High-quality positional audio means a ton in gaming. Not only does it provide an immersive gaming experience, but the advantage you get while gaming online is immense. Top tier companies building gaming accessories like Razer, HyperX, and Corsair have released various gaming headsets packed with features.
Scroll down to read our comprehensive buying guide to learn about the various features to look for in a gaming headset. We also have a recommendations section featuring the ten best gaming headsets in the market to help you choose easier.
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Various factors like compatibility, comfortability, sound style, etc., come into play while choosing headphones. Consider the following factors, regardless of how much you are planning to invest in a gaming headset.
On the other hand, virtual surround sound is produced by software in a gaming PC or console, and it has no relation with headphone’s sound. Some gaming headsets come with a USB sound card too. You can plug the 3.5mm jack into the sound card and connect to your PC or console via a USB port.
This sound card will simulate 5.1, 7.1, or the company's proprietary spatial audio technology that will create an immersive gaming experience for you. You will also have an advantage over your opponents in games like CS: GO and Call of Duty.
Headsets offer three types of connectivity options—3.5mm jack, USB, and wireless. There are no headsets that work only on one platform since both gaming consoles and computers have 3.5mm and USB ports. But for console gamers, you may have to plug your headset into your controller, which may have a USB port or a 3.5mm jack.
In such scenarios, choose your headset accordingly, or you may have to spend extra money on an adaptor that converts the port from one type to another. It is best to go for a 3.5mm headset if you want to use it for watching movies on your phone. A headset with a detachable USB sound card is also a great option if you want multi-platform compatibility.
Even though some companies market their products as "for Xbox" or "for Playstation", if your PC or console has a USB port or a 3.5mm port, you will be able to plug in any headset with a 3.5mm jack or USB.
A wired headset is a great option if you are playing games on your PC or your controller has 3.5m or USB ports. There won't be any audio delay that occurs with wireless headsets. You can also benefit from the USB sound card that comes with certain wired headsets.
With wireless headsets, you are free from the inconvenience caused by the cables that don't allow free movement. Look for a headset with 10 - 20 hours of battery life, so can go at least 3 to 4 days without charging. Some wireless headsets, like the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core, come with a Bluetooth receiver that works much better and faster than the inbuilt Bluetooth technology of many devices.
Even though the sound quality of the microphone cannot be determined before buying a gaming headset, look out for some specific features like noise cancellation and pickup pattern. Microphones with noise cancellation reduce loud ambient sounds, like the noise produced by the CPU fan and keyboard and mouse clicks.
The microphone's pickup pattern determines the directions from which it picks up sounds. For example, a unidirectional microphone picks up sound only from one direction.
So, your gaming buddies will only hear your voice prominently with other sounds dull or absent, if any. Some microphones will have a 360-degree pickup pattern, which means the ambient sounds in your room, will also get picked up.
The durability and comfortability of a headset lie in the materials used to build it. Since the speaker drivers inside a headset are heavy, most headsets are made of lightweight plastic or aluminum. This makes the headset comfortable to wear, as it doesn't put pressure on top of your head. If you are looking for lightweight headsets, try going for ones that weigh less than 300 grams.
Since gamers wear headsets for long hours, the materials used to make ear cups are usually soft and sweat resistant. You can find headsets with ear cups made of soft memory foam material that doesn't make your ears hot or sweaty from long hours of wearing.
Check if the microphone arm is made of a flexible material so you can position it for better audio pick up, which will make your voice clear and audible for your teammates.
If you are a streamer, you can make your stream more colorful and entertaining by opting for gaming headsets with LED lighting. Gaming headsets with volume and mic control makes it easier to control the volume or turn the mic ON/Off while gaming.
You can also find headsets with retractable or swivelling microphone arm that mutes the mic when you move it up or down or retract it inside. Detachable microphones are also available, making the headset usable for watching movies or listening to music without the long microphone arm getting in the way.
Since certain gaming PCs have separate ports for plugging in microphones and headphones, some headsets come with a separate 2-in-1 aux cable. You can connect one end to the 3.5mm jack and the other ends to your PC ports.
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Kraken Tournament Edition
Comes With a USB Audio Controller
Has a Swivel-to-Mute Microphone Arm
Features a Detachable Noise-Cancellation Mic
Stereo Gaming Headset｜HS35
Memory Foam Ear Cups for Comfortability
Cloud Stinger Core
2.4 GHz Gaming-Grade Wireless Connection
Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound Provides Positional Audio
LED Lit Headset Suited for Streamers
Kraken X USB
Lightweight USB Headphones for Long Hours of Gaming
Microphone With 360 Degree Voice Pick-Up
Stereo Gaming Headset｜E900
Provides PC Compatibility With 2-in-1 Aux Cable
The key feature of this gaming headset is the USB Audio controller that comes with it. It has a THX spatial audio button on it that turns on Razer's proprietary surround sound technology, giving you positional audio. You can reduce the mic volume of your teammates from your end if you feel it is too high.
The over-the-ear design covers your ear completely to provide sound isolation, and the cooling gel-infused ear cushions enable you to wear this headset for a long time, so with this headphone, you don’t have to worry about heat build-up and sweating.
