There was a time when the only thing one needed to complete a mission in a video game was the ability to follow simple instructions and shoot the right guy. Gaming headsets were a luxury in those good old days.
Gaming technology has significantly improved over the years delivering an almost real gaming experience. Consequently, the requirements for winning have also gone up a few notches. You need more than speed, precision, and creativity. Careful consideration of your gaming surrounding has become a primary requirement.
As a result, it is nearly impossible to make it through a game without a gaming headset. Quality headsets will not only tell you the direction of the approaching adversary but also help immerse yourself in the combat.
The gaming market has so many quality headsets for all your needs. You can find one whether you are on a budget or looking for something to help with Virtual Reality games. All you need to understand the basics of headsets.
We have provided in this guide all the important information that you may need. First are the explanation of the common terms that you will come across in this guide and other gaming headset review.
The guide also explains the factors that you should consider when you are selecting a headset for your gaming rig. In line with this are the factors that define a comfortable headset.
Headsets are different in design and functionality. They work differently on various gaming platforms. We have researched on the best gaming headsets for your PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox, Virtual reality and mobile devices. The final part of this guide provides the features of the best 15 gaming headsets for 2018.
In case you do not take our word for it, we are confident you will find the same information by doing a little research on your own.
How do we know that?
We took some days researching on the information on this article.
So let us start.
- Comparison Table of the 15 Best Gaming Headsets
- Gaming Headset Related Terms
- Part I: 10 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Gaming Headset
- 1. Do you want a cordless gaming room?
- 2. Will you use a microphone?
- 3. Do you prefer your headset closed or open?
- 4. How do you want your sound, stereo or surround?
- 5. Buttons or n buttons?
- 6. What do the others say?
- 7. When are you planning to buy the next headset?
- 8. Which gaming platform are you using?
- 9. What is your budget?
- 10. How comfortable is the headset?
- Part II: The Three Features That Make a Gaming Headset Comfortable
- Part III: Types of Gaming headsets
- Part IV: Best Gaming Headset For Each Gaming Platform in 2018
- A. Best Gaming Headset for PlayStation 4: Sentey GS-4730/ 4731
- B. Best Gaming Headset for PC: Sennheiser PC 373D
- C. Best Gaming Headset for Xbox: HyperX Cloud II
- D. Best Gaming Headset for Mac: Hyper X Cloud Revolver
- E. Best Gaming Headset for Virtual Reality and Mobile devices: Steel Series Arctis lineup
- Best Gaming Headsets (2017 Update)
Comparison Table of the 15 Best Gaming Headsets
|PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4||Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound||Ear cup audio controls||See lowest price|
|All platforms||Stereo||On cable volume and mute controls||See lowest price|
|PC and PS4||Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound||None||See lowest price|
|All platforms||Virtual 7.1 Surround sound||Advanced Audio Control Box||See lowest price|
|All platforms||Stereo||Audio Control box||See lowest price|
|PC and PS4||Dolby 7.1 surround sound||On cable, mute and volume||See lowest price|
|PC||DTS 7.1 Surround sound||On ear volume and mute controls||See lowest price|
|PC, Mac, Xbox and PS4||Stereo||On cable, Volume and Mute||See lowest price|
|All platforms||SteelSeries 7.1 (Windows only)||On-ear audio controls||See lowest price|
|All platforms||DTS 7.1 surround sound||On-cable volume controls and on-ear mute controls||See lowest price|
|All platforms||Surround sound for PC, stereo on other platforms||On-ear audio controls||See lowest price|
|PC, mobile, and PS4||Stereo||Ear cup audio controls||See lowest price|
|PC and PS4||7.1 Surround Sound||On-cable volume and mute controls||See lowest price|
|PC and PS4||7.1 Surround sound||On-cable audio and mute controls||See lowest price|
|Virtual Reality||Stereo||On Board, volume and mute||See lowest price|
Gaming Headset Related Terms
Most people who buy low-quality gaming headsets at a higher cost do so due to their ignorance of what the jargons mean. A larger percentage of them simply desire to hide their lack of knowledge. The intimidation lessens when buying from an online store, but you would not be “Googling” every term, will you?
You can save face and time by simply having this glossary by your side when shopping for this gaming accessory. We have tried to keep them arranged in alphabetical order.
