When you’re trying to pinpoint where the enemy team is approaching from or scouting the nearest weapons drop, you don’t want to get distracted by static sounds and communication delays from your teammates. Most gamers can handle slight disruptions, but when your headset cannot maintain a signal at all it becomes a real problem, significantly affecting your gameplay and potentially ruining the fun. The solution? Upgrade to one of the best gaming headsets.
Get clear, concise sound, and a reliable mic input, so that you and your team can communicate quickly and effectively to take down the opposition. Regardless of whether you prefer wired or wireless devices, there’s a headset out there for you. Keep reading to learn how to pick one of the best gaming headsets for your console or gaming PC.
— Best Overall: HyperX Cloud II Wireless - Gaming Headset
— Best Budget: Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset
— Best Wireless: SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset
— Best Wired: Razer BlackShark V2 Gaming Headset
— Best for PC: Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset
How We Picked The Best Gaming Headsets
Years of experience in online gaming helped inform my picks for the best gaming headsets. I considered over 30 possible options, conducting extensive research into each product and examining the provided sound quality and feature pack. To select the best headsets, I assessed each product’s quality based on drivers, frequency response, connection style, and special add-ons that helped to improve the product or the user experience.
A given headset’s drivers and frequency response information were essential for assessing sound quality and loudness of their speakers. Both wired and wireless connection models are popular in the gaming community, so I included top-quality products from both connection types. However, if a product included specialized features that enhanced the user’s experience or improved the overall quality of the device, then these products were typically given preference over similar options.
We further explain how we test gaming equipment here.
The Best Gaming Headsets: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: HyperX Cloud II Wireless - Gaming Headset
Why It Made the Cut: With large, 53mm drivers, console and PC gamers can be sure that this headset can keep up with volume demands.
— Frequency Response: 15Hz to 20,000Hz
— Drivers: 53mm
— Impressive 30-hour battery
— Detachable noise-canceling microphone
— Built-in microphone monitoring
— Console and PC compatible
— Headset must be recharged regularly
As the best gaming headset overall, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless Gaming Headset is a top-quality product that boasts large, powerful 53mm drivers, enabling this headset to pump out gameplay music at high volume. Gamers can communicate clearly with their teammates using the noise-canceling microphone, and take advantage of the built-in microphone monitoring system to listen to your own voice, ensuring you're heard loud and clear in the voice chat.
If you don’t play well with others some days or you just prefer to play single-player games, then you can take advantage of the removable microphone to improve the comfort of the headset. This gaming headset is designed with a durable, lightweight aluminum frame and comes with an adapter for both PC and console gaming. It has a frequency response range of 15Hz to 20KHz, which comfortably covers the audible range for the average person. It also has a 30-hour battery, which yields over a day of uninterrupted wireless gaming. Just don’t forget to charge the headphones before the next session.
Best Budget: Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset
Why It Made the Cut: This affordable gaming headset is ideal for new and younger gamers who are still optimizing their gaming setup making it the best budget gaming headset.
— Type: Wired
— Frequency Response: 12Hz to 28,000Hz
— Drivers: 40mm
— Affordable price
— Lightweight and comfortable
— Built-in audio controls
— Flexible noise-canceling microphone
— PC-only surround sound
There are many high-priced products available that give users an impressive array of features and clear voice-chat communication. However, for gamers that are just starting out, $100 for a headset may be asking too much. You can still get excellent sound quality and effective voice-chat with the Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset. The Razer Kraken X headset has a slim, attractive design that will improve the aesthetics of any gaming setup. That means new gamers get to enjoy an aesthetic upgrade as well as a boost in sound performance.
This lightweight gaming headset comes with built-in audio controls like a microphone mute button, and a volume-control slider underneath the left earcup, ensuring gamers get to keep their eyes focused on the match. The 40mm speaker drivers offer decent loudness, and the broad frequency response range from 12Hz to 28KHz helps users experience the spectrum of music and sound effects in their favorite games. That said, this headset does not maintain the same sound quality for console gaming, so if surround sound is important, use this headset for PC gaming only. Browse more affordable options with these great gaming headsets under $100.
Best Wireless: SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset
Why It Made the Cut: You can take advantage of the integrated Xbox wireless connectivity to connect directly to an Xbox One or Xbox Series XS console.
