A great headset can take your gaming experience to the next level. From hearing the subtle sounds of an approaching enemy to getting lost in the game’s immersive music, the right pair of headphones can make all the difference. However, finding the best headset for gaming can be overwhelming. Factors such as support, build quality, comfort, sound quality, and performance all come into play. If you want a new gaming headset, we’re here to help!
For this article, we tested over a dozen best gaming headsets and narrowed down our top 5 recommendations just for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Gaming Headsets
Here’s a checklist of important factors you should consider before purchasing.
Whether you’re using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation, choosing a headset compatible with your platform of choice is important. Usually, headsets with a 3.5mm connection work across most platforms. Using the headset jack, you can connect them to a PC, laptop, or console.
However, certain software-dependent features may not be supported on all platforms. For example, a headset like the Logitech Artemis Spectrum G633 is primarily marketed for PC and may not support premium features like 7.1 surround sound on a PlayStation 4. In this case, you may need to purchase console-specific headphones to fully enjoy all the features of your gaming headset.
Most entry-level gaming headphones are typically made of plastic to keep costs low. While these headphones may be more affordable, they may also be prone to creaking and require extra care to ensure they last.
If you want something more durable, consider gaming headphones made of steel or aluminum. While these headphones may be slightly more expensive than their plastic counterparts, they tend to last longer and offer better value for money.
Cable quality is also an important consideration when it comes to build quality. Many models today come with braided and tangle-free cables that offer extra durability.
Headband and Earcups
Comfort is key in gaming headphones, especially since gaming sessions can often run for hours. Lightweight gaming headphones are usually more comfortable since they put less stress on the head. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands, as they offer more flexibility and a personalized fit.
As for earcups, they can be made of either fabric or artificial leather material. Fabric-made earcups typically have a more breathable mesh design that offers comfort during long gaming sessions. Leather-made earcups have a closed configuration, providing better noise isolation from the outside world. Leather is also more durable but can make your ears sweaty in summer.
A gaming headset with a good microphone is crucial for communicating with your friends during multiplayer games. While most entry-level gaming headsets offer decent mic quality, look for headsets with background noise reduction features for the best voice chat experience.
If you’re a streamer, having a microphone that can filter out background noise is even more important. Some gaming headsets, like the Corsair Void RGB Elite, offer advanced features such as Echo Cancellation, Noise Suppression, and Automatic Gain Control, improving voice chat quality.
Wired or Wireless
Professional gamers often prefer wired headphones. These headphones offer smooth audio without any delays issues. But wireless headphones are becoming more popular these days. They offer features like cleaner and neater setups since there are no wires. Plus, they eliminate the possibility of static feedback and crackling that 3.5mm connections can be susceptible to. However, almost every wireless headset sacrifices a bit of audio quality, and they require charging between gaming sessions.
For those who want the best of both worlds, consider headphones that offer wired and wireless connections. The JBL Quantum 800 uses a 2.4GHz USB wireless RF dongle that allows you to easily connect it to your PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One. Moreover, the headset includes a detachable 3.5mm cable for wired gaming. You can switch between wired and wireless modes as you like.
Our 5 Best Gaming Headsets in 2023
1. Razer Blackshark V2 – Best Budget Gaming Headset
The Razer Blackshark V2 is a gaming headset that delivers on both sound quality and price point. Its innovative THX profiles make for a nuanced and realistic immersive gaming experience, while the sleek design and snug fit make it a great choice for esports tournaments.
The 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers are thoughtfully designed with discrete ports to deliver a rich and clear sound, rivaling more expensive headsets like the HyperX Cloud Alpha. There’s a clear richness to the bass and mid frequencies that you only get with premium headsets.
The only downside is that properly fitting the headset can be challenging, and navigating the Razer software can be tedious. However, the BlackShark V2 remains a fantastic value and a great choice for gamers looking for high-quality sound at an affordable price.
Overall, the BlackShark V2 is a gaming headset that punches above its weight class and will impress even the most discerning audiophile.
- Immersive gaming experience
- Slim & Sleek profile
- Comfortable to wear
- Very affordable price point
- Restricted headset design
- Razor’s software remains tedious to work
2. Hyper X Cloud Alpha – Best Wireless Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless headset is another impressive piece of technology. What stands out the most is its remarkable battery life. It can last up to 300 hours in wireless mode, longer if you go the wired route. Think of the time you can save between charges!
The headset is lightweight and comfortable to wear for long sessions. It features soft padding in the top band and ear cups, making it suitable for extended use. As for the sound quality, with excellent directional sound for gaming and a fantastic music-listening experience.
Our only minor complaint is that the microphone is standard. Although it works fine for a game chat, we expected better from such a premium headset. Oh, and the Hyper X software also needs improvements.
Overall, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is an excellent option for PC and PlayStation gamers, offering low latency and a customizable sound profile. Although not compatible with Xbox, these headphones come at a reasonable price point and are a great lower mid-range gaming headset.
- Legendary battery life of 300 hours
- Comfortable to wear
- Finicky software
3. SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro – Best Premium Gaming Headset
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is a high-end wireless gaming headset with impressive features and performance. While it comes with a premium price tag, the Nova Pro justifies its cost with its innovative design, exceptional sound quality, and versatile connectivity options.
