The conversation about gaming headsets tends to be dominated by higher-end models. Of course, headsets like the Arctis Pro or the Nari Wireless are top-shelf models generally worth their luxury price tag. Fortunately, there’s a significant price discrepancy between simply great headsets and the very best headsets. You can easily get a high-quality model worthy of use for semi-pros and even pros for less than $50.
That said, you will 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 for under $50.
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TL;DR - 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
An impressive headset aimed primarily at popular multiplayer gaming
Battle Royales seem to have 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 impressive. 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 nothing exceptional, but it's perfectly well suited for most multiplayer gaming.
2. ASTRO Gaming A10 Gaming Headset
A budget offering from a manufacturer with true heart
Astro is a company known for crafting exceptionally great headsets that are just as exceptionally expensive. That's what makes the A10 such a breath of fresh air. It may lose some of the good looks of its high-end A50 sibling, but it retains a surprising level of 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 the battle, 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
Possibly the best value budget headset on the market
There's arguably no budget gaming headset that's a better deal than the Sades SA902. It bears a $20 price tag and packs in 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 PC.
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. Not to mention, 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
A long-standing champion among the gaming headset market
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, though. 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 also mutes when flipped up.
It's only once you start to dig a little deeper that you start to notice where it really shines. 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 and the great sense of aural space it offers. This is all due to the fact that this is a Dolby 7.1 gaming headset. Its focus on bass provides real meaning to gunfire and grenades.
5. Corsair HS60 Gaming Headset
A truly capable device that focuses on the fundamentals
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 premium. That goes beyond the unvarnished aesthetics, too. This USB headset with a microphone has been certified by Discord. Corsair rarely disappoints, and this surround sound gaming headset is no different. The build quality consists of a reliable mix of metal and sturdy plastic capable of taking a hit and still remaining 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 films and listening to music as well.
6. Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
Turtle Bay's entry-level headset 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. Console gamers will likely find a lot to love here. 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 for 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 consistently 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 to turn 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 ground 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 headphones, which is not necessarily a bad thing but more a point of personal preference. The boom mic itself sounds good and is fully detachable.
9. Logitech G430 Gaming Headset
We told you the Logitech G-series would feature again on our list. The G430 is the most premium of the bunch, but generational changes have 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-feeling. For a gaming headset under 50 dollars, it looks pretty good, and it fits comfortably even during extended periods of play. You can give credit to the sports-performance cloth that lines the inside of the ear cups for that.
What's the point of comfortable headphones if they don't sound good, though? 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 entirely immersed in the world. There's a little more punch to the bass than everything else, but it's still 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 also keep hold of 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. 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. Truth be told, though, you may want to stick to the stereo settings.
The microphone is the standout feature here. The 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. There are also some nice but admittedly extraneous blue RGB lighting effects round out the package.
11. Plantronics RIG 400HS Gaming Headset
We saved one of the best gaming headsets for under 50 dollars for last. This is 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.
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 here 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 for a headset. 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 none that meet 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. 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 is to say, they obviously aren’t wireless, because they have a wire coming out of them. However, they do 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 on 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 at first, but you don’t need to disregard a headset 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 audio on virtually any device in use today. So while we decided to just list the major two consoles and 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 in-game audio 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 whole 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 of 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. You’ll need to understand the basics before you can make a decision for yourself, though.
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 actually being within 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, potentially as well as a subwoofer. The distance and the angle help substantially with that illusion of sonic depth.
That’s typically not a luxury afforded to headsets. After all, they simply use two drivers pointed directly into your ears. So how is the Virtual Surround Sound utilized in headphones accomplished? It’s all an elaborate illusion. For the most part, this requires the use of a DAC (digital to analog converter). This decodes the sound coming from the audio source, splits it into two, and distributes it to your different ears. However, many of the headsets here clearly boast that they support 7.1 surround sound, so how does that work?
For those uninitiated, 7.1 surround sound refers to a surround sound experience that combines seven speakers and one amplifier. Obviously, you can’t triangulate that within 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 audio source and trick your mind into believing it comes from multiple directions. In practice, that means that almost any headset can support this “virtual” surround sound; all it needs is a DAC for conversion. This also means that the quality of these surround sound experiences can vary pretty wildly.
This 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, though, it may be worth the investment. The fact that it’s a software rather than a hardware solution means that it’s getting better every day, and it doesn’t require you to regularly update 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 pointed down to your ears. This is not so much an issue of volume but of quality. Larger drivers tend to sound better. For consumer-grade over-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.
This it’s not the only thing that matters. What the drivers are made from can also 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 those 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: delivering quality sound performance from the game to your ears and delivering your voice input consistently through the microphone. All of the headsets here offer both in droves. 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 are strong contenders. We hope this guide will help you find what you’re looking for.If you liked our article on gaming headsets under $50, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.