The best gaming headset can improve your experience of your favorite games, whether you prefer playing on your own or with friends. They’ll ensure that you’re able to appreciate every little detail of a game’s intricate soundscapes while making it a lot easier to communicate with friends and teammates online.
After hours of testing, playing, and listening (you’re welcome) we’ve come up with this list of gaming headsets your money can buy. Whether you want an affordable option or a headset with the best battery and serious style, we’ve got you covered on a range of needs. Trust our expert advice to help you find the best gaming headset for your needs, from all the big brands including Razer, Corsair, Asus, and Sony.
You don’t need to break the bank to bag a brilliant gaming headset for your gaming PC. However, spending that little bit extra gives you extra features like simultaneous wireless connections, active noise-canceling, and virtual surround sound. We’ve got a separate guide dedicated to the best wireless gaming headset, and if you’re looking to fill a room with sweet sounds, we’ve also tested the best computer speakers and soundbars that’ll make your desk rumble.
Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware, games, and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.
How to choose the best gaming headsets
What’s the right headset for you? Great question! Think about how much you’re willing to spend because the chances are, the more you spend, the better the audio and build quality and features you’ll get.
If having crystal clear audio quality is the most important thing for you, we recommend looking for a 50mm driver, because these are typically capable of a greater frequency range than 40mm drivers. This isn’t a universal rule though (and depends on how the manufacturer handled the implementation and build), but fortunately, we’ve independently tested every headset on this list.
For wireless headsets, battery life is a big issue. It’s not always advertised that certain wireless connections will drain the battery quicker than others, while some headsets have the forethought to include removable batteries so you never have to stop and charge.
Lastly, but potentially most importantly, you have to consider how comfortable each headset is to wear. This is the hardest thing to quantify since we all have differently shaped heads, but we recommend reading lots of reviews (including our own) to get an idea of how each headset sits upon each person.
Got any more questions? Check out the FAQs below:
Best gaming headset FAQs
Wired vs wireless gaming headsets
While things were different a few years ago, wireless models now have almost zero caveats compared to wired models. Thanks to super fast 2.4GHz wireless connections, latency is comparable to a wired connection, and improved batteries mean wireless models such as the Sennheiser GSP 370 can offer up to 100 hours of battery life.
Do gaming headsets have surround sound?
While headsets such as the Razer Thresher Ultimate offer native surround sound thanks to built-in Dolby Surround, it’s possible to get virtual surround sound on any headset on Windows 10. You just need to enter the sound tab under settings, before clicking “Device properties” under output and enabling “Spatial sound”.
What’s the best surround sound gaming headset?
Of all the gaming headsets we’ve had the chance to test, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is easily the best for surround sound. If that’s your biggest deciding factor, make that your choice. All-round, it’s a truly fantastic premium headset.
Is 7.1 surround sound better for gaming?
Yes. 7.1 surround sound provides detailed positional audio, which makes it a lot easier to tell exactly where (in-game) footsteps, gunshots, explosions, or whatever else, are coming from. Not only does this help to make single-player games more deeply immersive, but it also helps give you a slight competitive edge when playing online.
Closed-back vs open-back gaming headsets
Open-back headsets feature a design that allows air to flow through the ear cups, resulting in a more natural soundstage. On the other hand, closed-back headphones are built with noise cancellation in mind, as both ear cups are completely sealed.
If you’d prefer to drown out the outside world while you game, you should probably opt for a closed-back headset. However, if you’re looking to maximize clarity and you’re playing in a quiet room, open-backed options like the EPOS H6Pro can elevate your gaming PC’s audio fidelity tenfold.
What do pro gamers use for headsets?
There are lots of pro gamers, and there’s no single gaming headset that they all use. However, they typically stick with the big brands, like Razer, Corsair, and HyperX. If you’re after a specific product recommendation, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is popular among professional gamers and is also the headset that gets our highest recommendation.
Why do pro gamers use two headsets?
If you’ve watched any gaming tournaments before, you may have noticed that some players have two pairs of headphones. The reason for this is that they serve different purposes:
- One headset is there for game sound and communication with teammates
- One headset is there for noise cancellation, as these sorts of events typically take place in very noisy arenas
The majority of gamers aren’t going to need a second headset, but if you’re planning on taking part in a tournament then it’s something to consider.
For more ways to enhance your gaming experience, read our guides on the best Bluetooth speakers and the best gaming monitors – they’ll help ensure that you’re enjoying the sound and visuals of your games as much as possible.