Getting the best gaming headset doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Rather there are plenty of budget gaming headsets that incorporate fantastically comfortable designs. What’s more they can offer a surprising array of audio features for surround sound and enhanced sound, and most importantly a decent microphone for above potato quality team chat. Memory foam, sizable speaker drivers, metal construction, clear microphones, virtual surround sound, and even wireless connectivity, it can all be had with a surprising number of budget gaming headset.
While there are so many available options, we’ve cut through the fluff to find and test the best options for you. These inexpensive options offer a ton of value for around $100 or less. Whether you’re playing on an Xbox Series X/S or PS5, or a gaming PC, we’ve picked out some truly outstanding budget options so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re browsing in the UK, click here to find out where you can to find the best budget gaming headsets.
TL; DR – These are the Best Budget Gaming Headsets:
1. SteelSeries Arctis 1
Best Budget Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Nintendo Switch, Mobile ● PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Nintendo Switch, Mobile ● Interface: Interface: wired ● wired ● Connections:Connections: 3.5mm audio cable ● 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 40mm neodymium ● Frequency response:Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: Surround sound modes: 2.0 ● 2.0 ● Weight:Weight: 272g 272g On a tight budget, you really can’t do better than the SteelSeries Arctis 1 (read our review). This headset isn’t doing anything wild, like tossing in 7.1-channel surround sound or delivering Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, and wired connection. But, for just $50, it’s offering an exceptional experience for gamers.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 takes design cues from the rest of the Arctis line, though it’s ditched the suspension headband design for a lower-profile approach with a simple cushioned headband and size-adjustment sliders. That said, it does feature spacious earcups and 40mm neodymium drivers like the other headset in this series, and it even offers the same Airweave fabric on its ear cushions for breathability and comfort. The headset delivers solid sound from just about any source that uses a 3.5mm headset jack, and your teammates will appreciate clear voice comms from you through the ClearCast microphone.
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2. Corsair HS35
Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Switch, Mobile ● Interface: wired ● Connections: 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 50mm neodymium ● Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: 2.0 ● Weight: 250gCorsair launched its very first ultra-cheap gaming headset, the HS35 (read our review), recently and it’s extremely good, especially for its $35 price. It’s only a stereo headset, so there’s no fancy surround sound, but you can’t really ask for more from this extremely low price point.
It fully cross-platform though, so you can use it on PC, consoles, and even your phone/tablet. Its large 50mm drivers deliver an expansive soundstage. Its flexible boom mic also delivers great sound quality and it’s Discord Certified too. That all said, the audio balance of the HS35 is only so-so due and the bass can be a little too heavy for my taste. There’s some give and take, but you won’t find a cheaper quality gaming headset than this.
3. Xbox Wireless Headset
Best Budget Xbox Gaming Headset
Compatibility: Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PC, Mobile ● Interface: Wireless, wired ● Connections: Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, USB-C, 3.5mm ● Drivers: 40mm Neodymium ● Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphones:X ● Weight: 312gYou don’t have to spend a ton to get a good wireless gaming headset that’s going to work seamlessly with your Xbox Series S or X. The new Xbox Wireless Headset is built to connect directly with your Xbox using the Xbox Wireless protocol, so you won’t need any extra dongles or accessories cluttering your gaming setup. And, since it’s made specifically for the system, you’ll get to enjoy digital surround sound support in your games.
The Xbox Wireless Headset has all you need to get in the game. From its large over-ear headphones with 40mm speaker drives and its retractable boom mic, it’s got the hardware for you to hear the game and be heard by your teammates. If you want your headphones to do a little more than just game, you can also use these headphones with computers and mobile devices over Bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cables, letting you get that much more functionality for your money.
4. Razer BlackShark V2 X
Best Wired Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Switch, Mobile ● Interface: wired ● Connections: 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 50mm ● Frequency response: 12Hz – 28,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: 7.1 ● Weight: 240gThe Razer BlackShark V2 X is the more affordable version of the BlackShark V2 (read our review), as it cuts about half off the price off, but it doesn’t sacrifice too much in design or features. The BlackShark V2 X offers up a wired headset with a wider frequency response range than you’d typically find on a budget headset. And, even though it lacks the THX Spatial Audio of its premium sibling, it does still provide 7.1-channel surround sound through software for Windows devices.
