One of the greatest investments you can make to enrich your gaming experience is to spend on one of the best gaming headsets. High-quality audio is the next biggest aspect you need to have in your arsenal since out of this world graphics and the hardware required to run them are nothing without sound. What you hear helps dictate the emotions a particular title conveys such as excitement or fear, and you can’t live with one or the other. Try playing a horror game like the new Resident Evil 7 and see if it scares you as much without the creepy background sounds. Or another example, in titles like Rainbow Six Siege where hearing your opponent’s footsteps from a particular direction gives you a direct advantage since he’s as good as dead now that you know where he is coming from.
There are a ton of options available in the market, and even if we list twenty models, this guide will not even scratch the surface of it all. These gaming headsets also come with different price points, features, and looks so that it could get confusing. It can also get expensive if you buy and try, because even if your favorite retailer offers returns and exchanges, the ordeal may still cost you shipping fees and an insurmountable amount of time between turnarounds. Most can get by with regular headsets, even models made specifically for music sound great. But for the sophisticated and hardcore, having a gamer-centric pair of cans with every feature such as a great mic, sound cards, or even RGB lighting makes the perfect Swiss knife for your oncoming battles. This guide presents you with the absolute best and badass gaming headsets the market has to offer, with options for any battleground you choose.
- 50MM DRIVER DELIVERS SURROUND SOUND. Whether you're immersed in God of War or want to hear your enemies motion in Fortnite, PUBG or CS:GO, wearing a professional gaming headset does matter. With a 50mm driver, RUNMUS PS4 headset offers an incredibly surround sound for both games and music.
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN & PREMIUM MATERIAL. Gamers usually play games for many hours, so the comfort is also a key factor when choosing a Xbox one headset. We have tested our headsets for many years on hundreds of different heads, the retractable band and breathable ear pad make sure every player could enjoy the optimal wearing comfort.
- MULTIPLE PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY. This gaming headset with a 3.5mm audio jack is compatible with PC, PS4 controller, Xbox One controller(Please note: newer models have a headphone jack, older ones require an adapter.), Nintendo Switch (audio), Nintendo New 3DS LL/3DS (audio), Nintendo 3DS LL/3DS (audio).
- NOISE CANCELING MICROPHONE. This PS4 headset provides high-end noise cancellation to enable you to chat to your fellow players with crystal clarity. If you wanna enjoy your valuable me-time without communicating with other players, you could turn off the mic by flipping the switch.
- RELIABLE AFTER-SALES TEAM. Every RUNMUS gaming headset will go trough a strict quality test process before sending out. We promised to bring the best quality gaming headset to our customer. If any question or problem, please feel free to reach out to our after-sales support team. We'll reply to you within 24 hours.
- TRUE SURROUND SOUND EFFECT FOR IMMERSIVE GAMING EXPERIENCE. RUNMUS gaming headset adopt superior 50mm audio drivers combined with advanced audio techniques. It delivers quality simulated surround sound to enhance the immersive gaming experience. With the high responsive audio drivers, you can be better to make out the direction from which the sound is coming, like the gun fire, enemy footsteps and scenario indicators. Let you gain the competitive edge you need to take gaming to the next level
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN & LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL FOR ALL-DAY COMFORT. Using self-adjusting padding headband & all-cover ear cups with soft memory foam, RUNMUS gaming headset presents the ultra-comfortable wearing experience. The soft ear cups with bionic protein cushion coat covers your ears gently. Thanks to its lightweight flexible plastic material, RUNMUS gaming headset is only 12 OZ. You won't feel any discomfort from headband and ear cups even after a long gaming sessions
- MULTI-PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY FOR PLUG AND PLAY. RUNMUS gaming headset works on PS4, PS3 (Adapter needed), PS vita, PSP, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (audio), Nintendo New 3DS LL/3DS (audio), Nintendo 3DS LL/3DS (audio), Windows PC, Mac OS PC, iOS device and Android device. Xbox One headset adapter might be needed. With RUNMUS gaming headset, gamer can always enjoy a immersive gaming experience no matter in which platform. Plug and play
