Gaming Headsets have become massively popular in the last couple of years. The main reason for this is the rise of multiplayer online games.
In these kinds of games, cooperation with teammates is incredibly important. Just think about playing with your team in Call of Duty.
If you can tell your team the location of enemy players (where a sniper might be hiding for example), they can avoid getting killed and be far more likely to win the game as a result.
Headsets offer such a significant advantage that hard-core gamers will often simply refuse to play without them.
Imagine playing against a team who didn’t have headsets when yours did. You would be able to communicate easily, coordinate your attacks far better and explain enemy hiding places in seconds.
In other words, if two equally matched teams play each other, the team with headsets are far more likely to win than the team without.
So you can see why hard-core gamers are such fans.
However, all headsets are not created equal. Some are uncomfortable and noisy and will hinder your playing more than they help, others are comfortable, light and so useful that you couldn’t do without them.
This article will explain the best PC Gaming Headsets currently available and divide them by price range, offering options for under $50, ranging all the way up to over $200.
That way, no matter your budget, you’ll be able to find the right headset for you.
Who would benefit from using a Gaming Headset?
The kind of people who would benefit from getting a Gaming Headset are individuals who spend a lot of time playing multiplayer games online. They are best used to communicate quickly and easily within teams.
So, if you play a lot of these kinds of games, a gaming headset might well be worth a look.
But, if you’re mostly playing single player games, you might not benefit from one quite as much.
Especially if you enjoy hearing the noise of a game blasting out of your PC’s speakers.
Another type of person who would benefit from a gaming headset is someone who streams their play over twitch or uploads their games to YouTube.
This way you can talk to your viewers while you’re gaming and provide them with funny background commentary.
It’s just much more entertaining to listen to someone’s reactions when they’re gaming than it is to watch the game with no commentary. If you’re trying to build an online following, you have to get yourself a good headset.
Otherwise, no one will know who you are.
What to look for in a Gaming Headset.
As mentioned above, all headphones are not created equally. In this section, I’ll go through the factors that are most important when choosing a pair of headphones and what you want to look out for.
In my opinion, comfort is the single most important thing to consider when buying a pair of headphones.
If you’re a hard-core gamer, then you probably spend hours every week playing your favorite games and these hours can quickly add up.
The last thing you want to spend hours in a headset that’s uncomfortable.
Also, the reality is, that if a headset is uncomfortable, you simply won’t use it. You might for the first couple of weeks, but after that, you’ll just find excuses not to.
At the end of the day, buying an uncomfortable headset is just a waste of money.
This is a problem with buying headphones online because you don’t get try them on before use, you don’t know whether you’ll find them comfortable or not.
Luckily for you, all the headphones that we look at here have been reviewed specifically with comfort in mind. If any of them have issues with comfort, or wear-ability we will let you know.
The most comfortable headsets are ones who are comfortable enough to go over and cover the entire ear, this means that your ears won’t get all mangled and you won’t end up looking like an MMA fighter.
(COD related injuries)
Also, you’ll want a nice, light headset that won’t put any strain on your neck. Ideally, you won’t even realize that it’s on. This is the mark of a magnificent headset.
The quality of your microphone determines whether you’ll be able to communicate with your team or not.
If you’ve got a poor quality mic, you’ll be feeding your team background sounds, random blips, and blasts of white noise.
There’s nothing more annoying than having a player with a bad mic on your team, it makes it impossible to communicate and massively disrupts any strategy you might be attempting.
To put it bluntly, if your headset has a poor quality mic, then you’re better off just not using it. Let the other team members talk to each other and just listen in instead. They’ll be very grateful for it.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a high-quality mic then communicating with your team is easy, you can explain your position to them, positions of enemy players, and what the other team is doing as well.
All this will make your team play far better, and you far more likely to win.
For streamers having a good quality microphone is of particular importance, if the audio quality on your stream is sub-par, then no one will watch it. You need the sound to be crystal-clear and free of hissing or white noise.
For every single headset, we review here we’ve taken a thorough look at the inbuilt microphone. We’ll let you know which ones let you communicate smoothly, and which will make your team hate your guts.
Good sound quality is a crucial thing to consider when buying a headset. You want to make sure this is excellent because any imperfections will be amplified by having the speakers right in your ears.
In other words, you have to be more picky about sound quality than you would with standard PC speakers.
Using a pair of headphones with superb sound quality is a great experience, you do feel far more immersed than you would without them, and you can hear every single thing in the game, from the cocking of a gun to the drawing of a sword.
Soundstage (Surround Sound)
This is related to sound quality, but it isn’t the same thing.
Soundstage is the ability of a set of headphones to pick up the sound from a game and then send it to you from that same direction through the headphones.
So, say you’re running across a room, M16 in hand, and then you hear the sound of footsteps.
Well, on a headset without soundstage those footsteps would be played to you as an even sound, in other words, you would be able to hear them, but not the direction they were coming from like you can in real life.
