10 Best Gaming Headsets Under $100 in 2019
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Detachable power cable
- Dual-chamber drivers
In this article, we want to show gamers that they don’t have to pay a lot of money to get a lot of performance. This entire article highlights the best gaming headsets under $100. All of these headsets have been hand-picked due to the tremendous amount of value that they provide for gamers on a budget. They have high-quality drivers, high levels of compatibility, and they all have unique sets of features that make them capable of competing with premium headsets.
At the end of our reviews, we’ve included the most comprehensive buyer’s guide possible. It goes over each and every feature that you need to know about, and it explains some of the more technical terms that most people might have trouble understanding. Well, now that we’ve completed our intro, let’s dig into our reviews of the best gaming headsets under $100.
1. HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is just under our $100 price limit, and it features most of the things that we require from a gaming headset.
It has a powerful set of dual-chamber audio drivers to create booming bass and crisp tones, and the volume controls are located on an inline control board that is mounted on the headset's power cable.
The aluminum band material is supplemented with an expandable headband to allow it fit most people. The ear cups are impressive on this model. Most cheap headsets have circular ear cups, and they often lack high-quality foam. The Cloud Alpha's ear cups are made from memory foam, and they're shaped to fit your ears naturally.
One of our only complaints is that it doesn't have surround sound. Surround sound really helps to immerse you in a game, and the Cloud Alpha is definitely in the price range where surround sound should be a main feature.
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Detachable power cable
- Dual-chamber drivers
- Memory foam
- Naturally shaped ear cups
2. CORSAIR Void PRO RGB Wireless Gaming Headset
Most of CORSAIR's headsets are within our price range. In fact, a lot of them cost a lot less than $100. However, they're usually not good enough to be on a list that covers the best quality headsets. The Void Pro is an exception. It's one of CORSAIR's highest-quality headsets, and it can actually compete with models from more popular brands.
The design of the Void is pretty unique, and it's known for not interfering with glasses. The ear cups are extremely large, but they create a good seal around the ear. While the cups don't cancel out background noise, they do dampen it a bit.
The microphone on the Void is capable of being muted by simply flipping it up, and it produces high-quality audio when you speak into it. It's also known for being able to block out background noise for clearer communication.
The CORSAIR Void is wireless, and it uses a Bluetooth dongle to communicate with whatever system you hook it up to. It can also stay connected up to 40 feet away from the adapter.
One of the issues that this USB gaming headset suffers from is its battery. Out of the box, the battery has a 16-hour battery life. However, that battery life slowly dwindles over the course of a few months. Some people have complained that its battery life has dropped to less than 4 hours after less than a year. That's not too big of a deal, and it's something that happens to most wireless headsets, but it is something that will turn off some people.
- Large cups
- Unique design
- Flip to mute
- Large range
- Clean surround sound audio
3. SADES SA819 Gaming Headset
The SADES is one of the few good gaming headsets that you'll find for less than $25. Despite its cheap price, the SADES is a surround sound gaming headset, and it's not one that's going to break after a couple of uses.
The SADES is a wired gaming set, but the wire is protected by a braided nylon sleeve to prevent it from being damaged. The sound controls are also located on the headset's wire for easy access.
The ear cups are just as large as the CORSAIR Void's, and they're a similar style. However, the SADES is designed to cancel out noise entirely. So, its ear cups are actually somewhat better than the CORSAIR's.
As far as sound quality goes, it's superb for $25. It uses 50 millimeter drivers to produce sound with stunning clarity, and the mic works sufficiently for online gaming. It's not as good as what you'll hear on a $500 premium headset, but you can't expect that in something this inexpensive, and it already surpasses expectations.
The 3.5-mm audio jack makes this unit extremely compatible. You can use it as an Xbox gaming headset, or you can use it for PC, PS4, Mobile, and Mac.
- Very compatible
- Large ear cups
- Noise cancelling
- Braided cable
- Very low price
4. Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset
Logitech doesn't just make great budget headsets. They make some of the most respected gaming headsets in the PC gaming world. The G Pro is no exception to that. It's one of the best gaming headsets under 100 dollars, and it's our top gaming headset pick for this list.
It's compatible with every major system. It can be used with the PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch.
