Astro is quite a renowned name in the high-end gaming headset industry for good reasons. The company has produced various great headsets that all gamers love. The company particularly made a great hit with Astro A40 TR. The original version of the headset was considered as one of the best gaming headsets that you can buy with money, and the latest Tournament Ready version simply makes it even better, almost flawless.
Available on a similar price point, however, is HyperX Cloud 2. It is Kingston’s warrior to compete in the high-end gaming headgear market, a direct contender to Astro A40 TR. Although the company is indeed a well-known name in the general computer peripheral market, they are not exactly as famous in the gaming industry. So, how does HyperX Cloud 2 compare against Astro A40 TR? Can HyperX Cloud 2 stand against the fierce competition? And, which is the best headset that you should buy?
Astro A40 TR vs. HyperX Cloud 2: Design
Even though Astro A40 TR is quite more expensive than almost all non-Astro gaming headsets on the market, it is still a very appealing headset especially to competitive esports gamers partly because it is wired. With a physical connection between the headset and the PC, the risk of interference can be put away from the equation. Astro A40 TR stays reliable even when used in a LAN tournament where your fellow team members sit close to each other and there are spectators with mobile and handheld devices. Nevertheless, there is no real change to the physical design of Astro A40 TR compared to the original version, except that some parts of it are now modular. It is still an open-back headset, but you can adapt it into a noise-isolating closed-back headset using the TR Mod Kit, which includes sealed speaker tags, synthetic leather ear pads, and a professional microphone.On the left cup, you can find the 3.5 mm connector that connects to the included MixAmp Pro TR. All controls are performed through the MixAmp; there is just one button on the headset, which is the Mute button to disable and enable audio.
Astro A40 TR is incredibly comfortable. Since it is an open-back headset, air can pass freely to your ears, ensuring great breathability. It does not get too hot even after prolonged wearing. The headband is also padded so that the top of your head will not get irritated by the constant contact. Though the headset is quite bulky, it is surprisingly lightweight.
On the other hand, just like its predecessors, HyperX Cloud 2 is coming with premium materials, featuring a padded aluminum metal frame, completely padded ear cups, and a braided cable. The ear cups are made of soft memory foam. However, HyperX Cloud 2 is a closed-back headset. Such design is particularly beneficial for the noise isolation effect. Sounds from the inside will not get into your hearing, and your game’s audio will not leak out to the environment. However, it is indeed not as breathable. (See also : Sennheiser Game One vs HyperX Cloud 2)
The braided cable features an in-line sound card, and is not detachable. Fortunately, the long braided cable gives you plenty of room to move around with the headset tethered to your PC. The USB controller has a clip on the back, which is a nice touch, allowing you to attach it to your shirt to prevent it from disturbing your concentration. It has a weight that is just about the same as Astro A40 TR.
Astro A40 TR vs. HyperX Cloud 2: Performance
Interestingly, both headsets support surround sound technologies. Of course, there is no headset that can produce surround as realistic as real speaker setups, but the surround in gaming headsets is good enough to give you some vague idea about directions, which is incredibly useful for positional imaging.
Astro A40 TR comes with 40 mm drivers and a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 24 kHz. On the other hand, HyperX Cloud 2 comes with 53 mm drivers and a frequency response range of 15 Hz – 25 kHz. You see, on the papers, HyperX Cloud 2 seems to be better than Astro A40 TR. In the practice, you can expect more powerful bass from HyperX Cloud 2. It is able to reach lower frequencies, and the larger drivers further ensure enhanced bass quality. If you want to feel real, thumping bass for an immersive audio experience, HyperX Cloud 2 can give you that. In addition, HyperX Cloud 2 has a higher impedance level, which somewhat enhances the audio accuracy but reduces the overall volume for a given input power.
On the other hand, Astro A40 TR gives a more balanced sound quality. It does not produce as much bass, and you can hear that midrange and treble are more pronounced. The drops that used to happen occasionally on the original version are no longer present in this version. The audio is constantly clear and crisp. If you want to get the best audio quality for clean, articulate communication with your teammates, it is awesome.
Astro A40 TR vs. HyperX Cloud 2: Other Considerations
HyperX Cloud 2 comes with a travel bag, which can be handy if you want to bring your headset along to places. In addition, it also has a longer warranty period. It has a 2-year warranty. Astro A40 TR, on the other hand, only has a 1-year warranty. But don’t forget about the huge customization offered by the TR Mod Kit.
Astro A40 TR is an open-back headset, but is greatly customizable and can be adapted into a closed-back headset using the TR Mod Kit. It is incredibly comfortable. It has a detachable cable. The sound is more balanced, and gives great clarity for communication. On the other hand, HyperX Cloud 2 is a closed-back headset that is quite comfortable, but the cable is not detachable. However, the sound quality is great with more enhanced bass, allowing for great audio immersion. Plus, a travel bag is included, and the warranty is longer.