Happiness for Your Earholes
After the controller — or keyboard and mouse — a good set of headphones is the gamer’s best buddy. Ok, a quality monitor or television is up there, too. But today we’re talking headsets, and there are a lot of affordable options.
When considering which set of headphones to buy, think about your priorities. Are you an audiophile that wants features like surround sound? Do you want the convenience of a wireless connection? If you dislike clutter, remember that some headsets can be used with multiple devices, like a PC and console. While no one probably will use the microphone for high-end recording, gamers still want clear sound. The ability to detach the mic is a nice feature.
No one headset is perfect, but all of the headphones on our list are feature-rich and have great sound. They’re all comfortable and well made, and we think they’re all excellent choices as the best gaming headset available.
Cool Features: Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense
In addition to being comfortable and sturdy, the Razer Kraken V3 Hypersense includes haptic feedback for your ears. In theory, this allows you to really pinpoint those sneaky enemies above and around you. Although I found it a little hit-or-miss, it’s a cool feature when it works. The Razer Kraken V3 has a detachable microphone. It also has RGB lights that sync with Razer mice.
These are closed ear headphones. Although they don’t have noise cancellation, they do a good job of blocking the outside world anyway. They connect via a USB cable, which means they can be used with both PC and consoles. The only drawback for console users is that the cable is a little short.
Best All Around: Turtle Beach Recon 500
The Turtle Beach Recon 500 shares many features with the Razer Kraken V3. It is closed ear design with beefy 60mm drivers and a detachable mic. The earcups are marginally less luxurious than those of the Razer, but the headset is a little lighter. It’s a great fit if you wear glasses, too.
Instead of a USB connection, the Recon 500 uses a quality braided cable and a 3.5mm jack. This makes the headphones incredibly versatile. You can plug them into your laptop or mobile devices, or into your controller’s audio port.
Most Versatile: Epos H3 Hybrid
Our reviewer called the Epos H3 the “swiss army knife of headsets.” The reason? These headphones can cover just about any situation. They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, or using the 3.5mm cable. This means they work with all your gear, so they’re a great solution if you just want one set of cans.
They sound fantastic will all kinds of games and music. The only drawbacks might be the price — they’re more expensive than the others on our list, but still reasonable — and might be more suited for users with smaller heads.
Budget Wireless: HyperX CloudX Stinger Core
The HyperX CloudX Stinger Core has better than decent sound for a budget price. It has a dynamic driver and a frequency response of 10Hz-21kHz, a closed ear design, and is lightweight. The build quality isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other headphones on our list, but it still feels sturdy. The microphone is not detachable but flips out of the way when not in use.
This is a strictly wireless set of headphones, and only pairs with Xbox. It comes with a short charging cable, and boasts an impressive 17 hours of use on one charge.
Best Wireless for Xbox: LucidSound LS35X Wireless Surround Sound
Although it syncs wirelessly with Xbox Series X/S, the LucidSound LS35X also includes a braided 3.5mm cable, making it useful beyond gaming. One cool feature is that the boom mic is detachable, but there is another, built in mic. This means the headset can be used plugged into a smartphone, and the controls are intuitive and easy to access.
The LS35X has crystal clear sound and, according to our reviewer is so comfortable that “I often forgot anything was resting on my noggin at all.” The only drawback to the headphones is the price. It’s the same as the Epos E3. If you’re primarily an Xbox gamer, though, we’d recommend this headset.
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