Time has caught as much as Astro. For years, it was one of many few corporations targeted on gaming headsets—and in consequence, it obtained away with charging a premium. The $300 Astro A50 remains to be an important headset, however that value appears to be like more and more ridiculous when corporations like Logitech (which now owns Astro) and HyperX supply as-good-or-better sound constancy in gadgets that value half as a lot.
So it was solely a matter of time actually earlier than we obtained the Astro A10. At $60 on Amazon, it’s Astro’s try at an entry-level headset for the mass market. Hell, it’s even cheaper than our longtime HyperX Cloud suggestion. We went hands-on to see if you happen to get your cash’s value. Take a look at our gaming headset roundup for all of our evaluations and complete shopping for recommendation.
That ol’ plastic feeling
I believe it’s secure to say that Astro sacrificed aesthetics to hit that $60 value. Both that, or somebody at Astro has bizarre style. The A10’s silhouette is much like that of its higher-priced A40 and A50 cousins, with squared-off ears and a skinny microphone up the left facet.
Colours are drab, although—actually. Moderately than go for a default black or perhaps a white chassis, the A10 is available in grey. Grey and blue for the PlayStation-centric model, grey and inexperienced for Xbox, grey and crimson for PC. In fact, all three finish in a three.5mm hookup and are thus functionally similar, however uh…model commitments, or one thing.
In any case grey covers the vast majority of the headset, together with your coloration of alternative showing solely contained in the earcups, plus a brand on the left headband and proper ear. It appears to be like utilitarian and industrial, nearly like a retro-futuristic science fiction headset you’d see in Alien or one thing.
It’s additionally 100-percent plastic, excluding the fabric-covered earpads and one other pad on the headscarf. The plastic is sturdy—Astro demonstrated that to me at one level by slamming the headset into the bottom. It nonetheless labored, which is nice for all you accident-prone individuals at house. However it feels low cost.
Consolation’s not significantly better. The A10’s ears are small and a bit claustrophobic, thinly padded, and with an inclination to carry in warmth. The scarf is the worst offender although, resting a big quantity of weight on the highest of the top and finally leaving me sore. The A10 isn’t uncomfortable per se, however you positively received’t neglect you’re carrying it.
Which is to say: The A10 feels like a $60 tackle Astro’s headsets. And that’s in all probability my largest disappointment. I wouldn’t say the HyperX Cloud is an ideal headset for example, however it’s snug as all get-out, and its leatherette-clad metallic headband appears to be like significantly extra high-end than you’d count on for the worth. The A10 isn’t fooling anybody.
This extends to the A10’s cable, an inexpensive rubber-clad affair with a weird triangular management hub that solely exists to accommodate a skinny quantity wheel. Given my love affair with the A50’s wonderful ear-mounted controls, the A10 is a big step down.
There’s one luxurious characteristic: a flip-to-mute microphone. That facet a minimum of carries over from Astro’s higher-end fashions, and it’s greater than welcome. I’ve reviewed dozens of headsets over time and let me inform you: No button compares to the convenience of merely pushing a microphone out of your face while you wish to mute it. It’s instinctual, and at this level is second nature to me.
However yeah, general this can be a step down from Astro’s different fashions. That’s to be anticipated in fact—it’s a 3rd the price of the A40 and a fifth the price of the A50. Nonetheless, I didn’t count on Astro’s first low-cost mannequin to look fairly so low cost. I’d’ve paid a bit extra if it meant a extra sturdy headset. As it’s, the A10’s design is a bit bland, and this from an organization that’s often so design-conscious.
The A10 performs the place it issues although. Pay attention: This isn’t one of the best headset I’ve ever used, however contemplating it’s $60? Astro’s finished some fairly wonderful work. Lest we neglect, the HyperX Cloud initially retailed for $99 earlier than hitting its perpetual low cost value vary between $50-80. And the A10 solidly outperforms HyperX’s entry-level Cloud Stinger possibility.
Like most finances headsets, the A10 concentrates on delivering clear mids. That covers about 80 p.c of what you’ll hear in any given setting, and Astro does a very good job on that entrance. In music, films, and video games the A10 constantly produced strong audio, with my sole criticism being that the small earcups led to a really slender sound.
What does that imply for you, the listener? Effectively, in music it’d imply that difficult sections with plenty of devices will sound a bit messy—devices don’t have sufficient room within the combine to breathe, and thus overlap and trigger conflicts. In video games, it’d imply it’s laborious to tell apart between an enemy subsequent to you or proper subsequent to you.
This can be a fairly commonplace downside in low-end headsets, and thus not value knocking Astro over. The audio is surprisingly clear and freed from distortion in any other case, which is what issues extra.
Astro additionally delivers a wealthy bass presence that transcends its cheap price ticket. Astro’s all the time been recognized for a flashy, bass-heavy sound, and the A10 completely incorporates that facet. In music it may be a bit distracting, however it works properly for video games—explosions pack much more punch on the A10 than on competing merchandise on this value tier.
As for the microphone, it’s maybe the A10’s strongest recommending characteristic. The mic is often my foremost criticism with any sub-$100 headset, however the A10’s microphone comes by loud and clear—nearly too loud at instances, choosing up a bit extra background noise than I’d like. There’s additionally no chat/recreation combine management—a disgrace, as I strongly affiliate that characteristic with Astro. Voice replica is great, although, and, as I mentioned earlier, I’ll all the time choose flip-to-mute over a button.
Just like the HyperX Cloud Stinger final 12 months, there’s a number of equivocating on this Astro A10 evaluation—a number of “It’s good…for a $60 headset.” As a result of it’s. There are actually points that might be improved, from a wider soundscape to bigger earcups to a better-padded headband to actually any coloration apart from this very unmemorable shade of grey.
However for all that Astro’s compromised, the A10 remains to be one among—perhaps the—greatest headset you will get at this value. The unique HyperX Cloud remains to be in all probability my primary alternative thanks in no small half to the very fact it’s means extra snug. The A10 has wonderful audio, although, with its bass presence particularly surpassing what rivals supply on this tier. It took Astro a very long time to place out a mass-market headset, however the wait was value it.