Best Gaming Headset 2018: Wireless and wired sets for PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Picking the right gaming headset for your specific needs is tricky. Every company under the sun makes them and many are bespoke designed for a specific type of gamer.

best overall gaming headset

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is our overall favourite gaming headset – and for good reason. It's comfortable to wear for prolonged periods thanks to a self-adjusting band. Audio and microphone quality are both excellent. Stellar battery life and wireless range round it all off.

£107.21

First you have to pick between wired or wireless, then you have to consider if you’ll want to invest in advanced functionality, like virtual surround sound. Here to help, we’ve tested every gaming headset we could get our hands on to offer you a definitive list of the best available.

If money is no object then the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the best overall gaming headset available. It offers amazing build quality, faultless features and is wireless to boot. If you’re on a budget, the Corsair HS70 is the best value gaming headset you can get.

Before you go rushing off to get a new headset, consider if you need one this very second. A host of new gaming headsets were announced at Computex in Taipei, including the world’s first ever quad-DAC unit from Asus. The Audeze Mobius, which looks awesome on paper, has also just gone on pre-order. We’ll be getting these headsets in for review in the near future.

We’ll also be attending Gamescom in Cologne, where we expect to see a number of new gaming headsets, components and other hardware, so expect to see this list change very soon.

best value gaming headset

Razer Kraken Pro V2

The Razer Kraken Pro V2 is our value pick for its low price paired with high-end features. It feels expensive and looks stylish, but also delivers when it comes to sound quality. The Kraken Pro V2 is also a great choice in particular for console gamers.

£78.97

How we pick the best gaming headsets

Every headset we test is sent to one of our expert reviewers. The headset will be tested on all of the platforms with which it’s compatible. Reviewers spend at least a week comparing models to similar gaming headsets and will test them while playing a variety of games, as well as movies and music. They’ll also time how long wireless headsets take to fully discharge their battery.

 

SteelSeries Arctis 7

Pros:

  • Wide operational range
  • Long battery life
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Clean and punchy audio

Cons:

  • Maybe a little small for large heads
  • Wired-only Xbox and Switch support
  • Volume dials are a little fiddly

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is our favourite gaming headset. Why? Because it’s everything a good headset should be. It’s remarkably comfortable to wear over long periods, thanks to a clever self-adjusting band – and unlike models from some competitors, it doesn’t present any nasty side effects as a result.

Using a USB transmitter, the Arctis offers excellent battery life and range. Unlike many rivals, the retractable microphone isn’t a weak link, and vocals come across clearly.

Audio quality is sublime, regardless of the application; it’s just as happy with your music library as it is with Battlefield 1. The headset also employs DTS Headphone:X when gaming on a PC, providing an extra sense of space through virtual surround sound.

If you’re a PS4 or PC player and have around £150 to spend on a headset, then look no further.

Buy now: SteelSeries Arctis 7 for £129 / $146 at Amazon

 

Corsair HS70

Pros:

  • Tasteful design
  • Excellent all round audio
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Fantastic microphone

Cons:

  • Surround sound is PC only
  • Perhaps lacking a little clarity
  • Earpads not easily replaceable

The Corsair HS70 is the best gaming headset available for less than £100. The headset is a breath of fresh air in the gaming market, which seems to be hell bent on adding RGB lighting and sharp corners to everything it can. It features a pleasingly unassuming, refined design and is one of a select few gaming headsets you’d be willing to wear in public.

It also ticks all the right boxes when it comes to functionality, offering robust audio quality, with plenty of power in the low end. The mic is also wonderfully clear and excellent for voice chatting when playing online.

The only downside is that it uses proprietary earpads that can only be purchased direct from Corsair, which is a pain if you plan to use it long-term.

Razer Kraken Pro V2

Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Punchy bass response
  • Attractive design
  • Strong build quality
  • Excellent microphone

Cons:

  • Mid-tones can get a touch muddy
  • Relatively weak head-grip

Console users who are after an easy-to-use wired headset should strongly consider the Razer Kraken Pro V2.

It’s well built, thanks to Razer’s use of metal on the earcups, and has a relatively short cable that makes it easier to cleanly connect into your controller. We love its overall look, too, with a design that’s stylish and feels expensive.

Sound quality is excellent, with a slightly bassy signature that makes it ideal for gaming; but it isn’t so overpowering that it becomes unsuitable for music playback.

If you want something that’s quick and easy to use, without the hassle of charging, the Kraken Pro V2 will be right up your alley.

Fancy virtual 7.1 surround-sound? Take a look at the Kraken 7.1 v2.

