Compared to 10 or even 5 years ago gaming technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, and sound design and music scoring has been one of the biggest areas of growth. Did you know that a lot of the big name composers in movies these days got their start in composing music for video games? If you or somebody you are buying a gift for is an avid gamer, it’s definitely worth the money to get an updated headset for the best possible sound experience while gaming. Here is our list for the top picks for gaming headsets with pros and cons so that you can find the perfect one for you!
#1 Sennheiser PC 363D Headset
The open-back style PC 363D headset from Sennheiser offers the best of playback audio performance and talkback microphone clarity. Audio aficionados will appreciate the deep full-range sound that doesn’t over-compensate for the bass frequencies like some headphones can do. And the noise cancelling boom microphone delivers quality sound for gaming or online calls.
The USB Dolby virtual 7.1 surround sound driver allows the PC 363D listener to experience a wide soundstage and pinpoint accuracy for gaming responsiveness. Volume controls are conveniently placed on the ear cup, and swinging the boom mic up automatically mutes the microphone. Trimmed with plush velvet ear pads, this headset provides hours of comfortable game play and music listening.
- great sound
- very comfortable
- quality build with aluminum and velvet trimmed ear cups
- convenient audio controls
- 2-year warranty
- open-back ear cup design can allow sound to bleed out beyond the listener
- soundcard control can be finicky to operate on some Windows operating system versions
#2 HyperX Cloud II Headset
It’s difficult to select a clear second place contender in this list, but the HyperX Cloud II headset delivers high quality at a very reasonable price, making it a great value. The USB soundcard provides 7.1 virtual surround sound and the 53mm drivers produce clear and balanced audio playback. The HyperX Cloud II uses a closed-back headphone design and is very effective at isolating outside noise.
The metal headband construction is very durable, yet lightweight, and the memory foam headband and ear cups are comfortable. There are only two downsides worth noting here: the audio controls are available on the in-line headphone cord, and the sound can trend on the boomy side when the 7.1 surround sound mode is activated.
- noise and echo cancelling microphone
- soundcard includes redundant volume controls
- great noise isolation
- volume controls are in-line with the headset cord,
- surround sound mode can be a little boomy.
#3 SteelSeries Siberia 350
With a lightweight suspension headband, retractable microphone, and several available colors to choose from, the SteelSeries Siberia 350 gaming headset offers plenty of quality features at a reasonable price point. While the volume controls are in-line on the headset cable, the mic mute switch is conveniently placed behind the ear cup.
One feature sure to grab attention is the customizable Prism RGB color illumination for the outside ear cups. The Siberia 350 delivers DTS virtual 7.1 surround sound via the USB soundcard connection and there are several audio presets to choose from. The headset feels very lightweight, but it can fit a little tight for users with larger heads. Overall audio quality is good, but bass frequencies may not be as punchy as some users prefer, and the maximum volume is notably lower than some other headsets on this list.
- retractable microphone
- customizable ear cup illumination
- mic mute switch on the back of the ear cup
- good surround sound processor and soundcard
- max volume is lower than some other headsets
- bass frequencies may be lacking for some user preferences
- fits a little tight on larger head size
#4 Sennheiser GAME ONE Headset
The Sennheiser GAME ONE headset definitely could have ranked higher on this list simply for the quality audio these headphones deliver. With strong bass, an immersive soundstage, and large XXL ear pads, this headset is very easy to enjoy.
The noise cancelling boom microphone works extremely well, and it easily mutes when pushed up and out of the way. Volume controls on the right ear cup are convenient and the braided fabric cable seems very durable. Perhaps the two things holding back the GAME ONE are the plastic frame and the volume control that doesn’t completely turn off the audio (that has to be done on the computer or console).
- open-back headphone design provides a very open soundstage,
- convenient volume control access on the ear cup
- great microphone quality
- strong bass and great audio playback clarity
- plastic frame construction,
- volume control doesn’t completely mute the headphones,
- does not include virtual surround sound support.
#5 Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum
Logitech delivers high-level value with the G933 Artemis Spectrum 2.4 GHz wireless gaming headset. A foldaway noise cancelling microphone, adjustable lighting, and programmable G-keys on the side of the ear cup are great features for serious gamers. The power slide switch is an improvement over other Logitech headset models, and the sound quality has also been improved.
The G933 Artemis Spectrum may fit a little tight for some users, but the soft and breathable ear pads allow for a comfortable gaming experience. The on-ear controls and programmable G-keys are great features for fast and convenient in-game access. The Dolby and DTS options for virtual 7.1 surround sound provide a nice boost in sound quality for this headset.
- 2.4 GHz wireless audio connectivity
- programmable G-keys
- adjustable headset color lighting
- microphone mutes when folded away
- quality sound
- fits tight on larger heads
- large overall physical profile and bulky size
- wireless connectivity can be intermittent for some users with interference in the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum
#6 Creative Labs Sound BlasterX H5
While the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX H5 headset does not offer a virtual 7.1 surround sound option, the 50mm headphones in this model offer some of the most stunning musical sound quality at this price point. It helps that they are also quite comfortable, though users with larger heads may find the reinforced aluminum headband to be on the small side.
The Sound BlasterX H5 comes with a flexible microphone boom that is detachable. However, the mic connection seems fairly loose and can become detached with very little effort. Otherwise, the microphone works well, but isn’t the best at noise cancellation when compared with other headset microphones on this list. And PS4 users should know that there could be a slightly diminished sound quality when using with that particular gaming system.
