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Logitech’s new platform-agnostic headset offers excellent features if you can afford it

The pricey Astro A50X lets you connect and seamlessly switch between up to three HDMI inputs.

A stock image of the Astro A50X Headset Image: Logitech
Alice Newcome-Beill (she/her) is a commerce writer, and she has been writing about gaming and tech since 2005. Prior to Polygon, she worked at publications such as The Verge.

At least once per year we’re treated to incremental upgrades in headset designs from manufacturers like Razer, Steelseries, and HyperX. These improvements typically touch on some of the more objective points of their peripherals, like audio quality and battery life. However, the latest headset model from Logitech, the Astro A50X, is offering something a bit more drastic.

In addition to the same outstanding audio quality we’ve come to expect from Logitech headsets, the docking station for the A50X effectively serves as an HDMI switch, which not only makes the headset universally compatible, but allows you to quickly swap between HDMI inputs with a dedicated button on the headset. But, at an eye-watering $379.99, it’s difficult to recommend this headset to all but the most frequent of users.

A stock image of the Astro A50X headset and dock
The dock is an integral part of the A50X, but can take a while to get set up properly
Image: Logitech

The docking station is fitted with a pair of HDMI and USB-C inputs that can be used with PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles. You’ll also find another USB-C port that provides power and can also connect the dock to your PC. The single HDMI 2.1 output is capable of full 4K 120Hz passthrough to your preferred screen.

Setting up the entire system and getting its myriad cables organized required significant time investment, but I ultimately felt that was a small price to pay for a single unified headset that also allowed me to swap between the inputs on my TV. This is a pretty neat trick — however, the console will need to be powered on via its respective controller before you make the switch, in order for this to work properly.

Of course, if you’d prefer to skip the docking station entirely, you can also pair the A50X with your phone, Switch, or PlayStation via Bluetooth instead. You won’t be able to swap inputs, though.

A stock image of the back of the Astro A50X headset
A single button on the rear of the A50X lets you swap between inputs
Image: Logitech

The sound quality of the Astro A50X is amazing regardless of which platform you’re playing on, with no noticeable latency when operating on 2.4 Ghz wireless. I tested the A50X with a pair of rhythm games that have excellent soundtracks, Hi-Fi Rush and Metal: Hellsinger, on both PC and Xbox. The A50X had no issues matching the gameplay beat for beat, which is something my reliable noise-canceling earbuds just couldn’t match. The default sound profile is a little bass-heavy, but you can fine-tune everything from the Logitech G app on your phone or PC.

A screenshot of the Logitech G Hub software
The Logitech G App is available on PC and Mobile platforms to fine-tune your audio profile
Image: Logitech

The fit and finish of the Astro A50X will be familiar to anyone who’s used a headset from the Astro A50 or A40 series. The ear cushions and headband feature plush fabric, and the headset can lay flat around your neck when not in use. The surface of the right earcup allows you to adjust the balance between game and chat volume. Around the back of the right earcup, you’ll find a volume wheel, power and input switches, and a Bluetooth pairing button.

The aesthetics of the A50X aren’t quite as offensive as some more gamer-centric designs, but it still isn’t what I’d call a good-looking headset. A bit less plastic in the overall build, and the ability to remove the boom mic would’ve been welcome. Normally, these are annoyances that I’m willing to overlook, but for $380, I do expect more.

While Logitech’s designers have clearly gone to great lengths to expand the functionality of this headset, they haven’t done much to improve the fit and finish, which is disappointing given the massive price tag. At $380, small issues like the plastic-heavy design, and how the headset doesn’t always want to seat itself in the dock correctly, feel more glaring.

I applaud Logitech for producing a headset with features that genuinely improve user experience, but its high price and limited appeal make it extremely difficult to recommend. For a select subset of people who play games and chat regularly across multiple platforms that share the same screen, the A50X represents a sound investment, but for everyone else, a headset that costs a third of the price will do just fine.

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