Modern video games have become true works of art, both in terms of their sound and visual qualities. In order to really get an immersive gaming experience, it is not enough to just have the requisite hardware. There are a range of accessories designed to take the experience to the next level that you need to have if you are going to play these games how they were meant to be played.

One of these essential accessories is undoubtedly the modern gaming headset. You need them to enjoy not just the best sound quality possible, but also to communicate with other players in games that are increasingly meant to be played online. This is especially important when playing cooperative games, where communication is vital for success.

Key Facts

  • Gaming headsets are devices specifically designed to allow you to get the most out of video games, and with features that have this in mind.
  • Gaming headsets are fundamental not only to enjoy high-quality sound while playing but also to be able to communicate with other players online.
  • Don’t be fooled by fancy or over-the-top designs with lots of bells and whistles. The most important thing is good sound quality.

Ranking: The best gaming headsets on the U.S. Market

In the below section we have put together the five best gaming headsets currently available on the U.S. market. We tried to put together a selection that showcased products with a variety of different features, while keeping value-for-money at the forefront.

No. 1: Aigel – Multi-Platform Gaming Headset

Aigel’s Multi-Platform Gaming Headset is compatible with all new generation gaming consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) as well as PC, and really anything that has a 3.5mm port on it. You need an adapter to connect it to older version Xbox One controllers (that does not come included) and it is not compatible with Xbox 360 or PS3. If you are new to gamer headsets, this great entry-level product will provide you with increased sound quality and vividness you have likely not experienced yet.

In addition to better and crisper sound quality, and a more immersive experience, this device’s omnidirectional microphone cancels out ambient noise, allowing you communicate clearly with other players and teammates online. The leather earpads are comfortable, so you can wear this headset for extended periods of time without worrying about throbbing ears afterwards – a common side effect of poor quality headsets.

No. 2: Runmus – Gaming Headset

Runmus’ Gaming Headset comes with a 50mm driver that gives you great surround sound and keeps you completely immersed in the gaming experience the entire time. This headset is compatible with PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch controllers, and is compatible with new generation Xbox One controllers, but older ones need an adapter (which is not included). You also get superior noise cancellation with this headset, so you never miss any important communication with your fellow players.

This product comes in blue or red, and Runmus gives you a 12 month warranty. This is a headset that was designed with the diversity of gamers in mind, and the ergonomic headband and breathable ear pads make sure every gamer gets the most comfortable gaming experience possible. The cable is durable and well protected, which is one of the first things to go on many other headsets, so you can game with confidence.

No. 3: HyperX – Cloud II Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset comes in either a red or gunmetal color scheme and has some truly unbeatable features. The USB audio sound card and 7.1 virtual surround sound bring you an immersive gaming experience like no other. These headphones are designed for serious gamers, and the echo and noise cancellation capabilities are quite impressive. What’s more, the memory foam earpads are ultra comfortable, and allow for extended gaming sessions that keep your ears protected.

The USB 7.1 connectivity is compatible with PC and Mac, and the stereo jack is for PS4 and Xbox One (the latter requires an Xbox one stereo adapter which is not included with this product). The great thing about this headset is that you can use it for any multimedia experience. A next-level gaming headset that also works well as an all-purpose high quality audio listening device. Crystal clear high, medium, and low tones will make gaming an unparalleled entertainment experience.

No. 4: Beexcellent – Gaming Headset

Beexcellent’s Gaming Headset is multi-console compatible and gives you 360 degree stereo surround sound that makes it feel like you are gaming in a movie theater. You will hear every minute sound and movement with this headset, and take your gaming experience to the next level. This is a great entry-level headset for those who might just be getting into the world of online gaming, or competitive gaming, where every advantage and edge counts. Compatible with all new generation consoles, handheld devices, tablets, mobile phones, laptops and PCs.

This product comes with Beexcellent’s 100 percent money back guarantee so you get this headset risk free. Try it out and if you aren’t satisfied, simply call the company and get your money back. The earpads and headband are designed with maximum comfort in mind, so you can have long, immersive gaming experiences without being distracted by sore ears. The adjustable mic and easy-to-reach volume controls allow you total control over your communication while playing online and with friends.

No. 5: Senheiser – Game ONE Gaming Headset

Senheiser’s Game ONE Gaming Headset brings you top of the line sound clarity and quality for unbeatable gaming immersion. The 3.5mm jack input and exchangeable cables allows you to use this product with virtually any device. The intuitive integrated volume control adjusts volume levels based on what is going on in the game, and the open back design of this headset keeps your head and ears cool while giving you unparalleled sound.

