Best Gaming Headset 2018: Our pick of the best cans for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Struggling to pick the best gaming headset to give you that edge over your online friends/foes? We’ve played with a huge selection of the latest and greatest sets, covering every kind of budget.

When you’re shopping around for a new headset, you’ll first have to consider what kind of functionality you need. First up, do you want to go wired or wireless? We love the freedom that a Bluetooth headset offers, although not all platforms support them and you’ll have to remember to keep them charged. Meanwhile wired devices often deliver more premium sound quality. And if you grab a digital pair with a built-in DAC, that’ll take the pressure off your motherboard for producing crisp, clean-sounding audio.

Speaking of features, if you’re into fast-paced FPS titles, you’ll likely want to invest in a headset with true surround sound support. That way you can hear precisely where any attack is coming from, so you get a chance to react before you’re worm food.

Planning an all-day gaming session? Make sure you grab a comfortable set, so your ears don’t feel the pinch.

Our absolute favourite right now is the Steelseries Arctis 7, although it doesn’t come cheap. From the fantastic build quality and crisp sound reproduction through the wireless connectivity and impressively long battery life, this gaming headset has it all. DTS Headphone:X support means PC gamers can enjoy a proper surround sound experience too.

If you’re all about looking flash as you frag, Asus has you covered. The likes of the ROG Strix Fusion 700 boast programmable LEDs, using Asus’ Aura Sync software. Or if your budget is quite tight and you’re simply after a good quality, reliable headset, the Corsair HS70 delivers in spades for under £100.

We’re constantly updating this list with our new favourite gaming headsets, so check back again soon to see which new devices made the cut.

Related: Best gaming keyboard

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

As with all of our gamer peripherals, we rigorously test each headset before fully reviewing. If a device is compatible with different platforms, consoles as well as PC, then we’ll be sure to try it out on the lot. Wired or wireless, we check that the audio quality is good enough and that features such as surround sound support work as expected. We also make sure the mic clearly picks up your voice, even in a noisy environment, so your online pals can hear every zinger and sick burn.

To make sure our testing is thorough enough, we’ll use each headset for extended periods. How comfortable are they to wear for all-night fragfests? And if they’re wireless, does the battery unexpectedly give out halfway through a match?

Related: The best gaming PC build guide

 

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 £125 / $146 at Amazon

corsair hs70

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. If you regularly play online shooters, where gauging the direction of sounds is key, this will be a huge 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 £50, 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 30 or so quid for these instead.

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

Steelseries Siberia 840

Pros:

  • Comfortable fit
  • Engine 3 software support is useful
  • Decent audio for a gaming headset

Cons:

  • Not a big upgrade on last year’s model
  • Microphone can be echoey
  • Have to remove batteries to charge

Steelseries’ premium headset is considerably more expensive than the Arctis 7, yet offers unrivalled audio quality and customisation in return. The Siberia 840 boasts a quietly understated design, rather than flashing lights and flair. Wireless support works perfectly with no pesky lag and the hot swappable battery system keeps you powered up at all times. Plus full Dolby 7.1 surround sound support means you get a truly immersive experience.

Good news if you like to game on lots of different platforms, too. This Siberia headset is fully compatible with PC, Xbox and PS4.

Buy now: Steelseries Siberia 840 for £230 / $270 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

HyperX Cloud Alpha

Pros:

  • Class leading audio
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Top notch microphone
  • Extremely comfortable

Cons:

  • Audio quality is DAC dependant
  • No surround sound
  • Only one colour choice
  • Spare earpads aren’t included

The Cloud Alpha costs less than a hundred quid and yet it’s possibly the best analogue headset that we’ve tested. HyperX has crafted something that’s both compact and comfortable (although red remains the only colour choice), with the option of replacing the mic, cups and cable if needed. Thankfully the overall construction is reassuringly durable, in case you’re in the habit of throwing your ‘phones across the room in fits of despair.

Although there’s no on-board DAC, you can expect punchy, bassy sound from the Alpha – as long as your rig can handle it. Meanwhile the noise-cancelling mic will clearly pick up your taunts. Overall this headset definitely punches above its weight, impressing with its strong value for money.

Buy now: HyperX Cloud Alpha for £89.99 / $99.99 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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