When you need to know when and where that enemy is coming from when you are deep in a game you need a headset that you can rely on. You need a headset that delivers you the soft sounds of footsteps in a way that alerts you to the direct. When you think of all of those hyper-tense moments that needed instant action what sense do you remember using? Sight? Obviously? Hearing? Voice?
You will definitely rely on your hearing and your voice if you are playing in a multi-player environment. Your headset needs to deliver you the best audio at the correct moment with the accurate directional information you need to make a momentary decision and announce it to the group. Your headset and mic need to work accurately, reliably, and effectively for you to win big and win often.
What Features Are Important In A Gaming Headset?
Not just every headset will help you hear every footstep. You can’t just plug in your Apple AirPods and believe that you are getting the best experience for your gaming time. You need to think about the significance of zoning out all of the other distractions while you are hunting and flying.
You need to not be distracted by the construction outside your window. Your partners shouldn’t have to hear a kid crying in the room next door. Baby screams over a mic are probably the number one conversation killers. So, instead of those POS workout earbuds look for a quality gaming headset. Here are some features you should feel knowledgeable about while shopping.
How many systems do you have? Do you also have non-gaming uses for a headset like work and personal video chats or other conferences? Most quality headsets are fully compatible with XBOX, PS4, and PCs via a wired 3.5mm analog cord. Some even have the option for a USB connection or Bluetooth. The more options you have to connect the better chances you will be using the headset for multiple applications.
Wired Or Wireless
Whether you get a wired or wireless headset you need to consider the tech that is allowing it to connect and stay active. You most likely won’t be leaving your home with your headset on, so a wired pair won’t kill your style too much. Some wireless headsets come with a dongle to allow for connection to systems that don’t support wireless connections easily.
Should You Go For 5.1 Or 7.1 Headsets?
If you want to know exactly which direction that monster is coming from you absolutely need a headset with the best surround sound available. However, the problem with surround sound and headsets is that there is limited space in the cans to allow for the full development of true surround sound. Your gaming headset will come with either 40mm or 50mm neodymium drivers. The larger drivers don’t necessarily mean a better sound.
First, you need to know if you want the mic detachable or not. You won’t always need it and it can be in the way sometimes. Boom style mics offer the best audio quality for gaming because they are built to pic up your voice clearly and without the harshness that you hear in a telephone.
Noise Cancelling/Noise Isolating
Noise cancelling could be active or passive. Any type of physical blockage that limits sound into your ears will be passive noise cancellation. Active noise cancelation refers to headsets that emit a frequency that cancels the noise out. Neither frequency reaches your ear and all you hear are the cheers of your online fans. Noise isolation refers to the ability of your mic to cut out any extraneous noises while you are talking. Is that a baby in the next room? Don’t let those screams cut into your campaign tactics.
How long are your gaming sessions? Are they at least an hour? You definitely want to spend the time making sure your headset will stay comfortable over the long haul session. You don’t want to take a break just because your ears are sore. Soft cool gel and padded cushions are the only way to go.
Battery Life Of Wireless Headsets
If you are looking for the wireless edge then you need to consider the battery length of the headset. There is probably nothing more annoying that having to pause because you need to recharge your headset. Many of the higher quality sets will have multiple types of connectivity. If the batteries die you can just plug them in for a wired experience. Further, many of the sets have 10+ gaming life, making sure that there is plenty of time to take on the next boss level.
Your Top Choices
Below are the top choices in gaming headsets that are fully compatible with PC, XBOX, and PS4. You will be able to hear the steps from even the softest corners of the rooms and keep your team informed on your whereabouts. There are lots of lists like this one available. Just make sure that you are buying the right headset for your gaming and your needs.
Remember to think of if you need wireless or if wired is okay. Be considerate about how important the sound quality is to you. Think about how long your gaming sessions last. You should also understand that not all headsets are made for streaming. Headsets for streamers usually include audio software and higher quality mics. Check out these great options.
SteelSeries Arctis 7: Best Overall Gaming Headset
The Steel Series Arctis 7 is the headset that you will want to wear for every online video chat and conference call. There is little that you can fault these with. The Arctis 7 comes with a retractable noise-canceling mic, full 7.1 surround sound, 3.5mm wired and wireless via USB audio and two 40mm neodymium drivers.
