When it comes to gaming gear, the better the equipment, the bigger of an edge you have against your opponents. When we first started gaming it was with some stock headphones we bought from our local electronics store. Once we had our little stick USB microphone next to us, we thought we had it all down. Although it worked, upgrading to a high-end gaming headset (or at least a decent quality model that wasn’t $10 at our local store) blew us away. It merely made the gaming experience completely change as a whole. Due to this, we wanted ot help share the knowledge. Today we compiled the top 10 best gaming headsets in the market today.
Benefits of a gaming headset
The advantages of having a gaming headset may be pretty apparent, but to introduce our article we thought we’d give some thoughts. For one thing, you obviously need some sound to hear the footsteps of those enemies. You’ve also got that microphone handy to communicate with your team (or enemies!), which is obviously the biggest component of multi-player games. Having a gaming headset for your adventures is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to benefits, but what about investing in a headset that’s above the norm for a few more dollars?
Having a higher-end gaming headset is great because 1) you have high-quality sound that can give you an edge in your game (especially if foot steps or FX are critical, such as when we played Counter-Strike because hearing the enemy before they heard you was an obvious advantage). Not only can you hear footsteps\sound FX quicker than the others but also the direction they come from can also be easier to decipher if your headphones are built well.
A microphone on the other hand is obviously important as well. However, do you need a studio condenser mic to communicate with your team? Not necessarily. However, you wouldn’t want the polar opposite either: extremely low quality where your team may not be able to understand you which would hinder the overall experience of gaming.
You can read our best headphones for gaming as well as best USB microphone articles if you want to go the route of two high-end models in one. However, the biggest benefit of a high-quality gaming headset is convenience. We have our headphones and microphone all-in-one, ready to take action as we slip them onto our head. They’re also great for traveling if you plan on playing at a friend\team’s house. At the same time, there’s always the route of having separate entities as well.
How to choose your gaming headset
- Your budget – Fortunately, as compared to some high-quality studio headphones, gaming headsets aren’t too big of a dent on your wallet. There are however some super high-end models you may want to look at that will cost you. If you do have the cash, you definitely will not be let down. However, if you’re on a limit, there are some budget-friendly choices (such as gaming headsets under $100) we found as well.
- What kind of system do you use? PC? Xbox? PS4? All of the above? How it hooks up to your gaming console or computer of choice can affect which plug-in you need; however, most use USB or come with a converter and you should be fine.
- What game you mostly play – You don’t have to constrain yourself to just one game obviously, however it is still important to keep present when shopping for a headset. Is your game of choice based a lot on sound and how accurate you need the foot steps and FX to be? If so, you should pay particular attention to headphone sound quality, which we will highlight if applicable (although may cost a bit more).
- Aesthetics? We always like to keep our look in mind, especially when it comes to gear you’ll be wearing. Unfortunately, some popular gaming headsets only come in black\white, while just a few give you an array of choices. This is last to take into consideration but still important.
The top 10 best gaming headsets in the market
The following is our list of the top 10 best gaming headsets in the market today. Let us know if you have any questions or comments, or feel that we missed an important model. If you have some personal experience with any of these, please add it as well! If you were in need of those without wires, be sure to read our best wireless gaming headsets as well.
Sennheiser PC 363D
If you’ve read any of our other articles on the site, you’d see that Sennheiser is one of the best headphone creators ever. This particular gaming headset is rated highly among users so we were able to have confidence when taking a look it. When it comes to price it’s a bit higher as compared to others but for many good reasons. If sound accuracy and overall quality is important for your gaming, the 7.1 virtual surround sound and open-design ear cups are perfect for focus on sound. Their “ergonomic acoustic refinement” may be a fancy term, but built-in is their own technology focused on “sound accuracy”. The open-design means the earcups aren’t completed suffocating your ears which helps decrease the chances of pain from long use (it’s not like we play for 8+ hours a day…). Last but not least, the microphone has feasible quality for your teammates or enemies to hear and they’re quite comfortable. If you aren’t on a budget, this is one of the best gaming headsets out there as it’s been highly rated by users too.
Kingston HyperX Cloud II
Check out any list of ‘best gaming headsets’ and you’ll find either this or the original HyperX Cloud’s in there. Kingston is a brand we’re all aware of when it comes to PC stuff and this model is also rated very positively among users. They are relatively affordable if you’re comparing them to our first model listed above, and with these you’re getting 53mm drivers, echo cancelling technology, a wide frequency response, some memory foam pads and high-quality. One of the best all-around value-based gaming headsets in our opinion. It’s also offered in a few different color schemas if you want some aesthetic choices. We’d grab this if you still want a high-quality headset but want to save a few dollars.
