Whether it’s a first-person shooter or a racing game, allowing yourself to be immersed in the world of your favorite game makes it that much more exciting. Key to any immersive experience is robust audio. That’s why a good pair of gaming headphones is crucial.
Gaming headphones are typically known as gaming headsets, and that’s because they do more than just bring the game’s audio to you. Rather, gaming headsets also bring your audio to your teammates (or opponents, for that matter) whenever you’re playing a multiplayer game. That means that unlike your average pair of Bluetooth headphones, both the drivers and the microphone need to be crystal clear and responsive in a gaming headset. After all, it’s a short drop from carrying the team to being the one that’s being carried, and your gaming headset should be an asset, not a burden.
Part of the immersive experience is a surround sound experience that allows you to feel like the sound is actually coming from behind or next to you. That’s why some of our favorites have 7.1 surround sound capabilities. Beyond just clear audio and mic capabilities, there are other important considerations. Are the earcups padded but not heavy for comfortable, multi-hour wearing? Is this headset optimized for the way you play, whether that’s PC gaming or a console? And last but not least, do they look cool? That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of the best gaming headphones available right now.
1. ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless
If you’re looking for wireless headphones, the stylish offering from Astro is a good bet. It’s available for either Playstation or Xbox, with either model being compatible with PC games. You won’t need to buy a headphone mount, either, thanks to the sleek charging base that’s offered with the headphones. The Xbox version of the headphones offer Dolby Atmos, and you can even fine-tune audio levels using Astro’s software.
Pros: 15-hour battery life. Comes with base dock. Dolby Audio for clear and immersive sound.
2. Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
The eye-catching colors make Razer’s headsets a stand-out, but the simple design keeps the headphones relatively light so you won’t feel like you’re wearing an actual army helmet. It has a thick cushioned headband and earcups for comfortable wearing. The 7.1 surround sound comes courtesy of robust 50mm drivers. The unidirectional mic retracts into the earcup, keeping it out of harm’s way when not in use. To make quick adjustments, the 3.5mm cable has built-in controls.
Pros: Retractable mic. Lightweight build. Immersive surround sound.
Cons: The volume adjustment on the 3.5mm cable could be easier to use.
3. Corsair VOID Elite Surround Premium Gaming Headset
If aggressive designs and flashy RGB lighting isn’t your thing, then you might prefer the minimal design of this headset from the gaming whizzes over at Corsair. Minimal shouldn’t be confused with boring, though, thanks to the sharply angular shape of the earcups. The 50mm drivers deliver audio in 7.1 surround sound, and the omnidirectional mic ensures you’re clearly heard.
Pros: 7.1 surround sound. Features like the microphone that mutes when flipped up and built-in volume buttons make it easy to control.
Cons: Fit isn’t that great if you have a smaller head.
4. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset
This sleek set from SteelSeries can be used wirelessly with the included wireless adapter. This particular model is compatible with Playstation 4 and PC. The mic is bi-directional and features noise cancellation for clearer audio, and it also retracts into the body of the earcup when not in use. The wireless headphones also have an impressive 24-hour battery life.
Pros: Wireless headphones with long 24-hour battery life. Retractable microphone. Double-headband design for greater comfort.
Cons: Too easy to accidentally tap volume control.