The G Pro's stunning audio clarity is courtesy of its G Pro drivers. They allow the G Pro to reproduce your game audio as well as most high-end headsets, and they do a great job at separating bass and treble sounds.
The headset isn't overtly stylish, but it's designed to be extremely lightweight. It doesn't weigh your head down, and it's designed to work well with glasses.
On top of its great audio and lightweight design, the Logitech G Pro comes equipped with a condenser microphone. The condenser microphone prevents background noise from interrupting your communication attempts, and it helps the mic respond to a wider range of frequencies.
- Leatherette ear pads
- G Pro drivers
- Condenser mic
- Very compatible
5. Sennheiser GSP 300 Gaming Headset
The Sennheiser GSP 30 is a headset that is built to help you game comfortably. It's a closed-back headset, and the thick padding on the headband is split down the middle to decrease its weight. It also helps to allow more airflow for comfortable gaming.
Simply flipping the arm of the included boom mic will keep your friends from hearing your personal conversations, and your own ears are protected from outside noises by the noise-cancelling ear cups.
the GSP 300 is different from other headsets in this price range when it comes to its audio controls. Instead of being part of an inline control pad, the GSP's audio controls are located on the ear cup of the headset itself. That makes it extremely easy to locate the audio controls during an intense gaming session.
The GSP 300 is compatible with all major systems, but it's primarily marketed as the best gaming headset under 100 for PS4. The control set up is great for the quick pace of console gaming, and it's extremely comfortable for long periods of play.
- Thick band padding
- Split band
- Closed back
- Flip to mute microphone
6. SteelSeries Arctis 5
The 2019 edition of the Arctis 5 is the best PC gaming headset under 100 dollars. It barely fits within our price range, but it's still cheap enough to belong on our list.
The Arctis 5 is primarily made for PC gaming, but it does come with an adapter to work with Xbox One consoles. The Arctis 5 uses RGB lighting to illuminate, and it surprisingly features the ClearCast mic feature that higher-end Arctis headsets have.
The ear cups on the Arctis 5 are made from AirWeave fabric to allow your ears to stay sweat-free and cool. They're also enlarged to fit the ears of all gamers.
The S1 drivers in the Arctis 5 produce audio that is expected from a high-end Arctis product, and they deliver full surround sound via DTS HeadphoneX V.2 software. The only thing keeping this from being the best gaming headset under 100 dollars is that a lot of the other headsets on this list offer comparable features for an even lower price.
- S1 drivers
- 360 degree surround sound
- AirWeave fabric
- Arctis sound quality
- RGB lighting
7. Razer Kraken Cross Platform Gaming Headset
Razer is one of the only big brands that consistently makes high-quality products for people on a budget. The vast majority of their products can compete with high-end models, and the Kraken is no different. It's not the best headset on this list, but it's an option that will appeal to almost everyone.
When it comes to its technical specs, the Kraken is impressive, but it doesn't stand out among our other options. It has 50-mm drivers, and it has inline audio controls. However, it has a few luxury features when it comes to its design.
The ear cushions on the Kraken are filled with a cooling gel that makes them more comfortable than any other suggestion on our list. The gel makes the ear cups conform to your unique ears, and it actively works to cool your ears off. It also helps to release the pressure that naturally builds up from wearing headphones. That feature alone makes this one of the most comfortable headsets on this list, but the band is also heavily padded, and the entire headset is extremely lightweight.
The microphone is fairly advanced, too. It's designed to cancel out the noise generated from people speaking around you. It'll only pick up the noises that you create, and that makes it a lot better for in-game communication.
- Wired for unlimited play time
- Gel-infused ear cups
- Thick padding
- Powerful audio
- Inline controls
8. ASTRO Gaming A10 Gaming Headset
The ASTRO A10 is one of the cheapest ASTRO models available, but it still has the same quality as its more expensive cousins. However, the lower price reflects the lack of ASTRO's more advanced features.
The drivers inside of the A10 are 50-mm. They're custom-tuned to meet ASTRO's high standards, and deliver stereo sound with unmatched clarity. The 3.5-mm audio jack on the A10 allows it to be used with most devices and gaming systems, and the mic is more than sufficient for clear communication.
