The right headset over your ears can turn your video game session from a mere distraction to an unforgettable experience. Now, after spending a lot of money on buying all the large components that make up your gaming station, the temptation could easily go cheap with the headphones and save a few coins.
But here’s the thing: poor headphones actually subtract from the gaming experience rather than add to it. They can play the game’s sound alright, but they can never recreate the experience going on on the screen the way that modern gaming headsets can.
Modern gaming headsets can highlight key, important sounds, allow you customize or alter your soundscape for various applications, deliver some rich music, as well as enable you to communicate with your teammates…all at the same time.
Even if you own a great set of speakers or your gaming TV comes with a great set of speakers, a proper headphone set would still be useful to have, even if just for the sake of playing the games you love during the early hours of the morning without waking others.
Even in the dead of night, without your speakers, you can benefit from crystal clear audio to help you pinpoint enemy gunfire while in the heat of battle or cringe at the sheer brutality of the sound of your melee attacks on an oncoming zombie.
Whether your goal is to benefit from a competitive edge over your friends or to just experience a better gaming session, you would never go wrong with prioritizing a quality gaming headset.
Now, you can rest assured that there are some gaming headsets out there that are not worth the wrapping they arrive in. But there are gems out there, some of which make our list of the best gaming headsets of 2020.
In general, when buying a headset there are a few points you want to take note of like comfort value, price, noise cancellation, and of course sound quality, among other things. The best headsets go beyond the regular to offer these at a very high level.
Our list of the best gaming headset has something for every budget, so you need not worry about the size of your pocket. While some of the items on our list will make the cut because they come at premium prices and offer a premium experience, others make the cut because they offer the best version of the basics at an affordable price.
By the end of our list, you would be fully aware of just how critical the right gaming headphone can be to improving your gaming experience and unlocking your full potential as a gamer.
Best Wireless Gaming Headsets 2020
The JBL Quantum 800 is considered by many as the best wireless headphone for PC gaming. Some may disagree, but everyone would definitely agree that this headset is pretty good at practically everything which it sets out to accomplish.
Just like its high-end sibling, the JBL Quantum One, which is priced at $300 a pop, the JBL Quantum 800 tries to do a bit of everything but for about half the price of the Quantum One.
So what you have is a wireless gaming headphone that is a jack of all trades, and this is actually one of the most compelling things about this device. For its price, you get strong audio performance, active noise cancellation, programmable lighting, and simulated sound surround.
In terms of design, the JBL Quantum 800 is not bad to behold, constructed to be sleek and dark, covered in black plastic and matte gunmetal. The ear-pads are padded with a significant amount of memory foam protected by faux leather, meaning you get a comfortable and soft fit ear-covering that is perfect for long gaming sessions. The active noise cancellation just enhances the feeling of stepping into another zone once you put those ear-pads on.
Other notable features include the customizable lighting, extendable mic, and USB charging. As far as mid-range wireless gaming headphones go, you can’t get much better than the JBL Quantum 800.
Yet another mid-range beauty on our list, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 costs just under $150 but can be described as a complete package and one of the best wireless gaming headsets available on the market today.
For the relatively high price you would have to pay to get this wireless gaming headset, you would expect premium sound and lots of comfort, both of which the Arctis 7 delivers with lots to spare.
In addition to that this headset is compatible with lots of devices including mobile, Switch, PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
In terms of design, the Arctis 7 delivers quite well, but this is not because of some attention drawing gimmicks as you would see in other headphones. The Arctis 7 is designed to be elegant, rather than flashy. It has a sleek, sophisticated, streamlined appearance, and is designed to easily conform to the shape and size of your head.
This is a gaming headphone which you wouldn’t mind taking around with you as you go for a walk. The fact that it is compatible with mobile means it would actually be useful while you have it strapped around your head. The device comes in either white or black, and can be easily tossed into a bag for easy transportation. The ear cups are even rotatable to ease packing.
The only downside to this headset is the fact that to make use of some of the features you would have to go through some annoying workarounds. However, apart from that this is as good as gaming headphones can get.
