11 Best Gaming Headsets for PC and Console Gamers in 2017
When it comes to finding the best gaming headsets in 2017, there is certainly a lot to consider. On the surface, the criteria for finding decent sounding, personal headset seems to be quite trivial, but this is certainly not the case. There is much to be considered, including comfort, aesthetics, quality and value. There is also the added functionality of voice communications when it comes to online games and VOIP applications.
If you’re looking for a great sound system, check out our Best Gaming Speakers review.
It is for all of these reasons that we will be taking a look at some of the best products on the market, as well as giving you the inside scoop on what works well in an online game scenario. Although music quality is a tricky metric to measure in any objective manner without resorting to scientific methodology, we will also be giving you a run down on what to look for in your next purchase. Cloud services are also important when considering the best in sound and music experiences.
Best Gaming Headset Review of 2017
- 1. SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset
- 2. HyperX Cloud II Headset for PS4, Xbox & PC Gaming
- 3. Sennheiser PC 360 Pro Gaming Headset with Noise-Cancelling Mic
- 4. Turtle Beach 800X Xbox One Wireless Gamer Headset
- 5. Razer Kraken 7.1 Surround Sound Light Weight Headphones
- 6. SteelSeries Arctis 3 Multi-Platform Gaming Headset
- 7. Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+ Wireless Xbox One Gaming Headphones
- 8. ASTRO Gaming Neon A40 Computer Gaming Headset
- 9. Turtle Beach X12 USB Headphones for Xbox & PC Gaming
- 10. Creative Sound Headphones with Detachable Noise-Cancelling Mic
- 11. Tritton Warhead 7.1 Dolby Wireless Surround Sound Headset for Xbox
Bass response is an often overlooked feature when it comes to wearable speaker accessories, and this can often mean the difference between an immersive online experience and a tinny, flat noise. Just as important are your highs and treble sound responses, these give your games their dynamic ranges such as music and voice, as well as your mid-levels for beefy sounding effects.
Comfort is another huge consideration, especially for gamers that enjoy marathon online sessions that can last for many hours. The last thing that anybody needs are sore ears, or neck strain from excessive weight. Cable length can also be a deciding factor, or even wireless operation may be desirable for you. Where wireless is concerned, what is your battery life expectancy per charge? How long does a standard charge take to complete?
So let us jump right into our review and take a look at what is on offer in 2017 from our selected products, and what will work best for you and your specific requirements, budget and personal preferences, you won’t be disappointed.
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Buyers Guide Questions
Are Gaming Headsets Compatible with all Gaming Consoles?
No, unfortunately this is not the case. The connectivity options on offer from the best headset manufacturers will ultimately determine your connectivity options. USB is generally seen as the best indication that your gaming headset will be compatible with your particular console. Some headsets will connect via Bluetooth, which is the standard controller protocol used by manufacturers, and this is a common protocol used form wireless headsets. PlayStation 4 controllers have a standard 3.5mm jack that allows for gaming headsets to be connected, while Xbox One controllers have a USB plug that some of the best headsets can take advantage of.
The best way to make sure that you can get the best headsets for your platform is to check out the manufacturer specifications on your item before purchasing. Amazon customer reviews are also a good way to find out what the quirks are as well as the best features for each one, that way you will never be disappointed when you receive your headsets.
Another advisable strategy is to look at the YouTube product reviews that spring up from time to time, as these can also outline the connectivity compatibility options for you, and will help you to more fully understand the finer features of the product that you are considering.
Should my Gaming Headset Include a Mic?
This will depend entirely on what you plan on doing with your product. If you are not planning on playing online, where voice communication is essential for cooperative play. This functionality extends out to other options, such as Skype and TeamSpeak, allowing players to convert their PCs into a fully-fledged communications device.
