The conversation about gaming headsets tends to be dominated by high-end models. And yes, headsets like the Arctis Pro or the Nari Wireless are top shelf models generally worth their luxury price tag. But fortunately, there’s a significant price discrepancy between the best headsets and great headsets. You can get a high-quality model worthy of use for semi-pros and even pros for less than $50.
But you do need to know where to look. As soon as you start checking out budget gear, you generally see a flood of low quality products designed by cheap manufacturers looking to make a quick buck. But don’t worry. We have your back with 11 gaming headset reviews each spotlighting a quality model under $50.
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Quick Look: Best Gaming Headsets Under $50
- Logitech G332 Stereo Gaming Headset
- ASTRO Gaming A10 Gaming Headset
- SADES SA902 7.1 Surround Sound PC Headset
- HyperX Cloud Stinger – Gaming Headset
- Corsair HS60 Gaming Headset
- Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
- Logitech G231 Prodigy Gaming Headset
- Razer Electra V2 Gaming Headset
- Logitech G430 Gaming Headset
- RUNMUS Stereo Gaming Headset
- Plantronics RIG 400HS Gaming Headset
1. Logitech G332 Stereo Gaming Headset
Battle royale has become one of the most dominant sub-genres in gaming practically overnight, and developers and manufacturers have rushed to get their own piece of the pie. The fact that the Logitech G332 has such targeted marketing to the battle royale market may make it seem like just another rushed product, but the final result is actually very strong. The comfortable leatherette cups are meaningfully padded, and though they're a little tight, that makes for pretty great sound isolation.
A 3.5mm jack allows this wired gaming headset to work with both consoles and PCs, but a headphone converter is also included if you want to hook it up to your stereo. If aural fidelity is your primary concern, you'll find it here. The mids take center stage here, and there's some good oomph delivered by the 50mm drivers. The microphone is unexceptional but perfectly well suited for most multiplayer gaming.
2. ASTRO Gaming A10 Gaming Headset
Astro is a company known for crafting exceptionally great headsets that are also exceptionally expensive. That's what makes the A10 such a breath of fresh air. It may lose some of the good looks that its high-end sibling the A50, but it retains a surprising amount of the quality. The build quality itself is spartan but functional, including an in-line volume wheel as well as an omnidirectional mic that will mute when flipped out of the way.
But the A10 has heart where it counts. This sounds like an Astro product through and through. Like Logitech's offering above, the mids get most of the attention here, but the level of clarity is truly exceptional. It's strong enough to throw you right into the heat of a firefight, but it can also function admirably well listening to anything from traditional orchestral arrangements to dense and layered psych rock.
3. SADES SA902 7.1 Surround Sound PC Headset
There's arguably no budget gaming headset headset with mic that's a better deal than the Sades SA902. It bears a $20 price tag but a lot of value. In fact, it hits basically all the major special features a cheap gaming headset could hope for: a noise canceling mic, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, and compatibility with both consoles and PCs.
In-line controls are available for both the mic and the headphone volume, and the ear cushions use a ventilated protein material for maximum breathability. It even comes with LED lighting, which seems a bit like bragging once you take everything else into consideration.
The sound quality might not be quite up to snuff with something like the A10, but it's also less than half the price. And that Dolby Surround Sound provides a phenomenal level of immersion in both atmospheric single player and raucous multiplayer games.
4. HyperX Cloud Stinger – Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Stinger sat atop many best of lists when it was first released, and it still holds up even now that the market has become significantly more crowded. You wouldn't know it from the build quality. It's pretty typical for a PC gaming headset under 50, but the leatherette cups with memory foam cushioning can rotate 90 degrees for a more versatile fit. The swiveling boom mic mutes when flipped up.
It's once you start to dig a little deeper that you start to notice the shine. It utilizes 50mm rather than 40mm drivers, but it's still surprising to hear the fidelity of sound that comes through this gaming headset on PC or the great sense of geography it offers. That's all due to the fact that this is a Dolby 7.1 gaming headset. A focus on the bass provides a real meaning to gunfire and grenades.
5. Corsair HS60 Gaming Headset
The Corsair HS60 is modest but elegant, stripping out the bright lights and embellishments that define so many gaming headsets and instead opting for something that looks legitimately high-end. And that goes beyond the unvarnished aesthetics too. This USB headset with microphone has been certified by Discord. Corsair rarely disappoints and certainly not with this surround sound gaming headset. The build quality is a reliable mix of metal and sturdy plastic able to take a hit and still come out intact.
There's a level of balance here that's rare even in other headsets on our list. The bass is a little heavier in proportion to the mids and highs but it's not inconsistent enough to stand out except to hardcore audiophiles. They're certainly substantial enough to suit the full range of gaming genres and double as decent headphones for watching film and listening to music as well.
6. Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
Turtle Bay's entry level offers multiple color schemes for the three major current generation consoles, but they're all functionally the same device. Just keep in mind that the shortness of the cord means it's not ideal to use as a computer gaming headset. But console gamers should find a lot to love. The synthetic leather looks great, and the plush interior feels great against your ears. They can also rotate out to 90 degrees.