When you factor in the elastic headband for easy use, the 24 hour battery, compatibility with several important platforms, a very high comfort factor, directional sound, and a host of customizable features, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 easily tops many lists for being practical, versatile, and functional.
Looking for a budget gaming headset that, nonetheless, delivers superior audio? Look no further than the Razer Nari Essential.
This wireless gaming headphone offers sound wireless performance for less than a hundred dollars. It is compatible with all your favorite devices including PS4 and PCs. It also features 7.1-channel simulated sound surround, with lots of customizable options for tweaking and adjusting the sound until it is just right for you—if you are using it to play PC games.
PS4 gamers are limited in their audio customization options because they are forced to use either stock EQ or stereo. But even with this limitation, you can still expect surprisingly excellent audio from the Razer Nari Essential headset.
As for the design, the Nari Essential is unmistakably and intentionally a Razer headset. For example, it is big, featuring large circular earcups sporting Razer logos on the back panels. But unlike in the Nari Ultimate and a few other headphones, the logo doesn’t light up when the headphones are in use. Manufacturers went for simple and etched their logo on the ear cups and left it like that.
Whether you use the Razer Nari Essential for PC or for console gaming you can expect to be comfortable with the speakers which are covered in memory foam and wrapped in faux leather on the inside and outside. This soft, breathable setup makes it easy to play for hours without feeling any strain around your ears and the side of your head.
You can find the connections and controls at the bottom and back edge of the left earcup, and these include the power button, a micro USB port for charging the device, a volume wheel, and indicator lights. You also have a boom microphone, located on the left earcup, which is flexible and can be flipped up to lie alongside the earcup when you’re not using it.
The Razer Nari Essential lacks some of the bells and whistles that go into the high end earphones, but at the end of the day, it delivers a stellar sound experience.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger bears testimony to the idea that you need not lose an arm and a led to get the comfort and performance you need from a gaming headset.
In spite of its rock bottom price, this gaming headset is quite comfortable to wear thanks to the feather-light body, soft padded ear cups surrounded by faux leather, and sturdy frame. When you put this device on, you will have ear cups around your ears rather than pressing hard on them.
In terms of performance and audio quality, the HyperX Stinger doesn’t disappoint either. It’s not the best, when compared to higher end earphones, and things can sound uncoordinated at the highest volumes, but you can expect fine balance and delivery around the middle and the lower end of the volume scale.
The on-ear volume control is an intuitive setup that allows you slide the volume level higher or lower even while you play. And the wire inputs split into two in order to input the microphone and the headphone without the need for a USB interface.
If comfort is your main goal, and you don’t intend to listen to game sounds at the highest volumes, you can go for the HyperX Stinger. You will get suitable audio and memorable comfort for around $50. And that’s a bargain.
The Sennheiser GSP 670 has been described by some as the best wireless headphone on the market. And it is easy to understand why.
This headset comes with a design that any gamer would not think twice about trying on, and it delivers rich-quality wireless audio and provides a fantastic boom mic with the package. There is also Bluetooth connectivity that you can connect to your phone as easily as you could connect to your PS4 and PC.
And while this device sits firmly on the premium side of the price spectrum, if you can afford it, you can be sure it would make a good investment for your gaming station.
One aspect you are going to enjoy about the Sennheiser GSP 670 is the design. There is an undeniable military/sci-fi feel about the setup that makes it irresistible. Large, oval, ear cups are attached to a headband with the help of flexible skeletal hands. At the very least, it is difficult to not pick it up and try it on.
Who would have thought that wireless elegance could be so easily gotten for less than $100? The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless comes with high response rate and speed, and its discrete USB-C dongle allows you to enjoy high-quality sound from your devices.
Speaking of devices, this budget headphone is compatible with the Nintendo Switch, Android phones, PS4, and your gaming PC. The Switch compatibility alone is worthy of note since it is pretty rare to find a wireless headset that goes with it.
As for design, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is sleek and mellow in its design. It has a removable mic and features the same powerful drivers found in the iconic high-end headphone models from the SteelSeries brand. Meaning that even if you don’t have a large budget, getting the Arctis 1 allows you enjoy the same sound experience you would get if you did.
