Gaming gear company Astro’s earbuds are exactly what you’d expect from a gadget designed for gamers: they’re a little big, a little bulky, and a lot badass. The size problem is mostly attributed to the flat lightning-shaped buds that stick out of your ear like a sore thumb. If you don’t have any hair to cover them up (or a giant head to make them look small) you’ll certainly be drawing attention.
That said, we recommend them for mobile gamers (who they’re made for, after all), or for general listening by anyone who appreciates the radical look.
The A*Star’s overall design is what makes them so enjoyable to use. The speaker housings are set on the buds at an angle so they fit snugly into your ears. The drivers are optimized for gaming, but all sound that comes through them is crystal clear.
There’s also a built-in microphone with a wind shield, sparing folks on the other end from excessive background noise. It has a mute switch, an answer (or pause) button, and volume control. The plug is angled — not straight like it is on most earbuds and headphones — which makes the set much more sturdy. And, best of all, the cables are flat so they never get tangled.
The only real complaint is that the answer button is extremely sensitive, making it way too easy to hit by accident. And when you do hit it, there can be a bit of a lag when your music turns back on. It’s a bit of glaring problem on an otherwise near-perfect set of buds. Nonetheless, if you can train yourself to avoid the pause button, these are a great choice.