— Frequency Response: 20Hz to 22,000Hz
— Drivers: 40mm
— Over 20 hours of battery life
— On-ear ChatMix control
— Integrated Xbox wireless connectivity
— High price
Gamers that prefer titles on the Xbox One or Xbox Series XS consoles will want to invest in the best wireless gaming headset, the Steelseries Arctis 9X gaming headset, which has been designed to connect directly to Xbox consoles without the need for a cable or USB dongle. With over 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, the headset allows gamers to focus on the match instead of worrying about a fading battery. What’s more, users can connect to Bluetooth and Xbox simultaneously to listen to music and take calls while they game.
If the balance between music, calls, and game effects seems off, just make a quick adjustment with the on-ear ChatMix control, which allows you to mix sonic inputs seamlessly. The headset also features 40mm drivers and a frequency response range of 20Hz to 22KHz for reliable sound. It has a noise-canceling microphone for improved clarity; it rarely encounters lag issues. However, this wireless headset does come with a high price tag that may not be viable for some gamers. Get started with the best Xbox games.
Best Wired: Razer BlackShark V2 Gaming Headset
Why It Made the Cut: This wired headset from Razer delivers lagless quality sound.
— Frequency Response: 12Hz to 28,000Hz
— Drivers: 50mm
— Excellent microphone clarity
— USB sound card with THX Spatial Audio for surround sound
— Sleek, light, competitive design
— Removable microphone
— Surround sound is only available with the USB sound card
The high-quality Razer Blackshark V2 gaming headset has a traditional wired design, with consistent, reliable connectivity. No more intermittent signals and broken audio that can cause undue confusion in a tight match: Users can connect this wired headset to a console or PC gaming setup to enjoy great sound quality no matter how they choose to play. The classic black and green exterior, and the sleek, lightweight build are big aesthetic improvements over common blockier headsets.
As the best wired gaming headset features powerful 50mm drivers and a broad 12Hz- to 28KHz-frequency response range, helping to immerse gamers in your favorite fictional worlds. When playing as a single player, users can remove the microphone from the headset to improve comfort and fit. While this headset does feature THX Spatio Audio surround sound, this feature is only accessible when it’s used with the included USB sound card.
Best for PC: Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset
Why It Made the Cut: Logitech G PRO X is the best PC gaming headset because you'll have the ability to stream, record, or enjoy multiplayer games with accurate sound quality and excellent microphone clarity.
— Type: Wired
— Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
— Drivers: 50mm
— Blue VO!CE microphone technology sounds great
— Detachable microphone
— Durable aluminum and steel design
— Includes a carrying bag
— Limited range due to wired connectivity
Many gamers and content creators prefer the Logitech G PRO X Gaming Headset because of its comfortable fit and high-quality communication made possible by the Blue VO!CE microphone technology. This feature filters the user’s voice in real time, reducing ambient noise and improving sound quality to make their communications richer, cleaner, and more professional. This headset is made with durable aluminum and steel that helps prevent damage from falls or drops. It has 50mm drivers and a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20KHz, allowing full spectrum enjoyment of audible frequencies.
The wired connection limits the range of the user while the headset is connected, but it also increases the reliability of the headset, so gamers won’t miss what their teammates are trying to tell them. However, the microphone can also be removed from the headset, if gamers want to enjoy single-player titles without having the microphone in front of their face. It also comes with a signature carrying bag for storage when not in use.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Gaming Headsets
Don’t just buy the first gaming headset that catches your eye, because great aesthetics don’t necessarily mean great sound. Educate yourself on the various product factors so that you can make an informed decision when you’re shopping for the best gaming headset for your console or PC.
Drivers are one of the most important components in a set of headphones. They convert electronic signals into audio and communication helps create the sound that you hear. They range in size, with small earphones often featuring drivers that measure about 8mm to 15mm in diameter, while premium headsets typically include drivers about 20mm to 50mm. Oftentimes, the size of the driver is taken as a defining factor for the sound quality of the headset, but this isn’t the whole story. The size of the driver impacts the loudness of the headset, so the larger the driver the more sound the headset can produce. It should be noted that larger drivers can produce cleaner bass sounds, though they often struggle to create clear treble frequencies.