- NOISE CANCELING & ANTI-STATIC MICROPHONE FOR CRYSTAL-CLEAR COMMUNICATION. RUNMUS gaming headset has a sensitive adjustable microphone using noise canceling techniques. It filters most environmental noise around you and provide real-in-time talking without any delay. Anti-static tech inside gaming headphones prevent static sound from happening. You can chat to your fellow players with crystal clarity sound and enjoy a smooth team-work play
- 100% QUALITY GUARANTEED & 12-MONTH-WARRANTY. Every RUNMUS gaming headset will go trough a strict quality test process before sending out. We promised to bring the best quality gaming headset to our customer. From the day of purchase of RUNMUS gaming headset, we offer 12 months warranty to our customer. Every customer's right is fully guaranteed during the warranty period
- FULL AUDIO CONTROLS: Turn on THX Spatial Audio for increased immersion, control both volume and bass levels, and even configure the game/chat balance
- THX SPATIAL AUDIO: Creating realistic depth by simulating positionally accurate sound in a 360; sphere for a more natural and lifelike experience
- GAME/CHAT BALANCE: Tune between game and chat audio for the perfect mix of immersion and communication
- CUSTOM TUNED 50 MILLIMETER DRIVERS: Provides a wide soundscape, from subtle footsteps sneaking up behind you to climactic explosions
- COOLING GEL INFUSED CUSHIONS: Reduce heat build up, while a soft cloth and leatherette combination provides comfort and sound isolation so you can enjoy gaming for hours
- Lightweight headset with 90 degree rotating ear cups
- 50mm directional drivers for Audio precision
- Hyperx signature Memory foam. Adjustable steel Slider
- Intuitive Volume control on headset ear cup
- Swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation Microphone. Multi-platform compatibility. Refer instruction manual before use
- Enjoy expansive sound - big 50 mm audio drivers deliver an incredible sound experience.
- Be heard loud and clear - The Big 6 mm boom mic makes sure you're heard by gaming partners and mutes when flipped up.
- Use one headset for all game platforms - Your headphones work with your PC or Mac via 3.5 mm cable, or with gaming consoles including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo switch, and mobile devices via a 3.5 mm cable.Audio Sensitivity:107dB SPL/mW
- Game for hours in comfort - everything about these headphones is about comfort: The Deluxe lightweight sports mesh ear cups and headband are made to keep pressure off your ears. Ear cups rotate up to 90 degrees for convenience.
Pricing last updated on 2019-12-10 - Disclaimer
- How to Choose the Best Gaming Headset
You can’t just run to the store and buy or click add to cart and checkout without checking out these aspects which will help you in getting the best out of your every dollar. Buying the most colorful or badass-looking pair and expecting fantastic returns in quality is not a good way to go about choosing a great gaming headset since these gadgets sometimes cost a fortune even if the performance in practice flops. Reading through these steps will show you the path and help lead you to the gaming headset of your dreams.
- Platform (PC, PlayStation or Xbox)
The big three gaming arenas make the peripheral manufacturers race to deliver excellent products worth your every penny, flooding the market with several models which are sometimes difficult to differentiate from one another. There are proprietary models like Sony’s PS4-specific headsets, but the best deals lie with the headsets which are compatible with two or three of these host devices with the use of a universal platform such as USB or single 3.5mm jacks. PCs can take any connectors, while the PS4 can accept either a 3.5mm jack via the DS4 controller or USB heads. But some models may require prospective owners to purchase an additional Xbox stereo adapter so some of these cans would function.
Typically, digitized surround sound only works on PC, while on the two big consoles, you only get stereo or 2.0 channel sound. This aspect is an advantage for PC gamers, but my experience suggests it doesn’t matter; I prefer high quality 2.0 audio more than any virtualization trickery any day of the week. There are also other selling points such as RGB lighting or equalizer settings which may not work with consoles since they do not have the programming to execute the drivers required to run these features.
Hardcore gamers will probably have their chosen headsets on their noggins for a couple of hours each day, especially on the weekends. It is imperative that the pair that you decide you get rests easily on your noggin, without giving you a skull-cracking headache after a few hours of use. A lot of headsets nowadays look and feel comfy when it first touches your head, but after some time, the headband compresses which will, in turn, hurt your ears. Experiences vary between sizes, so it’s still best to go out and find demo units before you decide on getting one.
