Gaming headsets are a unique peripheral that is notorious for dividing the gaming community. The audiophiles of the gaming community will always advise others to steer clear of headsets and buy a separate microphone if they value audio quality. For those who prioritize convenience overall, the entire package that headsets bring provides a lot more value.
While it is factually sound that dedicated mics and headphones provide a superior experience in all aspects, the portability of a gaming headset with a mic onboard cannot be denied and makes for a brilliant value proposition for people who move around a lot.
With Black Friday coming up, here's a look at five great gaming headsets across all price ranges and functionalities (Bluetooth/wired) that gamers can keep an eye out for.
What to look for in a gaming headset
When picking out a gaming headset, buyers need to keep these metrics in mind:
- Sound quality
- Mic Quality
- Latency (if Bluetooth headsets are considered)
For players who sit down for long gaming sessions, comfort is king when it comes to picking out a gaming headset. Over-ear headsets with decent clamping force or in-ears are usually the go-to option for gamers as on-ear headphones tend to be fatiguing after a couple of hours.
When it comes to headsets, players should brace for the fact that the audio will not be as crisp or balanced as a pure headphone. Most traditional gaming headsets are tuned to have a bass-heavy signature that feels incredibly immersive in first-person shooters as they amplify gunshots and explosions. This, however, is a negative when it comes to listening to music as the bass tends to overpower other elements.
Most gaming headset mics leave a lot to be desired, but are passable enough for communication. Headset mics are infinitely inferior to even the cheapest dedicated mics, but this has been changing recently with companies like Astro stepping up their mic game.
Which gaming headset should I choose?
Listed below are some of the best gaming headsets on the market that target different value propositions. While some are budget oriented, others focus on Bluetooth and low latency. Here's a holistic look at the various corners of the gaming headset market and the best in each category.
5) HyperX Cloud Stinger - The budget king
- Extremely lightweight and comfortable for long gaming sessions
- Great mic that far exceeds its budget
- No surround sound
- Non-detachable cable
4) Logitech G433 - The all rounder
- Relatively neutral sound, great for casual music sessions
- No audio latency and fully swiveling earcups for comfort
- Poor sound isolation
- Heavy sound leakage
3) SteelSeries Arctis 7 - Wireless on a budget
- Great battery life
- Good mic that performs well in noisy environments
- High latency
- Can be uncomfortable for users with larger ears
2) Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED - Unmatched wireless value
- Great build quality and sound signature
- Detachable mic
- Hardware control buttons
- Requires separate USB dongle to lower latency
- Poor portability as it doesn't fold very well
1) Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless - Little to no compromises
- Low latency
- Great sound and microphone quality
- Super comfortable
- Bulky design reduces portability
- Separate base station needed to use the headphones
Note: The list is subjective and reflects the views of the writer.