Best Wired and Wireless Gaming Headsets 2020
Few things can ruin an experience as deeply as bad audio. An overly compressed video might still be watchable if the audio is clear, but try watching a clear video with audio that’s clipping or out of sync and it may be a different story. Matters are only worse in games, where a bad audio experience can hurt your ears with sounds that take a sudden turn toward explosive or enemies that you can’t hear until it’s too late.
A quality pair of gaming headphones can help ensure these audio issues won’t be a concern of yours. The best headsets will use quality materials to deliver crisp and clear audio, whether that be over a wired or wireless connection. And, some will even offer custom equalizers and surround sound so you can really tune your audio experience for an edge in gaming. We’ve rounded up the best gaming headsets from budget to premium and wired to wireless, so you can find a quality headset and leave audio concerns behind.
Best Gaming Headsets:
- HyperX Cloud Orbit S
- SteelSeries Arctis 1
- SteelSeries Arctis 7X and Arctis 7P
- Corsair HS70 Pro
- Corsair HS35
- Astro A40 TR + Mixamp TR
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
- JBL Quantum One
- Razer Nari Ultimate
- Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2
- LucidSound LS41 Gaming Headset
- Logitech G Pro X
1. HyperX Cloud Orbit S
Best Gaming Headset
Unlike all the other headset on this list, it uses planar magnetic drivers that bring audiophile-quality audio to the gaming masses. What’s more, Waves NX adds another dimension of directional sound by introducing head tracking into the equation. For example, if you hear something off to the left you can turn your head slightly in that direction for clearer sound.
On top of all that the HyperX Cloud Orbit S features top-notch materials and a premium design, and it’s comfortable, and can be used for a lot more than gaming. Thanks to an included 3.5mm audio cable as well as USB-A and USB-C cords, you can pretty much plug this headset into any platform and enjoy the rich audio-only planar drivers can deliver.
Just be aware that the head-tracking features will only work on the computer and your experience may vary depending on which PC game you play, for example, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S will make Battlefield V sound amazing but it won’t do much for Phoenix Point. If money is no object, and you want the best headset for gaming, look no further.
2. SteelSeries Arctis 1
Best Budget Gaming Headset
It’ll take extensive equalizer balancing to get the same exact sound profile as the Arctis 1 is bass-heavy out of the box.
Another thing you’ll love about the SteelSeries Arctis 1 is how breathable the earcups are. Combined with the cushy headband, and this is a gaming headset you can wear for hours. Since it uses a simple 3.5mm jack, you can use it on every platform from the PC to the Nintendo Switch.
3. SteelSeries Arctis 7X/P
The Best Wireless Headset
SteelSeries just keeps making it’s Arctis 7 headset better. It was good to start, it got upgraded in 2019, and now the SteelSeries Arctis 7X/P (see our review) raises the bar again. Although, this time it’s not just one headset. In fact, there is an Arctis 7X and an Arctis 7P. They’re fundamentally the same headset, though one is targeting the new Xbox Series X and the other is targeting the new PlayStation 5 (that said, the 7X will also support the PS5 and PS4 while the 7P will not support the new Xbox).
Looking past the platform specifics, both headsets feature a strong wireless connection using a USB-C dongle and deliver strong audio with the 40mm drivers that we already loved in the earlier headsets. The SteelSeries Arctis 7X/P headset still offers a comfortable design with breathable ear cushions and a “ski google” headband the distributes its pressure well. There are plenty of extras as well, such as surround sound support on Xbox and Windows, an improved 24-hour battery life, multiple connectivity options, and a special dial dedicated to sidetone control on the Arctis 7P and ChatMix on the Arctis 7X. All this makes for a wireless gaming headset that earns its place at the front of the pack.
4. Corsair HS70 Pro
Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset
Corsair had a winner on its hands with the Corsair HS70, but it’s made those wireless headphones even better with the Corsair HS70 Pro. Better still, it didn’t even increase the price of the headphones. The Corsair HS70 Pro offers latency-free wireless for some serious gaming without going over a budget, making it the best wireless gaming headset you can get in the price range.
It delivers excellent sound from its 50mm drivers and even has support for 7.1-channel surround. With 16-hour battery life, you’ll be able to enjoy the Corsair HS70 Pro’s capabilities through long weeks of gaming without needing to plug it in to charge all the time. That all just gets better when factoring in the plush memory foam ear cups, and the inclusion of metal in the construction of the headset. From sound quality to build quality and comfort, the Corsair HS70 Pro delivers on it all.
5. Corsair HS35
Best Ultra Affordable Gaming Headset
We’ve all been enjoying some pretty great budget gaming headsets for a while now, but Corsair has lowered the price floor even further. With the Corsair HS35 being so, so cheap, you might expect audio from this gaming headset to be of potato quality, but it’s more than serviceable for users on a budget.
Rather this Stereo headset delivers a fantastic sound stage, which makes it perfect for hearing enemies move around you. That said, the heavy bass and poor overall aural balance of the Corsair HS35 makes it a poor choice for listening to anything but game audio. Still, that’s what it was made for and it has a great, Discord-certified microphone for talking to your online teammates.
