14 Top Gaming Headsets for 2021

Below you'll find the best gaming headsets for a next-level gaming experience!

Getting a good headset for gaming is a must-have for any dedicated online player. We’ve nailed down 14 of the top gaming headsets and put them to the test, looking at:

  • Price
  • Sound and mic quality
  • Digital surround sound
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Extra features

Read our gaming headset reviews and guides to find the perfect gamer headset for you.

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1. Razer Blackshark V2

At around $100 this is our top pick for those that cannot spend more for the best headsets for gaming. It’s super comfortable to wear, has a modern sleek design, competent sound and mic quality for gaming. The digital surround sound option is also available and totally worth it. Full Review

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Good sound and mic
  • USB soundcard

At around $100 this is our top pick for those that cannot spend more for the best headsets for gaming. It’s super comfortable to wear, has a modern sleek design, competent sound and mic quality for gaming. The digital surround sound option is also available and totally worth it. Full Review

2. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

Arguably the best gaming headsets currently on the market, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC is the only option on our list to have certified high-resolution sound. It also comes with the best implemented DTS digital surround sound, allowing you to hear the direction of every in-game footstep clearly. Simply the best-sounding gaming headset. Full Review

  • Certified Hi-Res, 40,000 Hz
  • DTS digital surround sound
  • OLED-based DAC

Arguably the best gaming headsets currently on the market, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC is the only option on our list to have certified high-resolution sound. It also comes with the best implemented DTS digital surround sound, allowing you to hear the direction of every in-game footstep clearly. Simply the best-sounding gaming headset. Full Review

3. JBL Quantum 800

A great all-around performer for PC or console gamers, you can’t get a better wireless headset at $200. Virtual surround sound is there if you prefer it over stereo, the mic is distortion-free, and the overall sound is great for gaming. And, did we mention - lights! Full Review

  • Flawless wireless
  • Digital surround sound
  • RGB lighting

A great all-around performer for PC or console gamers, you can’t get a better wireless headset at $200. Virtual surround sound is there if you prefer it over stereo, the mic is distortion-free, and the overall sound is great for gaming. And, did we mention - lights! Full Review

4. Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro

At $249.99, this premium gaming headset is perfect for streamers thanks to its mini-mixer/amp and ability to daisy-chain multiple headsets and inputs for your co-hosts. With a premium price also comes premium comfort, sound, and overall quality. One of the top gaming headsets on the market. Full Review

  • Easy mixing and daisy-chaining
  • Premium build
  • 7.1 digital surround sound

At $249.99, this premium gaming headset is perfect for streamers thanks to its mini-mixer/amp and ability to daisy-chain multiple headsets and inputs for your co-hosts. With a premium price also comes premium comfort, sound, and overall quality. One of the top gaming headsets on the market. Full Review

5. HyperX Cloud Stinger

At less than $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is our number one pick for sound quality and comfort in this price range. It comes with memory foam earcups, a premium yet lightweight design, and the sound is clean and precise. If you’re gaming on a budget, this is the best gaming headset brand. Full Review

  • Memory foam and premium materials
  • Surprisingly good sound quality
  • Very affordable

At less than $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is our number one pick for sound quality and comfort in this price range. It comes with memory foam earcups, a premium yet lightweight design, and the sound is clean and precise. If you’re gaming on a budget, this is the best gaming headset brand. Full Review

6. Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset

This headset is the best value for money in the wireless market. The sound quality is truly astonishing. There’s Dolby’s brand of digital surround sound to experiment with as well. Full Review

  • 7.1 Dolby digital surround sound
  • RGB lighting
  • Premium build

This headset is the best value for money in the wireless market. The sound quality is truly astonishing. There’s Dolby’s brand of digital surround sound to experiment with as well. Full Review

7. Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero

Although it provides all-round good sound quality, the Turtle Beach Atlas Aero stands out with its unique ability to digitally enhance distant sound rather than trying to go with the usual surround sound. This improves your in-game performance and experience because you can hear those distant footsteps or bits of dialogue, giving you an edge. Full Review

  • Unique ‘superhuman hearing’ mode
  • Stable wireless connectivity
  • Good battery life

Although it provides all-round good sound quality, the Turtle Beach Atlas Aero stands out with its unique ability to digitally enhance distant sound rather than trying to go with the usual surround sound. This improves your in-game performance and experience because you can hear those distant footsteps or bits of dialogue, giving you an edge. Full Review

8. Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

If you’re a professional streamer or simply want the best quality mic available on a well-priced headset, then the Logitech G Pro X is for you. Its overall sound quality is also great, and the design and build are top-notch. The box is packed with extras, including an external USB DAC and Y-splitter. Full Review

  • Best quality detachable mic
  • Great sound
  • High-end build

If you’re a professional streamer or simply want the best quality mic available on a well-priced headset, then the Logitech G Pro X is for you. Its overall sound quality is also great, and the design and build are top-notch. The box is packed with extras, including an external USB DAC and Y-splitter. Full Review

9. Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless

Our top pick for a premium wireless PC gaming headset, the Astro A50 also supports consoles via its MixAmp Tx transmitter. The overall quality of the sound and mic is great, as there’s well-implemented Dolby digital surround sound. Extras like being able to daisy chain another headset helps put this product ahead of the pack. Full Review

  • Good digital surround sound
  • Best premium wireless option
  • PC and console support

Our top pick for a premium wireless PC gaming headset, the Astro A50 also supports consoles via its MixAmp Tx transmitter. The overall quality of the sound and mic is great, as there’s well-implemented Dolby digital surround sound. Extras like being able to daisy chain another headset helps put this product ahead of the pack. Full Review

10. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

If you want an affordable wireless solution that actually sounds good and doesn’t lag, the Arctis 1 from SteelSeries can be picked up for less than $100. It has a superior 2.4GHz wireless connectivity option and great stereo sound. Full Review

  • Affordable wireless headset
  • 2.4GHz for strong Wi-FI
  • PC and console support

