): pair up to 4 receivers (Rx) with 1 transmitter (Tx), providing support for up four simultaneous users with four independent voice streams on XBox 360 ™, and two independent voice streams on PlayStation® 3
The 56374 DSP from Freescale™ allows full Dolby® Digital, Dolby Pro Logic
IIx and Dolby® Headphone processing on a single chip, offering one of the best
headphone audio experiences possible.
Bass Expander Mode: injects a subwoofer effect into the soundstage.
Tuned with ASTRO Audio™ technology to get the most out of games and other forms of media.
Compatibility: plug in any headset to use the ASTRO MixAmp™ 5.8 with both PlayStation® 3 and XBox 360™ Consoles.

About ASTRO A*STAR In-Ear Headsets
The bold design of the ASTRO A*STAR In-Ear Headset is the ultimate weapon in the battle for audio supremacy for the gamer on-the-go; featuring an in-line medallion with mic, volume dial and answer/hang up button, flat tangle-resistant cables, a PC splitter, three sizes of ear gels and a handy carrycase. Inspired by the lightweight materials and aggressive forms of high performance headgear, the A*STAR In-Ear Headset cuts through the noise, fully extending your audio arsenal to play your favorite games, music, videos and voice on-the-move.

Features of the ASTRO A*STAR Series of In-Ear Headsets include:
ASTRO Audio™ – Featuring 9mm drivers and 20 – 20,000 Hz frequency response range, the A*STAR In-Ear Headset have been engineered to deliver clean, clear sound at every frequency, optimized for handheld gaming devices, mobile phones and media players.
Control Medallion – The A*STAR control center includes a highly sensitive, wind-shielded mic and easily accessible controls for call answer/hang up, play/pause, mic mute and volume controls.
Flat Cables – Durable and highly-conductive, with the added benefit of resisting tangles
Carry Case – Multi-function pocketsize soft case to comfortably hold your A*STAR along with a portable audio or mobile phone device. 
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