The Astro A10 headset delivers in the most important areas for pro gamers but falls short in other aspects.
Every good headset manufacturer aspires for its products to be used by professional gamers around the globe. Astro made this its goal since its inception in 2007 when they signed a deal making Astro the official headset of MLG (Major League Gaming). Since then, Astros are worn by esports professionals across many different games and leagues.
An MLG calibur headset – now that sounds like something worth trying out. Today, we will look at the Astro A10 headset, which are the very base model in the Astro series. Regardless of their low price, they are promised to perform at an MLG level. Let’s find out if they can.
Back in 2006, Brett Lovelady and Jordan Reiss had the goal of making high-end headsets for professional esports players. In order to do so, they established a new company known as Astro Gaming in San Fransico, California. The company was purchased by Logitech for $85 million back in 2017 and are still owned by Logitech today.
The first splash Astro made in the gaming scene came with the release of their first headset, the Astro A40 Audio System. One year after its unveiling, the headset became Major League Gaming’s officially licensed gaming headset. Since then, the company is known for creating professional-grade video gaming equipment for pro players and leagues. For the last seven years, Astro has been the official headset for the Call of Duty World League.
- Form: Over-ear wired
- Drivers: 40mm Neodymium Magnet
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 104dB
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Removable Cable: Yes
- Connector: 3.5mm plug
- Mic: Yes
- Weight: 346g
- Compatibility: PC, MAC, PS4/PS5, Xbox one, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch, Mobile devices
Packaging and Accessories
The unboxing experience for the Astro A10 headset is nothing to get excited about
Unboxing the Astro A10 isn’t anything new or exciting. It is actually really underwhelming. The packaging experience consists of sliding off the outside cover, and then right under in a flimsy plastic casing, sits the A10 headset.
The headset are covered in plastic wrap, and the cords are bundled together in a plastic bag. Everything in the box came out easily and in perfect condition, but I’m not too happy with the effort by Astro overall. It seems like they did the bare minimum for the packaging, not putting any extra thought or care into the handling of the headset.
In the box:
- A10 gaming headset
- A10 volume cable
- 3.5 female to dual male 3.5mm TRS splitter cable
At first glance, the Astro A10 headset comes across as looking clunky. What first caught my eye is how boxlike and bulky both ear cups present themselves.
While the design is reasonably polished, the A10 has no LED lighting and the color options aren’t anything to get excited over. The primary color on all models are a dull grey, and I don’t feel it compliments the headset. The secondary colors are only sported on the inside of the ear cups and slightly on the mic and headband.
There is a lot more Astro could have done aesthetically with the Astro A10
Sadly, unless you purchase an Astro MixAmp (not included with the A10) there isn’t much added to base functionality. The microphone will automatically mute itself when flipped up. The 3.5mm audio jack connects to the left ear cup and has an in-line volume control wheel. I am a fan of having a volume dial and I give kudos to Astro for including one.
I have to say, after my first impressions of the packaging and design, I didn’t have high expectations for comfort. But looks can be deceiving sometimes, and that’s just the case with the Astro A10 headset.
The A10’s ability to provide long-lasting comfort is the feature that most impressed me. Comfort is actually so good that I forgot that headphone fatigue is a thing; I’m not kidding. I wore the headset through an eight-hour-long gaming/work session, and not once did I have to adjust the headset due to discomfort. I don’t know what Astro’s secret is, but the headphones are definitely built for extended comfort.
This is the first headset I have worn that hasn’t caused me any discomfort after long gaming sessions.
To my surprise, the box-like ear cups are extremely comfy. Even though I am not the biggest fan of cloth ear cushions and typically prefer leatherette, the ear cups nailed it on comfort. The cloth ear pads are plush and do not itch. The cloth padding also has solid airflow and it never gets too hot inside each ear cup.
The Astro A10 are the very base model in the series, and the build quality is reflective of the low price point (often available for sub USD$50). My first impression was that they are cheaply built.
A big reason for this impression is the adjustable headband. While the headband is adjustable up to 4cm on both sides, adjusting the headphones is not a fluid motion and I often had to fight with them. The removable cable also feels a bit forced to plug in and is not a smooth connection.
Then, added to this, the headset is almost entirely made of plastic. The only areas that aren’t plastic are the mic and headband. Both are reinforced with a damage-resistant rubberized cover. This didn’t make any difference to my impression of the build quality, but it’s good to know some effort in materials are there.
The A10 headset has a 6.0mm uni-directional mic. The mic feels pretty sturdy and can be bent in any direction without worry of breaking it. I would say this is useful, but the mic just folds right back into its original place once you let go, making the uni-directional aspect to the mic non-existent.
The Astro A10 headset offers above-average mic quality for its price point.
