A great gaming headset is arguably as important a great keyboard, monitor, or even graphics card. The sound of your virtual world and how you communicate with your teammates all depends on the device you wear on your head — and chances are you’ll be using it to listen to music and stream your favorite shows, too.
Choosing the best gaming headset for your ears and head shape isn’t easy, thanks (in part) to the staggering number of available options. With the ever-rising popularity of esports and the relative simplicity of combining off-the-shelf audio hardware with cushy earcups, a dash of software wizardry, and a high-quality mic, gamers now have more headset choices than ever.
A quick search of popular retailers yields hundreds of headset options across dozens of companies, ranging from less than $10 (£8) to over $600 (£460). You may already know how much you’re willing to spend on your headset, but there are still many other factors to consider.
We’ve been testing gaming headsets for years (to see every model we’ve tested, check out our gaming headset reviews page (opens in new tab)). While we haven’t had all of them on our heads, we’ve tried quite a few — and we’ve picked out the very best.
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- Wired or wireless: Wired headsets are less expensive and don’t need to be charged. If you typically game at your desk, a wired option will keep things cheap and simple — and it won’t die on you mid-game. But there’s no denying the convenience of a wireless headset, which lets you move around without being tethered to your PC.
- 2.4GHz or Bluetooth: If you do go with wireless, only a low-latency 2.4GHz wireless connection will be fast enough for competitive gaming. Bluetooth is still convenient for when you’re not gaming, and is something to look for if you want your headset to double as a pair of lifestyle headphones.
- Headband and earcups: Comfort is more subjective and difficult to measure than audio output/input, but it’s probably the most important factor to consider when you choose your headset. Earcup material can make a big difference when it comes to both comfort and acoustic performance — leather/leatherette offers better passive noise isolation, while fabric is cooler.
- Audio: In addition to detailed, accurate reproduction and good spatial resolution, the best gaming headsets can also connect to, and mix, multiple audio inputs.
- Microphone: An external boom mic isn’t strictly necessary, but will help pick up your voice — and only your voice — clearly. Of course, if you’re planning on using this headset away from your PC, you’ll want to make sure the boom mic tucks away or detaches from the headset.
The Best Gaming Headsets You Can Buy Today
SteelSeries’ Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset isn’t cheap, but it’s absolutely worth it. This stylish headset is packed with so many features it’s hard to figure out where to begin, but let’s start with the gaming features: Multi-system connectivity via the headset’s wireless base station, technically ‘infinite’ battery life thanks to a swappable battery system, and a highly-adjustable design that’s so lightweight and comfortable you’ll forget it’s on your head.
The Nova Pro Wireless delivers excellent audio and sports hi-fi-capable, custom-designed 40mm drivers (though you’ll need a wired connection and a DAC to experience the headset’s 10 – 40,000Hz frequency response). It’s not just game audio that sounds immersive and layered; this headset does a great job with all types of audio. Oh, and there’s more: A fully-retractable bidirectional noise-canceling mic, active noise canceling (with an optional transparency mode), and simultaneous 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity with audio mixing capabilities.
This headset not only does it all, it slips seamlessly between it all — from PC gaming to console gaming to video chatting to audiophile listening. The Nova Pro Wireless is ambitious, but it delivers — and it’s a much better deal if you consider that this might be the only headset/pair of headphones you ever need to buy. But if these aren’t in your budget, the Kingston HyperX Cloud Alpha is a solid sub-$100 pick that boasts excellent audio and a comfortable fit.
Read: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review
The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is another headset that looks as good as it sounds. The best wireless gaming headset for most, it offers premium quality audio that enters audiophile territory and looks pretty and shiny instead of clunky and heavy. The SE version of the Virtuoso RGB boasts gunmetal-colored aluminum stamped with a touch of RGB via the Corsair logo. Overall, it looks as expensive as it is.
