When it comes to online gaming, more often than not, you’re only as good as your headset. After all, the line between victory and defeat frequently hinges on your ability to hear which direction enemies are coming from and communicating with your teammates in an effective and efficient manner. That, of course, is where the best gaming headset comes into play.
Gaming headsets have long been a part of PC gaming, but they’re becoming increasingly more essential for console gaming too. Most gaming headsets nowadays are of the over-ear variety and actively work to bring you closer to the game. That means they’re meant to reduce outside noise and heighten the in-game audio experience. Additionally, they’re reinforced with extra levels of comfort in the headband and the earcaps to make long gaming sessions easier without you getting irritated or uncomfortable.
For most serious gamers — especially PC gamers — a wired headset is the best gaming headset.
While lag and audio quality have drastically improved in wireless headsets, to the point where they’re nearly as good as their wired counterparts, the benefit of not having an extra cable to deal with is minimal when you’re PC gaming at a desk.
Gamers tend to favor wired versions of the best gaming headsets because they:
- Are cheaper
- Have the best possible audio quality
- Don’t require charging
- Won’t suffer from interference or sporadic audio drops
But that doesn’t mean a wireless headset doesn’t have its place. You may want to consider a wireless headset if you:
- Are sitting more than a few feet away from your TV
- Stream your sessions on YouTube or Twitch and don’t want wires in the shot
- Really just hate cables.
Regardless of the game or console you’re playing, you’ll want to make sure you’re dropping in with one of the best gaming headsets. See our picks, below.
1. Razer BlackShark V2 Gaming Headset
The Razer BlackShark is a relatively new product from Razer, but it made an instant impact and has quickly become the overall best gaming headset you can buy. Powered by 50mm titanium triple drivers in each ear, the BlackShark V2 offers THX 7.1 spatial surround sound and comes with a USB sound card to ensure optimal audio. There’s also a noise-canceling microphone that you can remove and memory foam ear cushions for added comfort and convenience. And since they only weigh 0.58 pounds, you’ll be able to play for hours without feeling the heft of the BlackShark V2 cans. For the money, you’re not going to find another gaming headset that offers this much.
2. HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset
Before the Razer BlackShark V2 came along, the HyperX Cloud Alpha was the go-to pick for most serious PC gamers. Complete with 7.1 Surround Sound, enhanced noise-cancellation for the microphone and multi-platform usage, it’s extremely versatile and made for when the action gets tense. Additionally, the Cloud Alpha’s Dual Camber Drivers provide more audio clarity by reducing distortion from a variety of different audio channels. Oh, and the bright colors will make it easy to find amongst all of your other gaming gear.
3. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Gaming Headset
BEST WIRELESS HEADSET
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is such a good and versatile wireless headset that we devoted an entire article to singing its praises. The too long; didn’t read version of that review is that it’s able to blend a combination of quality, clarity and smart features to create a gaming headset that’s as close to perfect as you can possibly get in this current landscape. While you’ll certainly get more use out of it if you’re gaming with a PC, it’s great for console use as well. This is the one to invest in for sure.
4. Logitech G Pro X Wireless Gaming Headset
BEST WIRELESS RUNNER-UP
If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless is one of the best gaming headsets if you want excellent audio quality and don’t want to deal with cables. On top of that, it has a mic that features custom voice processing from Blue, a brand that has 25 years of experience designing microphones (including the Twitch-favorite Yeti mic). But the one thing that holds it back from top consideration is that it only works as a wireless 2.4G headset, so you can’t use an aux cable or Bluetooth to connect it to an Xbox, Switch or mobile device, which are all incompatible with the wireless adapter.
5. Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gaming Headset
BEST FOR XBOX
Clad in a neon green that matches the system’s electric hues, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 gaming headset works hand-in-glove with Microsoft’s Xbox One. The Xbox doesn’t offer native support for many wireless headsets, but the Stealth 600 is one of them, so you can connect to the console without any additional adapters and get the most out of Microsoft’s Windows Sonic technology for spatial surround sound. The dual foam ear cushions allow for a soft and comfortable fit, which is critical for prolonged gaming sessions. Additionally, the headset’s audio fidelity (aptly branded as Superhuman Hearing) will make sure no one gets the drop on you, as player movement comes through in stunning clarity.