Its multi-system connect feature lets you connect to two different devices simultaneously via 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth. This allows you to listen to music or take phone calls on your phone while gaming on your PC without interrupting your gaming experience.
The Arctis Nova Pro’s design is also noteworthy, with its sleek and modern appearance setting it apart from previous Arctis models. The headset is lightweight and comfortable, with a ski-goggle style headband that evenly distributes the headset’s weight across your head.
As for sound quality, the newly designed drivers deliver a wide frequency response and high-resolution audio. The DAC and Sonar equalizer allows for fine-tuning of the audio settings, while the noise-canceling microphone ensures crystal-clear communication with your teammates.
With a battery life of 20 hours, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice during a long gaming session.
- Fantastic bass and audio quality
- Multi-functional DAC
- Comfortable, lightweight, and highly adjustable
- Weak AI Noise-canceling
4. Corsair Void RGB Elite – Best Versatile Gaming Headset
The Corsair Void RGB Elite is an affordable, high-quality headset providing a great gaming, movie, and music audio experience. It has a balanced low-to-high frequency range that can deliver excellent sound quality if you mix it correctly on your end.
The noise-canceling is standard for over-ear headphones, and while it won’t completely shut out the world, it reduces external noise enough to enjoy what you’re listening to. The advertised 7.1 surround sound capability works well and is useful in games, making it easy to pinpoint the noise direction.
Moreover, the design is sleek, with adjustable lighting that you can customize to your liking. However, the mic is rigid and only folds up from a joint connected to the left ear speaker, which can sometimes cause issues with voice detection. The Corsair Void RGB Elite is built for larger heads, so it might not be as snug as some would prefer, but it can be tightened easily.
While the Corsair Void RGB Elite may not be perfect, it is undoubtedly an excellent purchase at this price point, and it beats out many other similar options on the market. If you’re looking for high-quality headphones that don’t break the bank, the Corsair Void RGB Elite is an excellent option.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Great range
- Value for money
- Rigid mic
5. The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 – BestGaming Console Headset
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a great wireless headset that stands out as one of the best game options. This peripheral boasts superb sound, exceptional noise-blocking ability, and two types of wireless functionality.
Despite the tight fit that might require some getting used to and inconsistent volume levels, these headphones have resolved the previous generation’s problems. The plush memory foam earcups are a significant improvement, providing comfort comparable to high-end headphones like the Bose Soundlink 2 and Beats Solo 3.
The large 50mm speakers can handle deeper bass while maintaining clear treble. The microphone is ingeniously positioned, folding up inside the headphones, and the headset’s design looks high-quality and professional. Sound quality is 4x better than the previous generation, with plenty of volume, no crackling even at excessive bass, and better clarity that can capture subtle sounds such as car engines and footsteps.
The connectivity is outstanding, with direct wireless to Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X, PC via the Xbox Wireless adapter and Bluetooth, and mobile devices via Bluetooth. Overall, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is an exceptional wireless gaming headset worth the investment.
- Excellent mic and sound quality
- Support Bluetooth
- Easy volume controls
- Compatible with most gaming consoles
- Snug Fit
- Built quality could have been better
Best Gaming Headset Brands Today
Below is a sneak peek at top gaming headset brands today.
- Razer specializes in gaming products. Both casual gamers and professionals highly regard its lineup of gaming headsets. The company is known for creating high-quality tools for gaming and warfare, and its headsets are often seen in eSports events, gaming cafes, and popular streamers’ channels.
- Logitech, on the other hand, has been in the business for much longer and has been a part of the golden age of computers. While it didn’t start as a gaming brand, it fully understands the value of the gaming niche, which is why it has a sub-brand for it in the first place.
- HyperX began as a memory provider and has become a prominent gaming brand. It has partnerships with NBA teams, eSports organizations, and streamers, making it one of this list’s most popular gaming headset brands.
- Sennheiser, a brand that has been around since 1945, offers high-quality headsets perfect for gaming, streaming, and other applications. Its products are often seen in professional settings, such as recording studios, and the brand is synonymous with quality and reliability.
- SteelSeries has a focus on developing high-end gaming peripherals. The SteelSeries Arctis line of headsets is popular among gamers due to its exceptional sound quality and comfortable design. The company also offers a range of wired and wireless options at varying price points, from the budget-friendly Arctis 1 to the high-end Arctis Pro Wireless.
- Astro Gaming is known for its high-end Astro A40 and A50 headsets that professional gamers and eSports teams use. The Astro A50 wireless headset is popular among gamers due to its excellent sound quality and comfortable design. Astro Gaming also offers a range of wired and wireless options at different price points.
- Turtle Beach focuses on delivering high-quality sound and performance. They offer a range of wired and wireless headsets at varying prices, from the budget-friendly Recon 70 to the high-end Elite Pro 2. The company is particularly popular among console gamers with headsets compatible with Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Ultimately, the best gaming headset for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. If you’re looking for a high-end headset with advanced features and customization options, Razer Blackshark V2 may be the best option. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, HyperX Cloud Alpha or Turtle Beach may be a better fit.
Likewise, if you’re looking for exceptional sound quality and performance, SteelSeries or Astro Gaming may be the way to go. Depending on your wallet and preferences, you can choose the one that suits you best.