1 (One) eared
The type of headsets has only one earpiece. It is also known as monaural. You are less likely to come across this term, as most of the best gaming headsets are binaural or 2-eared.
2.5mm and 3.5mm
It denotes the size of the round jack pin with which you connect the device to a PC, Mac, console, and PlayStation. You will only find this specification in wired headsets. The 3.5mm is the standard size.
It is an acronym for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile. It is a common feature in wireless headsets as it defines how the audio is streamed between the headset and the other devices over a Bluetooth connection.
Just as the name implies, they make sounds louder and clearer. Modern gaming headsets have amplifiers too, which enables them to achieve other features such as protection against acoustic shock.
It stands for Acoustic Shock Protection. Acoustic shock is the term that describes a situation when the sound levels rise beyond acceptable limits and can damage the eardrum. Most quality headsets have this feature to protect your ears from damage.
It is a wireless technology used in a wireless headset to communicate between the accessory and the connected devices. It has a maximum distance of 10m.
It is a fancy name for the wire, which you use to connect your headset to another device such as PC or console. Each wired headset has its unique connection cord. You can also find compatible after-market options.
It is always indicated in millimeters. It shows the size of the driver unit, see next for more details. The sound should be better especially bass, as the driver size increases. However, other factors such as the type of driver and the material used also affect the quality of the output sounds.
It converts an electrical signal into sound signals in the headset and vice versa. It is composed of a magnet, diaphragm and voice coils. The diameter is the commonly stated spec of the unit. It is essential at gauging the expected sound quality.
Digital Signal Processing is the process by which sounds are digitalized for easy manipulation and transfer before being outputted.
Dynamic Noise Reduction is a technology that is used to reduce noise in an audio signal.
It is the soft cushion placed between your ear and the headset’s ear pad. They can be donut-shaped, triangular, or circular. Foam and leather are the common materials used in the making of the ear cushion.
One thing you can never miss among a headset’s audio specification is the range that has a “Hz” in it, say, 20Hz – 20kHz. It is called the frequency response, a technical term that means the range of sounds, which the headset can produce clearly.
A wider range does not guarantee better audio quality as the human ear can only “hear” sounds between 20Hz and 20kHz. Again, even headsets with the same frequency range can have different audio qualities. Therefore, the best way to be sure you are getting the best deal is to test the gaming headset personally.
NC- Noise Cancelling
It is a feature in headsets with microphones that eliminates noise from your background. It makes the person on the other end of the call hear you more clearly.
The feature shows that the microphone on your headset can pick features from any direction. It is contrasted with a unidirectional option, which can only detect sounds when the sources are from a specific direction to the microphone.
The feature comes in handy when you are moving, or the person on the other end is interested in the natural sound in your environment.
PoE and PoE+
You might not find this in most headsets today, but it is still worth knowing for future reference’s sake. Power of Ethernet is a technology that enables electric devices to receive both data and electrical powers supply through an Ethernet cable.
Hardware found in PCs that allows it to handle sounds effectively. It also allows the connection of others devices like headsets to your PC.
A microphone with this feature simply has better and more powerful noise elimination abilities than one that has just “noise-canceling” feature.
This type of microphone can only pick sound from specific direction or side of the microphone. You have to speak directly from the correct side of the microphone. Otherwise, it will not pick the sound.
Technology allows you to hear sounds in your gaming surrounding. It is also known as Surround Sound. Not all headsets have this feature as it involves the use of software that simulates the gaming environment.
It is a clear, open-ended extension of a headset microphone. It helps with the reception of the communication from the other user.
Part I: 10 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Gaming Headset
You have your reasons for buying a headset. Use, convenience, or just the feeling of having one might be one of the reasons. Here are ten factors t consider when selecting a headset.
1. Do you want a cordless gaming room?
Thinking of wireless internet connection, cashless society, driverless cars, and operator-less production systems make you feel that wireless headsets might be the main thing. However, it seems gamers are not up to the “less” suffix.
While wired headsets will disturb your desire for a cordless gaming room, the advantages overwhelm the benefits. They deliver higher sound quality, especially if you have the latest supporting drivers. The headsets are best for PC gaming.
