Looking for a new way to take your gaming performance to the next level?
Let’s face it; one of the best parts about gaming is quality sound effects. And whether you’re chatting with your squad or listening intently for your enemies’ footsteps – a gaming headset is the all-in-one solution to your audio needs.
- What Sets Gaming Headsets Apart From Ordinary Headsets?
- The Right Choice: Our 2020 Picks For The Best Gaming Headsets
- Best Gaming Headsets For PC
- Best Gaming Headsets For PS4
- Best Gaming Headsets For Xbox One
- How We Picked
- How We Tested
- The conclusion
What Sets Gaming Headsets Apart From Ordinary Headsets?
If you’re an avid gamer, you might be wondering why you should invest in a gaming headset when you already own a good pair of ordinary earphones.
The answer to this question boils down to three main factors:
Superior sound quality
Gaming headsets provide you with an explosive audio experience that brings games to life.
Ordinary earphones have a balanced audio profile because they are designed for just listening to music. But with gaming headsets, the bass is boosted to an extreme level so that you get surround sound.
This surround sound functionality gives you a real competitive advantage. Its multiple speakers filter sound directly into your ear for a 360-degree soundscape – allowing you to avoid other players and dodge attacks using sound alone.
Excellent in-game communication
The presence of a built-in microphone is the major difference between ordinary and gaming headsets. This drastically improves your communication capabilities while in-game and is the best advantage you and your squad can gain as a team, particularly when playing co-op games.
Gaming headsets focus on sound accuracy and directional awareness. Compared to ordinary earphones that don’t block out distracting external noise like TV or radio, gaming headsets come with a noise-cancelling feature that isolates background noise so you can hear details more clearly.
Comfortable, long-term usage
Ordinary earphones are designed to be used only for short periods of time – for answering phone calls or listening to music. Gaming headsets, on the other hand, have a solid build quality that is specifically designed for long, intense gaming hours. Its padded over-ear format allows you to sit comfortably in front of your screen for hours on end.
The Right Choice: Our 2020 Picks For The Best Gaming Headsets
Not all headsets are created equal. And with dozens of popular choices on the market today, choosing the right gaming headset can be a challenge.
Not sure which where to start? Don’t fret – we’ve surveyed various products to bring you a list of the best gaming headsets for your PC, PS4, or Xbox One.
Best Gaming Headsets For PC
1. SteelSeries Acrtis 5 – RGB Illuminated Gaming Headset
- Compatible with PC and PS4
- ClearCast Bidirectional Microphone
- S1 Speaker Drivers
- DTS Headphone:X v2.0
- SteelSeries Engine 3 Software
- On-Ear Audio Controls
- USB ChatMix Dial
- Prism RGB Illumination
- Ski Goggle Suspension Band
- AirWeave Ear Cushions
Retailing for less than $100, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 gives you the best quality at an affordable price. This product boasts of premium audio quality via its S1 speaker drives to provide you with ultra low distortion audio so that you get crisper and sharper sound details. These drivers are paired with the DTS Headphone:X v2 that gives you 360-degrees surround sound for a more immersive gaming experience.
Similar to other SteelSeries headsets, the Arctis 5 runs on Engine 3 software – allowing you to activate and deactivate surround sound, as well as select equalization options so you can customize the sound quality to your personal preference.
One of the best things about the Arctis 5 is its addition of the ClearCast Bidirectional Microphone – a retractable mic that delivers studio-quality voice clarity for better in-game communication. Specially designed for intense co-op games, the ClearCast mic revolutionizes voice chat settings using a built-in noise cancellation feature so you can strategize with your teammates without unwanted distractions from external sounds, like TV and radio background noise.
The Arctis 5 combines durability and comfort with its adjustable ski goggle suspension headband specially designed to rest calmly on your head. Its AirWeave Ear cushions are manufactured using athletics-inspired fabric give the headset padded support and keeps your ears dry so you can play comfortably for hours on end. It features a lightweight design that evenly distributes the weight onto precise pressure points on your head for a better, more secure fit.
The Arctis 5 design features a sleek peripheral with smooth ear cups and a flexible Velcro headband. To amp up its style, it features a Prism RGB Illumination with 16.8 million different colors and dynamic lighting effects.