It is for these reasons that it is advisable for gamers to go ahead and find a headset that does come with a microphone, as the savings that would be incurred from finding a decent headset without the microphone would be negligible. It also makes more sense to ‘future proof’ your needs, as this would obviate the need for an additional purchase further down the road.
Voice commands are becoming more and more popular as services such as Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Android voice search options become more prominent as well. Being able to communicate with others is definitely an essential component of online play, so if you are planning on entering the fray at some point, then getting a headset with a microphone is essential. A detachable microphone might even server you the best, as you can leave it disconnected until you need to use it, if you are so inclined.
So at the end of the day, it will all come down to your own personal needs and preferences. If you are using a normal headset without a microphone while using a laptop, then you can use the built in microphone that ships with the laptop itself, but it makes more sense to get an actual headset in the long run.
Are Gaming Headphones Comfortable for long Gaming Sessions?
As with many things in life, not all things are created equally. There are many different components that come together to create the ultimate in comfort. The headband is the most obvious place to start, with both the cushioning and fabric type playing a significant role in the quest for extreme comfort. Memory foam is a good choice here when there is a solid head band, while elasticized headbands are the most comfortable solution for headsets that offer a light weight solution for gamers.
The next item that determines over all comfort and how long a headset can be worn for, and that is of course the ear cups. These can have any material inside of them, from memory foam to standard molded foam, while the covering fabric is generally a synthetic leather or velvet type of material.
The headset frame is another critical factor to consider, as both the shape, weight and materials that it is constructed from will form the entire basis from which the platform will be based upon. These materials range from aluminum to plastic, and their shape and weight are the main factors to consider when gamers are trying to discern which headset type is the best fit for them.
Weight differences can also occur when batteries are factored in, as a battery pack will generally be heavier than a wired headset, meaning that there are other weight reductions that need to occur on a wireless gaming headset as opposed to a wired or USB enabled headset.
The best way to determine what works for you is to go into a store and see if you can demo a few different types of headset, or, reading the Amazon customer comments section can also be of tremendous help. Either way, it is an excellent idea to always do your homework first before finalizing your purchase.
Recommended Gaming Headset Specs
This may seem like somewhat of a subjective list at first glance, but the stats are generally correct for most gamers needs. You can follow some of the best recommendations and they will assist you with making the right choice when it comes to finding the ideal set of headphones for your particular requirements.
The first thing to consider is the best size of the speakers, or drivers. These can range from 60mm to 40mm and the bigger the diameter, the louder the output before there is any distortion or break up in the audio quality.
The frame construction is another important factor, and is very much dependent on your budget for the best gaming headphones. Aluminum frames are light weight and very stylish, but they tend to be more associated with the premium end of the product scales. Plastic is a solif choice when looking at a more budget friendly offering, so don’t be afraid to go that route if the headset that you are after only offers that as a base material.
Styling is another important consideration, especially if you are going to be using your gaming headset outside of your house or office. A more neutral aesthetic might be desirable if you are going to use the gaming headset at the office, or if you are looking to match several different color items, then a customizable headset might be a a better option for you.
Echo cancellation is essential on your gaming device, as voice communications have become a vital part of immersing yourself in the best online game play. Echo cancellation ensures that your voice is heard in the best possible quality by other players on your team, and that there will be very little chance of miscommunications or other accidental misunderstandings between you and your gaming team mates.
Microphone monitoring is also really important for gamers, especially if you are living in a communal setting where your playing might interfere with other’s sleeping habits. In ear monitoring will ensure that your voice doesn’t creep up ever more loudly as the game progresses, and will allow you to adjust your microphone volume to suite the level of amplification that you desire, without waking anybody up.
Wired vs wireless headphones are the next major consideration for buyers to be cognizant of. Depending on your layout at home, such as the distance from your couch to your TV, a wired headset might not be the best option for you. Likewise, if you are a PC gamer that very seldom finds yourself further than a foot or two away from your screen, then perhaps a wireless headset would be a bit of a waste and not in your best interest. Once you apply a bit of logic to your needs, you will find that the requirements that you need will become apparent.
