While gaming with speakers can provide an immersive, theatre-like experience, headsets have come so far to reproduce such effects either through analog or digital means. This provides gamers with a flexible tool to aid them in enjoying the whole experience or give them the edge over opponents in competitive titles.
But first of all, what is a gaming headset?
|ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless||Wireless||4.9|
|SteelSeries Arctis 7||Wireless||4.8|
|Sennheiser GAME ZERO||Wired||4.7|
|Razer Nari Ultimate||Wireless||4.8|
|HyperX Cloud II||Wired||4.6|
|Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless||Wireless||4.6|
|SteelSeries Arctis 5 2020 Edition||Wireless||4.7|
|Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Pro||Wireless||4.7|
|Corsair HS60 Pro||Wired||4.5|
|SteelSeries Arctis 1||Wired||4.5|
|HyperX Cloud Stinger||Wired||4.4|
What is a Gaming Headset?
You might think that the “gaming” tag on these headsets is just another marketing ploy to attract and win the gaming crowd over. But gaming headsets actually have significant differences over conventional models, offering features that provide advantages in this specific application.
One distinction that sets gaming headsets apart from other variants is the inclusion of an integrated microphone in the design. While gamers can definitely get a separate microphone unit to incorporate in their gaming/streaming rig, it often adds to the overall cost, which can be challenging for first-time gamers with a limited budget at hand.
Also, these built-in microphones are already on par or even better than standalone models, providing high-quality, lag-free voice transmission for efficient in-game communications in a convenient package.
Another important feature that gaming headphones bring to the table is surround sound. This provides users with a 360° soundscape to provide an accurate representation of your in-game character/avatar’s position and how sounds (gunfire, footsteps) work in relation to it. This is especially important for competitive shooters that require precise knowledge of the opponents’ position by using sonic information to gain the upper hand.
With that aside, here are some of the best gaming headsets in 2021.
Best Gaming Headset – Overall Best Picks
If you prioritize your in-game audio for professional or competitive gaming applications, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go with the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless. This top-tier brand offers an equally premium wireless audio solution that holds some of the best sonic performance out of the box. It comes with a well-balanced sound profile for that plug-and-play experience but can be tweaked further with the proprietary Command Center software via a graphic EQ for a fast and easy adjustment process.
The ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless comes with its patented ASTRO Audio V2 for an immersive listening experience that allows you to pinpoint in-game acoustic data with deadly precision – and can even be further enhanced with the help of Dolby Audio. This wireless headset can also accommodate console and PC platforms with ease, the latter being made possible with a USB sound card to maximize functionality when using a gaming PC. The boom mic also does a fantastic job of relaying your voice with a crystal-clear transmission signal and improved noise-reduction capabilities.
As for build quality, the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless sports a robust construction that looks and feels premium to the touch, although this also adds to the overall weight of the unit, giving it a heft that might be uncomfortable for some during extended usage. Its charging dock also acts as a wireless transmitter to provide a low-latency experience while fueling the unit with up to 17 hours of battery life. This gaming headset also adds a customizable option with the Mod Kit, allowing users to switch to synthetic leather headbands and ear cushions for improved comfort.
- Excellent sound output
- Great microphone performance
- Well-balanced sonic profile out of the box
- Premium construction
- Pricier than most gaming headsets
- Noise reduction can be improved upon
If there’s one thing any shopper dislikes, it’s confusing model names for a family of products that makes the whole ordeal challenging. It’s a good thing that SteelSeries sticks with the traditional “higher number means better” scheme, which is evident with the SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headset. This top of the line model is a step-up from its siblings of the same name, where the distinction lies in the number assigned to it.
It’s no secret that SteelSeries makes great gaming headsets, with this one boasting a premium construction and a refined steel headband to support its weight – although expect a hefty profile that might strain the neck during extended gaming sessions. This is augmented by the elastic woven ski goggle fabric that balances the weight evenly while eliminating pressure points. You also get the proprietary AirWeave cushions that take care of over-ear comfort and breathability.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 boasts s1 drivers that deliver crisp and ultra-low distortion audio, working together with the noise-canceling ClearCast microphone to provide an excellent comms experience. This is taken even further by the DTS 7.1 surround audio to transmit a precise in-game sonic representation that gives an edge in competitive games. All of this is delivered by the lossless, low-latency 2.4 GHz connection to give you a cable-free experience with over 24 hours of battery life to keep you focused on the game.