6. Sony Playstation Platinum Wireless Gaming Headset
BEST FOR PLAYSTATION
If you’re gaming on a Playstation 4, it makes the most sense to go with Sony’s dedicated headset. After all, the company that made the system you’re gaming on knows its own system the best. Completely wireless, you’ll have the freedom to move around without the hassle of a cord getting in your way, while its 7.1 surround sound audio quality ensures the best audio experience possible. In games that support it, you can also get the added benefit of 3D audio for a more immersive experience. Plus, the ease of use if you’re familiar with Sony products is worth the price alone.
7. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
BEST FOR SWITCH
If you’re mostly planning on using a headset while playing your Nintendo Switch in docked mode, we would say just go with the Razer BlackShark V2 or the SteelSeries Arctis 7. But if you have any plans to use your headset out of the house, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is definitely the best gaming headset for Switch and Switch Lite users. The Arctis 1 Wireless comes with a compact USB-C dongle that plugs into the bottom of your console in handheld mode (or your Switch dock via USB adapter), giving you convenience and quality audio while you three-stock your friends in Super Smash Bros: Ultimate.
8. Razer Kraken X Gaming Headset
BEST BUDGET WIRED HEADSET
Gaming is already a fairly expensive hobby, so it’s totally understandable if you don’t have a ton of extra income to devote to a really nice, high-end headset. Fortunately, Razer has stepped in with a highly affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality just because it’s at a better price. Complete with premium features like 7.1 surround sound, the headset itself is super lightweight for nonstop play sessions and works on all platforms so you can game with ease.
9. Corsair VOID Elite Wireless Gaming Headset
BEST BUDGET WIRELESS HEADSET
Those who have allocated a little bit of money to invest in a gaming headset will definitely feel like they’ve spent their money well with this wireless gaming headset from Corsair. While it is optimized to work best on PCs, the headset is still compatible with all gaming systems via a wired connection. The 50mm audio drives provide top-level quality, while the breathable microfiber mesh fabric and memory foam earpads provide critical comfort to keep you going during those long sessions of Warzone. Additionally, the headset’s angular design gives it a striking look and feel.
10. PuroGamer Gaming Headset
BEST FOR YOUNG GAMERS
If you’re a parent that’s looking for a gaming headset that will actively ensure your kids are okay, this headset from PuroGamer should be your choice, full stop. The headset itself has been engineered to provide crystal clear audio playback that won’t damage the hearing of young ears (it won’t go any higher than 85 dB). The comfortable and sturdy fit is great for extended play sessions and works seamlessly with either PCs or game consoles.
11. HyperX Cloud Orbit S Gaming Headset
BEST FOR HEAD TRACKING AND VR
Support for audio head tracking in gaming is still in its early days, but the idea of game audio adjusting to the position and tilt of your head is one full of promise, especially with regard to VR gaming. The HyperX Cloud Orbit S takes planar magnetic drivers designed by high-end audio manufacturer Audeze and pairs it with Waves Nx 3D spatial audio technology to offer sound quality and innovation that is unrivaled by most other headsets. There only two big downsides to these: First, they’re expensive. Second, head-tracking performance is still hit or miss because there aren’t many games specifically designed for this technology. But if you own an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset, you may discover a more immediate impact from buying a pair of these cutting-edge cans.
12. JBL Quantum ONE Gaming Headset
For the audio-obsessed gamer who doesn’t want to skimp out on any bit of high-fidelity audio, their pick should be the JBL Quantum ONE gaming headset. With advanced audio features like spatial surround sound, 3D head tracking and active noise canceling, gamers who use this headset will be able to dive deep into every single detail from their favorite game without having to compromise on any audio fidelity in any way. Plus, the headset gets bonus points for its bold look.
13. Astro Gaming A40 TR Gaming Headset
Astro Gaming’s A40 TR gaming headset is positioned as the gaming headset choice of pro gamers, so using it in your home will certainly elevate and better your existing gaming experience significantly. Included with this is a specialized MixAmp Pro that brings high-end audio quality to PC, Xbox One and PS4 gamers (there are separate versions for Xbox and PS4 gamers). It’s also great for console streamers, as it will let you mix the audio levels from all your different sources (game audio, party chat, etc.) into one signal for your PC to broadcast. Rugged, yet still light, it’s meant to sit comfortably and securely on your head, as its padded headband makes long sessions a breeze. But the real feature here is that premium audio, which certainly makes its hefty price tag well worth it.