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Best Gaming Headsets 2021 | Gaming Headphone Reviews

Having the fitting headset could make for extremely immersive gaming. Surrounding your ears with in-game sound helps you hear each element from the path of enemy footsteps to the ambient noises of a digital metropolis. Plus, in on-line multiplayer video games, an honest microphone can suppress background noises for clear communication in essentially the most essential moments. But with most efficiency gaming headsets coming in at round $200, it may be tempting to as an alternative put that important chunk of cash towards a 4K show, new video games, or extra storage. If you’re in the hunt for the very best expertise, a very good pair of headphones are value the associated fee. And with correct sound unveiling new layers of element in your video games, music, and films, characters and environments spring to life round you.

Check out fast data beneath of the highest 5 gaming headsets from our testing, then scroll deeper for extra useful shopping for data and full opinions of those fashions plus different high-ranking choices.

The Differences Between Gaming Headsets

Most headphones for gaming have neodymium drivers—which convert electrical sign into sound transferred by way of a coil—offering clear high quality and nice bass. Though some do use different varieties, resembling a planar transducer, which makes use of a flat wire membrane (as an alternative of a coil) to make audio sound extra practical.

Frequency response represents the vary of base, center, and treble sounds, with the decrease quantity representing the bottom and better representing treble. The bigger the vary, the extra exact the sound might be. The most typical vary is 20 hertz to twenty,000 Hz, and something broader than that can enhance the variety of sound—i.e. increased highs and decrease lows—that you simply’ll hear. Note that merely having a powerful frequency response doesn’t alone equal unbelievable sound. The seal of the headphones (figuring out the quantity of outdoor noise they will block) additionally has an impression, as does the distinction between {surround} sound and 3D (or digital) sound—though options like these are sometimes as much as private desire. For occasion, 3D sound will present a extra immersive expertise notably for first-person-shooting video games, permitting you to listen to sounds from the path they arrive from in an setting.

editor trying out the headset

Trevor Raab

Besides the difficulty of sound high quality, different components resembling consolation, comfort, and connectivity additionally affect your gameplay. The most evident determination you most likely must make is between wired and Bluetooth fashions. While wi-fi connectivity offers you extra mobility, it’s nonetheless exhausting to beat the sound high quality of a wired headset. For wired choices, 3.5mm is the most typical port, however some could have optical, Type-C, or Type-A ports, making them suitable with newer telephones and laptops.

How We Selected and Tested

To slim down our testing pool of gaming headsets, we use our information of the tech, discuss with designers and engineers, and seek the advice of different skilled opinions, in addition to tens of 1000’s of client scores. Once we now have our picks referred to as in, we take a look at every pair of headphones over a month at their default sound profile. While we performed the gamut of genres from RPGs to racing video games to first-person-shooters for a normal deal with of baseline sound, we selected Mafia III: Definitive Edition as our benchmark title. This entry within the sequence options cinematic cutscenes, is stuffed with explosive motion, and (most significantly) includes a full of life open world bustling with noise. No matter the place you go within the Louisiana-inspired metropolis of New Bordeaux, you’ll discover background conversations, dynamic audio sources like well-known 60s songs enjoying from passing vehicles and indoor radios, and varied atmospheric nature sounds.

our editor testing headsets using a ps5

Trevor Raab

You can discover any headsets that we haven’t gotten arms on but—however look promising from our expertise and information—within the “Other Great Options” part. We give every of these a Consumer Score, which represents the share of shoppers who rated every product not less than 4 out of 5 stars on retail websites like Amazon, Walmart, and the producers’ pages.


