Best Gaming Headset
Gaming headsets differ from standard headsets by the needs they must fulfill. While sound quality is an important consideration, the best gaming headsets must also be comfortable enough for prolonged wear; thankfully there are wired and wireless headsets that meet these requirements so gamers have plenty of options to choose from.
Since gaming headsets can cost you quite a lot of money, it’s important to choose a model that works well for your needs while providing adequate value for the money you’re. Check out the gaming headset buyer’s guide below for all the information you need to pick just the right headset for your needs.
Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Entertainment Headset With Bluetooth Mobile Wireless
Astro A50 Wireless Headset
Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force Z300 Wireless Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset
Corsair Gaming VOID Wireless RGB Gaming Headset
A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro TR
Razer Tiamat Elite 7.1 Surround Sound Analog Gaming Headset
SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Gaming Headset
LogitechG633 Artemis Spectrum RGB 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Sennheiser Game Zero PC Gaming Headphone
Corsair Raptor H3 Gaming Headset
Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB H390 Headset
Plantronics GameCom 380 Stereo PC Gaming Headset
Creative SB Blaze Analog Gaming Headset
SADES SA-708 Stereo Gaming Headphone Headset with Microphone
There's a lot to like about this wireless gaming headset, and it's definitely one to consider if you're looking for the best model on the market. The 50mm speakers in the headphones are very impressive offering virtual 7.1 surround sound for an immersive gameplay experience. The ear cups also include noise cancelling technology, which lets you focus on your gaming, no matter what’s going on around you. There's a switch that lets you turn the noise cancelling on and off, so you can easily hear someone talking to you when you need to.
The two integrated microphones stay out of your way, while cancelling out interference and other sounds around you, making this a great choice for gaming, online communication, and issuing voice commands to wireless devices. This model includes Bluetooth connectivity, along with a USB cable that you can use for a connection or to recharge the battery which lasts up to eight hours between charges. One of the best features with this headset is you can pair to two different Bluetooth devices. This allows you to seamlessly swap between your computer and answering a call on your mobile phone without taking off your headset or losing a moment of game time.
Astro is known for producing excellent headsets, especially their wired series with mixamps that let you get the best audio possible. With this wireless selection, they’ve proven their ability to make a tremendous wireless gaming headset.
This headset includes gold plated connectors for superior sound quality, 40mm drivers in full cup headphones that sound terrific, and the unit connects wirelessly to a USB dongle. It also includes a USB cord used to recharge the batteries and you can continue using the headset while charging through the cable. One thing to note, however, is that you cannot remove the batteries, so you must recharge them after about six to ten hours of use.
The microphone on this model is very adjustable (though not removable) and it mutes automatically when completely rotated up away from your mouth. There are also a number of audio controls on one of the earpieces (including volume adjustments) and an integrated switch lets you choose between three audio presets.
This is an excellent model offering users some nice extra features and customization options that you don't often find with a wireless gaming headset. First and foremost are the buttons on the headset itself. There'sa standard mute button and a wheel that controls volume, as well as three programmable buttons with them. You can set these to control different audio elements in games or other programs you use such as to skip, pause, and go back in a music player, or program them to change rooms in a voice chat program. You can even program the buttons to enter commands into a PC game you play.
Sound is great with the headset which includes 40mm drivers that provide 7.1 surround sound. It uses a wireless adapter and includes a USB cable that you use to charge the headset’s battery, and you can keep playing with it connected. The headsets microphone is also fully adjustable, and can be folded up into the headset itself.
This wireless gaming headset can connect to a wide range of video game devices, and includes an auxiliary connection for a wireless media player or similar device. This lets you listen to music from a player while still hearing game audio and chat all through the same headset. It has a fully adjustable noise-cancelling microphone, which you can control to capture just the range of sound you want from your voice. You can even set it so that you can hear your own voice in the headset, letting you hear yourself without yelling.
This wireless gaming headset gives you great audio quality thanks to 50mm drivers and 7.1 surround sound. The speakers in the headset can be set to automatically increase chat volume when game volume increases, letting you easily hear chat when the game gets loud. It can also reduce sudden increases in volume to protect your ears from loud explosions and other noises, helping you stay focused on your game without overwhelming your hearing.
This is a really comfortable headset with soft, memory foam ear cups designed to fit your ears well and keep you comfortable for hours of gaming. It offers 7.1 surround audio through 50mm drivers that really pull you into the game. This headset also has a noise-cancelling, adjustable microphone that picks up your voice clearly without capturing background sounds.
