TOP TEN GAMING HEADSETS

Top ten gaming headsets

Introduction-

Whether you’re looking to hear enemies coming in The Division 2 or want to get immersed in the brutal world of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, finding the best gaming headset is essential for any serious gamer. A good headset can make all the difference in online play, and there are a lot to choose from—no matter what console, computer, or device you game on.

Whether you’re playing from your couch, or getting up close and personal with your PC, a gaming headset has become a near necessity for gamers of any skill level. Sure, a boomin’ surround sound system can help immerse you in the action of your favorite games, but you can get a lot more bang for your buck with a top-notch gaming headset. And if you’re serious about multiplayer matches, a high-quality microphone to communicate with your friends (and rivals) is also crucial.

  1. SteelSeries Arctis 7– This headset offers an incredibly comfortable fit, along with rich sound for both games and music and compatibility with every major platform.

Why should you buy this: It’s the best-in-class gaming headset by virtually every factor.

Who’s it for: Those who demand performance, deep customization, versatility, and understated design.

How much it costs: $180 to $330

Armed with hi-res components, excellent design, and bursting with features, the Arctis Pro is the best headset we’ve tested.

Why I picked the Steelseries Arctis Pro

Where do we start with Steelseries‘ magnum opus, the Arctis Pro? The highly flexible, crystal-clear mic that rivals even some professional-grade audio equipment? How about the sleek, professional design that mimics stylish audiophile headphones? Or maybe it’s the headset’s plug-and-play peripherals that push hi-res sound and enable users to fine-tune EQ settings and surround sound at a much more granular scale than the competition — all without the need for extra software or downloads.

Take your pick.

While the optional hi-res components (either the GameDAC with the wired version or the 2.4G Bluetooth receiver box) are only compatible with PC and PS4, the Arctis Pro is compatible with virtually every console right out of the box, either through wireless USB or 3.5mm wired connection. All players, regardless of platform, can take advantage of the headset’s excellent stereo mix and super-clear microphone — not to mention the fact that its mature design is customizable to fit your taste.

While it’s hard to top the Arctis Pro, even Steelseries’ more affordable Arctis models, including the Arctis 3, 5, and 7, are impressive alternatives, identical to the Pro in terms of comfort and only a modest step down in performance and features (the Arctis 7 was our previous top pick, in fact). There are wired and wireless versions of each of these headsets, and while they require the Steelseries Engine 3 software to use the surround sound and EQ features (meaning these features are PC-only), they still sound great even without these extras. So, should the Arctis Pro reside outside your budget, any of these Arctis models could compete for the top spot on our list.

Why should you buy this: It’s the best-in-class gaming headset by virtually every factor.Armed with hi-res components, excellent design, and bursting with features, the Arctis Pro is the best headset we’ve tested.

Who’s it for: Those who demand performance, deep customization, versatility, and understated design.

How much it costs: $180 to $330

The highly flexible, crystal-clear mic that rivals even some professional-grade audio equipment? How about the sleek, professional design that mimics stylish audiophile headphones? Or maybe it’s the headset’s plug-and-play peripherals that push hi-res sound and enable users to fine-tune EQ settings and surround sound at a much more granular scale than the competition — all without the need for extra software or downloads.

Take your pick.

While the optional hi-res components (either the GameDAC with the wired version or the 2.4G Bluetooth receiver box) are only compatible with PC and PS4, the Arctis Pro is compatible with virtually every console right out of the box, either through wireless USB or 3.5mm wired connection. All players, regardless of platform, can take advantage of the headset’s excellent stereo mix and super-clear microphone — not to mention the fact that its mature design is customizable to fit your taste.

While it’s hard to top the Arctis Pro, even Steelseries’ more affordable Arctis models, including the Arctis 3, 5, and 7, are impressive alternatives, identical to the Pro in terms of comfort and only a modest step down in performance and features (the Arctis 7 was our previous top pick, in fact). There are wired and wireless versions of each of these headsets, and while they require the Steelseries Engine 3 software to use the surround sound and EQ features (meaning these features are PC-only), they still sound great even without these extras. So, should the Arctis Pro reside outside your budget, any of these Arctis models could compete for the top spot on our list.

HIGHS

  • Multiple versions, each with a wide range of supported platforms
  • Doesn’t require extra software or drivers
  • Hi-res audio performance
  • Very comfortable
  • Sleek, minimalist design

LOWS

  • Setup is a bit of hassle

2) HYPERX CLOUD REVOLVER S

The best premium wired headset

Why should you buy this: The excellent-sounding Cloud Revolver S is the most versatile and easy-to-use headset we’ve tested.

