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Gaming Review: Astro Gaming A10 vs HyperX Cloud Alpha S

First look at the two competing headphones - A10 (Left) and Cloud Alpha S (Right).
First look at the two competing headphones – A10 (Left) and Cloud Alpha S (Right).

Nearly sweeping the board in all categories but one, this headset proves that higher quality is worth paying for.

We bought the Astro Gaming A10 & HyperX Cloud Alpha S for the purpose of this review comparison.

Astro and HyperX are two companies that compete to provide effective and affordable gaming headsets. The Astro Gaming A10 and the HyperX Cloud Alpha S are great examples of their efforts.

When choosing between these popular gaming headphones, what usually influences the purchaser’s decision is the major price difference between the two.

Do the Cloud Alpha S offer additional functionality and sound quality? And if so, are they really worth the bigger price tag compared to the A10?

The A10 have proven that despite rival headphones costing more, they can outperform them in many important areas. It’s time to find out if they can do it again against the Hyper X Cloud Alpha S.

Want to know what we rated each of these headsets? check their individual reviews for Astro Gaming A10 & HyperX Cloud Alpha S

Technical Specifications

Technical SpecificationAstro Gaming A10HyperX Cloud Alpha S
FormOver-ear wiredOver-ear wired
Drivers40mm Neodymium magnet dynamic driversCustom dynamic, 50mm with Neodymium magnets
Impedance32 Ohms65 Ohms
Sensitivity104 dB-38 dBV
Frequency Response20 Hz - 20 kHz13Hz - 27kHz
Removable CableYesYes
Connector3.5mm plug3.5mm plug and USB
MicYesYes
Weight346g310g
CompatibilityPC, MAC, PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch, Mobile devicesPC, PS4/PS5, Xbox 360/Xbox One, Mobile

Packaging and Accessories

Both headphones use plastic and cardboard as their primary packaging materials, so it is interesting to see which pair does it better.

First look at each box.
First look at each box.

Astro Gaming A10

In the box:

  • A10 gaming headset
  • A10 volume cable
  • 3.5mm female to dual 3.5mm TRS splitter cable
Look at how the A10 came packaged with a lot of open space in the box.
Look at how the A10 came packaged with a lot of open space in the box.

The A10 give a passable effort for their packaging. The headset is snug in place with a plastic mold but little protection and plenty of open space. The minimal accessories and additional wiring are nestled between the headset.

This gives me a merely average impression. I don’t feel the package is bad, but they definitely could have put more effort in to get me excited about the product I am opening.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

In the box:

  • HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Detachable microphone
  • Detachable 3.5mm cable
  • USB audio control mixer
  • Additional cloth ear cushions
  • Travel bag
Additional travel bag and cloth ear pads included as the accessories for the headset.
Additional travel bag and cloth ear pads included as the accessories for the headset.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha S packaging and accessories are something to get excited about.

At first glance, it is obvious that the Cloud Alpha S have better plastic packaging than the A10. The packaging fills the entire space of the box and creates a deep mold for the headset to sit in.

It’s also transparent, allowing me to see the accessories below, which piques my interest and makes me feel like I am getting more than what I purchased.

The Cloud Alpha S comes with additional cloth ear cushions and even a travel bag. This shows that HyperX cares about the customer’s first impressions and experiences.

Winner: [Hyper X Cloud Alpha S]

Packaging and Accessories Verdict

Despite both headphones using similar packaging, it’s evident the Cloud Alpha S do it better. The plastic mold left no open space and intrigues me to look at the accessories. Rather than intriguing me, the A10 turns me away.

The Cloud Alpha S also have a travel bag and additional cloth ear padding for included accessories, which need to be purchased separately for the A10. I get excited about opening the Cloud Alpha S packaging and feel like I am getting bonus accessories, giving it the win.

Design and Functionality

Astro Gaming A10

The A10 design doesn’t get me excited. The grey and orange color combo isn’t my preferred choice, but there are other color variations such as white/blue and red/black which are more appealing. The headset looks very bulky because of the boxy earcups and gives me the impression they will sit awkwardly on my head.

All of the A10 color combinations can be found here.

As far as functionality goes, the A10 have an in-line volume dial on the 3.5mm cord and the mic is flip to mute. That’s it for features.

In-line volume control wheel and Y splitter.
In-line volume control wheel and Y splitter.
Astro headphones are compatible with the Astro MixAmp (purchased separately) which further opens up customization and functionality features for the A10.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The Cloud Alpha S went with a black and blue color combo, which the A10s also offer. For both headphones, this color combination is attractive and professional.

The ear cups are connected to the headset by a metal yolk, which makes the ear cups look a bit bulky, but isn’t entirely unattractive. I also know it will pay huge dividends in the build quality section.

