Best gaming headsets for PC
Audio is often the most underappreciated aspect of PC games. The quality of the audio can significantly impact how enjoyable a game is and even affect the outcome of a match. This is especially true of first-person shooters, where a high level of hearing is essential for avoiding ambushes.
Audio can also enhance the game’s overall mood, making it more immersive and exciting. It can enhance the environment’s depth and realism by adding sounds like a wooden door creaking or leaves rustling in the wind. When used with music and sound effects, audio in narrative-driven games can increase the narrative’s emotional impact by evoking tension, excitement, or melancholy.
The quality of your headsets significantly impacts your gaming experience and your immersion. There is a long list of headsets that can take your gaming experience to the next level.
This guide will help you compare gaming headsets in a more detailed and user-friendly way to find the best and right headset for your needs and budget.
Razer BlackShark V2
● Driver: TriForce Titanium 50mm driver
● Impedance: 32 Ohms
● Frequency response: 12 – 28,000 Hz
● Microphone frequency: 100 – 10,000 Hz
● Connectivity: Wired 3.5mm and USB connectivity
● Compatibility: PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and mobile devices
● THX Spatial audio
● Advanced mic control features
● Price: $100
Razer possibly made the best decision making this headset considering how comfortable the ear muffs are, and it easily stays on for hours without causing any discomfort. Razer BlackShark V2 gets to keep the number one throne for being budget-friendly, quality-oriented, and for an easy-to-use software interface.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha’s higher frequencies are more clearly separated when using the THX software, but the BlackShark V2’s midrange is fuller, and its bass notes are smoother. Using the headset can also prevent the bass, midrange, and treble tones from affecting one another using the 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers outfitted with discrete ports.
The result is a sound quality that is on par with HyperX’s 50mm dual-chamber neodymium headset and considerably better than a regular headset you’d find online. The design is pleasing and admirable to those who love the gaming techy aesthetic.
One of the BlackShark V2’s most notable features is the sound, which is far superior to what you’ll get with most other sets at this price point. The headset may not be on the same level as other professional headsets with expensive drivers. Still, the combination of TriForce drivers and software makes it significantly better than most ordinary headsets.
The best part about this headset is that it also has a wireless variant with lag-free connectivity. The gaming experience on it is far better than when you have restricted movement. You can find the wireless version for $121 on Amazon and the wired for just under $100.
The Razer BlackShark V2 is a fantastic option for gamers on a tight budget who want a cozy, high-quality headset with a simple software interface. The sound quality is comparable to that of more expensive headsets, and the midrange and bass notes are smoother than they are with the HyperX Cloud Alpha, thanks to the 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers with discrete ports.
The aesthetics of the design are pleasing to the eye and ideal for gamers. The BlackShark V2’s superior sound quality surpasses most headsets in its price range, is one of its most impressive features. Additionally, the wireless version of the headset offers lag-free connectivity, greatly enhancing the gaming experience. The Razer BlackShark V2 is a superb headset that offers a high-quality audio experience at a reasonable cost.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
● Driver: 50mm dynamic driver with neodymium magnets
● Impedance: 62 Ohms
● Frequency response: 15 – 21,000 Hz
● Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wireless connectivity
● Compatibility: PC, console, and Nintendo
● Software: HyperX NGenuity
● Battery life: 300 hours
● Price: $195.99
HyperX Cloud Alpha is perhaps a better option if you have the money to spend on a headset that is even better than Razer BlackShark V2. The 50mm neodymium magnet driver is on another level in terms of delivery of sound quality. The sound quality is amazing when you want to listen to music and vibe to hard beats.
I was impressed with the results when I picked it up for a few hours of the Apex session and realized how amazing it sounded. The directional sound accurately pin-points the location of enemies nearby. Even though the game has a horrible audio issue, the directional sound holds up against the basic whereabouts of the enemies. I’m totally impressed by how immersive it sounds compared to cheap headsets.
