The 10 Best Gaming Headsets

Updated December 13, 2017 by Christopher Thomas

10 Best Gaming Headsets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Communication and teamwork are often the difference between life and death on the digital battlefield in today's advanced multiplayer games. Along the way to defeating the enemy and taking home the MVP trophy, you'll have to issue a few orders and talk some trash. When everything is on the line, you'll need one of the best gaming headsets available today. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gaming headset on Amazon.

10. Xbox One Stereo

The Xbox One Stereo is a reliable upgrade that's officially backed by Microsoft. It doesn't cost much, the sound quality is decent, and its simple, monochromatic construction offers a touch of elegance. It has an easily-accessed slider to balance the game and chat volumes.
  • plugs directly into controller
  • xbox drivers are self-updating
  • shorter audio range than other units
Brand Microsoft
Model S4V-00005
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. LucidSound LS30

The LucidSound LS30 is so durable and sounds so good it might just replace your everyday music-listening cans. On top of rich bass and pristine highs, this option utilizes microphone monitoring to ensure that your voice comes through clearly to you and your teammates.
  • rf wireless for true hi-fi audio
  • earcups not big enough for everyone
  • feels cheaper than it is
Brand LucidSound
Model LS30
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. SteelSeries Siberia 800

The extra-large, memory-foam earcups of the SteelSeries Siberia 800 are incredibly comfortable and form an effective seal on either side of your head. It uses RF wireless technology to deliver some of the lowest latency available.
  • includes extra rechargeable batterie
  • strong signal up to 40 feet away
  • more expensive than similar models
Brand SteelSeries
Model 61303
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Astro A40

Many consider the customizable Astro A40 to be the benchmark of multiplayer chat peripherals. While it costs a bit more than the average headset, you know you're getting a stylish, lightweight way to talk smack and bark commands.
  • a whole line of mods available
  • mic attaches to either side
  • cables aren't very durable
Brand ASTRO Gaming
Model 939-001514
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. HyperX Cloud Pro

The HyperX Cloud Pro has been around for a while and remains a great choice at a mid-range price. An adjustable microphone boom combines with oversized, 53-millimeter drivers to deliver clear and strong audio to both your and your team's ears.
  • extra-thick headband padding
  • durable braided-nylon cable
  • too tight for larger heads
Brand HyperX
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Siberia 350

The Siberia 350 by SteelSeries is a great one to try out if you're having trouble finding a headset that fits you comfortably. You can use the included software to tweak advanced audio preferences and take full control of your gaming and music listening experiences.
  • black or white exterior
  • custom accent lighting on earcups
  • usb interface only
Brand SteelSeries
Model 51204
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. HyperX Cloud Stinger

The HyperX Cloud Stinger reshapes what you can expect from an inexpensive unit. While it doesn't boast as many features as pricier models, it's extremely lightweight and its internals are of the same, high quality for which the company is known.
  • memory-foam earcups
  • 50mm speaker drivers
  • all-plastic external construction
Brand HyperX
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Sennheiser Game One

The Sennheiser Game One offers sound on par with what you'd hear in a pair of studio monitors. Its open-back design lets air in to help you keep a cool head during hot battles, and expertly-tuned speakers ensure clear and responsive audio from bass to treble.
  • great for extra-large ears
  • luxurious velvet earpads
  • raise-to-mute microphone
Brand Sennheiser
Model 506080
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. HyperX Cloud Revolver S

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is made of steel and responsive memory foam for long-term durability and comfort. A USB connection lets PC and PS4 users take advantage of 7.1-channel surround sound, while the four-pole plug works with most other platforms.
  • plug-n-play compatible
  • includes 2-way analog splitter
  • fully removable microphone
Brand HyperX
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. SteelSeries Arctis 7

Many features come together to make the SteelSeries Arctis 7 one of the finest headsets on the market. It receives true hi-fidelity sound on the 2.4 GHz wavelength, and its one-of-a-kind adjustable headband strap is supremely comfortable, even for long periods of time.
  • auto-selects best wifi channel
  • fits easily on any size head
  • lasts over 24 hours on one charge
Brand SteelSeries
Model 61463
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

To See The Future, First, See The Past

Communications technology has come a long way since the Pony Express, and Game of Thrones-style homing pigeons. And while online video game conversations might not be the exemplar of successful communication between human beings, the rate of technology behind them certainly hasn't slowed down a bit.