Who’s it for: Anyone and everyone, provided a wired connection works with your setup.

How much it costs: $150

The Cloud Revolver S from HyperXis one of the most versatile headsets. It comes packed with three separate connection types — 3.5mm, dual 3.5mm, and wired USB — which, in aggregate, enable the headset to be connected to just about anything. This isn’t entirely unique to the Cloud Revolver S, but the headset takes things a step further by eliminating the need for any extra software or driver downloads, making it a truly plug-and-play peripheral. This integrated nature is especially important with the USB connection, which features a built-in sound card and a control dongle for features like Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound and EQ settings.

The most important feature, however, is the brilliant sound performance. The basic, out-of-the-box stereo mix, which is the baseline regardless of connection type or console, is excellent, with a snug balance and punchy bass that enhances gameplay and music. The surround sound and EQ features — specifically the bass boost — only serve to further enhance the experience. The cherry on top is that the headset is extremely comfortable, with a sturdy design, plush padding, and an auto-fitting headband. Sounds like a winner to us.

HIGHS

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Extremely comfortable
  • No extra software needed
  • Easy access controls
  • Works with virtually any gaming device

LOWS

  • Virtual surround limited to USB devices
  • Mic performance is a bit flat

3) ASTRO GAMING A50

Why should you buy this: It’s the Swiss Army Knife of wireless headsets.

Product Card: You get what you pay for with Astro’s high-class gaming headset.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want a wireless headset stuffed with features (and don’t mind paying extra for them).

How much it costs: $300

Astro’s A50 is the wireless update of the company’s previous flagship, the Astro A40, and sports all the same hallmarks as its last-gen brethren — but we’re not complaining. If you can justify the dent to your savings account, the Astro A50 will grant you 5.8GHz wireless technology and virtual 7.1 surround sound within a solid, over-the-ear design. The headset’s unidirectional mic helps isolate your voice from ambient noise, and features an intuitive quick-mute feature. A selection of distinct EQ modes and cross-platform support further boost its appeal.

The A50 does just about everything you’d want from a high-quality gaming headset, including extras like hassle-free wireless connection, long battery life bolstered by an auto-shut down feature that prevents wasting battery.

Those extra features are great, but they’re only part of the story. The real star here is the audio performance, and the A50 is one of the best (obviously), making games more engrossing and entertaining. The A50 is worth serious consideration by all audiophile gamers … provided you’re willing and able to shell out the cash.

HIGHS

  • Immersive virtual sound environment
  • Pristine clarity
  • Comfortable design
  • Great balance

LOWS

  • Slightly bright treble
  • EQ switch doesn’t deliver

4) RAZER MANO’WAR 7.1

Why should you buy this: Razer’s ManO’War 7.1 is a versatile headset that meets the needs of console and PC gamers alike.

Who’s it for: The gamer looking for big sound.

How much it costs: $120

Razer ManO’War 7.1 — the wired, surround sound-equipped version of its wireless model of the same name — is a fantastic headset. Its virtual 7.1 surround sound is among the best on the market, the sound it pumps out of its large ear cups is balanced, and its microphone is sleek and discreet, and yet outperforms most of the competition. The only real limiting factor is its size, which renders it a difficult choice for mobile use. But what it lacks in portability, it more than makes up for in performance.

The only thing bigger than the size of this beastly headset is its sound. Out of the box, the ManO’War 7.1 has a spacious mix, giving the upper register room to breathe on top of bombastic, rich bass. When connected to PC via USB, the 7.1 further enhances the size and space the headset’s drivers create. The result is a fantastic auditory experience.

HIGHS

  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Virtual 7.1
  • Great noise cancelling mic with simple retraction
  • Comes standard with multiple input options

LOWS

  • Big, bulky design sometimes gets in the way
  • Surprisingly pasticky given the sturdy aesthetics

5) LOGITECH G533

Why should you buy this: It’s got the best surround sound of any headset we’ve tested yet.

Who’s it for: Those who need pinpoint soundstage location and precision.