- Premium construction
- Maximum comfort
- Excellent sound profile and features
- Clear comms via noise-canceling microphone
- Wireless connection might not be optimal for competitive applications
Another contender for the top gaming headset category is the Logitech G935. This is a wireless gaming headset that makes use of a 2.4 GHz wireless signal for a low-latency listening experience. Speaking of wireless, this gaming headset offers up to 12 hours of uninterrupted use, which in all honesty, is a bit underwhelming for its price premium. If your gaming sessions don’t stretch that long, however, this unit won’t fail to provide a comprehensive set of features to give you that tactical edge over your opponents. Do note that you can also add an extra audio source with the included 3.5mm cable, making it viable for streamers that need to monitor their audio output’s mix.
The Logitech G935 sports robust 50mm Pro-G audio drivers that are crafted from a patented woven hybrid mesh to deliver a balanced sound profile that brings out even the tiniest sonic details while minimizing distortion at the same time. Armed with the DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound technology, the Logitech G935 provides an immersive listening experience that perfectly represents any game’s sonic landscape for that accurate 3d audio-location feedback. It is also equipped with a 6mm mic that banks on vocal clarity and mutes via a flip mechanism for convenience.
Of course, the Logitech G935 won’t even be considered for the spot if it didn’t offer comfort, especially during long gaming durations. The padded steel headband supports the headset’s weight while alleviating pressure points, along with the breathable cushions to keep your ears cool at all times. You also get additional style points with the full-spectrum Lightsync RGB features that can be customized in the G HUB software, along with three programmable macros that you can access during intense gaming situations to activate your function of choice.
- Durable construction
- Comfortable design
- Excellent sound quality
- Reliable comms operation
- Low battery life
While Sennheiser is known for catering to the studio market, this doesn’t limit its reach into other niches like gaming. Enter the Sennheiser GAME ZERO, the brand’s own spin on the gaming headset craze. Unlike most of its counterparts, this gaming headset prioritizes simplicity and functionality over gimmicks. It sports a minimalist design, akin to conventional music headphones except for the glaring addition of a boom mic. While lighter in weight than most offerings, the Sennheiser GAME ZERO still packs a premium construction that is easily discernable by sight and touch.
This gaming headphone has a foldable design geared for portability and comes with a rugged carrying case making it a convenient solution for pro-gamers who frequent LAN events. It also doesn’t forgo comfort as the Sennheiser GAME ZERO sports a padded headband that evenly supports the unit’s weight without irritating contact points, and premium fitted leatherette memory foam earpads to provide breathability and an audio seal for added noise-reduction.
The Sennheiser GAME ZERO is equipped with proprietary Sennheiser drivers that make use of their original transducer technology to provide an immersive listening experience while the flip-to-mute boom mic offers clear vocal comms augmented by active noise cancellation to improve in-game interactions. This gaming headset also sports multi-platform compatibility thanks to interchangeable cables so you can jump from PC to console to mobile seamlessly.
- No-frills, premium design
- Excellent sound performance
- Multi-platform compatible
- Lacks surround sound features
When it comes to premium gaming peripherals, expect Razer to be waiting at the corner. The Razer Nari Ultimate is the brand’s high-end representative for gaming headsets, which we’ll dig through in this review. This gaming headset matches its price in terms of build quality, sporting a robust construction from high-quality materials without sacrificing its lightweight profile. This is due to the unibody aluminum frame instead of steel that supports the headset’s overall weight. Coupled with an auto-adjusting headband that shapes to the contour of the user’s head and plush leatherette cushions with a cooling gel filling, and you’re set for hours of gaming without the discomfort usually associated with it.
Performance-wise, the Razer Nari Ultimate doesn’t disappoint as it comes with robust 50mm drivers that work together with the THX Spatial 7.1 Audio feature for an immersive in-game listening experience. You also get access to the Game/Chat audio balance which mixes the optimal level of in-game and chat-based audio and works together with the retractable mic. But what really ups the ante for this gaming headset is Razer’s Hypersense, an intuitive haptic feature that picks up audio cues and transforms it into real-time vibrations to simulate a 4D experience.
You can opt for wired 3.5mm audio or wireless 2.4 GHz connection to fit your needs, where the latter offers up to 12 meters of transmission range and a 20-hour battery lifespan. As per usual, the Razer Nari Ultimate sports the brand’s patented RGB feature called Chroma, which can be customized according to your tastes.