If you want an affordable wireless solution that actually sounds good and doesn’t lag, the Arctis 1 from SteelSeries can be picked up for less than $100. It has a superior 2.4GHz wireless connectivity option and great stereo sound. Full Review

11. Razer Kraken X

At the less than $50 price range, there aren’t many gaming headsets that deliver the quality of the Razer Kraken X, particularly for the microphone. This comfortable and competent headset even delivers digital surround sound for those that like to test the performance of directional sound in-game. Full Review

  • Very affordable
  • Best mic in price-range
  • 7.1 digital surround sound

At the less than $50 price range, there aren’t many gaming headsets that deliver the quality of the Razer Kraken X, particularly for the microphone. This comfortable and competent headset even delivers digital surround sound for those that like to test the performance of directional sound in-game. Full Review

12. HyperX Cloud Alpha

At less than $100 this wired gaming headset is the best value for money out of our wired picks. You get lots of padding for comfortable long hours of gaming and booming bass for those hectic war games. The overall mic and sound quality is excellent at this price point. Full Review

  • Detachable mic and cable
  • Dual chambers for good sound quality
  • Dual chambers for good sound quality

At less than $100 this wired gaming headset is the best value for money out of our wired picks. You get lots of padding for comfortable long hours of gaming and booming bass for those hectic war games. The overall mic and sound quality is excellent at this price point. Full Review

13. Logitech G433 Gaming Headset

You get a lot for less than $100, including the G433’s unique fabric-covered design in red, blue and other options. The mic filters out background noise to keep your voice clear. The Pro G driver is attuned for analog and digital sources. Well-priced wired gaming headphones and mic. Full Review

  • Distinctive all-woven fabric
  • Stain-resistant
  • 7.1 digital surround sound

You get a lot for less than $100, including the G433’s unique fabric-covered design in red, blue and other options. The mic filters out background noise to keep your voice clear. The Pro G driver is attuned for analog and digital sources. Well-priced wired gaming headphones and mic. Full Review

14. Creative SXFI Gamer

Brand new for 2020 the Creative SXFI Gamer is our pick for affordable headsets that have implemented 7.1 well. While it’s not the cheapest, it does it better than more expensive modelsл It even attempts to build a personal sound profile by using your phone to scan your head and ears, to create the best surround sound gaming headset for 2020. Full Review

  • Super X-Fi personalized surround sound
  • Gaming mode presets
  • RGB lighting

Brand new for 2020 the Creative SXFI Gamer is our pick for affordable headsets that have implemented 7.1 well. While it’s not the cheapest, it does it better than more expensive modelsл It even attempts to build a personal sound profile by using your phone to scan your head and ears, to create the best surround sound gaming headset for 2020. Full Review

Best Gaming Headsets for 2021

Here are the overall strengths of all the top gaming headsets we reviewed this year:

  • Razer Blackshark V2 – Best overall gaming headset for $100
  • SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC – Best pro gaming headset for hi-res audio 
  • JBL Quantum 800 – Best wireless gaming headset for $200
  • Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro – Best wired gaming headset for streamers
  • HyperX Cloud StingerBest cheap gaming headset for sound quality
  • Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset – Best gaming wireless headset for value for money
  • Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero – Best for amplifying distant in-game sounds 
  • Logitech G Pro X Gaming HeadsetBest gaming headphones with mic quality
  • Astro A50 Gen 4 WirelessBest high-end gaming headset for wireless 7.1
  • SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless – Best wireless cheap gaming headset
  • Razer Kraken XBest cheap gaming headset for mic quality
  • HyperX Cloud AlphaBest gaming headset for the money: Wired
  • Logitech G433 Gaming Headset – Most distinctive looking gaming headphones with mic
  • Creative SXFI Gamer – Best value surround sound gaming headsets

Detailed Reviews

Razer Blackshark V2
Razer Blackshark V2

BEST FOR

Overall gaming headset for $100

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  • Comfortable to wear
  • Good sound and mic
  • USB soundcard
  • 360-degree THX Spatial Audio

At just shy of $100, the Blackshark V2 by Razer is one of the most affordable headsets we’ve reviewed. They’re comfortable to wear, have great stereo audio and a high-performing microphone.

Much more sleekly designed than its cousins the Kraken or Nari, the Blackshark V2 remains a dream to wear. It’s all thanks to memory foam oval ear cups and well-designed adjustable metal arms encased by a cushioned headband. It’s light, breathable, and perfect for those day or night-long sessions. 

There’s some neon green and the logo on show but it’s not overstated like some of Razer’s more vibrant products.

The 3.5mm cable comes out the left earcup which is also where the boom style mic is located. It’s easily removable so you can always use a standalone mic and only use the headphones for gaming. The six-foot cable is not detachable though, which is a bit disappointing. If it breaks, you’ll have to replace the entire headset, not just the cable. That’s really the only design flaw.

The mic itself is pop free, crisp, and clear, and did a good job of canceling out the loud sound of our portable heater. 

There aren’t many mic settings and we personally left them untouched. You can strengthen the noise cancellation with ‘Ambient Noise Reduction’ using the Razer Synapse software if you feel it’s necessary. 

A key feature are Razer’s added USB sound cards that facilitate ‘THX Spatial Audio’. This is supposed to improve directional sound from digital 7.1 to full 360. Simply plug your headset jack into the small dongle, which in turn plugs into a USB port. 

While it certainly does allow sounds in some games to seem like they’re coming from their multitude of directions – above, below, and behind you. It also lowers the overall sound quality quite a bit. Once you get playing with the settings in Synapse you can end up in one of those situations where you go insane spending hours trying to get the perfect sound profile.

Ultimately the quality is better with all of this digital spatial technology turned off in regular stereo. Not all games make use of it anyway, so don’t go in with high expectations.

You can instantly recognize the difference in quality when you switch to listening to music or watching Netflix in stereo. It delivers powerful and clear bass while also reaching high energetic frequencies.  

Overall, this headset is excellent value for money with high-quality audio and mic. It does have spatial audio if you personally decide it’s for you. 