The battery for the wireless option is an astounding 20+ hour range. If you plug them into your computer via the USB charging adapter you can continue to use them while they are charging. They use ski goggles headband as the head strap to keep the headset secure, which allows for a feel that makes you forget that you are wearing them.
- Wired and Wireless Options
- Long Battery Life 20+ Hours
- Full 7.1 Surround Sound
- Retractable Noise Cancelling Mic
- Ski Goggles Head Strap
- Only 40mm Neodymium Drivers, not 50mm
- Mic Isn’t Detachable
- Not Stylish For Gamers
Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC: Gamer Gear For Audiophiles
Do you love high-quality sound beyond just the explosions and gripping tires of video games? The Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC delivers audiophile-level sound quality to a gaming headset. The main benefit is the GameDAC or DAC (digital-to-analog converter), which allows it to deliver high-resolution 96-kHz/24-bit audio.
Built with 40mm Neodymium Drivers, the sound delivered is crisp and clear at all frequencies and from all directions. You can hear a pin drop in a pillow factory. For more nuanced control the GameDAC comes with optimization equalizers for a higher level of audio oversight. It even has a built-in subtle RGB lighting to keep things sounding and looking good.
- Audiophile Level Sound
- GameDAC Sound Benefits
- Great Looking Headset
- Retractable Noise-Cancelling Mic
- Can Be Used For Watching TV or Listening To Music
- No Wireless Option
- Works Better While Sitting At A Desk
HyperX Cloud Stinger: Best Budget Sound
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice sound and comfort for a low price. The HyperX Cloud Stinger packs a punch with its 50mm neodymium drivers and its soft, faux-leather ear cups supported by one of the lightest headsets on the market. The sound can get distorted at the higher ranges but the headset will stay soft and secure no matter how far you believe you lean while turning the car on the screen.
The save on cost the Cloud Stinger is only wired with a 3.5mm cable. The mic delivers better than average audio. For the entire package, you can expect this set to perform well under pressure and in office settings as well.
- 50mm Neodymium Drivers
- Soft A Cush Ear Cups
- Controls Buttons Built Into The Headset
- Sound Range Is Lacking
- No Wireless Options
- Mic Is A Fixed Boom
HyperX Cloud Alpha: Full Package On Sound, Style, And Value
The HyperX Cloud Alpha delivers in a long line of HyperX high-quality and low priced gear. You won’t get all of the bells and whistles with these headsets. However, you will get high-quality products that are comfortable and that will last. The mic is detachable but the 3.5mm cord isn’t.
The sound in the Alphas is developed by 50mm dual-chamber drivers that offer the widest range in the frequency response of any of the other headsets. You will feel the bass when it kicks in and taste the metallic treble of brass hitting a concrete floor. You will enjoy wearing these around as they are soft, comfortable, and have a killer look for any streamer wanting to keep it fresh.
- Top Of The Line Comfort
- 50mm Dual Chamber Neodymium Drivers
- Solid 3.5mm Analog Microphone Performance
- Gaming Specific Style
- Detachable Noise-Cancelling Mic
- No Wireless Option
- Inline Controls Are Useless
Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro: The Set For Gamers And Streamers
If you do more than just game then you may be looking for more options than just listening and talking. If you are streaming your hits and kills then you need to make sure that your audience is hearing the right level of volume without any of the feedback. The Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro is the best set to provide the highest quality audio to your teammates and to your viewers online.
The Astro A40 headset is sleek, modern and has a killer soundbox. The real winner that makes this a sure win is the MixAmp Pro and the Astro Command Software which lets you fully control all of the audio and microphone settings to maximize the cheers and minimize the jeers. The MixAmp Pro comes with audio preset switches and lets you easily control the game and voice chat levels at the turn of a dial.