Wireless headsets allow mobility and are best for console games. However, since they use Bluetooth technology, the sound cannot be transmitted and delivered to without compression. As a result, the sound quality is more inferior to that provided by wired options.
The other downside of the wireless headsets is their power consumption. The ones that use the battery will require present a lifelong cost of replacing. The others require constant charging especially if you are a hardcore gamer or love gaming for long hours.
2. Will you use a microphone?
The next thing you have to decide on from the very start is whether you will need a microphone. It is important because it increases the value of the headset’s price tag. You may not need to pay the extra price if most of the time, you will be playing in single mode or you already have a microphone.
In case you are the multi-player mode fan, then a microphone is a good idea. It is also necessary if you plan to spend, significant periods on video or voice calls online. In such cases, a unidirectional microphone is the best option. It will ensure that only your words are picked and transmitted.
3. Do you prefer your headset closed or open?
Closed headsets have solid cups around the speaker and hence block surrounding noise completely from your ear. Open headsets, on the other hand, are come with perforated ear cups creating a natural and less muffled sound quality.
If you plan to play in a noisy environment or a room with other people who may create distractive noises, then the closed option is the best choice. It not only blocks external noise but also keeps the game’s sound within the headset. No one in the same room will hear the guns and explosions.
There are those who find open headsets fun to use given their natural audio sounds. Some games also are more enjoyable with the sound profile of an open headset than that of a closed one.
The drawback is obvious, you can easily eavesdrop on the outside communications, and those around you might be disturbed by the sounds from your combat scene.
4. How do you want your sound, stereo or surround?
There are two main sound performance categories for headsets, stereo and surround. If you are going to use your headsets, in immersive gaming where knowing the direction of sound is critical then surround is your best bet.
Otherwise, if positional sounds are not vital for the games, you play then stereo is a great option. It is also good for soundtracks, in case you want to watch a movie or documentary when not out there rescuing prisoners of war or fighting gangs and drug lords.
You might be accustomed to the programmable buttons in a gaming mouse. There are headsets also which come with buttons for volume control, and microphone mute. You can expect these in most wireless headset options. However, button-free gaming headsets are still favored by most hardcore gamers.
6. What do the others say?
It is great advice to avoid what others are saying and focus on your path to success in life. However, that does not apply when you are about to let go of your cash for an item you might never have a refund for.
The bests counsel is to seek out the opinions of those who have used or bought the same device. Online reviews are the best place to get information on the product you are willing to buy. Paid reviews provide details on the headset but might never be the best.
Check out reviews from clients on the seller’s website. Platforms such as Amazon host hundreds of reviews on headsets. You can trust these reviews because they are by real people. Again, most people in these forums provide detailed information on their experience with the gaming headsets.
A headset with numerous positive reviews will boost your confidence in the purchase. Negative ones, especially the ones mentioning specific flaws are good too. They help you know beforehand what you are buying instead of waiting for a rude awakening when you get home with your new gadget just to realize it is not compatible with your PC.
7. When are you planning to buy the next headset?
Well, everyone wants a headset that will last a lifetime, but their choices always tell that they do not give the desire too much thought. Most budget headsets offer quality audio quality but are mostly made of materials that are less durable. As a result, they have a shorter lifespan.
If you have never bought a headset before then the best way to determine the durability of the device is by reading reviews. Users will always indicate how long it took before they began receiving low-quality audio or the headset became uncomfortable. However, you will have to pay more for durability than you would have for the less durable options.
8. Which gaming platform are you using?
Compatibility is a crucial feature to consider when buying a gaming headset. Even though most of them are compatible with nearly all platforms, some of them work pretty well on specific platforms than in others.
There are also some which you will need an extra adapter or software for uses in a specific platform. Even more, some also work only with the latest versions of the gaming consoles. Understanding these factors will help you make the best choice for your gaming needs and avoid future expenses on additional accessories.
9. What is your budget?
It is important to understand that high price does not necessarily imply better quality. Brands sell different features that have nothing to do with audio quality such as comfort, and technology and prices go down during special offers.
The best thing is to settle for a price range that you are willing to pay. You can then look around for the best deals within that price range. You will be surprised at the options and features that you can get even with a budget of less than $100. Just do not pay for the first thing you see until you have answered all the eight concerns above, and the next one.