Typically, plush and thick padding are enough to prevent headsets from bringing the pain, but there are also other facets you have to look into before deciding. You should also check if the ear cups are big enough to engulf your whole ear since having the pads sit on the edges will induce pain. You should also see how heavy a set is since the heft will dictate how long a pair can sit on your head before some strain is felt. Also, look for a flexible headband, so the headsets don’t compress too much and squeeze your eyeballs out with migraines after an hour or two.
- Audio Quality
For this part, you can take our word for it plus do a bit more research on the headset your heart desires, or you can go out to test and hear them out in retail stores which have demo units. You need a set with a fantastic bass response, which is easily discovered by looking at the lowest frequency it can reach. Of course, you still need a pair with excellent clarity for its mids and highs, so conversations are crystal while sound effects are sharp and stingy to complete a game’s soundstage.
Remember, a lot of AAA title developers now spend a ton of money to hire experts and create superb sound scores, tracks, and effects, from the biggest booms down to the minute details like rustling leaves to emphasize a title’s cinematic feel and intensity. A headset’s price usually indicates its output greatness; a $20 pair will not give you sound which is worth $200. But there are individual cases out there, but for the most part, price equates to the level of quality.
- Build Quality
Most of the available headsets nowadays are made of plastic, which makes some models susceptible to your fits of rage, so at least try not to throw your pair across the room if you don’t get the highlights. However, there are premium products which have aluminum or metal parts which usually comes with high price tags and hefty weights, making them less ideal as well. Your best bet lies with headsets which mix the two materials to an effect, imbuing durability and flexibility plus a hint of sophistication where they matter most.
Plastic headbands are the most flexible, but they break easily so ideally, get a model with enough elasticity not to cause strain but with metallic reinforcements for a robust exterior. Although, there are favorite brands out there who have drastically improved their material choices and designs, so most of the time, you are safe from physical damage and should worry more about electronic failure, an issue which is entirely unpredictable and mostly unpreventable.
- Closed or Open Headsets
Open headphones have a mesh or perforated cups which creates a less stifled, natural sound. Other than how it affects sound, these small passages also allow heat to escape, so your ears stay cooler allowing you to play longer. But this type also allows background noise from your surroundings to get into the cups, making them less ideal if you play in a shared space in your home. Some sound can also escape from the ear cups, so others can eavesdrop on what you are hearing, such as in-game effects or team chat comms.
Closed headsets, on the other hand, have a solid cup or shield which isolates your ears so you can only hear the game itself. Typically, high-end sets with noise cancellation features use this configuration. This type is ideal for games where concentration is critical, or you only want to keep your surroundings’ noise out of your session.
The other crucial half of a gaming headset is a decent receiver for your team comms. Being able to communicate clearly and consistently has never been more crucial than it is in today’s competitive games since typing will get you killed. Ideally, you should get a set with high-quality noise cancellation features so your teammates can only hear you blabber about your strategies or smack talk since no one wants to hear your A/C’s buzz or the steady hum of your water cooling pump and fans.
The newer sets nowadays have improvements such as auto recording where the mic only activates when you talk, but shuts off if there is no sound from the proximity of the mouth. This function relies on noise-cancellation, so make sure you get a good pair. Another important aspect of a good microphone is if it feedbacks your voice into the headset, so you can hear yourself to determine how loud or clear you are when you speak.
- Wired Versus Wireless
I still mostly prefer wired headsets, since the audio quality is still unmatched. Sound doesn’t deteriorate as it travels through a good cable, so you get the best possible audio your soundcard is processing while playing games. Wired headsets also suffer from less external feedback, like the irritating sound that comes out of any speaker when a nearby cellular phone rings or receives a message. You also won’t need to charge from time to time, since the headset’s cable also transmits power from the USB slot or the 3.5mm audio jack.
Wireless headsets, on the other hand, free you from the annoying twists and tangles of cables since it frees your range of movement. There is also no chance of tripping on the cable which can break or strip it, so wireless necessarily equates to convenience, right? Not all the time. Wireless headsets have internal batteries which will require recharging or replacing from time to time. One of the greatest causes of fits of rage is when your wireless device suddenly runs out of juice in the middle of an intense session. Headsets typically have 4 to 12 hours of usage time, but it can be difficult to keep track of the battery levels all the time. Bluetooth also suffers from poor audio quality and interference, even if the newer models have substantially improved over the years.
