Every day your alarm clock goes off and you wake up to play more video games. But when was the last time you took a moment to appreciate how blessed you are to be able to hear things?
Not today. Today we’re going to talk about the best gaming headsets and discuss the most important things you should look for when buying one, including comfort, compatibility, imaging, and game performance. We’ll go from the least expensive to the most expensive and discuss the innovations that their brands are pushing just to recreate those sounds you’re hearing right now.
There’s probably nothing more uncomfortable and worse than sticking your head into a hydraulic press. Since you’re a true citizen of the internet, we’re sure you’ve seen one squeeze puny things down to a meaningless puddle.
And yet when it comes to finding the best gaming headsets, people often forget the main thing they’re really supposed to be paying for: comfort. They just pick the headset their favorite streamer is currently using and that’s it.
Sadly, we all have different head shapes and sizes, and the headset your internet idol is endorsing isn’t guaranteed to suit you. Some of us are fine with a small headset that has small ear pads, while others think that the same headset is some sort of a torture device.
We also don’t have the same tolerance to clamping force, the force that a headset applies to make sure your ears are hearing the whole orchestra. Then there’s weight as well. Are you sure your chosen headset isn’t heavy enough to put your skull in a daily weightlifting program? We sure hope not.
PC gamers who are also console gamers (yes, they exist) have one more major thing to consider than the normal folk: most wireless headsets only work with one type of console—either with a PlayStation or Xbox. There are no middle grounds.
This means if you own a console on top of owning a PC, you might consider choosing a headset that supports both of those devices. Though you should know that there are some great wired console gaming headsets out there that will help optimize both your PC and console gaming experience, regardless of the brand.
Imaging refers to the ability to hear a sound from a certain direction. The better a headset is at imaging, the more accurate you can pinpoint where the sounds are coming from. On the other hand, a headset with terrible imaging will give you a false virtual environment reading.
If you’re playing a first-person shooter game like Valorant, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG), or any other game that simulates real warfare, you mostly rely on imaging to hear effects such as footsteps and gunshots, etc.
With these types of games, accurately hearing sounds is critical. You don’t want to hear footsteps coming somewhere far from your back when the enemy is close to your left ready with a shotgun.
So, how do you identify the best gaming headset for sound quality? You can consider looking at online product reviews. There are gamers and experts out there on YouTube who can give you some insight into the overall performance of a particular headset, imaging included.
Reading other gamers’ feedback on forums and reviews, like what you’re doing right now, can be valuable as well.
Sounds you hear in real life come from definite sources, perhaps there’s a dog barking 20 feet away or there’s a toddler crying in the next room or there’s a dude blaring his speakers next door. The point is, aside from direction, you hear things with range and depth.
That’s soundstage. Unfortunately for game developers and headset manufacturers, they can’t perfectly imitate how sounds will play out in a real-life environment. They have to establish how much auditory field that you, the customer, are going to have.
The narrower the soundstage, the less immersive the incoming sound will be since the space it needs to travel is very limited. As a result, even when there’s an obnoxious kid spitting at his microphone 50 feet away from you in a virtual world, a headset with a tight soundstage will make it seem like that kid is literally in your room.
But this doesn’t mean a narrow soundstage is bad. In fact, some gamers prefer a good combination of a narrow soundstage and precise imaging to really hone in on all incoming sounds and eliminate all possible distractions. After all, who needs a great immersion if you can exploit those spider senses to tear down enemies?
Wireless headsets come with the disadvantage of having the need to be charged. To some gamers, this is a reasonable compensation for being able to play games without a wire brushing against their arms or chests all the time (some love to spin on their chairs without feeling like a spoon twirling a spaghetti).
In this context, looking for the best high-end gaming headsets is almost the same as looking for the best gaming controller: you have to take power into account. Can your preferred headset last for more than a day on a single charge or does it die out after just a few hours of use?
Standard Price: $150
Compatibility: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Costing $150, we wouldn’t normally call the Cloud II Wireless the best gaming headset on a budget even though it’s one of the cheapest products on our list. But since we’re talking about the best high-end gaming headsets, you don’t really expect to find something under $100, do you?