This headset is designed with serious gameplay in mind, and that means it has to keep distractions at bay. So, in addition to its over-ear design that provides sound isolation, the design also has to remain comfortable through long play sessions. To that end, Razer has added thick padding to the headband and dense memory foam into each ear cup.
5. Corsair HS70 Pro
Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PC, PS4 ● Interface: wireless ● Connections: 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, Micro USB ● Drivers: 50mm Neodymium ● Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: 7.1 ● Battery life: 16 hours ● Weight: 331gThe Corsair HS70 (read our review) was one of the first cheap wireless gaming headsets, and it’s only gotten better with the upgrade to the HS70 Pro. You can use it for both PS4 and PC, with support for 7.1-channel surround sound on the latter.
You’re getting a well-crafted headset with a headband and ear cups that are both made of an incredibly plush memory foam material, so you won’t find many gaming headsets more comfortable than the Corsair HS70 Pro. If you want to go wireless and stay on budget, this is the best option for you.
6. SteelSeries Arctis 7X
Best Multi-Platform Budget Gaming Headset
Compatibility: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4/PS5, PC/Mac, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS● Interface: wireless, wired ● Connections: 2.4GHz wireless USB-C dongle, USB-C wired, 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 40mm Neodymium ● Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: 7.1 ● Battery Life: 24 hoursShort of using a wired connection, it can be pretty hard to get a good headset that’ll play nice with both sides of the console market. But, the SteelSeries Arctis 7X (read our review) will do just that. It’s not going to be as cheap as some of the other headsets on this list, but it’s nearly doing the impossible by supporting both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 – wait for it – wirelessly. Yep, that’s right. The SteelSeries Arctis 7X supports a wired connection if you need it, but the USB-C dongle will let you connect to the next-gen console of your choice wirelessly.
That alone is some serious value for a headset to offer, but the SteelSeries Arctis 7X doesn’t stop there. You’re also getting support for Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac. That’s thanks to a wide variety of connectivity options. Depending on which platform you’re on, you can even get virtual surround sound. All that, and it offers a comfortable design and a 24-hour battery life. (Note: the near-identical Arctis 7P does not support Xbox Series X.)
7. PDP LVL50 Wireless
Wireless Audio on the Cheap
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One ● Interface: wireless, wired ● Connections: 2.4GHz Wireless Dongle, 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 50mm Neodymium Drivers ● Surround sound modes: 2.0 ● Weight: 300gWith the PDP LVL50 (read our review), we’ve come to another affordable wireless gaming headset option. It’s a stand out $80 headset that’ll work with the Xbox One, PS4, and PC thanks to its dedicated wireless dongle that makes setup easy.
This pair of cans push out some seriously loud audio, to the point that we had to keep the volume nob at 50% most of the time. There’s no fancy surround sound here, but positional audio was still pretty good even with just stereo. The only thing holding back this wireless gaming headset is its all plastic and sometimes creaky build quality.
8. Sony Pulse 3D
Best Budget PS5 Gaming Headset
Compatibility: (Wireless) PS5, PS4, PC, Mac (Wired) Mobile ● Interface: wireless, wired ● Connections: 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, USB-C, 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 40mm Neodymium ● Surround sound modes: Tempest 3D ● Battery life: 12 hours ● Weight: 295gYou might expect a first-party product to cost extra, but the Sony Pulse 3D (read our review) headset is actually fairly affordable. At just $99, you’re getting a pair of wireless gaming headphones that are going to work seamlessly with your PS5. Considering wireless headsets aren’t too commonplace at this price point, these headphones become an even better offer.
