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The best gaming headsets allow us to hear everything from subtle footstep to large mind-blowing explosions in our games. This allows us to be further immersed in our game and is a must have for the ultimate in improving your gaming experience.
With the recent stock replenishment of of new consoles such as the Xbox Series X and PS5, you might be looking for a new headset to upgrade the sound of your new gaming console. The big issue is with all the different gaming headsets on the market, how does one know which to choose. Luckily, we are here to help and did all the heavy lifting and testing for you by doing rigorous testing of the top gaming headsets on the market.
In this article, we provide an overview on what to look for when choosing gaming headphones so that you can get the best value from your purchase along with our top tips in a variety of categories to meet not only your gaming needs but also fit your budget.
What to Look for in Gaming Headphones
First and foremost we need our gaming headphones to sound great. We want them to capture every intricate detail of the game’s sound and fully immerse us in the story or battle.
Comfort and Durability
If the sound quality was our top priority in requirements for the best gaming headset, Comfort and Durability is easily 1a on our list. What good is a great sounding gaming headphone if you do not enjoy wearing it for extending gaming sessions and it does not hold up under extreme daily use. Due to this we gave a comfortable design and long-lasting durability almost as much emphasis as excellent sound quality.
Gaming Headset Console and PC Compatibility
The first thing you want to ensure is the gaming headphones you are considering will work with your console or pc. In addition, you may game on multiple consoles and PC so cross-compatibility is imperative. All of the headsets in our list should work on both your pc gaming rig, current gen consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X) in addition to being compatible with last gen consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One. I currently do not own a Nintendo Switch so you will need to do a bit of due diligence on your end to make test how the pair of cans you choose performs on the platform. For the Nintendo Switch, I tried to mark if any headphone is marked as not compatible or has missing features listed by the manufacture.
Do you need surround sound?
Once we get the compatibility of your headphones out of the way, the next thing to consider is if you need surround sound along with what type. Most of the headphones in our list will have the latest processing and at least capable of a 7.1 virtual surround sound mix. You may wish to further your gaming sound enjoyment by looking for headphones that feature the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS processing for a true impression of 360° spatial audio. The additional processing such as Dolby Atmos is also great for multi-use headphones if you plan to use the cans for the best in positional audio of movies and games.
In addition to the processing, the design and functionality of the soundstage is crucial. This will add depth and location to your audio signal. If you are looking for great gaming sound, make sure not to miss our picks for the best USB DAC for gaming.
Wired vs Wireless Gaming Headset
This will come down to your personal preference along with setup. For some gamers, the reliability and consistency of a wired headphone and boom mic is ideal while others are looking to cut the cord to using true wireless or Bluetooth connections. If considering wireless, also note that the wireless range is sufficient to reach from the base to for your playing position. You may also want to consider the best of both worlds as we gave extra points for headphones that offered both the option to use wireless or wired headset.
Design and Style
Again, this will come down to personal preference. You may love a slim, sleek headset design or maybe you are looking for a larger design that may offer more comfort and noise isolation. There is no right or wrong answer here.
In addition to the size, other important style considerations we looked at was the design of the headphone, i.e. did it look as good as it sounded. Also we noted cases where RGB was not an option or there was not the ability to turn the RGB lighting off from a great gaming headset.
Open-Back vs Closed-Back
Most gaming headphones are a closed-back design. This offers better sound isolation from the external environment in addition to not allowing the game sound to leak out and disturb others in the room. In addition to being closed-back, many of our top picks include active noise cancellation to further block out unwanted sounds. The drawback of the design is it will generally have a less life-like and smaller soundstage of their open-back counterpart.
Noise-cancelling microphones are crucial for communications, so most of the headsets we’ve listed here include this feature. A headset with a microphone is essential to have for gamers and the better the boom mic quality, the better the gaming. We looked for microphones that provided excellent voice quality and detail while the Noise-cancelation was able to block out unwanted background noise (such as us banging away on our mechanical switch keyboard).
Outside of the microphone quality, you may also want to consider if a removable microphone boom is an important factor to you. This allows you to remove the microphone from the gaming headset when it is not in use and is a nice feature to have.
