Disclosure: We may earn money from the products mentioned in this post.
Something often overlooked by PC gamers is the quality of headset that they purchase. You'd be surprised at just how much sound plays a part of fully immersing you into a game. Whether it's helping to set a scene within an RPG or making sure you know where each enemy is around you in a competitive FPS game.
You'd also be surprised as to what other features modern-day gaming headsets feature that up the immersion factor by tenfold. We've even got a headset on this list that features haptic feedback!
Not only that, sometimes you just need an easy escape from the sound of your PC fans taking off. So to make that decision a little bit easier for you, we've compiled a list of the best PC gaming headsets that you can buy right now.
1. HyperX Cloud Revolver S
|Features||7.1-channel surround soun, Dolby DSP, 3.5mm jack|
Starting off our top 5 PC gaming headset list is the HyperX Cloud Revolver S. Whilst it certainly doesn't seem all that special from the get-go just bear with us on this one.
The 7.1-channel surround sound delivered by this gaming headset is simply unrivaled. It makes full use of Dolby's signature processor and that's not all. The comfort rating of this headset is also through the roof. We tested it out on an 8-hour gaming session and had hardly any sort of discomfort, quite the achievement.
But not everything is smooth sailing when we start to look at the price of this gaming headset we begin to understand why it's this good. Coming in at just under $120 this headset has definitely got a premium price tag attached to it.
But that's not really where we place our criticism at because you'd expect to pay a premium price tag for a premium product. Our main issue with the HyperX Cloud Revolver S is that its microphone is in a strange location and it's not somewhere we are used to.
Other than that, the 10/10 sound quality and comfort that this headset provides is the reason why we've put at the top of our list.
2. Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
|Features||Retractable noise-cancelling microphone, DTS Headphone: 2.0, RGB lighting|
Staying up at the premium end of product ranges, we have the SteelSeries Arctis pro GameDAC. Straight away, you'll notice that it comes equipped with RGB lighting.
Now, whilst there are plenty of products on the market that have included RGB lighting in a horrendous way. The Arctic Pro implements it in a very tasteful and elegant way.
Moving on to the sound, you'll find further evidence of the quality that this headset provides with its 5Hz-40KHz frequency range. This makes it not only a fantastic PC gaming headset but also something that you can use for everyday applications such as watching TV or listening to music.
The GameDAC is a clever addition to this headset that you'll soon learn to love. It's essentially a digital-to-analog converter which takes away some of the work that your CPU has to do. You can also enable the DTS Headphone-X surround function with the press of a button.
It's even become the world's first certified Hi-Res gaming audio system. This is a rigorous set of requirements that the Japanese Audio Society sets out.
Much like the HyperX Cloud Revolver, we found this headset incredibly comfortable during an 8-hour gaming session. The only downside is the price, currently sat at a sub-$250 price tag it is the most expensive PC gaming headset on our list but for very good reasons.
3. Astro A50 Wireless
|Features||Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound, 5.8GHz wireless tech with MixAmp, 6.0mm uni-directional noise-canceling mic, charging base station|
Making it to the number 3 spot in our top PC gaming headsets list is the Astro A50 wireless.
Starting off with the audio quality, it's simply superb. Due to the Dolby Pro Logic llx format, the Astro A50 digitally mixes 7.1 simulated surround sound which is key if you want a fully immersive gaming experience. Compatibility is another major win for this gaming headset, whilst we are focusing on PC gaming headsets if you do own an Xbox One or PS4 then you'll be pleased to know that the Astro A50 is compatible straight out of the box.
To us, the Astro A50 is not the best looking gaming headset on the market. But what it lacks in sleek and slim it makes up for in comfort, turns out the bulky design of this headset is perfect for long gaming sessions.
The microphone provides a uni-directional and noise-canceling experience which is ideal for anyone in a noisy environment. Whilst you can't remove the mic, if you simply lock it in place pointing upwards then it will stay muted.
Since this is the first wireless PC gaming headset on our list we need to talk battery life. This can be the make or break factor for any wireless technology. Whilst the official numbers from Astro quote a 12-hour long battery life, take that with a pinch of salt. We found the battery life to be massively inconsistent and the worst we saw it be was only 6-hours long, that's 50% of the manufacturer quoted battery life. Much like most wireless products, it depends on how you are using them which will determine how long their battery will last.
Wrapping up, it's the best wireless PC gaming headset that money can buy but be warned as it can set you back nearly $300, depending on what time of the year you are buying.
4. Razer Nari Ultimate
|Features||Retractable uni-directional microphone, Lofelt L5 haptic drivers, THX Spatial Audio, cooling gel-infused cushions, RGB lighting|
It's always hard to find a PC hardware list that doesn't include a Razer product, and it's because they are fantastic.
Without further ado, this is the Razer Nari Ultimate, a wireless PC gaming headset that offers haptic feedback in games. Haptic feedback in headsets isn't anything new but we truly think this is the first time it's been implemented correctly and actually adds a new level of immersion that we haven't had with other gaming headsets.