- Budget friendly
- Easy to adjust for personal preference
- Less-than-average surround sound
- Speaker mesh is too shallow
- Messy cables
2. Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset
- 6mm PRO Boom Microphone with pop filter
- In-line volume control
- 50mm hybrid mesh Advanced Pro-G drivers
- Premium USB external sound card
- Pro-tuned 5 band EQ profiles
- G Hub Software
- Aluminum forks
- Steel headband with premium memory foam padding
- Noise-isolating leatherette ear pads
With a sturdy build and durable exterior, the Logitech G Pro is designed to withstand ordinary wear and tear for longer, more intense gaming hours. It creates a perfect balance between comfort and tension via its steel adjustable headband enhanced with premium memory foam padding. The Logitech G Pro also comes with extra velour pads so you can wear your glasses while using it. Coupled with aluminum forks and ultra-soft leatherette ear pads that has adjustable cup height/rotation, this gaming headset is an excellent choice for pro gamers to make it through exhausting training sessions.
When it comes to audio quality, the Logitech G Pro stands out because of its Advanced PRO-G 50mm drivers. These large drivers are made manufactured using hybrid mesh and boosts the bass to a higher level for a more immersive sound experience. The result? You can hear sound details clearer and sharper. It detects lower noises like incoming footsteps or a coming bullet with remarkable quality for better directional awareness.
The Logitech G Pro may not totally block out every external sound, but it offers decent isolation through its built-in noise cancellation features (pop filter). You won’t have to worry about not being heard because this gaming headset comes with a detachable PRO Boom 6mm Microphone. Not only is it professional grade in terms of audio quality, but it also delivers a wider frequency response and higher sound sensitivity.
All settings on this gaming headset – from surround sound to microphone options – can be controlled using Logitech’s G Hub App. This innovative feature allows you to increase the volume of different surround sound sources. For instance, you can amplify the sounds coming from behind you so you’re less vulnerable to sneak attacks.
- Sturdy and durable
- Excellent choice for professional gamers
- Not susceptible to wear and tear
- Perfect for long gaming hours
- Not wireless
- Does not totally isolate sound
- Not for outdoor use
- Scratchy braided cable
3. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Headset
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity (up to 2 devices simultaneously)
- 22 hour battery life
- Noise Gard hybrid active noise cancellation
- Near Field Communication (NFC) immediate pairing
- Foldable stainless steel headband
- Leather-covered ear cushions
- Voice Max dual built-in microphones
What sets the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 apart from other similar gaming headsets is its particular focus on blocking ambient noise. Its main feature is the Noise Gard hybrid active noise cancellation that produces dramatic sound quality. It also has VoiceMax technology with dual built-in microphones for ultimate isolation to rid you of distracting external noise.
This gaming headset is a modern, improved version of the original Sennheiser Momentum. The biggest design changes can be seen in the ear cups and headband. Another significant modification can be seen in the plug design. While the original had a plug that had a hinge to change angles, the newer Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 features an L-shaped plug that’s covered by a protective case. This headset also comes in two versions: one for Android and another for Apple iOS.
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is the perfect choice for every on-the-go gamer. Using its modern Bluetooth technology, you can carry this headset around without having to worry about bulky wires. It highlights immediate Bluetooth connection because of its added Near Field Communication (NFC) pairing system. This also lets you connect up to 2 different devices, like phones and computers, simultaneously. It is extremely portable because it features an iconic foldable design with hidden hinges and even comes with a soft case – suitable for travel or gaming sessions at your friend’s place.
Despite its lightweight and portable design, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 does not sacrifice comfort. The new design features larger leather covered ear cushions with memory foam for a higher comfort level. It also has an ergonomically-enhanced design that is asymmetrically shaped for an enhanced fit, particularly for gamers who wear glasses. With a 22-hour battery life, you can play wireless for hours on end.
- Compact, foldable design
- 2 year warranty
- Larger ear cups
- Comfortable fit
- Charging port loosens easily
Best Gaming Headsets For PS4
1. NUBWO N7 Gaming Headset
- Dual 50mm speaker drivers
- Multi-platform compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, MAC
- 120-degree flexible omnnidirectional microphone
- In-line audio control system
- Ergonomically padded headband
- Soft leatherette ear cups
- Ultra-low distortion sound
- 3D stereo sound
One of the most popular budget headphones on the market today, the NUBWO N7 offers a well-rounded package with a comfortable design. The entire headset is extremely lightweight despite its large size. It features an ergonomically padded headband that keeps you comfortable even during long, intense gaming sessions. The NUBWO N7 also has soft leatherette ear cups that fit snugly onto your ears, keeping them dry and cozy while you play.
