ASTRO Gaming has long been known for building premium, high-quality wireless headsets. From the A40s that put them on the map to their current flagship A50s, ASTRO headsets have become favored by both pro gamers and casual consumers alike. However, those premium headsets come with a premium cost, as ASTRO’s higher-end headsets routinely retail from $150 to as high as $300. Certainly, not everyone is in the market for a headset that costs as much as a console. Enter the ASTRO A10, the company’s first foray into the affordable headset market. With an MSRP of $60 (I purchased mine for $50 on Black Friday), are the A10s a viable headset or is there simply too much cost-cutting going on for them to be worthy of the ASTRO name?
Unboxing and Hardware
The ASTRO A10 is a simple headset, which is immediately apparent from the unboxing experience. There is no fancy paperwork, base station, Mixamp, or anything of the sort. You get the A10 headset and a 3.5mm audio cable. That’s it.
It’s important in this case to not confuse simplicity for cheapness. While lightweight, the A10s are surprisingly robust and durable. The headset consists of a stainless steel band wrapped in durable, rubbery plastic. You can stretch the headband out, twist it, and just generally be mean to these headsets and they do not break. Gaming YouTuber Drift0r aptly demonstrated the durability of these headsets in the video below (skip to the 10:57 timepoint for testing):
While it is difficult to estimate how long the A10s will last, I’m going to wager it’s going to be a long time given the amount of abuse they have been built to endure. It’s refreshing to see an affordable headset not skimp on durability and quality.
The rest of the hardware experience is pretty straightforward. The headset is made of durable plastic. The 3.5mm cord is a thick, high-quality one that won’t get tangled. The microphone is adjustable and is roughly the same as the one present on other ASTRO headsets. My only complaint is that there are no removable/swappable speaker tags. This is kind of a bummer as these are a pretty cool feature of the more expensive ASTROs. However, if the choice to be made was between outstanding durability or speaker tags, ASTRO definitely made the right decision here.
While these particular A10s have Xbox-specific branding, they are compatible with literally everything since they use a standard PC-style 3.5mm audio cable (*looks at my iPhone XR*…well, mostly everything). The only difference between the different versions of the ASTRO A10 is the color scheme. They work on Xbox*, PS4, Switch, PC, Mac, or pretty much any device that has a standard 3.5mm audio port. Their plug-and-play nature is a big reason why I went with the A10s over the more expensive wireless A20s. I can plug these into my Xbox controller, my Switch, or my MacBook and have a nice pair of headsets to use with virtually all of my devices with no setup.
*NOTE: If you have an older Xbox One controller without the 3.5mm port, you’ll need an Xbox Stereo Headset Adapter or ASTRO Mixamp M60/M80 to use the A10s.
In my opinion, the most important aspect of a gaming headset is the comfort experience. It does not matter how good a particular pair of headsets sounds; if they are too uncomfortable to wear, they are essentially useless.
I’m happy to report that the ASTRO A10, while not quite as comfortable as the official Xbox Stereo Headset I had been using, is still very comfortable. While the padding on the headband may appear skimpy, it is actually a soft foam material. This, combined with the lightweight of the A10, eliminates pressure on the top of the head. The headset has a good degree of adjustability. It fits my big dome just right with a little room to spare, so it’s good in my book!
The ear cups are made of a soft material of cloth and memory foam, which is a huge plus for me. A lot of the headsets in this price range go with a cheap faux-leather or vinyl material on the ear cups that don’t breathe and get very hot and sweaty after a while. Contrarily, the cloth ear cups used on the A10 and other headsets are far more breathable and more comfortable to use for long play sessions. They’re a tad warmer than the cloth material used on the Xbox Stereo Headset, but they’re still far better than anything else in this price range.
Overall, the ASTRO A10 is a headset that will be comfortable for most people to wear for extended gaming sessions.
Sound and Microphone Quality
The ASTRO A10 sounds phenomenal. They sound way better than a $60 headset has any right to. I’ve only ever used headsets in this price range, but it’s not hyperbole when I say these are the best-sounding headsets I’ve ever used.
According to its official product page, ASTRO used the same 40mm speakers from the far more expensive A40s and A50s in the A10s. I was very happy to hear that ASTRO did not cheap out in the slightest on sound quality with its budget headset. They deliver excellent bass free of distortion, while still ensuring that the mids and highs come through clearly.
Used on Xbox One with Windows Sonic enabled, the A10s provided an amazing aural experience. I was able to accurately pinpoint enemy footsteps in Call of Duty Modern Warfare, while the sounds from guns firing and explosions were appropriately loud, yet not distorted. Playing NBA 2K20 resulted in an immersive arena-like sound experience, while still allowing for the commentary team to come through clearly. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order sounded just as great, with ambient effects, music, and the pulsating synth effects used for the lightsaber sounding as good as I have ever heard them.
While there is no fancy Windows Sonic audio on the Switch, even here the A10s punched above their price point. Luigi’s Mansion 3, in particular, sounds incredible through these headsets, and even simpler titles like Untitled Goose Game and Rocket League sound great.
When listening to music and watching videos on my MacBook, the A10s aren’t as punchy as my wireless Beats Solo 3s, but they come damn close and are considerably more comfortable. Whether podcasting or in an Xbox party chat, my voice came through clearly and crisply. Due to their much-improved comfort, I will be using the ASTRO A10 as my primary podcasting headset over the Beats Solo 3.
Of note, the ASTRO A10 does not support custom equalizer settings. This was necessary to maintain the headsets’ simplicity and price point. In all honesty, this really isn’t a big loss since many games feature custom EQ modes in their audio settings menu anyway.
ASTRO Gaming had to prioritize which features would need to be cut to hit a price point for their budget headsets. They also needed to determine which features should be retained to ensure a quality experience. In the case of the ASTRO A10, the company made smart bets by prioritizing comfort, compatibility, durability, ease of use, and sound quality while cutting unnecessary extras such as wireless support, custom equalizer settings, and speaker tags.
Their $60 asking price puts the A10s in line with cheap Turtle Beach and junky Wal-Mart Afterglow headsets while providing a much better sound and comfort experience. If wireless functionality isn’t important to you, and you are looking for a nice pair of headsets that are comfortable and do not compromise on sound quality, the ASTRO A10 simply cannot be beaten.
If you would like more information on the ASTRO A10 headsets you can visit the official product page here: https://www.astrogaming.com/en-us/products/headsets/a10-gen-1.html