The next great peripherals war will be waged over your ears. After every company in the world put out a gaming mouse then a mechanical keyboard, now it’s time for headsets. So gaming headset.
We all know you don’t wish to scroll through every single headset review when all you want is an easy answer: “What’s the ideal gaming headset I could buy with my hard-earned dollars?” This article supports the answer you seek, regardless of what your budget is.
We’ll keep updating our recommendations as we examine new items and find stronger contenders. For this latest update, we’ve reviewed several fancypants models, namely the Sennheiser Game Zero and and Sennheiser GSP 350, and also the Audio-Technica ATH-AG1X. For more earthly budgets, we’ve also tested the SteelSeries Arctis 7, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, along with the Logitech G533, which debuts as our new best mid-range wireless headset.
Kingston doesn’t have the identical pedigree within the headset space as the competitors, however the HyperX Cloud can be a winning device at the cheap price.
Our 2016 headset recommendation remains just about the same as our 2015 headset recommendation (and our 2014, for instance): The Kingston HyperX Cloud. Or, if you’re feeling a bit fancier, the Cloud II. It’s comfortable, it appears great, and (on top of that) it’s relatively inexpensive. What else could you possibly want within a headset?
True to the name, the HyperX Cloud is probably the most comfortable headsets on the market. It’s hefty, by using a solid-metal construction that belies its cheap price, but sits feather-light in the head. The faux-leather earpieces are generously padded, oversized, and form a great seal without squeezing too much.
And yes it sounds excellent. As mentioned within our review, this isn’t a studio-quality set of headphones. It’s got the typical gaming-centric bass boost plus a slick top quality, but both are subtle enough how the HyperX Cloud competes favorably with laptop headphone twice its price. There’s no Kingston-provided way to adjust the sound, considering the fact that the HyperX Cloud connects through standard 3.5mm jacks, however you honestly shouldn’t must tweak it in any way out from the box. It may sound pretty damn great.
The sole negative thing is the microphone. It’s very flexible, which I appreciate, but has a tendency to pick up background noise and plosives while leaving your voice nasally and hollow.
The slightly-more-expensive HyperX Cloud II is, I believe, more a lateral move than a noticeable difference over its predecessor. It swaps the 3.5mm connection for a 7.1-ready USB soundcard with better in-line controls and a certain amount of noise cancellation about the microphone, nevertheless, you wouldn’t notice a massive difference between both the iterations and I’m uncertain the increase in cost is worth it.
Regardless, either model is a wonderful choice for a gaming headset. In a increasingly crowded market, the HyperX Cloud nails just about every major category with few significant compromises. I really hope another model improves on the microphone, but for $80 it’s a steal.
The Cloud Stinger provides solid sound, serious comfort, as well as an attractive design for anybody who just demands a “good enough” headset without having wallet-shock.
HyperX’s Cloud headset is still our favorite, although the company undercut themselves a little bit by releasing the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Listed at $50, it’s one of several cheapest gaming headsets I’ve ever seen from a reputable brand. And it’s good.
Sure, it’s not quite as good as the very first Cloud, but for many people the Stinger should do just great. The plastic chassis lacks some of the original Cloud’s panache and sturdiness, but looks high-end from your distance and sits pretty slim on the head. HyperX also solved the Cloud’s biggest issue and ultimately put a volume slider straight on the bottom of the right earcup and gave it a flip-to-mute microphone, so no more fiddling with in-line controls.
As for the audio, the Cloud Stinger’s got a solid mid-range with minimal to no distortion even at high volumes. The treble is underpowered and the bass range is virtually nonexistent, but 80 percent associated with a given game, film, or song can come through clear and clean.
If you already have a significant headset, specially the original Cloud, I wouldn’t say the Stinger is necessary-own. But when you’re looking for an excellent value on entry-level hardware, this is certainly it. It’s an insane bargain when comparing it with other headsets in the same price tier.
Only under $100, Corsair’s Void Wireless is mostly a great wireless headset, but you will encounter some compromises.
Frankly speaking, Corsair doesn’t really have any competition within this category. Most decent wireless gaming headsets will run you $150 or even more. Corsair’s Void Wireless is priced at a mere $100, which leaves it on its lonesome.
But even making up that vacuum, it’s very good. Not phenomenal, mind you, but around this price you’re obtaining a bargain.
