Astro is a brand that is better known for its high-end, premium offerings when it comes to gaming headsets. Having said that, recently, they’ve decided to dip their toes in the lower end of the price spectrum and have provided the market with another fantastic option – the Astro A10 gaming headset.
The Astro A10 gaming headset is a no thrills, stripped-back gaming headset that prioritizes sound and build quality, over gimmicky features and aesthetics. It falls slap bang in the middle of the budget price spectrum, giving consumers an even bigger headache when it comes to their next headset purchase.
In the following article we’ll be taking a closer look at Astro’s A10 headset to see how it stacks up against similarly priced alternatives in; build quality, price, performance, sound quality, and general-purpose usage. We’ll be putting it through its paces to see whether it or not it’s worth your consideration and cash.
So, with that in mind, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into the Astro A10 headset!
Below we have outlined the main specifications of the Astro A10 headset.
|Headphone Frequency Response||20 - 20,000 Hz|
|Drivers||40mm Neodymium magnets|
|Microphone||6.0mm Uni-directional microphone|
|Cable Length||3m (with extension)|
Inside the Astro A10 Box, we see:
- Astro A10 headphones
- Audio cable
- Great build quality
- Nice aesthetics
- Good bass for both gaming and music
- Multi-platform versatility
- Lightweight design
- Decent enough microphone
- Comfort is a little hit and miss for some users
The setup process required to get the Astro A10’s up and running is extremely simple – regardless of whether you’re using them for PC, XBOX, or PS4. Once unpackaged, simply attach the audio cable, which can be found in its own separate packaging, to the headset. After this, PC users will need to attach the additional splitter cable in order to use both the microphone and audio of this headset – easily done. For XBOX and PS4 users, this step is not required.
No software is essential in order to get this headset up and running. Simply plug the cables in and fire up your favorite steam game – it’s that simple!
The Astro A10’s come in a number of different styles and color themes – all meant for different scenarios and gaming devices. However, that being said, regardless of color theme or device format, every variation of this headset does the exact same thing.
So, with that out of the way, we decided to get the Zelda themed Astro A10 headset – you can thank the founder’s love for Zelda on Nintendo Switch for this purchase. As mentioned above, this is merely a styling difference – features, sound quality, and build quality all remain the same.
Astro has decided to go down the gaming route for this headset (no surprises there), giving it a loud aesthetic that really stands out. This isn’t the kind of headset you could simply pop on before going to the shops, for example. The Zelda theme is most prominent on both earcups, showcasing a large Zelda sword logo on one, and some ancient Kingdom of Hyrule markings found on the other. Similar symbols can be found throughout the headband, finishing with the Zelda badge on the top.
Zelda branding aside, the Astro A10s have been designed using plastic which, on one hand, provides a lightweight design, but on the other, doesn’t offer great build quality or longevity. Thankfully, and like the HyperX Cloud Stingers – a similarly priced headset – the Astro A10 headset comes with a steel headband encased in a flexible rubberized material for additional strength.
The earcups are over-ear but aren’t nearly as big as most gaming headsets on the market right now. I have “normal” sized ears and the earcups only just encase them. The top and bottom of my ear are in direct contact with the earcup at all times which can be a little annoying – we’ll touch more on this in the comfort section of the review.
The earcups offer Astro’s signature square design that does look quite bulky if truth be told. Furthermore, the headband which opens up vertically from the earcup itself looks quite large and angular when in use – something I wasn’t a huge fan of. It just felt a little clunky and overkill for what is, ultimately, a smaller headset.
The microphone is a rotate-to-mute, non-detachable microphone that is fairly large when compared to the rest of the headset. That being said, the mic does feel fairly robust and offers a little bit of versatility when it comes to positioning. No additional function buttons are found on the headset itself, however, you do have access to inline volume controls found on the audio cable which does come in handy.
Build quality is always an area that concerns me when it comes to headsets of this price range. And, if truth be told, the Astro A10s are a breath of fresh air when it comes to this department.
