Whether you are buying them as a gift or you want to upgrade your current setup, picking a good gaming headset for you can mean hours of comfortable and easy gameplay with little hassle or fuss.
To get that, here is a simple buying guide that you can follow to find the best gaming headset for you, 10 of the best sets that are out there, and the best out of all of them.
How to choose the best gaming headset.
Most gaming headsets nowadays are wireless since nearly every gaming console is compatible with them, and many gamers agree that wired headphones tend to get in the way if you move around while gaming. These are usually connected through Bluetooth or a USB dongle that is plugged directly into the console.
However, if you plan to use the headphones for devices that do not have Bluetooth or a USB slot (usually old-school consols), then you might want to get a headset that is wired; 3.5mm cables are the standard and fit practically every console or device.
The ear muffs
These are some of the most important things to look at if you are worried about how comfortable the headset it as well as the sound quality. The popular opinion is that headsets with memory foam tend to last longer and are more comfortable with short term or long term use.
You will also have to decide if you want closed ones, which make the headset more soundproof, or open ones, which allows you to hear what is going on around you.
The material of the earmuffs can be just as important as the earmuff type since some people cannot handle the feeling of leather on their ears while others find the mesh material to be more uncomfortable; it depends on your personal preference.
The material of the actual headset is nearly as important since the ones that are made with thin plastic tend to have a much shorter lifespan than ones that are made with metal, but metal headsets also tend to be less flexible; this can be uncomfortable since they tend to squeeze the user's head.
Nearly all gaming headsets come with microphones so that you can talk to other players while you are playing, but some are a little more restrictive than others, depending on your preferences.
Some mics do not have a 'push to talk' button while others have them either on the cable or on the headset. Some can only swivel a few degrees higher than where they rest while others can turn nearly completely all the way around.
This is another factor that is completely up to you since some people like the sensation of extra weight on their heads while others want it to feel like there is absolutely nothing on them.
However, keep in mind that metal headsets are more durable, but they tend to be the heaviest while plastic headsets are generally the lighter choice.
What are the advantages of a gaming headset?
Typically, these headsets are specially designed so that they are comfortable enough to be worn for hours at a time and durable enough that they can withstand one or two gamer raging moments. They are also designed to have a decent or great quality mic for player communication, too.
Things to look for that differentiate them.
Other than the specs and features listed above, their design is one of the more unique things that set them apart. Some of the more common styles nowadays are on the more angular side, but there are a few that are rounded or even blocky.
Many are also built with LED lights on the outsides of the earmuffs to give an extra technical and futuristic look and appeal. Some even have LEDs in the headpiece, but these are a little rarer to find.
What is the best way to use a gaming headset?
Make sure you keep it in a dry area when you are not using it, and keep it cleaned regularly; baby wipes or antibacterial wipes are a good way to keep them clean depending on what material they are made with.
Headphone stands can be useful for storing them in a safe and out of the way place where they are less likely to get knocked over. When you use them, always check that they are plugged in all the way or they are fully charged before you start playing.
Wireless vs wired
One of the biggest arguments out there is which are better: wireless or wired headphones?
This is really just a matter of preference since wireless headphones can be more convenient when it comes to moving around, but they need to be charged regularly. At the same time, wired ones can hold a connection better, cutting out less.
Prerequisites for using one.
Before you decide on a set, make sure that whatever console you are planning on using can connect to the headset. Some headsets require special adaptors to be connected to controllers, like the older Xbox One version.
Top 10 Gaming Headsets
This headset is mainly made of plastic, has leather earmuffs, and uses regular foam, making it a decently comfortable headset for an hour or so of gameplay, but any longer and it can start to make your ears get hot and hurt.
They are compatible with nearly all consoles, as long as you have an adapter for the controllers that need it (like the early version of the Xbox One). The sound quality is pretty decent, but the mic and cord are probably higher in quality.
The mic can swivel up to 160 degrees so that it can move out of your way, and it can also pick up sound in practically any position you have it in. It also lights up along with the sides of the earmuffs with RGB LED lights.
The 1-year warranty that it comes with is also a bonus since it is not the most durable choice when compared to the others on this list.
Another headset by RUNMUS, this one has a much different design that somewhat resembles a turtles' shell when it comes to the design around the earmuffs; the earmuffs have a metal mesh on the outside surrounding the logo that lights up.
It is available in 2 different colors: red, blue, and green. The red and blue models are all black with matching color lights and accents while the green one is mainly green camo with the green light-up logo in the center of the earmuff.
Unlike the last headset, this had a flexible mic that can be bent in practically every direction, and it has a pretty average quality when it comes to how you sound. The sound quality seems to be a bit better, and the noise cancellation is possibly the best feature.
It can feel a little tight if you have a larger head, though. Still, because it is a wired model, it is compatible with nearly every console and device out there now. This one also comes with a 1-year warranty, too.
This is the first headset on this list that has a purely circular design without any angles. It also comes in several different colors like mercury white, quartz pink, green, black with blue, and plain black, and it can come with an RGB stand or in its special kitty edition which is only available in the pink color.
This is one of the lighter headsets too, despite being made of a highly durable, aluminum material. Unfortunately, because of the material, it does not flex well enough to allow the user to wear certain pairs of glasses.
The mic is pretty decent when it comes to picking up sound, but compared to some of the other headsets on this list, the sound quality it produces is a little below average despite the price of the speakers.
Although, this model does have pretty decent noise cancellation, and unlike some of the other speakers, the mute mic button is close on the headset and is easy to press at a moment's notice.
