Astro A10 Gen 2 Headset Review
$60 price tag is competitive with other wired units
Memory foam cups and headset is stupidly soft
Sound quality is very clear and precise
Included volume cable is too long and gets in the way when gaming with a console controller
The mic is only supported by new gen consoles – mic doesn’t work on PS4, for example
Will make you want to upgrade to an even better Astro unit (the A10 is your gateway drug)
Although I’ve covered many headsets over the years, and there are many quality units available, I’ve always preferred Astro products. Ever since I reviewed the Astro wireless A50 in 2012, Astro has been a brand that has consistently released top tier units, has been a favorite of mine, and whenever they release something, it is a cause for excitement.
The wired A10 model, Astro’s budget friendly unit priced at $59.99, has been updated from its original release, now dubbed Gen 2. Personally, I never had a chance to test the original A10 unit so I will not be able to provide a direct comparison, but I am confident in saying this is a quality, straightforward stereo headset.
Here is a spec breakdown:
-Microphone: 6.0mm uni-directional microphone
-Ear Coupling: Over-Ear
-Connection: 3.5mm 5Pole Jack
-Drivers: 32mm Neodymium Magnet
-Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
-Distortion: < 3% at 1 kHz
-104dB +/- 3dDB AT 1 kHz
-DC impedance 32 ohms
-Headband Pressure: 4.5N
-Weight w/o Cable: 246 grams
-Height: 6.8 in (17.3 cm) (Slider closed)
-Width: 7.2 in (18.3 cm)
-Depth: 3.0 in (7.7 cm)
In The Box
-2.0m A10 Volume Cable
-PC Splitter Cable
-An Astro sticker
-1 year warranty
The Astro 10 is composed of an elegant sophistication that foregoes a wealth of features to emphasize durable simplicity. There is no battery to charge, to options to set, no firmware to update. Just insert the included volume cable into the left cup and the other end into the device, and it’ll work.
Both the headband and ear cups are composed of soft memory foam and is rather comfortable even with extended wear. I am an eyeglass wearer and happy to report that the cups won’t dig your glasses into the side of your face. I usually play sitting in a recliner and also happy to report than I was able to rest my head against the back of the chair while playing without interference due to the smaller, lower profile.
My companion video review of the A10 is below:
I think it is important to mention the ear cups seemed to be designed for smaller ears and craniums. At first, I thought it was a little strange that the cups rested on the edges of my ears as opposed to around them but this hesitation was dismissed in a short amount of time. The lightweight body in combination with the memory foam results in a comfortable fit even with extended wear. I won’t say my head is big but I am not going to call it small but those with fatter heads might want to beware.
Some headsets have an audio gimmick, like emphasizing bass for example, but Astro doesn’t. Instead, their line of headsets retain a pure, clear sound to help navigate spatial direction. The A10 doesn’t have an advanced surround sound output, like the A40 or A50 in comparison, but the stereo clarity definitely provides a more enjoyable experience. Play testing with Halo Infinite, for example, let me know the direction and distance of my attacker. Playing with a quality headset like this is a game changer especially when it features a simple plug-and-play design.
As for complaints, I have a couple. Although the headset is basically compatible with anything that has a headset jack, the mic isn’t compatible with all consoles. Playing on my Xbox Series X – no problems. Sound and mic worked as my console instantly recognized it. Testing this unit on my PS4 provided the same level of sound quality during gameplay but the console would not detect the mic. Since there is no USB input, there is no way to update any firmware of this headset. It might be possible Sony could update their PS4 firmware to accommodate a headset like this but don’t hold your breath.
The packaging, which is nicely designed by the way, mentions that this Gen 2 A10 headset is compatible with Xbox Series X, PS5, PC, and corresponding mobile devices. However, the side of the box sneakily lists PS4 and Xbox One as compatible devices. So the A10 will provide audio for those additional, last gen consoles, just be warned the mic might not work like it did with my PS4. And like other Astro units, tucking the mic in the full upright position will mute it. Regarding PC use, I did test it using Audacity on my laptop but the overall sound levels from the mic were rather low. Meaning, it picked up my voice but had to shout to make my recorded wave lengths taller.
My only other complaint actually comes from the length of the included volume cable. Measuring at over 6 feet, the cable is actually too long. When connected to your game controller, the end result is a rat’s nest in your lap. A couple feet might be the optimal length so users will need to wrap the extra length with a zip tie to make it more manageable. I guess if you are gaming from a PC that is a few feet away, then the extra length would be welcomed but having a full grown man’s length of wire in your lap is a lot to manage.
My UNBOXING video of the Gen 2 A10 is below:
Available in a few different colors, some being pretty unique like the new mint design, the Astro A10 is a quality unit for that sub $100 price point. It is comfortable, durable, looks cool, and features clear audio channels which is ideal for gaming. Just remember though, the mic is only active with current gen consoles, might not work with last gen consoles, and will work with PCs, that is if your PC even has a headset input.
You can’t really make a bad decision if you are choosing Astro. Unless you want to pay the extra price for an A40 or A50 model, the A10 is a great option for that starter headset you want to use for a year or two before you commit to higher end model.
Not As Good As: the higher end Astro units
Better Than: many other stereo 3.5mm jack headsets
Wait For It: an Astro chatpad for XSX and PS5 controllers
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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