Those are all fairly standard headset features, though. The ASTRO A10 really shines when it comes to its design. It's built out of anodized aluminum to provide a lightweight and durable headset. Ear cups are designed fit the natural curves of your ear, and they're lined with memory foam cushions. The padding on the band is minimal to reduce weight, but it's thick, and it protects the part of your head that will actually make contact with the band. The mic is a simple to use flip design, and the power cord is detachable for easy storage.
The only issues that we have with the A10 are its lack of advanced features, and its need for an adapter for communication on PC. The adapter is inexpensive, but other headsets manage to combine voice and game audio into the same cord. So, that's a major setback for the A10.
- Comfortable design
- High-quality sound for cheap
- Detachable cord
- Highly compatible
- ASTRO build quality
9. CORSAIR HS70 SE 7.1 Gaming Headset
The HS70 is one of CORSAIR's headsets that falls into their normal $60 price range. It doesn't have some of the features that the Void had, but it is a high-performance gaming headset that will impress any gamer.
It has 50-mm neodymium drivers that are superior to the drivers in other budget headsets, it has plush memory foam cushions for added comfort, and it's built with metal components for durability. Beyond that, it doesn't have anything that really sets it apart. The mic is fairly basic, and the battery life is average. However, the quality of each part is astounding, and it's a great choice for gamers that have to stick to a budget.
The CORSAIR HS70 does have one feature that sets it apart from other headsets, though. While the microphone isn't anything special, it is removable. In fact, the unit ships with it detached. This makes it easier to store the headset, and gamers that play solo can remove it to keep it out of their face. With it being detachable, there's also the possibility that you can upgrade it with a better microphone.
- Great drivers
- High build quality
- Plush memory foam
- Very compatible
- Detachable mic
10. HyperX Cloud Stinger – Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Stinger packs a lot of punch for a budget headset. The drivers are capable of delivering jaw-dropping bass, the mic is high-quality, and it has a few features that aren't found on any of the other options we've listed.
In terms of sound quality, the Cloud Stinger is amazing. It uses directional drivers to deliver surround sound audio that is crystal clear. The mic mutes background noise, and it's a swivel design that lets you mute it without pressing a button. HyperX has also put the volume slider on the right ear cup, and it's made from steel to prevent it from being accidentally broken.
The ear cups on the Cloud Stinger are the only ones on this list that can be rotated a full 90 degrees, and they're lined with HyperX's patented memory foam.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is fairly basic when it comes to its other features. It uses a 3.5-mm audio jack, and the cable is standard. If it had a braided cable, it would be our top pick.
- Rotating cups
- HyperX memory foam
- Swivel mic
- Steel volume slider
Best Gaming Headsets Under $100 Buyer’s Guide
This buyer’s guide goes over all of the most important features that a good gaming headset should have. It’s comprehensive, and it’s written in a way that is easy to understand. If you’re not a tech geek, you should still be able to understand all of the terminology that we use, and won’t have any difficulties trying to figure out if what you need from a headset.
Related Post: See our post on gaming earbuds for alternative to headsets.
The quality of a headset’s build is extremely important. Even cheap headsets usually cost around $80, and that’s quite a bit of money to spend on something that will just break in a month.
You need to look at:
- Band material
- Frame material
- Cushion material
- Mic material
- How those are all connected
The band is the part that sits around your head. You’ll want something that has plenty of padding, and it’s best to get a headset that uses metal for the band’s frame. The band is the second most abused part of the headset because it is constantly being adjusted. Cheap polymers will crack and wiggle loose very quickly.
Polymer will work fine for the majority of the headset’s frame. It’s not too easy to damage with small drops, and it’s lightweight. Steel is a more long-lasting material, but it also weighs a lot, and polymer will last just as long if you take care of it. It’s also what most frames are made out of.
The cushions on the ear cups are very important if you want to play for longer than ten minutes. Memory foam is a good choice, and it’s what you’ll most often find. However, cooling gel is the best filling material that you can get in a headset, and we highly suggest that you spend a little extra on a headset that uses it.
The cushion covers are also important, but you have a lot more options. AirWeave is great, but it tends to be pricey. Leatherette and PU are inexpensive, but make sure that you find a headset that uses them properly, or your ears are going to hurt soon after you put the headset on.
Mics are prone to breaking. They’re forced to swing around in front of your face, and they can break with one false step into a wall. So, you want one that bends. Rigid mics are usually made from brittle polymers, and they’re a lot more likely to break. A flexible mic can take a lot beatings before it kicks the bucket.