One of the most unique features of this headset is the “InfoMic” design. Several LED indicator lights are included near the microphone so you can easily check mute status, battery life, and other elements. It has a wireless adapter you can plug directly into a USB port, and a USB charging cable recharges the batteries for up to 16 hours of playtime. You can even continue wearing this headset while charging it so that you never have to miss a moment of your favorite games.
This is a great headset, and though many of its nicest features aren’t entirely necessary for playing a lot of PC games, such a terrific level of customization is worth checking out. The speakers are very good, with 40mm drivers providing either 5.1 or 7.1 stereo surround sound while you're wearing them.
The included “mixamp” device is terrific and lets you control volume and even adjust the sound levels and balance between game sounds and other people's voices during online play. This gives you a lot more audio control than most other gaming headsets have, even those with equalizer software and hotkeys on the earpiece. The headset is quite comfortable and the adjustable microphone which can detach and be connected to either the left or right side, has a frequency response of 15Hz-28KHz, which beautifully captures both low and high voices.
If you're interested in really rich 7.1 stereo sound, then this gaming headset a great choice. The controls with this headset are terrific, including a control box that lets you switch between different speaker sections and control the volume of each one individually. For 7.1 surround sound from a headset, this is a fantastic model because it has 10 different drivers, between 20mm and 40mm in size, creating an unparalleled surround sound experience.
The noise-cancelling microphone boom is retractable, a nice feature to have so you can easily keep it out of your way while listening to music or watching a movie. The frequency range on the microphone is 50Hz-16KHz which captures most of your vocal range while speaking. The ear cups on this model have a comfortable design as well as being replaceable in case they end up worn out from extensive use.
On thing to note here is since a lot of games don't have native support for 7.1 audio, you'll usually use 5.1 stereo surround while you're gaming. That doesn't make this headset a bad choice, but you're paying for a feature you might not use very much, so keep that in mind. Beyond that, this is a solid candidate for your consideration.
Overall, this is a very strong choice for a gaming headset which offers a closed design, meaning you get plenty of great 7.1 surround audio from the 50mm speakers in the headset and it blocks out sound around you. If you tend to play in an area with other people talking or television noise, this helps block out extra sound but if you tend to play with people in the room you need to be able to hear it may be an issue.
This headset has a retractable microphone, which is great for keeping the boom out of your way when not in use, and has a frequency response range of 100Hz-10KHz, which is pretty good but definitely not amazing. The ear cups are illuminated with a wide range of colors to choose from, so you can customize your choice to match your gaming rig and even program it to change colors intermittently.
The audio controls are found on wheels on the ear cups, with one side controlling volume and the other letting you mute the microphone. There’s also an indicator light on the microphone which lets you know when it’s muted. This headset also comes with a USB sound card that enhances the audio performance further, and can connect via USB in addition to both single and dual 3.5mm plugs.
If you want a high-quality gaming headset but you don't need a lot of extra bells and whistles like devices that let you control audio with a mixing device, then give this one a good look. The 7.1 channel sound is nice and the 40mm drivers provide great sounding audio but there are more powerful headsets on the market. Perhaps the best feature on this headset is the three programmable buttons located on one of the ear cups. You can set them up to change audio settings, control music, and even enter commands into games you are playing. The three buttons are located alongside volume and microphone mute controls on the ear cup. The noise-cancelling microphone is pretty good, with a frequency response range of 100Hz-20KHz, which means it is not ideal for capturing low frequency sounds, but should be good for most voice. Lastly, this headset offers nicely padded ear cups and headband so it’s quite comfortable to wear on your head and you're even able to adjust the color of lighting on the headset for the ultimate in customization.
This is a great headset designed for optimal use by gamers, even professional gamers. The ear cups are made from thick leatherette with multiple layers of memory foam, which keeps it very comfortable and helps block outside noises. The noise-cancelling microphone picks your voice up clearly and eliminates other noises that can be distracting to individuals you’re talking to. This microphone has a frequency range of 50Hz-16KHz which is very good, though certainly not the absolute best range available.
There is a simple control on one ear cup to change the volume, and you can easily raise the boom to automatically mute your microphone. This model sounds great and connects through a 3.5mm audio connection. One very nice feature of this headset is it folds up and includes a carrying case, making it ideal for taking with you to LAN parties and professional gaming tournaments.