- Premium build quality
- Maximum comfort for hours of gaming
- Excellent audio output
- Intuitive Hypersense feature adds another immersive factor to the mix
- Priced higher versus competitors with similar specs
- Microphone performance is hit or miss
Best Gaming Headsets Under $100
First off on our list is the HyperX Cloud Alpha. Coming from the brand known for its price to performance value in terms of build quality and actual gaming performance. This particular model sports a rugged yet lightweight aluminum frame to facilitate long hours of gaming without ear fatigue and discomfort, further improved by interchangeable over-ear cup pads (leatherette and velour) to fit your comfort and fitment preferences.
Hardware-driven virtual surround sound is the name of the game for the HyperX Cloud II, as it is equipped with decent HiFi 53mm drivers for sonic precision in-game. While the headset doesn’t have an active noise cancellation feature, the ear cups provide adequate noise-blocking due to its thick construction, albeit a slight tradeoff in comfort.
In terms of performance, the HyperX Cloud II offers improved bass and a decent mid-range, but just like most gaming headsets, it suffers from mediocre treble levels. This doesn’t really impact your gaming needs that much, but if you’re an audiophile who likes to listen to music in high-fidelity, you might have to buy a dedicated pair solely for such purposes. The removable microphone has active noise-cancellation, however, allowing you to relay crystal clear callouts and comms to win every encounter.
You can adjust the volume and other settings of the HyperX Cloud II with the robust inline features in the USB control box for convenience – boasting a plug-and-play operation that doesn’t require any kind of driver installation to get you started in the blink of an eye.
- Hardware-driven virtual 7.1 surround sound
- Robust construction
- Plug and play operation
- Removable microphone
- Noise cancellation features
- Can be a bit uncomfortable
- Can be a bit tricky to set up on console platforms
You can’t go wrong by going the Corsair route with the HS70 Pro Wireless. This wireless gaming headset is on par or even better than most of its price range peers, boasting a rugged aluminum frame that provides an optimal fit over most head sizes without fatiguing contact points due to its lightweight profile.
To facilitate its wireless functions, the Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless uses a low-latency 2.4 GHz USB adapter and can allow optimal operation at up to 40 ft. of range, while carrying enough juice to provide 16 hours of battery life, ensuring that you won’t run out of power even during the most intense of gaming binges.
As for sonic performance, the Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless boasts custom-tuned 50 mm Neodymium audio drivers that cater to a wide range of frequencies, while offering 7.1 virtual surround sound to provide an immersive gaming experience without sacrificing real-time in-game sound information that can mean the difference between winning or losing. It also has a removable unidirectional microphone that is Discord-certified to make yourself heard in a clear and efficient manner, boosted by its noise-cancellation features.
You can control the headsets via quick-access buttons on the ear cups for mute and volume, while the Corsair iCUE software provides a more comprehensive interface that can tweak equalizer settings and sidetone control, among others. You’re also treated to hours of comfort thanks to the memory foam earpads that are both soft and breathable.
- Premium construction
- Comfortable design
- Excellent sonic performance (7.1 surround support)
- Good microphone
- May lack in sonic texture due to wireless design
- A bit on the pricey side
If you don’t mind going for the full $100 cash-in, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2020 Edition does everything you need in a premium gaming headset while looking good in doing so. While you can definitely grab similarly-spec’d gaming headsets for cheaper prices, this model just has that right balance of gamer aesthetics and subtle professionalism.
It features a Ski Goggle suspension band that contours across your head for even weight distribution and AirWeave cushions to maximize comfort and breathability for your ears during extended gaming periods. The SteelSeries Arctis 5 2020 Edition also sports improved ergonomic thanks to the on-ear controls where you can access volume and mute buttons on the fly. This gaming headset is also bound to make you look good thanks to the Prism RGB lighting where you can choose from 16.8 million colors as well as dynamic effects.
For sonic performance, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2020 Edition boasts S1 speaker drivers that are engineered to provide impressive clarity and low distortion sound, coupled with the DTS Headphone:X v2 surround sound feature to promote pinpoint accuracy when providing in-game audio information. This is augmented by the ClearCast bidirectional microphone that provides a crystal-clear voice transmission and packed with a noise cancellation feature, perfect for comms or streaming applications.
- Excellent sonic performance
- Better surround sound over competing models
- Very comfortable design
- Premium aesthetics
- You can buy cheaper models that pack similar features
One of the most versatile choices on our list is the Logitech G433, sporting a modular design that you can mix and match depending on your needs. This gaming headset is crafted from rugged yet lightweight aluminum, a popular choice among manufacturers due to the amount of comfort and durability it brings to the table. Moreover, this unit has a unique protective shell made of hydrophobic, stain-resistant fabric for added security against physical damage, although it may be more prone to dust adherence.
