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ASTRO A40 vs HyperX Cloud 2 (2021): Which Wired Headset Is Better?

Although wireless headsets are convenient, wired headsets are less at risk for interference that could affect sound quality. So unless you’re willing to spend big bucks on a premium wireless model, then you’ll benefit more from wired options. If you don’t mind cables, then you’ll probably like the ASTRO A40 and the HyperX Cloud 2.

These wired gaming headsets are fairly affordable options that deliver solid audio quality. The ASTRO A40 boasts of the accompanying MixAmp for additional audio inputs and controls. However, the HyperX Cloud 2 is more popular simply because it retails for less than $100. But which is really better? Here’s our comparison to guide you in your purchase.

ASTRO A40 vs HyperX Cloud 2 Comparison Chart

ModelASTRO A40 TR Gen 4HyperX Cloud II
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Compatible PlatformsPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, XboxPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile devices
TypeWired gaming headsetWired gaming headset
Driver40mm53mm
Surround SoundVirtual Dolby 7.1Virtual Dolby 7.1
Connector3.5mm mini-stereo and PC Splitter3.5mm mini-stereo jack plug
Cable Length1m + 1.5m PC splitter1m + 2m extension
MicrophoneBoom micBoom mic
Add-OnsASTRO MixAmpUSB sound card
Frequency Response20Hz โ€“ 20,000 Hz5Hz โ€“ 25,000 Hz
Weight369g350g
Warranty1 year2 years

Design and Comfort

The ASTRO A40 and HyperX Cloud 2 are chunky and well-designed headsets that offer great comfort.

Both wired headsets put an emphasis on comfort.

The latest generation of the ASTRO A40 โ€” better known these days as the A40 TR โ€” follows the same design as previous models. It’s still a bulky and flashy headset typical of the gamer aesthetic. However, you now get new color schemes that still double as the indicator of console or platform compatibility. The fourth-generation A40 has also done away with the white variant, so you’re left with only a black or blue option.

The HyperX Cloud 2 is also a chunky headset. But it shuns the angular form the ASTRO A40 brandishes for rounded edges that lend it a more all-around appeal. This design approach is most obvious in its use of curved hinges that connect the headband to the ear cups. And even though both headsets come with detachable mics for non-gaming use, the HyperX Cloud 2 is bound to draw less attention in a crowded subway or noisy cafe.

When it comes to comfort, these wired headsets don’t disappoint. The ASTRO A4O and the HyperX Cloud 2 sport large and well-padded earcups that should fit most ear sizes and shapes. ASTRO’s headset makes use of a fabric-soft foam for its ear cushions, great for long gaming sessions. Unlike the Cloud 2, however, the A40’s headband isn’t padded.

Meanwhile, HyperX’s wired headset employs a leatherette and foam material out-of-the-box. It’s soft but tends to feel hotter after a long day of use. If you need something more breathable, you can replace the leatherette with a fabric mesh option that comes with the HyperX Cloud 2 package.

Sound Performance

The ASTRO A40 delivers better audio quality for games although the HyperX Cloud 2’s noise-isolation makes it better for casual use.

The ASTRO A40 TR (left) and the HyperX Cloud 2 (right)

The open-back design of the ASTRO A40 lends it a different sound signature from the HyperX Cloud 2. Here, you get better spatial imaging that lends realism to both music and games. Mids and highs are also slightly more emphasized on the ASTRO A40. The bass is excellent, too, capturing thumps, growls, and grunts in games quite fully. But since it doesn’t venture low enough, the low-bass can sound a bit squelched.

Video games with plenty of crash, rumble, and explosions will impress you if you’re using the A40. So will most bass-heavy tracks. Everything sounds clear, powerful, and resonant. However, the open-back design does mean passive noise isolation is almost non-existent, and so expect plenty of sound leakages here. It’s one more reason you wouldn’t want to listen to music with it in public transit.

The HyperX Cloud 2, on the other hand, fares much better in noise-isolation. The closed-back design gives it a pretty good seal that keeps the action and music from being within earshot of everyone else. Just like the ASTRO A40, the output of the HyperX Cloud 2 is impressive, given its price range. However, it’s not always a well-balanced sound.