The original non-gaming headset was invented in 1910 by a Stanford student named Nathaniel Baldwin and was, unfortunately, a bit of a failed design. The headset was a commercial failure, at least at first. Nobody could see why large numbers of people might want to buy them, mostly because there was little to no demand for them.

Then came the war, which flipped everything on a dime. World War I came into spotlight, and it was quickly realized that American fighter pilots had no means to communicate with one another. There was not a single headset among them. It wasn't until Uncle Sam ordered a bulk of them did Baldwin's brainchild get a chance to stand on two legs.

One of the oldest audio equipment makers, Plantronics, got their start selling headsets to pilots. Back then in the 1960s, they were extremely cumbersome to the point that no one wanted to wear them. It wasn't until a couple of astronauts got together to create a smaller, lightweight version.

But, if you stop to think about it, we're already in the future. It's hard to deny that the recent developments, and future possibilities in virtual reality technology are exciting. With big money from the likes of Facebook and Google now committed to the enterprise, virtual reality is suddenly becoming more than the pipe dream of some indie developer working out of a garage.

While virtual reality headsets mark how far headsets have come, one has to admit that such technologies still has a ways to go. Even despite the advances made since the computer flight simulators of the 1980s, it's likely that a few generations of tech will be necessary to, as they say, "work out all the bugs."

Virtual reality, of course, represents a new kind of headset–a headset with a component that simulates the visual field. The technological development comes at a cost, however: being immersed in such a headset can cause severe motion sickness. It perhaps gives pause to consider that such things were the science-fiction dreams of many who lived not more than fifty or a hundred years ago…though lightsabers are still forthcoming.

What Makes A Gaming Headset, A Gaming Headset?

In technical terms, a headset is a headphone attached to a microphone. Headsets can be a single-earpiece (mono) or a double-earpiece (mono/stereo). In the specific case of computer headsets, there are usually two connection types: 3.5 mm and USB. 3.5 mm. Headsets almost always come with two 3.5 mm connectors: one to the microphone jack of the computer and one to the headphone jack.

The headphones function to convert sound by way of a soundcard, from digital (computer) to analog (headset). USB headsets connect to the computer by way of USB, and so sound conversion occurs in the headphones themselves or in a control unit. Inside the ear cups is where the magic happens. This is where the drivers live, and drivers are to headsets as gasoline is to vehicles. The larger the driver, the better sound will be produced.

Many of the differences between gaming headsets have to deal with comfort, or cosmetics as opposed to function; and anyone looking for in-depth reviews is already past the point of merely looking for a general something to fulfill a general function. They want something specific, that does specific things very well. The point is that the base technology to communicate through video games, to immerse oneself in a virtual experience, and to do so simultaneously with remote players is already here.

Sacrifices That Come With Being On A Budget

There's nothing wrong with being on a budget. Some even say it's the wise approach to take. In the case of gaming headphones, it's better to invest, or else you're going to have to give up some aspects in order to spend less money. The biggest miss-out being, and arguably the most important, sound quality. Unless a headset in dipped in 14k gold, the reason the top-of-the-line contenders cost more than the rest, are because of their superior sound quality, usually.

Yes, there are some lower priced headsets with sound quality that rival brand names, and cost four times less. But I'll bet the material used to produce them is faulty, and unreliable past a few solid uses. Are there other sacrifices are you willing to make for the sake of saving money? Well, are the headphones you want wired, or wireless? Is the headset noise-cancelling, or sound-isolating? Do they offer surround sound? Does it have a microphone? If the answer is yes to all of these questions, the higher the price will be, but in turn, the better quality that headset should be.

The more features a headset offers, the more money they're going to cost. And if you're a gamer, those specs, or lack thereof, can be a game changer, pun intended. The morale of the story is, to truly improve your gaming experience, invest in a great pair of headsets. Cheap is not always better, and this is certainly the case here.

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Last updated on December 13, 2017 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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