Review: Astro A10 Wireless Headset Gen 2

Astro has been behind some of the industry’s best headsets over the past decade, and with Logitech’s resources behind them they’ve been able to expand what they do. With the revamped A10s, they’re aiming to blend high-quality with sustainability. The original A10 was a value-oriented option at a time when the Astro brand was being used for premium-priced headsets, and they wanted to craft something that was both affordable and not prohibitively expensive. The goal was to also keep quality control high to avoid customers having to re-buy a device — something that has held true with the new versions and their replaceable parts.

The second-generation headset has been redesigned to have a more curved look with a wider array of colors available. White and red is available for those wanting something that wouldn’t be out of place for a Mass Effect junkie. The traditional black has been revamped with a different shade of green, while grey is the option we went with to visually mix things up. Comparing the new A10s to the A20s, which are essentially just a wireless version of the original A10s, is interesting. The immediate feel on the head is different between the two as the original over the ear design in the first-gen headset has larger earcups that go over the ear more completely. This results in a lighter feeling on the head.

The second-generation versions have a smaller driver size — which is more good than it is bad for the user. The new 32mm driver delivers higher-quality sound than the original’s 40mm driver. The driver size decrease enables the earcup itself to be smaller and that’s going to be a better option for some. If someone has smaller ears, the smaller cup size makes it seal better around the ear. For those with larger ears, the cups can feel constricting. They do produce a far better seal than the first-generation versions, though. Sound stays in the chamber better and there’s nowhere near as much audio leakage as a larger over-the-ear design.

The revamped Astro A10 sounds fantastic, with a more robust sound across a variety of games. While the A20s are more comfortable, playing Gran Turismo 7 with the new A10’s made it easier to tell where rivals were at in relation to me while also making engine sound effects more crisp. Playing Call of Duty: Cold War also resulted in a better experience as it was much easier to tell where enemies were. It didn’t do a whole lot for the kill count at the end, but did help prevent a few deaths and made it easier to tell if enemies were coming from a pool area since the splash was more audible. Even without surround sound, there are nice in-game benefits to have a great-sounding headset.

The smaller design of the earcups is a double-edged sword for the A10s because they do make for a better-sounding headset, but not a better-feeling one across the board. The smaller earcups put more pressure on larger ears and while the cups are a more comfortable material, the pressure outweighs that benefit for longer play sessions. If someone has larger ears, then they’re better off either sticking with the first generation headset for a wired budget option or going with the wireless A20s. In the long run, either will still last a good while, but stepping up to the A40s or A50s may be ideal depending on the scenario.

For someone casually playing a few games a week, the redone A10s will be fantastic if they have a smaller ear. A child or just someone with smaller ears should be just fine with them, but anyone with a bigger ear should try them out before buying. While anything involving audio is going to be a matter of preference, the feel of these are much different than any other over-the-ear headphone we’ve used and it isn’t for everyone. In a pre-launch event, the company was open about making them more for younger players and that has held true with the final product.

The integrated mic keeps flip-to-mute intact and has inline controls. It has a flexible headband so that if you accidentally sit on it or it falls, you don’t have to worry about it conking out immediately. Some may not like that it has an integrated mic, but it’s sturdy and uses thick plastic, so while there’s a chance of it breaking, it’s minimal. The headband is soft and easily outclasses the original A10 and A20s. It’s denser and offers more cushion for the top of the head while still being light. You never feel like it’s pressing down on your head and that can be an issue for headsets with thick headbands. The headset as a whole is comfortable and feels far more premium than one might expect for something at a sub-$70 price point.

The 3.5mm input allows it to work across many different devices and keeping the driver size down helps to keep the battery usage better and more energy-efficient for anything it’s drawing power from, like a controller, laptop or desktop. This is a nice quality-of-life move to help improve the user experience even though it’s not something one may normally think about when buying a wired headset. It’s nice to know that a longer play session on a wireless controller won’t lead to a drastic difference in overall battery life — and in all-day sessions that proved to be the case with the Xbox One, Dual Shock 4 and Duel Sense controllers.

Closing Comments:

The Astro A10 Gen 2 is a fantastic headset for the money, although it may not be for everyone due to the smaller-sized earcups. It is still technically an over-the-ear design, but has a greater seal over the ear and that will be far better for those with smaller ears. They’re available in a handful of colors instead of just white and black and are is one of the best-crafted budget headsets on the market. It all comes down to the headset fitting on the head comfortably. If it does, then you’re in for a treat, but if it’s tight, then it’s not going to be the best option for long sessions.

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