If you happen to’re searching for a gaming headset, you could have a lot of choices. Whereas there are some nice ones on the market, it’s all too straightforward to pay an excessive amount of, to by accident buy a headset that doesn’t work together with your desired console or platform, or to get one which’s simply uncomfortable. Understanding a factor or two about headphones may help in your search, however gaming headsets have solely gotten extra difficult to buy — particularly the wi-fi ones.
For example, wi-fi headsets made for Xbox function with out a dongle through Microsoft’s proprietary wi-fi protocol. They’ll solely work on Xbox consoles or a PC that has one among Microsoft’s Xbox Wi-fi Adapters plugged in, normally. Conversely, if you happen to get a multiplatform wi-fi headset that features a 2.4GHz wi-fi dongle, it’ll seemingly work on the likes of the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap (when plugged into the console’s TV dock), and PC — however not Xbox. It’s greatest to purchase the headset that mentions assist in your most popular platform(s) explicitly, or else there’s a great likelihood you’ll run into some compatibility points. After all, you may get rid of a lot of the guesswork by shopping for a wired gaming headset as a substitute.
This information focuses on newer choices that you just’re extra prone to encounter at shops versus older fashions that, whereas presumably nonetheless being worthy of your cash, are sometimes more durable to search out affordably and simply on-line. Additionally, simply to say it on the high, I’ve a large-ish head and that issue clearly performed a serious function in how I choose the consolation of those headsets.
You’ll discover a couple of classes under, together with the greatest multiplatform wi-fi headsets which can be suitable with PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Swap through its dock, the greatest Xbox wi-fi gaming headsets, and the greatest wired gaming headsets that assist the widest number of platforms, from console controllers to telephones, tablets, and VR headsets that function a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Greatest multiplatform wi-fi gaming headset: HyperX Cloud II Wireless ($150)
Suitable with PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap (through its dock)
The HyperX Cloud II Wi-fi makes a wonderful first impression earlier than even turning it on for the primary time. Its headband expands to suit a spread of head sizes, and the ear cups relaxation gently round my ears with out nary a pinching feeling round my skull. The cups will be stretched even additional than my head requires, which provides me religion that they’ll be a sturdy decide for years to come back. That is the downfall of many in any other case good gaming headsets. HyperX nailed the match, and it additionally aced a whole lot of different profitable components with the Cloud II.
The Cloud II Wi-fi boasts a balanced sound that delivers simply sufficient gusto for each state of affairs. It’s not the fitting selection in order for you bass to rattle your head, nevertheless it’s good in order for you your headset to be simply as pleasurable to make use of for gaming as it’s for music and voice chats. I additionally like that the Cloud II Wi-fi has USB-C charging, and its battery life is long-lasting. HyperX claims 30 hours of battery per cost, and the headset lived as much as that mark throughout my testing. The wi-fi vary of the headset and the included 2.4GHz wi-fi receiver are additionally nice, struggling no drops wherever in my house. It even remained secure after I stood on the opposite aspect of a wall or window, every being about 25 toes away from the receiver.
In comparison with opponents on this worth vary, the Cloud II performs it easy with regards to the buttons, and the result’s that it’s straightforward to discover ways to grasp the structure. And if all of the capabilities you require are a quantity dial, energy button, and a microphone mute button, this can go well with you higher than different headsets that attempt to match too many buttons onto ear cups. Then again, it’s lacking a recreation and chat audio combine dial that simply enables you to fine-tune your recreation audio together with your friends chatting on Discord or whereas streaming. You are able to do this manually by clicking a couple of home windows, however different headsets talked about under make this simpler to do. This headset additionally makes it straightforward to activate mic monitoring to listen to your self discuss (and listen to issues taking place round you) by merely holding the mute button to activate.
The Cloud II Wi-fi doesn’t have an amazing lead over the main gamers within the house, like Logitech, SteelSeries, and Razer. The truth is, it could get the boot if a equally priced and comparably cozy mannequin with wired 3.5mm connectivity and Bluetooth assist comes alongside. However since that has but to occur, HyperX’s flagship wi-fi headset is the straightforward selection for PC, PlayStation, and Swap avid gamers.
Right here’s what the microphone feels like on the HyperX Cloud II Wi-fi:
Multiplatform however requires an additional $20 adapter to work with each PS and Xbox
Astro’s new A20 for the PS5 and Xbox Sequence X / S consoles is exclusive in that it’s one of many few cross-platform wi-fi headsets on the market. Shopping for simply one among them (in both the PlayStation blue / white colorway or the Xbox inexperienced / white) can allow you to hook up with both system. Nevertheless, there’s a small catch: you’ll want to purchase a further $20 wi-fi adapter to let it hook up with the console reverse of your headset’s coloration styling (every headset contains one adapter). Regardless of the string connected, this performance makes it an interesting possibility for individuals who will probably be getting each the PS5 and Xbox Sequence X or S consoles.