10. How comfortable is the headset?
It is not the least important consideration but rather the one that caps them all. You should not buy a gaming headset only to realize you cannot comfortably use them for as long as you wish. Again, it should not be made of a material that wears out within months.
Visit a store close to you and test each of the headsets within your price range. If that is not possible, then you can resort to online reviews.
Comfort is so important to the choice of a headset that we have dedicated the next section to explain how you can pick a comfortable one.
Part II: The Three Features That Make a Gaming Headset Comfortable
Several things can make your gaming experience miserable or even disastrous to your health such as a wrong gaming posture. The other thing that no gamer desires are an uncomfortable headset. However, it is not uncommon for a person to buy a device labeled “Gaming Headset” and end up with a melon that leaves a one with a tired neck and pinched ear.
True gaming headsets provide better comfort than gaming earbuds. You can use them for extended hours without fatigue.
Here are four ways of finding a headset that will preserve your hearing system and still provide premium performance.
1. Earcup cushion
It is a necessity, especially if you usually get easily irritated when you were headsets for long hours. Most headsets come with replaceable cushion pads or foam cushions.
The type of material used for the cushion is an important determinant of how comfortable the cushion will be in the long run. Spongier materials might not offer the best feeling when worn, but they do not develop sweat if used for long hours.
Leather, on the other hand, provides a luxurious, comfortable feeling but induces sweating if worn for a prolonged period. Other material options include pleather, velour, and vinyl.
2. Headband sizing and adjustment
The best way to determine if a headset is comfortable is by trying it out at the store. However, if that is not possible or you have found a better deal online, then the headband is the feature to consider.
The headband should not be so tight that you feel like your skull is being cracked. A flexible option will let you have it rest gently on your head. Padded headbands are also more comfortable than unpadded ones. It is difficult to remain comfortable with unpadded headsets during long gaming hours.
You are more likely to experience headaches and neck fatigue if you use heavy headsets for long hours in one sitting. The wireless headset is generally bulkier than wired ones.
Part III: Types of Gaming headsets
This common type of headset is connected to the gaming console using a connecting cord. It has better sound quality as it suffers little or no distortion. The key limitation of these types of headsets is that the player has to sit near the console.
The headset is connected to the console through wireless technology. A headset in this category can use either infrared, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Bluetooth connections limit the movement of the player to only a 10-meter radius.
Wireless headsets, however, are not so popular among hardcore gamers because of their low audio quality and proneness to distortion. They can also interfere with other wireless connections in the vicinity. Even more, you will have to recharge them continually, which becomes an issue when you plan to game for long hours.
They are several types of speakers that fit into the ear. They are convenient, easy to carry and can be used for other purposes besides gaming. The microphone is included in the cord to the earbud.
The limitation of earbud headsets is that they are damaged easily. Again, the inbuilt microphone has nearly zero noise canceling properties. As a result, it picks noise or distortions from the background.
They cover the entire ear. It is the most common type of gaming headsets. Gamers prefer them because of their high noise canceling capabilities. Some cancel out noise completely, locking your ears from outside noise and keeping whatever you are listening to within the ear cup.
Over the ear headsets
It is a variation of the earbud and ear cup headsets. They have come with a holding piece that wraps around the ear providing more stability by minimizing the chances of the headsets falling off.
It is important to note that headsets come with two or more of these features. The standard types of headsets among most gamers are wired or wireless ear cup headsets. Each of the different types has their unique advantages and limitations. Therefore, take time to figure which option meets your gaming needs.
Part IV: Best Gaming Headset For Each Gaming Platform in 2018
Even though most headsets are compatible with PS4, Xbox, PC, and Mac platform, most of them deliver the best quality on specific platforms. Others require additional accessories to be used on a platform. This section of the headset guide reviews the best gaming headset for each of the gaming platforms
A. Best Gaming Headset for PlayStation 4: Sentey GS-4730/ 4731
It is not one of the big names in the market because the company is a newcomer, but has done a great job so far. First, the headsets come at a price too low for the quality it delivers. If you are playing on a PS4 and needs a budget headset with high-end features, then here is your best buy.
The first thing that strikes with this headset is its aesthetic, structural design. It beats most of its pricey competitors, which usually feel plastic and rugged. However, it only comes in two colors, Black, and white. Therefore, might not like it if you are the colorful gamer. Most players, however, will find it cool enough.
