Best PC Gaming Headsets of Today (New PC Gamer Guide)
Here are the best gaming headsets for an avid PC gamer.
- Comparison: The Best Gaming Headsets for PC
- The Best PC Gaming Headsets
- best overall: HyperX Cloud Revolver S
- best under $100: HyperX Cloud Alpha
- best wireless: SteelSeries Arctis 7
- best sound: SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC
- best under $50: Logitech G430
- best under $50 runner-up: HyperX Cloud Stinger
- best open-back: Sennheiser GAME ONE
- best budget: Sades A60/OMG
- best VR: Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR
- best wireless under $100: Corsair VOID PRO
- best battery: HyperX Cloud Flight
- best USB: Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 (USB)
- What to Look For in a PC Gaming Headset?
- Is Surround Sound Worth Getting?
- Can Software Equalize Music Well?
- Microphones Omni…What?
- Open-Back vs. Closed-Back for PC Gaming Headsets
- Most Common Connections for PC
Comparison: The Best Gaming Headsets for PC
iRating on Amazon.com
HyperX Cloud Revolver S
(only on USB)
|best under $100||HyperX Cloud Alpha||4.2||$$$|
|best wireless||SteelSeries Arctis 7||3.8||$$$$|
|DTS Headphone:X 7.1||More info|
|best sound||SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC||3.9||$$$$$|
|DTS Headphone:X v2.0||More info|
|best under $50||Logitech G430||3.8||$$ ($30-$80)||uni-directional|
DTS Headphone: X
(only on USB)
|HyperX Cloud Stinger||3.9||$$ ($30-$80)||uni-directional|
|best open-back||Sennheiser GAME ONE||4.2||$$$$|
|best budget||Sades A60||4.0||$ (<$30)||omni-directional|
|best VR||Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR||4.0||$$ ($30-$80)||uni-directional|
|Corsair VOID PRO||4.1||$$$|
|wireless USB||Dolby 7.1||More info|
|best battery||HyperX Cloud Flight||4.1||$$$$|
|best USB||Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2||4.1||$$$|
|USB||Razer Synapse 7.1||More info|
Related guides: The best wireless headsets for PlayStation4
Tired of your old, worn-out headset and want something new with the latest technology? We got you covered.
Pick among the best PC headsets for gaming on the market today. You can choose from a wide selection of categories for all tastes, purposes, and budgets. If we forgot something, please let us know in the comments.
The Best PC Gaming Headsets
best overall: HyperX Cloud Revolver S
If you want the best PC gaming headset right now you must check the HyperX Cloud Revolver S.
It’s a headset that offers everything you need. Great build quality with a metal suspension headband, big memory foam ear cups, solid performance of microphone, and good sound quality. If you want to have all the features an up-to-date headset can offer, this is it.
You can connect it with either 3.5mm or USB. It has in-line mic and sound controls on a fabric braided cable. The closed-back design offers good noise isolation and a quality, detachable microphone.
Add to this, a very detailed sound with good soundstage and the option of Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound on USB connection and you see why this is a great gaming headset. You get better immersion in RPGs and positional audio in FPS shooters.
HyperX Cloud Revolver S is the all-in-one gaming headset for PC that should be your top choice right now.
best under $100: HyperX Cloud Alpha
This is the first-choice for gamers worldwide under $100. The popular HyperX gaming headsets have been setting standards for some time. The Cloud Alpha is the latest wired version that connects with 3.5mm plug.
You get big ear cups and memory foam padding for great long-term comfort. The closed-back design offers good noise isolation. Additionally, the microphone and cable (with in-line controls) are detachable.
The boom mic is good quality and generally doesn’t distort the signal. It’s one of the best in the market. The build quality is great with a metal headband and durable plastics. It’s a proven design that lasts.
Add to this better than the competition sound quality and a price under $100 and you have a winner.
best wireless: SteelSeries Arctis 7
SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset is the best one for wireless PC gaming right now. An avid gamer can’t really expect much more. It has a great design that’s comfortable and durable while not too flashy.
The closed-back design keeps the noise out and combined with a retractable microphone delivers solid multiplayer and chat performance.
The wireless range is about 40ft (12m) and the battery lasts for around 24 hours which isn’t shabby. Moreover, the big earcups with soft ear pads offer good comfort for long playing sessions.
When it comes to sound, you get DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound which makes every game a more immersive experience. Plus, the sound in general is better than with your average wireless headset.
best sound: SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC
In case sound quality is the most important thing in a gaming headset, check out the SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC bundle. This premium wired gaming headset offers outstanding audio quality.
The design is the same as the rest of the SteelSeries models (same good build-quality and comfort) but with more “oomph” and a higher price tag.