- Accessories/Spare Parts/Warranty
Some headsets come with thoughtful gifts from their makers, such as extra cables, ear pads or even a high-performance USB mixer/soundcard, and these can be substantial for your headset’s operation and lifespan. Leather ear cups tend to crack over time from sweat or humidity, making them itchy and uncomfortable for extended use. Other parts can also break from wear and tear, or if you’re clumsy, so it is best to choose a headset from a reliable company with a fantastic reputation for after sales service or warranties. You can usually find cheap replacements or alternatives for broken parts on the internet, but of course, they don’t have the compatibility and quality of OEM spares.
- The Best and Most Badass Gaming Headsets
- The best Overall Gaming Headset – Kingston HyperX Cloud/Cloud II
A lot of gamers and audiophiles may end up contesting the Kingston HyperX Cloud II as the best overall gaming headset, but for what it lacks in some of its qualities, it more than makes up for with characteristics that enrich the package for its price. For starts, the Cloud features a fantastic and robust build made of durable plastic and aluminum, which makes it as tough as a tank as far as gaming headsets go.
Kingston derived the name Cloud since they designed this headset as a lightweight and comfortable model which can sit on your skull for hours on end without severe strain. The earcups are made of soft, and smooth leather which feels nice against your face, plus the package includes a replacement pair in case of need. There are also nifty additionals such as an airline adaptor so you can use the Cloud for long-haul flights, plus a velvety carrying case also suitable for travel.
Aside from these creature comforts, when it comes to sound quality, the HyperX Cloud’s performance also seems more than its affordable price tag. The 50mm driver’s bass response is superb for action games, while the mids and the highs combine to create a bright soundstage which is suitable for music and conversation-heavy games such as RPGs. If you want virtual 7.1 surround, you can opt for the second version with an external USB soundcard, for a bit more cash. Although, even if the mixing is decent at the most, both the Cloud and Cloud II sound better without any emulation.
One aspect where the Kingston headsets fall behind is the mic quality. Although you can hear voice feedback through the ear cups when you speak, the sound coming out from the other end is harsh but clearly audible. There are flashier options with space-age mixers and other customization options, LED lights and all the cool bits and pieces, but for the Kingston HyperX Cloud/Cloud II’s affordable price tag and what it offers in the box, it reigns supreme in our book.
- Razer Man O’ War – Best Wireless Gaming Headset
The Razer Man O’ War is the company’s first foray into wireless cans, but it is currently the best they have to offer when compared to all their other audio products. Out of the box, this model sounds bright with a greater emphasis on crisp highs and mids, which may disappoint FPS fans and bass heads. But surprisingly, the Man O’ War is one of the most responsive pairs once tweaked via an equalizer, since each increment of adjustment translates to audible improvements within the ear cups. Once tweaked, the Man O’ War sings so much better for most games, completing Razer’s promise of a premium wireless headset.
Directional sound is also roomy and accurate, so you can quickly locate where each footstep or gunfire comes from between the left and right 50mm driver. This latest headset from Razer also offers 7.1 surround emulation, but as always, stereo sound is way better for little to no compromises in overall quality. As good as it sounds, the Razer Man O’ War also boasts a smart design blasting it past more expensive competitors. The ultra-wide headband makes this product look bigger than anything else in the market, but along with the soft padding, it makes it a comfortable pair that does not compress after sitting for hours on your head.
I love Razer for their intuitive designs which also extensively applies to the Man O’ War. You can find everything under each of the cups, from the transmitter slot to individual volume controls for the sound and the mic. Yes, unlike other wireless products, the Man O’ War comes with a dedicated wheel volume control for the mic on the left cup. The connectivity also goes well beyond the normal range, since the pair still functions even if you go out of a midsized room.
The one complaint we have for the Man O’ War is it is made of plastic, which makes it less durable and creaky-sounding when flexed. But this makes it lighter than its competitors, even if it has a 12-14 hour internal battery in its innards. To top everything off, Razer did not forget to add Chroma lighting to the total package, which provides beautiful lighting effects to an already beautiful set.