The Virtuoso RGB SE delivered strong audio, including hi-res support, in our testing. Its 50mm drivers sounded great with gun fights in games such as Borderlands 3. The cans’ music reproduction sat in the middle of bass-heavy cans like the Audio-Technica’s ATH-G1 and flatter-sounding ones like the SteelSeris Arctis Pro Wireless.
Topping things off with a 20-hour wireless battery life, Corsair’s Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is a fine pair of cans that both look and sound premium.
Read: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE review
If you’re looking for an audiophile experience that will also work as a gaming headset, Audeze’s LCD-GX has you covered. This over-ear, open-back planar magnetic gaming headset features a lightweight magnesium frame and a design that mirrors the rest of the company’s LCD lineup. But it’s far from cheap — priced at $899, it definitely earns its title of ‘Best Gaming Headset Splurge.’
The LCD-GX sounds incredible, especially compared to other gaming headsets — it is slightly warm-leaning overall, but it has great dynamics and multi-layered mid-tones that make for a very enjoyable listening experience. While the company does recommend that you use it with a good amp/DAC, it does not require an amp/DAC — you shouldn’t have any trouble powering it if you plug it directly into a PC or laptop. It offers an excellent gaming experience, despite lacking the digital processing and effects you might see in other gaming headsets. It also has one of the best headset mics we’ve tested.
THe LCD-GX features large, circular over-ear earcups and a comfortable suspension headband design. It comes with both a boom microphone cable and a standard cable, so you can use it as a headset for gaming or as a pair of headphones for listening. It also comes with a heavy-duty, locking travel case, which fits all of its accessories and is perfect for protecting your $899 investment. It’s definitely not for everyone — its open-back design especially means it’s not ideal for anyone who’s gaming around others — but it’s a great pick for audiophiles who also happen to be gamers.
Read: Audeze LCD-GX Review
SteelSeries has given its entire headset line an Arctis Nova redesign, including its budget-priced $60 Arctis Nova 1. The Arctis Nova 1 sports the same 40mm custom drivers as does its higher-end siblings — the Arctis Nova 3 and 7 — and costs just a fraction of the price.
The Arctis Nova 1 is a wired analog headset with a slim, lightweight plastic frame and large, comfortable over-ear earcups. It has a bidirectional noise-canceling microphone that fully retracts into the left earcup, so it’s stylish enough to wear away from your PC as a pair of lifestyle headphones. It comes with both single and dual 3.5mm audio cables, so it can connect to devices with combined and separate headphone/microphone jacks.
At $60, it’s a steal considering the excellent audio quality and the versatility of the design. But if $60 is still a little too pricey, the Asus TUF Gaming H3 headset is another excellent budget-friendly choice that can usually be found for around $40 or less.
Read: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 Review
Featuring a (surprisingly) understated all-black design with nary a hint of RGB or external microphone in sight, Razer’s new Barracuda Pro Wireless headset looks more like a pair of lifestyle headphones from Sony or Bose than it does a gaming peripheral. And that’s kind of the point — Razer calls the Barracuda Pro Wireless a “hybrid gaming & street” headset.
It’s got a lot going for it on the lifestyle side. The minimal plastic design is less premium than we’d like, but it does contribute to the headset’s light weight and overall comfort — if Razer is looking to compete with Sony and Bose, it’s basically there in the comfort department. It’s not quite there in the ANC department, though it’s not too far off. The Barracuda Pro Wireless has three levels of ANC, as well as a pair of integrated beamforming noise-canceling mics. Audio quality is very good, thanks to 50mm custom drivers, as is microphone quality — the mics do a good job of picking up your voice and minimizing background noise and should be fine for most gamers.
The Barracuda Pro Wireless is designed to be used with multiple devices; it comes with a 2.4GHz wireless USB-C dongle and has built-in Bluetooth, and can connect to both simultaneously. It can’t use both connections simultaneously, however — unlike the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro, which mixes audio from both connections — you’ll need to switch between devices using a dedicated “SmartSwitch” button on the right earcup.
