A gaming headset is not needed, per se. Because of this, they’re one of the most overlooked pieces of gaming equipment.
Yet, a good gaming headset can make the difference between complete situational awareness and being caught off guard. Between a frustrating inability to coordinate as a team and pulling off a delicately pieced together strategy where one mistake would’ve spelled utter failure. Between watching the game and actually feeling like you’re in the action.
If you’re interested in what the best gaming headset can bring to the table, then continue reading and see our gaming headset reviews for the ten best PC headsets on the market today.
How to Pick the Best Gaming Headset For Your Needs
There are a nearly limitless number of factors you could look at when considering what headset might be best for you. However, for simplicity’s sake we’ve narrowed it down to a few main factors.
Sound Quality & Frequency Response
The first and probably most obvious factor to consider is how they sound. While every pair of headphones are tuned differently, one good way to separate the best gaming headphones from the crowd is by looking at the frequency response.
Frequency response is simply a measurement of the range of frequencies a given headset is capable of producing where the first number represents the deepest bass frequency and the second number represents the highest frequency.
Humans can generally hear sounds within the range of 20Hz all the way up to 20kHz, so you likely won’t find any headsets with frequency responses narrower than that; although, there are many that have ranges broader than that. A wider frequency response has two benefits.
First, they will be able to produce sounds within the range of human hearing much more easily and accurately. Headphones with a wide frequency range will avoid the tell tale crackle that lower end headphones have when they are struggling to produce heavy bass or high pitch noises.
Secondly, while you may not be able to literally hear very low or very high frequencies, you can certainly feel them. A headset that can produce sub-bass noises below 20Hz will make explosions and gunfire in games feel distinctly punchier and more visceral.
The second factor many people will consider is comfort. Unfortunately, this is largely subjective. For instance, if you have small ears, you are less likely to have over-ear headphone cups actually resting on part of your ear.
Likewise, a person with a larger head might find the “one size fits all band” to be too tight even when adjusted to the max setting. Fortunately, there are some things we can tell you to look for.
Most people will find the most comfortable gaming headsets to be ones that use memory foam padding. This material is perfect for headphones and is able to retain its shape and softness for years. The Sennheiser GSP 300s and the Corsair Void Pros both use memory foam padding. Both of these headsets also use breathable fabric to keep you cool under pressure.
Moreover, you’ll want to look out for weight, since most people feel that it correlates closely to long term comfort. Usually around 12 oz is a nice sweet spot. Notably, this is the weight of the headset that I use (and about the weight of the editor’s headphones, as well).
Microphone quality can also be hard to quantify as every microphone is very different and will make every sound different. That being said, if you’re looking for the best mic possible and want crystal clear sound, the Sennheiser GSP 300 is the best headset for the job. Sennheiser has a long history making audio equipment, and they put that history to good use with this headset.
The final thing that most people will want to consider is whether the headset they’re planning to purchase has surround sound. Surround sound can be incredibly important while gaming.
Most games these days, especially competitive shooters, have very precise directional sound coded into the engine of the game. These sound cues can give you vital information as to which direction an enemy is coming from, and where they are moving.
Many of the best PC headphones on this list boast Dolby 7.1 or THX 7.1 surround capability. The Corsair Void Pros and Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrums have very strong directional sound with Dolby 7.1 while the Razer headphones on our list use THX 5.1 or 7.1 surround depending on the settings you configure.
Both are excellent for determining where enemies are and offer an immersive experience, but most people prefer the THX surround and find it to be more accurate.