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

BEST FOR

For hi-res audio pro gaming

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  • Certified Hi-Res, 40,000 Hz
  • DTS digital surround sound
  • OLED-based DAC
  • Best sound quality gaming headset

The Arctis Pro + GameDAC from SteelSeries is the best multi-platform gaming headset, but at $279.99 MSRP, it won’t be to everyone’s budget.

The first thing you’ll notice when you open these up is the high-quality build and stylish design. The ear cushions and headband casing are made from leather, while the inner band is steel. The hangers between are aluminum alloy. Yes, there’s some plastic but let’s just say these aren’t a pair of Walmart specials.

Next, you’ll be wondering what the small GameDAC device actually is. It’s a soundcard and ‘Digital to Analogue Converter’ that your headset connects to. Then you connect it to your PC, console, or mobile device. 

Its purpose is to bring hi-resolution certified audio to your gaming experience – something typically only reserved for music and movies. 

Simply put, this is one of the highest quality sounding gaming headsets on the market. It provides Hi-Res, 40,000 Hz output, and DTS digital surround sound that actually works without noticeable distortion. Not only are these the best headphones for gaming, but they’re also good for music.

Every footstep, piece of dialogue, and the wind can be heard clearly in-game and from the precise direction it’s coming from. On the latest games that really put effort into directional sound, the Arctis Pro + GameDAC has finally taken things to the next level.

As for its design and performance, the OLED-based DAC menu system allows you to control all of the settings without the need to install the software. Surround sound, for example, is as easy as on and off, while audiophiles can dig in a bit deeper with the Arctis software. There’s also audio mixing and RGB illumination.

The retractable microphone and wiring are all from the left and the mic itself is durable yet flexible, accommodating any position. It can even detach completely into the earcup if you’re using a standalone mic instead.

The quality, however, is high and there’s no need for a separate mic if you’re only gaming. We found it produced good, pop-free, and distortion-free sound. It is Discord certified if that’s your chosen streaming or chatting app. 

The only real downside is that all of the wirings is a bit short for console gamers that sit away from the TV. PC gamers at their desk will be just fine. You can upgrade to a wireless version, but this downgrades the audio quality and can introduce lag. Stick with the wired gaming at your desk and you’ve got the best PC gaming headset on the market!

JBL Quantum 800
JBL Quantum 800

BEST FOR

Wireless gaming headset for $200

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  • Flawless wireless
  • Digital surround sound
  • RGB lighting
  • PC and console support

There’s always a risk of quality loss when it comes to wireless headsets due to poor connections and interference from other wireless signals. As long as you aren’t too far away from your computer the JBL Quantum 800 is one of the few that gets it right.

For $199.95 MSRP, you get strong bass, good sound quality for gaming, and a high-quality microphone, suitable for everything other than professional podcasting. That’s a pretty good package. 

The headset is well built, with a good adjustable mic, and matte gunmetal to create a durable frame. The foam and faux leather padding are in all the right areas to make this a comfortable fit for long gaming sessions. You won’t get overly sweaty or have to keep adjusting things to stay on top of.

The left side includes the mic, USB-C port to charge, the audio jack, a mute button, volume wheel, and noise cancellation wheel which works very well. The right earcup houses the Bluetooth pairing button for fast plug and play.

You get some cool JBL lighting that illuminates the logo and the perimeter of the earcups. We like to keep this turned off so we can benefit from that 14-hour battery life.

JBL uses proprietary software called the QuantumEngine which lets you: 

  • adjust the equalizer
  • program the lighting with 5 colors 
  • turn on its own brand of digital surround sound for fully directional sound within games. 

However, like a lot of headsets, this simply doesn’t work that well – you’ll find it to be inaccurate and distort the overall sound quality. For this model, stick to stereo for high-quality dual-channel sound, and you have yourself some of the best console and PC gaming headphones.

On the mic front, we found it works best when the volume is reduced to around 80%, else distortion and cracking can creep in. Other than that, it’s great quality for a headset, your teammates will hear you clearly, and it’s suitable for streaming. However, we wouldn’t use it for post-produced content or professional podcasting.

Aside from PC gaming, the audio jack allows for console play. The Bluetooth technology allows you to pair with other devices like your smartphone if you want to listen to music, podcasts, or do some mobile gaming. Audiophiles, however, will want something better for a premium music experience.

Overall, if you want to go wireless with your gaming these are the best console and best PC gaming headsets at the $200 mark.

  • Easy mixing and daisy-chaining
  • Premium build
  • 7.1 digital surround sound
  • PC and console support

Astro has thrown in a pretty effective mini mixer with their A40 TR headset, which has great sound quality, a premium build, and plenty of software customizations. It’s also suitable for PC and consoles and can function as a USB gaming headset.

First thing’s first, because it comes with the MixAmp this is a wired headset and therefore has a lot of competition. It holds its own and is reasonably priced in this class at $249.99.

We’ve always liked the design of the A40’s, with aluminum where it counts, matte black plastic, and memory foam for the padding, which is covered in breathable cloth rather than leather. Our testers found it comfortable for long gaming sessions. They actually preferred the cloth to leather and the sweatier faux leather options you get elsewhere. The fact that this model is surprisingly light helps in the comfort department. 

The boom mic is flexible enough for most users or can be detached completely for those that have a standalone mic and just want these as gamer headphones. That’s not to say it isn’t high quality, as we found no real distortion or issues playing online. Though, as with most headsets, it’s not a professional-grade mic for podcasting or post-produced gaming content. 

The MixAmp is simple once you understand its purposes. It gives you full volume control, setting the levels for different sources simultaneously (i.e. gaming and chatting), and there’s a direct switch between console and PC gaming

The left bigger dial is your overall volume and the right dial is your mixer for adjusting the levels of different sources from the game audio to your voice input levels. The bottom button switches between preset equalizer profiles and the top one switches from regular to Dolby surround sound.

