The Best Gaming Headset of 2021 to Up Your Gaming
Lightning-fast reaction speeds and clear communication skills are the pillars of any competitive esports player. The ability to “git gud” and reach your maximum potential in a game is restricted when playing by yourself. Hence, having the best gaming headset helps you clearly interact with fellow players while giving you a competitive advantage.
Capitalizing on callouts, team strategies and in-game audio pings are essential for fostering the growth of your abilities. Teamwork truly makes the dream work. And if you can’t give and receive intel from team members on the fly, you can kiss your rank goodbye.
With broadcast-quality microphones and surround sound drivers, you’ll be able to work with teammates to identify threats in all directions. Sound plays a major role in the outcomes of your favorite multiplayer games. From plotting with your crew about which lane to gank, to listening for enemy footsteps, communication is your best weapon.
A solid gaming headset is comfortable to wear for extended amounts of time. It should also clearly capture your voice and offer undistorted sound with positional audio. Our picks for the best gaming headsets offer a premier sound experience tailored for both competitive and solo play. Clear microphones eliminate background noise. And an expansive soundstage enhances contextual information provided by on-screen visuals so that you can react faster.
While the price of gaming headsets can vary wildly, the average cost of a quality gaming headset hovers around $150. However, expensive does not necessarily mean good.
Our best budget gaming headsets perform as well as some of the more expensive competitors. Finding the best headset for gaming is also subjective to your needs and platform. We’re confident that our list of the best gaming headsets below has a pair for every play style
Wired Gaming Headsets
Wired gaming headsets can connect one of two ways: with a USB or 3.5mm audio jack. Read on to find the best USB gaming headset or best 3.5mm gaming headset.
Best High End Gaming Headset
The Best High-End Gaming Headset
Audeze Mobius Headphones
Connectivity Wireless - Bluetooth (SBC, AAC, LDAC) | Wired - USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm analog audio
Frequency response 10Hz - 50kHz
The Audeze Mobius Immersive Cinematic 3D Headphones were made for gamers who are also audiophiles. Everything about the Mobius is supreme. From its sleek aesthetic to its premium design, the Audeze Mobius creates an unrivaled, immersive experience.
Audeze Mobius uses 100mm planar magnetic drivers that provide incredibly detailed sound and enhanced dynamics for video games and music. Mobius integrated Waves NX technology for real-time head-tracking and localization. This offers insane 3D processing to maintain the sound’s source as you move.
The Audeze Mobius is a Bluetooth headset made specifically for PC but compatible with some consoles. Of course, you can use Mobius wired through USB or the 3.5mm auxiliary cable.
Toggle through various modes of immersion via the dials on the left earcup. Pressing the 3D button toggles through 3D Manual, 3D Auto, 3D Off. A single click and scroll of the headphone volume wheel will skip to the next or previous song. A single press of the microphone wheel and scroll toggles through equalizer presets.
Once you’ve experienced the audio-gasm that is Mobius, you will not want to game using anything else.
Note: Planar magnetic drivers have a known issue with crinkling due to air being trapped between your head and the diaphragm. This creates a crinkling sound as your head moves. How do you avoid the crinkling sound with planar magnetic drivers? It’s quite simple. Just put the headphones on slow and steady so air doesn’t get trapped.
Best Headset for Professional Players
THE BEST GAMING HEADSET FOR PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS
SteelSeries Arctis Prime Competitive Gaming Headset
Connectivity Wired (4-Pole 3.5mm adapter)
Frequency Response 10–40,000 Hz
Compatibility All Platforms
Less makes damn-near perfect with the simplistic SteelSeries Arctis Prime Hi-Fi Esports headset. Though this lightweight, uber comfy headset falls into the mid-range category, it performs way above it.
The Arctis Prime was designed to help gamers focus on the competition by eliminating distracting design elements. Even with removing the bells and whistles, SteelSeries maintained its reputation for creating stellar gaming gear.
For the Arctis Prime SteelSeries used the same audio technology they use for the Arctis Pro. You get balanced audio and mic quality that reigns supreme over other headsets in this price range.
Best Wired Headset with RGB
HAVIT H2010D RGB Wired Gaming Headset
Connectivity 3.5mm and USB (for RGB)
Frequency response 20hz-20khz
Weight 0.55 kg
Are looking for a modestly priced headset that provides superior audio quality? You will be hard-pressed to find something better than the HAVIT H2010D RGB Wired Gaming Headset.
The dual large 50mm drivers provide an excellent surround sound experience. Additionally, the noise-canceling mic was incredibly clear with teammates always hearing your call-outs.
The earpads are soft and cushy, allowing for extended gameplay sessions without discomfort, in that regard. However, they may be a tad tight for some users. The H2010D gripped some of our testers’ heads pretty hard, but never to the point of great discomfort.
Additionally, the HAVIT H2010D is compatible with basically every system. PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch, tablets, and mobile. This makes it seamless to switch between your consoles of choice with the same headset instead of needing multiple.