The Cloud Alpha S superior functionality stands out.

Bass adjustment sliders on the back and USB audio control mixer for adjusting chat and sound volume.
Bass adjustment sliders on the back and USB audio control mixer for adjusting chat and sound volume.

To get the boring stuff out of the way first, the mic and audio cable are both removable. Also attached to the cable is the USB audio control mixer. This activates 7.1 surround sound and lets you mute the mic, adjust volume, and even chat volume.

What is also cool is at the back of the earcups are bass adjustment sliders that let you quickly and conveniently adjust the bass levels.

Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Design and Functionality Verdict

Boxy design of the A10 compared to the oval design of the Cloud Alpha S.
Boxy design of the A10 compared to the oval design of the Cloud Alpha S.

I much prefer the color combo of the Cloud Alpha S, with its clean blue stitching on the leather. The black also comes across as sharper than the base grey color of the A10.

With that said, the A10 do offer a number of color options, including a couple that use white as the primary color, that are much more enticing than this grey version.

Despite the earcups looking a bit bulky on both headphones, the Cloud Alpha S oval ear cups are more appealing.

With functionality included in the mix, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S easily take the win. To be fair, the A10 don’t have much additional functionality, so the bar isn’t set very high. Regardless, the Cloud Alpha S easily surpasses the A10 with their unique functionality features that I haven’t seen on any other headset.

Comfort

Astro Gaming A10

The A10s are very comfortable. Their lightweight build makes them barely noticeable on my head, yet maintains a solid fit that doesn’t move. The squared-off ear cups are soft, fit my whole ear, and never get too humid.

A10 put no strain on my head during long use.
A10 put no strain on my head during long use.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The Cloud Alpha S give me an equal if not better comfort experience than the A10. Their lightweight build makes them barely noticeable and I don’t get any aches during long gaming sessions. The leatherette ear cups make a solid seal around my ear and have proper airflow.

The alternate cloth ear padding is also plush and has even better airflow than the leatherette padding. Both are impressive, however, my preference is the leatherette since it doesn’t scratch my beard.

The Cloud Alpha S headset have soft and plush leatherette and cloth ear pads.
The Cloud Alpha S headset have soft and plush leatherette and cloth ear pads.

Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Comfort Verdict

Both headphones have an equally high level of comfort. Both are barely noticeable on my head, don’t cause me aches, and provide a great wearing experience. So, in this regard, they are a tie. However, the Cloud Alpha S have the option to swap between cloth and leatherette padding, giving them the edge.

The A10 and HyperX are the two most comfortable headphones I have tested!

Build Quality

Astro Gaming A10

The A10 is almost entirely made of plastic. The seem fairly durable, but not among the best I’ve seen. The plastic makes adjusting the headband difficult and it requires some muscle to do so. Additionally, the removable cable needs to be forced to be plugged in.

Look at the headband that doesn't adjust smoothly, and the removable cable which needs to be forced.
Look at the headband that doesn’t adjust smoothly, and the removable cable which needs to be forced.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

I’m not afraid about the Cloud Alpha S breaking when I bend them in different directions, something I can’t say about the A10.

The Cloud Alpha S only sports plastic on the outside of the earcups, and at each basepoint of the headband. The headband is covered with leatherette and the aluminum yolks that connect the headband to the ear cups are very strong.

Strong and durable aluminum yolks.
Strong and durable aluminum yolks.

Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Build Quality Verdict

Side by side comparison of the materials used on both headphones.
Side by side comparison of the materials used on both headphones.

I hate to see the A10 constructed with only plastic. It may be fairly durable, but it doesn’t make me confident in their build quality. The Cloud Alpha S also use plastic, but less of it and it feels stronger and of better quality than the plastic used in the construction of the A10.

The A10 is significantly less expensive than the Cloud Alpha S, and the build quality is the most reflective aspect of their price difference.

Mic Quality

Astro Gaming A10

The A10 mic has a great sound delivery. My voice is loud and clear and it doesn’t cut out or muffle. However, they do have an issue with combating background noise.

The A10 mic easily picks up environmental noise, which creates a constant background muffle. However, even with this issue, my voice still comes through reasonably clearly.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The HyperX show great execution up until their microphone. It is generally too quiet and cuts out from time to time. My friends can’t hear me when in-game sounds are active and occasionally have to let me know that my mic cut out and I need to re-plug it in.

It is clear from the recordings that the mic can’t block out background noise, and instead results in a really unpleasant sound.

Winner: [Astro Gaming A10]

Mic Quality Verdict

Side by side comparison of each headphone's mic.
Side by side comparison of each headphone’s mic.

The A10 mic is far better than the Cloud Alpha S.