Unless you're really looking for a high-end experience with your gaming headset, this offering from Corsair has just about everything you could want. The design on this headset is nice and comfortable, with padded ear pads and headband which make it great great for long-term use. The circumaural ear cups with 40mm drivers are not only comfortable, but help provide a great overall listening experience by blocking outside noises and immersing you deeper into your game.
This headset also has a noise-cancelling microphone on a rotating boom so it can be positioned perfectly to your liking. One of the best things about this model is the amount of control you have while wearing it. Along with in-line volume and mute controls, there's also a knob on the side of the headset that adjusts left/right balance. This feature gives you more customization options than most other budget gaming headsets.
The design of this budget gaming headset is simple and light-weight, so it's easy to wear even during long gaming sessions. It has padded ear cups and headband so it stays comfortable and helps block out some outside sounds while you're wearing it. The noise-cancelling microphone is on an adjustable boom that you can rotate out of the way when you're not talking through it.
While the simple in-line controls for volume and muting the microphone are easy to use, it lacks any other customization or control options. This model also uses a USB connection, rather than individual 3.5mm headphones and microphone plugs. While that certainly works well for some setups, you typically get better customization and sound quality with a pair of 3.5mm plugs.
This is a nice, big headset that works well for gaming, listening to music, or even watching movies on your computer. It has strong, 40mm speakers that give you terrific sound quality and a noise-cancelling microphone that you can adjust for the best voice pickup possible. One nice feature is that the ear cups can adjust quite a bit and even swivel. This lets you move them to make the headset lay flat, which is perfect for storage or using them to travel and fit easily into your bag.
There are controls on one of the ear cups, including both a volume adjustment wheel and a mute switch for the microphone. This is nice unless you personally prefer in-line controls. Overall this is a great model but the price is right at the threshold of what most would consider a "budget" model so it may cost more money than what you're looking to shell out on a headset.
This is an excellent gaming headset in many ways, but the price on it is just a bit high when compared to other budget models. You get a solid headset that offers great, clear sound thanks to 40mm speakers. There’s also a detachable, adjustable noise-cancelling microphone, a feature you don’t normally find find in a budget-friendly model.
This is a comfortable headset that’s nicely padded both for the top of your head and your ears. It uses a 3.5mm stereo input so make sure your computer has the right kind of connections for these plugs. You get simple, but effective in-line controls that include volume adjustment and a mute switch. It’s a slick headset that sounds and feels great, but the suggested retail price on it is pretty close to the budget limit.
While SADES might not be a major household name like Logitech or Corsair, this is a surprisingly nice budget gaming headset that really saves you money. The ear cups are quite large, covering your ears well while blocking out surrounding noise. A nice bonus is the ear cups house 40mm drivers which offer up surprisingly rich sound at this price point. The microphone can be rotated toward your mouth or up into the ear cups to hide it from view, but you cannot bend the boom which makes it less adjustable than some other headsets on our list.
The headsets omni-directional microphone captures your voice quite well, but can also potentially pick up more background noise than other models, so keep that in mind. This budget gaming headset has in-line controls with a mute switch and volume wheel to give total control over your audio, but otherwise lacks any extra bells or whistles.
Gaming Headset Buyer’s Guide
While at first glance a gaming headset might seem like a rather simple device, there are actually quite a few factors to consider before making a purchase. For example, wireless sets give you more freedom of movement, but wired models typically provide better latency for immediate response times. You will also typically encounter quite a few different types of ear styles and microphone designs; knowing which one will best meet your needs can make a big difference. You should also look at different control options and consider what will work best for you.
Wired gaming headsets are typically preferred by serious and professional gamers since the physical connection cuts down on latency and ensures faster performance. You want to be sure to choose a model with a long cord at least six feet in length but preferably closer to ten. While not a requirement, a headset with a breakaway cord can be helpful since it can protect your ears and headset in case someone trips over the cord.
You’ll typically find wired models that connect via a USB port or ones with a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack. The 3.5mm models usually have better sound quality, but you need to ensure your motherboard or soundcard has the proper audio jacks, while USB headsets usually work with just about any setup.
Wireless gaming headsets have some great benefits, but they also typically provide slightly slower latency, so they’re not ideal for professional gamers. However, the lack of a cord is great for busy households since it eliminates the risk of someone tripping over the headset wire.