In the bundle, you get a GameDAC which is a digital-to-analog converter and an amplifier in one. It makes a big difference in sound quality. You get more details, clarity, and power than from any other gaming headset.
Additionally, you get many options for connecting; 3.5mm, optical and USB. This means it’s compatible with PC, PS4 and Xbox One (all versions). Of course, you also get all the goodies from “lesser” models like the detachable microphone, detachable wires, ChatMix and the comfy earpads.
What you get more is premium materials, better surround sound (DTS Headphone:X V2.0) and the GameDAC for the ultimate audio experience a gaming headset can deliver.
best under $50: Logitech G430
Logitech has been making popular gaming headsets for some time now and the G430 is probably their most popular one. The reason is its great value for money.
For under $50 gaming headset there is not much more to want. It’s wired with 3.5mm dual plugs, big ear cups with substantial padding (which makes it comfortable), good durability for a plastic headset and the option of surround sound (DTS Headphones:X & Dolby 7.1) when you use the USB adapter.
Additionally, the flip-to-mute microphone works as intended and you have the option of adjusting the sound with in-line controls and Logitech software (on PC).
Overall, the Logitech G430 is the best PC gaming headset under $50 and can easily compare to headsets with a higher price.
best under $50 runner-up: HyperX Cloud Stinger
There are a couple of choices under $50 and the HyperX Stinger comes among the top. This wired (3.5mm) headset with its low price isn’t much worse compared to higher tier HyperX headsets.
The design isn’t top notch but compares favorably in terms of durability and comfort to another sub $50 gaming headsets. The features are basic but work well. The headset is light enough to be comfy for long hours, has a flip-to-mute microphone that works and built-in controls that are easy to use.
Additionally, the audio quality justifies the price. You can definitely get better at a higher price but under $50 you won’t find much superior choice. The bass is strong with good, clear highs, perfect for an average gamer.
If you don’t want to spend much money and want value-for-money, get the HyperX Stinger gaming headset and don’t look back.
best open-back: Sennheiser GAME ONE
If you’re looking for an open-back gaming headset Sennheiser GAME ONE is the best. The benefit of the open acoustics (open-back) is better audio accuracy and detail and better ventilation, hence comfort.
As an additional result, there is some sound leakage which might get into the mic from time to time, but nothing too annoying. This open-back gaming headset is perfect if you’re playing alone in the room and don’t mind if/when others can hear what you are listening to.
The GAME ONE is very similar to Sennheiser’s 6xx models which are among the best audiophile headphones on the market. With velour ear pads you can play for hours without discomfort and durability is solid as usual for Sennheiser.
Moreover, the flip-to-mute microphone is not detachable but high-quality. Very clear and detailed while not letting in a lot of noise.
Sennheiser GAME ONE is a great open gaming headset and its popularity shows it.
best budget: Sades A60/OMG
This cheap PC gaming headset under $30 offers everything a gamer needs. And it’s big, at least as big as the headsets costing 4 times the prices.
It’s nothing special in terms of features but the special thing here is the dirt cheap price. Sades A60/OMG is a PC headset because it uses a USB connection and isn’t compatible with PlayStation or Xbox. For PC it’s “plug & play” simple.
The ear cups are big with good cushioning for comfortable hours of gaming. It might seem a bit heavy but you get used to it quickly. The design is mostly plastic but not much worse than the premium headsets.
Add to this a retractable microphone (mutable), in-line remote control, and RGB lighting and you see the appeal of this cheap headset for PC.
The best under $30 headset for PC right must be Sades A60/OMG with its insane value for money.
best VR: Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR
For virtual reality fans, these cans are a perfect choice. Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR was made specifically for all VR platforms. (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, etc.)
The reason why these were made is that most gaming headsets today aren’t made to work with Virtual Reality headsets which are big and bulky. Very often you’ll deal with bad comfort and unsuitable combinations. This is where the Stealth 350VR comes in.
The design is made to fit all major VR headsets comfortably together with any required cables. Its closed-back design has good passive noise isolation so you can enjoy your game in peace. Additionally, the detachable microphone is noise-cancelling and features mic monitoring as well.
For an even more immersive VR gaming experience, you get amplified sound and bass boost. The battery lasts up to 30 hours but the headset only works when the amplifier is on.
In the end, if you want a gaming headset for VR, that will fit comfortably with all major VR platforms, get the Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR.
best wireless under $100: Corsair VOID PRO
Here’s a great wireless PC gaming headset for those that don’t want to spend too much money. Wireless headsets are usually expensive but not this one. The Corsair VOID PRO is one of the more affordable wireless gaming headsets today. And it works well.