One of the best gaming headsets for PC, the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero comes with incredibly comfy, gel-infused ear cups that go really well with gaming glasses. In addition to this design perfection, the Turtle Beach Atlas Aero also comes with superb sound and a fantastic noise cancelling mic.
There are a host of customizations that are possible with the Turtle Beach Atlas Aero, thanks to its accompanying software. These customizations allow you to activate directional 3D audio, tweak EQ settings, customize and balance audio from game to game, and remap the headphone’s ear controls. The 30-hour battery life and 3.5mm cable that goes with any device you might need for your multimedia setup all add up with all the other features mentioned to make this earphone one that is truly worth taking a moment to check out.
Best Wired Gaming Headsets 2020
Astro Gaming has carved a reputable space for itself in the gaming industry as a manufacturer of consistently high-quality gaming headsets. It’s wireless A50 headsets, for example, are quality devices which boast of stellar performances, while their A10 gaming headphones remain the cream of the crop for budget devices.
The Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR continues this fine tradition of excellence. This is a high-end device, and even in the competition that is rife among those heady heights, the A40 TR holds its own.
For example, this wired headset would work great if you chose it for use at a tournament, not only because its audio performance is so strong and superbe, but also because it is lightweight and won’t weigh your head down. You get to spend less energy keeping your head up and more energy keeping your game level up and winning.
In terms of structure and design, this headset is similar to its predecessors in almost every respect, save a few changed finishes and colors. The body of the Astro Gaming A40 is largely matte black plastic around the headband and ear cups, with aluminum struts on the edges connecting both cups and enabling smooth vertical adjustment and tweaking to facilitate fit.
Memory foam that is covered in breathable, soft black cloth circle the earpads, and the same material aligns the bottom of the headband as a cushion between the headband and your head while you have the headphone on.
Finally, it is worth noting that the Astro Gaming A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR is not the most expensive premium headphone out there, but it delivers a full premium experience—one that is certainly worth looking at if you have the budget for it.
The only downside to this headset is the fact that it is wired, and this is something that might dissuade you if you prefer wireless headsets.
A list of gaming accessories is hardly ever complete without an entry by Logitech, one of the great manufacturers in this field. The Logitech G Pro X offers tournament-level performance and functionality for around $130. This would classify this headset as a mid-range device, even though it offers premium quality sound.
One of the most striking features of this headset is its bold, black design which makes it instantly recognizable from its competitors. Take this to any game tourney and people will instantly recognize what you have on and accord you the due respect.
Apart from the color, other reasons you want to try this gaming headphone are the comfortable leatherette foam around the earcups and the flexible headband, both of which would leave you comfortable enough to sleep off. The Logitech G Pro X is a headphone you would have no problem wearing for hours on end.
But comfort is not the only thing Logitech nailed on the head here. In terms of sound, this device is top notch; you can expect rich sound that is both direction-accurate and clear coming down the line as you explore your games.
The Logitech G Pro X is also the very first gaming headset to come equipped with a built-in blue microphone to enable voice chat. This is simply, hands down, one of the best headphones you can get for less than $150.
Razer produces a lot of gaming headsets with the aim of creating an option for every possible need out there. So it’s common to see many of their products at different price points, as wired or wireless, with different offerings. Despite their diversity, however, one thing that each of these products have in common is the quality that has come to be associated with the Razer brand as a whole.
The Razer Kraken Ultimate is a mid-range device that comes worthy of the brand. It comes with a wired USB connection which would work well with any PC to deliver rich, thunderous audio. This headset also comes with customizable lighting and a really high-quality microphone.
Design-wise, the Kraken Ultimate does not deviate from what we have come to expect from Razer gaming headsets—especially the large, circular, plastic ear cups to cover your ears. The headset is colored black on the earcups, the headband, and the struts, and faux leather can be found covering the headband and ear pad padding.
No need to worry about a headset that seems bland though. You get some color when you plug it in: the Razer logo on each ear cup lights up. And these lights can be customized with several color lighting effects through the proprietary Razer Synapse software.
If you are looking for an ultra-affordable gaming headset whose performance wouldn’t embarrass you when your friends come over, then you can do no better than the Corsair HS35 Stereo Gaming Headset. You can get this stellar piece of hardware for less than $50 and rest assured that you won’t regret it.