The design is mixed between circular and angled; the earmuffs are circular while the exterior of the earmuffs is angular. This is possibly one of the more colorful choices on this list despite nearly every model being mostly black.
The headset is available in black, blue, green, and red, but each model has bright LEDs on the exterior of the earmuffs and at the tip of the microphone. The colors of the headset are also brighter (almost neon) than most of the other models on and off of this list.
Unlike some of the other microphones, this one is a little more temperamental since it can randomly give out and stop working, and it can only swivel 90 degrees. The sound quality is also average to below average for both the mic and the earmuffs.
Still, it is one of the more affordable models and is also one of the most durable ones too, making it a decent choice for children and/or those who rage pretty often.
This is one of the few models that is slimmer and has a more oval shape rather than the usual circular shape.
The most unique thing about these headphones is that they are also available in their older version, like the Arctic 3, or the newer ones, like the 7 and Pro. This version, the 5, is a wired model, but the 3 and 7 can come in wireless versions.
Most of these versions come in either white or black, but on the outside order of the earmuffs, there is also a thin light strip that is a subtle RGB accent. The microphones are also retractable, which is one of the more rarer features.
When it comes to audio quality, each version is a little different, but most of them have a pretty good sound quality and noise cancellation; the microphone is a bit on the lower side.
The biggest downside is that the models that are wireless can be difficult to plug in. The charging cable sometimes needs to be forced into the headphones, which is a little awkward to do when you are trying to be careful not to damage the headphones.
This headset has a design that is very similar to the first one, but the earmuffs are shaped like ovals and angled more so that they are nearly horizontal, which may feel a little awkward on the ears.
They are only available in black, but half nearly all of the exterior on the earmuff and the border on the headset is a silver/grey color. There are also accenting blue LED lights in the center exterior of the earmuffs and at the tip of the microphone.
On that note, the microphone is thinner than most of the other models, making it pretty fragile, but it is pretty sensitive and clear. The sound quality is equally clear, but it is lacking in a higher-quality bass. The good noise cancellation is a little above average, too.
The wire can feel a little cheap, but it seems to be just as durable as most of the other headsets.
The design for this headset is very similar to the other Razer headset on this list (the third on the list), having a completely circular and round design. Unlike that headset, though, this one is only available in green and matte black.
When it comes to the specs, it is also pretty similar to the previous model; it is lightweight and made of aluminum, but it is a little less durable compared to the previous model.
Similar to another one of the headsets on this list, the microphone on this model is a retractable one and is pretty good when it comes to picking up sound. It also seems to be much better when it comes to canceling out any noise compared to most of the other headsets.
Despite this, the sound does seem to escape from the headphones easily, making the surround sound less high-quality than the previous model. It also has a few limits when it comes to computer use; it only works with 64-bit Windows computers.
This is the same Arctic headset that was mentioned previously, but this model, the Arctic 3, has a few differences that earn it its own spot on this list.
The design and shape are practically identical to the Arctic 5, but there are no LED lights on this model. There is also an inner headband for extra comfort, but it does not have nearly as much padding or support as the Arctic 5 does.
Some of the popular flaws with this model are the fact that it can randomly disconnect with the console, if it is the Bluetooth model, and the mute button sometimes needs to be pressed with extra force or one or two times before it actually mutes the mic.
Still, the wireless model is a little more convenient and the battery does last for several hours on a full charge, making it almost perfect for long-term gaming.
This is another colorful headset, but unlike some of the other ones, it is only available in one color: black with blue. This one has oval-shaped earmuffs with the exterior having angles and curves.
The blue is one of the brightest shades (almost neon) that matches the equally bright blue LEDs that are on the outside of the earmuffs. The LEDs are in a unique pattern; they form several circular rings that surround the logo which looks like a sharp skull with horns.
They can be a little unreliable since they can suddenly stop working, but this is probably one of the most affordable headsets that have good sound quality and even better noise cancellation. The LEDs are also known to stop working suddenly, too.
On the bright side, replacing them is pretty simple and easy because this is such a popular issue.
The design for this headset is a little more unique since the earmuffs' shape is a cross between a square and an oval. The exterior is also one of the thickest and largest, too.
It can come in all black or black with a red inner headband and earmuffs along with the small logo on the base of the microphone being a matching red. The leather earmuffs can become a little uncomfortable after an hour or so of gameplay, but they are bigger than some of the other headsets, making them ideal for users with larger-than-average heads or ears.
For being one of the most affordable models, the quality is a little average since there are a few technical issues but the sound quality and noise cancellation are decent.
It is pretty common for these to suddenly stop working and the built-in volume control can be tight or completely stuck either fresh out of the box or after a short time of using it.
Similar to the last model, because these are popular issues, getting a replacement is pretty easy.
When looking at all of the features, out of the 10 products we have reviewed, the best gaming headset would probably be the SteelSeries Arctis 5 Gaming Headset.
This particular version of the Arctic headset has one of the highest quality sounds, an equally good noise-canceling capability, and it gives one of the most reliable connections compared to the other headsets on this list.
While the microphone might not give the highest quality sound, some of the extra features it has like the accenting LED lights, the fact that it is available in other colors, and the retractable microphone are all bonuses that help to push this model to the top. It also has one of the most breathable earmuffs, too.
It may be one of the more expensive choices, but it can be more cost-efficient than regularly replacing a more affordable headset that is less reliable. Of course, if you plan on using this headset with an Xbox One, you will have to buy an adapter since this does not come with one.