We’ve prepared this comprehensive guide to gaming headsets so that you can find exactly the right headset for your budget and gaming needs. These headsets can also be used for watching movies or listening to music but were specifically chosen to provide an immersive gaming experience.
Remember that it’s important to take a break and rest your ears when playing games to prevent long-term hearing damage. Every headset is designed differently and will fit differently on different people’s heads, so for the very best results, be sure to try out your chosen headset to make sure it’s right for you.
Terms to Understand When Buying a Gaming Headset
When shopping for the ideal gaming headset for your needs and budget, it’s important to be able to understand the terms that manufacturers use to distinguish their products. Below are a list of the most important terms to understand when evaluating which gaming headset is right for you.
With or Without an Included Microphone
The first thing to consider is whether or not you want a headset with a microphone incorporated or to use a separate microphone. If you’re looking for a portable headphone or want to have the microphone conveniently incorporated into the headset itself, then buying a gaming headset with a microphone combo design is probably best.
If you want a truly high-performance audio gaming experience, consider buying the best gamer headphones you can and then use a stand-alone microphone. While less portable, this will give you a better overall experience.
Sound travels through a medium (the air, in gaming contexts) along different frequencies. Sound frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz) which is the number of cycles per second that a sound wave passes a given point in space. Lower frequencies such as 40 Hz (40 times per second) sound deeper and contain more bass than higher frequencies like 25 KHz (25 thousand times per second).
Depending on the quality of your hearing, most people can audibly hear sounds ranging from 20Hz to about 20KHz but it is important to remember that the ears can still feel sounds at frequencies lower and higher than that range. At minimum, always chose a headset that can reproduce sound at 20Hz-20Khz.
7.1 Surround Sound
The 7.1 surround sound standard was originally designed for home theaters. In a home theater set up, speakers would be positioned to the front, center, and rear and combined with two subwoofer channels to allow for an audio experience that truly recreates sound coming from approximately 360 degrees.
While no headset can replace the real-world replacement of speakers surrounding the listener, 7.1 Surround Sound rated headsets use multiple channels and separate subwoofer speakers in each ear to do an excellent job of creating a panoramic audio experience.
The part inside the headset’s ear cups that converts the electrical signal traveling up the cable (or being transmitted wirelessly) into sound that you can hear is known as the driver unit. If you look inside a pair of headphones, the driver appears much like a tiny speaker. Most drivers are rated by the diameter of the voice coil that powers the unit, measured in millimeters, with bigger drivers generally creating louder sounds.
Many headsets mention that they have neodymium drivers, which actually refers to the type of magnet that’s inside the driver. Neodymium is a rare earth magnet that is an alloy of boron, iron, and neodymium and used in a number of high tech devices, including cordless tools, hard drives, and headphones.
Best Budget Gaming Headset
The Sentey Gs-4561 comes in an attractive black design with brilliant blue cups and a frequency range of 20Hz-20Khz. The gold USB 2.0 cable is 2.2 meters long and is braided for tangle-free operation. There is a mute button and the Sentey Gs-4561 come with special ear noise isolation pads for a more immersive audio experience. The Sentey Gs-4561 uses neodymium-backed 40mm drivers and is compatible with both Apple and Windows computers. The Sentey Gs-4561 has a comfortable, adjustable headband and comes with special Vibration Extreme Bass technology to get the most out of lower-frequency sounds.
This headset from Creative Labs is designed for portability with an elegant black design and cool red headphone covers. The Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset features 40mm Neodymium drivers to faithfully reproduce sounds from 20Hz to 20KHz. With a detachable boom microphone, the Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset is an excellent budget all-in-one headset for gamers.
The VersionTech G2000 comes with a shiny black design finished with a super cool neon blue trim guaranteed to catch the eye of any gaming fan. With a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20KHz, the VersionTech G2000 delivers excellent sound while the adjustable omni-directional microphone amplifies the voice while blocking out background noise. The VersionTech G2000 come with a durable braided cord with a Velcro band to prevent twisting. The special LED lights on the earcups add a unique ambience to the gaming experience.
The Creative Sound BlasterX H5 packs a lot of punch with its powerful 50mm neodymium drivers and proprietary Sound BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite Audio Profile Software Suite to get the most out of music and gameplay. The ear cups come with special memory foam ear cushions with a lightweight but durable headband for improved comfort during extended use. The uni-directional noise-canceling microphone is ideal for voice commands and can be detached when not needed. The Creative Sound BlasterX H5 is designed to work with Windows and Apple computers, the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox ONE (with a separately sold adapter). The tangle-free cable is braided to provide reliable connection to the peripheral of your choice and the headset has in-line controls to adjust the volume or mute the microphone.
