We often think about a quality gaming experience in terms of resolution, frame rates, and how high we’re able to dial our graphics settings. While visuals on your gaming monitors are important so is what we hear through our headphones. Few things can ruin an experience as deeply as bad audio. An overly compressed video might still be watchable if the audio is clear, but try watching a clear video with audio that’s clipping or out of sync is far worse. Matters are only worse in games, where a bad audio experience can hurt your ears with sounds that take a sudden turn toward explosive or enemies that you can’t hear until it’s too late.

A quality gaming headset can help ensure these audio issues won’t be a concern of yours. The best wired and wireless headsets will use quality materials to deliver crisp and clear audio. Some feature custom equalizers and surround sound so you can really tune your audio experience for an edge in gaming. We’ve rounded up the best gaming headsets from budget to premium and wired to wireless, so you can find the best option. If you’re browsing in the UK, click here to find out where you can go to find the best gaming headsets.

TL;DR – These are our picks for the Best Gaming Headsets:

1. HyperX Cloud Orbit S

Best Gaming Headset

The combination of decent speaker drivers and a quality mic is vital in a gaming headset, but few go to the lengths of the HyperX Cloud Orbit S (read our review) in ensuring the audio experience is as good as it can be. This headset goes the extra mile by using planar magnetic technology to deliver a 100mm driver that can pump out sound with incredible accuracy and an extra-wide frequency response range from 10Hz all the way up to 50,000Hz.

The audiophile sound is further complemented in games by Waves NX technology, which offers directional sound through head tracking on PC, so you can turn your head when you hear a noise to your side and you’ll get even clearer sound from that side. The HyperX Cloud Orbit S will let you enjoy this powerful audio experience on just about any platform as it can connect over a USB-C, USB-A, or a 3.5mm cable.

2. Razer Barracuda X

Best Budget Gaming Headset

Razer Barracuda X

The Razer Barracuda X makes affordability feel premium. This gaming headset comes in at just $100, but it’s going to make it easy to get your money’s worth. For one thing, this headset supports a broad range of devices. Better still, it supports a bunch of those devices with a 2.4GHz wireless connection using a USB-C dongle. That’ll let you get low-latency, wireless audio from a PC, Nintendo Switch, many Android devices, and PS5 or PS4. For everything else, there’s also a backup 3.5mm connection.

The Razer Barracuda X has a lightweight build at just 250g and keeps things discreet with an all-black design, a low-profile headband, and even a removable boom mic. The earcups also have a breathable, FlowKnit material. Razer tops things off with support for virtual 7.1-channel surround sound on PC. You’d think there might be a few cut corners or missing features at this price point, but Razer didn’t even settle for a lackluster battery life, as these headphones can run for 20 hours.

3. SteelSeries Arctis 7X

The Best Wireless Headset

SteelSeries Arctis 7X

SteelSeries just keeps making its Arctis 7 headset better. It was good to start, it got upgraded in 2019, and now the SteelSeries Arctis 7X (see our review) raises the bar again. Although, this time it’s not just one headset. In fact, there is an Arctis 7X and an Arctis 7P. They’re fundamentally the same headset, though one is targeting the new Xbox Series X and the other is targeting the new PlayStation 5. That said, we really recommend the 7X, as it also supports the PS5 and PS4 while the 7P doesn’t support the new Xbox.

Looking past the platform specifics, the Arctis 7X features a strong wireless connection using a USB-C dongle and delivers strong audio with the 40mm drivers that we already loved in the earlier headsets. The SteelSeries Arctis 7X headset still offers a comfortable design with breathable ear cushions and a “ski google” headband the distributes its pressure well. There are plenty of extras as well, such as surround sound support on Xbox and Windows, an improved 24-hour battery life, multiple connectivity options, and a special dial dedicated ChatMix. All this makes for a wireless gaming headset that earns its place at the front of the pack.

4. Roccat Elo 7.1 Air

Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset

Roccat Elo 7.1 Air

If you’re on PC, you’re in luck. The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air (read our review) is a solid wireless gaming headset that comes in under $100. That’s a rare enough feat for a wireless gaming headset, but it’s especially uncommon for one that’s not skimping on features and design elsewhere. This headset has a bigger profile on account of its use of a suspension headband to evenly spread its weight for long-term comfort and its larger earcups to accommodate 50mm speaker drivers.

The Roccat Elo 7.1 Air connects to your PC using a 2.4GHz wireless dongle for high-quality and latency-free audio. With Roccat’s Swam software, you’ll get support for 7.1 virtual surround sound. The headset also has a built-in dial to adjust your mic monitoring levels, so you can fine-tune how well you hear yourself in case you want to avoid shouting at your teammates. And, 24-hour battery life will keep you in the game longer before you need to recharge, which is thankfully facilitated by a USB-C port.

