TL;DR – These are our picks for the Best Gaming Headsets:
- HyperX Cloud Orbit S
- SteelSeries Arctis 1
- SteelSeries Arctis 7X and Arctis 7P
- Corsair HS70 Pro
- Corsair HS35
- Astro A40 TR + Mixamp TR
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
- JBL Quantum One
- Razer Nari Ultimate
- Turtle Beach Stealth 600
- LucidSound LS41 Gaming Headset
- Logitech G Pro X
1. HyperX Cloud Orbit S
Best Gaming Headsetread our review) was our favorite gaming headset, but it's finally been dethroned by the HyperX Cloud Orbit S (read our review) since it can do almost everything we loved about the Mobius but for a lower price. This headset is still pretty pricey at $329, but its sound quality is unparalleled.
Unlike all the other headset on this list, it uses planar magnetic drivers that bring audiophile-quality audio to the gaming masses. What's more, Waves NX adds another dimension of directional sound by introducing head tracking into the equation. For example, if you hear something off to the left you can turn your head slightly in that direction for clearer sound.
On top of all that the HyperX Cloud Orbit S features top-notch materials and a premium design, and it's comfortable, and can be used for a lot more than gaming. Thanks to an included 3.5mm audio cable as well as USB-A and USB-C cords, you can pretty much plug this headset into any platform and enjoy the rich audio only planar drivers can deliver.
Just be aware than the head-tracking features will only work on the computer and your experience may vary depending on which PC game you play—for example, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S will make Battlefield V sound amazing but it won't do much for Phoenix Point. If money is no object, and you want the best headset for gaming, look no further.
2. SteelSeries Arctis 1
Best Budget Gaming Headset
Another thing you'll love about the SteelSeries Arctis 1 is how breathable the earcups are. Combined with the cushy headband, and this is a gaming headset you can wear for hours. Since it uses a simple 3.5mm jack, you can use it on every platform from the PC to the Nintendo Switch. Also if you prefer something wireless, this gaming headset comes in such a version for $99.
3. SteelSeries Arctis 7X/P
The Best Wireless Headsetsee our review) raises the bar again. Although, this time it's not just one headset. In fact, there is an Arctis 7X and an Arctis 7P. They're fundamentally the same headset, though one is targeting the new Xbox Series X and the other is targeting the new PlayStation 5 (that said, the 7X will also support the PS5 and PS4 while the 7P will not support the new Xbox).
Looking past the platform specifics, both headsets feature a strong wireless connection using a USB-C dongle and deliver strong audio with the 40mm drivers that we already loved in the earlier headsets. The SteelSeries Arctis 7X/P headset still offers a comfortable design with breathable ear cushions and a "ski google" headband the distributes its pressure well. There are plenty of extras as well, such as surround sound support on Xbox and Windows, an improved 24-hour battery life, multiple connectivity options, and a special dial dedicated to sidetone control on the Arctis 7P and ChatMix on the Arctis 7X. All this makes for a wireless gaming headset that earns its place at the front of the pack.
4. Corsair HS70 Pro
Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headsetread our review), but it's made those wireless headphones even better with the Corsair HS70 Pro. Better still, it didn't even increase the price of the headphones. The Corsair HS70 Pro offers latency-free wireless for some serious gaming without going over $100, making it the best wireless gaming headset you can get in the price range.
It delivers excellent sound from its 50mm drivers, and even has support for 7.1-channel surround. With a 16-hour battery life, you'll be able to enjoy the Corsair HS70 Pro's capabilities through long weeks of gaming without needing to plug it in to charge all the time. That all just gets better when factoring in the plush memory foam ear cups, and the inclusion of metal in the construction of the headset. From sound quality to build quality and comfort, the Corsair HS70 Pro deliver on it all.
5. Corsair HS35
Best Ultra Affordable Gaming Headset
Rather this Stereo headset delivers a fantastic sound stage, which makes it perfect for hearing enemies move around you. That said, the heavy bass and poor overall aural balance of the Corsair HS35 makes it a poor choice for listening to anything but game audio. Still, that's what it was made for and it has a great, Discord-certified microphone for talking to your online teammates.
6. Astro A40 TR + MixAmp TR
Best Wired Gaming Headsetread our review) is one of the few gaming headsets comfortable enough to wear all day. This headset's design might not have changed for the last few years, but it still has fantastically breathable ear cups and a perfectly balanced headband, which neither pinches on your ears or weighs down on the top of your head.
Although you could plug the Astro A40 TR directly into any device, you'll want to jack in through the MixAmp Pro TR. See the MixAmp Pro TR is the real heart of this gaming headset that unlocks Dolby Audio 7.1 and the ability to change your equalizer settings. Astro's new mixing console has also been redesigned to be a little easier to use this time around with two separate volume and chat mix wheels. We've featured the PS4 version of the Astro A40 TR above, but there's also an Xbox One variant as well
7. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
Best Audiophile-Quality Gaming HeadsetRead our Review). This gaming headset is pretty unique in that it includes a small USB "GameDAC" that sits on your desk and offloads the sound processing from your host system to a chip inside it.
The small control center features an OLED display and lets you tweak everything about the headset with simple, intuitive controls. It's a slick way to handle making adjustments and it's about the closest thing to having a professional-grade mixing console attached to a gaming headset. The audio output you can get out of these cans is truly stellar and it only gets better when you've tuned it to perfection. On top of that you have a super-premium design that's exceedingly comfortable, customizable, and just feels perfect. The fit and finish here are top-notch, and it even has RGB lighting (which you can turn off).