—BEST OVERALL—

Logitech G Pro X Wireless

Drivers: 50mm neodymium | Connectivity: USB-A RF dongle | Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz | Mic: Electret condenser microphone

G Pro X Wireless Headset

Logitech
amazon.com

$199.99

  • Clear sound and highly effective bass
  • Best microphone on a gaming headset

Logitech’s G Pro X Wireless gaming headset is the final headset we examined within the pool however proved to be the most effective by way of total efficiency. Straight out of the field, its sound profile was well-balanced, bringing out each minuscule element just like the faint buzz from an overhead gentle bulb or the multi-directional scattering of gravel on roads we drove over. The growth microphone is without doubt one of the greatest sounding we used and is the one possibility on the record to incorporate a foam windscreen to remove pops. While our voice on no account sound pretty much as good as on a devoted streaming microphone, there’s nearly no tinniness or phone-like overlay in recordings. Teammates in on-line video games confirmed that our microphone audio sounded fuller, with a consensus that that is essentially the most pure and clear enter we examined. Lastly, the battery life met its 20 hour declare, exceeding it by slightly over an hour, guaranteeing you’ll have greater than sufficient juice for longer sport periods.

In Mafia III, we heard conversations from a gathering of NPCs by way of the partitions of a resort room, the straightforward to overlook spinning of information in a surveillance station, and even the quiet laps of waves alongside the bayou. Cutscenes spring to life with clear dialogue and background noise because of a large soundscape that stayed particularly clear in mid efficiency. Other than visible cues, we might make out an assault was going to happen in-game by the screech of a automobile coming to an abrupt cease and distant shuffling of enemies. These headphones really shine with an enormous bass that isn’t distorted at peaks and permits for different sounds to return by way of—good for multiplayer video games. Whether we performed Call of Duty or PUBG, gunshots popped in line with their distance and resonated all through an area, whereas explosions boomed with none crackle.

editor plugging in the headset

Trevor Raab

After unboxing the Pro X Wireless, we swapped out the leatherette ear pads for the memory-foam fabric ones as an alternative—a pleasant choice to have. On the left cup sit all the usual controls; a quantity knob, an influence swap, a mute button, a 3.5mm microphone port, and a USB-C enter for charging. The construct high quality is meticulous, with a premium aluminum outer and well-padded metal headband. But the design doesn’t stand out from a fundamental pair of black headphones. While we appreciated this for the convenience of incorporating the G Pro X Wireless into a piece setup, if you need aptitude, look elsewhere.

They’re costly, however the Pro X Wireless are well-built with a deal with producing and relaying premium sound. While we want they have been a tad much less cumbersome and provided Bluetooth connectivity, there’s little total to complain about.


–BEST VALUE—

MetalSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

Drivers: 40mm neodymium | Connectivity: USB-C RF dongle, 3.5mm | Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz | Mic: Bidirectional noise-canceling growth microphone

Arctis 1 Wireless Headset

MetalSeries
amazon.com

$99.99

  • Clear dialogue and results
  • Affordable
  • Works throughout many gadgets
  • Lets in a bit extra sound than different choices

MetalSeries’s Arctis 1 Wireless gaming headset reproduces crisp, clear sound and works throughout all kinds of gadgets. The breathable mesh cups are extra porous than different supplies—nice for holding you from getting clammy, not so nice for blocking exterior sounds. However, the in depth connectivity, battery life, and vary are exhausting to prime for the worth.

Over the course of a month we simply used this headset with a PC and throughout all main online game consoles together with the Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X (by way of the USB-C to USB-A conversion adapter). You can relaxation assured understanding your system of alternative is suitable with these headphones. When utilizing the headset with an Xbox, we merely needed to slide a swap instantly on the dongle from “USB” to “Xbox” mode to get the system to acknowledge and output sound to the Arctis 1. Android telephones and tablets with a USB-C port are suitable with these cans, however we didn’t have a tool readily available to check their efficiency. Unlike the G Pro X Wireless above, you should utilize a 3.5mm wired connection to plug the headphones into the auxiliary port of supporting gadgets.

As audio poured by way of, we discovered the dialogue rivaled our prime choose in readability, particularly throughout various kinds of accents in Mafia’s dialogue. From thick East Coast mobster voices to whistles sprinkled all through southern twang, every speaker retained attribute sound traits—even NPCs exterior of cutscenes. While the bass from gunshots pops, explosions and low rumbles like these from the roar of the protagonist’s Ford Torino GT-inspired automobile aren’t as highly effective. On the brilliant facet, the sound is correct and doesn’t distort at peaks.