There’s also a ‘daisy chain’ port where a secondary ‘in-studio’ co-host can plug in their headset to the mixer with one single PC connection. 

Streamers will benefit most from the accompanying software rather than the dials. You can easily use sliders to adjust the sound levels of different audio sources, mute them completely, and switch between them. Your viewers get a seamless experience and you don’t need any extra tech or software.

The generous 6.5ft cable connects to the device on one end by USB and to your PC or console via 3.5mm audio jack. Then on the other end of the device, another audio jack connects it to the headset itself. This is smaller in length and we found the best positioning is to have the mixer sitting on your desktop or perhaps chair/couch arm if you’re further away (TV/console gamers).

The digital 7.1 sounds okay and is particularly accurate for left and right directions. Some may still prefer regular stereo for superior audio quality itself. This isn’t as good as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro’s implementation.

Nonetheless, a high-end option at a good price. All things considered, one of the best 3.5mm gaming headset choices.

HyperX Cloud Stinger
HyperX Cloud Stinger

BEST FOR

Sound quality

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  • Memory foam and premium materials
  • Surprisingly good sound quality
  • Very affordable
  • Rotatable earcups

The most affordable wired headset on our list is 2018’s HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is an excellent entry-level gaming device at less than $50.

For the price, it has a surprisingly good build quality, with a durable aluminum frame, large drivers, and a removable boom mic. The earcups are nice memory foam with padded PU leather, while the rest of the surfaces are plastic, though it never feels cheap.

It comes in one black color scheme, with the logo in red on the sides.

The earcups rotate for added comfort or for when you occasionally wear them around your neck. Meanwhile, you’ll find the volume control slider on the right earcup. The only thing our gaming headphones reviews found is that it lacks a physical mute button but that’s no problem with Windows and most gaming related software.

The headset is permanently wired with a 4.5ft cable and standard 3.5mm audio jack that makes it compatible with PCs and consoles. It does make couch console gaming a bit of a stretch depending on how far you like to get from the TV.

With 50mm drivers, the Stinger’s sound is powerful, crisp, and clear while gaming. There’s no digital surround sound but in a lot of cases, this is an unneeded option that can lower audio quality. In regular stereo, this headset sounds great.

It’s also good for popping in your phone on other devices for a bit of podcast or on-the-go music listening, though it’s not really designed for the high-end music experience.

The mic is competent and clear in most gaming settings and isn’t out of place for a bit of Twitch streaming. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for professional streaming or recordings. 

At less than $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a steal for your average gamer that needs good sound and to talk to their friends and foes. When compared with the Kraken X this is the best headset for sound, while the Kraken has a better performing mic.

  • 7.1 Dolby digital surround sound
  • RGB lighting
  • Premium build
  • No wireless lag

Wireless gaming headsets can be a bit hit or miss. Get a cheap one and the quality is bad, get a high-end one and you’ll be paying more than the wired alternatives. Fortunately, the Logitech G933 falls somewhere in the middle and can be picked up for around $160 online at the best price.

Design-wise, it’s beefy at the ears but sleek at the headband, with a mixture of plastic shells, metal inner headband frame. It also comes with comfortable foam and black cloth for the earcups and padding. 

It’s definitely for a gamer. It comes with full-spectrum programmable RBG lighting shooting up each side of the ear casings and illuminating the logos on each side.

It’s the right earcup that houses: 

  • a mute button for the mic 
  • on and off switch 
  • programmable RGB buttons 
  • volume wheel
  •  the audio jack port 
  • a microUSB port for charging

There’s also a removable battery for when your rechargeable dies or you want to double-up charging one while gaming with another.

As standard, the adjustable boom mic is on the left and can be affixed against the side of the earcup when you’re using a standalone mic instead. For gaming and streaming, the mic does great and manages to filter out background noise and popping despite not expressly advertising this.

For the output, the G933 implements 7.1-channel Dolby digital surround sound. You can use the Logitech G software to adjust each channel and equalizer settings, as well as audio mixing sources. However, whether you find the directional sound effective or distorted can depend on your personal taste and the game you’re playing. In plain stereo, it sounds clear and powerful, which we prefer than slightly distorted and echoey multi-directional sound.

These are universal gaming headsets. The box includes the microUSB to charge it, a four-pole audio cable with a button to switch between PC and console gaming. You can also use it for music on your mobile devices.  There’s also an RCA-to-3.5mm cable for further connectivity options, making it one of the best 3.5 mm gaming headset options.

Overall, the Logitech G933 wireless gaming headset is a great entry at less than $160. You get better value for money than the JBL Quantum 800 wireless.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero
Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero

BEST FOR

Amplifying distant in-game sounds

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  • Unique ‘superhuman hearing’ mode
  • Stable wireless connectivity
  • Good battery life
  • Lots of software settings

A worthy entry at just $120, the wireless Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero delivers excellent sound quality, lots of software control options, and up to 15-hours of battery life

The design is sturdy and supported by metal and plastic, though its overall size is suited to smaller heads, with some people even struggling when the headband is fully expanded. This issue is also found with the mic which simply won’t fit everyone.

If you have an average to small melon, then everything else should go smoothly. The earcups are very well padded, and the padded headband part is somewhat elasticated for a comfortable fit, the other issues notwithstanding. 

It uses a USB Bluetooth transmitter which is only compatible with Windows PCs at the moment. You’ll find a great app, allowing for bass and treble, various presets including ‘footstep mode’ which increases the sound of footsteps, suitable for certain games in FPS and horror genres and equalizer settings. 

The footstep setting is partly related to a unique sound feature that we’ve only found with the Aero, called ‘superhuman hearing’. Rather than trying to implement surround/directional sound, which can’t really be done at this price point, they’ve gone with the amplification of distant sounds, which works great in games like Call of Duty. Still, general audio quality still drops, so it’s down to personal taste as to which mode is ‘better’ – hear further away or have traditional high-quality audio. The single on-off button on the left earcup easily lets you decide which sounds best for you.