Best Budget 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
With a very responsive 15Hz to 25KHz frequency response range, the Sentey GS-4531 is an outstanding entry model that provides 7.1 virtual surround sound. The Sentey GS-4531 come with an in-line volume control and a noise isolating unidirectional built-in microphone. The gold-plated USB connector uses a flexible cable with a Velcro strap to provide reliable and tangle-free connection to your computer or device. The Sentey GS-4531 features bright red highlights on the ear cups and a very comfortable headband, and weighs just 12.6 ounces.
The Sentey GS-4730 provide 20Hz to 20Khz frequency response in a futuristic black and neon red design. The Sentey GS-4730 has an in-line control over volume and included a built-in microphone for a complete gaming headset package. The USB 2.0 connector has a gold-plated connector and is connected to the headphones using a heavy-duty braided 2-meter long tangle-free cable. The Sentey GS-4730 uses 40mm drivers to provide outstanding surround sound experiences with its patented Vibration Intelligent 4D Extreme Bass and DAC technologies.
The Sades A6 have a deeply padded headband that connect to your choice of six different two-tone color designs. The Sades A6 has a cool “breathing” LED light to let you know when the retractable and omni-directional microphone is in use. There is a special amplified vibration effect that can be activated to get the most out of bass tones. The Sades A6 connects to your computer or device using a long USB cord with an in-line controller that operates the microphone, volume, and lights.
Best 7.1 Surround Set Gaming Headset
The Logitech G35 uses Dolby technology to provide a rich 7.1 surround sound experience when connected with a Windows computer’s USB port. With three different swappable headband pads, the Logitech G35 are designed for comfort. Three programmable keys on the unit give the user one-touch command over every functionality on the headset. The on-ear audio controls allow for rapid adjustments in volume, surround sound settings, and to mute the microphone. The included integrated noise-canceling microphone blocks out background noise while focusing on spoken commands. With a futuristic blocky design in your choice of primary colors, the Logitech G35 weigh in at an impressive 1.9 pounds.
The Sennheiser PC 363D uses the company’s proprietary “eargonomic” acoustic refinement system to deliver ultra-accurate clear audio. With its 7.1 Dolby surround sound capabilities, the Sennheiser PC 363D allows gamers to detect even the faintest sounds by their direction. The open back ear cups use very comfortable full-size velour ear cups that make extended game play comfortable. The integrated boom microphone does a great job of picking up voice commands and instantly mutes when the boom arm is raised.
Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset
This headset from Mixcder provides truly elegant style in a convenient, lightweight and very comfortable product that is compact enough for traveling, working out in the gym, or running. Clocking in at just 15.2 ounces in total weight, the Mixcder Drip/Runto use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to your PC, game system or mobile device while the rechargeable 400 milliamp lithium-ion battery cranks out up to 20 hours of listening pleasure. The leather earbuds are very soft and the ear cups do a great job of blocking out background noise.
With a futuristic black blocky design, the Logitech G930 Headset uses 40mm drivers to pump out a rich 7.1 surround sound experience when connected to a Windows computer’s USB port. The included omnidirectional microphone has a special pressure gradient electric condenser to focus on spoken commands and block out background noises. The Logitech G930 Headset mutes by flipping up the microphone and the included battery powers the headset for up to 10 hours of fun-filled gaming. There’s also an included base that both charges the headset as well as providing a wired connection for uninterrupted game time.
Best Wireless Gaming Headset
The Logitech G933 comes in glossy black with a futuristic neon blue trim with special LED lights that add ambience to the gaming experience with up to 16.8 million different colors. The Logitech G933 functions in either wireless or wired mode (using USB) with an excellent 12 hours of battery life. Using 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound technology as well as Pro-G audio, the Logitech G933 adds life to any game played on your Windows PC, home theater, PlayStation 4 or Xbox ONE. The Logitech G933 also comes with a USB adapter for use with listening to television shows or movies wirelessly without disturbing other people in the area. The Logitech G933 has programmable G keys to add custom commands to the gaming experience. The Logitech G933 comes with a foldaway noise-canceling microphone and uses special sports mesh materials to keep the ear cups soft and breathable for long-term gaming comfort.
Best Headset for XBOX One or PlayStation 4
With a dynamic 15Hz to 25KHz frequency response, the HyperX Cloud II comes in your choice of three differnet colors. Weighing just 9.6 ounces, the HyperX Cloud II packs a lot of punch with its 53-millimeter neodymium drivers and 7.1 virtual surround sound technology. The HyperX Cloud II has a special echo canceling function thanks to an inline sound card and the detachable microphone is TeamSpeak certified for optimal voice chat while gaming. Using a USB connector, the HyperX Cloud II works well with both Apple and Windows computers and can be used as well with both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (a stereo adapter is required but not included when connecting to an Xbox ONE).