They are closed-back headsets, which is an excellent design feature if you do not want to disturb your roommates with your nocturnal gaming habits. It also keeps you from hearing their loud talks and distractive laughter.
The headsets are built for players, not for movie and music buffs. Consequently, the game sounds are clear with an enhanced bass far all games. If you enjoy the sound of blasting guns, whizzing bullets and the sound of explosions, then you will have a good time with this headset.
Then there is the surround sound performance. It comes with a 7.1 virtual sound software which allows you to know the direction of the advancing footsteps. This gives you some precious seconds to figure out an escape or kill strategy. However, the stereo performance for music sounds is acceptable but might not be very impressive for audiophiles.
The Sentey Gs-4730 and 4731 meet the headset comfort standards with an adjustable headband and leather ear pads. You can wear it for long gaming hour without experiencing neck fatigue or put an unnecessary pressure on your cranium.
The leather padding provides comfortable and luxurious feeling for prolonged gaming. However, since the ear cups are closed, you may start sweating around the ears after hours of playing. This only becomes an issue if you are going to share your headset.
- Other unique features
The software is compatible also with PC and Mac. You will need an analog adapter to use it with Xbox. It comes with its software that is very basic and so you might not even have to install it if your PS4 drivers are up to date.
The omnidirectional microphone comes with a light at the tip that lights when the mic is active. The feature is important during multiplayer gaming when you may accidentally mute your microphone.
The headset also enhances your gaming experience by having vibrating ear pads. Each of the ear pads has an in-built vibrating device that reacts to deep tones. You can feel every shot and explosion in a first-person shooter, FPS, game. If that is not your thing, then you can just turn it off.
- Highly durable
- Comes at an affordable price
- Great gaming sound quality
- Not for listening to music
- Omni-directional microphones are prone to noise distortions
- The microphone light might be a bother at night, but only if the mic is active.
B. Best Gaming Headset for PC: Sennheiser PC 373D
A high-end headset is suitable for most gaming platforms. However, its performance on PCs is just way over the top. It is pricey but worth having if you are looking for an edge with your PC gaming.
It is a Sennheiser model so that you can expect an almost flawless premium design structure. The headset is big but lightweight, thanks to its plastic construction.
It comes with an open-back design, which is excellent for high-quality soundstage sound. However, it is not the best for gaming in a noisy environment. Others may also be bothered by the noises that leak out from your ear cups.
- Sound quality
The open-back design offers a great soundstage quality, but Sennheiser gives this premium headset an edge with a 7.1 virtual surround sound feature. You can install the software on your PC to enjoy a detailed surround sound.
You can also use the headset to watch a thriller on your PC with impressive sound rendition. You will miss, however, the booming bass that it provides when used in a game.
The PC 363D is one of the most comfortable headsets on the market today. It delivers the same satisfaction as high-end audiophile headsets such HyperX Cloud II (see the best pick for Xbox).
It comes with soft and spacious over-the-ear ear pads, which does not make you feel locked into a vacuum. The headband is also cushioned to enhance gaming for long hours without any significant fatigue. Sweating is not an issue with this headset.
- Other unique features
Like all high-quality sound headsets, it is a wired type. It allows connection using a 3.5mm jack or with a USB cable. You have to decide on the model when you are buying. The USB is a more flexible choice than the jack pin.
It comes with a boom microphone that has a high noise canceling ability. The sound reproduced on the other end is free from distortions and noises from your location. This makes it utterly important for group play when your communications should be clear and comprehendible.
Pros and cons
- High-quality design
- Very comfortable
- 7.1 Surround sound
- High gaming sound quality
- Stereo sound rendition is not as good as in audiophile headphones
- Open-back design leads to leakage of sounds
- It is not for gamers on a budget
C. Best Gaming Headset for Xbox: HyperX Cloud II
When it comes to a high-end gaming headset that delivers quality for the money, HyperX Cloud II has no competition. It is the best pick for the Xbox when compared to other headsets that are compatible with this platform. It also delivers high-quality performance on PC, Mac, and PS4.
It is made primarily of high-quality plastic material. Consequently, it is a lightweight accessory in spite of its large size. Its design is superior to most gaming headsets and compares reasonably with premium audiophile headphones, which are three times more expensive than it is.