- Sennheiser Game One – Best Headset for Audiophile Gamers
If accurately reproduced sound appeals more to you than just having heart-pounding bass for explosions and effects, the Sennheiser Game One is your best bet. This pair has some of the smallest drivers in this roundup, but it has decent bass and crisp highs and mids. The bass is less than what other models offer, but it certainly isn’t weak. Most of the gamer-centric headsets available are tuned for heavy bass, so fans of this aspect might not like the Game One for its emphasis on the two other levels of audio. We also recommend users to connect this product to a good soundcard or DAC to maximize performance, so that could either add cost to the total of your upgrade if you don’t have any yet.
Another significant fact about the Sennheiser Game One is it is one of the lightest headsets in this lineup which makes it perfect for long gaming sessions. The plastic headband offers a lot of flexibility despite not having the toughness of metal counterparts, and the mesh pads feel cool to the skin more than leather does. The Game One utilizes an open back design which defeats noise cancellation, but we didn’t find this design detrimental to the performance of the product. In fact, it gives the Game One a wider and open soundstage while keeping your ears cool in the heat of battle. Some sound does leak from each ear cup, and if that annoys you or your companions at home, then you might have to go for a closed-back pair. But to make up for this flaw, keep in mind that most of Sennheiser’s high-end products like the 5xx series use a similar design and the same pair of drivers, so fantastic sound fidelity is guaranteed.
Another significant advantage of this model is the high-quality mic used by the brand, and if you check their website and their guide about choosing headsets, you’ll see that Sennheiser doesn’t fall short on bragging about this important feature. Voice comms are crystal clear, and the active noise cancellation is superbly implemented in this set, but the feature we love the most is the automatic muting of the mic by folding it up. The Game One does not have mic monitoring, so the drivers do not play your chatter, but the open back design and the mesh padding make it easy to hear how loud or bright you are, so that isn’t a drawback.
- SteelSeries Siberia 840 – Best Multi-Platform Luxury Headset
If you are a gamer who regularly crosses the realms between PC, PS4 and Xbox One plus a few more entertainment platforms, investing in a high-quality headset built with flexibility in mind is crucial to amplifying your gaming experience. The SteelSeries Siberia 840 is the brand’s flagship wireless headset packed with excellent audio performance, plus a myriad of features useful for all types of gamers. The 840 is the follow up to the previous 800 and H-Wireless models from the brand, offering Bluetooth compatibility and SteelSeries Engine 3 compatibility which are useful features the predecessors did not have. You can create profiles via the Engine 3 program, all while having granular control over the audio output of the 840.
The SteelSeries 840 boasts of 40mm Neodymium drivers, which gives this pair excellent audio fidelity which is on par with the other expensive, high-performing headsets in the market. The 7.1 surround implementation seems decent, but still lacking in accuracy like every other product. The advantage of choosing the 840 lies in its features. The wireless headset functions via a desktop transmitter which connects to your PC via USB and analog jacks or optical cable for consoles and its OLED display allows convenient maneuvering through the various functions without having to exit or alt-tab your game.
The sleek and sophisticated black 840 includes two battery packs which have a specialized charging dock on the transmitter, so you won’t need to worry about losing power and waiting in between gaming sessions. The built-in mic offers decent voice quality, but the best part about it is it retracts into the earcup instead of folding or being removable. The SteelSeries 840 was built to cater to every digital gadget in your man cave including your mobile phone, but the company did not forget about comfort since the whole set is still light enough for hours of use, and the memory foam padding is a heaven sent regarding softness and feel.
- Kingston Hyper X Cloud Stinger – Best Budget Headset
The Kingston Hyper X Cloud Stinger is arguably one of the best affordable gaming headphones affordable today. For around $50, you get a jet-black pair which looks expensive than it is with a mildly styled form suitable for gamer tastes. The Stinger builds on its older cousin’s reputation, the Hyper X Cloud, for unmatched comfort since this model also uses memory foam padding making it a hassle-free option for extended gaming sessions. The plastic used feels cheap and fragile, but the metal strip on the headband adds reinforcement.