As mentioned above, the Astro A10 headset has been designed using plastic as the dominating material. Having said that, you’ll find a durable piece of steel that makes up the majority of the headband – covered in a flexible rubberized material. The headset as a whole actually feels pretty good and quite robust, especially when put under some light strain tests in the studio.
The earcups themselves, again, feel pretty good as far as quality is concerned. The cloth ear padding feels well installed, while the earcup cover offers a thick layer of plastic that could probably stand a few rage quits.
Furthermore, the cable feels extremely durable and doesn’t offer much abrasion while in-game or general use. The microphone also feels extremely well made and tough too. If I had to put my money on one area to outlast the others in this headset, it would go on the microphone or the audio cable.
Having said that, the only downside I could see in this headset has to be the inline volume control on the cable. The dial doesn’t feel overly strong, meaning it could potentially be an area of concern down the line.
Overall though, very good build quality from Astro.
Comfort is an area that feels a little hit and miss for me personally. The Astro A10 headset comes in a slender 346 grams which, to put in perspective, is a fairly light headset, to say the least. The weight alone is going to allow gamers to use this thing for long, extended gaming sessions – not to mention the cozy feel it provides.
However, the positives end pretty quickly for me, personally. The earcups are meant to be over-ear, however, they feel more crushing-ear to me. The earcup doesn’t manage to properly encase my ear, with both the top and bottom of my ear being in direct contact with the earcup padding. Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge issue, but because of the shape of the earcup, my ear just felt awkward while in use. Sorry, Astro.
Furthermore, the padding that has been installed in the headband doesn’t offer nearly as much support as you might expect. Thanks to its small design, it again, just felt quite awkward when in use. It’s obvious there’s a small cushion in contact with the center of my skull – if you know what I mean.
Oh, and another thing regarding the earcups. Because Astro decided to use fabric over something a little more breathable, my ears started to produce a lot of heat quite quickly. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in a headset and unfortunately, this one fails miserably in this area.
So, with design aside, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the more technical aspects of this gaming headset. In the following performance section, we’ll be taking a closer look at how this headset performs in real-world scenarios. We’ll be testing it with music, TV & Film, phone calls, and of course, gaming scenarios as well. This way, we can give a better, more well-rounded opinion of how this headset performs.
So, with that in mind, let’s dive straight into it.
I started off the sound performance test by firing up a couple of my favorite tracks to see how the A10s handled general music listening. This usually gives me a pretty good understanding of the range and frequencies that this headset can produce. I decided to go for some electronic music first up, and as expected, they sounded quite good, but nothing spectacular.
The 40mm Neodymium drivers found inside this headset gave a good account of themselves, providing crisp highs and a nice boomy characteristic that most people seem to be into these days. Basslines sounded driving and prominent, while melody lines cut through the mix nicely, offering that exciting sound all electro fans love to hear. Having said that, it wasn’t all positives from a music standpoint. I noticed pretty early on that the mids sounded a little lacking and weak in the mix. Unfortunately, the lack of mids definitely gave the headset a slightly washed out sound when listening to music or watching TV. But at this price range, it doesn’t come as any real surprise.
I decided to do a quick comparison with the Corsair HS60 Pro headset – currently retailing at around $20 more than the Astro A10s – and as I had predicted, the sound quality was much more well-rounded. As far as sub $50 headsets go, however, I feel the Astro A10s did actually sound quite good – albeit a little washed out. Having said that, I feel the lack of mids does play a role in this headset’s performance, especially when it comes to competitive gaming.
I fired up my go-to game when it comes to testing headsets, CS:GO. This is a game that relies heavily on the understanding of your enemy’s position. So, having good sound plays a massive role in whether you win or lose. Having said that, I started off by playing a couple of games of deathmatch, after which I decided to take the Astros into a more competitive game style. The first thing I noticed about this headset when gaming was the bass. While the bass sounded adequate when listening to music, it really came into its own during games. AWP sniper shots and grenades definitely sounded much boomier than I had first anticipated. Oh, and thanks to the lack of mids, I was easily able to pick out footsteps and gunfire from afar – giving me crucial information on my enemy’s whereabouts.