The Cloud Alpha S mic barely performs at a usable level and can’t block out background noise. The A10 have great mic quality and still gets my voice through clear even with background noise.

Connectivity

Astro Gaming A10

There isn’t much to the A10 connectivity. The removable cable is 2m long with a 3.5mm connecter at each end that makes the headset compatible with all devices. Additionally, there is a splitter cable for separate mic and audio ports for PC.

Headphone jack and Y splitter for PC.
Headphone jack and Y splitter for PC.
If you want to further explore the A10 connectivity, you have to buy an Astro MixAmp.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The Cloud Alpha S is compatible with all devices via the 1m long audio cable. The 3.5mm audio jack connects to the USB audio control mixer which enables much of their functionality. The audio control mixer connects to a USB-A port and is compatible with PC, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles.

Connection ports on the outside of left ear cup and the USB audio control mixer.
Connection ports on the outside of left ear cup and the USB audio control mixer.

Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Connectivity Verdict

Both headphones are compatible with all devices using a 3.5mm audio jack, essentially making them a tie for connectivity. However, the Cloud Alpha S far more functionality features that are enabled by the included USB audio control mixer, giving it the edge.

Sound Quality

Comparing sound quality on PC

Astro Gaming A10

Although only stereo and not surround sound, the A10s have solid sound delivery on all levels. Playing Vampire the Masquerade: BloodHunt, I can confidently rely on directional sound cues, such as footsteps from someone on another rooftop to my left or right.

The A10 have great directional audio for footsteps.
The A10 have great directional audio for footsteps.

However, the mids and highs of shots or sounds in the distance aren’t always clear, as the lows can take over. This isn’t an issue with close-quarters combat and the A10 give me an immersive sound with detailed audio cues.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The Cloud Alpha S provides an equal sound experience, however, delivery is sharper. The surround sound is louder and more distinct in telling where exactly sounds are coming from. Additionally, lowering the bass adjustment sliders makes distant sounds clearer by putting more focus on the mids and highs.

The Cloud Alpha S have pinpoint 7.1 surround sound.
The Cloud Alpha S have pinpoint 7.1 surround sound.

Comparing sound quality on console

Astro Gaming A10

I have a very similar experience with the A10s on console and PC. Directional cues are clearly picked up, and the lows only take over the mids and highs from sounds in the distance. I can rely on them in the heat of the action and am impressed with their level of delivery for their low price.

The A10 directional audio made it clear enemies were above me on this roof.
The A10 directional audio made it clear enemies were above me on this roof.

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

My experience with the Cloud Alpha S is also similar on console and PC. With the 7.1 surround sound activated via the audio control mixer I hear the same crystal clear delivery I get on PC.

Again, the bass adjustment sliders come in handy for lowering the sound of grenades and explosions, which makes the mids and highs crystal clear.

The Cloud Alpha S have clear audio even when other combat sounds are present.
The Cloud Alpha S have clear audio even when other combat sounds are present.

Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Sound Quality Verdict

A look at the difference in shape of both headphones left ear cups.
A look at the difference in shape of both headphones left ear cups.

It’s a tight battle for sound quality. Both headphones prove that you can rely on their directional audio, and they provide an immersive experience. The Cloud Alpha S are a bit sharper and more distinct in delivering sounds as their mids and highs stand out and can be made even clearer with the bass adjustment sliders.

Overall Winner

Overall Winner: [HyperX Cloud Alpha S]

Winner of each section

  • Packaging and Accessories: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Design and Functionality: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Comfort: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Build Quality: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Mic Quality: Astro Gaming A10
  • Connectivity: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  • Sound Quality: HyperX Cloud Alpha S

Key SimilaritiesKey Differences

  • Both headphones are very comfortable.

  • Both headphones are compatible with all devices that support a 3.5mm headphone plug.

  • Both headphones have a removable 3.5mm cable.



  • The Cloud Alpha S have 7.1 surround sound on console and PC via a USB dongle.

  • The Cloud Alpha S have superior and more functionality features.

  • The A10 have a flip to mute mic and the Cloud Alpha S have a mute mic button on the USB audio control mixer.

  • The Cloud Alpha S have a removable mic, the A10 do not.

  • The A10 mic quality is far better than the Cloud Alpha S.



 

The Cloud Alpha S are more expensive, but overall they are worth it.
The Cloud Alpha S are more expensive, but overall they are worth it.

Conclusion

The Cloud Alpha S prove that sometimes when you pay more, you get more. The packaging is professional and carefully handed, the build quality is more durable than the A10, and the functionality is the best I’ve seen from a gaming headset.

The A10 are only able to beat out the Cloud Alpha S in mic quality, which has surprisingly poor performance. Despite the Cloud Alpha S bad mic quality, with all other areas considered, they are the clear winner.

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