Connect an Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset With Xbox One

So you got a brand-spanking new Astro A50 wireless gaming headset. Now what? The A50 is a nice improvement over the Astro A30 but also can seem intimidating to set up to the uninitiated. Fortunately, getting it up and running isn’t too difficult, though it's possible to run into a couple of obstacles along the way.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up Astro’s flagship gaming headset with Xbox One so that you can talk on your PC with your friends while playing your favorite games.

01
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Set Up the Controller

Updating the Xbox One controller

Make sure that both your Xbox One console and controller are updated. To update the console and controller, connect your controller to the Xbox One via a USB cable. Do this with every Xbox One controller you plan to use.

If you have the Xbox One version of the A50, you have everything you need. The key here is the Xbox One chat cable. This cable is missing from some A50s and this is what makes the Xbox One difficult to use, in general, with other universal headsets such as the PDP Afterglow Prismatic.

02
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Plug In the Cable

Astro A50 3rd Gen cabling

ASTRO Gaming Blog

Plug the micro USB end of the USB cable into the USB (3rd gen) or PWR (2nd gen) slot behind the Base Station/MixAmp. Then, plug the other side into an open USB slot on the back of the Xbox One.

USB slots look like HDMI slots but are more uniform and rectangular. Compare the end of the cable with the ports on the Xbox to see where it goes.

The next step is to plug one side of the TOSlink Optical Cable into the OPT-IN (not the OPT-OUT) slot of the Base Station/MixAmp. Then plug the other side into the optical cable slot (marked S/PDIF) on the back of the Xbox One.

If the OPT-IN slot has a cover, take it out. Make sure to also remove any covers on the optical cable tips or they won’t snap into place.

If you want to charge your headset via the Base Station/MixAmp, plug the USB end of the other micro USB cable into the back of the device. Then, plug the micro USB end into the headset.

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Apply the Xbox One Settings

Xbox One settings for the Astro A50 headset

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Turn everything on: the Xbox One, the Base Station/MixAmp, and your headset (press the power button once). If the headset doesn't turn on, make sure it's charged up.

Holding the power button on the headset initiates pairing, which you shouldn’t have to do since the Base Station/MixAmp and headset are pre-paired. If they're not paired, hold the power button on the Base Station/MixAmp until it flashes white, and then the power button on the headset until it flashes white. Once they stop flashing and stay white, pairing is done.

If you're using the third generation version of the A50 headset, put the Base Station into Console Mode by flipping the switch from PC to CONSOLE. Then, choose an account on the Xbox that the headset should be used with.

On either generation of the headset, do this on the Xbox One:

  1. Go to Settings > Display & sound > Audio output.
  2. Toggle HDMI audio to Off.
  3. Select Optical Audio and choose Bitstream Out.
  4. Go to Bitstream Format to change it to Dolby Digital.
  5. Return to the Display & sound screen and choose Volume.
  6. Select Party Chat and pick Headset.
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Connect the Controller Chat Cable

Astro A50 Xbox One chat cable

This step is only relevant if you're using the Astro A50 2nd gen.

Plug in the Xbox One Chat Cable to the bottom of the Xbox Controller until it snaps into place. Then, connect the other end to the Xbox Live cable port right below the microphone earcup, and you’re all set.

To take out the chat cable when you change controllers, do NOT pull on the cable. Instead, flip the controller on its back, get a grip on the top edge of the plastic housing of the connector, and push downward.