The Recon 70 may only come with 40mm drivers, but they have a nice kick to them. The dynamic range is well above par here, deftly adapting from quiet moments of narrative drama to the bombast of the battlefield. The Recon 70 doesn't support surround sound, but it still provides a nice sense of space. Add in the crisp sound quality of the mic and you have an all-around well balanced little headset just under $50.
7. Logitech G231 Prodigy Gaming Headset
The G231 isn't the first Logitech G-series headset on our list, and it won't be the last. Logitech's headsets are good, and the Prodigy has the privilege of being designed explicitly with PC gamers in mind. The compact size is a great advantage here. It's surprisingly flat in design, and the earphones can be adjusted to rotate 90 degrees or even fold into themselves for easier carrying. It's not a design that's going to change the world of headsets, but it's pretty comfortable nonetheless.
Audio quality is clean and balanced across the board, and it should suit a wide variety of different games and movies. The mic is similarly solid, although the noise isolation is pretty light. If you're in a crowded room, you'll probably want it off. Fortunately, you can fold it right out of the way when you don't need it.
8. Razer Electra V2 Gaming Headset
Whether you're looking for a PC or PS4 gaming headset, the Razer Elektra V2 could fit the bill. It's not the sexiest USB gaming headset around, but it gets the fundamentals right on point and offers a general sense of balance that overwhelms its lack of distinguishing features. If there is a point of especially high praise to lend to it, it's the comfort. It finds the perfect middle in terms of sizing, and the headband is both suitably padded and automatically adjustable. It's a nice change in a world heavy with notched headbands.
The sound quality isn't as vibrant as other entries like the A10, but it's not exactly boring either. There's a vague flatness to the sound that's usually more prevalent in studio cans, but it's not necessarily a bad thing but a point of personal preference. The boom mic itself sounds good and is detachable.
9. Logitech G430 Gaming Headset
We told you the Logitech G-series would ride again. It's the most premium of the bunch, but generational changes has made it more or less comparable in price. The leather may not be authentic, but the build quality is good, and the design certainly isn't cheap. For a gaming headset under 50 dollars , it looks pretty good, and it fits comfortably even during extended periods of play. Credit the sports performance cloth that lines the inside of the cups for that.
But what's the point of comfortable headphones if they don't sound good? Luckily, these ones do. Noise cancellation isn't stellar, but get these headphones into a quiet room with an aurally rich game, and you'll find yourself falling into the world. There's a little more punch to the bass than everything else but good quality all around.
10. RUNMUS Stereo Gaming Headset
RUNMUS isn't exactly a household name, but the bargain basement pricing on their headset is sure to grab your attention. The fact that this headset is pretty decent should keep that attention. 50mm drivers deliver pretty strong sound, though it's a little more washed out than some of the more tightly perfected models we've highlighted here. But the strong design of the headphone seal ensures that most of the noise around you is drowned out. Sure to raise a brow is the inclusion of 7.1 surround sound. But truth be told, you may want to stick to the stereo settings.
The microphone is the standout feature here. Outside noise isolation on this omnidirectional mic is respectable, so you won't have to worry about your roommates or family irritating your teammates on the other side of the display. Some nice but extraneous blue RGB lighting effects round out the package.
11. Plantronics RIG 400HS Gaming Headset
We saved one of the best gaming headsets under 50 dollars for last. It's also one of the more unusual choices we've decided to spotlight. The open back design is very uncommon in the gaming market and for good reason. The fact that these types of headphones tend to leak sound like crazy also means that sound is going to get picked up regularly by the microphone.
But if you're looking for single player headphones you occasionally use for their headset capabilities, you'll find a lot to love here. The RIG 400's microphone is actually incredibly nice - providing crisp and crystal clear performance. Plantronics has also scored a license from Dolby for the Atmos tech. A lot of headsets promise surround sound, but the inclusion of Atmos demonstrates that Plantronics' headsets are the real deal.
Best Gaming Headsets Under 50 Buyer’s Guide
Even after reading through our reviews, you may be left with some questions. That’s to be expected, especially if this is your first time shopping. We’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions by new gaming headset buyers and provided detailed answers for your convenience.
Why Are None of the Headsets Wireless?
The unfortunate truth is that you aren’t going to find a wireless gaming headset for under 50 dollars, or at least not one that meets the standards we’ve established for this list. Bluetooth isn’t the cheapest format, and managing to make a headset wireless while also packing in all the other features that gamers demand can be costly. And while we didn’t feel comfortable selling our readers on shoddy headsets for the sake of diversifying our list, there’s one other important factor in our decision making.
A headset with a 3.5mm jack essentially is a PS4 wireless headset (or an XBox One wireless headset). That’s to say, they obviously aren’t wireless, because they have a wire coming out of them. But they offer close to the same mobility as a Bluetooth gaming headset. The cable on the headset connects directly to the back of your controller, draining that battery rather than having to run off its own. Sure, there’s a cable running out in front of you, but the range of movement is great, and it won’t be a noticeable inconvenience for most gamers sitting in front of their TV.