Since no one has an unlimited budget, we factored budget into our rankings for the best gaming headsets. We might have found a $200 headset sounded better than a $100 headset but did it sound twice as good?
Now that we covered the basics of what were the most desired features in choosing a gaming headset, let’s jump into our list.
Looking for a budget friendly gaming headset, see our Best Gaming Headsets Under $100
Best Gaming Headsets in 2022
SteelSeries Arctis 7P – Top Pick, Best Overall
SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless Gaming Headset
If you are on a bit of a budget and not looking to spend $300 + on a gaming headset, the SteelSeries Arctis 7P may be your perfect gaming headphone.
This Wireless model is soft with an elastic headband and is easy to connect to all platforms. We found the USB-C dongle worked as a seamless transition between PlayStation 5, PS4, PC, Android, and Nintendo Switch. The implementation worked great with low-latency and no drops duing our tests. In addition, if you prefer to go wired, if you prefer to use an older device with a headphone jack, you can simply plug the Arctis 7P in via 3.5 mm cable.
The Arctis 7P offer a 7.1 channel surround sound and is fully compatible with PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech.
The frequency range is 10 hz – 40 khz and the sound is top of the line. The Arctis 7P do not have active noise-cancellation but are closed back so they do offer some noise isolation from your room.
The battery life is an insane 24 hours with the included battery and the top of the line ClearCase mic has active noise cancellation that rated near the top of all the mics we tested for blocking background noises.
Graphic EQ plus presets.
Fantastic performance from the Clear Cast boom mic.
Offers great comfort in a durable build
Will sometimes overemphasis the bass and treble delivery.
Looking for more great headphones, make sure to read out list of the Best Headphones Under $500
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless – Best Overall High-End No Budget
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset - Lossless High Fidelity Audio
High-End Gaming Headset - Best Overall No Budget
The best wireless gaming headset is the Steel Series Arctis Pro Wireless. It’s liberating to play games without being tethered to a cord. The Steel Series Arctis Pro Wireless really impressed us with their wireless integration in this gaming headphone. It provides the shortest delay of any of the wireless headsets we tested and uses a dock to ensure the connection is not loss. It features a Dual-Wireless technology using both 2.4 and Bluetooth to provide a rock solid connection.
To add a cherry on the top, it contains a secondary battery to tag into when another battery runs low. Setup of the headphone straight forward and a breeze with the supplied instructions. They truly thought of everything with the wireless interface with the Arctis Pro.
They sound of these are top notch and they can even be used with a console and mobile phone at the same time. The frequency range is 10 hz – 40 khz which They do not have active noise-cancellation but are closed back so they do offer some noise isolation from your room. We found the the passive isolation was comparable or better than the other headsets we tested.
On PC and PS4 you can use the onboard ChatMix adjustment and DTS Headphone:X surround sound. On PS5 you can use the PlayStation’s built-in game/chat adjustment and Sony’s 3D Tempest Audio Tech for surround sound.
The microphone is top notch and filtered out a lot of the background noise in various tests we did. The sound quality of ClearCast mic sounded great with our vocals and is near broadcast quality. One disappointment was there is not a button to adjust the mic volume on the headset which we found as a missed opportunity to make this great headset even better.
They are lightweight and comfortable to wear during long gaming sessions. The lightweight steel and aluminum alloy construction offers maximum durability and a consistent fit. If you are looking for the best gaming headset that produces HiFi sound, has a near broadcast quality mic and the best wire-free integration, look no further than the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Steel Series Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset Pros
– Comfortable and durable design.
– Truly impressive audio and microphone reproduction.
– Great battery system
– Dual-Wireless technology for stability and low-latency wireless functionality
Steel Series Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset Cons
– Expensive $$$
Razer Thresher Ultimate – High End – Best Gaming Headphones Runner-up
Razer Thresher Ultimate Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound Lag-Free Wireless Gaming Headset
Runner-up: High-End Gaming Headset - No Budget
If you are considering a top of the line gaming wireless headset the Razer Thresher Ultimate should be at the top of your list to audition. Although we prefer the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset in this category, the Razer Thresher scored high in every category we tested. in addition, we found the bass response of the Razer to not be overpowering as we found sometimes to happen with the SteelSeries. The one downside of the sound quality is we found the Razer to be slightly lacking in the high frequency crispness and clarity.
