ASTRO A03 REVIEW. Astro has typically only created big headsets (as well as a controller) for those who like to plop down in front of their TVs or monitors. While a lot of its headsets work on other devices, they focus on console and PC gaming. The Astro A03 earbuds are for the mobile crowd, promising the same high quality but in a smaller package. But the A03s contain a similar amount of greatness in that small package.
The build and sound
The A03s have many of the basic features that make for good earbuds. The four-foot cable is sturdy, a good length, and, more importantly, flat so it doesn’t get tangled up when you store them in your pocket or Switch carrying case (and it fits perfectly in the latter). It’s got a simple control panel (with a mic) on the cord with easily discernible buttons so you can pause, play, switch tracks, and adjust the volume without looking.
And it even has three different rubber covers for people with different ear sizes and a carrying case. Choosing the right size is essential because these types of earbuds are prone to slipping out, especially if you’re moving around. Thankfully, the smallest size is rather small so even people with tiny ear canals should be relatively fine here. Some people are just going to always prefer slightly bigger AirPod-like monitors that sit in their ear and the A03s probably won’t change their mind, but the range of sizes helps alleviate (but not completely solve) the problem.
But if you don’t mind this type of monitor, then the A03 earbuds’ sound is going to make them a pretty sweet deal. Astro has loudly advertised how they have dual drivers in each earbud. It sounds like fancy jargon but this means that both sides have more range as one driver handles the bass and the other handles mids and highs.
You don’t need to be an audio expert to hear the difference though as the sound is incredibly clear. They sound like high-quality headphones but shrunken down. There’s a higher range to the audio here that earbuds this size don’t usually have.
Their portable purpose
Of course, this quality in a smaller package is perfect for mobile gaming, especially the Switch. They both take a traditional console experience and make it digestible for a more mobile audience. The Switch has a whole library full of well-made, high-quality games and the A03s make it easier to experience their more nuanced audio presentations without requiring that you lug your giant headphones around. Breath of the Wild sounds great in portable mode so it’s worth it to get something to realize that potential.
Anything with a 3.5 mm port is compatible with the A03s and that means that home consoles work with them, too. They can’t quite stand toe to toe with other headsets, but they still have better sound quality than most earbuds and are a great middle ground between those two types of headphones.
The A03s have signature color schemes as well, setting them apart from other earbuds. Astro is currently only selling two types: a navy/red combo and a white/purple combo. These are quite unique pairings and may be a tad unorthodox, but look great. Even though the logo is quite small, you would still be able to pinpoint what headphones these were just at a glance and that subtlety is victory in design. However, it would be nice if users had more control over the palette like Astro’s Astro.ID program.
The actual build isn’t quite as noteworthy from a distance, but still strong. The aforementioned cable is simultaneously thick and flat and has a hefty casing on the end that will hopefully slow or stop the wear and tear that comes with constant movement. The monitors themselves are made of aluminum and are surprisingly quite sturdy. Granted how these are made to go on the road with you, they seem to be well prepared for the job, given their hard monitors, tangle-free cord, and thick jack cover.
Astro A03 In-Ear Monitors Review | The final verdict
The A03s show that Astro is capable of putting its expertise into a smaller package. These earbuds may not sound different from other earbuds, but they, well, sound different from other earbuds. It’s surprising to hear audio this good coming out of a $50 pair of earbuds, making this an excellent pair of headphones for portable Switch players and mobile users alike.
Astro A03 review unit provided by Astro.