The market for gaming headsets runs the gamut from the cheap, toy-like models that sometimes come packaged with consoles to ultramodern and ultra-expensive models built for the demands of esports gamers, but there’s a whole universe of models that fall in the space between. Today we’re focusing our attention on the most affordable gaming headsets around.
But just because we’re keeping things under budget doesn’t mean we’re shirking on quality. There are a lot of great, cheap models out there, and the ten models below represent the most exclusive, best budget gaming headset models available in 2021. We’re even going to do a full breakdown of what various specs and features mean so you can go shopping for a budget gaming headset with a bit more confidence.
TL;DR - 10 Best Budget Gaming Headsets :
- HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset
- ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset
- Logitech 981-000541 G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
- Corsair VOID RGB Elite Wireless Gaming Headset
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset
- Turtle Beach Recon 200 Amplified Gaming Headset
- Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
- Mpow EG3 Pro Gaming Headset
- RUNMUS K2 Gaming Headset
- BENGOO G9000 Stereo Gaming Headset
1. HyperX Cloud Stinger Headset
Absolutely Packed With Value
The HyperX Cloud Stinger has been regarded in the gaming community as one of the best budget models for years, and it continues to maintain what may be the best value in its field. This headset is compatible with gaming PCs as well as all three current-gen consoles, and it sports powerful 50mm drivers that provide some high fidelity (and high precision) audio performance. The cups are large, but that's in service to the comfort. Those powerful drivers are surrounded by some pretty thick memory foam which is then wrapped in soft and luxurious leatherette.
2. ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset
Gaming Headsets With Their Own Amp
Will the Astro A40 qualify as a budget gaming headset for everyone? Probably not, but the inclusion of a compact and smartly designed amp makes it well worth the asking price. This headset fits great, especially for the budget price, and it offers some of the most impressive audio quality within this price range. And if you like to customize your sonic gaming experience, you won't find a better choice than this. You're presented with a ton of options to choose from, but the smartly designed and intuitive Astro Command Center interface means that finding the gaming settings that are right for you is never too difficult.
3. Logitech 981-000541 G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
Cheap Gaming Headsets That Aren't Cheaply Made
The G230 from Logitech bears the "budget" label proudly. You can get it new or used for around $50 or less, and while it may be light on features, the core specs you'd want from a gaming headset are all solidly implemented. It covers the entire frequency response range discernible to the human ear and is made from cloth earphones with a good grip that's secure without clamping too much on your head. The gaming mic can fold easily out of place and even offers some decent noise protection. This gaming headset isn't the best on our list, but it may offer the best value.
4. Corsair VOID RGB Elite Wireless Gaming Headset
Comparable to a Seven-Speaker System
Corsair is a name that most competitive gamers are already going to know, and the Void is one of their biggest sellers. This entry-level gaming headset retails for around a hundred bucks but brings full virtual 7.1 surround sound to the table. It's the next best thing to a seven-speaker system at a fraction of the cost (and size). It can work as a headset for PS4, PS5, or PC without having to worry about connectivity issues. The combination of plush memory foam and microfiber mesh results in ear cups that are catered to longer play sessions and do a great job siphoning off heat.
5. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset
All Encompassing Surround Sound
The virtual surround sound that some headsets offer can be pretty hit or miss, but the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is an exception. There's a sense of scale and an expansive sound stage in the SteelSeries Arctis that can immerse you in your favorite environments or provide you with tactical information about enemy locations, and it's girded by some of the best sound reproduction we've discovered in budget gaming headsets. The SteelSeries Arctis is a fully wireless headset, and it offers some superb lossless transmission to keep your sound perfectly synced up to the gaming experience as it happens.
6. Turtle Beach Recon 200 Amplified Gaming Headset
Deep and Rumbling Bass
Need bass quality that really pops? You'll find it in the Turtle Beach Recon 200. The Bass Boost technology is always on and offers a level of oomph to gunfire and explosions that's largely unmatched by even the best gaming headsets at this price point. The audio reproduction isn't the best we've ever seen, but it's certainly better than average at this price range. Both PC and all current-gen consoles are supported, so they're the only headset you'll need regardless of what gaming system you prefer. Turtle Beach headsets also look great. With its metallic white and black finish, this is one of the best-looking headsets around.
7. Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
Clear and Crisp Communications
The microphone on the Razer Kraken isn't the best around, and the sound reproduction isn't up to snuff for watching movies, but it's a great entry-level gaming headset with a price to match. It particularly excels at the higher end of the frequency response range, so it really excels where voices and highs are concerned. If communicating with your teammates is more important than emphasizing the boom of explosions, the Razer Kraken may be the best budget gaming headset for you. And this Razer headset looks great, too. You can choose from a variety of colors or a more simple and sleek black design.
8. Mpow EG3 Pro Gaming Headset
Snappy Industrial Design at a Great Price
Mpow headsets have quickly gained a great reputation in the gaming community because they're cheap without sacrificing quality. The EG3, for instance, offers compatibility with every modern console as well as surround sound and some especially above-average bass performance. Its bulky industrial design may look heavy, but it actually feels great even when wearing it for hours at a time. And in a cool but surprising touch for a gaming headset in this price range, it even comes with some LED lighting. The industrial design is more than just for show, too. It employs a metal suspension band and all-around quality components.
