Here, Hear: The 7 Best Gaming Headsets

Gamers these days know that sound quality cannot be sacrificed any more than graphics, especially in multi-player games where audio cues are as important for finding and fragging your enemy as what you see through your scope. Muddy sound that doesn’t tell you where shots or footsteps are coming from will have you cooling your heels in the spawning pool rather than racking up kills. Unless you have a true surround sound system in your home, you’re going to need a high-quality gaming headset to help you ghost some tangos.

Even if you aren’t a competitive player and prefer campaigns to online deathmatches, you can still miss a lot if your audio is sub-par. While these of headsets cannot replace a good home theater system, they do have delays that simulate a 3-D environment so you can better determine direction and have a more immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re supplementing weak TV speakers, looking to enhance your play with deeper, richer sound, or just want to keep your house quiet, one of our 7 best gaming headsets will help you out.

Creative Fatal1ty

Creative Fatal1ty

Pro: Very portable
Con: Limited sound direction
Works With: PC, Mac, Wii U, PS4

Gaming on the Go: Not every gamer wants to lug around a heavy gaming headset whenever they leave the house. Those that wish for portability and affordability in their deck will find the horribly named Fatal1ty to be manna from heaven. They have cushioned 40mm drivers that fold up flat for easy transport. The boom mic works even in crowded rooms and while they lack true surround sound, they’ve done a serviceable job of giving you quality sound with sufficient direction so you can get a sense of where to put your shots. Don’t expect miracles and don’t take these to a competition, but if you just need an entry-level set that can sit in your bag until it is needed, these are very good. [Purchase: $25]

Plantronics GameCom 780

Plantronics GameCom 780

Pro: Affordable
Con: Only Playstation console support
Works With: PC, Mac, PS4, Wii U

Most for the Money: Many of our choices run nigh to $300 which is chump change if you’re racking up frags at tournaments and have a bulletproof team at your back, but for the casual gamer it can be a little excessive. For those who never intend to go pro but still want quality sound without assassinating their wallet, there is the GameCom 780. It has synthetic 7.1 surround sound that works with Dolby and Pro Logix IIx. The speakers are a large 40mm that emphasizes direction so you can determine where shots and shouts are coming from and whether footsteps are around the corner or on your six. The noise-canceling microphone captures your voice without ambient sound seeping in. The on-ear controls can take some acclimation to use correctly. The cosy headband and ear cups are comfortable for marathon gaming sessions. Sadly, they only work with Sony consoles. [Purchase: $71]

Astro A50

Astro A50

Pro: Instantaneous sound relay
Con: Occasional static interference
Works With: PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4

Wireless Wonder: Ordinarily wireless headphones don’t make the cut simply because they bear a little lag which will make the difference between snagging a kill and waiting to respawn. The A50’s seem to have cracked the code by using a 5.8GHZ frequency that is higher than most allowing it to transmit with instantaneous speed. You can change gameplay and voice volume on the fly so you’ll never be overwhelmed during a loud cutscene nor will you overpower your teammates even when hooting and hollering in victory. They work seamlessly with both consoles and most PCs, though expect a wrestling match if setting them up with the notoriously picky XBone. Not great for anything other than gaming as you will get a lot of static noise rendered in beautiful 7.1 Dolby surround. Very good, but barely earns the heavy price tag. To save a couple of bucks, you can try the A30 or A40. [Purchase: $300]

Sony Gold Wireless

Sony Gold Wireless

Pro: Intuitive controls
Con: Relies heavily on Playstation
Works With: PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, 3DS

Budget Wireless: Don’t let the word “budget” turn you off. In head-to-head competition, these gave the A50’s a run for their money and many average users – which is to say those without a strong audio background – couldn’t tell the difference. They have the 7.1 surround feature that allows for excellent immersion, though it only works on Sony products. The controls and noise-cancelling mic are located on the headset itself and work easily without a steep learning curve. The leather cans can cause a little ear sweat, but the comfortable top will rest on your dome for hours without giving you a headache. The only thing that really keeps it out of the top spot is the solid but unimpressive sound quality on a PC and total incompatibility with any Xbox product. If you’re a Playstation purist, these are amazing while others will find them to just be very, very good. [Purchase: $80]

Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR

Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR

Pro: Versatile
Con: Weak wireless operation
Works With: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, iOS, Android

Music, Movies, Games: Not every gamer wants to change headphones when they want to binge on YouTube videos, crank some celebration music, or get stereophonic sound while watching a movie. For these people there is the EVO ZxR. Most gaming headphones leave a lot to be desired when asked to do something other than gaming which is why the ZxR’s are outfitted with the ability to change modes depending on how you use them. Purists won’t be impressed, but when compared to most other options on the market these do a good job of letting music pop and amping up the bass for a deeper film experience. Can work wirelessly with Near Field Communication or Bluetooth, but neither is recommended for gaming. Will play nice with the PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360, but very few people have found a way to get them to work with the Xbox One. The 50mm drivers are a little large for mobile use, but it is possible. [Purchase: $266]

Sennheiser G4ME One

Sennheiser G4ME One

Pro: Open audio layout
Con: Very poor for movies or music
Works With: PC, Mac, PS4

Best Mid-Range: It would have been a crime not to include a Sennheiser in the mix. Frankly whether you go with their budget line or their premium stuff, you’ll be pleased. The G4ME line is unique in that it uses an open audio model that captures noises that the typical closed model just can’t match. It also allows the headphones to be better ventilated for improved comfort over time. The microphone is very good at capturing your voice without also taking on sound from around the room. When it is raised it automatically mutes so no one needs to know when you’re arguing with your girlfriend or talking baby talk to your kitten, Professor Snugglesworth. The acoustics aren’t ideal for movies or music and they don’t bear 7.1 surround sound. Instead they are built entirely with gaming in mind. [Purchase: $201]

Turtle Beach XO Seven

Turtle Beach XO Seven

Pro: Actually works with Xbox One
Con: Awkward microphone
Works With: Xbox One

For Xbox One Fans: Trying to find a decent headset that would actually work with the Xbox One and not require a year of layaway to afford them was difficult. You naturally can go with the standard headset from Microsoft but like so many fine MS products they won’t give you the deep, directional sound that modern games need. The XO Seven is the lower end of the XP Seven from Turtle Beach, though they work nearly as well for half the price. The speakers are fully 50mm and highly adjustable to fit your head even if it is shaped like a squash. It works directly with the audio adapter for the Xbox which gives it superior audio quality, though it won’t blow your mind when used with a PC. It can switch from stationary to on-the-go mode by swapping out the mic for a cable. [Purchase: $159]

Get The Goods

HiCONSUMPTION'S DAILY NEWSLETTER

Sign up for HiConsumption The Goods

© HiConsumption | DMCA

Back To Top