5. Corsair HS35

Best Ultra Affordable Gaming Headset

Corsair HS35 Gaming Headset

We’ve all been enjoying some pretty great $50 gaming headsets for a while now, but Corsair has lowered the price floor even further to $35. With the Corsair HS35 (read our review) being so, so cheap, you might expect audio from this gaming headset to be of potato quality, but it’s more than serviceable for users on a budget.

Rather this Stereo headset delivers a fantastic sound stage, which makes it perfect for hearing enemies move around you. That said, the heavy bass and poor overall aural balance of the Corsair HS35 makes it a poor choice for listening to anything but game audio. Still, that’s what it was made for and it has a great, Discord-certified microphone for talking to your online teammates.

6. Asus ROG Delta S

Best Wired Gaming Headset

Asus ROG Delta S

This one might catch you off guard. The best wired gaming headset isn’t coming from one of the typical brands behind the best gaming headsets, though it is the brand behind many excellent gaming devices. The Asus ROG Delta S (read our review) manages to be a truly standout headset, and a lot of its excellence is actually achieved thanks to its wired connection. It uses a USB-C cable that delivers some serious Hi-Fi potential. The headset can deliver an extended frequency response range from 20Hz to 40kHz, and its quad-DAC helps it deliver an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. It’s a precise enough headset for those looking to enter a premium level of music streaming with Master Quality Authenticated files.

Of course, that audio quality has to translate into gaming for this headset to be worth its salt in your favorite titles. Fortunately, it doesn’t stumble there. It can offer solid audio on the console, PC, and mobile alike. It also offers a software-enabled virtual surround sound for more useful positional audio cues in your games. And let’s not overlook the Asus ROG Delta S’s inclusion of RGB lighting.

7. Audeze Penrose X

Best Audiophile-Quality Gaming Headset

Audeze Penrose X

If you were enticed when you saw the Audeze Mobius a couple of years ago and then saw HyperX’s take on the design with the Cloud Orbit S, which ranks among the best headsets we’ve ever used, then you’re going to love the Audeze Penrose X (read our review). This gaming headset is nearly identical to the aforementioned headsets, but it takes a lot of what there was to love about them and makes it a powerful wireless experience.

The Audeze Penrose X still offers the 100mm planar magnetic drivers that power the incredible audio experience seen on those other headsets. It doesn’t come with any surround sound features or Waves NX head-tracking tech, though you can use digital surround sound sources with the headset. But, for that tradeoff, you get a gaming-worthy, 2.4GHz wireless connection. You also get support for a 3.5mm wired connection and Bluetooth, which you can use at the same time as the other wireless connection. The Penrose X is made to support the latest Xbox consoles, but Audeze also offers the Penrose for PlayStation and Mac support, though Bluetooth and wired connections make either headset capable of broad compatibility.

8. JBL Quantum One

Best Surround Sound Gaming Headset

JBL Quantum One

Why settle for just one type of surround sound? The JBL Quantum One headset (read our review) may be pricey, but it has a lot to offer in the sound department, including JBL’s QuantumSPHERE 360 technology as well as DTS Headphone X: v2.0 surround sound. The latter is a high-quality digital surround sound that can make your game worlds and movies feel that much more engrossing. QuantumSPHERE 360 is a bit more involved, and actually takes into account the position of your head, so you can turn your head in the real life and all the sounds around you will shift to maintain their relative position.

It’s not just nifty surround sound, but also precise, as the Hi-Res certified 50mm drivers offer excellent sound and a 20Hz-40kHz frequency response range. The JBL Quantum One also offer great flexibility, with options for both a USB and a 3.5mm headset connection available (though the latter will limit the headset’s capabilities). The JBL Quantum One even includes active noise cancelling to help you focus on only the sounds you want to hear. And, to top things off, there’s customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup.

9. SteelSeries Arctis Prime

Best Esports Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis Prime

When you’re competing, you need every advantage you can get, and audio clarity is one piece of the puzzle. The SteelSeries Arctis Prime headset (read our review) is built to give you clear audio both going in and coming out. Your teammates in esports will hear you loud and clear thanks to the ClearCast microphone, which has consistently delivered on SteelSeries headsets.

On the other end, the SteelSeries Arctis Prime may only cost $99, but they’re coming with the more premium speaker drivers from the Arctis Pro side of the family. These drivers deliver an extended frequency response range and hi-fi clarity to ensure you don’t miss anything in game. The Arctis Prime headset is built with comfort and durability in mind like the other premium Arctis headsets, but it also aims to help block out external distractions by using a leather-like ear cushion instead of the AirWeave cushions on other Arctis headsets, which are more breathable but also let in more outside sound.

10. Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

Best Xbox Series X/S Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

For a great pair of headphones that are ready for the next generation of Xbox, you’ll want the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 (read our review). These headphones don’t require any awkward solutions to set up, since they support Xbox Wireless for direct pairing with your console. That also means you won’t have to take up any of the Xbox Series X or S’s USB ports for these headphones.