There’s also the power button, volume wheel, and your own mic volume adjustment. The mic itself is not the best but it is sufficient for straight gaming. For other purposes, we’d advise a standalone microphone.

The mic arm is also rather fiddly, requiring you to rotate and push (hard) at the right time, which had you wondering whether it’s broken or you yourself are about to break it. 

Other than the odd design flaw here and there, for an affordable wireless solution, this is a top gaming headset.

Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset
Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

BEST FOR

Gaming headphones with mic quality

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  • Best quality detachable mic
  • Great sound
  • High-end build
  • Lots of extras and cables

The Pro X gaming headset from Logitech is now in its second generation. It can be found for as low as $129 online in its wired version. 

It provides a well-padded understated design, with Logitech’s Blue Vo!ce audio technology built-in to the boom arm mic. This leads to clear audio for gamers and streamers but not quite the solution for podcasters or those that produce dedicated gaming-related content.

Depending on the retailer you can choose between a faux leather or cloth casing to the ears and headband, while the padding is good quality memory foam. Either makes for a comfortable fit, though we personally found the cloth a bit more breathable.

The big circle silver disc logo plates give it the extra style it needs to really stand out from the pack. It looks great.

Inside the box are lots of extras, including: 

  • wiring for PC setups with inline control
  •  a separate phone cable 
  • handset lifter call button
  • a Y splitter for extra headphones and mics
  • an external USB DAC.

This little USB-A device allows for console connectivity and has onboard memory to store equalizer presets from the supporting software. There are lots of presets to test or if you’re experienced, you can move the sliders yourself.

With this plugged in it also means you can get 7.1 digital surround sound support though it doesn’t always sound great and may be game-dependent or your personal tastes. It’s easy to switch between stereo and 7.1 to test performance on an individual game basis. Definitely turn it off for music or movies.

Overall, sound quality is good at this price point, delivering punchy bass and even and clear sounds. It also has a nice broad range which makes it not bad for listening to music in stereo.

At around $130 this is an affordable wired headset that has all the quality you need for gaming and streaming, with enough extras to push those on the fence to make it one of the best headphone for gaming packages.

Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless
Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless

BEST FOR

High-end gaming headset for wireless 7.1

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  • Good digital surround sound
  • Best premium wireless option
  • PC and console support
  • Daisy-chain connection

Taking the Astro, wireless with the A50 was always a good idea, especially for console gamers. Now in its 5th generation, it performs as one of the top gaming headsets for $299.

Part of that price, is of course, for the wireless technology. It takes some extra effort to get wireless headsets up to the same sound quality as wired ones, but Astro is one of the few that can manage it. The A50 delivers balanced and clear sound, with deep bass, and its Dolby Virtual Surround support is surprisingly high quality – outperforming some wired solutions for in-game quality.

Just remember to turn it off for playing music or watching movies because it significantly lowers audio quality for those scenarios.

But, if you’re into directional immersive sounding gameplay, then the A50 can provide it. The only catch is it does not have adequate noise cancellation, so you’ll want to be playing in a quiet environment. 

It should be noted that the A50 comes with a base/docking station for selecting different modes, such as a PC or console. You then need to plug the microUSB cable into the base station and the other end into the PC, while consoles need to also make use of the MixAmp Tx transmitter. 

Either way, you get superior connectivity. We never once experienced the lag or signal issues you typically do with cheaper wireless headsets or Bluetooth pairing – making it one of the best headphones for PC and console.

Aesthetically it’s a chunky gamer-looking design, though it’s a bit sleeker than its predecessors and now only comes in black with white branding. To the left is the mic arm which rotates upwards rather than retracting or detaching, which works fines. 

The mic itself is crisp and clear for gaming and streaming. We were a bit irked that ‘mic monitoring’ i.e. hearing yourself in your own headphones can’t be turned off. 

On the right side are buttons to adjust your game and your voice output volume. You can mix gaming and chatting together. There’s also the on-off button, the 7.1 one, overall volume, and EQ option. The mircoUSB port is for charging though you can also charge from the docking station.

The regular ear pads are made from a soft cloth material, but you can switch these out for faux leather and some other varieties. We found the default option more than comfortable enough. 

The Astro A50 Gen 5 wireless headset provides class-leading sound quality, but the lack of noise cancellation and forced ‘mic monitoring’ needlessly knocks off half a star for us. Nonetheless, it’s still one of the top PC gaming headsets with console support.

For the next generation, we’re bargaining on the best gaming headset in 2021.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

BEST FOR

Wireless cheap gaming headset

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  • Affordable wireless headset
  • 2.4GHz for strong Wi-FI
  • PC and console support
  • Solid stereo sound

At less than $100 a good wireless headset seems unlikely. However, when we saw that it’s made by SteelSeries as part of the Arctis range, we knew it was worth reviewing. Simply put, these are the best gaming headsets PC and console users can buy at this price.

It comes with a 2.4GHz wireless frequency range, which means a stable connection to your network, zero lag, and lossless audio. Simply plug the USB-C dongle into your PC, many types of mobile device, and the Nintendo Switch. You also get a USB A to C adapter for consoles, and you can purchase other adapters for full USB compatibility.   

Whether you need an Xbox One USB headset or a solution for your PlayStation, this is a versatile solution.

Aesthetically, it has familiar Arctis design elements with new features as well. You get oblong earcups that can be positioned flat. The foam padding also spins freely, but we’re not quite sure why unless you have particularly odd-shaped ears. Generally speaking, though, this is a comfortable and cool looking headset, if not a little tight on the fitting.

The build quality is also good, with a metal headband encased in faux leather, while the earcups are an all-in-one foam/cloth-like material that lets the heat escape.

On the left you get an audio jack, microUSB charging port, volume control, and mic mute button. On the right button is the power on/off button. 

The Arctis 1 doesn’t attempt digital surround sound and sticks to solid stereo, which we think was a good move. It enables the lower price point without adding it on in a poorly implemented and gimmicky fashion. 