But, on a headset with soundstage you wouldn’t just be able to hear the footsteps, you would also be able to tell the direction they were coming from, and by how loud or quiet they were, how close to you your potential assassin was.
Now, imagine how much difference this could make in-game. In one of those scenarios you hear the footsteps, but aren’t sure where they’re coming from, so you start turning to spot your assailant.
In this scenario, there is a 50% chance you turn the wrong way if this happens there’s a very high probability that you end up with a load of bullets in your back and one less life.
On the other hand, let us imagine the situation if you did have soundstage.
You would hear the footsteps and know the exact direction they were coming from, so you would turn the right way rather than the wrong way and face your opponent.
You’d have a much greater chance of winning than you would without soundstage, and if the steps were quiet, and you thought you had time to find cover, you’d have even more chance of coming out on top.
Now, reflect on how many times something like this happens over the course of a 10-minute match. Imagine how much better you’d play if you had just a one-second advantage in timing over your opponents.
This is the kind of advantage that a headset with soundstage can give you. Now you can see why high-level gamers love using headsets!
In addition to making you a better player, soundstage makes playing games far more life-like and immersive. Rather than getting the same sounds through each earpiece, you get the far more realistic experience of hearing different sounds from different directions and being able to respond to them.
This makes games feel far more real to life than they would without it.
Not every headset has a soundstage. Our guide will let you know which do and which don’t. If you’re serious about gaming, and particularly if you enjoy your online games where every second count, then a headset with soundstage might be a magnificent option for you.
This is another thing to consider when getting a headset. It won’t necessarily be important for everyone if you live in a nice, quiet area or don’t mind the occasional bit of background noise then it won’t be a big deal.
But, if you live somewhere noisy and find background noise really distracting. Then you might prefer a headset with decent noise reduction. This will help to cut out excessive background noise and make it easier to focus on your game.
Although I probably wouldn’t wear a giant, pink, fluffy headset with glitter all over it, I’ve got, to be honest, and say that apart from that I’m not all that bothered about how my headset looks.
As long as it works, and is comfortable, I’ll be pretty happy no matter what it looks like.
However, not everyone is like me, and some gamers really like their peripherals to look a certain way.
In our guide, we’ll talk about the look of each headphone and explain what we like and what we don’t.
This one is obvious. A headset is a significant gaming investment. It needs to be reliable. You don’t want it to stop working after just a couple of months.
Wireless vs. Wired
With the increasingly widespread use of wireless keyboards, controllers, and computer mice, it’s hardly surprising that there are now numerous wireless headsets available.
The question is, do these provide any significant advantage over wired headsets or are they just a gimmick?
Well, they do provide some advantages. The most obvious of these is freedom of movement. If you feel like running to the kitchen and grabbing a snack, you can do so without having to take the headset off.
This is nice if you’re in a rush and even better if your snack is a bit messy (no chance of getting food all over your headset). With a cabled headset you’d have to take it off every time you want to run to the bathroom or the kitchen. It is nice not to have to do this.
Another advantage of the lack of wires is that these headsets won’t break at the cables. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the frustration of controllers not connecting because of faulty wires. With wireless headsets, this will never be an issue.
The final advantage is to do with safety. I have tripped over wires before and pulled my console hard to the ground. Luckily, I’ve never broken a PC this way or done any serious damage, but I’m sure thousands of people have.
Poorly placed wires aren’t just dangerous to your PC’s health, but to yours as well. Again, a wireless headset means there’s no chance of this happening.
But there are disadvantages to using a wireless headset. The most significant of these is that the sound quality just isn’t as good.
I’m not entirely sure why this is, although I think it’s got something to do with wireless headsets transmitting via Bluetooth, and Bluetooth not being able to offer such a rich sound.
But it doesn’t matter why the quality isn’t as good, just that we know that it isn’t.
Another disadvantage is that these headsets can run out of battery and have to be charged.
I’m quite forgetful when it comes to this kind of thing, and have no doubt that if I were using a wireless headset, I’d often be picking it up to play and finding that it had no charge.
If you’re a little forgetful like me and would prefer being able to pick up and play every time, then you might prefer a wired headset instead.
Whether you prefer a wired or a wireless headset will depend on your priorities, if you’re most interested in convenience and aren’t bothered by a reduction in sound quality, then get a wireless headset.
If on the other hand, you love being immersed in your games and aren’t worried about having to take them off to go to the bathroom, then you might prefer a wired set.
As a gamer, we know exactly what kind of information people need in order to buy the right gaming headset for them. We believe it is important to be informed especially when you decide to invest in a high-end gaming headset. Don’t get me wrong it’s equal important even if you buy a budget gaming headset. Knowledge is power!
We hope our list have given you a better vision on how to choose the perfect gaming headset for yourself. If you think we missed an important point, don’t be shy and comment below!
Now that you know exactly what to look for in a Gaming Headset, you can check out our other articles.