Not only is the haptic feedback fairly unique, but Razer is also flexing their tech muscles with their new HyperSense technology. Basically, imagine that you are wearing a pair of subwoofers and that's exactly what it's like to have this headset.
Comfort-wise it sits at the top with the other amazing gaming headsets we've reviewed on this list and it held its own during the 8-hour gaming session. It even features a bit of RGB lighting to fit in with every other piece of hardware for your PC.
It's a solid entry from Razer and a much better one compared to their previous endeavors with the Kraken series. It's always great to see such a large company take a product back to the drawing board and come back with something that's fresh and also packed with quality and features.
5. Corsair HS50
|Features||Easy to use on-ear volume and mute controls, multi-platform compatibility|
Wrapping up our list of the best PC gaming headset is the Corsair HS50. This piece of hardware breaks the age-old unwritten rule of ‘you get what you pay for'.
Previously all of the headsets we have listed have had a premium price tag attached to them. But the Corsair HS50 is here to mix things up, it wins our award for the best budget PC gaming headset due to its $50 price tag.
Don't expect to be blown away and have the quality of a $200 gaming headset, but be prepared to be surprised. The design and feel of the headset are surprisingly effective, at first glances you really wouldn't think that it was as cheap as it is.
The 50mm drivers inside deliver solid highs and lows during gaming sessions although the bass could do with a slight improvement. It's even not that bad for listening to music and watching a bit of television with. The microphone that comes with it is nice and compact, but don't be fooled because during the online gaming segment of our session all of my teammates had no issue in hearing what I had to say during the test.
Sure you won't have certain premium features such as 7.1 surround sound or effortless compatibility with multiple platforms, but what you will have is an incredible value for money that won't disappoint.
That about does it for our top 5 list of gaming PC headsets, we hope you enjoyed reading and found it of use! Please make sure to leave a comment if you wish to ask any questions or have any thoughts about this post.
As always if you are in the market for anything PC related make sure to always check out other posts on hardware, the last four posts have been:
For each entry in this list, we have made sure to mark it against our 5 criteria for the best PC gaming headset:
- Frequency Range and Sound Quality
- Microphone Quality
Frequency Range and Sound Quality
Arguably the most important metric to understand the quality of a gaming headset is the sound quality and also what frequency range it offers. To understand why frequency is important, we've provided a brief summary below:
In simple terms, the frequency range is quite simply the range of frequency that a headset can output. This is typically broken down into bass, mid-range and high frequencies. You've got the bass range which covers 20 Hz to 250 Hz, the mid-range which covered 251 Hz to 6 kHz and then everything above 6kHz is classified as high frequency.
There are serious challenges, for the manufacturer, to get a headset to accurately replicate each of these frequency sections. Whilst you may see a lot of headsets talk about producing a frequency range between 20 Hz – 30 kHz it's worth noting that the average human ear can't actually hear anything below 20 Hz and anything above 20 kHz. The most important section of frequencies are the mid-range 60 Hz – 6 kHz which is where the human ear is most sensitive and can detect minor details. Which is why with each PC headset we ran it through specially created videos that aim to test this range to the max and find out how good the headset is.
We all know that horrible feeling, 2-3 hours into a gaming session and your ears start to feel like they are on fire because your budget PC headset doesn't give you the comfort you need. That's why we tested each budget gaming headset on our list for a minimum of 8 hours in various setups. The 8 hours allocated to each headset were split into the following categories:
- Listening to music
- Watching videos
- Listening to podcasts
We tried to allocate 2 hours to make sure that the headset was comfortable for that length of time, but also that it was comfortable to listen to various types of media that would play through different frequency ranges.
Price is a really tricky metric to judge a cheap PC gaming headset on, the reason being is that it's too easy to rule out the premium products. There is plenty of ‘average' PC headset out there that will get the job done and you wouldn't hate. But we weren't looking for that, we wanted the best wireless and wired gaming headset out there for gamers.
We always made sure to weigh up the price vs what you get just to make sure that low-end budget gaming headsets weren't heavily favoured over the premium ones.
Features is a tricky thing to judge gaming headsets on because all you need is a high-quality pair of speakers, a great mic and that's about all you really need, right? WRONG, we're always out to find features that companies have added to take gaming headsets that one step further, whether it be a user-friendly UI for the software or haptic feedback.
We aren't just looking at the best gaming headset that's thrown in a bunch of features unnecessarily, we judge each feature and work out exactly how much better its made the overall experience.
It's always good when you can hear things as they were intended to be, but it's also important the other way round. You need to make sure your teammates and friends can hear you otherwise there really isn't any point in buying the best gaming headset even if it's under $100.
Something we've noticed, especially for a lot of the budget headsets is that manufacturers cheap out on the quality of microphone they put into a PC gaming headset.
During our test of microphone quality, we made sure to put the headsets to the limit. We tested them during a live multiplayer match on Battlefield V with varying internet connections to see the drop-off rate of quality.
All of the tests that we did are to make sure you get the absolute best gaming headset for 2019.