You also get two sets of earpads – sports mesh and microfiber – so you can choose whichever fits best for your skin. For performance, the Logitech G433 relies on the combination of its advanced Pro-G drivers and DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound, the former providing an impressive balanced sonic quality augmented by anti-distortion technology while the latter giving you directional precision for that competitive edge no matter what game you play. It does present some noticeable audio bleed and weaker noise cancellation features, so bear that in mind before jumping the gun.
As mentioned above, the Logitech G433 boasts versatility like no other: it has a removable boom microphone and interchangeable cables to suit your needs. One has a USB header while the other ends in a 3.5mm jack – serving PCs, consoles, and mobiles without discrimination. This also means that the headset can be used for daily activities thanks to its modular design.
- Excellent build quality
- Modular design
- Compatible with multiple platforms
- Decent sonic performance
- Sound bleed and noise cancellation aren’t the best
- Dust-prone fabric cover
The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Pro is a viable choice for those who want comfort over anything else when gaming at extended periods of time. That being said, this gaming headset can go toe to toe with some of the more performance-geared models in our list.
It has a rugged metal headband with suspended padding for balanced weight support, while the swappable memory foam Aerofit cushions take care of ear comfort and breathability, albeit unable to block most of the external noise when worn. It is even ergonomically designed to cater to eyeglasses wearers thanks to the ProSpecs relief system to remove temple pressure and improve user focus in competitive games.
The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Pro’s robust 50 mm NanoClear speakers provide a decent balance of audio levels with anti-distortion functions to transmit crystal-clear comms or precise sound location in-game – which is enhanced with its versatile compatibility with Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos. Moreover, the Pro Gaming microphone uses Turtle Beach’s TruSpeak technology allows for crisp vocal transmission and almost-noiseless performance.
- Comfortable design for long gaming sessions
- Durable build quality
- Decent sonic performance
- Subpar headphone noise cancellation
- Short cable
While most of us know Corsair for their rather steep prices, the brand also knows a thing or two on how to approach budget-oriented gamers. The Corsair HS60 is one such example, providing a versatile solution whether you game on the PC or consoles. It sports a rugged metal construction for long-lasting durability, although do keep in mind that you might encounter slight discomfort due to the weight it adds. That aside, its padded headband and adjustable memory foam ear cups are more than a delight to use, offering comfort and breathability that you can benefit from no matter how long your binge goes.
It features precision-tuned 50 mm Neodymium drivers that offer a wide range and accuracy to users, but this model has notably boosted bass levels. As said earlier, the Corsair HS60 is compatible with PCs, consoles, and mobile devices due to its 3.5mm audio jack that offers stereo sound. With the included USB adapter, however, users can unlock 7.1 surround sound on the PC platform to aid precision for in-game sonic location.
The Corsair HS60 also has an optimized unidirectional boom microphone that is Discord-certified to transmit lag-free, crystal clear voice data and is aided by noise-cancellation to further improve its performance. It also has a modular design to allow you to use the headset as a daily driver, but do note that the cable doesn’t have an in-line microphone for taking calls.
- Decent sonic performance
- Compatible with multiple platforms
- Crystal-clear microphone transmission
- Can be used as a daily driver
- Durable construction
- A bit heavy due to metal build
- Can’t facilitate calls without boom mic due to the lack of in-line microphone
Best Gaming Headset Under $50
Some budget gaming headsets sacrifice versatility to cut down manufacturing costs. Fret not, however, as the Logitech G432 offers a customizable sonic experience thanks to its intuitive mix of hardware and software-based solutions. This gaming headset carries an overtly gimmicky design – which may be a make or break factor for some of you out there. Its build quality is also not the best in the business, composed of more plastic than there is metal, but at this price point, you really can’t argue.
That being said, the Logitech G432 does offer a comfortable gaming experience thanks to its lightweight leatherette earcups with a 90° range of adjustment that you can tweak to your desired position. For added convenience, this budget gaming headset works well with console, PC, and mobile platforms thanks to its 3.5mm audio jack and USB DAC.