Of course, everybody is curious how a cheap headset will sound in practice. The Stinger still packs a punch with its emphasis on mids supplemented by adequate bass power, but the details in the high notes suffer a bit. Still, audio features are there, and you can hear each instrument playing on music tracks, and the directional sound is easy to pinpoint since the Cloud Stinger offers a decently wide soundstage. Complaining about the lack of bass and treble for a $50 headset is unfair, and we think for what it asks, the Cloud Stinger is still an excellent option you can choose.
What we love about this product is its auto-mute mic when folded, a feature mostly found on products which are exponentially more expensive, although you can’t remove the whole thing. Also, instead of going for an inline volume control, the Stinger instead implements a slider found on the bottom of one of the earcups. We honestly prefer wheel controls, but the placement is smart enough to make it convenient for users to adjust loudness without fumbling for a separate controller. The comfort, thrifty but intuitive design and decent overall sound performance make the Kingston Hyper X Cloud Stinger an excellent choice for budget-conscious gamers.
- Turtle Beach Elite 800X – Best Headset for Xbox One
The Turtle Beach Elite 800X is the best wireless option for your Xbox One console just because it offers its stellar performance without the need for the extra cost of the stereo headset adapter. It is currently one of the brand’s flagship models which means it’s packed with exciting features a discerning Xbox gamer deserves. The Elite 800x isn’t overly stylish, but the build quality is robust and not very heavy as far as wireless headsets go. The memory foam padding feels plush and comfortable, so using this product for as much as ten hours will not induce pain to your ears or cranium. The package includes a transmitter which connects to your Xbox via optical and USB cables while doubling as an attractive charging base for the headset itself. Configuring your console for Dolby Digital streaming and pairing is easy, so you’ll only need five minutes or so in setting up this beast.
You can also use Bluetooth devices such as phones with the 800x, but you don’t get PC and PS4 compatibility with this particular model. If you plan on bringing this pair along with you, you can use a micro USB cable to charge the headset, so you won’t have to lug the base around with you. All of the controls are on the earcups making it easy to go through the functions of the 800x, but it is easy to press the wrong button if you haven’t memorized the layout. You can connect the 800x to a PC or PS4 via a 3.5mm audio cable, but you only get stereo sound and no mic functionality since this particular model only caters to the Xbox, thanks to Microsoft’s anti-consumer decision of using proprietary adaptors. However, you get a specified exclusivity which is hassle free if you are solely gaming on the Xbox One console.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800X is quite expensive, but it is one of the best sounding wireless cans we have heard in the market. Audio fidelity is just superb across the highs, mids, and lows, plus you have enough volume level to shatter your eardrums since this pair can go deafening. Turtle Beach also included specific presets for any game, although it sounds best in stereo mode using the Signature preset. This offering has active noise canceling, which monitors and filters outside noise so you get the best audio your game can offer. The Dolby DTS 7.1 function works great for both games and movies and is easily one of the available implementations which provide a noticeable difference when turned on. The microphone is discretely hidden into the earcups instead of a boom mic, with dynamic boost so you can always hear the chatter against the explosions and music. Lastly, the Turtle Beach Elite 800X has a range of more than 20 feet, so gaming on the couch will not induce connection losses throughout your gaming session.
- Astro A50 – Best Headset for PS4
The Astro A50 is another high-end offering in this list, but we like how its sound fidelity and black/blue color combination makes it suitable to sit next to your PS4. The design mixes modern and sleek cues to create a strikingly attractive pair, but one that is suitable mostly for home use since the A50 will look silly in public. Still, the package looks superb and screams cutting-edge. Instead of an external mix amp like its previous iteration, the device is now built into one of the earcups so you can conveniently tinker with the settings, while the other necessary controls such as volume, surround switch, power switch and EQ are in the other cup. The headset itself is lightweight enough at a little over thirteen ounces but coupled with the plush ear cups, you can game for hours on end without strain, plus you can easily replace each padding with other options you can buy from their website.