The HyperX Cloud II is a great place to start. It has decent drivers (the most important components in a headset that create the sounds you hear) and is very light on the head. It provides precise imaging and excellent sound quality. The only problem most people find in using it is that it’s very picky when it comes to sound customization.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a great out-of-the-box headset. It’s just that most gamers want the freedom to adjust settings to their own preference, whatever that is.
Standard Price: $150
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Mobile, Nintendo Switch
One look at the Arctis 7 tells you everything there is to know about it. It has an elastic headband that does the important role of suspending its 375 grams of weight and providing room for your head regardless of its size. The huge ear cups are known for their coziness, which is very important to a gamer who sits on a chair and wears a headset for hours.
And because it uses a low-latency wireless technology, this headset comes with a USB dongle to give you lossless audio while gaming. The Arctis 7’s mic is also retractable, making it one of the best USB gaming headphones on top of being one of the best gaming headsets for this price range.
This headset features DTS Headphone: X 2.0 7.1, an integrated digital surround sound technology that gives it strong imaging capabilities. While playing action-adventure and first-person shooter games, you’re getting an accurate 3D audio environment for immersive gameplay. You might even look behind your chair if you’re not used to it.
Standard Price: $160
Compatibility: PC, PS4
Razer is the type of brand that would go out of its way to identify with gamers. This commitment to creating the best gaming equipment—good gaming headsets for PC included—is what solidifies the company as one of the most powerful gaming brands in the market.
This commitment is where a product like the Nari Ultimate comes from. This headset has a couple of features that are obviously characteristic of Razer. We’re talking about HyperSense, a haptic technology developed by Lofelt.
For simplicity, HyperSense just makes the sound signals you hear more immersive by complimenting them with vibrations (or haptic effects). These vibrations have different intensities, which means the Nari Ultimate specializes in both imaging and soundstage, the most important audio aspects of first-person and third-person shooter games.
Standard Price: $180
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch
The BlackShark V2 Pro is just the BlackShark V2 made stronger and wireless. With $80 more in price, it all comes down to whether the wireless of the two headsets is worth your money.
The first clear improvement is the microphone. Featuring what Razer calls HyperClear Supercardioid, the BlackShark V2 Pro can reject noises coming from your left and right.
The mic’s low-frequency response and its housing structure are a perfect combination that renders your voice as it is, making the BlackShark V2 Pro the best gaming headset with mic in this price range.
Since all great headsets for gaming prioritize immersion and accuracy, the BlackShark V2 Pro offers THX Spatial Audio, a technology that allows you to easily pinpoint the position of the sound. This feature is even complemented with THX Game Profiles, sound configurations that match the best possible sound settings of your chosen games.
Standard Price: $200
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, mobile, Nintendo Switch, VR
SteelSeries deserves to have a representative in this list because of how people praise its products. For one, the Arctis 9 will make it seem like your ears are melting out of comfort, very much just like how the Arctis 7 would. Its set of features include a steel headband, steel suspension frame, and airwave ear cushions.
As for performance, the Arctis 9 also uses surround sound technology to give you a precise auditory reading of your gaming environment. Imagine standing in a spherical room made out of the best gaming speakers. The accurate sound positional cues definitely improve immersion.
Games that involve a royal rumble of sound effects, such as League of Legends and Dota 2, benefit from the Arctis 9’s amazing stereo output as well. The characters’ voices are all well and clear thanks to the boost in frequency. This is an advantage that is mostly highlighted in action-adventure games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Control.
Standard Price: $200
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
You’ve probably heard of Shroud, right? Former CS: GO professional? One of the biggest streamers on earth? Well, the G Pro X Wireless has been his headset for a long time now. To be exact, he even uses his own edition—the Shroud X Logitech G.
It’s also worth mentioning that this headset is also used by other gaming celebs like pro League of Legends player Caps. He uses the G Pro X though, and that one belongs to the best wired gaming headphones category.
