Update, November 16, 2020: This list was updated to include the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE, and to include microphone demos when applicable.
Finding the best gaming headset is essential. Gaming speakers don’t offer the same level of immersion and let distractions hinder your game. Regular headphones can be sufficient, but serious players will prefer the added comfort, integrated microphone, wider soundstage, and extravagant gaming aesthetics.
However, not all gaming headphones are created equal. We looked at price, value, audio quality, 3D space reproduction, comfort, compatibility, and design to separate the wheat from the chaff. Our list of the best gaming headsets will include a variety of products for different needs. Let’s get started!
Best gaming headsets
- Audeze Mobius
- Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE
- SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro
- HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro
- Razer Kraken X
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best gaming headsets regularly as new ones launch.
1. Audeze Mobius
Known for making some of the best headphones in the world, the Audeze Mobius gaming headset is pretty much the best gaming headset you can get. The headset offers top-notch sound quality pumping out from its planar magnetic drivers, which accurately reproduce audio across the frequency spectrum, without over emphasizing bass.
However this isn’t just one of the best gaming headset because of its raw audio performance. It’s very comfortable, with memory foam pads and a super-flexible band. The headset supports just about every connection method possible, whether that’s a 3.5mm jack, USB, or Bluetooth 5.0. Audeze also teamed up with Waves Nx to bring 3D audio to the Mobius. In addition to the 7.1 virtual surround sound the game supports, you can turn on 3D audio to simulate a speaker environment in your headphones.
Audeze Mobius microphone demo:
The Audeze Mobius headset don’t come cheap, but it’s an industry-favorite and that’s worth every penny if you value quality gaming audio.
2. Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE
Corsair manufactures some of the most popular gaming headsets around, and its Virtuoso Wireless SE headset is among our favorites for its microphone quality. Though it’s not quite up to snuff for podcasting, it’s one of the better boom mics you’ll find on a pair of gaming headphones. Alternatively, the microphone works just as well for things like conference calls, but you need to plug it into your laptop for that.
Corsair Virtuoso SE microphone demo:
Corsair includes a USB-C to USB-A cable, a 3.5mm aux cable, and a USB wireless dongle. It has a 20-hour battery life, which should be more than enough playtime to get you through any all-nighters. Sound quality is very good, and fairly accurate for a gaming headset. Upper-bass notes are amplified a bit, as are upper midrange notes, so explosions and speech remain clear.
3. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
The SteelSeries Arctis Wireless uses a USB-C RF dongle to deliver lag free audio to undocked Nintendo Switches and all sorts of smartphones. It comes with an adapter cord for USB-A, so you’ll be able to get wireless audio on PC, docked Nintendo Switches, and Playstation 4. The Xbox One still doesn’t support audio via USB, but don’t worry: the headset also comes with a 3.5mm cord so you can go wired and still use it.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless microphone demo:
On top of that swath of connection options, the Arctis 1 Wireless has remarkably solid audio output, and it can last up to 25 hours on a single charge. There’s no surround sound and the mic is fairly average, but for the price, this is still one of the best gaming headsets around.
4. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
While the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a fantastic headset, this USB wired-only option takes things to the next level. The Arctis Pro comes with a GameDAC digital to analog converter, affording a level of sound optimization that’s rare, even when compared to the rest of the best gaming headsets on the market.
A dedicated GameDAC might sound like overkill (and in some ways it is), but it allows you to change equalizer settings without needing more software, or even having to alt-tab away from a game. Just hold the main button and use the GameDAC’s built-in LED screen to tweak your sound. This makes it a great choice, especially for PC and PS4 gamers. Thankfully, you can also use it with your phone or Switch using the included 3.5mm adaptor.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC microphone demo:
Oh, and it features cool RBG lighting, a fully retractable microphone, and exceptionally comfortable earpads.
5. HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro
This is one of the best gaming headsets for gamers who want something simple that gets the job done without breaking the bank. It lacks fancy features and the microphone is a bit of an underperformer, but the headset sounds great and features a comfortable, solid construction.
It uses a 3.5mm audio cable, so it is compatible with anything that has a headphone jack. At $84.99, you can’t really go wrong with these gaming headphones. Plus, the red accents and HyperX logo give this a distinctly “gamer” aesthetic that should fit right in with your other peripherals.
6. Razer Kraken X
The Razer Kraken X brings a lot of value to the table. Sure, it doesn’t sound nearly as good as the HyperX Cloud Alpha, but it brings 3.5mm connectivity and 7.1 surround sound (on Windows 10) for a low price. It’s one of the best gaming headsets to get on the cheap.
Read also: Best headphones under $100
It has a lightweight design, with a headband made of a durable thermoplastic. The memory foam pads feature slight gaps to alleviate pressure if you wear glasses. The attached microphone is flexible and offers clear audio.
Razer Kraken X microphone demo:
This is a remarkably comfortable headset, and the volume and mic controls on the left headphone make it convenient as well. Unfortunately, the 7.1 surround sound only works with Windows 10, but you won’t find a better gaming headset for this price.
Audio is an important part of gaming, and any of these should help you challenge your opponents with great auditory performance. We hope you found the best gaming headset for you on this list, whether you are looking for performance, thumpy bass, or sheer value.
Best gaming headsets: Honorable mentions
- Fnatic React Headset: It’s a lot like the HyperX Cloud Alpha, only it doesn’t sound quite as good. The headset happens to have one of the most accurate microphones you can find in a gaming headset, so it’s a great option for people who really lean on voice chat.
- HyperX Cloud Orbit S: Based on the Audeze Mobius, this headset offers almost all the same features, minus Bluetooth, for $70 less. Really, that’s the only difference.
- SteelSeries Arctis 7: It feels identical to the Arctis Pro, only it’s wireless, a lot cheaper, and doesn’t have LEDs. It sounds great, and it’s super comfortable—nuff said.
What you should know about gaming headsets
Most gaming headsets with a lot of features are geared toward use with a Windows PC. Headsets like the Audeze Mobius, Razer Kraken X, and SteelSeries Arctis Pro all offer lots of different kinds of features, but a lot that relies on the use of apps you can only get on a PC.
Multi-platform headsets are hard to find
Finding a headset that’s truly multi-platform is hard — especially if you game on an Xbox One. Microsoft restricts the compatibility of accessories made for its console, so you won’t a wireless or USB headset that works fully on both Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Often there are separate versions for people with different console needs, so remember to keep an eye on compatibility.
Wireless headsets don’t usually support Bluetooth
Wireless gaming headsets don’t use Bluetooth for gaming. Bluetooth’s occasional audio lag issues may have become less of a problem over time, but no console supports Bluetooth audio, and RF transmission is totally lag free. If you’re looking for a wireless gaming headset, expect to reserve a USB port for it.
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