MetalSeries opted for an RF dongle over Bluetooth for transmitting audio wirelessly; in our testing, this translated to no noticeable lag and fewer drain on the battery. Like our prime choose, the Arctis 1 Wireless additionally exceeded its 20 hours of promised battery life. As for the microphone, our voice got here throughout fairly clear, if a bit quiet.


—BEST NOISE CANCELLATION—

Bose QuietConsolation 35 II

Drivers: 40mm neodynium | Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm | Frequency response: 10-20,000Hz | Mic: Electret condenser microphone

QuietConsolation 35 Series 2 Headset

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Remove growth mic to make use of as Bluetooth headphones
  • Expensive
  • No USB dongle for lagless wi-fi audio

As among the finest wi-fi headphones of all time first and a gaming headset second, the QuietConsolation 35 II offered the most effective sound out of our pool. This technology provides a growth mic and quantity wheel for improved sound enter and management whereas enjoying. At $300, they’re costly, and the dearth of an RF dongle for lag-free wi-fi audio saved them from incomes the highest spot. With that stated, the QC35 II are one in all solely two headsets on our record to help Bluetooth—solely with the growth mic eliminated, nevertheless. Once you do take it off, these make for comfy high-performance headphones with ANC, which may justify the worth as a 2-in-1 funding.

We discovered the matte black physique with rose gold elaborations to be fairly fashionable, providing some glitz with out going overboard. Throw the QC 35 II over your ears and also you’ll discover the plush leatherette cups run deep for a pleasant comfy seal. On the fitting cup sit the ability button and quantity controls, that are surprisingly straightforward to succeed in because of the emphasised and clicky buttons that stand out in your thumb. On the left facet, you’ll discover the noise-cancellation button to cycle by way of ranges. To activate the noise cancellation, you flip the headset on with the fitting facet energy swap.

We have been upset that we needed to plug the headset right into a controller on consoles since Bluetooth is disabled when the growth mic is hooked up. The expertise on PS5 is okay, however on two totally different Xbox Series X controllers, we discovered some gentle crackling coming from the left cup. In Mafia, the ensemble of strings washed over us, whereas the distant musings of digital pedestrians have been way more audible. In multiplayer video games, the wonderful imaging made it straightforward to trace down the place of sounds in an area, giving us the drop on opponents.

With energetic noise cancelling on, we might dimly hear the clack of clicky mechanical keyboard keys from two ft away. Roommates, banging pans, and even the leaf blower of landscapers simply exterior the window had a tough time breaking by way of throughout our take a look at. For the utmost stage of immersion in video games, it is a nice choose when you can afford to utterly disconnect from actuality throughout periods. But if not, and also you wish to, say, hold an ear out for little ones in your house, then it’s best to skip on these. The QC 35 II are an audiophile’s dream. You simply must shell out the money for them.


—BEST FOR XBOX—

Xbox Wireless Headset

Drivers: 40mm neodymium | Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Mic: Bendable growth with twin mics

Xbox Wireless Headset

Microsoft
walmart.com

$168.99

  • Easy controls for mixing social gathering and sport sound
  • Bluetooth

Befitting headphones constructed for gaming, the Xbox Wireless Headset’s controls are extraordinarily straightforward to regulate on the fly. Each earcup features as a dial. The left controls the steadiness between in-game audio and that of your social gathering members’ chat; rotate the dial counterclockwise for extra of the previous and clockwise when you’re having hassle listening to your teammates over explosions or cinematic dialogue. (There’s a pleasant groove proper in the midst of the dial’s journey for reference, so it’s straightforward to really feel when you’ve hit 50-50.) The proper cup controls the general quantity popping out of the headset. We’ve had no hassle reaching up to make use of the 2 amid frenzied on-line multiplayer.

The audio itself is superb. Dialogue comes by way of clear by way of the 40mm audio system, and we’re capable of hear enemies’ footsteps as they attempt to sneak up on us—from precisely which path. The versatile mic stalk is straightforward to tuck up and out of the way in which after we’re enjoying solo, whereas an simply seen LED indicator lets us shortly affirm that our mic is on ought to we have to coordinate in multiplayer. And our teammates have by no means complained about not having the ability to hear us.