But even if you’re not a fan of these pro gamers, the G Pro X Wireless is a heavy marketer of itself. It’s not like it needs a partnership with a leading streamer to promote itself, though it certainly helps.
Starting with the design, the G Pro X Wireless is comfortable, with just the right clamping force, a flexible headband, and cozy ear cushions. Even though its steel hinges can adapt from one consumer to the next, it doesn’t make that annoying creaking sound you’ll surely hear in low-end headsets.
Gaming with the G Pro X Wireless will convince you that it’s worth $200. You can put it on your head for hours without getting a headache. It also features DTS Headphone:X 2.0, a next-gen surround sound technology that enhances audio clarity and gives precise proximity cues.
Standard Price: $215
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, mobile, Nintendo Switch
The ROG Strix Fusion 700 sets the bar high when it comes to design. While RGB lighting has been a trend for most gaming equipment now (you can see it on the best gaming headsets, best gaming monitors, and literally all other gaming hardware), this headset also has distinct contours that immediately reveal that it’s made for gaming.
But does it deliver when it comes to performance? Absolutely. Its large ear pads give more space for the drivers to make room for the airtight chamber design that helps achieve real-life sound. You won’t lose any detail as well due to its lossless playback that almost reduces all distortions down to nothing.
As one of the best high-end gaming headsets, the ROG Strix Fusion 700 provides accurate imaging with an emphasis on brain-massaging bass and immersive acoustic experience. Its 7.1 virtual surround sound gets rid of the need for a dongle while still producing realistic sounds.
The digital boom mic has incredible features, too. You don’t need to press a button or completely hide it before you can mute it. All you have to do is lift it up and it will mute automatically. It’s also powered by a sound-processing algorithm to make sure your voice is crisp and detailed.
Standard Price: $300
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS5 or Xbox Series X/S
With the A50 Wireless, we’re going to hit the $300 mark—the threshold that introduces only the true great headsets for gaming. Is a $300 headset like this any better than, say, the Arctis 9 and G Pro X Wireless? In terms of sound quality, it’s hard to say. It’s like paying for a $1,000 graphics card for 15 more FPS. You barely notice the difference.
But the A50 Wireless comes with some advantages that go beyond audio performance. For example, the headset has two different versions you can choose from during purchase: Black Gold and Black Grey.
The former supports Xbox Series X/S, the latter supports PS5. This is why the A50 Wireless is also known for being a good gaming headset for Xbox and PS5, not just for PC.
And while it’s hard to hear how good a $300 headset is compared to a $200 or a $250 one, there’s certainly a difference in ergonomics. The A50 Wireless has large ear pads complemented with soft velour pads that do gamers with eyeglasses some justice.
Its headband is highly flexible both horizontally and vertically, meaning you can play with the height as well to really get the perfect adjustment for your head and ears. If for some reason it’s not comfy enough, there’s the A50 Mod Kit for additional ear cushions and synthetic leather headband.
Of course, it goes without saying that the A50 Wireless is phenomenal when it comes to gaming. Its technology, Astro Audio V2, offers superb imaging that will almost give you a sixth sense. You’ll still have to work on that aim though, but more info is always welcome on the battlefield.
Standard Price: $320
Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Tablet, mobile
The Sennheiser GSP 670 is a real heavyweight not just because it’s the heaviest headset on our list but also because it has a set of decent features to offer. Whether it’s design, comfort, or game performance, this headset surely delivers.
Let’s start with design. The Sennheiser GSP 670 doesn’t really look like it’s for gamers. It has a simple black finish, it’s bulky on the sides, and it doesn’t have RGB lighting. But what makes it one of the best gaming headsets is that it’s a headset you can use for hours.
The ear cups are large and stuffed with comfy memory foam while tucked inside faux leather. You can adjust the headband with its flexible pivot points as well, so you can keep on readjusting it to find that sweet spot. The padding on the plastic sliders is padded with mesh fabric.
