If you’re a gamer, then you know what a difference the quality of your equipment makes. You need a gaming mouse that is precise and reliable, a gaming monitor with the lowest response time possible, a gaming computer that will let you run your game at the highest possible frame rate, and a gaming headset that will let you hear someone sneaking up behind you.
A good headset will do so much to improve your gameplay. Not only does a headset let you hear what’s going on around you, but it will also give you a crystal clear line of communication to the rest of the people on your team. The best headsets around offer directional sound and incredible audio quality, but it can be tough to find the best one when there are so many great products on the market.
Which one is right for you? Which one will work best with your gaming style? We’ve amassed a selection of the top headsets around, with each one offering something slightly different. While every single headset won’t be right for every person, one of the ones that we’ve featured below will be right for you.
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Astro A50 Gaming Headset
The A50 is an incredible headset; there is no doubt about it. Right out of the box, it works with pretty much any current or next-gen system that you have. PC compatibility is a given, but it’s also going to work with your Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4.
On top of its compatibility with pretty much anything that you can play a game on, the top feature of the A50 is that it’s wireless. That’s right, when you’re playing your favorite game and want to go grab a drink; you’re not going to trip over a headset cable when you do it.
We all know that wireless operation is a great way to simplify your setup, but poor quality headsets will have lag issues that can be a huge problem for any serious gamer. The ASTRO A50 Gaming Headset doesn’t have any of these problems, as the team at Astro is made up of seasoned gamers who have worked to make sure that your wireless audio is as lag free as possible.
The 7.1 surround sound and awesome wireless sound don’t come cheap, as this headset will set you back just under $300. However, if you spend hours every week playing video games and you really want to get the best possible experience, that $300 will absolutely be worth it.
Mad Catz FREQ 7 Gaming Headset
Like Astro and many other names on this list, Mad Catz is a company founded by gamers, for gamers. They have worked hard to make products that stand out from the crowd, and the FREQ 7 definitely does that. The sharp lines on this headset make it look like a Lamborghini, and the audio performance doesn’t hold it back either.
Its rich, immersive 3D sound will help you hear every creak, gunshot, and message from your teammates, and the wraparound ear cups will let you enjoy the audio in comfort.
If you live in a noisy home (or next to a construction site), there is one feature that you and your squad mates will definitely like about the Mad Catz: the detachable noise cancelling microphone. It’s detachable so you can take it off when you’re playing a single player game, but when you need to yell at your friend, you can do it with crystal clear clarity. If you’ve ever heard someone try and talk to you in a game while blasting rap music in the background, you’ll understand just how annoying background noise can be to your gaming experience.
Unlike the A50, this headset isn’t wireless, so you will have a cord that you have to deal with a cord, but you will be able to pick this up for right around $200, a 30% discount to the A50.
Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven Gaming Headset
Every one of the gaming headsets on this list has to do one important thing: balance audio quality with great looks. Having a headset with two huge cups on the side looks pretty bad, but high-end audio processing equipment isn’t small either. The team at Turtle Beach knows this and has designed a headset that gives you the best of both worlds.
The Ear Force XP is a top of the line, tournament-grade headset. That’s right, you will actually see players wearing them at tournaments, and there is a great reason for it. Turtle Beach, unlike the previous two headsets, uses a separate audio processor that sits on your desk to enhance and personalize your audio. If you like your games with more or less bass, want to raise or lower the chat volume relative to the rest of the game sounds, or just see if muting certain aspects of the game helps your score, this headset will let you do it.
Not only is this a very well designed headset, but it’s also a great looking one too. From the diamond stitching on the headband to the logo on the side, every aspect of the headset has been designed to perfection. At $270, you’re looking at spending almost as much as the A50 for a wired headset, but you are also getting one of the best headsets on the market, and something that is used by many professional gamers around the world.
Logitech G930 Gaming Headset
Logitech is the one company on this list that isn’t entirely focused on gaming, and that’s a testament the quality that they can bring to an area of the audio business that isn’t their specialty.
If the Mad Catz headset is the Lamborghini of this list, then the Logitech G930 is the corporate lawyer in the power suit. This headset doesn’t mess around; with 7.1 surround sound and wireless operation, you are getting a lot of oomph when you put the G930 on.
Also similarly to the Mad Catz model, this headset has noise cancelling on the microphone, which is a major plus. One thing that definitely separates the G930 from other headsets on the list is the fact that you’ll only pay a little over $100 for it. At $108.99, you are truly getting a great deal on a very nice headset, but there are a few things that you miss out on over the headsets listed above.
While you do get surround sound and noise cancelling, everything from the audio quality to the build quality is just good. Having a good audio experience is much better than using your TV’s audio or the built in speakers on your computer, but it’s not going to blow you away by any means.
In short, if you want a headset that will be a major step up, but aren’t prepared to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on your audio solution, this is your choice. If you are prepared to make an investment it something that will really rock, then some of the headsets on this list may suit you better.
Razer Tiamat Elite 7.1 Gaming Headset
Like them or not, Razer has become synonymous with gaming. The Razer line of products was one of the first that really brought gaming accessories to a whole new level, and they are often the first choice for gamers when they are first looking at gaming accessories.
The Tiamet Elite boasts the first “true” 7.1 surround sound. We aren’t going to go into too much detail on that because it’s a tough claim to substantiate, but we can say that these headsets look and sound incredible.
Razer has gone with the black and green look, something that Razer fans should be used to by now. They have also added a customizable audio processor to their headset, similar to the Turtle Beach model. This helps to amplify the sound and it allows you to modify the sound levels before they hit your headset, something that can really improve your gaming experience if you take the time to set it up right.
At $200, they are also at a reasonable price point for gaming headsets. They aren’t as cheap as the G930, but you will also get better sound and build quality, on par with the Mad Catz model. We included these in here because they are a great headset, and a good option for someone looking for a great, moderately priced headset that looks like it was taken off the set of The Matrix.
These are only some of the headsets that are out there today, but they represent a collection of the best gaming products that the industry has to offer today. No matter what type of gamer you are, you will find something on this list that will suit both your audio preferences and budget.