The gaming headset space has become pretty crowded over the past couple of years, and with the increased competition came lower prices for consumers. That memo has finally been received by Astro, which now offers an affordable headset that is a fraction of the price of its $250 A40 (with Mixamp Pro) and $300 A50 headsets.
Astro's new A10 is priced at $60, making it both the company's least expensive headset and one of the cheaper models available from an established brand. The company hopes that its budget pricing will attract a huge chunk of the market that it's been missing out on up to this point.
"When we conducted our survey, we discovered we were missing 80 percent of the market. A huge percentage of people who took our survey didn’t even own Astro products, and the fact that 60 percent of our fans responded and told us they didn’t own our gear showed us another problem we could solve. We challenged ourselves to create something that contained the essentials of an Astro Gaming product that we could deliver to a larger number of our fans," Astro said.
Enter the A10 headset, a purportedly durable audio solution with an anodized aluminum headband wrapped in polycarbonate. For comfort, Astro opted for memory foam ear and head cushions. Inside are 40mm neodymium magnet drivers that have been tuned for gaming. Here is a look at some specs:
- Frequency response: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Distortion: < 3 percent at 1KHz
- Characteristic SPL: 104dB +/- 3dB at 1KHz
- Weight (w/o cable): 346 grams
The A10 also features an omnidirectional microphone with in-line volume control and flip-to-mute functionality.
Astro's aim was to deliver the essentials—durability, comfort, stereo sound, and chat. It does not support virtual 7.1-channel surround sound, and presumably the audio is not on par with its A40 and A50 headsets. We haven't had the chance to test drive one ourselves yet, but according to PCWorld, the audio is "good for a $60 headset."
As for the aesthetics, the A10 has the look of a budget headset, especially compared to Astro's higher end offerings. However, it's hard to argue with the price tag, especially if the audio is decent.
For anyone interested, the Astro A10 is available now.