The best headset should be both comfortable, lightweight and reliable, as well as sound quality in the speakers, a noise-canceling microphone and compatibility with your gaming devices.
Choosing a gaming headset is a very responsible moment. The choice of the best model determines the quality of sound you will hear for years to come.
And if you don’t know what to look for, here I have tried to help you.
Very rarely do gaming sessions last for a short time. In the vast majority of cases, we spend two to four hours on a single video game session, and during this time we want to get the maximum pleasure or just relax. But how to do it, if your headsets continually fail you, bringing a discomfort of various types? And in order to understand how to choose the headset, this material was created.
What to pay attention to when choosing gaming headset
The first thing is to identify the most common problems with headset, from which we will further start.
- Build quality and materials;
- Type of headphones;
- The presence and quality of the microphone;
- The maximum volume and sound quality;
- Sound channel;
- Cups size and type;
- Availability of additional features or specialized software;
- Connection methods;
- Devices to which the headset can be connected.
Of course, this list of criteria probably looks a bit bulky. However, for greater convenience, it can be divided into design and technical criteria. And let’s start with the first.
Main features of the best gaming headset
The quality of construction and materials plays a far-reaching role in determining whether or not you will be comfortable with a particular headset. And in general there are no secrets here. Try to avoid options that are made of cheap plastic. This is almost one hundred percent a losing option. Plastic headset, on the other hand, can really be trusted.
But still pay attention to exactly what quality it feels like, how dense it is, and how much it scratches. If, for example, a fingernail does not leave a trace, or if there is a minimal trace that can be easily removed, it means that the plastic is of high quality. Also, plastic is usually much more durable, and in terms of appearance restrained, because most of the headset is made of it matte.
But you should not trust the material alone. Pay close attention to the quality of the assembly, namely, how and how parts of the headset are fastened, there are no strong backlashes, visible to the naked eye gaps between the parts, and they do not squeak at the slightest attempt to twist. If the version you choose does not pass these criteria, then it is very likely that they will not last long.
Type of headset
Some people mistakenly think that a headset has no effect at all on your enjoyment of the game, because “you have sound? That’s good!” That’s why many people and take the in-canal, or in-ear headphones. Especially people are misled by streamers and youtubers, who play that type of headset. In fact, these options for any self-respecting gamer who wants to relax, or just enjoy your favorite game, just do not fit.
These types of headsets have mostly very low sound insulation, as well as less quality and pronounced sound. Of course, in-channel options are able to provide a little higher quality and sound insulation, but they still do not become good for gaming.
The most important problem that puts an end to them as a gaming headset is that your ears get tired in them extremely quickly. This fact will not allow you to spend long gaming sessions with pleasure, comfort and in a relaxed state. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to the full-size and overhead headsets.
For the vast majority of gamers (96%) it is important what type of headset they would like to have.
See also: Best Wired Headset for PS4
Of course, not every game you need a microphone. However, if you want to play with your friends, or to sit down for a competitive project with the need for cooperation, you will need a microphone. So when choosing a headset, pay attention to the type of mounting – whether it is fixed, movable or removable. The best option is the latter two, because you can remove the microphone in case you do not need it at the moment. Well, a headset with a microphone in a wire and did not even worth considering.
Microphone noise cancellation is also an extremely important thing, and it’s easy. It is there – good. Not having it is bad, but it is not a critical flaw. Also you probably want to be able to hear you clearly and without interference. Therefore pay attention to the frequency range, the upper limit of which should be no less than 14 000 Hz. It is also a good idea to have a quick disconnect button on your headset. In some cases it is really very useful.
Microphone quality is a priority for only half of gamers.
See also: Best Headset With Noise Cancelling Microphone
Cups size and type
This criterion is quite simple, but still quite individual. Our ears and skull size are different, so some headsets may sit comfortably on your friend’s head, but you may feel uncomfortable after 30 minutes. That’s why the best choice is to go to a store where you can try on the model you like and see if it fits you personally.