8. JBL Quantum One
Best Surround Sound Gaming Headsetread our review) may be pricey, but it has a lot to offer in the sound department, including JBL's QuantumSPHERE 360 technology as well as DTS Headphone X: v2.0 surround sound. The latter is a high-quality digital surround sound that can make your game worlds and movies feel that much more engrossing. QuantumSPHERE 360 is a bit more involved, and actually takes into account the position of your head, so you can turn your head in the real life and all the sounds around you will shift to maintain their relative position.
It's not just nifty surround sound, but also precise, as the Hi-Res certified 50mm drivers offer excellent sound and a 20Hz-40kHz frequency response range. The JBL Quantum One also offer great flexibility, with options for both a USB and a 3.5mm headset connection available (though the latter will limit the headset's capabilities). The JBL Quantum One even includes active noise cancelling to help you focus on only the sounds you want to hear. And, to top things off, there's customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup.
9. Razer Nari Ultimate
Best Haptic Gaming Headsetread our review) might just be for you. This gaming headset throws in haptic feedback that literally kicks you in the ears whenever there are bassy, low-end sounds—such as a punch or kick, gunshot, or explosion. The Nari will also use vibrations to punctuate some surprisingly subtle sound effects like shooting a web line in Spiderman, but music-based and rhythm games are the best things to experience with this headset. While getting kicked in the ears might sound like it would get old pretty fast, the extra pop of this gaming headset is thoroughly entertaining everytime.
In terms of pure audio quality, the Razer Nari Ultimate is also one of the only gaming headsets to support THX Spatial Audio, which is supposed to give us beyond 7.1 surround sound. Spatial awareness is amazing on this headset as you feel and hear bullets whizzing by you. Although THX Spatial Audio only works with gaming PCs, you can still get great directional audio with generic surround sound on the PS4.
10. Turtle Beach Stealth 600
Best Xbox One Gaming HeadsetXbox One without a USB transmitter or anything just like an Xbox One controller. There's also a PS4 version that utilizes a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, which also works with PCs. And if you don't care for wireless connectivity at all, the Turtle Beach Recon 300 (read our review) is essentially the wired version of this gaming headset.
Aside from that nicety, the Turtle Beach 600 is just a comfortable, great-sounding, and affordable gaming headset. This gaming headset works great from intense, action-packed bouts in Halo to freaking you out with foreboding soundscapes in horror games like Amnesia. Bass reproduction also sounds tight and punchy too with a good amount of rumble.
11. LucidSound LS41
Best PS4 Gaming Headsetread our review) is one of the few gaming headsets designed primarily for the PS4, giving you completely wireless audio and voice chat functionality. Beyond that, it's just a great sounding 7.1 surround sound gaming headset that lets you hear whole game worlds swirling around you.
The overall sound frequency balance of the LucidSound LS41 is also very good. Low-end bass is present without blowing out the mids, which in themselves make a forward presence. The only thing that seems to be a tad distorted are the highs. Users can also flip on a Boosted Surround mode that adds a bit more rumble to the low end.
12. Logitech G Pro X
Best Streaming Headsetbest microphone for streaming, the Logitech G Pro X (read our review) is a great all-in-one solution with a microphone designed for broadcasting and booming surround sound to boot.
The Logitech G Pro X incorporates some of Blue legendary microphone technology to capture clear, natural and isolated recorded voice. Additionally, you can use the Blue VO!CE software to auto-tune your voice with presets making it a great option as a microphone for streaming and podcasting. As just a plain gaming headset, the Logitech G Pro X is no slouch either. It generates huge, concussive audio, but doesn't sacrifice higher frequency sounds to achieve this.
Where to Get the Best Gaming Headset in the UKYou definitely need a quality gaming headset if you're looking to take your favourite hobby even remotely seriously. Thankfully, every headset we've picked out on this list is also available across the pond in the UK, so take your pick.
What to look for in a Gaming HeadsetWhen you're shopping for a gaming headset there are a few key specs you should look out for.
The first is the size of the drivers, which follows the rule of bigger is better. Drivers are the internal mechanism inside headsets and headphones (or really any speaker) that ultimately create the soundwaves you hear by vibrating back and forth in response to an electrical current.
The larger the driver, the more air they can move to not only to make louder sounds, but it also allows them to produce a wider, more nuanced range of frequencies—which happens to take us to our next specification.
Frequency response is another important spec, and it's the range of frequencies the headset can reproduce. On the low-end, most gaming headsets hit a minimum of 20Hz and a maximum of 20,000Hz. As you go from the bottom of the range to the top, sounds go from a low thud to a warm, steady hum and finally a piercing screech.
While on the hunt for a gaming headset, you'll likely find more than a few promising 5.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound, which are both designed to give users a more immersive audio experience. 5.1 surround places speakers directly in front of you, front right, front left, back right, back left and adds a subwoofer to relay bass. 7.1 surround gives you the same setup as 5.1 surrounds, but it adds two more speakers to your immediate right and left.
Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X (2.0) are two specially branded types of surround sound you'll also likely encounter. They both essentially do the same thing of adding positional audio for effects for objects like say a plane flying over or a bomb falling from the sky above you.
Now while surround sound on a headset is cool, it's not exactly the same as having a real multi-speaker surround sound system. In fact, almost 99% of gaming headsets employ virtual surround sound—which is to say they're faking it with mathematical algorithms. There are very few gaming headsets like the Razer Tiamat that actually come with the individual drivers necessary to create a real surround sound environment.
But just because the surround sound you hear on a gaming headset is fake, doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy it or doubt its ability to create an immersive environment.
The fact that surround sound can be virtualized also means you can get it on any gaming headset even if it only has two channels. On Windows 10 you can download the Windows Sonic for Headphones app and get 3D spatial audio from even the most basic set of stereo headphones.
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
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