Best PC Gaming Headsets of Today (New PC Gamer Guide)
Here are the best gaming headsets for an avid PC gamer.
- Comparison: The Best PC Gaming Headsets
- The Best PC Gaming Headsets
- 1. HyperX Cloud Revolver S – best overall
- 2. HyperX Cloud II – best under $100
- 3. SteelSeries Arctis 7 – best wireless
- 4. Logitech G935 – most customizable
- 5. SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC – best sound
- 6. Beyerdynamic MMX 300 (2. Gen) – best premium
- 7. HyperX Cloud Flight – best battery
- 8. Sennheiser GSP 300 – best microphone
- 9. LucidSound LS41 – most versitile
- 10. Razer Kraken X – best budget
- 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 PC Gaming Headsets
iRating on Amazon.com
HyperX Cloud Revolver S
(only on USB)
|HyperX Cloud II||best under $100||4.4||$$$|
|SteelSeries Arctis 7||best wireless||4.2||$$$$|
|DTS Headphone:X 7.1||More info|
|Logitech G935||most customizable||4.1||$$$$|
|wireless USB||DTS Headphone: X v2.0||More info|
|SteelSeries Arctis PRO|
|DTS Headphone:X v2.0||More info|
|Beyerdynamic MMX 300 (2. Gen)||best premium||4.1||$$$$$|
|HyperX Cloud Flight||best battery||4.2||$$$$|
|Sennheiser GSP 300||best microphone||4.1||$$ ($30-$80)||uni-directional|
|LucidSound LS41||most versitile||3.8||$$$$|
|DTS Headphone:X||More info|
|Razer Kraken X||best budget||4.2||$$ ($30-$80)||uni-directional|
|3.5mm||Razer Synapse 7.1||More info|
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
1. HyperX Cloud Revolver S – best overall
Best gaming headset in the category
If you want one of the best PC gaming headsets right now you must check the HyperX Cloud Revolver S.
Why Buy These?
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.
“Cloud” in the name stands for the sensation of wearing these. Because of thick memory foam pads, you can wear these pretty much all day without any discomfort.
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.
While the sound quality is great, the surround audio feature leaves a slightly worse impression.
Very detailed with good soundstage and the option of Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound on USB connection. You get better immersion in RPGs and positional audio in FPS shooters.
HyperX Cloud Revolver S is the all-in-one best gaming headset for PC that should be your top choice right now.
2. HyperX Cloud II – best under $100
Getting amazing deals at under $100
Wonderfully designed gaming headset with a sturdy build, detachable microphone, and a thick pads for maximum comfort.
Why Buy These?
Cloud II’s have an aluminum frame and braided cable that provide sturdiness, while a detachable microphone gives a room for improvements.
Thick memory foam pads achieve optimal comfort. You also get replacement velour pads, which provide better breathability to prevent excess sweating.
If you want to experience pure 7.1 surround sound, you need to plug these via the included audio control box. There you can also control the volume of your headset and your microphone.
The headphone cable is non-replaceable if damaged.
As you can expect from a gaming headset, these tend to amplify the bass and treble, which helps with immersion. Explosions have a fuller, meatier impact, while high-end provides better detail of your enemy’s footsteps and gunshots. 7.1 surround helps to enlarge the soundstage a bit, but it’s nothing special.
HyperX Cloud II are favorites amongst the gamers for their looks, replaceable elements, and a sound that keeps you in the game. All of that for under $100.
3. SteelSeries Arctis 7 – best wireless
One of the best wireless options out there
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.
Why Buy These?
The closed-back design keeps the noise out and combined with a retractable microphone delivers solid multiplayer and chat performance.
Because of the Arctis 7 good noise isolation and non-flashy design, you can also use these to commute. Simply plug in the 3.5mm jack and you’re good to go.
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.
You have to use the app to activate certain features.
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.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 offers everything a wireless gaming headset should have. Great sound quality, good mic, and a versatility of a wireless headphone.
4. Logitech G935 – most customizable
The best headset for gamers who want customization
If you prefer authentic gamer looking headphones, the wireless G935 might be the right for you. They’re big and comfy, with customizable hot-keys and RGB effects.
Why Buy These?
Plastic construction with a metal strip inside the headband feels sturdy and keeps the headset’s weight down. Add soft pleather earpads, and you get a very comfortable wearing experience.
Behind the left earcup, you can find a bunch of programmable hot-keys for in-game use. Sometimes you just need those extra keys to get an advantage over your opponents.
Of course, the G935 comes with an RGB strip, that can display different effects. However, that does take a toll on the battery, which usually lasts 16 hours. RGB cuts the playtime to 12 hours.
The microphone could be better.
The overall sound is leaning toward the boosted bass, with a smooth midrange and highs. Big low-end might help with better immersion, but the lack of treble power means that the lows can overshadow some details.
Logitech G935 offers a lot. Extra hot-keys, RGB lightning, DTS Headphone: X 2.0 surround sound profile, comfy pads, and a bassy sound. If you can get past the slightly generic looks, these are great gaming cans.
5. SteelSeries Arctis PRO + GameDAC – best sound
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.
Why Buy These?
