Pairing an Xbox One Astro A50 With Other Consoles and Computers

Xbox One
Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of consoles like 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. Astro Gaming’s A50 and Turtle Beach’s Ear Force XP510 are two examples of multitasking headsets.

We'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 confirmed that the headset also works with the PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and even mobile devices.

We've already detailed the step-by-step instructions on how to pair the A50 gaming headset with an Xbox One. Below are some quick instructions on how to make it work with other systems.

PlayStation 4

  1. Make sure the Base Station is in Console Mode, so make sure the "PS4" option is chosen.
  2. Plug the micro USB cable into the back of the MixAmp Tx transmitter and the USB end to the PS4 to power the device.
  3. Open Sound and Screen > Audio Output Settings and then choose Primary Output Port.
  4. Change the setting to Digital Out (Optical).

    You might also need to choose the Dolby Digital format on the next screen.
  5. Back on the Audio Output Settings page, choose Audio Format (Priority) and change it to Bitstream (Dolby).
  6. On the Settings page, choose Devices > Audio Devices an change the Input and Output Device to USB Headset (ASTRO Wireless Transmitter).
  1. Choose Output to Headphones and change it to Chat Audio.

PlayStation 3

  1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 from the PS4 instructions above.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Sound Settings > Audio Output Settings.
  3. Pick Optical Digital and then choose Dolby Digital 5.1 Ch (do not pick DTS 5.1 Ch).
  4. Open Settings > Accessory Settings > Audio Device Settings.
  1. Enable chat by selecting ASTRO Wireless Transmitter under both Input Device and Output Device.

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 since 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. Otherwise, you can try pulling audio from your TV if it has an optical pass-through.

Here's how to set it up:

  1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 from the PS4 tutorial.
  2. Sign on to your Xbox Live profile.
  3. Connect the small end of that special chat cable to the controller and the other end to the A50 port on the left earpiece.
  4. That's actually it!

Windows 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.

If your PC does have an optical port, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Put the Base Station into PC Mode.
  2. Plug the micro-USB cable to the back of the Base Station and the USB end to the PC.
  1. From Control Panel, open the Hardware and Sound link and then choose the Sound applet.
  2. Make sure you're in the Playback tab of the Sound window.
  3. Right-click SPDIF Out or ASTRO A50 Game and choose Set as Default Device.
  4. Return to the Playback tab, right-click ASTRO A50 Voice and choose Set as Default Communication Device.
  5. Back in the Sound window, open the Recording tab.
  6. Right-click ASTRO A50 Voice and set it as both the default device and the default communication 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. Put the Base Station into PC Mode.
  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 and then the MixAmp Tx.
  4. On your Mac, go to Settings > Sound > Output > Digital Out.
  5. Navigate to Settings > Sound > Input.
  6. Enable chat by choosing ASTRO Wireless Transmitter.

To do so without an optical cable:

  1. Put the micro USB cable into the Tx transmitter and plug the other end into the Mac.
  2. Plug the audio cable into the transmitter and the headphone jack of the Mac.
  3. Connect the headset to the transmitter.
  4. Navigate to Settings > Sound > Output > ASTRO Wireless Transmitter.