This headset performs great when gaming, with strong undistorted bass during explosions and gunfire, a good range, and overall clear sound. You’ll hear every footstep and your teammate’s voices will never get lost in the levels. It’s up there as one of the best stereo headphones for gaming.

This time around they’ve replaced the common retractable mic with one that can be removed completely if you are going to be using a standalone mic. The quality itself is more than sufficient for gaming and streaming, with clean vocals so your teammates, enemies, or stream audience will hear you clearly.

All of this works well out of the box and you don’t need the software, but you can use the SteelSeries Engine if you want to do a bit of tweaking.

Ultimately, this is the best budget wireless gaming headset you’re going to find for less than $100.

Razer Kraken X
Razer Kraken X

BEST FOR

Mic quality

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  • Very affordable
  • Best mic in price-range
  • 7.1 digital surround sound
  • In-game vocal boost

Release the Kraken! Or the Kraken X to be precise. This is one of our top picks for budget gaming headsets, providing a competent sound experience and a great mic. They even attempt 7.1 digital surround sound for PC gamers, which isn’t half bad when we consider this is less than $50!

For that price, some build quality is lost to plastic and faux leather and a non-removable mic, but make no mistake, this is a comfortable gaming headset and is super light. It can withstand hours of gameplay without having to give your ears a rest.

It’s the left earcup where all the magic happens. Everything is there – the flexible cardioid mic, outcoming audio and incoming mic volume controls, and the wire straight out the bottom to USB. It makes it one of the best USB gaming headset choices. 

The mic itself is great for gaming, as intended, and the overall sound quality from the headphones is also good. You get clear bass for those booming explosions, a vocal boost to make dialogue clearer, and enough range that you get the full gaming experience.

Directional sound is certainly improved over the stereo two-channel, but it’s far from perfect. That’s to be expected on most headsets, not just a budget one.

Is it good for music? No, but it’s not intended for music, it’s a gaming headset after all. The only real downside is there’s no noise cancelation and little natural isolation, so you’ll want to play in a quiet gaming room.    

Looks-wise, it’s all black with black branding and a fairly beefy but contoured shape. They don’t look cheap, that’s for sure. There aren’t any other bells and whistles, like RGB lighting or a DAC, but it gets the job done. 

So, if you want to try wired gaming at your desktop with surround sound as an option, you can’t get more affordable than the Razer Kraken X. When compared with the Cloud Stinger this has a better performing mic, while the Stinger has a more balanced and overall better gaming headphones.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
HyperX Cloud Alpha

BEST FOR

Wired gaming headset for the money

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  • Detachable mic and cable
  • Dual chambers for good sound quality
  • Stylish design
  • Works well out of the box

The Cloud range has been here since 2014 and has constantly evolved to remain the best gaming headset in terms of value for money. While the Cloud Stinger is at the budget end, the Cloud Alpha kicks it up a gear, demanding closer to $100 than $50. 

What you get for that is exceptional comfort, thanks to abundant memory foam padding in the earcups and headband. All is encased in durable leatherette, while the headband sports a sturdy aluminum frame. It’s not quite as breathable as some, but it remains comfortable for hours of game time.

Sound quality is also great for a headset at this price. It delivers all the booming bass you need for those explosive war scenarios, while still having clear mid and high-ranges for in-game and over mic dialogue. This is accomplished with the Alpha model’s dual chambers within each 50mm driver, allowing the bass and other frequencies their own room to reverberate. 

Overall, the sound is nice and even, which is what gaming needs, though not the best for listening to music or watching movies. 

You also don’t have to mess about with equalizers and sound profiles. For us, the best sound came right out of the box and they don’t encourage you to use any software to tweak things.

Simply, these are some of the best wired headphones for gaming at this price.

Furthermore, the mic (and everything else for that matter) is detachable and passes the in-game quality test. Our fellow gaming friends said we sounded loud and clear, with no noticeable distortion or popping, thanks to the foam cover.

Would you produce a podcast with it? No, but for gaming and conversing with your buddies, or even perhaps Twitch streaming, it more than meets the mark.

Looks-wise, despite red hangers, branding, and headband stitching, it still doesn’t scream ‘gamer’ and wouldn’t look out of place in other scenarios. But it’s not truly wireless so there aren’t necessarily too many other scenarios.

If you’re looking for a no gimmicks high-quality wired headset, then the affordable HyperX Cloud Alpha is well worth your time.

Logitech G433 Gaming Headset
Logitech G433 Gaming Headset

BEST FOR

Distinctive-looking gaming headphones with mic

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  • Distinctive all-woven fabric
  • Stain-resistant
  • 7.1 digital surround sound
  • Noise-canceling mic

A tried and true wired gaming headset from Logitech, the G433 has been on the market since 2017. It remains one of the most affordable and best gaming headsets for PC at prices around $100.

Its look is one of the more distinctive on our list, especially if you go for the all-red option. But even in black its earcups that are entirely encased in a woven fabric are like nothing else you can currently buy. With additional blue, gray, and some rarer patterned options still out there, whichever you choose you’re going to stand out. For some that’s a plus, for others, it’s a pass.

Whether you like the look or not, the build quality is high, and the fabric makes it one of the most comfortable gaming headset solutions. A hydrophobic coating makes it stain resistant. The headband is molded with three different types of plastic that encase a solid steel inner band for flexibility and durability. 

Each earcup contains a Pro G 433 driver with an attuned performance for both analog and digital sources. It sounds great wherever you plugin that 3.5mm audio jack – be that your cell phone, gaming PC, or music system.

You’ll get rich and warm low ends, and excellent equalization performance thanks to the acoustic chambers. It’s not quite what an audiophile wants but for stereo gaming, it does the job well.

The boom mic is fully detachable and has noise cancellation and pop filtering, so your buddies and teammates are able to hear you clearly. It’s further endorsed by Discord, but our own tests prove it’s up to scratch.  

The mic and cable attach to the left earcup. There are mute and volume control buttons on a small box near the top of the cable. 