It features a closed-back design, which provides excellent noise isolation. You will not be disturbed by outside noise when playing in a noisy environment. The sounds of your police sirens will also not irritate those around you.
- Sound Quality
The HyperX Cloud II, like most headsets made for the gamers, come with a 7.1 surround sound. Its soundstage provides high positional accuracy, a feature that comes in handy when you are playing FPS games.
Kingson brings excellent noise canceling capability to this headset. It is better than other headsets because of its adaptation to the gaming environment. The sound quality is good in both gaming and music-listening modes. If you are a fan of the contemporary bass heavy music, then you will find this an impressive headset.
Kingson exhibits its understanding of the importance of comfort in gaming headsets by providing super comfortable ear pads. The headsets come with two pairs of ear pads, a pair of pleather and another made of velour. You can customize them to meet your comfort needs
The headband is made of memory foam. You can play with these headbands for more than eight continuous hours without feeling fatigued.
- Other unique features
The Hyper X Cloud II headset comes with two connectivity options. You can use the 3.5 Aux cable or a USB adapter. The wired connectivity is the main reason for its high-quality sound.
The microphone is detachable, meaning you can choose to use your headsets as a headphone when listening to music or watching a movie. Even though the mic is not flexible, it has low sensitivity, meaning it cannot pick up background noises. No one wants to hear you breathing or the blasting stereo in the other room.
The microphone is a plug and play, which means, you do not need software to use it on your Xbox.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality design
- High-quality sound for gaming environment
- Built for comfort with two pairs of ear pads
- Plug and play microphone
- Offers great value for the money
- Premium-priced headsets provide a slightly better sound quality.
- The microphone is not flexible.
D. Best Gaming Headset for Mac: Hyper X Cloud Revolver
The Cloud Revolver is primarily for fast FPS games. It is compatible with all gaming platforms and the best among those headsets used by Mac users.
It comes with a spring design, which is slightly different from that of the Cloud II but works just fine. Your jumpy brother can handle it carelessly without the fear of breaking it. The sound isolation is fine but does not lock out sounds completely. The only way to lock out external sounds is to set the volume a little higher.
The Revolver focuses on the accuracy of the sound and the details. It does not have a 7.1 surround sound but still offers great positional precision that suits fast FPS games. Its soundstage is better than that of the Cloud II.
Like all Kingson headsets, it is a perfectly comfortable accessory. You may spend some time figuring out how to adjust the spring to fit the shape or size of your head. Once that is done, you will not have to readjust it again, thanks to a “memory” sort of feature in the headband.
If you cannot find a Mac-compatible headset that fits your head, then try this one. If this too fails, then you try earbud headsets. This is because there is no other headset in this category that can be stretch to extreme limits as the Hyper X.
- Additional features
The wires have a small remote for muting the microphone and controlling the volumes. You might see its steel frame a bother as some have. It is not an issue when you are playing.
However, if you knock the frame on something or with your hand, the echo will ring in your head. You may find that too irritating. Fortunately, you will not always be hitting the frame, will you?
Pros and cons
- Comfortable spring design that makes it fit for any head shape or size
- A detachable mic with an impressive noise canceling ability
- Compatible with all gaming platforms
- Superior soundstage for fast FPS games
- It is specialized for FPS gaming which makes is less effective for other games
- The steel frame can be very irritating when moving
E. Best Gaming Headset for Virtual Reality and Mobile devices: Steel Series Arctis lineup
VR gaming is a niche worth exploring with a high-quality headset.
Steel Series released an Arctis line up of gaming headsets named after the first odd numbers in the numerical number line, Arctis 3, 5, and 7. The key defining features of these headsets is their compatibility with VR devices, especially the Arctis 5 and 7.
The design of Arctis series of headsets indicates that Steel Series cares about durability and aesthetic as much as they do about functionality.
The headset’s ear cups come with built-in volume controls and a button for microphone’s mute controls. The only design drawback with these high-quality headsets are the several cables they come with. Arctis 3 for example, has analog audio connections only.
- Sound quality
Arctis series, like most gaming headsets, is not the prime choice for high-quality music sounds. You need these for gaming, and they perform greatly at that. SteelSeries Engine 3 software allows you to customize your sound presets and save them for future use.
