How to Set Up an Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset

 So you got yourself a brand-spanking new Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset.

Now what?

The A50 is a nice improvement over the Astro A30 we’ve reviewed before but also can seem intimidating to set up to the uninitiated. Fortunately, getting it up and running isn’t really too hard, though it is possible to run into a couple of niggles along the way. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up Astro’s flagship gaming headset.

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Pairing a 2nd-Generation A50 Gaming Headset

A50-02.The Xbox One variant of Astro Gaming's A50 actually can be used with other systems.
Image © Jason Hidalgo

Interested in how the device performs? Check out my review of the ​second-generation Astro A50 Gen 2 Wireless Headset for Xbox One, which is what I use for this tutorial. By the way, the Xbox One variant actually can be used with other consoles and PC as well. To use it with other systems, check out my Astro A50 tutorial for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.

On that note, let’s start with how to set up the Astro A50 with the Xbox One.

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How to Use the Astro A50 on the Xbox One: Controller Setup

Updating the Xbox One controller
Image © Jason Hidalgo

If you got the Xbox One version of the A50, you pretty much have everything you need. The key here, really, is the Xbox One chat cable, which is essentially what’s missing from the other A50s and also what makes the Xbox One a pain to use in general with other universal headsets such as the PDP Afterglow Prismatic, for example.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure both your Xbox One console and controller are updated. I didn’t do the latter at first, for example, and was wondering why my A50 wasn’t working. Basically, you’ll need to connect your controller to the Xbox One via a USB cable to update it and do that process with every other Xbox One controller you plan on using.

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How to Use the Astro A50 on the Xbox One: Cable Setup

Connecting Astro A50 to Xbox One
Image © Jason Hidalgo

Once that’s done, take one of the included microUSB/USB cables and plug the microUSB end into the “PWR” slot behind the MixAmp Tx and the USB side behind the Xbox One.

Then take the TOSlink Optical Cable and plug one side into the “OPT IN” (not the “OPT OUT) slot of the MixAmp and the other side into the optical cable slot behind the Xbox One (between the HDMI slots). The OPT IN slot will have a cover at first so take that out. Make sure to also take out the covers on the optical cable tips or they won’t snap into place.

If you want to charge your headset via the MixAmp, plug in the USB end of the other microUSB/USB cable to the back of the MixAmp and you can charge the A50 by plugging in the microUSB end to the headset.

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How to Use the Astro A50 on the Xbox One: Xbox One Settings

Astro A50 Xbox One audio settings
Image © Jason Hidalgo

Turn on your Xbox One, then turn on the MixAmp by pressing the power button on the left, then turn on your headset by pressing the power button once. If it doesn’t turn on, you might need to charge it first. Holding the power button actually initiates pairing, which you shouldn’t have to do since the MixAmp and headset are already pre-paired. Otherwise, hold the power button on the MixAmp first until it flashes white then the power button on the headset until it flashes white, too. Once they stop flashing and stay white, pairing is done.

On the Xbox One, click on “Settings” then “Display & Sound.” You’ll want to pick “Bitstream Format” and change that to “Dolby Digital.” The A50 quick start manual isn’t completely clear on this part but don’t freak out if “Bitstream Format” is grayed out and can’t be clicked. Just go to “Optical Audio” right above it and pick “Bitstream out” and that’ll allow you to change “Bitstream Format.”

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How to Use the Astro A50 on the Xbox One: Controller Chat Cable

Astro A50 Xbox One chat cable
Image © Jason Hidalgo

Lastly, plug the Xbox One Chat Cable on the bottom of the Xbox Controller till it snaps into place. 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 in case you need to change controllers, do NOT pull on the cable. Instead, flip the controller on its back and get a grip on the top edge of the plastic housing of the connector and push downward.

To use an A50 with other consoles or PC, check my tutorial, “Using the Astro A50 on PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.” For more articles and reviews about portable audio devices, visit the Headphones and Speakers hub

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