What’s the best gaming headset? We have something for everyone on this list, with nine choices of wired, wireless, PC and console headsets.
A decent gaming headset will offer great audio quality, a comfortable design and a reliable microphone, doing away with the hassle of setting up home theatre speakers.
We’ve collated a list of our favourite examples below, along with a jargon-busting guide to help you make an informed decision. Happy gaming!
What type of headset should you buy?
Analogue headsets: These use one or more 3.5mm headphone jacks to transmit audio to and from the headset, and are often universally compatible with PCs, consoles and mobile devices. The sound quality will rely on your individual device however, and they won’t support surround sound out of the box. Keep in mind that on PCs with separate mic and headphone jacks, you’ll need a splitter. Some headsets will come with one, but not all. Check before you buy and pop one in your basket if you need one.
Digital headsets: Featuring an integrated DAC (digital-to-analogue converter), digital headsets offer cleaner sound, higher volumes and software integration. USB-connected headsets will work on PC/Macs and PlayStation consoles, while optical-based headsets will work with Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and PCs equipped with optical ports either on the motherboard, internal sound card or USB sound card.
Wireless headsets: Using a transmitter that’s connected to your PC or console, wireless headsets offer hassle-free gaming audio. However, they do require charging, are often heavier, and cost more than their wired counterparts. Check compatibility with your console of choice, as not all wireless headsets support all consoles.
Virtual Surround Audio: Headsets using stereo drivers can recreate multi-positional audio with intuitive software to deliver surround sound into your ears. The advantage is that the headset remains cheaper and lighter than those using multiple drivers, but the effect is usually less accurate than a ‘true’ surround headset.
‘True’ Surround Audio: For the most authentic surround sound, you’ll be after a headset with multiple drivers in each earcup. Each speaker fires sound from different placements, with the user in the centre of the action. They’re often quite pricey, though, and the extra speakers require a larger and heavier design.