Arctis 7 also comes with surround sound capability for an all-immersive gaming experience.
The headsets can still provide quality sound without the virtual sound technology or sound customization
The primary feature of these headsets is the clear talk back feature. It means that the bass response is a little lower than expected. Music with wide dynamic ranges easily overloads the audio engine of the Arctis series.
The headsets are soft and plush thanks to its “Air Weave” fabric. The quality is much better than you will find in headsets with pleather or vinyl trims.
It is no secret that this headset is no lightweight, but its headband balances perfectly only the head. It fits gently on your head, thanks to its ski goggle headband support.
The ear cup fabric is properly aerated making long gaming sessions comfortable. The only limitation with these headbands is with the ear cup paddings. They are too shallow for those who have prominent listening apparatus.
The plastic driver will press the ear slightly. This, however, can make long gaming sprees uncomfortable.
- Other unique features
Arctis 7 moves away from the all-cable world of its predecessors with a wireless audio feature.
The microphones are retractable. Therefore, you can easily keep them tucked in when you are not using them. ClearCast bi-directional technology is responsible for the microphone’s high audio quality and improved noise rejection.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality clear sounds
- Built-in controls
- Very comfortable headbands
- Retractable microphone
- Virtual surround sound 7.1 is only compatible with Window OS
- Uses so many analog cables
- Shallow ear cups
- Frequent upgrades
Best Gaming Headsets (2017 Update)
Gamers are graphics enthusiasts. Tell them it looks good and they will go for it without question. Such inclination is understandable as graphics is king when thinking of a gaming PC. However, they have taken this prejudice too far, to the gaming headset. For whatever it takes, it is time gamers understood that when it comes to what goes to our ears, shiny graphics and bells is bullocks.
While we have no qualms about good-looking gaming headsets, it can never be the primary basis for selecting these peripherals.
It is the ear, not the eye that is the target and as such, audio quality is king.
There is nothing more fulfilling than an excellent image rendition complemented with a clear, crisp sound system. As we enter the festive season, this should be clear to all gamers who are thinking on investing on a gaming headset.
That said, there are several gaming headsets on the market today. Most of them offer the very things that audiophiles need, from wireless connectivity to super surround capabilities and yes, great graphics and whistles. The costs also vary from as low as $50 to as high as $300. We have put our expertise to task to save you the hassle of having to read all reviews on this subject. We have picked out three gaming headsets that stand out as the best among the best.
1. Astro A50 Wireless
- Wireless interface
- Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound
- Compatibility: PC, Mobile Xbox one, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3.
- Astro Audio
- 6.0mm unidirectional mic.
- USB charging
- Sensitivity 118dB
Astro A50 wireless is the ultimate general purpose headset. It is comfortable weighing only 13.4 ounces. Even though it is purely plastic, its design is by no means cheap. Its open backed ear cups are made from soft fabric which significantly improves comfort when using this headset. The coupling of Astro Audio technology and Dolby’s surround sound gives the audio one of the most selective audio game experience. Besides, this gaming headset is compatible with all common gaming platforms.
Ever had your headset battery run out but you were not using it? Astro A50 solves this nightmare with its accelerometer that detects usage and sleeps the headset when it is not in use. Besides this feature, it also offers a 15hour battery life. Such time allowance is not easy to come by in wireless gaming headsets.
2. ASUS ROG Centurion 7.1
- USB wired interface
- 10-driver 7.1 surround sound
- Dual USB amplifier
- Compatibility: Sonic software
- HDMI pass-through
- Amplifier with channel volume controls and audio profiles
- Unidirectional Mic
As earlier mentioned when it comes to gaming headsets, audio quality is king. It deserves a hats-off for its crystal clear sounds and full-fledged sound pass-through to external speakers. How can it deliver less when it has ten drivers in the ear cups with exceptional sound delivery? Gamers who still insist on sleek designs and fashion will have to close their eyes to enjoy this gaming headset’s outstanding performance.
In addition to its extreme looks, not the worst though, you can only use the ROG Centurion 7.1 with the amplifier. While some might find this restrictive, the amp is an excellent utility for connecting other surround systems to your PC. The number of presets you will find on this amp exceeds all amplifiers on the market. The software also allows extensive customization which is second to none. The ROG remains the best gaming headsets for people interested purely in the audio experience and nothing more.
