The best gaming headset can offer a gaming experience like no other. One can only get a great game from a set of fabulous great headphones. Not only do these nifty gadgets affect your gaming but believe it or not, they can be the deciding factor in critical life-or-death situations in a game.
This article will outline features that will help you identify the best gaming headsets, be it the best wireless gaming headset or wired. We'll walk you through it. We've also curated a list of 5 of the best gaming headsets in the market.
Best Gaming Headsets in 2021
1. Razer BlackShark V2
- THX 7.1 SURROUND SOUND CAPABLE: Provides industry-leading audio realism for in-game...
- TRIFORCE TITANIUM 50MM HIGH-END SOUND DRIVERS: Outfitted with cutting-edge, 50mm drivers...
- ALL-DAY COMFORT: Oval, cooling gel-infused cushions that prevent overheating and pressure...
- DETACHABLE RAZER HYPERCLEAR CARDIOID MIC: Tuned to have a more focused voice pickup area,...
- COMPATIBILITY:Audio enhancer DAC connects via USB connector; THX Spatial Audio available...
This might be one of the best gaming headsets Razer has made yet. The Razer BlackShark V2 is a light and comfortable gaming headset that makes it easy to keep gaming for long periods of time.
In terms of comfort, the headset features cooling gel-infused cushions that help prevent overheating and pressure build-up. The left earcup on the gaming headset features a volume dial and a detachable flexible mic. The right side has no buttons.
The Razer gaming headphones are compatible with basically every gaming platform. In terms of connectivity, Razor BlackShark V2 can be connected either through USB by connecting its 3.5 mm audio jack to the USB sound card through a 3.5mm audio jack or through its 3.5 mm audio jack.
The gaming headphones use THX Spatial Audio, but it's only available on Windows 10 64-bit only. It can be activated through Razer Synapse. In terms of sound quality, the Razer gaming headset performs really well at sound isolation.
2. HyperX Cloud Flight
- Gaming grade 2.4GHz wireless connection, with up to 30 hours of battery life
- Signature HyperX comfort and immersive in game audio
- Durable, adjustable steel slider
- PC, PS4, and PS4 Pro ready
- 90° rotating ear cups with LED lighting effects
The HyperXCloud Flight is the brand’s first gaming headset with built-in lighting provided by light-up HyperX logos on each earcup. The earcups feature controls on both sides. The left side has a power button that allows you to toggle on/off and breathing effects for the headphone's lighting. It also has a mute switch that's built into the outside panel.
While on the right earcup, there's a volume knob; however, it doesn't have extra functionalities such as allowing you to change game and chat volume independently. The microphone is detachable.
The Hyper X Cloud Flight gaming headphone is made of plastic but still feels durable and solid. It's also pretty lightweight, weighing about 10.5 ounces. The earcups are designed large enough to fit most ears and are comfortable as well.
One of the best features of the gaming headset is the long battery life of up to 30 hours. However, it would be best to turn off the LED lights for a longer run time to fully take advantage of it.
Sound-wise, the Cloud Flight only emits a 2.0 stereo sound. However, on the upside, it does have two grand 50 mm drivers that are bass-heavy. These are great, especially if you enjoy action-packed games.
When it comes to setting up the Cloud Flight headphones, all that's needed is a USB transmitter compatible with PS4, PC, and Ps4 Pro. However, the gaming headphone is not compatible with Xbox One systems. This is mainly because of the proprietary wireless technology of Microsoft’s consoles.
3. HyperX Cloud Alpha S
- Frequency response 13Hz – 27kHz.Headphones fit type:Over-Ear
- Custom-tuned HyperX 7.1 surround sound
- Bass adjustment sliders
- HyperX Dual chamber drivers
- Game and chat balance
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S design has a sleek contemporary feel to it with its aluminum frame. The build quality feels sturdy and weighs 310 grams which might be slightly heavy for smaller heads. The headset features blue accents around the Hyper X logo on both earcups and soft leatherette ear cushions. An inclusive interchangeable fabric pair that offers more airflow is provided in the box. The ear cushions allow for longer gaming sessions as you're more comfortable.
The PC gaming headset also features adjustable bass sliders, which can be toggled to increase or decrease the bass levels while gaming. There are three settings to choose from.
- closed - This gives space to the 50mm driver to vibrate, hence producing the maximum bass
The Alpha S pc headset features a dual-chamber driver that allows for the separation of bass frequencies from the mids and lows, enabling you to tune them separately. This results in a better and more distinct sound output with minimal distortion.
The headset has been tuned for 7.1 virtual surround sound; hence individual game audio elements sounded sharper with it turned on. The Alpha S features a USB audio control switch with buttons for the volume controls, game-chat balance, microphone, and 7.1 surround sound.
The headset additionally comes with a 3.5mm braided cable plugged into the mixer while the USB side goes into the PC. The headset can be used on Windows 10 with support for Windows Sonic Spatial sound.
4. HyperX Cloud II
- 15-25kKhz Frequency Response.Headphones fit type:Over-Ear
- Designed for comfort: Exceptionally comfortable memory foam ear cushions and padded...
- Supreme audio quality: Large 53 millimeter drivers provide high-quality audio. Hear...
- 7.1 virtual surround sound: Truly immerse yourself in your games with hardware-driven...
- Passive noise cancellation: The closed ear cup design blocks out outside distractions to...