If you want to get rid of the wires on the cheap this is the headset to do it with. The closed-back ear cups are big with microfiber and memory foam padding for long-term comfort. It’s made from quality materials and looks like it can take a beating.
The wireless range is around 40ft/12m from the USB receiver you plug into a PC. Moreover, you can play up to 16 hours per charge. You also get a flip-to-mute noise-cancelling microphone, RGB programmable lights and Dolby 7.1 surround sound all for under $100.
Corsair VOID PRO RGB wireless gaming headset is amazing value-for-money and as a result it’s one of the most popular models right now.
best battery: HyperX Cloud Flight
The Cloud Flight is the first wireless gaming headset from HyperX. Just like other headsets from this company, this one is solid too.
While it might not be our first choice for a wireless headset it’s a great alternative with a great battery life. Very long battery life, up to 30 hours per charge, is its competitive advantage. You can get a lot of gaming out of it.
In HyperX fashion, the build quality is great. It has a flexible headband with ear cups that can swivel. Faux leather with memory foam cushion and a good clamping force to keep in on the head.
Moreover, the sound quality doesn’t disappoint and is at least as good as other wireless alternatives. The only thing missing is the option of a surround sound.
If you want a wireless gaming headset with the best battery, check the HyperX Cloud Flight.
best USB: Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 (USB)
Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 is a great USB gaming headset. Most gaming headsets use standard 3.5mm plugs but if you want a USB headset this is the top pick.
This big closed-back headset has thick and soft earpads that might look cumbersome but are actually very comfortable for long playing hours. Additionally, the retractable microphone with active noise-cancelling (and mute LED) delivers reliable performance for a chat and in-game talking.
This is truly a PC only headset because the mic doesn’t work on consoles. You also get flashy LED Razer logo on the sides and Razer Synapse. This is software for controlling sound quality and 7.1 surround sound for maximum immersion in the game.
Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 is a USB gaming headset that offers everything you can expect from a modern piece of hardware and it doesn’t everything through a USB connection.
What to Look For in a PC Gaming Headset?
The sound quality is the main feature of any headphones including those for gaming. The level of detail and clarity plays an important role in your immersion in single player games and your competitive advantage in PVP games.
You want the right combination of strong bass and detailed treble though there is no objective way to measure sound quality as it’s totally subjective. Nonetheless, most people prefer clear sounding headphones with a deep bass.
Additionally, when it comes to computer gaming headsets you very often have the option of using software to adjust the sound signature to your liking. Not every PC gaming headset has this option but most higher-end ones do.
The same is true for surround sound, more on this here.
It’s the thing you feel the most. Many gaming headsets claim to be comfortable until you buy one that isn’t. Thankfully you can gauge the comfort of a headset just by looking at it.
If it has big ear cups with thick foam ear pads and substantial cushioning on the headband you can be sure it’s comfortable. Of course, the only real way to test is if you actually wear it for a gaming session (at least a couple hours).
Generally, if you get a headset from one of the better-known brands (that isn’t the cheapest) you’ll get a comfortable piece of hardware. That’s because the uncomfortable headsets have been pushed out of the market.
Normally you treat your new gaming headset with great care but over time you get used to it and become careless. This is perfectly normal for most people. This is why it’s important for the headset to be well-built with quality materials.
A metal headband and quality plastics are a good sign.
It is painful to see your favorite headset you are so used to break down after just a couple of months. Very often durability is better with more expensive models while the cheap ones feel and look like it.
If you’re a regular gamer and need a headset for a long term it’s worth getting a higher-quality headset since it’s going to last longer.
But if you are more casual gamer getting a cheap gaming headset makes perfect sense. Nonetheless, the way you treat your gaming headset will have the main effect on its durability.
It’s the most annoying thing possible. The constant buzzing, dropping or hissing that drives you mad. It’s a bad microphone.
We’ve all had this experience, a friend with a cheap microphone that sounds horrible. It’s only frustrating for casual gameplay but can be detrimental in a competitive setting.
Hearing your friends and co-players clearly and without distortion can mean the difference between losing or winning. Not only will you be the most disliked player on the team you’ll also probably be a handicap if you have a bad microphone.
Today, it’s not acceptable to have a bad quality microphone for most gamers this is why companies are putting extra effort into making them bulletproof. A long boom mic is a good indicator of good performance. Avoid built-in mics like a plague.
Thankfully, most gaming headphones have at least a decent microphone that won’t annoy your friends. All from this guide are a great choice.
Is Surround Sound Worth Getting?
If you’re a serious gamer that plays competitive games, yes. If you just have some casual fun with your friends or alone then it’s not really needed.