I wasn’t really sure what you should make from the Void’s weird, diamond-shaped ear cups but after some use I’m actually pretty pleased. The Void Wireless sits somewhat forward on the head, with all the band resting just above your forehead. It will take some becoming accustomed to, but the result is less tension around the jaw and a lot more on the rear of the head where it’s less noticeable. I wouldn’t say it’s as comfortable as the more traditional HyperX Cloud, but without a doubt I really like it a lot more than its predecessor, the H2100.
The on-headset controls are fairly intuitive, with a volume rocker at the base from the left ear, plus oversized buttons for power and mute around the side. And it’s got 16.8 million color RGB lighting, if that’s your bag.
The biggest design issue is the fact that Void Wireless is heavy. It’s no problem when sitting up, however, if you gaze down or look up the headset has a propensity to slide around. I don’t know whether it’s because of the battery or perhaps the metal-augmented construction, however your neck receives a workout using this type of headset.
Sound-wise, the Void Wireless still needs some work. It sounds passable, especially while gaming, but throwing on some music sets the Void Wireless’s limitations into stark relief. The reduced-end is muddy and distorted, as well as the whole variety of mid-to-high-end frequencies sounds slick, like you’ve applied excessive compression.
You can adjust the headset’s sound in Corsair’s software, but Corsair’s software is still a bit unwieldy. Superior to this past year, I believe, but still not comparable to Razer, SteelSeries, or Logitech. Also, some users have reported issues with firmware updates-not just a great sign.
“This doesn’t sound like a very positive review,” you might say. And you’re right, it’s not. The Void Wireless is not an amazing headset, as mentioned up top. However it is the best wireless gaming headset under $150, and given just how many wires are affixed to my PC at any moment, the benefit of cheap wireless might be worth sacrificing a certain amount of audio quality.
Logitech’s G533 doesn’t have quite exactly the same breadth of options since the G933, but an even more restrained design and a bargain price make this a strong contender for best wireless headset.
It’s a tough call replacing our former mid-tier wireless pick, the Logitech G933, with its sibling-successor the Logitech G533. Like, really tough. The G933 is a superb headset, with crisp and well-balanced audio and some nifty design features (like being able to store the USB dongle inside an earcup).
But I’m still replacing it. Why? Well, aesthetics can be a huge reason. If you wish a sign how Logitech’s design language has shifted in past times year roughly, your search is over gam1ngheadset the G933 and G533. The G933 was all sharp angles and science fiction. The G533 on the other hand is sleek, professional, restrained. Using a piano-black finish and soft curves, it seems like a headset created by Audio-Technica or Sennheiser or perhaps a more mainstream audio company-possibly not a “gaming” headset. I enjoy it.
The G533’s design can also be functional. The microphone isn’t as hidden as I’d like, but that’s the sole flaw. The headset is lightweight, durable, and fewer vise-grip tight than its predecessor.
In terms of audio fidelity? It’s not quite equal to the G933, nevertheless the differences are minimal. The G533 lacks some oomph, especially at lower volumes, along with its 7.1 support is subpar. Those are hardly reasons to step away, though-the majority of people will run the headset loud enough to counteract the headset’s absence of presence, and virtual 7.1 is (i think) basically always bad. The G533 is worse than the average, but the average continues to be something I select in order to avoid day-to-day.
Regardless, the G933 continues to be being sold and it is a perfectly good option for a few, particularly if you want console support. The G533 is PC-only, whilst the G933 may be attached by 3.5mm cable to other devices. Of course, if you value comfort over audio fidelity, look into the SteelSeries Arctis 7 too-another excellent choice.
Astro’s new A50 touts a whole new charging station and much better controls, yet still doesn’t put the audio you might expect from a $300 pair of headphones.
SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset
Right after a new generation in the computer headphone and Siberia 800 released in 2016, I assumed we might finally break the tie that’s dominated our splurge headset pick within the last number of years.
But when again, there’s no clear winner at that $300 price-though Astro certainly made some strides toward edging out SteelSeries.
The newest A50’s biggest improvement may be the battery. The latest model overcomes an extensive-running weak spot and packs in 12 to 15 hours of life-enough to help you through also a long day of gaming. Better yet, it features gyroscopes inside the ears that give it time to detect whether you’ve set it up down. It automatically shuts off ten seconds later in that case, and after that turns back and connects to the PC on once you pick it backup. Its base station also serves as a charger, a great blend of function and sweetness.