The headset’s emphasis on high-bass delivers a boomy sound but loses a bit of force on lower-end frequencies. It’s the same performance when it comes to listening to music. At times, the bass seems to be lacking as you turn up the volume. It’s still enjoyable but if you want a fuller sound, look elsewhere.

Microphone

You get a slightly better noise-isolating microphone from the HyperX Cloud 2 out of the box.

Here’s a look at the mechanism behind the detachable mic of both headsets

Both the ASTRO A40 and HyperX Cloud 2 sport detachable microphones. The latter, however, delivers a better voice recording quality out-of-the-box. The A40’s boom mic comes with a noise-cancellation feature that works incredibly well even in demanding environments. As a result, voice chats and in-game communications sound clear and detailed.

In contrast, the ASTRO A40 comes with a regular unidirectional boom mic. It’s capable of minimizing background noise, too, but not as accurately as the HyperX Cloud 2. If you’re really keen on isolating your voice from the chatter, you can replace the standard boom mic with a dedicated voice-isolating microphone. However, this add-on is only available as part of the ASTRO A40 TR Mod Kit.

Compatibility and Other Features

With the ASTRO MixAmp Pro TR, you get more controls and customizations for your A40 TR headset.

On the left, the MixAmp Pro TR; on the right, the HyperX AMP Sound Card

Unlike other wireless ASTRO headsets, the ASTRO A40 is compatible with almost any device that has a 3.5mm port. So on its own, you can use any variant for a platform or console of your liking. However, if you’re getting the headset bundled with the MixAmp Pro TR, you’ll need to get the right variant. The blue-accented MixAmp works only with the PlayStation 4, while the red-accented variant is specifically for the Xbox. Either of the two is compatible with a PC or Mac.

The MixAmp Pro itself has changed from the original design in previous models. With the fourth-generation A40 headset, the panel now follows a horizontal orientation. But the input and controls are largely the same. Just keep in mind you will need the MixAmp to enjoy surround sound when playing on consoles.

Just like the ASTRO A40, the HyperX Cloud 2 will work on any device or console on its own, regardless of the color variant you get. It should work just as well on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. You can also customize the virtual surround sound quality through the HyperX Amp USB Sound Card. The plug-and-play device also enhances your headset’s noise cancellation features, but it does have to be purchased separately.

Verdict

The ASTRO A40 TR is better for gaming while the HyperX Cloud 2 is better for multi-use.

Amazon product

When it comes to sound quality for games, the ASTRO A40 TR does have an advantage over the more affordable HyperX Cloud 2. The A40 is a sturdy, almost-premium wired headset that delivers a strong sound performance for more immersive play. It’s not perfect, however, and the noise-isolation is pretty weak because of the open-back design. But if you want a well-balanced sound that’s customizable, too, then the ASTRO A40 is it.

The HyperX Cloud 2, on other hand, is a more versatile headset. It’s an above-average device for gaming, but for other uses โ€” like listening to music or taking calls โ€” it’ll fare much better than the ASTRO A40. The Cloud 2’s sophisticated design and strong noise isolation feature also mean it will draw less attention in public. So if you’re someone who likes to use a wired headset for your commute, the Cloud 2 will be the better option.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I purchases the ASTRO A40 MixAmp separately and outside a bundle?

You can get the MixAmp Pro TR separately if you already own the ASTRO A40 TR as a standalone unit.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the boom microphones on the ASTRO A40 and HyperX Cloud II detachable?

Yes, the microphones on both the ASTRO A40 TR and HyperX Cloud II are detachable.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the ASTRO A40 come with surround sound support?

Yes the ASTRO A40 TR (Gen 4) comes with virtual Dolby 7.1 surround sound.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is there a wireless variant of the HyperX Cloud 2?

The HyperX Cloud 2 also comes with a wireless variant. Simply called the Cloud II Wireless, the headset sports the same design as its wired-counterpart and can deliver up to 30 hours of runtime.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.