Meanwhile, the Sennheiser GSP 670’s mic is another yet delicacy. It’s great for streaming because it renders your voice in the most natural way possible, with little to no loss in details. When talking to your teammates, you won’t annoy them with that thing called sibilance—the high-pitched sound that snakes make.
Other built-in features include instant mute, lift-to-mute boom arm, and a separate volume control for chat and game. You can enjoy these features on your console as well. The Sennheiser GSP 670 supports PlayStation and can contest even with the best gaming headset for PS5.
Playing video games with the Sennheiser GSP 670 is as good as the other best high-end gaming headsets on our list, meaning you won’t necessarily find out why one is better than the other.
Its soundstage and imaging are fantastic, delivering realistic sounds with great depth and precision. It also addresses the issue of latency very well, which is the main issue that gamers at the professional level face. Hearing something super quick will contribute to your reaction time and, in turn, will make you a slightly better player.
Standard Price: $400
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X
We’re going to ramp up the game even more with the $400 Mobius. It’s the headset that sets the point of no return. The price itself spells premium, functionality, and versatility. This is truly one of the best gaming headsets in the world.
So, why is this piece of hardware so expensive? Innovation. Instead of dynamic drivers, which are common in the market, the Mobius operates differently from your ordinary gaming headset and uses planar magnetic drivers.
In a nutshell, these drivers offer more range, more precision, and more resistance. You won’t hear any audio distortion at all even though you’re listening to the most nuanced sounds a headset could ever generate.
Gaming? The surround sound is phenomenal. To integrate the best possible sound innovations into Mobius, Audeze partnered with Waves, one of the leading audio tech companies in the world.
The result? An overwhelmingly immersive performance. We’re talking about features like head tracking here, where a tiny little head movement is being tracked 1,000 per second for the headset’s 3D emulation algorithm.
The Mobius doesn’t even need additional software or hardware for tweaking. Although if you love being able to tamper with audio, Audeze certainly lets you do that with a whole array of tools.
The Mobius is, undoubtedly, one of the best wireless gaming headsets ever created.
Whether you’re using a low-end or high-end headset, firing the right shots and casting the right skills are still the factors that will make the real difference. There are probably some CS: GO and Valorant players out there right now who are using earphones that come as freebies when buying a new phone.
And yet these gamers can get the same kills and the same wins that gamers wearing the latest Razer headset do. With MOBA games like Dota 2 and League of Legends, surround sound becomes even less important since you’re literally overlooking the battlefield and can expect most of the time where the enemy will come from.
But when talking about things like soundstage and imaging, we’re only considering the practical aspect of sound and paying no attention to aesthetics. You may find it unreasonable to buy any one of the top 10 gaming headsets on our list because you think they won’t make you a better player, but what about the beauty of hearing sounds itself?
Sure, the best gaming headsets will give you more awareness of your favorite game, but they will also give you an enjoyable experience by simply creating real-life sounds translated into virtual worlds.
Their innovations, from generating the deep hum of the bass to head movement tracking and accurate positioning of auditory cues, remind you to appreciate the ongoing music of daily life that is everywhere around you.
Two of the best gaming headsets in the high-end category are the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro and Logitech G Pro X Wireless. Using them specifically for gaming will give you an immersive gameplay experience as they’re both great at generating rich auditory sounds with depth and direction.
While professional gamers use different headsets, we’ve found that most of them use the HyperX Cloud II, Sennheiser Game Zero, and Razer Kraken 7.1 V2.
We prefer the HyperX Cloud II Wireless for its amazing build and performance. It’s very comfortable on the head and you can wear it for hours without getting a headache. Also, you don’t need to charge it much because its battery has great life.
If you don’t like a wire brushing against your arms and chest while gaming, a wireless headset is definitely more preferable. You can even get away from your PC or console and go as far as your wireless headset’s range allows you.
Not at all. Most pro players actually prefer wired headsets because they guarantee an absolute instantaneous response and no latency. Wireless headsets have gotten good at providing solutions for these issues, but choosing wired headsets just gives more assurance.
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