As one of the top brands in gaming headsets Astro’s always been able to sell their peripherals for a heavy sum. As of this June Astro began targeting gamers unwilling to shell out a premium $200 or more for their sound. Astro’s newest line of gaming headsets is the A10, and goes for the much more affordable price point of $60, but how do they compare to the competition?
Astro A10 Headset
MonsterVine was provided with a headset for review.
The A10 series boasts a number of features, and fortunately I found all of them to be true. Despite gaming with stereo headsets for several years now, I still get a more-than-annoying pain across the center of my head after an hour or so. While the A10 headset doesn’t eliminate this pain, Astro’s claims of comfort still ring true. The A10 is light, so much so that it took twice as long and was about half as painful when it kicked in. The around the ear headphones were well-fitting without being too large or stiff, sinking nicely around my ears.
On top of comfort, Astro prides themselves with the A10’s durability. Most of the device is made with a hard plastic that feels unbreakable but is also flexible. Compared to the similarly priced official Xbox One Stereo Headset and the Turtle Beach X04, I felt much more comfortable about tossing these in a bag as I headed off for my daily commute.
The microphone specifically impressed me in a number of ways. They’re flip-to-mute, meaning instead of navigating menus, detaching them or using an adapter to silence yourself you merely have to flip the microphone up to its resting position. It’s also uncannily flexible, initially throwing me for a loop when the rubber-coated microphone bent into any position I wanted and staying there.
The audio delivery is stereo quality, and while it’s no Dolby Digital surround sound the A10 will put you in the center of the action with its directional sound. Sounds were clearer in both quality and direction than in either of the similarly priced headsets I mentioned, and even matched up to my Bose stereo headphones from time to time. While speaking to friends and family on the headset I found myself both excited and marginally disappointed. My previous headset, the Turtle Beach X04 had gone bad somehow and had begun to emit a high-pitched noise in Xbox Live parties. The A10 eliminated that issue and my peers reported that I also sounded clearer and louder. Unfortunately, sometimes the A10 picks up sounds a bit too clearly. Lacking a visible windscreen, breathing, fans and white noise sometimes make it through. While background noise is not common or loud enough to be obtrusive, it can be a minor annoyance.
The $60 A10 package doesn’t include a Mixamp adapter for the Xbox One controller, you’ll have to shell out an extra $40 for that, but it’s not a necessity if you’re not on Xbox or have the newer generation of Xbox One controllers. This is especially true with built-in volume controls on the A10’s detachable wire and built-in software on Xbox to control the specific levels of game and voice volumes. All the time I’ve spent with this headset was using the default 3.5mm headphone jack at the base of my Elite controller, no adapter. Even without the Mixamp adapter, the Astro A10 is probably the best headset you could buy for the price.
The Final Word
Sturdy, comfortable, reliable, the Astro A10 checks off all the right boxes with only minor issues with the gain of the microphone. It’s not a premium product by any means, but it’s the best bang for your buck. With its flip-to-mute microphone, in-line volume controls and great sound quality, this is easily the most convenient gaming headset for the price.
MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good