As for sonic performance, the Logitech G432 makes use of large 50mm audio drivers and the DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound technology to provide decent output range and level without compromising pinpoint accuracy when in the midst of critical in-game moments. Out of the box, this gaming headset is a bit lacking in the treble and bass department, but this is where it shines: the Logitech G HUB software allows the fine-tuning of the sound profile via presets or a graphic equalizer – achieving the desired performance whether it be media or gaming applications. The microphone is surprisingly good at this price point as well, facilitating a clear, almost noise-free, vocal transmission and can be muted by swiveling it up.
- Customizable sound profile
- Versatile platform compatibility
- Comfortable design
- Excellent microphone performance
- Cheap build quality
- Gimmicky aesthetics
- Non-removable microphone
The smaller brother to our Steelseries entry in the $100 list, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 offers reputable performance and quality at a more affordable price. While it does sport a steel-reinforced headband to provide a stable and comfortable area of support for the user, its overall build quality is reflective of its price. It is mostly built out of plastic, which can feel cheap and may increase the risk of damage, especially for users who just toss their equipment around. On the flip side, the plastic structure significantly reduces the unit’s weight which is helpful during extended gaming sessions.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 also provides a multi-platform functionality thanks to its universal-fitting 3.5mm audio jack that can accommodate PC, consoles, and mobile devices with ease. As for audio performance, this gaming headset has a better sound profile than most offerings in its price range out of the box, albeit some details might be obscured due to the cheaper drivers installed in it.
It also features the same ClearCast microphone found in their premium models, offering exceptional vocal transmission thanks to its noise-cancellation features, and is Discord-certified as a proof of its reliability as a communications device. The boom microphone is also detachable, making it a convenient solution to carry on your daily commute – although the lack of an in-line microphone might pose a problem when you are expecting calls on your mobile device. For the price, however, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 provides significant advantages against competing models in the $50 bracket.
- Decent sound quality vs competing models
- Detachable ClearCast mic for vocal clarity and transmission
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Multi-platform compatibility
- Cheap-feeling build
- No Steelseries Engine support
Looking for a Sades sa902 review? Most of our previous recommendations in this list come from known brands, and it isn’t exactly rocket science as to how these companies built their reputations. For this entry, however, we look to the newcomer, Sades, with its own offering: the Sades SA902. As for build quality, it does feel a bit cheap and fragile due to the plastic structure – but you really can’t complain for its price. It even seems more attractive at this price point, as it is significantly cheaper than the other entries despite similar levels of craftsmanship.
It has a padded headband and four-piece earpads that help cushion the pressure points to improve the wearer’s comfort, but the lining on the earpads get warm quite fast due to the lining that doesn’t permit much breathability as opposed to mesh variants.
Its closed-back design also sets it apart from other headphones in its price range, offering a passive means of noise-cancellation, which is quite decent considering its implementation. Apart from that, the Sades SA902’s audio performance isn’t really stellar due to the lower-end drivers it comes with, but it does have notably a better bass range than most cheap gaming headsets. You even get access to 7.1 surround sound thanks to its USB interface that can be controlled using an in-line module for on the fly adjustment. Its microphone is also one of the most resilient designs around thanks to its silicone build and can be swiveled up when not in use.
- Decent audio performance
- Has 7.1 surround sound support
- Cheapest option in the list
- Not the best in terms of build quality
- Can get warm fast due to non-breathable earpad lining
One of the most well-rounded gaming headsets under $50 is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. As evidenced by its premium relative above, HyperX doesn’t pull punches in terms of quality and performance no matter the price bracket.
This gaming headset doesn’t dwell too much in gamer aesthetics, sporting only subtle detailing and accents to boot, but has a fairly decent plastic construction that is significantly better than most models in this area. This makes the headset lightweight, augmenting the comfort already being offered by its soft memory foam padding and large earcup design that can be rotated to up to 90°.
As for its sound profile, the HyperX Cloud Stinger offers a great listening experience out of the box via its 50mm directional drivers thanks to well-defined levels in the treble and mid-range, while the bass might be too overwhelming when it comes to thundering sound effects or explosions. As for the microphone, this gaming headset sports a non-detachable one that provides crystal-clear voice transmission for competitive-level comms or streaming applications – it’s probably safe to assume that it has one of the best microphones around.
You might have to purchase a separate USB dongle, however, if you wish to game on the PC platform and take advantage of virtual surround sound features as it only has a 3.5mm audio jack for connectivity by default.
- Well-rounded audio profile
- Decent, durable build quality
- Excellent microphone
- Comfortable design
- Bass frequency can be a bit heavy