How much it costs: $150

Why we picked the Logitech G533:

Logitech’s latest headset, the Logitech G533, brings several impressive features to a solid, attractive design, most notably the DTS 7.1 surround built into the speaker. This wireless headset comes standard with some simple-to-use software that can control the equalizer settings and enable the surround sound. It just so happens to have the best surround sound staging we’ve used in a headset, bar none. Whether you’re playing a first-person or third-person perspective game, sounds emit within the headphones from the proper location, making navigating these virtual worlds easier. The headset also performs well with 2D games. Regardless of what kind of games you play, however, the G553’s sounds excellent thanks to its 40mm Pro-G drivers (we did notice some minor wireless hum when nothing was being played through the headphones but that was absent during gameplay).

The mic is equally good. We found voice capture with the mic to be clear, and we dig the minimalist design of the boom mic, which can be easily flipped up when not in use, or extended and bent for finding the optimal distance. As is often the case with Logitech gear, the headset has several neat idiosyncrasies, like a textured pad on the USB receiver for extra grip and internal “beeps” to inform you of volume changes, low battery levels, or mic enabling. It’s also, thankfully, devoid of any gaudy lights or “cool” decals, opting instead for a simpler and therefore more attractive aesthetic than most other headsets out there. While not necessarily groundbreaking, these are nice touches nonetheless.

One decision we’re admittedly a bit less enthusiastic about is the fabric used on the ear cup padding, which we found scratchy and stiff during initial use. Then again, the padding is removable and washer safe, which isn’t something we can say about most of the other headsets on this list.

HIGHS

  • DTS Headphone:X performs magnificently
  • Flexible EQ and surround settings
  • Sleek, understated aesthetic
  • Long battery life

LOWS

  • Padding is rougher than most headsets
  • Lacks settings or presets for music

6) TURTLE BEACH RECON 200

Why should you buy this: The Turtle Beach Recon 200 is compatible with everything from the PS4 to the Switch, has excellent audio options, and built-in microphone monitoring.

Who’s it for: The budget-minded gamer.

How much it costs: $50

Why we picked the Turtle Beach Recon 200:

Turtle Beach has been making a name for itself over the last several years, and it’s no surprise when you look at what the company can deliver at such affordable prices. The Recon 200 wired headset comes with a 3.5mm jack so that it can be used with everything from the Xbox One to the PlayStation 4 and even your phone. The always-active Bass Boost feature gives you a more powerful experience during intense gaming moments, and 12 hours of battery life means you can take advantage of these features during your longest gaming marathon sessions without having to plug it in to recharge.

To go from the Xbox One to PlayStation 4, all you need to do is flip a switch on the headset, and the Recon 200 makes a great chatting headset, as well. The omnidirectional microphone has variable monitoring so you can hear what you sound like as you’re talking, and flipping it into its vertical position will automatically mute the microphone. With a metal-reinforced headband and foam-cushioned ear cups, the headset is built to last, too, and its wide compatibility means that it can be your sole headset if you dislike switching back and forth between several when you use different systems.

7) STEELSERIES ARCTIS 3 BLUETOOTH

Why should you buy this: One of the best headsets around also cures the Nintendo Switch’s voice chat headache.

Who’s it for: Nintendo Switch players who want a fully-functional headset with great sound

How much it costs: $130

Why we picked the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth

While we have dedicated lists for the best PlayStation 4 headsets and Xbox One headsets, we don’t have one for Nintendo Switch. There’s a reason for that: Using a headset with the Nintendo Switch can be a bit of a mess. Sure, you can plug in any pair of headphones (rather than a headset), or even sync up a Bluetooth pair, but the Switch’s lack of an on-console voice chat function renders the headset question moot — if you can’t use the mic, then why bother? In order to use voice chat at all, you must download an app for your smartphone. Then you’ll need to connect to both the Switch and your smartphone via a splitter. This can result in a tangled mess.

However, the Arctis 3 Wireless is one of the few headsets — wireless or otherwise — that simplifies this setup. The Arctis 3 Wireless can connect to up to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, which means you can be connected to your Switch for gameplay audio, and your phone for voice chat.

That may sound complicated, especially compared to other setups discussed here, but your only other option is the Hori Splat and Chat headset which is, frankly, a nightmare. Unless you’re willing to sacrifice the chat function altogether, the Arctis 3 Wireless is your best option. Thankfully, it’s a quality headset, period, so it could be worse.

8)Razer Nari Ultimate ($200)

Wireless: Yes

Connection: USB/3.5mm

Sensitivity: 107dB

What We Like: Unique and immersive experience.

What We Don’t: Over-priced gimmicky features.