Ultimately this hybrid headset leans a little more lifestyle than gaming — Razer rates its battery life at 40+ hours, and it even comes with a sturdy carrying case — which makes it a great option for those who are torn between dropping cash on lifestyle headphones or a gaming headset.
Read: Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless Headset review
The Creative SXFI Air Gamer offers a lot of functionality of the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT but at a much cheaper price. If you want cans that you can connect to your PC via a reliable cable and switch to or add a Bluetooth connection simultaneously, this is the best headset for you.
Creative’s offering differs from the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT in appearance and its lack of a wireless dongle. If you’re okay with that, you get a headset that can use a 3.5mm or USB connection and pair with your phone or other Bluetooth device at the same time. The best part is that the audio quality is on a premium level, including superior bass reproduction, and is fit for your favorite games as well as watching movies or listening to music. Just remember that with Bluetooth comes latency, so for competitive PC gaming you’ll want to plug this headset in.
The SXFI Air Gamer also goes a step further by offering not one, not two, but three microphones. You get a small, detachable, bidirectional mic and a larger one, plus the integrated omnidirectional mic on the earcup. This lets you prioritize quality or portability, depending on your situation.
Read: Creative SXFI Air Gamer review
Many gamers prefer gaming with a dongle connection rather than Bluetooth for speed and reliability, but if you’re looking for the option to save a port or connect to two devices at once, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT is the best gaming headset for you. The Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT lets you connect via 3.5mm, the included USB Type-A cable, a wireless dongle or Bluetooth with aptX. And like the Creative SFXI Air Gamer above, with these cans you can connect to two different devices simultaneously via dongle and Bluetooth. This is a boon for productivity, and will let you hear your game with the dongle as well as music or notifications from your phone, so you’ll never miss a thing.
Out of the box, the headset is geared toward gaming, with sounds like zombie wails and enemy wingbeats standing out. For music, you’ll probably want to download Corsair’s software and switch the EQ. Once we found our preferred setting, we enjoyed more natural mids and punchy, but not overpowering, low-ends.
But with comfort that makes the headset feel lighter than cans with less weight to them and a mature, versatile and stylish design, including 10 headband adjustments, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT is a premium, wireless option for gamers.
Want a cheaper wireless gaming headset? Consider the dongle-only SteelSeries Arctis 7.
Read: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT review
The HyperX Cloud Orbit S is, indeed, expensive, but its premium sound quality and featureset makes it the best gaming headset for splurging. The cans give you a discernible gaming advantage, thanks to its customizable 3D mode with head tracking. When you’re gaming with head tracking, the location of your enemies is apparent, and the auditory environment moves with you.
You can also use head tracking for your game controls, which frees up your hands for more action. (For another head tracking option with premium features, check out the similarly priced JBL Quantum One (opens in new tab)).
There are lower-priced headsets with true surround sound (instead of the Orbit S’ virtual surround sound) and wireless capability. But the Orbit S, which bears the same cozy memory foam headband and earpads as other headsets in HyperX’s Cloud line, offers a gaming edge you’ll actually notice.
We also love the versatility of this headset. In addition to supporting hi-res, virtual surround and 3D audio, you can use the headset with a 3.5mm jack, USB Type-A port or USB Type-C port.
Read: HyperX Cloud Orbit S review (opens in new tab)
Not every gamer also demands the joys of hi-res music, but those who do can graduate to more powerful, immersive jam sessions, especially with the Asus ROG Delta S. These cans sniped the title of Best Hi-res Gaming Headset from the SteelSeries Arctis Pro+ GameDAC, partially by including a more powerful DAC. The Asus opts for ESS’ 9281 Pro Quad DAC for lossless audio processing, which is specced for 140 dB of dynamic range and a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 130 dB, compared to the ESS 9018 on the SteelSeries’ 121 dB and 109 dB, respectively. On the ROG Delta S, hi-res music boasted meaty reverb and also sounded live.