Whichever platform you’ll use with this headset, Astro’s A20 Gen 2 is filled with extra buttons and options than the Cloud II Wi-fi above. On the ear cups, Astro managed to additionally slot in a devoted button for switching the equalizer to your liking so as to add or subtract bass and vocal readability. There’s additionally a recreation and chat audio mixing dial that will help you discover the fitting stability of sounds between your apps. I like this function, and I additionally dig that it has a great quantity of mic monitoring, so you may hear a bit of little bit of the surface world. This headset’s microphone doesn’t detach. As a substitute, you’ll simply transfer it as much as mute it, which will get it out of your face.
Astro’s latest headset checks a lot of boxes considering its $120 price. The A20 Gen 2 doesn’t quite reach the comfort of HyperX’s model above, as it hangs most of its weight at the top of your head. It doesn’t get painful as the ear cups don’t pinch, but it can result in some fatigue after a while (on top of some very bad headset hair). Also, while I appreciated the EQ button that cycles between sound profiles, the sound quality on the whole isn’t as balanced and punchy as the Cloud II Wireless.
But speaking on its features alone, it’s a more affordable runner-up choice if you want better console compatibility (even though it comes at a $20 cost to have both Xbox and PlayStation support), and a headset that has a physical game and chat mixing dial. I found the wireless range of the A20 Gen 2 and its included wireless receiver to be quite good. My studio apartment is about 40 feet long and 15 feet wide, the headset kept a solid connection throughout. I was even able to run some trash outside without a drop. Astro claims up to 15 meters of range.
Here’s what the microphone sounds like on the Astro A20 Gen 2:
Other good options
The amount of wireless gaming headsets is blossoming, and I expect to make an update to this section on a regular basis — perhaps more regularly than the sections below. As such, there are plenty of other options that didn’t quite make the cut as the “best” but are still pretty good in a few ways.
Logitech’s G733 ($130) came very close to being the runner-up headset. It’s comfortable with breathable ear cups, it has good sound for the price, and the vertical strips of LEDs actually look sharp. It misses the mark by not allowing a wired listening mode and for not having a game-chat audio mix dial.
The G Pro X Lightspeed ($200), also from Logitech, nails the basics of having good build quality, USB-C charging, and punchy sound quality. It goes a step beyond the G733 with better noise isolation. However, its heavy build wore uncomfortably on my head after a few hours and I don’t think it offers enough features to justify the cost.
If you’re mostly into playing games on the Nintendo Switch, SteelSeries’ Arctis 1 Wireless is one of the best choices out there when it comes to ease of use. It isn’t a super comfortable headset, as it lacks the company’s ski band-style headband that distributes weight gently on your head. But it ships with a USB-C wireless receiver that can plug directly into the Switch or Switch Lite. Connectivity is strong, and audio quality is quite good given the headset’s $100 price tag.
Best Xbox-specific wireless gaming headset: Razer Kaira Pro ($150)
Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, Bluetooth-ready devices, and PC if you have an adapter
Razer’s new Kaira Pro for Xbox consoles and PC is one of the company’s most impressive headsets yet. It narrowly loses the matchup to the HS75 XB listed below when it comes to sound quality, but it leaps ahead with more features. It includes the option to connect to devices via Bluetooth so you can listen to music, podcasts, or take calls while you game on Xbox or PC. The Kaira Pro also has other features I expect to have in a wireless gaming headset, like USB-C charging and a handy game and chat dial for a customized audio mix.
A particularly cool feature here are the built-in microphones that kick in when you’re connected to a device over Bluetooth. While the Kaira Pro includes a detachable boom mic for use with gaming on your console, these additional microphones are useful for on-the-go voice calls when you don’t want to be seen using the bigger microphone.
As I mentioned before, the Kaira Pro sounds great, but it’s not quite as robust when put up against the Corsair model below. If you’re a stickler for crisp sound quality and better positional audio, opt for the runner-up since they’re open-back and not closed like Razer’s headset.
Razer’s headset looks and fits mostly like your average set of over-ear headphones, which is ideal since you can easily use it in that fashion with its Bluetooth function. The Kaira Pro’s build quality is better than I expected, particularly when it comes to comfort. It places equal pressure on the top of your head and around your ears, feeling just tight enough to keep the sound in.
As I’ve found with most headsets made to take advantage of the Xbox wireless protocol, range can be an issue. In my studio apartment, I started hearing audio crackling when I was just 15 feet away from the wireless adapter plugged into my PC, but your mileage may vary. Despite the convenience of not having to use a dongle with your Xbox console, I think I’d prefer to have one if it means better wireless range.
Here’s what the microphone on the Razer Kaira Pro sounds like:
Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, and PC if you have an adapter
If you’re locked to team Xbox, or find yourself switching between PC (with Microsoft’s Xbox wireless adapter) and your console, Corsair’s HS75 XB Wireless is currently the headset that I recommend if you want superb audio quality. It’s a $150 model that surprised me with impressive sound and a styling that looks like a set of premium open-back headphones. In addition to a bombastic sound that, at least for a moment, made me forget that I wasn’t using my Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones, it’s comfortable to wear for hours. These look far heavier in images than they feel on my head, and I was delighted that they didn’t give off much of a pinching sensation.