This headset is made from quality materials, from the wiring to the microphone, so you don’t have to worry about replacing this product soon after opening it. The noise-cancelling microphone also makes sure that every word said during gameplay is crystal clear. This is a more expensive gaming headset, but it has been designed with real gamers in mind who demand more from their gaming experience. This sleek-looking headset is available in white or black.

Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about gaming headsets

When choosing a gamer headset, you should keep in mind a number of important considerations. There are a wide variety of different models out there, and they are often designed for different uses and experiences. With that in mind, in the below section we will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by American gamers when buying headsets.

Gaming headphones give you a more immersive experience.
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What are gaming headsets exactly?

Generally speaking, a headset, or headphones, are devices that work by converting electronic signals into acoustic ones that you can hear. Gaming headsets are made with sound clarity in mind, as they are used to help gamers get the most out of sophisticated modern games.

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Did you know that gaming headsets give a more comfortable, ergonomic experience? In this way, it makes it possible to play video games for longer periods of time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of gaming headset?

Gaming with a gamer headset comes with a number of important advantages. Using one of these devices provides you with a more immersive and entertaining gaming experience.

Advantages Disadvantages
They let you have a more immersive and generally better experience. Prolonged use can cause hearing problems.
Better ergonomics and isolating effect compared to conventional headphones. Involve a greater economic investment, especially for high-end equipment.
They generally have an inbuilt microphone, in order to let you communicate with other players. This feature is particularly relevant if playing games online.
You won’t have to worry about music or sound from the game bothering your family or housemates.
You’ll enjoy 7.1 or 5.1 sound, which give you an important competitive advantage.  

Who should buy a gaming headset?

There are a number of reasons you might want to get yourself a gaming headset. To begin, you might want something that has a mic included so you can play online. Having a mic is necessary if you are going to be able to talk to other players.

Gamers also like these specialty headsets because they tend to include great noise isolation features. You might also want to be able to game without having to worry about people around you being bothered by it. You might be having the time of your life playing a game, but the people around you could find it distracting and obnoxious.

Good quality sound is essential to enjoy the gaming experience.
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What types of gaming headsets are there?

There are basically two distinct types of gaming headset: open and closed. The former are those which do not completely isolate sound, so some escapes and some enters. The latter are designed to ensure that as little sound as possible enters into or leaves your contained, immersive gaming experience.

In between the two are semi-open headphones, which are perhaps the best option to play modern video games. In order to understand the differences between each type, check the table of major characteristics below.

Open headphones Closed headphones
Casing The external part of the casing is open. The external part of the casing is closed.
Frequencies The sound is much better quality at medium and high frequencies. They give more depth at lower frequencies.
Quality of sound Offer a much more realistic sound: the listening experience is more natural. They somewhat adulterate or disturb the original sound.
Noise cancellation They don’t completely isolate outside sound and emit some sound from the headphones. Much better isolation from outside noise, allowing a greater feeling of immersion.
Risk of auditory fatigue Lower risk of auditory fatigue or sweating after prolonged use of several hours. Can cause auditory (hearing) fatigue after long gaming sessions.
Weight Generally lighter than closed headphones. Their closed design makes them much heavier.
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Did you know that contrary to popular belief, the average age of American gamers is 35, and that average number of years a U.S. gamer has been playing is 13? Americans take their gaming seriously.

What’s the difference between stereo sound, 7.1 sound and 5.1 sound in headsets?

When picking out your gaming headset, the most salient criteria is obviously the sound quality. To make the best decision possible, you have to keep in mind the different industry standards.

You should know that 5.1 sound headphones offer a much more powerful and realistic quality of sound compared to others.

This is because there are five speakers in each ear, giving you maximum immersion. 7.1 headphones, on the other hand, recreate natural 5.1 sound digitally. In this case, a USB connection to your PC or console generates the sound effects and, therefore, the immersion. Lastly, stereo sound is generated through two or more channels.

Thanks to gaming headphones, you can enjoy your favorite games without disturbing your neighbors.
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Is it worth buying a gaming headset with surround sound?

The answer to this question really depends on what kind of game you are playing. If you play games that utilize other devices and technology that encode multichannel sound in real time, then surround sound can be a really big plus. An example of this might be Dolby Atmos technology.

In certain game genres, your gaming experience is going ot be greatly influenced by what kind of audio quality you are working with, like first person and third person shooters. Surround sound will take these kinds of games to a whole new level.