The gaming headset features great connectivity to all platforms from Xbox Series X to PS5 and has a long battery life to match the great sound reproduction. The microphone is fantastic and if you are considering in investing in the best gaming headset available, you owe it to yourself to audition the Razer Thresher Ultimate
Design wise, it is a bit clunky for our preference but is needed to house the big 50 mm drivers that is ripping out the sound.
Razer Thresher Ultimate Pros
Great wireless connection in this premium gaming headset
Fantastic and powerful sound quality
Comfortable fit and durable design.
Razer Thresher Ultimate Cons
A little on the big size and somewhat clunky design
The High frequency response could have some additional crispness and clarity.
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming Headset – High End Honorable Mention
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming Headset
Honorable Mention: High-End Gaming Headset
The Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE is one of our favorite multi-use gaming headphones. It has a great mic, good battery life, and a comfortable sturdy build. Most of this can be found in a variety of headsets that is available for less money. Why do we rate it so highly? The sweet audio that it produces. The HiFi type audio reproduction makes it great not only for gaming but also enjoying your music collection.
We previously found the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless to be one of our best headphones under $200 in the gaming category.
Many of us do not have the luxury of having a set of cans for each type of listening so if you are looking for a great gaming headphones that offer good enough sound quality to double as your main listening cans, check these out.
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Pros
Very Comfortable and Good Build quality
Hours of Battery Life
Good wireless connectivity
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Cons
A bit expensive for a pair of headphones
Can cause some heat issues with the earcups during long gaming sessions
Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense – best haptic gaming headset
Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense Wired USB Gaming Headset w/: Haptic Technology
best haptic gaming headset
A lot of the haptic gaming headsets we tested were a bit more gimmick than practical. There was one that stood out to us and that was the Raze Kraken V3 Hyper-Sense headset. It was one of the most immersive headsets that we tried during our tests and the haptic system added a lot of depth and emotion to things like shots and explosions in our game.
The system looks a bit odd at first glance, almost like it has a subwoofer built into the earcups as they are a bit thick and clunky. Overall it is not a lightweight headset as could be expected but we did not find it uncomfortable to wear. The build uses the standard plastic, metal, fabric, and leatherette we see in a lot of Razer models. I did not find any issues with the durability but did not test over a long time period.
For adding touches, the haptic headset feature a great mic that is detachable and RGB logo on the earcups that are bright.
Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense Wireless Headsets Pros
– Haptic feedback that adds to the game experience
– Good sound and build quality
Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense Cons
– If haptic feedback is cranked up can serve as a distraction muddy the headset’s 7.1 spatial audio.
HyperX CloudX Flight – Best Value
HyperX CloudX Flight – Wireless Gaming Headset
Best Value in a Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Flight S is our pick for value for the best gaming headphones. It has a great price to performance ratio of any of the gaming headsets we tested. This is one headphone that performed well in all of the ranking factors we considered important to gamers while still maintaining a modest price point.
There is so much to like with these headphones, you get superb sound quality, a durable gaming headset, comfortable build, rgb lighting, stable, low latency wireless connection and a long battery life of 30 + hours. When considering who this is for, I would say any gamer looking for a great performing headset that will not break the bank.
Our one complaint with the HyperX Cloud Flight gaming headset is with the microphone. We did not feel it accurately represented our voice. It seems to have a de-emphasis in the bass and mids and a slight boost in the high frequencies. It’s not a bad mic by any means but we noticed on several occasions an increased emphasis in sibilant sounds (i.e. S or SH sounds).
The HyperX Cloud Flight gaming headset is a comfortable wireless gaming headset that executes on all the right features to be a solid multi-platform option.