One of the attractive aspects of the new A50 is the 8-inch wide base which acts as a transmitter, charger and display base in one. You need to plug in both a USB and optical cord to get it to work on the PS4, and setup is a breeze and will only take five minutes. The two look like they were made for each other, but you can also buy additional bases for $100, so you can have a transmitter for the PC or your other consoles. The base also has 3.5mm ports for other devices such as phones and capture cards, providing users with an all in one experience you could and should expect from a sophisticated and expensive model. The internal battery has a lifetime of about 15 hours, but the built-in accelerometer helps in preserving precious usage time by switching the headset off if you set it down for thirty seconds or more, and then turns it on again if you pick it up.
To go with the fantastic design, the Astro A50 also packs stellar audio which provides immersive sound with crisp details and enough bass for heart-pounding action. There are three presets available, which either provides a balanced tone or puts emphasis on the high or low end of the spectrum. The Dolby 7.1 surround works admirably with the directional qualities of the A50, and it’s easy to pinpoint where your opponents are coming from while instruments and effects from a wide soundstage play correctly on the left and right earcup. The microphone is decent and sufficiently clear for most uses, but this is the only caveat the total package has; the mic is a little fuzzy and output on the other side sound tinny, making it non-ideal for streaming or recording. Still, the Astro A50 2016 is our best bet for the PS4 from its exterior look and features, down to its fantastic audio fidelity you can expect from a premium product.
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro – Best E-Sports Headset
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset was developed to cater to professional gamer’s meticulous demands for a high-performing versatile headset. Primarily, the Elite Pro is made for comfort with its adjustable headband which can cater to glasses-wearing gamers, plus the ear padding is gel-infused instead of using regular memory foam making it feel colder to the touch. The headbands have sliders on each side that you can loosen or tighten while each ear cup can rise or drop an inch each to get a maximized fit. The ergonomics on this gaudy, gamer-centric model is one of the best we have seen and tested, so it’s easy to get a comfortable setting which will not compress on your skull like a vise.
To get the most out of the Turtle Beach Elite Pro, you might need to get the Tactical Audio Controller and noise-cancelling mic for a price which almost matches the whole set. While that can be detrimental for thrifty buyers, investing in a perfect pair of cans for all your gaming needs still makes sense if you can spare the cash. But despite that requirement, the Elite Pro already has superb audio qualities, especially for shooter titles like Overwatch and Battlefield. The 50mm drivers are capable of delivering powerful bass without sacrificing fidelity in the highs and mids, so you get a balanced and excellent performance which highlights every aspect of a game’s audio. We also appreciate the directional capabilities of the Elite Pro, which made it easy to discern where a creeping opponent is coming from. You don’t get digital surround with the basic package, but in our books, that’s a worthy sacrifice if you get fantastic ergonomics and stereo sound from a premium headset.
The included microphone can be upgraded to a noise-cancelling option for forty bucks, but our tests proved that you don’t need to shell out more cash for decent communication performance. Already, the built-in unit is clear and crisp enough, since our friends on the other side claimed our smack talk was correctly conveyed without fuzziness or cutting out. Having modular upgrades can be costly but is a welcome design feature for headsets, since it leaves you with enough room to get more performance as soon as some funds are free. The $199 Tactical Audio Controller adds intuitive controls to your setup, while also providing users with connectivity options such as 3.5mm jacks and an Ethernet port for lag-free comms in a tournament or LAN session setting. If you are a multi-platform kind of guy, you can also purchase additional amps/adapters for the PS4 and Xbox One, which beefs up the audio for the two consoles. The Turtle Beach Elite Pro makes a good investment if you need a long-term and multi-function gadget, making it one of the best choices despite having a hefty total price tag if you get everything that goes with the headset itself.
- Audio Technica ATH-AG1x – Best High-End Headset
If money isn’t an issue but slight imperfections in fidelity is, the Audio Technica ATH-AG1x is the answer to your rich-kid problems. This product bridges the gap between audiophile headphones and gaming headsets, where a long-standing argument stems when asking the best questions in several forums. The brand is popular among enthusiasts as an affordable (Some audiophile-grade sets cost hundreds of dollars)and well-established provider of fantastic audio products. The most important fact you have to remember before deciding to get the AG1x is that it will require a decent soundcard or DAC to maximize its capabilities. Some high-end boards already carry built-in processors, but you might still want to invest in a better gadget.
