The best gaming headsets in 2021
The best gaming headsets can turn a video game from a fun distraction into a fully immersive experience. While cheap headphones may technically play a game’s sound, a great gaming headset can highlight important noises, deliver rich music, let you customize your soundscape for different applications and communicate with your teammates with a high-quality mic.
Even if you already own a good pair of speakers, a gaming headset can prove its worth by letting you play late at night without waking up the whole household.
- Prefer a dedicated mic? Check out the best gaming microphones
- Pair your headset with the best gaming mouse
- Try the best gaming mouse pads
Of course, there are a lot of peripherals out there, and not every one makes the cut. The ones that make our best gaming headsets list all offer good sound and a comfy fits, but they also tend to go a step beyond their competitors. Sometimes, they do that by offering the basics without charging too much money; other times, they offer a premium experience for a premium price. There’s something here to suit every play style and budget.
Read on to find out how you can improve your overall gaming experience with one of the best gaming headsets.
How to choose the best gaming headset for you
Choosing the best gaming headset comes down to a few different criteria. No matter what, the headset has to be comfortable and provide good gaming sound. In fact, I would argue that the former is more important than the latter. Even if your headset produces subpar sound, you’ll still be able to hear what’s going on in your game. But if it’s even a little bit uncomfortable, you’ll want to tear it off of your head after about half an hour, and that’s not conducive to playing any kind of game.
The next thing to think about is whether you want a wired or wireless model. Wireless models are almost always more expensive, but the convenience of living without wires may well be worth the cost. Generally speaking, wireless headsets that are compatible with PC and PS4 are not compatible with Xbox One, and vice versa, so a headset that also features 3.5 mm connectivity could be helpful in this case.
How we test gaming headsets
In order to find the best gaming headsets out there, we typically test each peripheral with a mix of shooting, fighting and action/adventure games.
We also listen to music and watch movies with each headset in order to size up its usefulness for consuming multimedia. For wireless headsets, we keep a log of how long the peripheral lasts before the battery completely drains. We use voice recordings to evaluate each headset’s microphone, as well as listen back to any Twitch broadcasts we’ve conducted with them on.
We generally wear each headset for at least two full days to assess comfort level. We almost always get a second opinion from someone else on staff, as what’s comfortable to one gamer could be unbearable to the next.
- The best gaming desks can keep all your PC gear together
- For better performance in-game, try the best gaming keyboards
- Check out the best streaming microphone