The ASTRO A40 comes in three versions for optimal use with a Windows PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox ONE. The audio in the ASTRO A40 is specially optimized for gaming and has a ultra high precision omni-directional microphone that can be positioned on either the left or right side of the headset. Available in either matte black or white, the ASTRO A40 also features customizable speaker tags to personalize your headset. The ASTRO A40 features special EQ presets and is fully compatible with Dolby 7.1 surround sound games. For true gaming enthusiasts, the ASTRO A40 can be transformed from an open back system to a closed-back system with noise canceling for operating in very noisy environments. The special Mobile Cable comes with a 3.5 mm jack that has an in-line mute switch, answer/hang up button, and volume control wheel.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver has a sleek black design with red trim. With a detachable omni-directional noise-cancelling microphone and next-generation 50mm drivers, the HyperX Cloud Revolver is an ideal headset for play with your Windows or Apple PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, or Xbox One (a separately sold adapter is required for use with the Xbox ONE if it does not have a 3.5mm port). Weighing in at just 2.6 pounds, the HyperX Cloud Revolver has special memory foam and leatherette ear cups for long-lasting comfort. The microphone is certified by TeamSpeak and is ideal with all of the most popular group games. The HyperX Cloud Revolver comes with a two-meter long extension and microphone plugs for use with computers that have a dual input sound set-up.
Best Headset for Music and Gaming
You’ll get outstanding music fidelity with the Sennheiser GAME ONE that produces 15Hz to 28KHz frequency response in a stylish design available in either matte black or pearl white. The Sennheiser GAME ONE has extra large plush velour ear pads for maximum comfort. The integrated noise-canceling microphone features a quick mute function when the boom is lifted. Volume control is conveniently placed on the right ear cup and the Sennheiser GAME ONE uses a braided tangle-free cable for a perfect connection to your Windows/Apple PC or peripheral of choice. The Sennheiser GAME ONE comes with multiple cables to connect to all of the most popular gaming consoles, mobile devices and computers.
The Philips X2/27 Fidelio boasts huge 50mm neodymium drivers and open-back ear cup architecture to produce very high fidelity music and game sounds. The ear cups are double layered to minimize rattle and the Philips X2/27 Fidelio headset comes with deluxe memory foam ear pads for superior comfort during long game sessions. The Philips X2/27 Fidelio come with a tangle-free cable clip and a 6.3mm adaptor.
Best Headset for Streaming
The ASTRO Gaming A50 comes in your choice of three different colors and comes in two versions calibrated to either the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox ONE. The ASTRO Gaming A50 can be used in either wireless mode or connected to your console of choice using a one meter long 0.5 micro USB cable or a one meter long TO Slink optical cable. The ASTRO Gaming A50 is designed for long-lasting comfort and includes three different EQ modes to create the perfect listening experience. With full Dolby 7.1 surround sound and an integrated microphone that flips up to mute, the ASTRO Gaming A50 will always sound great when used wirelessly thanks to its special 5.8 GhZ high-frequency connectivity.
Best Overall Gaming Headset
It’s hard to go wrong with the HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset that provides a full 15Hz to 25KHz frequency response in an elegant unit designed in Sweden. The HyperX Cloud is designed for comfortable long game play sessions thanks to its leatherette memory foam ear cups and included extra set of velour ear cups. The HyperX Cloud features 53-mm drivers that faithfully produce rich sound that combines with noise-isolating ear cups to provide an optimal gaming experience. The tangle-free braided cable includes both an inline volume control and mute button that connects with PlayStation 4 consoles, Windows PCs, and most mobile devices. The HyperX Cloud comes with a complete set of accessories, including a travel bag and airplane adapter.
Best Headphone and Mic Combo
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones has a very wide 15HZ to 28KHZ frequency response to never miss the low bass or high sounds during gaming. These studio-quality headphones use a proprietary 45-mm driver that works in conjunction with rare earth magnets and copper-coated aluminum wire voice coils for unparalleled fidelity. The special ear cup design does a great job of isolating sound and blocking out background environments. The ear cups of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x can swivel a full 90 degrees for convenient one and two-ear listening use and the durable headband will provide years of listening enjoyment. The cable can be detached and swapped out to ensure compatibility with your gaming device of choice. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x comes with both a 3.5 mm standard headphone cable, a 1/4″ adapter, and a step-down plug ideal for se with tablets and mobile phones.
No other headset can compare to the JVC HARX900 with its ultra low 7Hz to high 26 KHz frequency response and giant 50mm neodymium drivers. The JVC HARX900 uses a special ring port structure to faithfully produce high-quality dynamic sound. Special acoustic lenses produce incredibly natural sounding audio while the unique pressure dispersion mesh headband provides unparalleled comfort during longer play sessions. If you’re an audiophile gamer looking for a top-quality headset, you simply can’t go wrong with the JVC HARX900.