Most gaming headsets have virtual surround sound from Dolby, DTS or their own brand version. Surround sound makes gaming more immersive and gives the illusion of a 3D sound.
Normal stereo gaming headsets don’t give as good positional cues as a surround sound gaming headset. Keep in mind you’ll have to spend a bit more money for it.
Overall, it improves the information about the game environment you get from the sound. Whether it is worth it depends on how important it is for you.
Are True Surround Sound Headsets Worth It?
Overall, we’d say there’s very little difference between a true surround sound and virtual surround sound though audio purists will disagree.
If you are a serious gamer you’ll do better to pick an overall good gaming headset with virtual surround sound instead of focusing on true surround. The only reason you should get the latter is if you are actually an audio purist that values sound quality above usefulness for gaming.
There are True Surround Sound gaming headsets on the market but don’t seem to compare well to the top choices. Here you can read more about the difference between virtual and true surround sound.
Can Software Equalize Music Well?
Since we’re talking about PC gaming headsets there’s always the option of equalizing the sound quality with software. Works well and is easy to use.
Many headsets come with their own program. How useful this is, is up to debate but most people like the option of changing how their headphones sound.
Software equalization can be an effective way of changing the audio of your gaming headphones. It’s simple and works on pretty much all PCs (unless you live in a cave with a 100 years old machine).
The equalizing software is supported by most operating systems (Windows, Ubuntu) and will even work on an older system.
Under the microphone specifications you might read something like:
“Omni-directional microphone with active noise-cancellation”
This tells you what direction the microphone is recording from.
There are a couple options:
- Uni-directional picks up sound from one direction, usually the gamer.
- Omni-directional picks up sound from all directions, including your room, your keyboard, and your neighbors.
- Bi-directional picks up sound from 2 directions. It works well for a gaming headset.
For gaming purposes, the best choice is a uni-directional microphone. It’s most suitable because it’s positioned to pick up the sound of your voice better than other sounds. Since your voice is the only thing you want to be heard.
Omni-directional microphones are more sensitive to ambient noise and can be distracting to others. Because most of us don’t have a dedicated gaming room with perfect sound isolation, omnidirectional mics aren’t the best.
Are All Mics Really Noise Cancelling?
Many companies advertise their microphone to be noise-cancelling but not all are. There is a difference between active noise cancellation and passive noise isolation. But because even companies don’t really know the difference they misuse the term noise-cancelling.
In many cases they mean noise isolating as in having a uni-directional design that is better at isolating against background noise. It doesn’t actually have active noise cancellation.
Now ANC microphones do exist but usually only in more expensive, higher-end gaming headsets. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t focus on it too much since there isn’t a big difference between the 2 designs. A good noise isolating microphone is equally good in most cases.
Open-Back vs. Closed-Back for PC Gaming Headsets
Some headphones might be classified as open-back or closed-back. This tells you the type of design they have.
If a gaming headset is closed-back you can expect better noise isolation. This means less noise from the environment inside and less sound leakage from your game to the outside. It protects you from unwanted noise both ways. It’s the preferred type for gamers.
On the other hand, the open-back design offers less noise protection and more sound leakage. It’s only suitable for playing in quiet places without distractions.
The only benefit of the open-back design is better soundstage. This is positional accuracy, knowing where the sound is coming from in game. It’s a small benefit to better sound quality yet doesn’t seem to be a better option for most players.
Most Common Connections for PC
What’s the most common way to connect a PC gaming headset?
Ranked from most to least common:
- AUX 3.5mm plug
3.5mm is the standard for headphones in general. It is supported by smartphones, PC motherboards and dedicated sound cards, MP3 players, tablets, and other devices. It’s by far the most common way to connect a headset and it supports an analog signal.
It doesn’t support virtual surround sound because a USB or optical connection is required for that.
AUX connection is supported by all gaming platforms (PC, PlayStation, and Xbox – all versions).
USB is the second most common way for gaming headsets for PC and PlayStation4. Xbox One does have a USB port but doesn’t support sound through it. This is why USB gaming headsets aren’t compatible with Xbox One.
It’s very simple to connect since there’s only 1 plug and it usually works as plug & play. Additionally, it supports virtual surround like Dolby surround sound, DTS surround sound and others.
USB is supported by PC, PlayStation4 but not Xbox One.
The optical connection is slowly becoming popular but more with consoles than with PC. It’s an option with some wireless gaming headsets (their base station) though is pretty much unused for PC.
The reason is that you need a better sound card that has the optical connection. Also, most wired PC gaming headsets don’t offer the option of the optical connection.
Optical is supported by special PC motherboards and sound cards and latest PS4 and Xbox One consoles.