In most cases, a mid- to high-end multi-driver headset performs better than a similar quality single-driver headset. This is because each driver in a multi-driver headset manages a specific range of frequencies, allowing for discrete bass, mids, and trebles that don’t sacrifice each other’s clarity. However, the number of drivers in each speaker doesn’t necessarily improve the sound quality of a sub-par product. Poor multi-driver headsets will regularly be outperformed by high-end single-driver products. Performance depends on the optimization of the whole. So also make sure to consider the quality of the device as a whole, rather than choosing the first multi-driver set that you see.
One of the more common terms that comes up when discussing headphones, earphones, speakers, or headsets is frequency response. This refers to the range of frequencies that a device can reproduce, as well as the accuracy of that reproduction. Typically, frequency response is measured in Hertz (Hz) and most headsets have a frequency response range from 20Hz to 20KHz. That’s because this spectrum is the normal audible frequency range for the average person. Very low and very high frequencies are often felt more than they are heard, so headsets that are capable of accurately reproducing sounds outside of the 20Hz to 20KHz spectrum introduce a new level of experience to the user.
However, the accuracy of the device is the most important factor to consider when looking at the frequency response of a headset. That’s because the goal of a speaker is to reproduce the original input sound with as little deviation as possible. While a perfectly accurate output isn’t always possible, a good rule of thumb is that the closer a headset can get to perfectly reproducing the input sound, then the higher quality the device is.
Wired vs. Wireless Gaming Headsets
When it comes time to decide on the type of gaming headset you need, there are two broad categories. These are wired headsets and wireless headsets.
Wired headsets are the most commonly used option for most gamers because they are capable of producing clear, reliable communication through the speakers and microphone without having to worry about wireless latency delays. These headsets are also typically more affordable than wireless headsets because they are made with older, more widely available technology. This also makes it easier to connect a wired headset to a console, PC, tablet, or even most phones, though some newer phone models do not have a headphone input. In this case, you need to use an adapter to connect a wired headset.
The other obvious drawback to a wired headset is that you are literally connected to the device that you are using. It’s difficult to get up and move around when there is a cable that keeps the headset securely attached to the console or PC. With a wired headset, you should also be careful to avoid cable wear, because it can gradually destroy the wire inside the rubber cable exterior.
Wireless headsets have traditionally been unreliable options that may seem like a cool investment until you begin to use them. However, in recent years there have been significant improvements in wireless technology that have led to the increased popularity of wireless headsets. While they still don’t have the steadfast reliability of a direct connection, wireless headsets allow you to get up, move around, stretch, or even go grab a drink without missing any of the conversations. If a difficult fight is coming up in-game and you need to do some jumping jacks to calm your nerves, then having a wireless headset is ideal.
Just keep in mind that wireless devices rely on battery power, so if you don’t regularly charge your headset, you may find your headset out of power when you want to play. Unfortunately, wireless headsets also tend to cost more than wired headsets. However, if you like the freedom and maneuverability, then a wireless headset may be worth the higher price.
Q: Are wired or wireless headsets better for gaming?
Whether a wired headset or wireless headset is better depends on your personal preferences. If you like to get up and walk around with the controller in your hand, then a wireless headset is probably a better idea. However, if you are looking for the most reliable sound quality and connection, then a wired gaming headset would be best.
Q: What headset does Shroud use?
Shroud is a professional streamer, YouTuber, and gamer that specializes in first-person shooters, like Counter-Strike or Apex Legends. Shroud used to have a HyperX Cloud Flight gaming headset, but last year he switched to the Logitech G PRO X Headset.
Q: How much does a gaming headset cost?
Gaming headsets can vary in price, with inexpensive products starting around $50 and high-end gaming headsets that can exceed $200. Look for the features you want in a gaming headset, and take some time to put money aside for a premium product if it matches your needs.
Related: Elevate the experience in an affordable way with the best budget gaming monitors.
Final Thoughts on the Best Gaming Headsets
When you're looking for the best gaming headsets, I recommend you choose high-quality sound and clear communication with the built-in mic monitoring system of the HyperX Cloud II Wireless - Gaming Headset, or get great sound and keep more money in your wallet with the affordable Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.