The design is the same as the rest of the SteelSeries Arctis 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.
The microphone can be too sensitive, which results in clipping.
Bass on the Arctis PRO is boosted to amplify the sound of in-game effects, while the midrange takes a slight dip, but nothing that could impact the detail retrieval.
SteelSeries Arctis PRO combines premium materials, better surround sound (DTS Headphone:X V2.0) and the GameDAC for the ultimate audio quality a gaming headset can deliver.
6. Beyerdynamic MMX 300 (2. Gen) – best premium
A wired gaming headset that looks not only amazing, but also sounds fantastic.
Why Buy These?
Beyerdynamic went for its classic design with these. Apart from the attached microphone, these don’t scream “gaming” out of them, which is excellent for those who prefer a more understated look.
MMX 300’s are made in Germany from high-end materials, such as metal construction, foam padding on the headband and big velour earpads. No corners were cut to achieve excellent comfort.
While the cable with built-in controls can be replaced, the boom mic is permanently attached. Thankfully the microphone is of high quality, picking your voice nice and clean.
They are quite expensive, but quality always comes at the cost.
As with many Beyerdynamic products, the audio quality is fantastic. Every frequency comes out very clean, with excellent dynamics and details. There is no surround audio option here, but the imaging is so precise that you hardly miss those features.
If you’re an audiophile by day and gamer by night, these are your best option. They’re built to last you a long time, and while there are no fancy features like simulated surround audio or RGB, the sound quality is enough of a reason for purchase.
7. HyperX Cloud Flight – best battery
The Cloud Flight is the first wireless gaming headset from HyperX. Just like other headsets from this company, this one is solid too.
Why Buy These?
While it might not be our first choice for a wireless headset it’s a great alternative with 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 earcups that can swivel. Faux leather with memory foam cushion and a good clamping force to keep in on the head.
While the battery life is great, there is no indicator of how full is it.
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 surround audio.
If you want a wireless gaming headset with the best battery life, check the HyperX Cloud Flight.
8. Sennheiser GSP 300 – best microphone
Another futuristic looking gaming headset from Sennheiser, that impresses with great sound, comfortable fit, and a quality microphone.
Why Buy These?
The headset is made from plastic and is very lightweight. Generous padding on top and inside the earpads provides a comfortable experience for even the longest gameplays.
You get a bunch of accessories in the box, like a set of earpad replacements and an adapter to combine two 3.5mm jacks into one 4-pole jack. The latter is great if you want to use these with your phone or console.
The lift-to-mute boom mic is flexible and has a good voice quality. It might be a bit on the quiet side, which you can correct in your PC audio settings.
The non-detachable cable is 2 meters long, which might be too long for some.
There is no surround 3D audio feature, just a smooth stereo presentation. Nothing sticks out in terms of the frequencies, so you get a little bit of everything. There is a decent amount of detail, especially in the vocals.
If you prefer a more laidback sound that also works great for music, the Sennheiser GSP 300 is a good choice.
9. LucidSound LS41 – most versitile
A gaming headset that lets you play on all kinds of platforms you might have at home. LS41’s are a new premium offer from LucidSound.
Why Buy These?
Rock-solid metal construction makes them very durable, so you don’t have to worry about accidental drops. Silver stitching is also a nice touch that makes them more luxurious. You can expect around 20 hours of battery life from these in wireless mode.
The boom microphone is removable and has a LED light that tells you if it’s muted. There is also an option for monitoring so that you can hear your voice through the headset.
There are 5 different audio modes to simulate the surround audio, powered by DTS Headphone:X.
You need to have a 7.1 surround audio card on your PC to experience this feature.
A 50mm driver can produce a very punchy sound with a lot of details. Low-end is delivered in a moderate quantity, which might not appeal to bass lovers. They’re good at imaging and have a fairly big soundstage if you enable surround audio mode.
LucidSound LS41 is a beautifully made gaming headset, that can work on all of the gaming platforms.
10. Razer Kraken X – best budget
Even though this is the cheapest Razer gaming headset out there, you still get a compelling all-round package.
Why Buy These?
Starting with the design, these are very basic looking, with plastic all over the place. However, this is what makes them one of the lightest gaming cans on the market. Because of that and the thick over-ear pads, these are also very comfortable.
With the purchase, you get a download code for Razer’s unique 7.1 surround audio, which works surprisingly great.
The retractable cardioid microphone works quite well, especially for the price. In the box, you also get an adapter to split the cable into headphone and microphone jack.
Plastic construction feels fragile.
Bass and the midrange are slightly boosted, which helps with in-game details like footsteps, voices, and explosions. However, there is a noticeable roll-off in the treble. While this doesn’t affect gaming experience, the music might sound a bit off as a result.
Despite being the budget option in their line-up, the Razer Kraken X is a great entry-level gaming headset that gives you everything you need for a good in-game experience.
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 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 audio, 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 earpads 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 audio from Dolby, DTS or their own brand version. Surround audio makes gaming more immersive and gives the illusion of a 3D audio.
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 audio and virtual surround audio, 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 audio 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.
You can read more about microphone types here.
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 audio 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 an 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 the latest PS4 and Xbox One consoles.