All and all, despite some small nitpicky issues, the HAVIT H2010D RGB Wired Gaming Headset is a great piece of technology and incredibly affordable. This makes it especially great for the younger games out there.
Best Headset for Content Creators
The Best Gaming Headset for Content Creators
Logitech G Pro X
Connectivity Wired (3.5mm, USB with included external sound card)
Frequency Response 20 HZ - 20,000 HZ
Weight 320 Grams
Standout feature Best microphone on a gaming headset thanks to Blue audio software
Logitech produces satisfying hardware with tactile feedback from their mice to keyboards. Their headsets are always of high quality but previously lacked standout features to make them a top pick contender. After going hands-on with the Logitech G Pro X, the incorporation of Blue VO!CE microphone software is truly game-changing. If you’ll be leading a squad or recording voiceovers, you can get away with using the microphone on this headset alone.
Logitech’s G Hub software makes adjusting your microphone straightforward. Existing profiles let you easily choose a setting best suited for your existing play environment. Editing individual settings is also a breeze from de-hissing to clip control. Discord calls especially benefit from the microphone. When the software modulates your microphone, you come through not only loud but incredibly clear without a hint of distortion. This is perfect for high-stress level situations where you need to clearly relay information without being impeded.
My one gripe with this headset is that it’s limited to a wired configuration. Logitech is quite generous with wires provided for multiple connection options in the box. The sound quality is incredibly good with a punchy bass that doesn’t become a distorted mess during firefights in FPS games. Provided you don’t have a Chuck E Cheese internet connection, your teammates won’t have any excuses to grief you for mumbled callouts ever again.
Best Budget Gaming Headset
The best budget gaming headset
Razer Kraken X
Connectivity 3.5mm wire
Frequency response 12 HZ - 28,000 HZ
Weight 250 Grams
Standout Feature Extreme comfort at a budget price
Razer’s budget gaming headset feels like a premium peripheral without compromise. Sure, the body is plastic and you’re limited to a 3.5mm connection. But for under $50 you’re getting an immersive 7.1 surround sound experience, plush memory foam cushioning, and a clear microphone.
The Kraken X manages to provide the bells and whistles of premium gaming headsets for a fraction of their cost. At just 250 grams the Kraken X sits weightlessly upon your head for hours of gaming. I live in New York where we experience all four seasons and have yet to experience a problem with hot ears that some reviews mention.
If you’re an experienced gaming headset user, the Kraken X sounds a bit hollow regardless of the 7.1 software. But as a stocking stuffer for new and younger gamers, the Kraken X is the best budget gaming headset you can buy.
Best Wireless Gaming Headsets
Wireless Headset with the Best Range
EKSA E910 5.8GHz Wireless Gaming Headset
Connectivity 5.8GHz Wireless Dongle
Frequency Response 20Hz-20KHz
Transmission Distance 10m/33ft
The EKSA E910 lets you take your gaming experience further. Literally.
The EKSA E910 Wireless Gaming Headset is a lightweight, mid-range headset that gives impeccably clear audio. The E910 is the world’s first 5.8GHz wireless headset to allow for max range. Its higher signal strength lets you go further without missing vital info or conversation.
The 5.8GHz dongle has a range of at least 30ft, taking into account walls. Hear everything you need to while getting a snack. And with one of the better microphones for headsets in this price range, your teammates will hear you clearly, too.
Turn on the 3D audio with the press of a button for a more immersive gaming experience. The only issue with the EKSA E910 is that the volume, though exceptionally clear, can be too low for some.
Best Wireless Headset with RGB
ROCCAT SYN Pro Air Wireless RGB Gaming Headset
Frequency response 20Hz–20kHz
Aesthetically speaking, the ROCCAT SYN Pro Air Wireless RGB Gaming Headset is everything a gaming headset should be. It is simple, clean, and has just enough RGB to look sleek without being too over-the-top. It really does not matter if you are wearing these during hours-long grinds of League of Legends or just in a Zoom call with friends.
Of course, the SYN Pro Air is more than just a pretty face. The 50mm speakers provide a clear, crisp sound without being too quiet or too loud. Truly, the audio quality of the SYN Pro Air is truly where they shine. The mic provides clear communication to friends without dropping in and out, which is a big deal.
The biggest knock on the SYN Pro Air is not actually with the headset itself but rather the software. The NEON software, which ROCCAT has said they are working on, is honestly not good. It doesn’t provide much ability to customize things in any meaningful way and the process of actually using the software is difficult. This may be a real point of contention for some, but not everyone.
Bottom line, the ROCCAT SYN Pro Air Wireless RGB Gaming Headset is a solid headset for gamers looking to get great audio and a steady mic.