- great audio for the price,
- durable design
- detachable boom mic has a loose attachment/connector design
- may clamp tight for users with large heads
- microphone has below-average noise cancellation
#7 Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Revolver
Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Revolver headset offers better sound quality then several other higher priced headsets, with good high frequencies and strong bass response. The plush leatherette ear pads with distinctive red memory foam are comfortable, and users with large heads will appreciate the feel of the accommodating headband.
The detachable noise cancelling mic works well enough, but it isn’t going to compete with higher performance headset models. Perhaps the biggest mark against the HyperX Cloud Revolver is that the metal band, even though it is padded, physically couples to the ear cups in such a way that it makes a prominent metallic sound when gently tapped or bumped. Other than that, this seems to be a well-performing headset.
- large 50mm tilted drivers
- comfortable memory foam ear pads
- good full-range frequency response and wide soundstage
- good for larger head sizes
- metal headset band makes excessive resonant noise when touched
- audio controls on in-line cord and not on headset
#8 Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma
The 7.1 virtual surround sound software in the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma gaming headset is stable and offers plenty of features. The headphones sound good, but the low frequencies are inherently boomy, so a little EQ control may be necessary for some users. The headset has a bit of a bulky appearance, but it makes up for that with a very discrete retractable microphone and custom lighted logo on the outside of the ear cups.
Comfort level for this headset is slightly below average, and the Kraken 7.1 Chroma has historically had some durability trouble associated with wiring connections. The retractable microphone does provide clear and reliable sound quality, making this a good headset to travel with or keep around as a backup.
- great soundcard control software
- retractable microphone
- customizable lighting
- headphones are bass-heavy and can sound boomy without additional EQ
- physical construction and durability is average to below average
- may fit tight on larger heads
#9 Logitech G930
With a 2.4 GHz wireless headset available for a street price of under $100, the Logitech G930 delivers a number of features that are often found on much higher priced models. Volume controls are conveniently located on the headset, and the boom mic automatically mutes when lifted up. Logitech’s programmable G-keys are also a nice feature.
The virtual 7.1 surround sound mode for the G930 works well, but the software can be a little clunky to operate and fine-tune. The 40mm headphone drivers may be a little small, which could explain better voice performance than musical clarity. And overall, the durability and hinge/swivel joint construction just isn’t on par with other headsets in this price range. The G930 could be a feature-rich backup headset, but you likely find a more durable model ranked higher on this list.
- 2.4 GHz wireless audio
- virtual 7.1 surround sound
- volume controls and programmable G-keys on the headset
- boom mic mutes when lifted
- smaller headphone drivers deliver mediocre musical quality
- wireless signal can cut in and out at times
- not as durable as other headsets on this list
#10 Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60
It’s difficult to consider gaming headsets without looking at the various models from Turtle Beach. The Ear Force Z60 features immersive DTS surround sound modes and an in-line audio control box. The massive 60mm loudspeakers provide strong bass, but can lack a bit of high frequency clarity.
Talkback microphone quality of the Ear Force Z60 is OK, but it isn’t going to win any awards for noise cancellation and sensitivity. The large noise isolating ear cups are great for loud environments, and these headphones fold flat for more convenient storage. While the Z60 is fairly comfortable, they can feel heavy and the overall construction quality is not what you might expect from a premium headset.
- detachable microphone
- large and comfortable ear pads
- DTS surround sound
- Chat Boost option can automatically increase voice levels when the background game action gets louder
- headphones strongly favor lower frequencies
- construction quality and durability is below average
#11 Turtle Beach Stealth 450
This Turtle Beach Stealth 450 wireless headset with DTS 7.1 virtual surround sound has a long 15-hour battery life, good sounding audio, and decent quality talkback microphone. However, there are a few things that are marks against this feature-rich headset. The ear cup size is a little smaller than you might expect from similar headsets, and the Stealth 450 can be a little uncomfortable for long gaming sessions.
Wireless audio range is generally reasonable, and the fact that there are absolutely no wires is a plus. If you’re used to gaming in a low-light environment, then the white LED lights on the headset can be a bit distracting. Other than that, this headset provides great battery life and quality audio for the price.
- long battery life
- full wireless audio without wires
- decent sound quality
- auto-shutdown feature cannot be disabled
- white LEDs can be distracting in dark environments
- ear cup size may be small for some users
#12 Razer Tiamat 2.2
If the Razer Tiamat 2.2 headset is considered an entry-level stereo gaming headset, then it fulfills its role very well. Just don’t expect too much high-level performance out of it. The Tiamat 2.2 does boast two headphone drivers and an additional two subwoofer drivers (all of them 40mm with neodymium magnets), giving these headphones remarkable low frequency response.
The remaining features are less impressive, however. This headset can feel tight on even an average sized head, the microphone boom is a bit flimsy when fully extended, and the in-line volume control is fairly small. Again, this is a fine headset for basic purposes, but the Razer Tiamat 2.2 just can’t compete with the other feature-rich contenders on this list.
- unique headband design
- 2.2 stereo sound with a total of four headphone drivers
- durable headset design
- can feel tight for average size heads
- boom mic doesn’t always hold in position when fully extended
- not the most comfortable headset on the list