Pairing an Xbox One Astro A50 with other Consoles, Computers

Xbox One
Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of new consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, paying attention to compatibility when picking a gaming headset becomes even more important.

If you happen to game on several systems, for example, you’d certainly want a gaming headset that works with as many of them as possible. Examples of multitasking headsets include Astro Gaming’s A50 as well as Turtle Beach’s Ear Force XP510.

Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to review the Astro A50 Xbox One Wireless Gaming Headset. Don’t let its name fool you. Despite the Xbox One branding, an Astro rep I talked to confirmed that the headset also works with the PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and even mobile.

I’ve already detailed the step-by-step instructions on how I paired up the A50 gaming headset with my Xbox One. Here are quick instructions on pairing up the headset with other systems.

PlayStation 4

  1. Plug the microUSB cable to the back of the MixAmp Tx transmitter and the USB end to the PS4 to power the device.
  2. Take the optical cable and plug one end to the "OPT IN" slot in the back of the MixAmp Tx and the other end to the optical audio connection slot behind the PS4.
  3. Turn the power on for the PS4, then the MixAmp Tx and then the A50 headset. The headset and MixAmp are already pre-paired but you can check my A50 pairing tutorial if you need to repair them.
  1. Sign in with your PS4 profile of choice then go to Settings.
  2. Click "Sound and Screen," followed by "Primary Output Port."
  3. Pick "Digital Out (Optical)."
  4. Go to "Audio Output Settings" after that and select "Output to Headphones" then "Audio Format (Priority)" followed by "Bit Stream (Dolby)."
  5. In the "Audio Output Settings" menu, choose "Output to Headphones" and select "Chat Audio" (not "All Audio"), and you’re good to go.

    PlayStation 3

    1. Follow steps 1 and 2 in the PS4 tutorial.
    2. Go to "Settings," "Sound Settings" and "Audio Output Settings."
    3. Pick "Optical Digital" and select "Dolby Digital 5.1 Ch" (Do NOT pick "DTS 5.1 Ch").
    4. Enable chat by going to "Settings," "Accessory Settings" then "Audio Device Settings."
    5. Select "Astro Wireless Transmitter" under both "Input Device" and "Output Device" and you’re all set.

    XBOX 360

    Like the Xbox One, using the A50 on the Xbox 360 requires a special cable that you plug into the controller. Sadly, you’ll have to buy that cable yourself as it’s not included in the Astro A50 Xbox One Wireless Gaming Headset.

    Also, if you’re using an older non-slim XBox 360, you’ll need to get an Xbox 360 audio dongle as well. Hey, them’s the breaks. Otherwise, you can try pulling audio from your TV if it has an optical pass through. Now on to the setup.

    1. Follow steps 1 and 2 in the PS4 tutorial.
    2. Sign into your Xbox Live profile.
    3. Connect the small end of that special chat cable we talked about to the controller and the other end to the A50 port on the left earpiece. That’s actually it.

    PC

    The easiest way to make the A50 work on a PC is if your computer has an optical port. Otherwise, you can try connecting via a 3.5mm cable as detailed on the Astro support site.

    Or if you’re a more PC-centric gamer and don’t care for consoles, just get something like the ROCCAT XTD headset.

    Anyway, if your PC does have an optical port, here are the steps you need to take.

    1. Plug the microUSB cable to the back of the MixAmp Tx transmitter and the USB end to the PC.
    2. Grab the optical cable and plug one end to the "OPT IN" slot in the back of the MixAmp Tx and the other end to the optical audio connection slot of your PC.
    3. Power on the MixAmp Tx.
    4. On your PC (Windows 7), go to "Control Panel."
    5. Pick "Sound" then "Playback."
    6. Choose "SPDIF Out" then "Set as Default Device."
    7. Go back to the "Sound" setting in "Control Panel" and pick "Recording."
    1. Select "Astro Wireless Transmitter," then "Set as Default Device." As long as your sound card supports Dolby Digital, you should be all set up.

    MAC

    To connect to a Mac, you’ll need an optical audio to 3.5mm adapter cable.

    1. Follow step 1 on the PC instructions.
    2. Using the optical audio to 3.5mm adapter cable, plug the optical end to the "OPT IN" of the MixAmp Tx and the 3.5mm connector to the 3.5mm optical port of the Mac.
    3. Power on the Mac then the MixAmp Tx.
    4. On your Mac, go to "Settings," "Sound," "Output," and "Digital Out."
    5. Enable chat by going to "Settings," "Sound" then "Input."
    6. Choose "Astro Wireless Transmitter" and you’re set.