In terms of gaming, the ROG Delta S is also premium, offering more oomph in the overall soundscape than rivals, from the twang of a bow and arrow to the cracks of an assault rifle. Just beware that those nearby you might start hearing the action if you crank the volume up to 75% or higher.
Meanwhile, virtual 7.1 surround sound performance varied. We weren’t able to pinpoint enemies better with it in Outriders, but in Horizon Zero Dawn, the featured amplified environmental sounds definitely helped. It’s easy to prefer the popular DTS Headphone:X v2.0 surround scheme that the Arctis Pro+ GameDac employs than the one Asus concocted.
The Arctis Pro+ GameDac also has other quality-of-life advantages, like a screen-equipped DAC with a ChatMix control. However, the ROG Delta S doesn’t leave you hanging when it comes to extras, instead throwing in reactive RGB to its earcups’ 4 RGB zones.
If you’re truly about the hi-res, the ROG Delta S stands out above other gaming headsets.
Read: Asus ROG Delta S review
If you do a lot of chatting on your headset, be it with your Overwatch teammates, work colleagues or Mom, the Corsair Void RGB Elite USB will make sure you sound just like you to whoever’s listening. For this price, we were pleased at the microphone’s quality, plus its ability to handily fold up when you need to take a sip of water or sneeze. It’s also Discord-certified and showed better low-end response than rivals. It’s not quite as warm as what you can get with the best gaming microphones or any USB mic, but it’s close.
On the other hand, when we tested the headset with a smaller head, bass was lacking due to sound leakage. Your head size may change things. The Void RGB Elite USB also has virtual 7.1 surround sound, but it didn’t prove to be anything extraordinary.
For chatterboxes, this is the best gaming headset with its mid-range price, cozy padding and splash of RGB. Note there’s also a wireless version of the Void RGB Elite USB (opens in new tab). For more mic options, consider the expensive JBL Quantum One, which comes with a unidirectional and detachable boom microphone and a separate calibration microphone.
Read: Corsair Void RGB Elite USB review
Sometimes, you just want one device that can do everything. If that sounds like you, then the Epos H3 Hybrid Gaming Headset is your speed. This is a combination wired and wireless headset that comes with a removable bidirectional boom mic plus an omnidirectional mic built into the cups. Combine that with its ability to connect via a wireless USB-C dongle (which can also connect to USB-A via an adapter) or a 3.5mm audio jack, and it can do pretty much anything other mics can except bluetooth.
It’s also superbly comfortable and looks pretty swanky, plus has long battery life. Unfortunately, the headsets do need to be powered on even when connected via a 3.5mm connection, which is a bummer. Plus, you’ll need to adjust the EQ in the Epos Gaming Suite software to get the best sound out of your music. But this mic’s sheer amount of customization options still makes it a powerful addition to any gaming arsenal.
Read: Epos H3 Hybrid review
The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is the best headset within the Kraken range, including all the incremental updates from its predecessors while cutting the cord at the same time. In addition to the inclusion of THX spatial audio, the headset further immerses audiences with its haptic feedback technology. The wireless headset can also be used on Xbox consoles and the Nintendo Switch via its 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to PC and PlayStation via its 2.4Ghz adapter.
Plush materials like its hybrid fabric and memory foam keep the headset feeling comfy for extended periods of use. Razer’s 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers also produce dynamic sounds for music and film in addition to gaming. Its Razer Synapse software also elevates mic and sound quality with its EQ and various presets. The software also allows you to customize its two RGB zones to match your setup. Unfortunately, you may get finger tied trying to press the right button on the left earcup, and you won’t be able to charge and use it at the same time, so make sure to take advantage of its up to 44-hour battery life.
Read: Razer Kraken V3 Pro review
Discounts on the Best Gaming Headets
Whether you’re shopping for one of the best gaming headsets that we listed above or a similar model, you may find savings by checking out our lists of best Razer promo codes, best Corsair coupon codes and best Newegg promo codes.