Buy now: Razer Kraken V2 Pro for £78.97 / $79.99 from Amazon


HyperX Cloud Flight

Pros:

  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable fit
  • Solid audio and voice chat
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • No surround sound
  • Feels a little cheap

If you’re after a wireless gaming headset with marathon long battery life, then you’d do well to check out Kingston’s HyperX Cloud Flight. The Cloud Flight’s quoted 30 hour battery life is one of the best in the market, and during our tests we found it to have more stamina than any other headset we’ve tested. Add to this its excellent noise cancelling mic and the Kingston HyperX Cloud Flight quickly becomes an ideal choice for people that regularly enjoy prolonged gaming sessions.

The only slight downside is the headset’s complete lack of virtual surround sound. With the Cloud Flight all you you get is basic 2.0 channel audio. For casual an issue, but if you regularly play online shooters, where gauging the direction of sounds is key, it will be an annoyance.

Buy Now: HyperX Cloud Flight for £139 from Amazon

Corsair HS50

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Strong and sturdy build
  • Super-comfortable

Cons:

  • Non-removable earcups
  • Requires a good DAC

It may not look all that sexy – and is pretty much void of advanced features – but if you’re on a budget then the Corsair HS50 is a solid choice.

With prices starting at a modest £55, Corsair’s newest analogue gaming headset offers seriously good value for money.

The HS50 doesn’t include RGB lighting or any form of surround sound, but it covers the basics. For your money, you get a comfortable-to-wear headset with decent audio quality, and a reliable microphone that’s more than good enough for team voice chat – even during heated firefights.

Be warned, though: as is the case with any analogue headset, if you’re a PC player with a cheap motherboard then you’ll want to invest in a external DAC to get the most out of the HS50.

Buy now: Corsair HS50 for £44.99 / $48.50 from Amazon

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500

Pros:

  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Solid sound quality
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • Touch controls can be fiddly
  • No wireless, 3.5mm jack or Xbox support

If you’re a competitive gamer with a penchant for RGB lighting then the ROG Strix Fusion 500 may well be the headset for you.

As well as sporting an extrovert gold design with full RGB rimming, the ROG Strix Fusion 500 benefits from advanced synchronisation features that make it quick and easy to sync the lighting of multiple headsets using an intuitive mobile app.

This, plus above-average virtual surround sound and a super-comfortable fit, makes the Fusion 500 a great choice for hardcore gamers in a clan or formal e-sports team.

A lack of wireless support and 3.5mm jack will be an issue for Xbox gamers. Plus, with pricing starting at £150 there’s no doubt that the Fusion 500 is expensive. But if you have the money, and want your team looking bling during tournaments and LAN parties, then the Fusion 500 is a fantastic choice.

Having reviewed its less expensive counterpart, the ROG Strix Fusion 300, we can safely say that it’s worth splashing out the extra thirty-off quid for these instead.

Buy now: Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 for £158 / $195 from Amazon 

HyperX Cloud Stinger

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Excellent audio quality for the money
  • Great value

Cons:

  • So-so build quality
  • Non-detachable microphone
  • Analogue connection quality varies by device

Not everyone wants to spend a huge amount of money on a headset. Fortunately, HyperX has you covered with the Stinger.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger‘s build is a little plasticky, but it’s strong and fairly lightweight. It’s comfortable to wear, too, thanks to the Stinger’s faux-leather and memory foam earcups.

Gamers will love the audio performance, with a rich sound that isn’t cut back or otherwise compromised. Gunfire is delivered with weight, along with a top-end that never seems to fall apart. The microphone works surprisingly well, too, and it even mutes itself when retracted.

For the price, you’ll find it very difficult to do better than the HyperX Stinger.

Buy now: HyperX Cloud Stinger for £39.50 / $39.99 from Amazon

Sennheiser GSP 300

Pros:

  • Great for music and games
  • Large adjustable volume dial
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Excellent microphone quality

Cons:

  • High notes can get a little sharp
  • Only one set of earpads provided
  • Microphone is non-detachable

Surround sound doesn’t necessarily make for a better headset, which is exactly why Sennheiser offers the GSP 300.

For £90 you get fantastic audio quality, with performance that holds up to headsets costing much more. This includes music, too: it doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to Drake or Howard Shore, sound is delivered with clarity and substance.

However, as is often the case with analogue cans, you’ll need a decent soundcard or DAC to get the most from it.

While the large microphone isn’t retractable, it’s arguably one of the best on any headset – regardless of price. If you regularly take calls or perform Destiny raids, you’ll love it.

Buy now: Sennheiser GSP 300 for £69.95  / $82 from Amazon

Corsair Void RGB Wireless

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Balanced audio quality
  • Comfortable over long sessions
  • Superb range and battery life

Cons:

  • Lacking that ‘quality’ feel
  • Head-fitting is rather loose
  • Microphone is a little quiet

The Corsair Void RGB Wireless represents fantastic value for money. It’s one of the cheaper wireless headsets out there, and while it does make compromises, it performs well in the areas that count.

