The 12 Best Headsets For Gamers in 2021

Sep 27, 2021

Category: Tech

Anyone that tells you that aural immersion isn’t an important part of an experience surely hasn’t seen the likes of Jaws, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, or countless other works of entertainment marked by signature soundtracks. Extrapolate that kind of immersion into a three-dimensional environment where you need to be able to tell where, specifically, a sound is coming from — be that the alarm of danger, a call for help, or some combination therein — and you can start to understand just how important audio is to video games, especially modern ones.

There was a time when very few brands made headsets geared specifically toward gaming — meaning not just headphones, but full-on headsets with microphones — and even fewer that made ones that were actually worth investing in. But, as video games have exploded in popularity, more high-end brands have entered the space with their own releases. And that means now, more than ever, is a great time to be in the market for a gaming-focused headset. Of course, there are still that stand out from the now-crowded gallery. That’s exactly what we have for you today: a selection of the twelve best gaming headsets, both wired and wireless, that you can buy today. Game on.

Editor’s Note: Most of these headsets are PC-compatible (usually Windows), but also have compatibility with other systems — or at least the brands have comparable offerings that cover a wider variety of compatibilities. If the headset is system-specific, we’ve tried to note that — but you should always check to make sure that a headset is compatible with your gaming machine of choice before making a purchase.

Plug It In

Wired Headsets

Although the gap is swiftly closing, there are still gamers who prefer wired setups, as they still represent the most low-latency experience (meaning there’s no delay between what’s happening on screen and what you’re hearing). They also tend to be on the more affordable end of the spectrum — or, rather, you can get higher-end quality audio for less money because you don’t have to pay for the wireless tech additions. Regardless of why you prefer a wired setup, you’ll find the best option below.

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Headset

Would this guide be complete without a Razer offering? Almost certainly not. But we don’t have to worry about that because our first entry happens to be the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Headset. This wired headset benefits from exceptional THX 7.1 surround-sound technology built right into it. Alongside that, it also has custom-tuned 50mm drivers, comfortable and breathable gel cushions for all-day wear, an analog controller, a retractable and poseable microphone, and more. Even as a budget-friendly option, this is still a top-notch gaming headset by any measure. And it’s compatible with just about every present-gen system and platform out there.

Purchase: $70

Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

Another big name in computer tech, Logitech has unsurprisingly dove head-first into gaming-focused gear to a high level of success, as evidenced by their Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset. This 2nd-gen wired wonder features next-gen 7.1 surround-sound tech for 360-degree immersion, a removable professional-grade microphone, custom-tuned 50mm drivers, and you can even craft a selection of EQ settings that can be saved and stored onboard for the perfect balance every time you play. In fact, in regards to that latter bit, Logitech also grants users access to pro-designed EQ profiles downloadable via the included Logitech G Hub software. Like the previous offering, this headset is compatible with PC, PlayStation (PS4 & PS5), Xbox (One & Series X/S), and Nintendo Switch.

Purchase: $117

Scuf H1 Headset

If you’re familiar with Scuf, it’s almost definitely because of their customizable, pro-grade gaming controllers — which run the gamut of systems in regards to compatibility. Well, it turns out that they’ve also taken a swing at a gaming headset in the H1 you see here. Inspired by the legendary CORSAIR Virtuoso (a product of Scuf’s parent company), this hi-fi headset boasts 50mm precision-tuned drivers, a hi-fi microphone (uni or omnidirectional), a detachable 3.5mm cable, and your choice of either leather or synthetic cushions and headband. And like everything Scuf offers, these headphones are highly customizable — so you can build them to your specific style preferences. They’re also compatible with just about every modern platform, including some mobile options (like the iPad).

Purchase: $130+

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset

For those in the know, ASTRO’s go-to headset is probably the A50 — but we’ve chosen to go a different route here by including the A40 with an included MixAmp Pro TR, which is compatible with PC, PS5, PS4, and Mac. The reason for this is multi-fold. First, this headset is specifically tuned for gaming usage (including live streaming and competition play). Second, its quality in regards to construction is top-notch — making for a headset that’s durable-yet-comfortable. Third, the included MixAmp Pro TR unit was engineered for lag- and interference-free operation, and it has integrated Dolby Digital Surround Sound processing. And, lastly, it’s compatible with 3D audio technologies. That’s not even everything this setup has to offer, either.

Purchase: $250

Beyerdynamic MMX 300 Gaming Headset

Made in Germany and compatible with both PC and modern systems, Beyerdynamic’s MMX 300 Gaming Headset was actually designed with professional applications in mind — like competitive esports. Better still, it was made to last for a long time — meaning the tech isn’t going to become obsolete anytime soon. They’ve managed that by incorporating studio-quality dynamic drivers for spectacular sound across the spectrum of frequencies, an impedance rating of 32 ohms, an integrated control (housed along the cable), a high-end condenser microphone, and more. And if that doesn’t speak to the quality, you can also check out the many accolades this model has been granted.

