The gaming headset market is a funny business. There are so many different options, all with different features and designs to lure you in. Brands like Razer, SteelSeries, and ROCCAT all have high quality models available at all levels in their range. Enter the Astro A10 Gen 2, and its bare-bones approach to the gaming headset.
I’ll admit that I have been spoiled for choice lately with gaming headsets. The Razer Hypersense, Victrix Gambit, and other similar models have all crossed my desk in the recent past, and all of which had a ton of really cool bells and whistles, but at what point does it become an excess? The A10 Gen 2 headset is a good opportunity for me to get back to basics and see what’s what at the entry level of the market.
The A10 Gen 2 is available in 5 colours (black, white, lilac, grey, and mint) and I elected to go with the white colour to match my PS5, a trend I find myself doing more and more lately. Unboxing the headset was pretty normal. The headset looks great, especially with the coloured design on either ear cap. The colours complement each other nicely, even though you’ll never see it when you’re wearing it.
The A10 Gen 2 is a very ‘back-to-basics’ headset, so much so that the only things in the box are the headset itself with cord attached, and a PC input adaptor, so it can be used for mic use as well.
“The headset looks great, especially with the coloured design on either ear cap.”
Being an entry level headset, the A10 Gen 2 is extremely light, weighing in at a paltry 246 grams (just over half a pound). There are no additional features to add unnecessary weight. Being used to the Victrix Gambit recently, I was shocked at how little the A10 Gen 2 weighs.
The lack of weight does translate to more comfort for me. No longer was I feeling the strain on my neck of a ‘heavy’ headset pushing my head and neck down. This meant I could wear it for longer, subjecting my squadmates to my awful jokes for even longer.
Going further with comfort, the A10 Gen 2 features extremely comfortable, if a little small, ear cushions. The first time I put the headset on, I thought they were going to be too small for me, I could feel my ears getting squished ever so slightly. It wasn’t awesome. However, a bit of manoeuvring and my ears fell into the proper position within the ear cushions, and I have to say that these might be the softest ear cushions I’ve felt in a while. The fabric surrounding them is soft and breathable and was a pleasure to wrap around my ears for hours on end.
“…a bit of manoeuvring and my ears fell into the proper position within the ear cushions, and I have to say that these might be the softest ear cushions I’ve felt in a while.”
One of the standouts from looking at the A10 Gen 2 would have to be the length of the cord that attaches to the headset. Coming in at around 6 feet long, there was always a ton of cord sitting on my lap, which had me wondering if it was all necessary. I then remembered that the headset is designed for use with a PC as well, and the input for that isn’t always going to be in your controller, like the PS5 is. I can deal with a longer cord for that.
Other headsets I have used recently almost universally have the sound controls on the headset itself, mostly due to them being wireless. The A10 Gen 2 has no controls whatsoever on the headset proper. The volume controls are managed by a dial on the cord. It goes up and down, and no more. There are no noise-cancelling features to worry about, just turn it down if it’s too loud, or turn it up if it’s too quiet.
Being at the entry level for a gaming headset, I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of sound quality. I wasn’t surprised nor let down by the sound whilst using the A10 Gen 2. I could hear what I was supposed to, and that’s more or less it. There simply isn’t any other sound enhancing or detracting feature built in. I don’t mind this though, because at this price point, it delivers on what it needs to.
“I wasn’t surprised nor let down by the sound whilst using the A10 Gen 2.”
The sound quality from the speakers in the ear caps is about as average as one would expect. I didn’t experience any crackling or distortion when I was using it. I heard the game sounds the same as if I had plugged in a pair of regular headphones that I got at Walmart.
The microphone on the A10 Gen 2 is on the mic arm that you can push up to turn off or pull down to turn on. No fancy gimmicks here, as the microphone is usable and picks up your voice. It also picks up some ambient noise in the background, so a noisy environment is not going to be your friend if you’re trying to be heard. The mic arm is flexible, so it allows you to conform it to your specific placement and is rigid enough to stay in place when you’re done manipulating it.
If there was one thing I wish they would have spent a bit more time on, is the build quality. The A10 Gen 2 feel a little… flimsy. They don’t have the rigidity of construction that the headset I’ve been using have. I feel like they will fall apart if I drop them from a height of more than 2 feet. If you’re careful with your headset, then this should be a negligible issue, but if you’re a little more ‘devil-may-care’ then perhaps the A10 Gen 2 is not for you.
All in all, the A10 Gen 2 is a decent headset that does what a headset and mic should do, and nothing more. At $59.99 USD, there aren’t too many more options that are less expensive without severely compromising on some things. If you need a headset to hear the game and talk to your mates, then this is a good option, it won’t break the bank and you’ll get some good use from it.