Although, I’m not impressed by how the mic picks up audio considering the price point. It works just fine for basic communication, but other than that, you may need to purchase an external mic or look for other options. Having said that, they are pricey but reasonable given their features, and they provide every feature you could want for the best PC gaming headset and music playback. The more you think about quality and longevity, the budget should be expected to go up.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro
Key features and Spec:
● 30 hours of battery life
● Driver: 40mm neodymium drivers
● Impedance: 38 Ohms
● Frequency response: 10 – 40,000 Hz wired frequency and 10 – 22,000 wireless low-latency frequency
● Microphone: Bidirectional noise cancelling
● Connectivity: Wireless 2.4GHz connectivity and Wired USB and 3.5mm connectivity
● Software: SteelSeries GG Sonar
● Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and smartphones.
● Price: $349
SteelSeries is aiming for the top with the release of their Arctis Nova Pro wireless headset. The headset was designed with a minimalist vibe, with its sound quality designed to create an immersive experience handling casual conversation to music and high-end gaming. The best part is their feature that allows users to connect multiple devices simultaneously.
Multi-system connect feature can simultaneously connect up to two devices, where you play music on one device and a game on the other. A revolutionary feat that no other headsets provide at that level. You can always stay connected to both your PlayStation 5 and your PC thanks to the two USB Type-C ports, a 3.5mm line in and out jack, and a ‘first in pro wireless gaming headset’ multi-system connection.
The build quality is meant to last. Most gaming headsets, on the other hand, feel plasticky for the most part. SteelSeries made it to cover a broader audience with broader interests, not just to game or listen to music. The commitment is visible when you bring the headset up close and personal.
The best part about the design is its versatility allows you to swap batteries and mic. Arctis Nova also has impressive active noise cancellation over-cancellation capabilities for input and output audio.
The best thing about SteelSeries is their software Sonar which has some advanced customizable options to make your game even more immersive. There are a bunch of presets in the software based on games you play to help you capitalize on spatial awareness.
The best part about Sonar is that it highlights which parts of the equalizer are related to different types of audio in the game, i.e., footsteps, knock, heal, etc.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless headset is an elite wireless gaming headset with outstanding features and specifications. This headset is ideal for gamers and music lovers, thanks to its simplistic design and superb sound quality. One of the most notable features is the ability to connect up to two devices simultaneously and play music on one while playing games on another.
The construction is strong and long-lasting, and the noise-cancelling abilities for the input and output audio are impressive. Sonar’s advanced customisation options and game-specific presets enhance the immersive gaming experience. Despite its hefty price tag, the $350 Arctis Nova Pro wireless headset is worthwhile for those who value immersive gaming and high-quality audio. All-in-all, better alternatives cost far less than what SteelSeries is charging.
EPOS H3PRO Hybrid
Key features and specs:
● Driver: 40mm Neodymium
● Impedance: 32 Ohms
● Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
● Microphone frequency: Bidirectional boom mic, 100 – 7500 Hz
● Connectivity: Wireless Dongle, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-A, and 3.5mm jack
● Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X/S
● Price: $279
The most expensive contender in the list is EPOS H3PRO Hybrid which checks all the boxes for what a gaming headset should have. The only drawback is its cost; the audio quality makes up for it. The sound quality is different compared to other gaming headsets in the market. EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is suitable for long gaming sessions, hours of gaming sessions, has ANC, great sound quality, and a lightweight build for a comfortable fit.
The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid, like many of the company’s most recent wireless gaming headsets now, offers several extra features through the EPOS Gaming Suite companion app. The app offers features similar to SteelSeries’ Sonar, such as creating presets based on EQ changes.
The companion app had many issues that seemed to have been fixed with the release of H3PRO. Additionally, the app can help you swap between stereo and virtual 7.1. You can turn off the headset’s auto-sleep feature and choose whether pressing the Bluetooth button toggles EQ presets or surround sound on the settings page.
The headset’s frequency response should work well for virtually any gaming experience. The sub-bass dip may make the rumble of nearby explosions slightly less intense, but you may find that to your liking. The headset’s under-emphasis may be an advantage to help you gain awareness on hearing quieter sounds like distant footsteps, especially in FPS games.
