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Best Gaming Headsets

Whenever you need some down time to unwind, relax, or just clear your head, gaming has become an outlet for getting out the daily stress. Whenever I get back from work, I know I like to take some time to play a couple rounds of Call of Duty or knock out some missions in whatever RPG I’m working through. One of my favorite times playing video games is when I get on with a couple friends and get to joke around with them while surviving round after round of zombie hordes. This would not be as enjoyable if I did not have a quality headset that I could hear them with, or that they could hear me talking to them through. That being said, we are going to take a look at what you want in a good headset and some great options to choose from. This article will also focus primarily on headsets that are compatible across most platforms.

What to Look for

Quality mic

One of the first things you wanna look at in a gaming headset is the microphone. You want to make sure it has a pickup pattern that will do its best to cancel out any noise that isn’t your voice. We all hate that kid playing Nickel back in the background in all of the lobbies between rounds, The reason you hear so much is probably because he has a $5 omnidirectional mic that picks up every sound in the room rather than focusing directly on the voice of the headset wearer. That being said, you want to go with either a unidirectional or bidirectional microphone so as to cut down on the noises being picked up throughout the entire room.

 

Volume and mute controls on headset

The next option you want to consider is having built in controls on the headset. Sometimes there will be a small control panel along the wire or on the headset itself. This normally allows you to control volume or mute your mic. These controls come in handy if you need to talk to someone around you and don’t want to disturb the people you’re playing with or just to save your ears from someone raging the lobby.

 

Compatibility with computer and game system

One of the last things to think about is how is the headset actually going to connect to your console or computer. There are 2 options, either through Bluetooth or hardwired. Bluetooth requires a little bit more installation initially, but then once connected, has few to no issues. Hardwired can either connect via ⅛” connection or USB. Either of those connections will work with a computer, but you will normally be only able to use USB with consoles. That being said however, PS4 and Xbox 1 have options to connect the headset through the controller. The PS4 has an ⅛” jack on the bottom between the handles and the Xbox 1 controller will sometimes have it. If it does not have a jack however, you can get an adapter, such as this one, here.

 

Stereo Headset Headphone Audio Game Adapter For Microsoft Xbox

Headset Adapter for Microsoft Xbox One

 

The one major upside to wired headsets is that it never needs to charge unlike a wireless Bluetooth headset. Although right along with that is one of the downfalls of the wired headset. Since it is always connected, you can be very limited on the distance you can sit from the console.

Over Ear Headsets

HyperX Cloud II

Price (before shipping)- $79.99

HyperX Cloud II

HyperX Cloud II

 

The HyperX Cloud II is a great option for any gamer with a price that is not too steep. It has a noise cancelling mic that is also detachable so that you can use this headset just to listen to music if you’d like to. It has the capability of running 7.1 virtual surround sound to give you the best directional reference in game. The Cloud II also comes with a audio control box that allows you to control the levels of your mic as well as the volume level, and is fully compatible across the board with PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

Wired Bluetooth USB ⅛” Flexible Mic Audio Control Box
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HyperX Cloud Stinger

Price (before shipping)- $49.99

HyperX Cloud Stinger

HyperX Cloud Stinger

 

I thought it would be good to add another option from the HyperX family that is a little bit cheaper for those with a tighter budget. Rather than having an audio control box, the mic is just set at a constant level, but there is a volume control on the headset itself on the underside of the right ear cup. To fully mute the mic, you simply have to swing the mic upwards until it is vertical next to the frame.

Wired Bluetooth USB ⅛” Flexible Mic Audio Control Box
X X X X

 

Sennheiser Game One

Price (before shipping)- $129.99

Sennheiser Game One

Sennheiser Game One

 

Coming from a company that is known for its audio quality, you know that the Sennheiser Game One headset will provide great sound as well as microphone coverage. Similar to the Stinger, it has a  swivel volume control on the right ear cover, and when the mic is vertical next to the frame, it automatically mutes. It comes with 2 cables that can be attached and detached from the headset to work with either a “Y” end connection or a single ⅛” connection. The “Y” connection works better for use with computers. To connect to PS4 and Xbox 1, it is better to use the ⅛” connector through the controller.

Wired Bluetooth USB ⅛” Flexible Mic Audio Control Box
X X X

 

Single Ear and Bluetooth Headsets

Plantronics RIG 100HX

Price (before shipping)- $29.99

Plantronics RIG 100HXPlantronics RIG 100HX

 

The Plantronics RIG is a great choice if you are a gamer who likes to use only single ear headsets so that you can use your tv speakers for the game sound and the headset only for the chat. It has a small audio control box on the cable with an ⅛” end that adapts for every console even though it is primarily geared towards the Xbox 1.

Wired Bluetooth USB ⅛” Flexible Mic Audio Control Box
X X X

 

SteelSeries Arctis 3

Price (before shipping)- $84.99

 

SteelSeries Arctis 3

SteelSeries Arctis 3

 

If you want the flexibility of running either wired or wireless, the SeelSeries Arctis 3 is a great choice for you. It comes with a detachable charging cable as well as an ⅛” jack allowing for the use of short or long aux cables, as well as volume controls on the underside of the left ear cup. It is compatible across all platforms and has a retractable mic that slides back into the ear covers quite easily.

Wired Bluetooth USB ⅛” Flexible Mic Audio Control Box
X X X