Perhaps the most obvious consideration for your headphones will be the pricing. The cost of your next gaming headphones will reflect the best needs that you have for the sound of your games, so make sure that you pick the best item to match your specific requirements.
Our top pick is the HyperX Cloud II Headset for PS4, Xbox & PC Gaming. Not only does it feature extremely high levels of compatibility between consoles, PCs and mobile devices, but it is also reasonably priced and feature rich for this segment of the market. Gamers will be surprised by the build quality of the unit, as well as the comfort levels that have been achieved with these high quality materials.
The overall functionality and sound quality all come together to create a solid purchasing option for gamers that need comfort and acceptable audio quality in a headset product. HyperX have an excellent reputation in digital entertainment circles, and with products like the HyperX Cloud II Headset for PS4, Xbox & PC it is really easy to see why. This headset had some of the best audio reproduction in the round up, and also had some of the most neutral styling elements, which makes this a fantastic all round option.
Being cross platform compatible is vital for people that find themselves with multiple consoles in their homes, and having the additional PC connectivity that is required to play other AAA titles is really important as well. It is for these reasons that the HyperX Cloud II earns itself the prestigious title of our Top Pick for the best in our round up and review.
Our Premium Choice, and by far the best, is the SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset, which is a fantastic cable free sound device. The package comes with 2 x battery packs, allowing one to be on constant recharge, while the other is installed in the headset for around the clock gaming action.
The Siberia 800 offers amazing sound reproduction, echo cancellation microphones, and intuitive, easy to use headset controls. Volume settings can be changed via the software that comes with this gaming headset, and sound configuration can be done very easily to complete your sound configuration quickly and almost effortlessly.
Microphone monitoring ensures that you are keeping your voice volumes to an acceptable level, because if you can hear how loud you are being directly through your in-ear monitor, then the quicker you can adjust your voice to be heard, or unheard in some cases.
The OLED indicator on the transmitter is a nice touch, and reinforces the premium aesthetic and overall quality feel that the SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset brings to the party. The in-ear controls are simple yet intuitive to use, and gamers will find the adjustments are easy to get the hang of. The voice and normal audio levels are independently controllable and will allow players to easily configure the sound levels that they want, at the volumes that they want.
This is a true premium product with some fantastic features. Wireless and independent volume level controls are what put this headset in front, and make it our Premium Choice selection in our review.
Cheap and cheerful doesn’t always mean that you are in for a sub-standard ride when it comes to the best budget gaming peripherals, and the Creative Sound Headphones with Detachable Noise-Cancelling Mic is a case in point. We have a modestly equipped gaming headset that is wired with USB, and has an inline controller module. The drivers are 40mm and while not the most powerful in our list, they are very crisp and clear. Bass and mid-level tones are reproduced adequately, and highs are also crisp and clear.
The microphone features echo and noise cancellation, and it should provide gamers with the right features at the right price. The build materials are made from industrial plastic, but the seams are straight and nothing looks out of place. The ear cups are plush and comfortable, and feature a velvet inner with super soft padding. The microphone is completely detachable as well, which is a feature that has traditionally been associated with more expensive headsets, so this is a big plus factor for people that wish to use only the headphone feature, without looking like a telemarketer.
The cable is a high purity, oxygen free copper construction, which means that there is less chance of signal degradation as the copper deteriorates with time. This means that you can probably expect this gaming headset to last for quite some time, in theory. While you are gaming, the best players will be pleased to note that the volume and mic inline controls sit at around chest height, making for non-disruptive operation while playing their favorite titles.
This is a worthy entry level headphone product, and is more than adequate for casual gamers to enjoy. Those that are hoping for a wireless device in this price range might be a bit disappointed, as the USB offerings such as the Creative Sound Headphones with Detachable Noise-Cancelling Mic are much more prominent at this price point.