9. RUNMUS K2 Gaming Headset
A Gaming Headset Through and Through
You probably wouldn't mistake the RUNMUS K2 for anything other than a gaming headset. From the bold RGB coloring through the sharp futuristic angles, it hits all the expectations for the aesthetic design of a gaming headset, but the bombastic design isn't covering for anything. It offers 7.1 surround sound and a microphone with noise cancellation, and it's made from premium materials across the board. That's true of the cans themselves but also of the cord and the sturdy headband. And the mic can flip right up to mute, so it doesn't have to be in your way during single-player sessions.
10. BENGOO G9000 Stereo Gaming Headset
Reliable Communication Without Sacrificing the Bass
Bengoo isn't exactly a household name, but they've really shown they know what they're doing with their G9000 headset. Compatibility with different consoles is incredibly solid, and there's a surprising amount of bass present with this headset despite the fact that it only makes use of 40 mm neodymium drivers. The quality of the microphone is often one of the first things to go when designing a budget headset, but the call quality here is crisp and clear, and that makes it a great choice for gamers who just want a reliable means to communicate with the rest of their team.
Budget Gaming Headsets Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve worked your way through our list of the best gaming headsets, you might be asking yourself what to do next. While our guides generally try to highlight the best of the best early in our articles, the question remains of which models are right for different people. For that reason, we’re also providing a bit more information about the considerations that apply when shopping for gaming headsets, so you can narrow down your options.
- You may also like our guide to the best gaming headsets under $100.
- On a tighter budget? Check out these gaming headsets under $50.
- Invest in a headset stand to protect your new purchase
Sound quality is unfortunately something that can’t be expressed through numerical output, but it’s also going to be the most important thing to the vast majority of gamers. On top of that, the ideal setting is going to vary from gamer to gamer. Fortunately, there are some things you can pay attention to when you’re shopping for gaming headsets and want sound that’s catered to you.
- The frequency response tells you how much of the audible frequency range headsets can reproduce, but it also measures beyond the audible frequency range. Headsets that offer 20 Hz to 20 KHz cover the whole audible spectrum, but models that can extend beyond that range offer better imaging to create a greater sense of space in how different instruments are centered while also providing you with a stronger understanding of where sounds are coming from in-game.
- When you’re in the middle of a gaming session, do you usually hear the sound of voices or gunfire? Lower frequencies are categorized as bass which then extends into mids and finally treble. Headsets that promise better treble will produce crisper human voices and sibilant noises with clarity, while those that emphasize bass will provide better drums, explosions, and gunfire.
- When evaluating the sound quality of a mic that a headset offers, there are two big considerations: noise isolation and frequency response. As far as frequency response goes, there’s not too much to worry about. A mic that covers all, or even most, of the audible spectrum should suit you just fine. Finding a unidirectional mic can help cut out background noise from anywhere else in the room so you can have clearer and more concise communications with your team.
- The speakers built into a headset are known as the drivers. Bigger is better here, as larger drivers can do a better job of replicating sound. Most of the models on our list include either 40 mm or 50 mm drivers, and that’s pretty common. But the size of a driver won’t tell you everything about audio performance. It can be a great shorthand for measuring the general performance of a headset, but it doesn’t show you the whole picture.
Headsets are still tangible things, and that means they’re prone to the inconveniences that always come with such things. You should definitely consider how much care went into the materials and general build quality before you settle on a specific model.
- A comfortable fit is going to be almost as important for sound quality, especially if you tend to engage in marathon gaming sessions. Designing ear cups means finding a comfortable balance between creating a tight seal from outside noise and ensuring a comfortable fit when things get hot. Seek out higher build quality especially in terms of the padding and design of ear cushions, and look in particular for mesh materials that help disperse heat.
- Weight should also be a consideration. Highly comfortable materials won’t mean all that much if you’re wearing three pounds of them on your head. Good build quality is almost always going to be lightweight. We generally suggest models that weigh around a pound or less, but there are some models with great build quality that weigh nearly a pound and a half.
- Wireless connectivity lets you ditch cords entirely, and modern input lag is normally low enough that you don’t have to worry about your words not matching up to your actions. But it’s harder to find wireless headsets cheap, and you should pay attention to the battery life if remembering to recharge electronics is a bit of a problem for you. A longer battery life, or one with a charging dock, makes a lot of sense.
- Some headsets come with a variation of surround sound technology, but be wary of companies that promise a true surround sound experience, especially with cheap models. There’s little in the way of standards to decide what can and can’t use the surround sound designation, and a model that only promises stereo sound can sometimes outperform a cheap model that claims to offer surround sound.
- USB headsets aren’t as common as those with a 3.5 mm connection, but they have their own distinct advantages. Since they include their own sound cards, the audio quality is often better than if you used the sound card built into your PC. But 3.5 mm models offer better compatibility with other devices, so they’re a solid choice if you want to game on a console or using a personal device like a phone or tablet.
When we get asked about headsets, gaming is usually the top reason, but high-quality models in this market can get expensive. Our guide should cover the best models for everyone from those looking for bargain-basement prices to those with the financial flexibility to buy something bordering on the mid-range. And if you want to deck out your entire gaming setup on the cheap, we encourage you to check out our guides to the best budget gaming monitors and the best budget keyboards for gamers.If you liked our article on budget gaming headsets, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.