Astro A10 review

Astro's A10 headset gives gamers audiophile-grade sound anyone can afford

By incorporating audio technology from headsets that cost $200 more than the A10, Astro has crafted one of the best-sounding affordable gaming headsets.
By incorporating audio technology from headsets that cost $200 more than the A10, Astro has crafted one of the best-sounding affordable gaming headsets.
By incorporating audio technology from headsets that cost $200 more than the A10, Astro has crafted one of the best-sounding affordable gaming headsets.


  • Excellent sound quality for the price
  • Good mic
  • Durable design
  • Simple installation


  • Can be uncomfortable after prolonged use
  • No surround sound

Despite the cost of gaming hardware and peripherals, you shouldn’t have to spend almost as much on a decent headset as you would on a new console. Unfortunately, most of the headsets that exist in the sub-$100 market are difficult to recommend at best. Thankfully, Astro – well known for making excellent headsets — has introduced the A10, a new model that costs the same as a newly released game but delivers sound quality on par with headsets twice its price.

Out of the box

Opening the A10’s package lacks fanfare, and that’s to be expected for a device that costs just $60. The light cardboard box slides open easily, revealing the headset. There are no accessories included. The only other pieces in the package are a 3.5mm cable and user literature, so unboxing is quick.

Installation couldn’t be simpler. Plug the included 3.5mm cable into the headset and the other end into your PC, console controller, or mobile device, and you’re set — there are no drivers to download or software to install.


The Astro A10 sports a slightly bulky frame and large boom mic design that immediately give it away as a gaming headset. It’s not gaudy, and is mercifully devoid of garish decals or plastic adornments, but the A10 won’t pass for a pair of headphones. Surprisingly, the earcups lack any sort of mic or volume controls like you find on most headsets. While disappointing, it’s hardly a deal breaker.

If there’s one criteria where the Astro A10s belie their price, it’s the comfort. Compared to other headsets, the Astro A10’s clamping force is higher than average, which can put pressure on the ears and side of the head, leading to discomfort after prolonged use. The padding on the earcups is higher quality and more comfortable than what you’d expect for $60, but that’s undermined by the pressure on and around the ears.

Additionally, some may find the headband to be under-padded, with just a small strip of padding keeping the plastic band off your head. Depending on individual head shape, some may find the headband rests uncomfortably on the sides of the head, but in our testing we didn’t have much trouble.

The sound quality on the Astro A10 is, simply put, remarkable.

At sub-$100 price points, you’ll often find that headsets are made mostly from plastic, often with hollow, brittle frames or flimsy joints. Thankfully, the A10 features a plastic headband with flexible reinforced steel for support, and no joints or swivel on the earcups, which removes a potential point of failure from its design. The plastic material is not only strong and sturdy, but is highly flexible to allow for quite a bit of bend and bounce in the headband — this won’t easily break unless you make a pointed effort.

The last point to discuss is the mic. The boom is long and slightly malleable, and can be swiveled upward, both to engage mute and keep it out of the way — all positives. However, a removable or collapsible design would have enhanced the headset’s versatility. That said, this is very much a gaming headset in looks and execution; this wasn’t designed to be worn on your commute to work. To that end, we’re willing to forgive the “sore-thumb” design.

While these complaints about the A10 are worth considering, it’s also important to point out that, at $60, the A10’s physical design is similar, if not better, than other headsets around this price point. If these were $100 or more, these issues could be more damning; at $60, they’re simply concessions that come along with an inexpensive headset.


While the comfort and design are standard for an entry-level headset, the sound quality is, simply put, remarkable on the Astro A10. Astro has included the same drivers found in its $250 A40 and $300 A50 model. That means you’re getting ~$300 sound quality for far less.

This headset won’t easily break unless you make a pointed effort.

The highs in the mix are clear with a slight punch, perfect for the sound of most games. The low end, while underpowered compared to bigger, more expensive headsets like the Sennheiser GSP 350, still has enough oomph to give explosions impact.

We played a few different titles across multiple platforms while testing. Hearthstone was our mobile pick. The subtle, chilled soundtrack and tavern-like ambience was present and detailed, while the satisfying crash of a defeated opponent felt appropriately powerful. We tested the A10 on the PS4 by playing Persona 5. The game’s upbeat, infectious funk and jazz soundtrack felt vibrant, and dialogue was clear. Finally, on PC, Quake Champions chaotic action, driven by an arsenal of outlandish weapons, was big and powerful. At points, the multiplayer frenzy became slightly muddied when multiple opponents were firing off rockets, chaingun rounds, and beams of lightning, and in those instances we felt the lack of surround sound features which could have helped maintain accurate directionality.

Astro A10 review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

We found the mic to be clear and consistent in voice capture. However, we wouldn’t recommend these for streaming or podcasting. It’s rare that a headset mic reaches the level of quality a professional streamer would need, and that’s especially true of the A10s. Still, it’ll serve you well for coordinating your payload pushes and point captures, and that’s the important part.

Overall, we were impressed with the A10’s performance. Sure, the headset lacks many of the features you’d find on the best headsets in the market – such as 7.1 surround sound that would help maintain directionality in competitive first person shooters like Quake Champions or Overwatch – but as we’ve said numerous times already, for $60, this is an impressive device.

Warranty information

Astro offers a one-year limited warranty for faulty workmanship and defective parts on all its products, including the A10 headset. Return shipping and labor costs are included.

Our Take

Despite looking and feeling like a sub-$100 gaming headset, the Astro A10 gaming headset has the best sound quality of the entry-level headsets we’ve tested.

Is there a better alternative?

The Astro A10s are not the only decent headset floating near the $50-$60 price point, but we’re struggling to think of any we’ve tested that sound as good. If you want something more comfortable, there’s the SteelSeries Arctis 3, but they cost $20 more. Similarly, the Arctis 3 would also solve the minor design woes and lack of 7.1 on the A10s.

How long will it last?

As discussed, the A10 is highly durable thanks to the flexible frame, so there’s little risk of it breaking. However, even with the excellent sound quality, this is still an entry-level product. You could very well stick with these for years, but there’s plenty of room to move up from here.

Should you buy it?

Yes. While there are several great options at this price point, none match the A10’s performance quality.


Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.