Ample padding on the scarf and earcups make these comfy to put on by way of prolonged play periods, and the battery life (15 hours claimed) is there to match. We sometimes cost the headset as soon as every week, with its low-battery tone coming in loads of time for us to get it plugged into the included USB-C twine with out dying on us mid-play.

Our subject with the Xbox Wireless Headset is the buttons. There are two—one for energy and pairing and the opposite to activate and mute the mic—and every offers a satisfying mechanical click on upon a full press. But even after we’ve felt that click on, it’s not unusual that we’ve needed to press the button once more to get the headset to register our command. It’s annoying. Luckily, these controls (not like steadiness and quantity) are ones we now have to make use of little throughout precise gameplay. The sound high quality, ease of the opposite controls, and $100 value greater than make up for it.


—BEST FOR PLAYSTATION—

Sony Pulse 3D

Drivers: 50mm neodymium | Connectivity: USB-A RF dongle, 3.5mm | Frequency response: N/A | Mic: Dual inside mics constructed into ear cup

Pulse 3D Wireless Headset

  • Perfect match each time
  • Wireless 3D audio on PS5
  • Quiet default profile
  • Internal mic isn’t the strongest

Sony’s Pulse 3D headset sports activities an understated black and white design rife with curves to match the aesthetic of the PlayStation 5. (They’re additionally suitable with PS4 and PC.) There’s no exterior growth microphone. Instead, the mic is constructed instantly into the earcups, which results in a barely muffled sound high quality. Still, the sub-$100 price ticket pairs with easy-to-reach controls, in depth EQ changes instantly within the console sound menu, and 3D audio capabilities for PS5 to make the Pulse 3D an apparent alternative for PlayStation loyalists.

Slipping the scarf over our cranium immediately adjusted the Pulse to supply a cosy match with out clamping strain. The ear padding is a bit cumbersome in comparison with the opposite headphones we examined however runs deep to create an efficient seal. As sound poured in, we discovered ourselves impressed with clearly audible conversations by way of boundaries, visitors exterior a street-facing resort room, and even a digital avenue performer enjoying saxophone from two in-game blocks away. While the bass is balanced and the dialogue is obvious, the Pulse’s default profile is quieter than the remainder of the gaming headsets we examined even at most quantity. Since they’re developed by Sony instantly, you’ll be able to extensively regulate sound profiles and EQ from the PlayStation sound setting, not like third-party choices.

close up shot of the ps5 pulse hedaset

Trevor Raab

Switching over to the PS5 title Demon’s Souls to make the most of the 3D audio function, we observed positional audio had a significant impression on anticipating threats. We might pinpoint the groans of the undead to a precise location as we explored a passageway so we might keep away from an ambush. Distant roars of a dragon grew to become progressively louder as we reached its location within the sport. And as we ran and rolled throughout a bridge to keep away from stated dragon’s flame assaults, we heard fireplace crackle and rush from behind us as we narrowly prevented demise. The placement of digital objects like enemies and environmental options shines on the Pulse.

Their 12-hour battery life meant they wanted to be charged after each third session. While that falls on the shorter finish of the spectrum, it’s exhausting to neglect to cost them because of the visible battery bar exhibiting their cost on display screen.


—MOST COMFORTABLE—

HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless

Drivers: 50mm twin chamber neodymium | Connectivity: USB -A RF dongle, 3.5mm | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Mic: Electret condenser microphone

Cloud Flight Wireless Headset

  • Ultra comfy
  • Long battery life
  • Didn’t relay background noises as effectively

At simply 11 ounces, the headset is light-weight regardless of thick reminiscence foam lining the underside of the scarf. The plush leatherette earpads enveloped our tester’s bigger pierced ears with out strain, lending spectacular breathability over in depth periods (not one thing you at all times get with this materials).