It’s usually the small details that win me over in a headset, and in the HS75 XB, it’s the symmetrical button layout. Thus, the learning curve for mastering the buttons is low, and this model has everything I need in a pinch, including a game and chat audio dial, volume dial, and an easy way to mute the microphone.
Corsair’s 20-hour battery life claims for the HS75 XB are a tad lower than competing models. But its USB-C charging at least makes recharging faster and more simple to do than plugging in via Micro USB.
I mentioned this with the Razer Kaira Pro, but wireless range is an issue here. Your living arrangement might yield different results, but breaking line of sight with the Xbox Wireless Adapter plugged into my PC or straying more than 15 or so feet away made the audio begin to crackle. I think I’d prefer if Corsair simply made its own dongle that was compatible with Xbox than going this route. Still, this is a great headset.
Here’s what the microphone on the Corsair HS75 XB Wireless sounds like:
Other good options
The options above deliver the best experience for the money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other solid options out there. We tested other wireless gaming headsets from manufacturers like Turtle Beach and LucidSound. Though, there was usually one or more deal-breakers about each model.
For instance, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 ($150) sounds great and has USB-C charging, but its fit is tight and it’s uncomfortable to wear after a while. Your experience may vary depending on your head size.
The LucidSound LS15X ($99) and SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless ($150) are also good in some ways, but not good enough that I suggest you seek them out over the others above. Both offer better comfort than the Stealth 700 Gen 2, but they’re relatively light on extra features and they charge via Micro USB, which is just inconvenient.
Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack
Bose’s QC 35 II gaming headset offers the most features, but at the highest cost of any other headset featured in this guide. Despite costing more than an Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch, this set delivers on value. It comes with the QC 35 II wireless noise-canceling headphones that can be used on the go with Bluetooth and wired 3.5mm connectivity. There are no other options I’ve listed that have a noise cancellation feature and support for voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also among the most comfortable, lightweight options on this list. You’ll know when the QC 35 II is on your head, but it doesn’t pinch or press hard against your ears.
Used as a gaming headset, either connected via USB through its included desktop controller or via 3.5mm, the QC 35 II makes for a lightweight, comfortable option with a microphone attachment that’s easy to use. This model offers the best noise isolation (even without the battery-draining noise cancellation feature switched on) in any headset I’ve tested. Noise isolation is usually something most headsets fumble, but with this one you’ll be able to better hear footsteps and other crucial noises that might decide the match. With noise cancellation switched on, it really does make everything around you very quiet — perfect for boosting the immersion in your games. The desktop controller I mentioned above adds more features, including a nice volume dial and button that adjusts the intensity of mic monitoring.
The $329 price is high, but if you value noise cancellation and want to have a headset you can easily take on the road (and that has ear cups that can swivel and fold into a compact size), check this out. It’s worth noting that current owners of the QC 35 II headphones unfortunately won’t be able to easily acquire the microphone attachment, as Bose isn’t selling it separately.
Here’s what the microphone on the Bose QC 35 II gaming headset sounds like:
Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack
Razer’s updated BlackShark headset is my runner-up choice for a wired headset you can buy. It’s $100, yet it features a similar design and general feature set to Razer’s $200 wireless V2 Pro model. That also means it’s just as comfortable, with a plush headband and breathable ear cups that don’t apply too much pressure.
This model’s build materials are a step above the $59 BlackShark V2 X when it comes to being breathable, and it includes a USB sound card, into which the headset’s 3.5mm end plugs. With it, you’ll get slightly better sound quality. Also, using the sound card allows you to use THX spatial sound in Razer’s Synapse 3 software, which I found to be a nice value add but not particularly alluring in practice. Razer says it’s adding spatial audio profiles for popular games moving forward, so you’ll have plenty of ways to utilize the sound card, if this feature strikes your interest. Regardless of your interest, you’ll also be able to plug the headset’s 3.5mm end into a variety of controllers and the Nintendo Switch.
Something that stood out to me during testing is that finding a comfortable fit took almost no effort. And while many headsets are comfortable enough to wear for hours, I didn’t want to take the BlackShark V2 off my head. Another nice touch is its volume knob, which affords fine-tune adjustments that dials don’t usually provide.
Here’s what the microphone on the BlackShark V2 sounds like:
Other good options
If you’re committed to getting a wired headset, there are some really interesting options out there. I got to test a few other options that, while not as good as the models above, might be better for your needs or budget.
Creative Audio’s SXFI Gamer ($130) is a USB-C wired headset that has a simple design and a sound profile that’s pleasant to listen to for games, voice chat, or music. My complaints with this one are on the minor side, with its sizing adjustments not holding very well and its voice prompts sometimes being confusing.
The Sennheiser EPOS 601 ($220) nails the fundamentals, with great sound and a quality microphone. But the ear cups are too darn big, and that excess spills into its overall design. It’s also too expensive for a relatively basic wired headset that doesn’t offer but a couple of special features, like replaceable sidearm plates and a twist-to-adjust volume knob.