There are two types of wireless connections you will usually find, either Bluetooth headsets or models that include a wireless dongle. If your computer already has Bluetooth connectivity, then a Bluetooth headset is ideal and usually works quite easily. On the other hand, without Bluetooth in your system, you’ll need to find a model that includes a dongle for connectivity, or pick up a Bluetooth card for your computer.
Ear Coupling Types
The ear coupling refers to the design of the ear piece or cup through which you hear sound out of the headset of which there are three basic types.
These surround the ear and are typically large, padded ear cups. This style does a great job of blocking out external noise and provides the wearer with a truly immersive auditory experience.
These types have have pads that rest against the wearer’s ears but don’t enclose them within large cups. Supra-Aural usually sound good and are pretty comfortable, but unfortunately don’t block out external sounds very well.
These have earpieces that go directly into the ear (usually the outer ear) such as ear buds or similar designs. These types are very rare for gaming headsets, as you’ll probably find either circumaural or supra-aural designs dominating the market.
In sum, if you need to block out sounds from other people, then circumaural is the way to go, but if you want to be able to listen for kids or other external sounds, then supra-aural is probably a better choice.
Microphone Design and Options
While you want excellent sound quality from a gaming headset, the microphone is also very important since you need to communicate with others on your team or those in your guild. Most microphones on gaming headsets are pretty similar, but there are a few design differences to keep in mind.
Rigid microphones cannot be bent and even if they’re adjustable, you won’t be able to move them very much. Flexible microphones on the other hand can be greatly repositioned and give you a lot of freedom to find the right position when talking. You should choose a model that has a microphone which can be folded out of the way or retracted (some are even removable), but in general you want to be able to move it away from your face and mouth when not in use.
As you pick out the right gaming headset for you, you’ll want to look at what controls are available and where they are located. Simple options like volume up and down or microphone mute are pretty standard, but you can also find models that let you control bass and other options.
In-line controls give you volume and mute controls located on the cord that connects the headset to the computer. Ear controls give you buttons on the headset itself, usually on one of the ear pieces, which you use to adjust volume or mute the microphone; some models even automatically mute the microphone when you raise it away from your mouth. There are a few sets which have a control module with more options, but these are very rare.
Regardless, neither control type is inherently superior to the other, so you should choose a model based on personal preference, unless you have a particular need for either in-line or ear controls.
Frequency Response Rate and Audio Quality
The frequency response refers to the range of audio emitted from the speakers in a gaming headset. While this doesn’t necessarily indicate overall quality, it does help illustrate the low and high frequency audio that comes from a headset.
This rate is indicated in Hertz (Hz) as a range between a low number such as 50Hz and a high number like 20,000Hz. Low frequencies refer to bass audio, and anything beneath about 20Hz is not something you can really hear, while high frequencies are treble sound and you cannot hear anything above about 20,000Hz. Lower frequencies, like response rates down to 20Hz, give you full, deep bass sound quality, while headsets that go up to 28,000Hz ensure a rich sound that leaves nothing out.
At the very least you want a headset with 50Hz-20KHz, but better sound can be expected from a set with 20Hz-28KHz.
Volume and Headphone Sensitivity
Sound volume is measured in decibels (dB), with typical conversation volume being about 60dB and a gunshot or firecracker coming in at 140dB. Volume through a headset changes depending on how you tune the headset, but there is a technical limitation on the sound coming from it based on the power of the headset.
Volume potential is referred to as “headphone sensitivity” and indicates how loud the sound is per one milliwatt of input. What you need to know is that higher sensitivity, indicated in decibels, means the headset can get louder than models with lower values.
If you like to listen to music, movies, and game audio at a pretty loud level, then you need to choose a headset with sensitivity of at least 100dB, otherwise you will probably be disappointed by the volume you can get.
Manufacturer and Warranty
There are quite a few different gaming headset manufacturers out there, and you should be sure to choose a reputable manufacturer prior to your purchase. Manufacturers like Logitech, SteelSeries and Turtle Beach make great headsets, and you can also check out companies like Sennheiser, Razer, and Creative Labs.
While you can usually save some money by going with a less reputable company, doing so typically sacrifices a measure of reliability and therefore diminishes performance. If you’re going to spend 30 hours a week with a headset on, it’s worth spending a little extra money to land a good model.
Premium brands usually provide excellent warranties of at least one year, but you can often find longer, two or three-year warranties from companies like Logitech. Some manufacturers also make similar models of both wired and wireless headsets, so you can find a design you like and then choose which connection type you prefer.