But in general, if you want to sit for a long time and have a lot of fun playing games, look for full-size headsets with open ear cushions. They will provide maximum comfort during long gaming sessions. If you wear glasses and don’t want your headset to crush your skull with the ear pads, consider the open type.
If you are primarily concerned about noise isolation and excellent sound quality and purity, in that case choose the headset with closed type ear cushions. Yes, the majority of people will feel discomfort after an hour, but, as it was said before, the isolation from external sounds will not increase the sound quality, but will make you feel more comfortable while listening to the content. But keep in mind that you will have to give your ears a rest every couple of hours.
And yes, pay attention to the diameter of the cups. The larger your ear, the larger diameter you need. Also pay attention to what kind of cushioning is used. If they are leatherette, there is a good chance that they will start to peel and fall off after a couple of months. Of course, leatherette can be good quality and in this case all is well, but in expensive models often leather or fabric is used, which is an excellent, reliable and comfortable choice.
According byReyus researches, slightly more than half of the respondents considered the size of the headset cups important in their purchase.
Editor’s choice: Best Wireless Headsets for Gaming of 2023
The most common type of connection is 3.5 mm jack, which, despite its popularity, is not the best choice for serious gamers. However, it all depends on the manufacturer. The best choices are USB 3.1, USB 3.2, USB-C, connection with an adapter, and Bluetooth. However, don’t be intimidated by the 3.5mm connection either. It means versatility in connectivity.
And yes, don’t be afraid of Bluetooth headsets either, because today they really are no worse than wired ones. On the contrary, they have a lot of advantages, but only if the connection provides at least Bluetooth 5.1. And you don’t have to worry about delays. If you get a quality model from a trusted manufacturer, then you will not encounter any delay.
Gamers know that the compatibility of the headset with a gaming console or gaming PC/laptop is a key factor when buying a headset.
Read also How to Plug in Headset to PC
Weight is the easiest criterion for choosing a headset, because the lighter the headset, the better. The lighter the headset, the longer you’ll be able to sit in them, because it’s the weight that puts a strain on your neck and ears. And besides it’s unpleasant to feel the weight on your head for a long time. So the lighter the headset, the better. But the most technological variants weigh a lot, and you should be ready for it.
No gamers are capricious when it comes to the weight of the headset.
Maximum volume and sound quality
Moving on to the technical criteria, you should start with the volume and sound quality. But how do you determine this before unpacking the headset? To do so, pay attention to sensitivity, impedance, the presence of noise cancellation, and the frequency range. Sensitivity is a parameter that directly affects the volume. A quality headset has a minimum value of 90 dB.
The impedance allows you to define and adjust the audio mode that will work with the headset. The impedance also has a direct impact on the sensitivity index. This parameter should be at least 30 ohms if you do not want to miscalculate with the choice. The frequency range determines, roughly speaking, how much sound the headset can reproduce. The wider the range, the better. Well, about noise reduction is nothing to talk about, because everyone knows what it is. If it is present, it is very good.
The clarity and strength of the gaming headset sound is important to most respondents.
Additional features or specialized software
Due to the fact that gaming devices and accessories are the most technically advanced, manufacturers produce special software with which we can configure everything. And when choosing a good gaming headset this is also worth paying attention to. If the headset has its own PC application, you can be sure that you can adjust almost every aspect that is possible to change: from bass depth to backlighting.
This is an extremely important point if you want to connect your headset not only to your PC, but to your console as well. The fact is that not all headsets can be connected to consoles. And if in the case of wired headsets this problem can somehow be solved, then with Bluetooth headsets everything is much more complicated. Only certified, designed specifically to work with consoles, headsets can connect to them wirelessly. More often than not, this information is indicated on the box.
Final word from Reyus
Admittedly, only the best and quite expensive headsets can combine all of these parameters. However, in most cases, you can find a compromise in the matter of price and quality by choosing the model that suits you best at a reasonable price.
I also recommend checking out my research in Best Affordable Gaming Headsets, as well as Best Xbox One headsets for those who play mostly on that console.