The A40 headset is designed around two large circumaural ear pads that fit nicely over your ears. The headset is adjustable in just about any way you can imagine, from ear position to height. The A40’s ear pads rotate 90 degrees to lie flat, allowing the headset to be worn DJ style around your neck. The headband is padded for comfort as well and a single cable feeds both the dynamic drivers and microphone if you have it plugged in. Overall, the A40 is an extremely comfortable headset especially during long gaming sessions where traditional sets tend to wear on the outer ears. We ran the A40 through its paces during roughly 3 or 4 hour sessions of Left 4 Dead and Gears of War 2 and we are happy to report that no real physical ear fatigue was felt after we discontinued its use. The headband applies a perfect amount of pressure to the head. It is just enough to keep outside sounds from intruding on your games, but not so tight that you feel like you just pulled your head from a vice after taking them off.
The boom microphone for the A40 is encased in flexible rubber, allowing the user to position it to their specific tastes. This comes in handy as the A40 lacks a microphone volume control, instead relying on its full strength line level output. By adjusting the distance between the boom and your mouth, you can get the exact amount of volume needed for good voice communications. The microphone snaps in and out of place with ease, making the A40 pretty versatile for both single and multiplayer gaming.
The sides of the A40 use what Astro Gaming calls ‘speaker tags’, which are essentially magnetic covers bearing the Astro logo. In theory, this allows the user to customize the sides of their headset, although as of now, Astro only offers one other set that showcases the logo of Major League Gaming. 3 tags are included with the A40, 2 solids and one with the necessary hole to allow you to use the boom microphone. The speaker tags also give the user an open air design so they aren’t completely shut-off from the outside world. However, Astro includes foam pads that can be installed between the tags and ear cups to help reduce outside noise, making your rejection of reality complete.