Customer reviews show that the headset produces heavy bass, with the THX spatial audio providing an exceptional surround sound experience, giving an advantage while playing Apex Legends and PUBG.
HyperX Cloud Stinger is an official PS4 licensed gaming headset. The rotating ear cups make it easier to wear on your neck while you are not using them. The microphone has noise cancellation capability that will minimize all ambient sounds so your teammates can hear your voice clearly instead of the keyboard and mouse clicks.
If you want to mute your mic, you can just swivel up the microphone arm without having to press any buttons. The lightweight build and the memory foam ear cushions allow you to wear these for a long time. Customer reviews show that the headset provides great value for money, with the build and sound quality impressing many users.
The over-the-ear design of Mpow Air SE provides incredible sound isolation. You can remove the detachable, noise-canceling microphone when you watch movies or listen to music. Memory foam ear cushions conform to the shape of your head, giving you comfortability while wearing for a long time.
The aluminum frame is sturdy, and the 7.2ft cable allows you to sit far away from the monitor while gaming. Customer reviews show that these headsets have superior build quality and produce impressive bass and positional audio.
Corsair HS35 is a stereo gaming headset with a detachable, unidirectional microphone that reduces ambient sounds for crystal clear communication while gaming online. The lightweight construction with plush memory foam ear cups provides great comfortability while gaming for long hours.
The breathable material reduces heat buildup and sweating too. Customer reviews mostly talk about the superior sound quality of the headphones and the comfortability of the lightweight build. These headsets are optimal for playing games like DOTA and League of Legends.
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a wireless gaming headset that provides virtual 7.1 surround sound through the HyperX NGENUITY software. The headset comes with a 2.4Ghz high-speed USB Bluetooth dongle that you can connect to your PC or gaming console.
You can swivel up the microphone arm to mute your mic audio, and the onboard controls make it easier to control the volume while gaming. The ear cushions are big enough to enclose your ears to provide sound isolation for an immersive gaming experience.
HyperX Cloud Core Gaming Headset comes with a USB soundcard that can provide you with 7.1 surround sound. You can plug the headset directly into your PC or console using the 3.5mm jack.
But if you want the 7.1 surround sound function, you have to connect the headset to the USB adaptor, which in turn can be plugged into a USB port. The microphone is detachable and has a noise-cancellation capability for reducing ambient noises.
The aluminum frame provides durability, while the memory foam ear cushions offer comfortability for long hours of use. Customer reviews are the lightweight build, the excellent quality audio produced by the microphone, and the impressive 7.1 surround sound of these headsets.
Bengoo Gaming Headset has an impressive design that can make your gaming streams colorful and attractive. It has a 3.5mm jack for audio and a USB for turning on the LED lighting on the headset.
The microphone provides superb noise cancellation and the noise isolation feature prevents you from getting distracted while playing high-intensity games like Apex Legends and PUBG.
Remember that the USB cannot play audio and is only intended for the LED lighting. Customer reviews show that the headset is lightweight and supports 3D audio for great positional accuracy while gaming.
Razer Kraken X is a USB headset that is compatible with PCs and gaming consoles. The headset can also be connected directly to your Xbox controller without the need for a separate adaptor. The cardio pickup pattern of the microphone picks up sounds from only one direction so your team won't hear any ambient noises.
You can experience 7.1 surround sound if you have Windows 10 64 bit operating system. It's extremely comfortable to wear since it weighs only 275 grams. The Razer logo lights up when the headset is connected, making it a cool addition to your gaming gear.
RUNMUS K8 is an over-the-ear gaming headset that can provide you 7.1 surround sound using an integrated audio chip. The ear cushions and headband have soft and plushy TPE material for extreme comfortability. The LED lighting on the ear cups can make your streams more exciting for the viewers.
The microphone picks up audio from all directions, which may be a drawback since ambient noises will also get picked up, making it uncomfortable for your teammates. Customer reviews show that the headset is great for long hours of use and the surround sound effect provides an immersive gaming experience.
EKSA E900 comes with an extra 2-in-1 aux cable for PCs that have separate ports for headphones and microphones. The highly sensitive microphone picks up sounds from all directions, but the noise cancellation feature reduces unnecessary ambient sounds.
The over-the-ear design provides superb sound isolation with the soft protein earmuffs offering great comfortability. Customer reviews mostly talk about the impressive noise cancellation capability of these headsets, and the build and sound quality gives great value for money for anyone buying these.
Have you made your choice of gaming headset? For the crazy gamer in you, we have written more articles to help you buy the best PC games, gaming monitors, and gaming mouses in India. All of them have buying guide to help you make better choices and recommendations for the best products in the market.
Shopping for gaming headsets can be confusing sometimes. If you are a streamer, you have to find the right one that looks awesome and produces impressive sound. The microphone quality also matters when you have to communicate while playing online.
Make sure that the headset that you opt for provides virtual surround sound, so you get positional audio that improves your gaming experience and gives you an upper hand in online games.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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