The wireless signal is strong, with 12m of range, and it offers up to 16 hours of battery life.

Even better is the audio quality, which somehow surprises each time the headset sits on our ears. Comfort could be slightly better, though. While it’s plentiful in the padding department, we do find it a little loose around the head.

Buy now: Corsair Void RGB Wireless for £93.97 / $74.99 from Amazon

Astro A40 TR

Pros:

  • Comfortable over long periods
  • Class-leading audio quality
  • Great customisability options
  • Optional MixAmp works well

Cons:

  • Design won’t be to everyone’s tastes
  • Relatively expensive
  • Slightly nasally microphone

The Astro A40 TR is an easy headset to recommend to those who value audio quality above all else.

The visual design won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but the build is strong, and it’s constructed in a way that won’t have you fearing for its safety.

In addition, the side pieces on each earcup are removable for a more open-feeling sound.

For 7.1 surround sound you’ll require the optional MixAmp Pro, but regardless of whether you use it, the Astro’s sound quality is excellent – and at a good price too.

Want a gaming headset that doesn’t compromise on sound quality? This is it.

Buy now: Astro A40 TR for £119.99 $149.99 from Amazon

Logitech G433

Pros:

  • Stylish fabric design
  • Well-rounded audio
  • Highly versatile
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons:

  • Doesn’t feel particularly expensive
  • Not so brilliant for music
  • Expensive

There’s always an oddball in the group, and in this roundup that crown goes to the Logitech G433.

Rather than adopting traditional build materials, the G433 uses brightly coloured fabric to stand out from the crowd. To the eye it looks great – but, unfortunately, the underlying frame doesn’t feel particularly good in the hand.

The sound quality is more than reasonable though, with games of all genres sounding great through the stereo drivers.

The detachable microphone is also one of the best in this price range, offering great clarity and a unobtrusive pop filter that’s plenty effective.

While this isn’t the most traditional headset out there, it will certainly appeal to those who are after something a little different.

Buy now: Logitech G433 for £79.99 / $79.99 from Amazon

Astro A50 Wireless

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Strong audio quality
  • Very easy to use
  • Sturdy construction
  • Immersive surround sound

Cons:

  • Design won’t appeal to all
  • Slightly too much head-gripping force
  • Very expensive

If you have deep pockets then there’s plenty to like about the Astro A50 Wireless.

Despite its large size and the fact that it’s wireless, it feels surprisingly lightweight in operation. This is mostly down to the extravagant use of soft foams and plush material used on the headband and earcups.

Audio quality is superb, with excellent vocal clarity and instrument reproduction. It’s also the best headset in this roundup for virtual surround sound, with a seriously convincing sound that magically opens up as soon as you enable the Dolby technology.

It’s up there as one of the most expensive headsets in the group, but bar the price, there really isn’t much else here to dislike.

Buy now: Astro A50 Wireless for £249.99 / $299.99 from Amazon

Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X

Pros:

  • Best-in-class audio
  • Comfortable
  • Great performance in music and games

Cons:

  • Pricey before you factor in a DAC
  • A bit plasticky
  • Non-detachable mic

As a gaming headset from audio connoisseurs Audio-Technica, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X puts sound quality at top of the list. If it’s good sound you’re looking for – and you don’t mind some leakage from its open-back design – the performance on the ATH-ADG1X is very good indeed.

However, this headset has plenty more to offer too. For a start, its lightweight design means it’s extremely comfortable to wear over long periods, while still having just enough grip to keep it firmly on your head.

It’s super-easy to use as well, with an adjustable (but non-removable) microphone and foam pop filter, plus two 3.5mm headphone jacks for separating out the mic and audio signals on PCs.

There’s no DAC here, however – available on the Astro A40 TR for half the price – and you’ll want to use a decent one to get the best from them.

That’s a bit of an oversight at this price, and joins the less-than-premium finish at keeping the ATH-ADG1X just short of gaming headset perfection.

Buy now: Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X for £279 / $299 from Amazon

Those are our top picks of the best gaming headsets. If you want to know more about the different types of gaming headset and what to look for when buying one then read on.

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, plus PCs 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, since not all wireless headsets support all consoles.

Virtual Surround Audio: Headsets using stereo drivers can recreate multi-positional audio to deliver a surround sound effect 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. Such headsets are often quite pricey, though, and the extra speakers require a larger and heavier design.

BEST OVERALL: BEST VALUE:
 SteelSeries Arctis 7  Kraken Pro V2
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the best all-round headset. It offers a super-comfortable fit and all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a top-end product, including wireless support and virtual surround sound. The Razer Kraken Pro V2 is great, easy to use and – most importantly – affordable. It doesn’t offer more advanced features such as wireless support or virtual surround sound, but for the money you’ll struggle to do better.
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