With hundreds of gaming headsets on the market, it’s easy to sleep on some models. And while we might have dozed on Razer’s Nari Ultimates, boy did they wake us up. It’s not often you hear the word “haptic” used to describe audio gear, and when we saw that Razer had included haptic tech to their Nari Ultimates, we thought they might have been reading too much Ready Player One. But when we finally got around to trying these monsters out, we were pleasantly surprised. Let’s talk sound: the Nari’s 50mm drivers pump some pretty decent volume. Their soundstage is well balanced—if not the clearest we’ve heard— and we’d rate it slightly below the Arctis 7s’. But for once, it’s not all about what we heard, it’s about what we felt. The haptic feature on these cans is no joke. When wearing the Nari Ultimates, you can legitimately feel the sounds in your games. If you’ve ever tried the Skullcandy Crushers, it’s quite similar, with the low-end vibrating on your ears. This seems like a bit of a gimmick, but the Ultimates deliver a gaming experience that’s both fun and unique.

We also have to laud the build and comfort of the Ultimates. Sure, they seem a bit clunky and heavy, and you can surely feel that weight when they’re shaking on your head, but they’re comfortable and well-built. While we think the Nari Ultimates are executed well, we aren’t going to recommend these too highly, because you’re paying more for headphones that don’t sound quite as good as cheaper models. That said, your money is going towards some pretty cool features, and if you want a unique and immersive experience, you can’t go wrong with the Razer Nari Ultimates.

9)  Corsair HS60

Wireless: Yes

Connection: 3.5mm 

Sensitivity: 106dB

Price:50$

What We Like: Amazing value for the price, prioritizes simplicity.

What We Don’t: No USB connection.

The Corsair HS50s are a gamer-focused budget headset that look and feel way out of their price range. Delivering a sound that surprised everyone at the office, the HS50s earned their top spot without much deliberation. We couldn’t believe how these held up when tested against the slew of $100-plus headphones in our roster. Their soundstage is bright and balanced and provided excellent in-game details during our Fortnite tests. The 3.5mm connection allowed us to test on our smartphones and Switches, as well as gaming rigs, and we have to say we were all impressed by how these cans handled music and movies. With all this heavy tech, the HS50s employed a rugged-but-light design that produces a strong and comfortable build. Their clamping pressure was low, and the big cups kept our ears from overheating.

Our main issue with the headset is the fact it’s restricted to a 3.5mm analog connection. Everything that Corsair chose to include in this model was executed at an extremely high level, and we’re glad they kept the price low by avoiding packing in unnecessary features. What all this means is the HS50s are an incredible budget buy. They sound awesome, are a pleasure to wear, and avoid all the gimmicks that raise the price of gaming accessories. If you’re looking for the best for the least, and aren’t planning on going pro, these are the cans for you.

10)  Sennheiser GAME ONE ($122)

Wireless: No

Connection: 3.5mm

Sensitivity: 116dB+

What we like: Amazing sound, console compatible.

What We Don’t: No wireless or USB connections.

Let us start by saying that the Sennheiser GAME ONE is one of the best-sounding headsets on our list. The surround sound is head-and-shoulders above even the Arctis 7s and delivers one of the best overall audio experiences we’ve had while gaming. Now, let’s talk about design. For a pro-tier gaming headset, these cans certainly look the part. We like these in black, but the white option still looks sleek with the red accents. Both versions achieve the classic gamer aesthetic without overdoing it. But looks shouldn’t matter too much to a pro-gamer; it all comes down to sound, and sound is where these cans excel. The GAME ONEs are the only open-back headphones on our list and use their acoustic approach to deliver the most precise and natural sound profile in our roundup. The open-back design also makes the GAME ONEs some of the most comfortable headphones on our list, avoiding the heavy feel and overheating that some of its closed-back cousins suffer from. This is incredibly important to pro-gamers who spend hours at a time plugged in and cannot afford to be distracted by sweaty or cramped ears.

Diversity is not a weakness of the GAME ONEs, which employ a 3.5mm connection that works great on PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One, but we wish that they took notes from HyperX’s Revolvers and included a digital USB connection. It should also be said that, while these are noise-canceling headphones, that cancelation only works one way – the people around you will be able to hear whatever sound is blasting from these beauties. If you want to avoid driving your partner or parents insane, we’d recommend opting for the closed-back version of these cans: the GAME ZEROS. But if you’re looking for la crème de la crème professional gaming headphones, look no further than Sennheiser’s GAME ONE.

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