The headset is designed for PS5 and will deliver Sony’s special blend of spatial sound through Tempest 3D audio, giving you a more realistic experience in games. The headset will also work with PS4, PC, and Mac wirelessly. With a 3.5mm audio cable and USB-C connection, it can support even more devices. With 12 hours of battery life, it may not be the most power-packed headset, but it should have enough juice to get you through a couple of long gaming sessions as long as you remember to recharge regularly. Of course, you can always just wire the headset into your controller if you run out of power.
9. HyperX Cloud Stinger S
Best Budget Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Mobile ● Interface: Wired ● Connections: 3.5mm Audio Jack, USB-A Dongle ● Drivers: 50mm Neodymium drivers ● Frequency response: 18Hz – 23,000Hz ● Surround sound modes: Virtual 7.1 (PC Only) ● Weight: 275gHyperX’s Cloud Stinger design continues to evolve, and with the Cloud Stringer S you get to level up the experience with virtual surround sound for a solid combination of comfort and audio. The HyperX Cloud Stinger S offers up a lightweight design at just 275 grams, so you’ll barely feel it on top of your head, but it’s still squeezing in 50mm drivers for powerful sound.
The headset can connect to almost any device using its 3.5mm audio cable, but that won’t give you the 7.1-channel surround sound experience. For that, you’ll need to connect to a Windows PC using HyperX’s USB dongle. Then you’ll really be getting the most out of the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. If you’re not gaming on PC, you can skip the surround sound and save a few bucks by going with the simple Cloud Stinger or even the cheaper Cloud Stinger Core.
10. Corsair HS60 Haptic
Best Budget Haptic Gaming Headset
Compatibility: PC ● Interface: Wired ● Connections: USB ● Drivers: 50mm Neodymium ● Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000HzHeadphones are great for getting full immersion in your games, particularly thanks to the positional audio you can get. But, most headphones lack the oomph to make you physically feel the sounds in the game – something a dedicated subwoofer can do in a speaker setup. Fortunately, haptic headsets are a thing, and Corsair’s HS60 Haptic is an affordable option.
This headset will connect to your PC over a USB connection and deliver the rumble from your games right into each ear cup with its haptic motors. Pair that with support for Windows Sonic surround sound, and you’ll get a bit of extra immersion that standard headphones wouldn’t offer. Corsair also takes pains to make sure its headsets are comfortable, and the Corsair HS60 Haptic has spacious ear cups and a headband with plenty of cushioning packed inside and a study build to help make sure this is a headset that’ll last.
Where to Get the Best Budget Gaming Headsets in the UK
Finding the right gaming headset can be a match made in heaven, but you don’t need to pay above and beyond to find your lucky set. Out of all the headsets we’ve tested on this list, every single one is available to pick up in the UK, and at a reasonable price. Whether it’s our favourite the SteelSeries Arctis 1, or the incredibly affordable Turtle Beach Recon 70, there is a headset ready and waiting for you. Don’t see the headsets below? Click here.
What to look for in a Budget Gaming Headset
We’ve picked out the cream of the crop when it comes to budget gaming headsets, but you can still run into a lot of bad apples. Here we’ll tell you about a few things you should expect from this market of cheap gaming headsets including build and sound quality.
Of the budget gaming headsets we’ve tested, we found that build quality can run the gamut between flimsy and cheap to super sturdy to the point of being almost too heavy. Of course, you’ll also get better build quality as you move up the price scale—less molded plastic and more metal. If you can check out these gaming headsets in store, be sure to not just put them on but give them a decent stretch (without snapping them in half!) and see if it creaks at all.
Although you will find scratchy fabric ear cups on some models, you’ll also encounter smooth synthetic leather and soft fabric, too. When it comes to leather vs fabric, it all comes down to your preference, but know that leather offers more sound isolation while fabrics are more breathable. Also be on the lookout for memory-foam padding as it offers the cushiest, most comfortable fit against your head.
Sound quality can be impressive across the board, though the tendency we found across the category was to favor low frequencies instead of highs or mids. You’ll get cleaner highs and better separation between mid and low frequencies in the midrange gaming headsets or higher class peripherals.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
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