In spite of the low price, the Corsair HS35 offers great audio quality that makes it easy for you to be fully aware of your in-game surroundings. You won’t have to worry about any enemies sneaking up behind you unnoticed. The only downside to this headset is the out of control bass balance that would make it unsuitable for listening to any other media apart from game audio. Luckily, that is exactly what you would have bought it for, so no worries. In addition to great audio, when you get the Corsair HS35 Stereo Gaming Headset, you also get a discord-certified mic with which you can talk to teammates and opponents.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro +GameDAC is a great bottom rung premium option you can get if you don’t have $400 to shell out for a gaming headset. You get stellar audio quality for your gaming and other devices, and you can tune the sounds to suit your preferences.
Design-wise you also get a piece of that premium treatment with the SteelSeries Arctis Pro. Not only does the SteelSeries Arctis Pro feel as comfortable as a bed when you put it on, there are a host of customizable features that you can tweak and play with to arrive at a feel or design that is just right for you.
There is even an OLED display that allows you to tweak away and customize a lot of features using simple, intuitive commands. This function works almost like a mixing console attached to your headset.
And finally, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro comes with a small USB GameDAC that you can keep your desk from where it would offload the sound processing from your host system to a chip contained within it. This is up there with the best wired gaming headset selections you can buy.
The JBL Quantum One lies on the pricey side of the spectrum on our list, but that is totally justified given the features and perks that come with it. For example, this gaming headset offers you more than one type of sound surround. When you purchase this headset you get JBL’s QuantumSPHERE 360 technology as well as DTS Headphone X: v20 surround sound.
With the DTS Headphone X: v20 surround sound, you get top quality digital sound surround that would never fail to augment your gaming experience and take it to the next level. But even that does not eclipse the sheer brilliance of the QuantumSPHERE 360.
QuantumSPHERE 360 technology actually takes into account the position of your head so that even if you turn your head or change position, the sounds around you will adjust accordingly to maintain their relative positions. This is precision sound surround in action, and the high-resolution certified 50mm drivers deliver both sound technologies to their full effect.
You also have active noise cancellation so that you don’t have to deal with any sounds apart from the ones that you want to hear. And then there’s the customizable RGB lighting that lights up each cup—something flashy on top to go with all that incredible power and features underneath.
Many have called the HyperX Cloud Alpha the best gaming headphone for gamers because of its near flawless sound quality. And that’s great, given that it is priced in the mid-range. This is one headphone where you will not have to suffer inconsistencies like overly aggressive high pitch or overdone bass tones. Balance is a theme for this device.
The quality materials that were brought together to make this headset will ensure that you get fantastic value for a long period of time after purchasing. This gaming headset feels comfortable and will age well with its thick memory foam padding over the earcups, and aluminum components in key areas.
There is no better example of a headset that brings together quality, performance, and durability, for a mid-range price like the HyperX Cloud Alpha. While you cannot call it revolutionary, by any means—and this is not surprising, given the price—you can be sure that it leads the pack in all the essentials and would do right by you after you hand over your money.
How to Choose the Right Gaming Headset for You
There are a few criteria that you need to consider in order to choose the right headset for yourself. However, there are two criteria which are non-negotiable from the get-go. These are comfort and sound quality.
There is no need getting a headphone that does not deliver superior sound, and there is no sense in getting an earphone that is too uncomfortable to wear for more than a few minutes.
Other criteria you should consider include:
Wired vs Wireless
Do you lean towards wired devices or wireless ones? Some people make this choice depending on their need for freedom of movement. But it is also important to consider aspects like what your console, PC, and other devices need. Consoles and PCs may be able to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, but other devices might need a connection of some sort.
What devices do you intend to use that gaming headphone with? You don’t want a gaming headphone that does not support the gaming devices you have at home. Sometimes, a headphone that is meant for one console may be able to work with another through USB, but it may or may not support all features.
Do You Need Surround Sound?
The best headphones provide audio that mimics sound surround to produce an immersive experience. If you are big on directional audio and 3D sound, you want to keep an eye out for gaming headsets that promise that or something similar.