Purchase: $279

VZR Model One Gaming Headset

This might not be a brand you’ve heard of before, but the value proposition is too good to ignore, as it’s claimed that the VZR Model One Gaming Headset is genuinely “future-proof.” That rides on a “ground-breaking, proprietary and patented” technology the brand has dubbed CrossWave, which isn’t dependent upon soon-to-be-obsolete digital tech and results in hi-fi audio that’s supposedly comparable to that of even its most expensive competitors. Along with that, the Model One is compatible with all popular modern platforms, has a removable boom mic, and comes with its own serialized Certificate of Quality & Authenticity.

Purchase: $349

Over The Airwaves

Wireless Headsets

As technology progresses, wireless headsets are quickly catching up to their wired brethren in regards to their low latency. Now, unless you’re actually tracking the signal response, you can get a wireless gaming headset that’s all but indistinguishable from wired alternatives. Not to mention, they’re a lot more convenient, since you don’t have to be tethered to your gaming machine of choice. If that sounds up your alley, the following section is sure to have a headset for you.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach is kind of like the Skullcandy of gaming headsets; they’re not exactly on the high-end of the spectrum, but they’re undeniably a staple of the industry that helped make it what it is today and, honestly, they do have some pretty stellar offerings. One such offering is the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Gaming headset you see here. Designed for the new Xbox Series X and Series S, this headset boasts a flip-up microphone (which auto-mutes when flipped up), precision-tuned 50mm Nano-Clear drivers, a 20-hour battery, a reinforced headband, and more. They’re not necessarily the fanciest ‘phones around, but they’ll get the job done right without breaking the bank.

Purchase: $150

Steelseries Arctis 9 Wireless Headset

From an outside perspective, Steelseries might not be a name that means much. To serious gamers, however, they’re a force to be reckoned with, as can be seen in the Arctis 9 Wireless Headset here. Stylish without being overly showy or boastful, these ‘phones boast lossless 2.4GHz wireless for lag-free gaming, a retractable Discord-certified microphone, easy mix and EQ controls, and over 20 hours of battery life per charge to ensure you’re not interrupted in the middle of a long session with friends or on Twitch. And while this particular headset is compatible with PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, mobile devices, and some VR setups, Steelseries also offers Xbox-specific options for those that need ’em.

Purchase: $200

Razer Nari Ultimate Gaming Headset

One of the few brands deserving of multiple slots amongst the best-of in almost any gaming gear category, Razer also has an outstanding wireless headset in its Nari you see before you. Like the wired one, this set also boasts 7.1 THX surround sound, as well as some significant upgrades. That includes things like haptic feedback, an auto-adjusting headband (for the perfect fit every time), a retractable hi-fi mic, cooling gel ear cushions, Razer’s signature Chroma RGB custom onboard lighting, and compatibility with just about every popular modern platform (some platforms require a wired 3.5mm connection). You truly can’t go wrong with one of the best-selling products from one of the best-selling brands, at least in this case.

Purchase: $200

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset

What’s really cool about the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset is that it was designed with versatility in mind — meaning it isn’t just for gaming. That’s managed, in part, by the inclusion of a detachable gaming module, which houses the included “noise-rejecting” microphone and can be completely removed between uses. On top of that, this incredible headset also comes with built-in noise-canceling technology, a desktop controller, onboard voice assistant compatibility, and a battery life of up to 20 hours wireless or 40 hours wired. If you’re looking for an all-in-one headset that you can use in your day-to-day life as well as while gaming, go no further.

Purchase: $329

Audeze Mobius Headphones

A decade ago, Audeze is the kind of audio brand that might’ve scoffed at the idea of building a gaming-focused headset. But, since then, this high-end brand has come around to our side of things and, in spectacular fashion, ended up releasing one of the best video game ‘phones of all time. In fact, they’re so good that IGN, a leading gaming-focused publication, actually gave them the award for the Best High-End Gaming Headset in 2019. And guess what? They’re still amongst the best. This is due in large part to the inclusion of the brand’s proprietary Planar Magnetic drivers, groundbreaking NX technology courtesy of Waves, integrated Head Tracking and Room Emulation, and a detachable high-end boom mic (so you can use these outside of gaming applications, too). And if the IGN accolade isn’t quite enough for you, they’ve gotten plenty of other top-tier recognition — like a CES Innovation Award, an Editor’s Choice badge from PC Mag and Just Push Play, and so many more.

Purchase: $399

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Gaming Headphones

If you’re the type that will only settle for the absolute best across-the-board — meaning technology, materials, styling, etc. — then you’re likely to fall madly in love with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Gaming Headphones. There’s one small catch, however: they’re compatible with PC and Xbox only. In fact, they were made alongside Microsoft expressly for that purpose, so PlayStation and Nintendo fans are out of luck in this case. Having said that, if you do happen to play on Xbox or PC, these lossless 2.4GHz ‘phones are made to connect simply and seamlessly with your platform of choice, they come with a custom tuning app (so you can choose your own EQ levels or pick from some presets), and they can last up to 24 hours per charge (12 if you’re not using the Bluetooth-only mode). Oh yeah, and you can use them alongside Dolby Atmos, so long as you go with a wired connection.

Purchase: $499

The 20 Best Online Multiplayer Video Games

Chances are, if you’re looking for a gaming headset, it’s because you like playing online. But if you’re going to do that, you’ll need some games. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a formidable collection of them on our guide to the best online multiplayer video games.

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