If you have the funds for a premium headset, you can often find mics that are made from metal. It’ll cost a lot to acquire one, but steel mics are very unlikely to break.
The material used for your power cord isn’t too important, but it is something to consider. A standard cable is prone to kinking and becoming unusable. That’s not an issue if you take care of it, but things happen. Braided cables are much more durable, and they’ll ensure that your headset lasts much longer.
How Those Are All Connected?
A headset can be made from great materials, but those materials have to be put together properly. Check a potential purchase for gaps where the parts fit together. If anything wiggles or slides, go with another option.
The cushions and other pads need to be stitched together in a way that will not unravel. Look for any gaps between stitches, and make sure there aren’t any weird lumps where the padding was improperly inserted.
Finally, the power cord needs to be properly connected to the headset. It shouldn’t be close to popping out of the headset, and it shouldn’t wiggle at its base. If either of those are true about a headset you’re looking at, pass it up. A great headset is nothing more than a paperweight if the power cord doesn’t work.
This is mostly a common-sense thing. You obviously want to buy a headset that actually works with the system that you plan to use it for. Headsets come in a variety of designs and styles, and some are only compatible with specific systems.
It’s easy enough to tell whether or not a headset will work with your system. The packaging will always have a label that says what it’s compatible with. Before you invest your hard earned money, make sure to look for its compatibility label.
The drivers in a headset determine how high the sound quality is. 50-mm neodymium drivers are the most commonly used drivers in decent headsets, but you can find some headsets that use 35-mm, 45-mm, and proprietary drivers that are unique to a specific company.
We suggest staying away from the smaller drivers. They’re outdated, and they’re typically only used in poor-quality headsets. With that being said, plenty of low-quality headsets boast that they use 50-mm neodymium drivers.
What you want to look for is anything that says they’re custom-tuned. Drivers don’t typically arrive at a manufacturer’s warehouse set up for high-quality audio. It’s usually up to the manufacturer to tune the drivers to meet their standards. If you buy from a reputable brand, that isn’t a problem. Always check with lesser known brands, though.
Proprietary drivers are almost always high-quality. Most cheap companies don’t bother to make their own drivers, and they certainly don’t pay the extra money necessary to patent them if they do. If a company claims to use proprietary drivers, you can rest assured that they’ll produce high-quality sound.
This is the spec that determines how a headset will connect to your device. If you’re looking at wireless headsets, this will usually be Bluetooth or a USB dongle.
If you’re buying a wireless headset, it’s best to get one that connects with Bluetooth. Most modern systems utilize the technology, and it’s a lot more efficient than using a dongle. USB adapters aren’t bad, but they take up a USB port that you could otherwise use for a controller or other peripheral. You also need to worry about latency with wireless headsets. The best gaming headsets are usually designed to work without any latency, but cheaper headsets can have noticeable delays between in-game events and audio responses.
Wired headsets are a bit more complex. They have almost no latency issues, but different manufacturers use different hook ups with their headsets.
3.5-mm audio jacks are compatible with most systems, but they often require a separate adapter to use their mics on PC. USB connectors are compatible with a lot of different systems, and they usually only require a single USB port. However, console players will probably feel a little restricted by these types of headsets. Modern consoles have 3.5-mm jacks in their controllers, but the USB ports are all on the actual systems. So, you have to sit closer to your console to use these types of headsets.
There are a few advantages to wireless headsets over wired headsets, but they also suffer from a few major disadvantages.
A wireless headset doesn’t require any annoying cables, and that generally makes them more comfortable to wear. However, they have a slight delay between when things happen in-game, and when you hear them through the headset. That’s called latency, and it impacts your performance as a gamer quite a bit.
You also have to consider the battery life of a wireless headset. Since there aren’t any power cords supplying them with energy, they have to utilize an internal battery. almost all headsets have a battery that’s capable of letting the average gamer play several sessions without charging, but hardcore gamers might need very long-lasting batteries to accommodate all of their lengthy gaming binges. Charge times can vary between models, but most require a solid two hours or longer to get a full charge.
Surround sound is a highly sought after feature in the gaming world. It’s the most immersive way to enjoy a game’s audio, and it really makes a difference in how well you can perform. Luckily, it’s a feature that’s becoming more common in cheaper headsets.