It also comes with a USB digital soundcard allowing for software EQ tweaking and digital 7.1 surround sound, though this was one of the earlier implementations. We suggest you test it on and off before deciding whether it really adds to your gaming experience.

The box also comes with a Y-splitter to allow additional sources, such as an extra set of headphones or to connect to virtually any other analog source.  

Whether your PC, console or even mobile gaming, the G433 headset from Logitech is a comfortable, affordable, and high-quality option at this price point.

Creative SXFI Gamer
Creative SXFI Gamer

BEST FOR

Value surround sound gaming headsets

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  • Super X-Fi personalized surround sound
  • Gaming mode presets
  • RGB lighting
  • 50mm neodymium drivers

A new entry for our best headset for gaming list and most recent gaming headphones review – the SXFI by Creative is a $130 wired option with good digital surround sound implementation. It has a unique stylish look.

It uses its own proprietary Super X-Fi technology to provide digital surround sound. It also attempts to tailor that sound to your own ear and head shape for a personalized profile.

While we’re not entirely convinced that their mobile app scan of our tester’s head would make much of a difference to the quality of the sound, said quality is comparable to other headsets at this price point. It’s good regardless of whether there’s truly any great leap in the technology behind it. 

Out of the box you get ‘battle mode’ for gaming, which focuses on bass, clarity, and digital surround sound – especially when it comes to the direction of voices, footsteps, and gunfire. There are other settings for movies and music, though this is still primarily a gaming headset. So, if you’re an audiophile this isn’t quite a true all-rounder but still one of the best headphones for gaming.

If you’re not convinced you can turn it all off for a high-quality regular stereo experience from its impressive 50mm neodymium drivers. These are hidden inside the stylish circular casing that you can light up in a sundial effect thanks to RGB support. The dial also shows you a convenient number, so you remember your optimum adjustment.

Build-wise, there’s some aluminum framing, plastic, and leatherette, all perfectly molded for a smooth and premium feel. The earcups are made from a spongy foam, and although it’s not ‘memory foam’, we had no issues in the comfort department.  

The detachable mic is flexible but rigid and offers enough quality for gaming. We found it a bit too tinny for professional streams or content producers. It also has an annoying red light that can enter your field of vision if you happen to be one of the poor souls who need it positioned in such a way. This kind of design flaw isn’t a deal-breaker but perhaps take the opportunity to test it out first if you can.

The box comes with a USB-C and 3.5mm audio jack, so you can use it on most of the devices you desire. However, it’s not wireless.

Overall, a solid and unique looking product for 2021 and arguably the best 7.1 gaming headset this year.

How to Choose the Best Gaming Headset for You

Choosing the best headphones for gaming will have an element of personal taste but all of the top gaming headsets share similar features. Here’s what you need to consider before parting with your cash:

Price

Ultimately, you get what you pay for, but you can still find a good console or PC gaming headset at the lower end of the price range. To make it worthwhile you’ll need to be looking to spend at least $100, with options like the Razer Blackshark V2 and HyperX Cloud Alpha offering good wired solutions. 

If you’re on a tight budget, the HyperX Cloud Stinger has great sound quality for gaming at less than $50. It’s closest competitor, the Razer Kraken X, excels in the microphone department at the same price.

It should be noted that wireless headsets that match the sound quality of wired ones are usually more expensive – it takes more tech to get them up to scratch. 

Style

If you’ve been looking for the best over ear headphones for gaming, you’re in luck. 99% of the options come in this design, though there are still lots of style variants.

For every luminous and vibrant color choice with RGB lighting, there’s a simple black that wouldn’t look out of place at the office.

Do you go for gaming style or something understated and professional that is still good for gaming? 

Most of the top gaming headsets come in multiple color options.

Wired vs Wireless

If you will mostly be playing games on your desktop then a wired headset is the best option. Generally, wired provides better quality audio and there are fewer chances for interference from another digital signal. It’s also less likely that you’ll need to charge anything because the power is drawn from the computer. However, some of the best wired PC gaming headset options have extra tech involved that does need charging.

Wireless headphones can have the same or even better sound quality when comparing expensive wireless to cheap wired headsets. However, the main reason to go wireless is if you’ll be gaming some distance from your computer or console (couch/TV setup) or you want to use them for music and other purposes.

Some gaming headsets brands offer both solutions at different prices. The Arctis Pro Wireless, which is $100 more than the wired version for the same specs, while $50 more than the wired DAC version which has hi-res sound.

PC vs Console

If you’re looking for the best gaming headset PC users can buy, then there are limitless options. Console gamers are slightly more restricted but a lot of good headsets support both. Make sure you confirm compatibility before purchase. 

The best headset for PC will usually be a wired one while console gamers often opt for wireless due to setups away from the desktop, such as in the lounge. 

Noise-Canceling

All gaming headsets have some noise cancellation, but the best over-ear gaming headphones have added tech to keep you from hearing the outside world. Likewise, the best over-ear gaming headset will also have mic noise cancellation technology so those on the other end only hear your voice. 

Digital Surround Sound

If you want to experience in-game surround sound that makes it seem like helicopters are coming from above and a teammate is shouting to the left, you’ll need a surround sound gaming headset. However, read the reviews carefully because there are multiple brands/technologies, and some perform better than others. This technology is still developing, and a lot of headsets still have better sound quality with it turned off.

Gaming or more?

If you will be using your headset for straight gaming and talking to other players, you can get away with an average mic and do not need many extra features. If you’ll be streaming to Twitch or over Discord, you’ll want a higher quality PC gaming headset with mic.

If you stream with other gamers/hosts in the same room, you’ll also want to look out for mixer add ons and Y-splitters – the ability to get multiple headsets running through the same system.

While we’d always advise music purists to look elsewhere for separate headphones some of the higher-end gaming headsets still sound pretty good for music but expect to pay high-end prices. 

Wrap Up

Headphones and mics are important computer peripherals, especially for gamers.

If you’ve been looking for the best gaming headset for PC or a dual console option, our reviews and guides should point you in the right direction. Whether you’re spending under $100 or have a limitless budget, you can find the best headphones for gaming for you.