On the left cup you’ll discover your energy button, an auxiliary port, a Micro USB charging slot, and a connection for the growth microphone. The noise-cancelling, bi-directional growth mic on this set is obvious, stripping out issues just like the hum of a fan as central heating kicked in. Alone on the fitting facet sits a notched quantity wheel, which gave us a pleasant texture for grip whereas adjusting ranges.

While the Clouds ship booming bass, we discovered that oblique noises like background conversations across the metropolis or a resort room radio may very well be misplaced even at excessive volumes. The tradeoff is enhanced dialogue readability in cutscenes. While explosions have impression, particularly entrance and heart, total bass is boomy from the big 50mm drivers and sealed match.

Between video games, we flipped the headphones outward and rested them on our neck with ease. The battery averaged simply shy of 17 hours of playtime over the course of a month with the LED lightning on the cups and mic controls turned on—only a bit shorter than the marketed 18 hours.

While we linked above to the PS5-compatible mannequin we used for testing, you’ll find the Xbox model here.


OTHER GREAT OPTIONS


HyperX Cloud Orbit

Consumer Score: 62% gave it 4 stars or extra

Drivers: Planar transducer, 100mm | Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB Type A, USB Type C | Frequency response: 10-50,000 Hz | Mic: removable noise cancellation mic

Cloud Orbit Gaming Headset

HyperX
amazon.com

$329.99

The Cloud Orbit is extremely comfy and helps a number of connections, making it suitable with a wide range of gadgets. The distinctive 3D sound monitoring means that you can really feel extra immersed, particularly in first-person video games, because you’ll hear sounds relative to the path your character is going through. “I needed a very good headset for gaming on my laptop computer whereas I’m on the go, and this headset blew me away,” wrote a reviewer. “It appears like you’ll be able to really inform proper the place issues are in video games. I’ve additionally observed sounds I didn’t discover when utilizing different headsets or headphones.” The draw back is that with all this revolutionary expertise comes some complicated software program, which gave some reviewers hassle when setting the Cloud Orbit up. Oh, and it’ll usually put you again about $300.


MetalSeries Arctis Pro

Consumer Score: 82% gave it 4 stars or extra

Drivers: 40mm neodymium | Connectivity: 3.5mm | Frequency response: 10-40,000 Hz | Mic: retractable noise-canceling

Arctis Pro Gaming Headset

MetalSeries
amazon.com

$249.99

Reviewers have lauded the earlier headsets within the Arctis sequence, and the Pro is one other wonderful entry in an already nice line. While it’s costly, you’re unlikely to be upset when you’re keen to spend the cash. This headset has a frequency response vary of 10 Hz as much as 40,000: This unbelievable vary brings extra distinct and crisp sound for a extra practical expertise. PC Gamer reviewers did notice that it may be a bit cumbersome, for the reason that headphones hook up with the GameDAC (digital-to-audio converter) and use a 3.5mm jack as an alternative of USB-C or lightning ports. While this will not be an enormous concern for some, it’s actually value contemplating when you plan to regularly use them with a cellphone that doesn’t have a headphone jack. Still, the headset excels in consolation even by way of lengthy periods with out sacrificing design. “The design is modern, and strays away from the ‘gamer’-style headsets that you could possibly by no means put on out in public with confidence,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon. “They are additionally designed with consolation in thoughts,” together with an adjustable headband and huge ear-cups.


Razer Kraken X Ultralight

Consumer Score: 85% gave it 4 stars or extra

Drivers: 40mm with neodymium magnets | Connectivity: 3.5mm | Frequency response: 12-28,000 Hz | Mic: Bendable, cardioid pickup

Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset

The Razer Kraken X is a snug, dependable headset that received’t break the financial institution. While it’s not essentially the most fashionable or revolutionary, it has a really exceptional digital 7.1 surround-sound system—the identical that’s obtainable in a few of Razer’s higher-end fashions. “The sound is fantastic, it’s all the pieces that I used to be anticipating from its value,” wrote a reviewer on Amazon. They additionally claimed that it was sturdy, comfy, and had a very good seal, although a couple of others complained in regards to the mic not being removable.