Despite the minor flaw in this headset when listening to music or TV shows, I actually think the Astro A10s offer up a pretty enjoyable listening experience. They may not be as well-rounded as other headsets out there, but they definitely provide good bass and ample spatial awareness for gaming.
Moving on to the microphone, the Astro A10 uses a 6.0mm uni-directional microphone which, if I’m being honest, doesn’t sound bad at all. I managed to get quite a bit of game time in using this headset, and at no point did my teammates experience any issues with clarity or volume.
The microphone comes housed in a rubberized material that feels extremely robust. The material gives you a decent amount of positional versatility, but no option to bend the microphone away from your face. That being said, the microphone has built-in rotate-to-mute technology, meaning you can just flip it up when you aren’t using it.
The microphone itself offers a clear representation of my voice, albeit a little on the flat side. As far as $50 headsets go though, this one isn’t half bad. Comparing it to the Corsair HS60s and the HyperX Cloud Stingers, the Astro A10 is probably slightly better than the Cloud Stinger headset, and marginally worse than the HS60s. But, in a real-world situation, there isn’t a great deal in it.
I did notice that when the microphone was positioned closer to my mouth, it did pick up a lot of background noise including breathing and typing on my mechanical keyboard. Apparently, this sound was quite prominent, so I’d be careful if you use sound activation for in-game chat.
Overall, not the best microphone we’ve ever used, but considering the price, it’s most certainly not the worst either.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new mouse or the latest gaming keyboard, features usually play a huge role in our decision-making process. The same ideology can be used for headsets as well – even more so at the lower end of the price pool.
As far as the Astro A10 headset goes, this is somewhat of a lackluster area. This headset doesn’t come with a ton of features, but, the ones it does come with, are well executed.
With that in mind, let’s dive straight into the best features the Astro A10s have to offer.
One of the worst traits that can be found across many of the budget headset offerings available in today’s market, is poor build quality. Thankfully, Astro recognized this as a crucial area in a budget headset and made sure to put the same high-quality materials into this, as they do in their more premium offerings.
If you’re happy with the sound quality and microphone that this headset offers, you’ll be more than happy with the longevity it will provide you.
Many of today’s headsets designed for PC users come equipped with USB audio connections. This, for the most part, pretty much eradicates any possibility of cross-platform functionality.
Thankfully, that is not the case in the Astro A10 headset. Astro has equipped the A10s with a standard 3.5mm audio cable that can be used with any device that offers this port. So, mobile, XBOX, PS4, Mac, Switch, you name it, this headset can be used alongside it.
It might be a simple feature, but if you’re a gamer who likes to play PC and XBOX, then having this functionality is pretty crucial – and not all headsets offer it.
Lastly, we have the lightweight design of this headset. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the esports and gaming industry, gamers are now playing their favorite titles for much longer periods of time. So, having a headset that offers high levels of comfort seems absolutely crucial to your gaming enjoyment.
The Astro A10s land in the lower end of the weight spectrum, coming to the table at a slender 346grams – making long gaming sessions all the more enjoyable.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive review of the Astro A10 headset. Overall, considering this headset’s price point, build quality, comfort, and general sound quality, I was pretty pleased with the value the Astro A10 headset displays.
At $60, this headset falls slap bang in the middle of an extremely competitive price pool – including fan favorites such as the HyperX Cloud Stinger, Corsair HS60 Pro, and Steelseries Arctis 1 headset. Ultimately, many of these headsets perform in a very similar way, with some offering better features (HS60s and Arctis 1’s) while others provide better sound quality or build quality (Astro A10s or HyperX Cloud Stinger). Which one you choose really comes down to personal preference and needs.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a budget headset that is going to fall under the $60 mark, provides decent enough sound quality, has excellent build quality, and decent comfort levels, the Astro A10 could be exactly what you’re looking for.