Astro is a fantastic company to buy from. They boast excellent surround sound tech and headphones as well as a focus on great customer service. I know this personally, as over the summer I purchased their A40 Audio System (White) and have been loving it ever since. You may wonder why I would buy a pair of their A30s since I already own the decidedly more powerful A40s. Well, I'll get to that later, but first, let me just objectively review the A30s as best I can. Whenever deciding whether or not I should purchase pair of headphones as expensive as these, I always appreciated the reviews that went into great detail the most, so I will try to be as informative as I can here for you. Full disclosure, I already own the Mixamp from when I bought my A40 audio system, and I only bought the A30 headphones this time around. That been said, I can tell you from experience about all parts of this package very accurately.
You'll know you've received an Astro product the minute you see the box their stuff is packed in. It's all very slick and reminiscent of an Apple product: modern, artistic, striking, almost zenlike. The Mixamp itself is quite stylish and simplistic, sporting a large knob for volume, a small one for Astro's patented voice/game balance controls, and two buttons, one to turn the system on, and one to activate the 7.1 surround sound. The A30 headphones are gorgeous, and quite different in design from the A40s. It actually reminds me of something you'd see out of 1960's space age comics, such as a space suit component or computer/TV from that era. It's all very, very cool in a sci-fi retro sort of way. The magnetic speaker tags that you attach to the back of each headphone also add to this aesthetic pretty well. I bought the Master Control Panel pair off of Astro's site and they really add to that retro 1960s style.
The build quality of the products is quite sturdy, although without batteries the Mixamp is very light and can be jostled quite easily if you're not careful, which is something you may want to keep in mind. Each headphone on the A30 can swivel to rest comfortably on your shoulder, or to make it more compact for storage in your backpack or the excellently designed zip-up case that comes with the headphones. There's a quick disconnect port for easy transportation. The headphones are extremely light and feel so very comfortable on the head. I have never experienced discomfort wearing these for long periods like I have after wearing the A40s, which is a plus. The audio system comes with every wire you'd ever want or need except the most important for surround sound gaming at home, an optical audio cable, but you can find really good, cheap ones like this one (that I personally use) on Amazon easy enough. Unlike the open-backed A40s, the A30 headphones are actually close-backed, and so by default prevent more sound from leaking in and out from the headphones, which is a huge plus if you're like me and don't want to disturb a sleeping wife/girlfriend next to you.
Now, onto sound. How do the A30s fare in this regard? Frankly, extremely well. To be honest, these have become my go-to headphones for just about everything. In fact, I only get out the A40s on special occasions where I *really* want to hear everything in a game. To be honest, despite being a lot cheaper than the A40s, as well as having 30mm drives in each headphone instead of 40mm like the A40s have, I am loathe to tell the difference. They're both the highest quality you could hope for without going to absurd price heights like other audiophile headphones go to. I have put the A30s through some grueling testing, and they work incredibly well, with everything: video games, music, video, etc, on my computer, from the Mixamp, from my DS, 3DS, on my iPod, these headphones are excellently crafted. Highs, mids, and lows are all distinctive and perfectly balanced, with no aspect overpowering any other. I really am amazed by these A30s. Everything is crystal clear with these headphones. 5-Stars, easily.
Adding to the positives of these headphones is the convenience. The A40s are designed specifically for competitive tournament settings, and for immersion with surround sound experiences at home. They fulfill their purpose wonderfully. The A30s, however, are made for the same things as the A40s, but also one more purpose that the A40s can't really hope to match: multimedia/gaming on the go, portability, and making variety of use a convenience. As I said, you can plug these babies into anything and because of the lightweight, compact design, they're perfect for meeting pretty much any of your headphone needs. You can just as easily and effectively listen to music on the bus with these without drawing attention to yourself, as you could plugging these into your Mixamp at home and enjoying a high fidelity surround sound experience of your favorite console video game. This convenience and easy interchangeability is a benefit that cannot be overstated.
Combine all of this with the Mixamp and you've got yourself one fantastic sound system. I've already tested The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Okami, Halo Anniversary, all of the Mass Effect games, Rayman Origins, as well as others, using these headphones. Whether it was for multiplayer efficiency or just single-player immersion, they all sounded amazing with this A30-Mixamp combo, despite the fact these games were all so different from each other in sound design, genre, and focus. The Mixamp is truly a magical device, with the way it takes audio signals, reworks them, and outputs them to genuinely high-quality 7.1 surround sound, but what's even more surprising to me is that the A30s was able to accurately keep up with the 7.1 surround sound. They did an awesome job tracking the location of everything going on, and keeping the sound accurately portrayed. I also have to say that playing portable games, such as Ocarina of Time 3D, Cave Story 3D, Okamiden, or Radiant Historia (all of which have fantastic sound design and incredible soundtracks) using the A30s and the 3DS/DSiXL yields incredible results as well. One of the biggest focuses of these headphones is for high quality sound with mobile gaming, and I'd say the A30s are hugely successful in that endeavor. The way these headphones provide versatility without sacrificing quality in any way is pretty amazing, really. I am exceedingly impressed.
Long review, I know, but as I said earlier, it was these types of reviews that always helped me when trying to decide on whether or not a particular headphone audio system was for me or not. Despite being cheaper than its big brother A40s, this is still a pricey package, and the big question still remains: is it worth it? My personal opinion is that, if you have the cash to spare or savings meant for something like this, then yes, it is, without a doubt, worth it. I bought these for on-the-go gaming and for (expensive) regular headphone use. I got all of that. What I didn't expect, was that these headphones would actually become my go-to headphones for just about everything. The audio quality is incredible, the build is tough while still being absurdly comfortable, and these headphones boast a level of convenience and ease of use that easily push them over the top in terms of quality and compatibility. Combine them with the magical Mixamp, and you've got one hell of a package! Amazing stuff. Buy it, enjoy it in pretty much every headphone-related situation, and marvel at the sheer quality of this awesome audio system.