Paul O’KeefeHead of the Department of Psychology, University of Stanford

“Educational games may be able to address key classroom issues by putting students in  mood conducive to learning, instead of worrying about how smart they look.”

Shopping Criteria

When you are choosing your headset, you should have a number of features and buying criteria in mind. To help you make your purchase, we have put together the below list of what we consider to be the most important factors. This way you should be able to get a gamer headset, within your budget, that suit your purposes and needs. Headsets that combine some or all of these features can be easily found on the U.S. market.

  • Connectivity
  • Convenience
  • DAC
  • Impedance
  • Design
  • Size and weight
  • Battery
  • Microphone

Connectivity

There are currently a wide array of connection types out there, including ones specially made for gamers. These include the original 3.5mm jack, as well as USB and Bluetooth connections.

In the past, Bluetooth connections implied a hit to both your audio quality and latency. Newer models, however, have handled both issues quite well, so they are still a good options. These types of connections mean freer movement, less cables, and they tend to be more comfortable.

Eimear NooneConductor and video game composer

“I believe that music in video games is becoming a musical genre in itself and that it is beginning to be recognized all over the world.”

Impedance

The impedance, measured in ohms, is the resistance the headphones give to the electric current passing through. The impedance is, therefore, an indication of their power capacity. Therefore, gaming headphones with low impedance can become quickly overloaded and generate noise.

To play video games, the recommended impedance range is between 16 and 60 ohms. In this range you can use them on any device, be it a console, a computer or even a mobile phone, without experiencing any power problems or uncomfortable and distracting noises.

DAC

For USB or wireless headphones, the digital signal needs to be converted to an analog one. This means that the integrated circuit responsible for this transformation has a fundamental impact on sound quality. Specifically, the component responsible for this conversion is the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).

The signal-to-noise ratio and the total harmonic distortion indicate the quality of the DAC, and therefore the quality of sound. When it comes to signal-to-noise ratio, the best headphones are at least 130 dB in stereo. As far as the harmonic distortion is concerned, you want it to be as low as possible.

Gaming headphones are made specifically for gamers.
(Source: Artush: 38483640/ 123rf.com)

Design

The design of your gaming headset is critical, and not just because you want to look good in it. A circumaural design (one which completely covers the outside of the ear) is most suitable for gaming because it tends to be the most comfortable. However, ultimately the choice of one type of design or another will depend on what you like.

In any case, our recommendation is to not be fooled by fancy designs and colorful lights. Always keep in mind that the most important feature of any headset is sound quality, and next comfort. This is especially true if you are a hardcore amateur, or professional gamer. An ergonomically designed headphone from a well-respected brand is your best bet.

Weight and size

Our advice is to opt for headphones that are as light as possible, thus minimizing the risk of headaches. While it might seem like a trivial amount of weight, worn for long periods of time, headphones can strain your neck, and a sore neck tends to be one of the most common side effects of extended gaming sessions. Lighter, smaller headphones are also easier to take with you.

Battery

If you opt for a Bluetooth headset, you will need to have enough battery to support long game sessions. This means that ideally you will choose ones with a battery life of at least eight or ten hours. Keep in mind that longer battery life almost always means heavier headphones.

Headsets with an option to turn off the lights to increase the battery life can also be advantageous. You should also check load to save yourself from long waiting times.

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Remember that if you run out of battery, you can always connect via cable!

Microphone

Another important component of any gaming headset is the microphone. You are going to want one that combines both noise cancellation and audio control. This way you hear everything you need to hear, and communicate clearly with those you are playing with.

It can also be a good idea to choose a microphone with anti-pop foam to avoid air shocks such those produced from the syllables p and b. Some models allow you to remove the microphone when you want to, making it easy to wear these headsets in a bunch of different situations (riding public transportation, while traveling, walking to class etc.).

Summary

Gamer headsets are becoming more and more the norm for gaming. Manufacturers are also realizing that these headsets are being used for much more than just gaming, and so design and aesthetic are also becoming important features of these products. However, choosing the right model is not just about the funkiest design with cool flashing lights.

When it comes to a good quality gaming headset, however, to reiterate, sound quality and comfort are the two most important features. You need both of these if you are going to be able to stand wearing them for long gaming sessions. Additionally, if you decide to go with something wireless, make sure the battery life is sufficiently long. Brand and price are other variables you should carefully consider.

Finally, if you think that this guide has been helpful, please leave us a comment or share it through with your network.

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