What’s the Relationship Between Compatibility and Connection Type?
You’ll have noticed that there are two major connection types here: USB and 3.5mm. You may have also noticed that there’s a direct correlation between the cord used and the compatibility for XBox One. Things are a little more complicated than they look, but you don’t need to disregard a controller that interests you solely because it doesn’t show compatibility for Microsoft’s latest console. You’ll see why below.
3.5mm ports are the standard for sound on virtually any device in use today. So while we decided to just list the major two consoles and the PC when speaking about compatibility, you can generally expect your headset to work with significantly more devices than that. Whether you’re looking to listen to music on your Nintendo Switch, use your phone as a portable jukebox while you go on a jog, or watch a big action movie while the rest of your household sleeps, you can count on your gaming headset to suit your needs.
The XBox One used to be an exception. For whatever reason, Microsoft neglected to include a 3.5mm port on either the controllers or the console in lieu of a proprietary port for approved XBox One headphones and headsets. They eventually gathered their senses and decided to reverse their position, but whether or not your XBox One controller can connect natively with the majority of headsets here will depend on when it was made. The newer controllers were released in 2015, so the majority of those around today do support standard headset jacks. If yours doesn’t, Microsoft sells adapters that will remedy the issue for you.
USB adapters are a different beast. USB isn’t built into the controllers of either the PS4 or the XBox One, and Microsoft’s console doesn’t support USB headsets at all. The PS4 does, but since none of the models listed here are Bluetooth headsets, it’s not nearly as effective an approach. You have to plug the USB headset into the console rather than the controller to get them to work.
The advantage of USB, and the reason it’s so often offered as a converter for a 3.5mm cable, is that it often supports a higher level of sound quality. Many of the USB powered headsets on our list manage to offer surround sound or other auditory bells and whistles due to the inclusion of USB support. These features are often only available when gaming on a PC.
What’s Up With Surround Sound in Headsets?
Surround sound, particularly where headsets are concerned, is a particularly thorny topic of discussion for gamers. Whether or not it’s right for you is going to come down to a few factors. But you need to understand the basics before you can make a decision for yourself.
Traditional surround sound simply can’t work without a decent amount of space. The magic of surround sound is its ability to break up the sound of a movie, song, or video game into separate channels. It then creates the illusion of being in the experience by redirecting it to you at different angles. It has some help in this respect. With surround sound, you’re dealing with anywhere from two to seven different speakers as well as potentially a subwoofer. The distance and the angle helps substantially with that illusion of sonic depth.
That’s not a luxury afforded to headsets. Two drivers are pointed directly into your ears, after all. So how is the Virtual Surround Sound utilized in headphones accomplished? By tricking you. For the most part, this requires the use of a DAC (digital to analog converter). This decodes the sound coming from the sources, splits it into two, and distributes it to your different ears. But many of the headsets here boast that they support 7.1 surround sound. So how does that work?
For those not familiar, 7.1 surround sound refers to a surround sound experience that combines seven speakers and one amplifier. Obviously you can’t triangulate that with the narrow space of headphones, and that’s where software is important. Many manufacturers have their own software, such as Razer Synapse, which is explicitly designed to take the sound coming from your source and trick your mind into believing it comes from more directions. In practical fact, that means that almost any headset can support this “virtual” surround sound. It merely needs a DAC for conversion. It also means that the quality of these surround sound experiences can vary pretty wildly.
That’s where points of contention start to arise with gamers. In the competitive esports scene, stereo still prevails. There’s not enough trust in virtual surround sound to convince them that the situational awareness that virtual 7.1 promises will be accurate. For those simply looking to be more fully immersed in a single player experience, it may be worth the investment. The fact that it’s a software rather than hardware solution means that it’s getting better everyday, and it doesn’t require updating to a new pair of headsets. The latest versions of virtual surround sound are relatively sophisticated, and many of them are quite good.
Does Driver Size Really Matter?
Driver size absolutely does matter, both in terms of gaming headsets and more traditional audio headphones. The driver size essentially tells you the diameter of the speakers that are pointed down your ears. It’s not an issue of volume but of quality. Larger drivers tend to sound better. For consumer grade over-the-ear headsets, the typical range is somewhere from 30 to 53 mm. On our list, all of the drivers are either 40 mm or 50 mm.
But it’s not the only thing that matters. What the drivers are made from can have a big effect on the sound. How well the cans are sealed can have an impact on music leaking in and running the integrity of that sound. Software solutions like that used to deliver virtual surround sound can further complicate the complexity of the experience. Drivers matter, but unless you’re deep into the technical specifications, you’re probably better off investigating the sound quality in general. The balance between bass, mids, and highs isn’t predicated on the size of the drivers but the craftsmanship of the manufacturer.
A good gaming headset needs to accomplish two things: deliver quality sound performance from the game to your ears and deliver your message consistently through the microphone. All of the headsets here offer both. Where they vary is in the range of their other features and the consistency of their delivery. Ultimately, the best gaming headset under 50 is going to be contingent on your preferences, but any of the headsets on our list is a strong contender. We hope you find what you’re looking for.