The 53mm drivers require a powerful signal delivery to produce its hair-raising fidelity. There is plenty of bass to crack your skull, and the mids and highs are clean-sounding and bright with a wider-than-most soundstage. The frequency of the ATH AG1x is the widest in this roundup, from as low as 5Hz to 30KHz. To compare, the other options we listed only have 20Hz to 20Khz. This results in a truly immersive audio experience you can’t find on digitized pairs, and the accuracy and vastness of the soundstage can be terrifying at times, especially when playing horror games.
The design of the ATH-AG1x is also unique in this lineup because it uses a tricky wing design to latch on to your heads instead of the typical headband. While it may seem weird at first, the whole thing is surprisingly comfortable as if you aren’t wearing anything, and after hours of enjoyment, it can become easy to forget that you have the pair on your head. Build quality is also superb, with aluminum in all the right which sports an attractive design that you can wear even in public. Even the microphone is cutting edge with a frequency response of 100Hz to 12000Hz, further emphasizing the fact the Audio Technica ATH-AG1x means business for the sonic aspect of your gaming. If closed back models aren’t your cup of tea, you can opt for the open version of this product, the ATH-ADG1x which is also a top-ranking audiophile headset.
- Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR
VR gaming is already positioned to be the next big thing, but most of the fantastic gaming headsets available now cannot claim that they are compatible. The sound is the other half of the VR experience, and while most prominent gadgets like the Oculus Rift already have a built in pair of audio drivers, there is still a lot of room for improvement in audio quality. The Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR is one of the first few gadgets to race to the scene, to offer futuristic gamers a product which functions, fits and sounds perfect for VR. From the external design, the 350VR is downright made for VR headsets from the wider headband to the contoured padding designed to allow cranial straps to pass through without any fuss. The whole package includes the necessary cables to connect to a VR headset or your controller, plus a cable for PC and a micro-USB charger.
The 350VR isn’t wireless, but it does have an internal battery for the built-in amplifier which is designed to augment the 3D soundstage and help it sound bigger, a necessary performance for the immense depth of VR games. There is plenty of bass and decent mids and highs so audio fidelity is defined and crystal clear. For more or less $80, the Stealth 350VR is one of the best-sounding pairs in its price bracket thanks to the 50mm Neodymium drivers similar to the ones on the brand’s high-end models. Everything on the headphone is lightweight plastic, which may feel flimsy for most. If you notice, all of the headsets from this brand are built like this, but it isn’t to cheapen them but instead, make them as light as possible. The 350VR is so comfortable thanks to this design aspect, and everything else like the new fabric-covered padding feels excellent and cool to the touch.
Of course, since this is still a gaming headset made suitable for a variety of gaming platforms, the Stealth 350VR also has a flexible boom mic which is completely detachable. Voice comms are crystal-clear, and the noise filtering is so good, you can use it to record or stream without any fizz or crackles on your audio, unlike other products you can get for around the same price. Every control point of this model is found right beside the mic including the switches for power and amplification, but the dedicated volume wheel along with the bass boost slider is also a well-loved feature for its convenience. The bass boost also works wonders for audio, unlike other products where the feature is only a gimmick. Sliding it to around the half setting felt like it hit the spot, making the 350VR sound bigger than ever which is also made possible through the vent holes you can open on the top part of the ear cups. Overall, the Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR is a well-rounded and suitable product not only for immersive VR gaming but PC, console and mobile entertainment as well.
- Final Thoughts
Sadly, we cannot cover all of the fantastic products in the market due to the richness of the options made available by several manufacturers. You can easily tell how diverse and exciting this segment is by knowing that even the audiophile brands like Sennheiser and Audio Technica are joining in on the gaming frenzy. This fact, however, is a good thing since healthy competition usually equates to better pricing, performance and package contents which are all fighting for every dollar you can spend.
The ten options included in this round-up are the best in that regard in our opinion, but no matter what we say about how good an affordable or expensive product is, you still have to manage your expectations. The saying “You get what you pay for” applies heavily to gaming headsets, since qualities and features still rely on price bracketing. However, no matter how much money you are willing to spend, you can still get every penny’s worth from each of the models in this guide. We hope this article narrows it down for you, in your search for the best and most badass gaming headsets for good gamers. Enjoy!