The EPOS Gaming Suite app offers the versatility to tweak these frequencies to your liking to help adjust. When talking about non-gaming audio quality, the sound quality does comparably better in most cases. Almost everything is audible, including the vocals, the droning synth, the bass, and the guitar.
The drawbacks of H3PRO start with its costly price tag and unreasonable long battery life in usage with a 3.5mm connection. Besides that, the headset performs considerably better than most other headsets and checks all the boxes for anyone who wants to spend money on quality.
The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is a superb gaming headset that provides excellent sound quality and a variety of features that meet the needs of gamers. Although it may be expensive, the audio quality and build quality make the purchase worthwhile. In addition to offering more customization options to fine-tune the audio output, the companion app is lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Despite its unjustified use of battery life, the H3PRO is still an excellent option for gamers who want the best audio experience. The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid offers gamers a premium audio experience and stands out among the best gaming headsets.
Logitech G Pro X
Key features and specs:
● Driver: Neodymium 50mm driver
● Impedance: 35 Ohms
● Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
● Connectivity: Wired connectivity and Wireless variants available
● Compatibility: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch
● Blue VO!CE microphone with great audio quality and background isolation
For gamers who place a high priority on both comfort and performance, the Logitech G Pro X gaming headset is a great option. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, its sleek black design distinguishes it from the competition with a flexible headband, soft foam, and comfortable earcups. Comfort is crucial when comparing gaming headsets, considering gaming sessions can last hours.
The Logitech G Pro X is the ideal gaming headset for PC or console use because it produces excellent sound. An added bonus is the integrated microphone in partnership with Blue, which is marketed as Blue VO!CE, which offers crystal-clear voice chat for those streaming to an audience or playing with friends: a great collaboration and a steal for gamers who wants to communicate clearly with their teammates. The best part is that the headset can give accurate directional awareness, which is crucial in FPS games.
Considering the price point of $130, the headset is a steal for anyone who wants to experience games on a small budget. Additionally, if you have more to spend, a wireless alternative offers a similar experience to a wired connection.
Unfortunately, even at this price point, it has a few drawbacks—starting with overreliance on software, making the console experience much less enjoyable than the full PC headset. Although, the software is on point granting various tools to customize your gaming experience.
These are some of the best gaming headsets for PC in 2023. The choice of headsets completely depends on various factors, including the type of game you’re playing. An excellent gaming headset can significantly increase your immersion and enjoyment in the game.
Audio quality is an essential part of the pc gaming headset experience. The Razer BlackShark V2 is a great option for those on a tight budget because it has a straightforward software interface and impressive sound quality. On the other hand, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless offers even better sound quality, making it a great option for audiophiles willing to spend a little bit more.
The battery lasts ages for HyperX. The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, a premium option with outstanding sound quality, adaptable connectivity options, and features like Sonar software that can improve your spatial awareness in games, is the last one to mention. To find the ideal gaming headset for your needs, it is crucial to consider your budget, sound quality preferences, and comfort level.
But if I were given the option to choose among these beasts, I’d go with EPOS H3PRO Hybrid based on the value provided at that price point. The sound quality plays very well, the connectivity option is almost limitless, and the design was meant for hours of use without feeling any discomfort around the ears. In my opinion, EPOS H3PRO is the best gaming headset for PC.
How we test gaming headsets
Testing gaming headsets are among our favourite things to do here at TechRadar. They might not be as exciting as the latest graphics cards or gaming PCs, but they can be just as fun to try and appraise.
During such a test, we first look at the design aspects, checking to see if the gaming headset is as robust and comfortable as possible. We also check how responsive and accessible its controls are. We also test the connectivity, range, and battery life if wireless, ensuring it delivers as promised or better. We test the cable’s length, durability, and flexibility if wired.
Finally, we test the sound quality – just how balanced it is and how to present all the frequencies are- and the soundstage and sound imaging to see just how immersive and accurate they are. We test these out on games as well as music and movies.
We then take everything we’ve learned about the gaming headset and compare it to its price – whether or not its performance and features are worth that price tag and whether or not it offers the best value to customers.