- Quality 40mm Neodymium Drivers Sound
- Full Control Over Audio And Microphone Settings And Levels
- Comfortable Ear Buns
- Excellent Software For More Sensitive Controls
- Modern Design
- Not Wireless
- Should Be Used At A Desk For Best Results
Logitech G Pro X: Tournament Level Play
When you want to play like the best then you want to play like you are at a tournament with the sleek ultra-crisp Logitech G Pro X. Built for the eSports Leagues, these cans were stripped of all of the unnecessary fluff of traditional gaming headsets and what was left was maximized for quality and productivity.
It delivers comfort, high-quality audio, Blue brand microphones, a proprietary Hybrid-mesh Pro-G 50mm neodymium drivers, and a style that screams “don’t hassle me I’m local.” With these, you can easily use them for almost any daily activity and still feel comfortable switching right into gaming mode. Blue is a California based microphone company that supplies the mics for these monsters and is fully detachable.
- Expertly Designed For Extended Tournament Play
- Expertly Crafted Microphone
- High-Quality Audio
- Hybrid-Mesh Pro-G 50mm Neodymium Drivers
- Bulky And Hard To Travel
- No Wireless Option
Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero: Great For Glasses Wearers And Streamers
This premium headset is infused with gel ear cushions, which means that if you wear glasses you won’t suffer from the constant pain associated with other clamp style headsets. Further, if you are just looking for a premium headset with a rich audio experience then the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero is your set.
The Atlas Aero will connect wirelessly to your PS4 and PC and with a 3.5 mm audio jack to your XBOX, Nintendo Switch, or Mobile Device. Inside the cans are 50mm Nanoclear Neodymium Drivers delivering premium-level audio that would impress most audiophiles, and with a solid noise-cancelling microphone it is hard to say no. If you are streaming all of your gaming sessions then you will truly appreciate the customizable options and features in the supplied software that will let you tweak most of the options.
- Premium Level Audio With 50mm Nanoclear Neodymium Drivers
- Gel Ear Cushions Great For Glasses Wearers
- Production Level Audio Software
- Wireless And Wired Options
- Small Inline Buttons
- Decent Looking
- A Bit Bulky
Turtle Beach Recon 200: Budget Shooter Headset
Turtle Beach Recon 200 is a quality headset that strives to be the best shooter headset for all gamers. What it does better than anyone else is focus on the deep bass that makes the clicks and fires of the guns bellow and thump. With a Bass Boost that is fixed in the “on” position, the Recon 200 is living its own dream. If you know what you want and want that bass, then the Recon 200 has it for you and has it for you on a budget.
The mic flips up and is not detachable, but the sound is crystal clear for team and streaming sessions. The style is a little aged. However, the sound and comfort will absolutely keep you focused on your friend-enemies and not the weight straddling your ears. This is all of the basics done with a quality that should never be overlooked.
- Best Shooter Bass On The Market
- Budget Performance
- High Clarity In Mic
- Mic Does Not Detach
- No Wireless Option
- A Little Too Simple
Razer Nari Ultimate: It’s All About The Haptic Feedback
If you are looking for not only the look and sound but also the feel, then the Razer Nari Ultimate is your machine. It has the best and maybe the only incorporation of haptic feedback into headsets on the market. What is haptic feedback? Well, think of it this way. Normally, you bash the controller the harder you want to hit or torque the nob the sharper you want to turn. Haptic feedback is all about sending the proper physical sensations to your senses to better represent what is happening in the game. This isn’t your old school vibration feedback. This is an actual higher plane of motion sensation.
The Nari Ultimate includes a HyperSense technology in each of the 50mm neodymium drivers, which gives the impression that you are wearing bookshelf speakers on each of your ears. This is a true rumble tumble sensation. You can feel it in your head. However, it isn’t just all magic in the cans. The Nari Ultimate also has a retractable unidirectional mic, THX Spatial Audio, and cooling gel-infused cushions. Does it have RGB colors? Yes, it does, obviously. With a 3.5mm wired and USB wireless option, you can get everything you need in one headset.
- Retractable Unidirectional Mic
- HyperSense Technology w/ Lofelt L5 haptic drivers
- 50mm Neodymium Drivers
- 3.5mm Wired And USB Wireless Options
- THX Spatial Audio
- Cooling Gel-Infused Cushions
- Mic Isn’t Removable
- No Bluetooth
- Cans Aren’t Noise Cancelling