Here’s another high quality gaming headset that’s also considered to be pretty affordable. You get some on cable controls (volume or mute) for convenience, some 7.1 surround sound (Dolby), rotating ear cups, and decent quality ear pads (not necessarily memory foam but they’re soft and won’t hurt after a long time of use). Lastly, the mic has some noice-cancellation tech built-in so you’ll be clear as day to who you’re speaking to (or yelling at). The frequency response isn’t quite as wide as the previous pair listed but they still get the job done. Since they’re a bit cheaper we can sacrifice quantitatively because bigger drivers doesn’t always mean better sound quality. It has over a thousand reviews for a reason.
Plantronics GameCom 780
We remember our first gaming headset pair was made by Plantronics. This model is ranked pretty high everywhere because of it’s price-to-value ratio. You again have some 7.1 surround sound by Dolby, 40 mm drivers, volume controls on the ear pads (pretty convenient, more so than a cable in our opinion), comfortable ear cushions and a noise-cancelling microphone. If this headset is cheaper than the previous listed on certain websites, we would grab it for sure as it brings us similar specifications and features as most out there. There are also some cool spin joints to allow your headphone cups to lay flat on your desk if they’re not in use. Not to mention Plantronics is a brand name you can trust that will last you quite a while if you take care of them (aka not throw them at the wall).
Creative Sound Blaster Recon 3D Omega
This gaming headset is one of the biggest beasts of them all. If budget isn’t in your vocabulary, stop right here. You have pro studio quality, wireless connectivity (some debate whether or not you should use a cable or immediacy when you game, however), 50 mm drivers, “Scout Mode” which apparently allows us to hear enemies before us (which we wouldn’t take completely serious but at the same time, if you’re concerned with audio quality and having an edge, this is the pair to get). If you’re not a fan of wireless headphones, especially for gaming, you can still use a cable here. However, the convenience is amazing (they market it to be lag and static free, so you can always be the judge of that). This thing is one of the best out there. This made it into PC Gamer’s best gaming headset article under the best high-end model.
Razer Kraken PRO
Razer is huge among the gaming gear world especially their computers, keyboards and mice. So what about their headsets? This particular model is by far their best and is actually quite affordable. A big plus is the color choice which is always nice, but the specs include foldable ear cups, 2 m extension cable with audio/mic splitter, decent 40 mm drivers, a light weight for a comfortable fit and suitable microphone. What’s really a plus with Razer products is the sleek look, but for the price this headset is solid. It isn’t a beast or something considered top-of-the-line, but it gets the job done. We’d check it out if you want a medium price point, average specs but sweet looking headset.
SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism
Here’s a higher price point model that competes with the best in terms of overall quality. Memory foam earcups, deep and rich sound to where they be fine for watching movies or even listening to music leisurely, and the overall fit is superb due to the suspended headband. There are also some rotating dials on each earcup to adjust the volume and mute the mic (one on each). You also have adapters for PC, Mac, PS4 and mobile along with the package, so if you’re a multiple system gaming like us, you’re good to go no matter what. Tech Radar loved them in their Siberia Elite Prism review.
Audio Technica ATH-AG1
Everyone knows us as huge Audio-Technica headphones buffs, and when it comes to high-end, this is as high as you can probably go when it comes to a headset worth looking at. If you have the cash, this is a game changer. Huge drivers at 53mm, their “core double air damping system (D.A.D.S.)”, an optional USB amp, deep bass and sweet highs to give you some top notch audio quality. The 3D wing-support system is extremely convenient for a comfortable fit, and the earpads help us out with that since they’re very soft. They’re so expensive because of the DADS structure (it’s a dual-layer housing structure built-in to the headset that dampens air to help with linearity of the audio — sounds fancy, but why not if you have the cash?). The microphone is also great with 100 degree range of motion. This thing is slick and worth the money if you’re up for dropping the cash.
Turtle Beach Ear Force X12
This brand is a bit more unknown than most popular names, but this headset is rated too high to not include in this article. The audio quality is great but has a bass boost (some may like it some may not), microphone monitoring (hear it back to yourself to test how you sound), chat volume control, and is USB powered. It’s a lower price-point headset with great features for the cost, and if you want something with a bit more bass and solid build that will last you a while, this is a great headset to buy. It’s one of our picks for best low-cost gaming headsets. Gamers Radar had this in their best gaming headsets budget-friendly pairs list as well.
This headset had way too many reviews (most positive) to not put it in here last. It’s worth looking at because of the feedback from others (can always trust a headset that has 2k+ reviews). It’s another budget-friendly pair that gives you average specs: 40 mm drivers, decent frequency range, pretty good microphone and audio quality, and a pretty nice look (in our opinion). Take a look at it and read the reviews yourself, it may convince you go with our last pick. Engadget’s SA-708 review rated them very positively.