I tested out the mic while playing PUBG: Battlegrounds and squaded up with some friends to get their feedback on the quality. Somewhat surprisingly, the comments I received were that the mic is clear and crisp. There was never a feedback issue or a problem with my voice being too loud or too quiet.
The audio recordings below give a good reference to how the mic performs.
The only downside I noticed with the mic is its difficulty with background audio. All external noises will most likely be picked up and create static in the background of your voice. To be fair, a lot of headsets have difficulty blocking out background audio, and the A10 isn’t the worst I’ve dealt with.
The 3.5mm audio jack and splitter cable makes the A10 headset compatible with all devices. So, regardless of your gaming platform, the headset should work just fine.
The removable cable is 2m long, which is more than enough length. Perhaps a bit too long for console gaming. Connected to my PS4 controller I find it gets in the way, but despite that, I appreicate the length for PC.
I am surprised with the impressive sound quality of the Astro A10.
I will start off by saying that the A10 does a great job of balancing audio cues. The delivery of the lows, mids, and highs are sharp, clear, and consistent. Whenever there is an emphasis on the lows, you can tell the mids and highs match the sound level so they aren’t drowned out.
I tested the Astro A10 headset on CS:GO for PC, and it left me with a great impression. The surround sound is very distinct in telling where footsteps are coming from. Not only is it clear if there was an enemy to my left or right, but also above or below me. The surround sound proves worthy to an MLG standard, as the headset had me covered in all directions.
Another great point about the audio is that I can accurately hear the bounce of a smoke or grenade in my vicinity. These sounds are usually associated with the treble and are very apparent. To say the least, the sound retrieval is accurate and the audio cues are on point.
Tiny details stand out so much with the Astro A10.
It only made sense that I test out the A10 on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for PS4 since they have been in partnership with the game in the pro scene for over seven years. I’m very relieved to say that the audio quality for the A10 on PS4 is equal to, if not better, than on PC.
Explosions are kept at a bearable level that doesn’t let the bass drown out the mids and highs. Like I said, even when explosions are going off, the higher frequencies will pick up and you can still hear cues like gunfire and footsteps.
The overall soundstage of the A10 is solid. They give me a great immersive experience and really added to the gameplay, making me feel a part of the action.
What may pose a problem for some is that unless you get an Astro MixAmp, there is no adjustability for the audio. This leaves you stuck with the preset audio for the headset, which isn’t bad by any means. However, if adjusting audio is your thing, I would suggest getting the Astro MixAmp as it has a lot more to offer for your sound quality experience.
Another aspect that the headphones lack is noise cancellation. They offer very little passive noise attenuation, which at times can be distracting and pretty annoying. I can actually hold a conversation with my roommate while wearing the headset on both ears at full volume.
Vs Logitech G Pro X
Since the Logitech G Pro X and Astro A10 headset are both advertised as built for professional gamers, I thought it would be nice to see how well they match up against one another. The big underlying difference between these headsets is their price. The Astro A10 comes in at a fraction of the price of the Logitech G Pro X.
What I found is that both headsets delivered in the most important areas, such as sound quality, mic quality, and comfort. Actually, the Astro A10 takes the edge on comfort. They offer a superior wearing experience that causes no headphone fatigue.
In other aspects, the Logitech G Pro X succeeds where the Astro A10 fails. What I mean is that the Logitech G Pro X provides superior packaging, build quality, and design. It’s not even close in comparison, as the Astro A10 are definitely lacking in these areas. Headsets with a higher price, do tend to offer more, and that is exactly what we are seeing when comparing these two headphones.
Both of these headphones offer great overall sound, but there is a huge difference in what they offer on PC. The Logitech G Pro X has great audio customization through the Logitech G Hub, but that is restricted to PC. For the Astro A10 headset, you have no audio customization unless you buy the MixAmp.
I give the edge to the Logitech G Pro X on PC, but keep in mind, that is without the MixAmp for the Astro A10. Now it comes down to brass tacks for console usage, as neither headset has the advantage of an external audio interface.
The Astro A10 is better than the Logitech G Pro X for console use.
Where to Buy
The Astro A10 headset is inconsistent. They succeed in the most important areas of mic quality, sound quality, and comfort. The contrary is that they are lacking in other departments, such as design, build quality, and packaging.
Do I consider the Astro A10 an MLG-level headset? The answer is yes. Just the headset itself has great audio, so I expect that when paired with the MixAmp, they would be even more impressive. Long wearing comfort and a great mic means that the A10 check all the important boxes for a pro.
I feel that the areas the A10 lacks are reflective of their low price. It’s unrealistic to expect quality design, build, and packaging out of a headset that is this affordable. If you are looking for an affordable headset that prioritizes great sound quality, comfort, and a microphone, then the Astro A10 are a terrific choice.