The HyperX Cloud II gaming headphones feature memory foam ear cushions and a padded leatherette headband. These cups are quite comfortable and contain some room such that your ears don't necessarily feel squeezed. The leather band also adds a nice stylish touch to the headphones.
The gaming headphones come equipped with virtual surround sound and 53mm Neodymium drivers, a slightly wider frequency response range. Though wired, it does come with a USB dongle which allows you to control the microphone and audio volume and toggle virtual 7.1 surround sound
The gaming headphones are compatible with PS4, PS5, and Switch Consoles via a 3.5 mm jack or USB.
5. SteelSeries Arctis 7
- Designed for gaming, the 2.4 grams connection delivers rock solid, lossless wireless audio...
- Widely recognized as the best mic in gaming, the discord certified clear cast microphone...
- Sound is your competitive advantage with the s1 speaker drivers, engineered to produce...
- Immerse yourself in 360 degrees of precision audio with next generation DTS headphone: x...
- 24 hour battery life gives you enough continuous play for even your longest gaming...
The build quality of The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless gaming headset is quite impressive. They feature a metal headband that is flexible and sturdy. The ear cup padding is slightly thicker than their predecessor; however, the gaming headsets feel soft and comfortable on the skin.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headset features 360 degrees of 7.1 digital surround sound with next-generation DTS headphone: X 2.0. This, however, only caters to PC users. The Steelseries Arctis headset has a bidirectional microphone with noise cancellation. It is also retractable and extends out about four inches.
The SteelSeries Arctic 7 has a long battery life of up 24 hours. This means you can enjoy a whole day of gaming. There are control buttons on the headset. The left part has a mic mute button, four-pin ports, micro -USB, volume dial, and 3.5 mm. The right part of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 houses the dial for switching between games and chat audio channels that the headset supports and the power button.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset uses SteelSeries Engine 3, which is the same software all SteelSeries devices use. It allows you to customize the sound settings in various ways. You can switch between stereo and 7.1 sound, set the audio dynamic range, or even manually adjust the gaming headphones output at different frequencies.
Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Gaming Headset
a) Compatible with your Machine/Platform
When buying a headset, one of the first things you have to consider is if it's compatible with the machine you'll use.
If you're a PC player, ensure that the headsets you are interested in are compatible with PC or are PC gaming headsets. If your preferred platform choice is consoles, ensure that the headsets can work with Xbox One and PS4.
Those with Apple devices tend to face difficulties finding compatible gaming headsets; however, most manufacturers are working hard to solve this issue. Some headsets are compatible with all platforms; however, they tend to be more expensive.
b) Quality of Sound
The quality of sound is essential when it comes to the experience of your game. The whole purpose is for you to be able to hear what's happening throughout the game. Hence having the right audio quality is important. There are two types of sounds to choose from when it comes to the best gaming headsets: Surround and Surround Sound.
Stereo sound uses two clear channels of audio, one for the right and the for the left. The main advantage of a stereo gaming headset is that the sound quality remains unaltered. The speakers are larger as well. The downside is that you may not hear everything that's happening in the game; however, it depends on your choice of games. If you're a League of Legends player, a stereo gaming headset won't be a problem.
Surround Sound uses up to 8 channels (7.1), thus providing a fuller and immersive gaming sound experience. Real surround sound requires space and directional speakers for the desired effect.
Gaming headsets with surround sound provide up to a 360-degree soundscape as they have multiple speakers covering each ear. The aim is that you're able to hear everything regardless of whichever direction it's coming from. This can be considered a competitive advantage while playing.
This sound comes in various standards such as Windows Sonic, Dolby 7.1, DTS:X 2, etc. There is also the alternative of virtual surround sound. It has two separate speakers and depends on external or internal pre or mix-amps to change the surround sound or stereo signals into surround sound. Though it is key to note that there isn't much of a difference as all the gaming headsets however mimic a virtual 7.1 environment.
When it comes to buying the best gaming headsets, the microphone is easily one of the most overlooked features. However, it is one of the most significant elements of what makes a headset the best.
Gaming headset microphones allow you to communicate with fellow players. However, for the most part, they tend to struggle in the bass range of the frequency spectrum. This, in turn, can make those with lower and deep voices sound strange.
Gaming headsets tend to come with two types of microphones: Omnidirectional boom mics and Unidirectional boom mics.
An omnidirectional boom microphone will pick up sound from all directions, while a unidirectional boom mic will only pick sound from a specific direction.
There's the option of getting a separate mic and gaming headset. However, most gamers prefer gaming headsets with in-built microphones.
d) Build Quality
A large majority of headsets are made of plastic. When searching for the best gaming headset, it's essential to find one that looks and feels sturdy. If possible, find a gaming headset with a wire or metal frame. However, even with plastic, ensure that the headset has a sufficient range of movement that accommodates your head. This is important as cheap plastic can't handle too much tension, and in the end, you might have to purchase a new headset.
e) Wireless vs. Wired
The debate between wireless gaming headsets and wired ones depends on the gamer. They both have their pros and cons.
- Wired Gaming Headset
- You don't need to charge them. You plug in your headset, and you're good to go
- The availability of cords can be a challenge
- You have to deal with the risk of tangled wires and tripping over cords
- You always have to be within range of your computer or platform
- Wireless Gaming Headset
- Provide you with the independence of range since most can connect to gaming platforms via wireless networks or Bluetooth.
- Constantly have to charge them. This can kill your gaming vibe, especially if you're mid-game and forgot to charge them the night before.