HyperX CloudX Flight Pros
– Does almost everything well
– Comfortable, durable build
– 30 + hours of battery life
HyperX CloudX Flight Cons
– Mic increases emphasis in sibilant sounds
Razer BlackShark V2 – Best Wired Gaming on a Budget Under $100
Razer BlackShark V2 Gaming Headset
Best Wired Gaming on a Budget Under $100
We call this a budget friendly vs a cheap gaming headset. Razer did a great job with the update to the BlackShark headset. They fixed all of the concerns around the first version while keeping what made it a great sub $100 gaming headset. The new 50mm TriForce titanium drivers do a great job providing deep, punch bass bass while not overpowering the mids. in addition, the treble clarity is remarkable for a gaming headset in this price range. The audio quality improvements was enough for us to push the BlackShark V2 over our prior top pick in this range, the rival HyperX Cloud Alpha.
The Razer BlackShark V2 combines excellent audio with a clear, crisp mic audio output all packaged in an affordable package that you can pickup for right around $100. You can also upgrade to a wireless version that includes a wireless dongle but the price point jumps quite a bit.
Sennheiser GSP 670 – Best Audio Quality
SENNHEISER GSP 670 Wireless Gaming Headset
Best Audio Quality
Looking for accurate, immersive audio in your gaming headset? Look no further than the Sennheiser GSP 670, though it will cost you.
Of all the headphones we tested, the Sennheiser GSP 670 provided the closest to neutral, accurate sound. It does not overinflate the bass as seen in a lot of competitors and is still able to deliver a wide range of deep, rich bass frequencies along with top end clarity seen in very few gaming headsets.
The Sennheiser GSP 670 is made up of a light but durable plastic making these lightweight and a treat to wear. For me personally, I found these very comfortable to wear with comfortable material on the ear cups and just the right clamping force. I did not have any concerns that they will hold up to some intensive gaming sessions (yes, I have been known to throw my gaming headset from time to time).
In addition to the best audio we heard from a gaming headset, the Sennheiser GSP 670 usb dongle offers wireless connectivity that is easy setup, low latency and no dropped connections. We just wish they were a little less expensive and they would be up their with one of our top considerations for a gaming headphone.
Sennheiser GSP 670 Pros
Excellent mic and audio quality.
Solid, comfortable build.
Sennheiser GSP 670 Cons
Volume dial is somewhat awkward to use
EPOS h6Pro – Best Wired Sound Quality with Open-Back or Closed-Back Option
EPOS H6Pro - Acoustic Gaming Headset with Mic
Best Wired Sound Quality with Open-Back or Closed-Back Option
This heavy weight EPOS h6Pro is available as either a closed-back or open-back setup. Both feature the same high build quality and are comfortable for hours of gaming enjoyment. The EPOS h6Pro has 3.5-mm output for stable connectivity for your gaming sessions.
We loved the microphone and it has good audio quality but was not our top pick for blocking out background noise. The boom mic is detachable but uses a proprietary cable. Overall a great sounding and designed headset that will cost you a premium but may be exactly what you are looking for.
EPOS h6Pro Wired Headset Pros
Exceptional sound quality
Deep, rich audio levels
Available as Open-back or closed-back
Decent mic audio
Durable and very comfortable
EPOS h6Pro Wired Headset Cons
Would expect a higher quality boom mic in this price range
Open-back will leak sound
Wired connection only
As you are aware by now, the choosing the best gaming headset can take your gaming experience to the next level. Whether you are looking for low budget options to meet your needs or simply looking for the best gaming headset on the market today, our list has you covered. We would love to hear from you and your thoughts on your favorite gaming headphones. Please drop us a comment below.
What does a gaming headset need?
The top four items to look for in a gaming headset is sound quality, comfort, budget and mic quality. After these factors are satisfied, you can consider metrics such as wired vs wireless, closed-back vs open-back, surround sound processing, and design / style.
Are wired or wireless headsets better for gaming?
This will really come down to preference. Previously, a wired gaming headset offered the advantage of not needing batteries, no wireless connection to drop, and no latency. Over the past several years wireless headsets have improved upon some of the initial drawbacks by improving battery life, offering stable, low latency connections and have become more compatible across multiple consoles and platforms.
What are the best gaming headset brands?
There are many high quality brands that specialize in gaming headsets. Some of these include SteelSeries, Razer, Epos, HyperX and Corsair. All of these brands offer a variety of models with some being great and others, let’s say not so great.
A better question my be which are the best models of gaming headsets. By looking at specific models instead of brands you will be able to find the best gaming headphones to meet your needs.