For less than $50, you get all the best qualities of more high-end headsets but at a lower price. Its audio profile is specially designed for highly immersive co-op games. Its standout feature is its dual 50mm speaker drivers that produce detailed and balanced all-around soundscapes for a better gaming experience. The best part of these drivers is its ultra low distortion aspect – a feature that works well not only with games but with HD movies as well.
The NUBWO N7 may look like any other ordinary gaming headset, but what sets it apart from others within the same price range is its versatility. It features multi-platform compatibility and supports almost every device available: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even your PC and MAC by using a PC extension cable.
The built-in mic that comes with the NUBWO N7 is also a stand out for its price range. It comes with a 120-degree flexible omnidirectional microphone with clear speaking audio for better in-game communication and an excellent noise cancelling feature that eliminates unwanted background noise. This headset also features an in-line audio control system, allowing you to make adjustments in the microphone volume without having to use additional settings.
- Extremely budget friendly
- Good choice for beginners
- Mic is flexible
- Comfortable fit
- In-line volume control is hard to locate
2. PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset
- 7.1 virtual surround sound
- 3D audio (for select PS4 games)
- 50mm driver in each ear cup
- Built-in dual microphones
- Noise cancellation feature
- Multi-device compatibility: PS4, PC, mobile device (with 3.5 audio cable)
- Leatherette, memory foam ear cups
- Foldable headband with rubber support
- Extended battery life: up to 14 hours
Every dedicated PS4 gamer will love the PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset’s design – it mixes plastic, metal and rubber for a solid, sturdy build. It features a flexible metal headband that holds the entire headset firmly in place, with a rubber band underneath for added comfort. It folds up neatly – perfect for carrying around with you. The ear cups are made of sturdy plastic with plush memory foam inside and covered in faux leather. The entire headset is all black, except for the blue fabric on the inside of the ear cups.
With a total weight of only 318 grams, the PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset is lightweight and portable. But don’t underestimate this headset – it may not be heavy, but it still has an impressive audio profile. Its standout feature is its 7.1 virtual surround sound produced by a 50mm driver in each ear cup. This lets the user experience first-hand an almost realistic gaming experience, with a 360-degree sounscape and highly positional audio quality. This headset also offers 3D audio for some games that support this feature – for an all-around sound experience even from above and below the player.
The PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset captures your voice clearly for better in-game strategizing between you and your teammates through its built-in dual microphones. These mics not only focus on communication capability; they also come with a noise-cancelling feature to reduce the ambient noise that most headsets pick up.
Designed specifically to sustain your gaming experience for longer hours, the PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset features an extended battery life so you can play non-stop for up to 14 hours.
- Compact and foldable
- Solid surround sound
- Wireless compatibility only for PS4
- Not for outdoor use
- Weak bass sound for some games
Best Gaming Headsets For Xbox One
1. HyperX CloudX Stinger Core Gaming Headset
- 40mm directional drivers
- Flexible, swivel-to-mute microphone
- Adjustable solid steel slider
- Compatibility: Xbox One, Xbox One S and controllers (with 3.5mm port)
- Enhanced bass reproduction
- Rubber padded headband
- Memory foam ear cups
The HyperX CloudX Stinger Core is designed for the budget-conscious console gamer. This was a released as a more affordable alternative to the premium CloudX headset and was advertised as an entry-level headset – it was intended specifically for beginner gamers.
Don’t be fooled by its cheap price; the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core offers immersive in-game audio with its enhanced bass reproduction and crystal clear sound for both lows and highs. Its sound quality works extremely well when playing war games, as the vibrating bass makes explosions and gunshots sound phenomenal.
The HyperX CloudX Stinger Core prioritizes durability and comfort above all else. The ear cups are made of soft memory foam that effectively cushions your ears for a more comfortable fit, while providing enough ventilation to keep your ears cool and sweat free for those long gaming sessions. Its high-quality, adjustable solid steel sliders allow more movement – they swivel vertically and also rotate horizontally so you can adjust them to your liking. The frame is supported by a rubber headband padding that protects your scalp from the roughness of the plastic.
At the core of its sound system are the 40mm directional drivers that are specially tuned for enhanced bass. It may not have excellent noise-cancelling features, but the closed-back ear pads perfectly cup around your ears to slightly isolate external noise. The frequency response of the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core goes up to 20,000 Hz that delivers a good low range sound. It also features a flexible, swiveling microphone that you can move around to any position you want and conveniently mute by flipping it vertically.