Surround sound utilizes several directional audio drivers to play tricks on your ears. It makes it seem as if sounds are coming from the direction that they’re actually coming from in-game. If someone is walking behind you in your favorite first-person shooter, you won’t just hear footsteps coming out of all of your speakers. They’ll only come from the back, and it’ll sound like it would in real life. In competitive games, that gives gamers a huge advantage over someone who’s playing on a mono audio channel.
In solo games, surround sound does the same thing, but it simply makes games more immersive. When birds are flying over your in-game avatar’s head, it’ll sound as if there are birds actually flying above you. It’s honestly the best way to experience the cinematic experiences that game developers tend to focus on.
However, surround sound isn’t a necessity. It helps, but stereo audio is just as capable of providing a similar experience. You won’t hear sounds in a 360 degree arc, but stereo sound will differentiate between your right and left. It’s a lot more immersive than mono sound, and it’s a lot cheaper to produce than surround sound. It’s still better to get a surround sound headset, though.
Frequency response might sound like a nerdy spec that isn’t understandable for casual gamers, but it’s actually really simple. It just describes what frequencies the headset will pick up.
As you know, sounds come in a vast array of tones and pitches, and some electronics can have trouble picking up high-frequency signals. That’s not a major issue with modern headsets, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re going over a headset’s specs.
The majority of decent headsets have a frequency response that picks up sounds as low as 20Hz, and they can usually pick up sounds that are as high 20,000Hz. That’s perfectly fine for the vast majority of games and music. In general, a wider range is more preferable, but you’re unlikely to actually use anything that is drastically more varied than that.
All you have to do is look for a headset that can respond to frequencies between 20Hz and 20,000Hz. That’ll provide you with a very balanced experience, and it won’t cost a premium price.
Noise cancelling is usually a great feature, but it can be a drawback for a select few. It definitely helps to keep all of the annoying background noise out of your ears while you play, but it completely isolates you from your real-world environment. That can be detrimental if you have to constantly listen for your kids or spouse.
The noise cancelling feature works by creating a perfect seal between your ears and a headset’s ear cups. That seal prevents noise from coming through to your ears. It also keeps all of the sound from your games trapped inside of the ear cups. So, it usually makes it less annoying for people around you, too.
This isn’t something that should determine what headset you buy, but it’s important to know the difference between different control setups. They do slightly impact how easy it is to use a headset, and that’s important enough to be included in this guide.
Inline controls are the most common. Inline controls are mounted onto the power cord of a headset, and they typically include a volume wheel and a mute switch. Sometimes, they’ll have audio balancing controls, too. These are simple to use, and they’re not obtrusive. However, you’ll find yourself grabbing around for a dangling audio control in the middle of a lot of intense games, and that can slow you down considerably.
Sometimes, audio controls are mounted on the earpiece of a headset. These are the easiest to reach because they’re always in the same spot, but they’re not common in cheaper headsets. These types of controls typically have sliders or buttons that control the system’s audio. That’s not usually as accurate as a wheel, but it’s a fair trade for the added accessibility that these controls provide.
If a headset doesn’t have audio controls located somewhere on it, we don’t recommend buying it. You’ll have to adjust your audio very frequently, and you need to be able to access your controls quickly. If a headset doesn’t have any way to adjust its audio, you really shouldn’t buy it. That’s a blatant rip off.
Being able to customize your headset via software isn’t necessary, but it’s a really nice feature. A lot of modern headsets use RGB lighting, and being able to change what color a headset’s lights are adds a lot to its overall package.
Some software even allows you to fine-tune your headset to produce the type of audio that you want. This is usually only available with expensive headsets, but it’s a great feature to have, and it’s definitely worth paying a premium price for. Being able to change RGB lighting is often found on budget headsets, though. So, this is still a feature that fits into the budget theme of this guide.
With budget headsets, you’ll usually only be able to adjust how long the arms are to secure a tight fit. However, it’s not incredibly rare that manufacturers will add rotating ear cups, removable mics, and detachable cords, and all of those features add to how adjustable a headset is.
They’re not features that should ultimately determine whether or not you buy a particular headset, but they make headsets that are already great purchases a little bit better.
Once you’ve purchased your headset, you may wish to think about getting a headset stand for it, they help keep them out of the way and prevent them from being damaged.