3. Razer ManO’War
- Wireless interface
- Software-based 7.1 surround sound
- Chroma RGB lighting
- Sensitivity: 118 dB
- 12 meters signal range
The Razer ManO’War is the lightest and the cheapest of the three gaming headsets in this list. It weighs only 11.7 ounces. Its wireless signal is stronger than that of the Astro A50. It is also more comfortable than the ROG as it comes with large leatherette ear cups. However, these ear cups become hot and sweat-soaked after being used for some time.
The ManO’War comes with Razer Synapse software. It is one of the most user-friendly options in the market. It is intuitive with common presets that make it easy to achieve the sound quality you desire. The primary issue with this gaming headset is its flimsy frame. It is tempting to assume that this is because of its low price. However, there are gaming headsets, not on this list, which cost less but are more robust in design but with low-performance quality, obviously.
It is not easy to determine which of the three is the best. As mentioned at the beginning, these three are the crème de la crème of gaming headsets. Nevertheless, the Astro A50 wireless stands out as the leader due to the following reasons;
It is no question that ROG Centurion 7.1 is a spectacle to behold. It is apparent that it was built primarily for exceptional audio quality with little consideration to cosmetics. However, it is more solid-built than the good-looking but delicate Razer ManO’War. The frame of the Razer is worryingly flexible. The Astro A50 offers a better look and is more robust regarding design.
The comfort level of a gaming headset is determined by the quality of the ear cups and the weight. The Astro A50 has soft fabric ear cups which are overwhelmingly comfortable. These ear cups are of modular design hence you can remove and replace them with the spares that come with the MOD kit. Razer ManO’War comes in close second with its leatherette ear cups. However, they become uncomfortable over time as they absorb sweat.
The Asus ROG is the last gaming headset you will go for in the quest for comfort. Its powerful ear cup drivers are designed to pump the entire dB into your ears. Some critics have called ROG headsets weapons of inner destruction.
The weight of the gaming headset is crucial for the comfort of the player, especially during long playing hours. The lighter the headset, the better it is for your neck bones. The Razer ManO’War takes the lead weighing only 11.7 ounces. The Astro A50 wireless falls to the second place weighing just 13.4 ounces. The ROG Centurion again falls to the sides with a neck-breaking 16oz. The bulky robust built gaming headset weighs this before the inclusion of the amplifier.
The Astro A50 and the Razer ManO’War gaming headsets both come with a wireless connection. As such they are more tech advanced in this aspect than the wired ROG Centurion 7.1 headset. The Razer has a better wireless signal than the Astro. But who wants to play 12 meters from the screen? Therefore the remaining tradeoff is the battery life. Astro A50 easily wins this segment too with an incredible 15 hours battery life.
5. Compatibility and user-friendliness
The Astro A50 gaming headset is not as simple to set up as the ManO’War. However, it is readily compatible not just with your PC but also Xbox one and 360, PS3 and PS4. The A50 is also compatible with legacy consoles. Both the Razer and the ROG come with software-based compatibility. Even more, you cannot use the latter without its amplifier.
6. Customization and presets
The Asus ROG is the obvious winner when considering the extent of customization and presets it offers. Such is due to its overindulged amplifier. When considering the audio output quality, it again emerges triumphant. The five pairs of drives in the ear cups deliver eardrum-breaking sound quality. The Astro50 and the Razer still offer great audio even though it cannot match that of the ROG. While the Astro flaunts a Dolby digital sound technology and Astro audio, the Razer comes with a software-based technology which is just as good in audio rendition
The Razer ManO’War is the cheapest of the three. The Astro50 costs twice more than the Razer while the cost of the ROG goes at more than three times the price of the Razer. Investing in the ROG is an excellent choice for those who care about nothing more other than the quality of sound. Nevertheless, they will have to book a neck massage every few hours a day.
Though the Astro A50 is pricey, it excels its closest competition, the Razer ManO’War in nearly all aspects. Consequently, the Astro A50 remains a better investment than the two. It offers quality audio, high comfort, and longer battery life, the very three things each gamer dreams of in a gaming headset.