On top of supporting a wireless connection to the Xbox, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 can connect to a wide variety of other devices using Bluetooth. And, they deliver audio from both connections at the same time, letting you keep up with the news or stay in a Discord channel over Bluetooth while you get your game audio from your Xbox. On-ear controls will let you easily manage the audio coming in from different sources, so you can crank up your teammates in case they get hard to hear over the intense firefights in your games. And, thanks to a 20-hour battery life, you’ll be able to enjoy the clean game audio these can deliver without having to recharge every day.

11. Sony Pulse 3D

Best PS5 Gaming Headset

Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset

If you’re lucky enough to have picked up a PS5, you’ll want to ensure you can make the most out of the capabilities of the Tempest 3D audio engine, and the Sony Pulse 3D (read our review) is the headset to do it. This wireless headset is designed to connected seamlessly with your console for latency-free, high-quality audio pumped out of 40mm drivers. Since the headphones were designed with Tempest 3D audio in mind, you can be sure you’re getting the intended surround sound experience in your PS5 games.

The Pulse 3D headset goes beyond just PS5 Gaming. It also works with PS4, PC, and Mac wirelessly. Plus, with a USB-C or 3.5mm audio cable, it can also support a broad range of other devices. The fact that Sony sells the headset for just $100 makes it quite a strong offer.

12. Logitech G Pro X

Best Streaming Headset

Logitech G Pro X

When it comes to streaming, having a good mic can be more important than your quality game audio. However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of finding the best microphone for streaming, the Logitech G Pro X (read our review) is a great all-in-one solution with a microphone designed for broadcasting and booming surround sound to boot.

The Logitech G Pro X incorporates some of Blue legendary microphone technology to capture clear, natural and isolated recorded voice. Additionally, you can use the Blue VO!CE software to auto-tune your voice with presets making it a great option as a microphone for streaming and podcasting. As just a plain gaming headset, the Logitech G Pro X is no slouch either. It generates huge, concussive audio, but doesn’t sacrifice higher frequency sounds to achieve this.

Where to Get the Best Gaming Headset in the UK

You definitely need a quality gaming headset if you’re looking to take your favourite hobby even remotely seriously. Thankfully, every headset we’ve picked out on this list is also available across the pond in the UK, so take your pick.

Arctis 7
HS70 Pro
ROG Delta RGB Gaming Headset


ROG Delta RGB Gaming Headset

Best Wired Gaming Headset

Penrose X


Penrose X

Best Audiophile-Quality Gaming Headset

Quantum One
Nari Ultimate
Pulse 3D Wireless Headset


Pulse 3D Wireless Headset

Best PS5 Gaming Headset

Stealth 600

Turtle Beach

Stealth 600

Best Xbox One Gaming Headset

What to look for in a Gaming Headset

When you’re shopping for a gaming headset there are a few key specs you should look out for.

The first is the size of the drivers, which follows the rule of bigger is better. Drivers are the internal mechanism inside headsets and headphones (or really any speaker) that ultimately create the soundwaves you hear by vibrating back and forth in response to an electrical current.

The larger the driver, the more air they can move to not only to make louder sounds, but it also allows them to produce a wider, more nuanced range of frequencies—which happens to take us to our next specification.

Frequency response is another important spec, and it’s the range of frequencies the headset can reproduce. On the low-end, most gaming headsets hit a minimum of 20Hz and a maximum of 20,000Hz. As you go from the bottom of the range to the top, sounds go from a low thud to a warm, steady hum and finally a piercing screech.

While on the hunt for a gaming headset, you’ll likely find more than a few promising 5.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound, which are both designed to give users a more immersive audio experience. 5.1 surround places speakers directly in front of you, front right, front left, back right, back left and adds a subwoofer to relay bass. 7.1 surround gives you the same setup as 5.1 surrounds, but it adds two more speakers to your immediate right and left.

Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X (2.0) are two specially branded types of surround sound you’ll also likely encounter. They both essentially do the same thing of adding positional audio for effects for objects like say a plane flying over or a bomb falling from the sky above you.

Now while surround sound on a headset is cool, it’s not exactly the same as having a real multi-speaker surround sound system. In fact, almost 99% of gaming headsets employ virtual surround sound—which is to say they’re faking it with mathematical algorithms. There are very few gaming headsets like the Razer Tiamat that actually come with the individual drivers necessary to create a real surround sound environment.

But just because the surround sound you hear on a gaming headset is fake, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it or doubt its ability to create an immersive environment.

The fact that surround sound can be virtualized also means you can get it on any gaming headset even if it only has two channels. On Windows 10 you can download the Windows Sonic for Headphones app and get 3D spatial audio from even the most basic set of stereo headphones.

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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