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HyperX CloudX vs. Astro A40 TR: Which Xbox headset should you buy?

Head to head, the HyperX CloudX has the A40 TR pretty beat on specs, with larger drivers, a more impressive frequency response, at a cheaper price.

HyperX CloudX vs. Astro A40 TR specs

SpecHyperX CloudXAstro A40 TR
Driver53mm neodymium40 neodymium
Speaker designClosed back, isolatingModular, open back or isolating
Surround/StereoStereoStereo
Frequency response15Hz - 25000Hz20Hz - 20000Hz
Weight337g369g
Impedance41 ohms48 ohms
Cable1.3mm braided1.5mm plastic
Detachable micYesYes
Detachable cableNoYes
Connection3.5mm (4-pole)3.5mm (4-pole)
Noise-cancelling micYesYes
Price$80$120

Comfort and design

CloudX (Image credit: Windows Central)

HyperX CloudX (left) vs. Astro A40 TR (right)

Both the HyperX CloudX and the Astro A40 TR are made with solid materials, and sport what I'd describe as solid construction. Whether you prefer the outward visuals of the CloudX or the A40 TR will depend on your personal preference, but the HyperX CloudX looks a little more what you might wear outside. Both headsets have detachable microphones, but the Astro A40 has a "louder" design that demands more attention, whereas the CloudX is more subtle. You can detach the microphone on both headsets too, which is a nice bonus for versatility.

Speaking of versatility, the Astro A40 has the CloudX beat in this space. The modular design allows you to replace the cushioning and branding across the headset. If you're a professional broadcaster or aspiring streamer, you can even purchase custom-designed plates from Astro to match your personal branding; plus, the A40 also comes in both white and black flavors. The speaker plates can also be removed to swap between a more isolating sound chamber, or an open-back format. You can also purchase different types of cushions too, whether you prefer leatherette or memory foam fabric. All options are tremendously comfortable.

HyperX CloudX (left) vs. Astro A40 TR (right)

On the CloudX, what you see is what you get. The headset is also very comfortable with generous memory foam cushioning across the headband and thick metallic housing for the speakers themselves. The large oval-shaped earcups fit nicely over your ear, providing an immersive, isolating sound. However, the synthetic leather cushions, I have found, can get a little clammy over time, especially in warm weather. The Astro A40s are certainly more breathable, particularly with the fabric ear cushions.

Overall, both headsets are winners when it comes to design and construction. It boils down to your personal needs.

Sound experience

HyperX CloudX headset (Image credit: Windows Central)

HyperX CloudX (left) vs. Astro A40 TR (with Mod Kit) (right)

When it comes to sound, the CloudX is a pretty clear, consistent winner, owing to larger sound drivers and a more diverse frequency range. The highs and base notes are completely distortion-free on the CloudX, and the overall audio impression is richer and more spacious than its Astro A40 TR competitor. So you'll be getting all of this, while at a much lower price point.

The Astro A40 TR is by no means what I'd describe as disappointing in the sound space, though. It still performs admirably and will provide a solid experience across the board, the CloudX is simply more impressive, compounded by the fact it's cheaper.

When it comes to microphones, both headset fares similarly, with noise-canceling technology to reduce background sound. You won't be using either microphone to record high-quality YouTube videos or podcasts, but they're great for gaming communication.

The Astro A40 TR has the added bonus of swapping between open-back and closed-back configurations by removing the speaker plates. For those who prefer open-back, your best choice is the Astro A40. In some scenarios, open-back headphones provide a less isolating sound experience, allowing external audio into your sound mix. Additionally, it can also create an impression of a wider soundstage, which can be useful in shooters, particularly if you add surround sound via a sound mixer, like Astro's own MixAmp (opens in new tab). The closed-back configuration on both headsets create a very isolating, albeit immersive experience, but it's only on the A40 where you have the option to switch between the two. There are various A40 Mod Kits available on Amazon (opens in new tab), for alternate colors and more.

HyperX takes the sound crown

For $80, you can't help but be impressed with the HyperX CloudX headset. It's a gorgeous piece of kit, with robust materials and design, big, deep sound, and a stellar microphone. No nonsense, you won't be disappointed.

Astro A40 TR is a customization win

While the HyperX CloudX has noticeably better audio quality, the Astro A40 TR comes with many extra features that might be of particular value to you. You can swap out the speaker plates with custom branding, change the cushioning to a fabric of your own choosing, and swap the speaker style between closed-back and open-back isolation styles.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!