Best Wireless Gaming Headset Overall
The best wireless gaming headset
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wireless, 3.5 mm wire
Frequency response 12 HZ - 28,000 HZ
Weight 320 Grams
Standout feature THX Spatial Audio
The BlackShark V2 Pro protrudes from the sea of gaming headsets thanks to its powerful 50 MM drivers and THX spatial audio system. This surround sound audio is the real deal, accurately simulating an immersive surround sound environment with accurate panning. For professional-level esports play in a wireless format, you couldn’t ask for more. This headset has it all; effective noise cancellation, clear communication, and positional audio that works like a dream.
If the cost makes you wince you can grab the more cumbersome wired version for half the price.
Best Wireless Headset for Esports
Best Wireless Headset for Esports
HyperX Cloud II Wireless
Connectivity Wireless via USB Dongle (2.4 GHz)
Frequency Response 15 HZ - 20,000 HZ
Weight 309 Grams
Standout feature Signature HyperX comfort for hours of uninterrupted gameplay
Balancing performance with price, there’s a reason HyperX’s Cloud II remains the reigning champ of bestselling gaming headsets. Adhering to the classic “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” principle, HyperX’s recently released Cloud II wireless is a spitting image of its predecessor, just wireless. Surprisingly, this updated model is lighter than the original, despite the addition of an onboard battery and wireless tech.
The unique memory foam and lightweight build help you forget you’re even wearing a headset, perfect for extended tournament play sessions. With a battery life of up to 30 hours, this headset will outlast even the most hardcore of players. While the bi-directional cardioid microphone is clear enough, it isn’t the star of the show like our next choice the Logitech G Pro X. Luckily, it detaches easily for travel or if you’re diving into a single-player game.
Utilizing a USB dongle, the Cloud II’s wireless protocol is a 2.4 GHz signal. The connection is stable and plays great with any PC rig or PlayStation gaming console. On PC you’ll be able to access a feature suite for active mic monitoring, virtual 7.1 surround sound, and more. It’d be nice if this edition was updated with an improved microphone or design update, but for most players, this is a great gaming headset.
Best Gift Idea for Kids
Best Gift Idea for Kids
EasySMX Frosty Eye 2.4GHz Wireless Headset
Connectivity Wireless 2.4GHz USB Dongle
Compatibility All Platforms
The EasySMX Frosty Eye 2.4GHz Wireless Headset is a decent gift option for the growing gamer kid in your family. The Frosty Eye has a decent sound quality for the price point. It uses 40mm, neodymium drivers, to deliver 7.1 surround sound. The detachable microphone picks up 360-degree surround sound while minimizing ambient noise.
It’s also comfy, with plush, memory foam ear cups and a headband. The EasySMX Frosty Eye is foldable, making it convenient for kids to carry to sleepovers. The dragon-eye LED lights on the outer cups, however, may not be to everyone’s liking.
Are Gaming Headsets worth it?
As a critical tool that directly affects gameplay ability, a gaming headset is as important as any essential input peripheral such as a keyboard or controller. Regardless of if you’re playing competitively or not, a good gaming headset will always give you an edge over using basic earbuds or speakers.
Gaming headsets of yesteryear carried a stigma of being mediocre headphones with a boosted bass and gamer aesthetic. Modern gaming headsets are engineered with professional use in mind for the clearest communication possible. Gaming headsets perform as well as top-tier audiophile headphones and can be used with nearly all your devices, giving more bang for your buck.
From casual 2K players to ranked Siege experts, any competitive gamer can agree that an audio experience can make or break a game. In the selections above, each of our choices had a unique feature that improved our gaming experiences. It’s proof selecting the best gaming headset go beyond a mere style choice.
What headsets do the pro gamers wear?
The most popular gaming headset brands in esports we’ve seen include SteelSeries, HyperX, and Logitech. Unsurprisingly these brands each have multiple entries on our list, making up more than half of our choices. Built with extensive play sessions, genre fluidity, and audiophile quality in mind, these brands continue to refine the quality of gaming headphones.
What do pro players like Shroud and Myth have in common? They rock Logitech G Pro X headsets that are lightweight and produce the clearest audio for hours on end. Xyp9X is the king of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and prefers the comfort of HyperX’s Cloud II.
Which is better? Stereo or 7.1 Surround Sound?
True 7.1 surround sound provided by a series of speakers bests two-channel stereo audio any day of the week. This is because in a 7.1 surround sound setup there are more sound sources and angles around the listener. Headsets with built-in 7.1 use a virtual audio plane to replicate the experience. It results in a sound quality that feels cheap and crowded.
Simulated 7.1 boils down to little more than stereo sound run through filters. Even in higher-end gaming headsets, this version of 7.1 surround sound is just okay, stereo audio users aren’t missing out.
Most professional gamers use stereo headphones since many video game titles lack 7.1 support. Stereo headphones offer their own binaural technology alternatives like Dolby Atmos to simulate virtual surround sound. This completely cannibalizes the hype of 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets. So, while 7.1 surround sound is better on paper, stereo sound is superior for gaming headsets.