- Beginner and budget friendly
- Works well with war games
- Well-ventilated ear cups
- No built-in noise cancellation feature
- Functional but average audio quality
- Not wireless
2. Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gaming Headset
- Wireless direct connection to console
- Windows Sonic surround sound
- Superhuman hearing
- 50mm over-ear speakers
- High-sensitivity flip up microphone
- Mic monitoring system
- Extended battery life: up to 15 hours
This gaming headset is all about simplicity and convenience. The appeal of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 lies in its easy-to-use key feature: it allows you to directly connect to your Xbox One console without the need of messy cables or adapter.
When it comes to audio profile, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 gives you a balanced and neutral sound. It features Windows Sonic surround sound for a more realistic and virtual experience, with extra intensity on vocals and instruments so that you can hear dialogue better. Another standout feature is its so-called “superhuman” hearing that lets you hear footsteps even from behind you – making it an excellent option for games like Fortnite. Its powerful 50mm over-ear speakers give you a well extended bass that produces a deep rumbling sound in some games and great treble accuracy so you can hear more detailed sounds.
What sets this headset apart from similar ones on the market is its exceptionally long batter life; its onboard rechargeable battery lets you play nonstop for up to 15 hours – great for those extremely long gaming sessions. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 also features a comfort driven design that specially caters to gamers who wear glasses, so they sit comfortable on your face while you play.
Another standout feature is its high-sensitivity flip up microphone that captures your voice for a crisper, clearer sound. You no longer need to worry about shouting to your teammates so you can be heard – the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 has a mic monitoring system so you can hear the volume of your voice while you play.
- Perfect choice if you wear glasses
- Balanced audio quality
- Lack of customization options
- Difficult controls
- Less-than-average build quality
How We Picked
The list we came up with here is as comprehensive as it gets. Our research shows that different headsets cater to different needs and preferences. To make it onto our list, the headsets we choose follow a pattern of eight similar criteria:
1. Excellent audio profile
The audio profile covers all sound aspects, including in particular good bass quality, low-range sound and accurate treble frequency.
2. Surround sound
An immersive gaming experience requires a headset that provides you with sounds coming from all directions – an excellent 360 degree soundscape.
Gaming headsets are designed for long, intense gaming sessions. Focus was particularly on the fit of the headband, softness of the ear pads and overall breathability.
4. Noise isolation
Note that we focused on isolation – not cancellation. This is because a good quality headset will not block all external sounds, but instead, only isolate disturbing noises that distract the game.
5. Built-in microphone
You’ll notice that all the headsets on this list have a built-in mic, whether detachable or not. The characteristics we focused on were stabilized sound and accurate voice volume.
6. Sturdy, durable build
A sturdy build means that a headset can withstand ordinary wear and tear as well as last for a minimum of one year without any change in appearance or sound quality.
7. Budget-friendly price
It was tough to stay within the price range, but all the gaming headsets on this list are below $200 so that you get the best quality at an affordable price.
8. Battery life
Our minimum requirement was that the battery can last at least 8 hours of non-stop intense gaming, without any effect on playing quality. The longer, the better.
How We Tested
Using the abovementioned gaming criteria, we started out with the most popular picks on the market. Our initial testing focused mainly on durability and comfort. Common complaints include:
- Uncomfortable head band that puts too much pressure on skull
- Covered ear pads that heat up after only a few hours of gaming and lack breathability
- Sidebars that lack flexibility or don’t swivel
- Headsets that are too bulky or too heavy
The next step was to expand our tests. We believe that the best way to test how effective headsets are by going directly to the users themselves – avid gamers who spend the majority of their day immersed in games. For this, we relied heavily on Amazon reviews and online surveys.
The last step was to actually test how the headsets stand against different games – particularly multiplayer/co-op games. We subjected them to hours and hours of Overwatch, FortNite, Call of Duty and even some popular online games like LoL. To test microphone quality, we recorded one player’s voice with background sound to check if the mics could successfully isolate external noise.
The headsets on this list were carefully selected to cater to every gamer’s needs, whether beginner or pro. And by staying within the $200 price range, they provide you with the best quality sound without having to spend too much.
So which gaming headset should you get? This list provides you with the best there is on the market today, but ultimately the choice belongs to you.