If you have yet to choose from our list, we’ve also answered some of your commonly asked questions to give you further insight.

FAQ

What headsets do pro gamers use?

Professional gamers don’t scrimp when it comes to buying gaming headsets with microphones, because of the higher the quality, the better the immersion, and therefore the better the player. For pros, winning is extra important.

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is a competitive gamer favorite thanks to its 40,000 Hz hi-res audio and surround sound. The mic isn’t to be scoffed at either, offering an almost studio-like quality, which also makes it ideal for streamers and podcasters. That RGB lighting is also super cool.

Also, in the mix is the Hyper X Cloud with its 60 Ohms impedance and super comfortable memory foam ear covers. The Astro A40 also has lots of cool customizations.

Ultimately, most of the headsets on our list are suitable for pro gamers, you just need to look out for:

  • High quality directional/surround sound experience, whether accomplished by ‘good’ digital surround sound or stereo headphones.
  • Over the ear design with added noise cancellation technology.
  • Overall comfort.
  • Gaming headsets with good mics that don’t pop and pick up background noise.

Wired or wireless is more of a personal taste and whether you think the wire gets in the way vs whether you mind the hassle of charging a wireless device and the risk of lag. Pro gamers use both if they’re high-end.

What is the best wired gaming headset?

The best wired headset currently on the market for gamers is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC, providing certified hi-res audio, DTS digital surround sound, and an overall stylish and premium build. It’s a gaming headset PC and console users can benefit from. 

If $270 is out of your range, then the best value for money wired option is the HyperX Cloud Alpha, which can often be found for less than $100.

Are gaming headsets worth it?

If you intend to use any kind of headphones or mic setup for gaming then spending a little extra on a good gaming headset is worth it.

A headset allows you to seamlessly listen to your game while talking to your friends and foes without having to configure a separate microphone and gaming headphone combination.

The top console and best PC headset also provide superior sound quality for the in-game environment. At the least they properly cup the ear, drowning out background noise.

Then best headphones for gaming also account for directional sound through the left or right channel. So, if your enemy is creeping up behind you to the left you will hear the footsteps more in your left ear.

This provides much more immersion in the game but also improves your performance as a gamer.

Then there’s the fact good gaming headsets are properly pop-filtered and provide cardioid or unidirectional technology for their mics. Simply put, those on the other end will be able to hear you speak clearly and are less likely to hear any background noise.

Is 7.1 better for gaming?

The short answer is that 7.1 digital surround sound is not necessarily better or needed for top gaming headphones. However, it can still be implemented well, and many of the best PC headphones have it as an option if you like it.

The 7.1 debate is a long and arduous one in the gaming community. What gamers are trying to accomplish is high quality, clear audio, that allows them to hear sound directionally. I.e. footsteps to the left, a teammate shouting in the distance to the right, and planes flying above.

This creates fun and immersive gaming, that helps improve your response to the action as well. Only, it doesn’t really work that well for a lot of headsets.

The term ‘surround sound’, ‘7.1’, THX spatial audio’, and others refer to specific brands of technology that some PC gaming headsets have implemented. However, the ability to hear what is, somewhat directional, can be accomplished with stereo headphones that aren’t technically ‘surround sound’ at all.

Think about it – stereo headphones are two separate channels, which means you do already get sound coming from the left and right. If the game developer has implemented good quality sound into the game and your stereo headphones are good quality, 7.1 digital surround sound (or similar tech) can actually lower the overall quality. It produces a distorted, muffled, echoing effect; especially if the game never anticipated its use. 

Surround sound is really intended for expensive speakers and watching movies sat back on your couch. It uses the physical positioning of the speakers and internal hardware to create the experience and this just cannot be implemented into a headset with two earcups. 

Thus, they do an artificial ‘digital’ version of it that only works half the time and often sacrifices audio quality. 

The consensus among audio buffs and gamers is that high-end stereo headsets are good headphones for gaming and 7.1 is a bit of a gimmick. The good news is that a lot of the best gaming headsets have 7.1 as an option you can turn on and off, so ultimately it comes down to personal choice.

7.1 isn’t better for gaming but it’s there if you want it. Plus, the technology continues to evolve, so it doesn’t hurt to have it as an option ready for improvements.

Are expensive headsets worth it?

Yes, if you are a regular gamer that cares about sound quality and immersion.

All of the headsets we’ve reviewed made it to the list because they are worth the money, however, your personal budget will play a role in the brand and model you choose. When comparing cheap headsets that have the term gaming slapped on the box and genuine expensive gaming headsets, the expensive ones will always win in terms of build and sound quality for gaming.

If you are a casual gamer or prefer single-player games that don’t require a mic, forking out for an expensive headset may not be worth it. You can rely on any existing speakers or stereo headphones that you have while still having a good time.

How long do gaming headsets last?

Gaming can be an intensive activity and if you clock in long hours, your headset can soon take some punishment. This is especially true when there are moving parts like size adjustability and the position of the microphone.

You can expect the headsets we’ve reviewed to last in the range of 2 to 5 years before something snaps, becomes too loose or the internal hardware breaks.

Fortunately, all good products come with a manufacturer’s warranty. So, as long as you don’t accidentally stand on your headset or drop it off a balcony, you’ll be entitled to a replacement or for them to be fixed during a certain period of time.

To make your headset last longer it is best to regularly wipe them down with a dry dust-attracting cloth and damp (never wet) cloth. You should also store them on a rack or somewhere safe out of the way.

What are the best gaming headsets?

Although it goes without saying, the best ones are those designed specifically for gamers from reputable gaming headset brands. Whether they implement virtual surround sound or not, they have been fine-tuned for in-game environments not listening to music or watching movies.

Our overall pick for top gaming headsets at the premium end of the scale goes to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC. It is the only over-ear gaming headset to provide certified high-resolution audio. 

Logitech, Razer, Astro, and HyperX are all good gaming headset companies that provide top gaming headsets at multiple price points.