6. Astro A40 TR + MixAmp TR
Best Wired Gaming Headset
Astro is one of the biggest and oldest names when it comes to gaming headsets and you’ve probably more than likely seen your favorite Esports stars wearing them at competitions. The Astro A40 TR is one of the few gaming headsets comfortable enough to wear all day. This headset’s design might not have changed for the last few years, but it still has fantastically breathable ear cups and a perfectly balanced headband, which neither pinches on your ears nor weighs down on the top of your head.
Although you could plug the Astro A40 TR directly into any device, you’ll want to jack in through the MixAmp Pro TR. See the MixAmp Pro TR is the real heart of this gaming headset that unlocks Dolby Audio 7.1 and the ability to change your equalizer settings. Astro’s new mixing console has also been redesigned to be a little easier to use this time around with two separate volume and chat mix wheels. We’ve featured the PS4 version of the Astro A40 TR above, but there’s also an Xbox One variant as well
7. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
Best Audiophile-Quality Gaming Headset
If you just want the best gaming headset and you don’t have a big budget to spend, get the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC. This gaming headset is pretty unique in that it includes a small USB “GameDAC” that sits on your desk and offloads the sound processing from your host system to a chip inside it.
The small control center features an OLED display and lets you tweak everything about the headset with simple, intuitive controls. It’s a slick way to handle making adjustments and it’s about the closest thing to having a professional-grade mixing console attached to a gaming headset. The audio output you can get out of these cans is truly stellar and it only gets better when you’ve tuned it to perfection. On top of that you have a super-premium design that’s exceedingly comfortable, customizable, and just feels perfect. The fit and finish here are top-notch, and it even has RGB lighting (which you can turn off).
8. JBL Quantum One
Best Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Why settle for just one type of surround sound? The JBL Quantum One headset (read our review) may be pricey, but it has a lot to offer in the sound department, including JBL’s QuantumSPHERE 360 technology as well as DTS Headphone X: v2.0 surround sound. The latter is a high-quality digital surround sound that can make your game worlds and movies feel that much more engrossing. QuantumSPHERE 360 is a bit more involved, and actually takes into account the position of your head, so you can turn your head in the real-life and all the sounds around you will shift to maintain their relative position.
It’s not just nifty surround sound, but also precise, as the Hi-Res certified 50mm drivers offer excellent sound and a 20Hz-40kHz frequency response range. The JBL Quantum One also offers great flexibility, with options for both a USB and a 3.5mm headset connection available (though the latter will limit the headset’s capabilities). The JBL Quantum One even includes active noise canceling to help you focus on only the sounds you want to hear. And, to top things off, there’s customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup.
9. Razer Nari Ultimate
Best Haptic Gaming Headset
If you ever wanted an extra kick from your audio, the Razer Nari Ultimate (read our review) might just be for you. This gaming headset throws in haptic feedback that literally kicks you in the ears whenever there are bassy, low-end sounds such as a punch or kick, gunshot, or explosion. The Nari will also use vibrations to punctuate some surprisingly subtle sound effects like shooting a web line in Spiderman, but music-based and rhythm games are the best things to experience with this headset. While getting kicked in the ears might sound like it would get old pretty fast, the extra pop of this gaming headset is thoroughly entertaining every time.
In terms of pure audio quality, the Razer Nari Ultimate is also one of the only gaming headsets to support THX Spatial Audio, which is supposed to give us beyond 7.1 surround sound. Spatial awareness is amazing on this headset as you feel and hear bullets whizzing by you. Although THX Spatial Audio only works with gaming PCs, you can still get great directional audio with generic surround sound on the PS4.
10. Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2
Best Xbox Series X/S Gaming Headset
For a great pair of headphones that are ready for the next generation of Xbox, you’ll want the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2. These headphones don’t require any awkward solutions to set up since they support Xbox Wireless for direct pairing with your console. That also means you won’t have to take up any of the Xbox Series X or S’s USB ports for these headphones.
On top of supporting a wireless connection to the Xbox, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 can connect to a wide variety of other devices using Bluetooth. And, they deliver audio from both connections at the same time, letting you keep up with the news or stay in a Discord channel over Bluetooth while you get your game audio from your Xbox. On-ear controls will let you easily manage the audio coming in from different sources, so you can crank up your teammates in case they get hard to hear over the intense firefights in your games. And, thanks to 20-hour battery life, you’ll be able to enjoy the clean game audio these can deliver without having to recharge every day.
11. LucidSound LS41
Best PS4 Gaming Headset
The LucidSound LS41 is one of the few gaming headsets designed primarily for the PS4, giving you completely wireless audio and voice chat functionality. Beyond that, it’s just a great sounding 7.1 surround sound gaming headset that lets you hear whole game worlds swirling around you.
The overall sound frequency balance of the LucidSound LS41 is also very good. Low-end bass is present without blowing out the mids, which in themselves make a forward presence. The only thing that seems to be a tad distorted is the highs. Users can also flip on a Boosted Surround mode that adds a bit more rumble to the low end.
12. Logitech G Pro X
Best Streaming Headset
When it comes to streaming, having a good mic can be more important than your quality game audio. However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of finding the best microphone for streaming, the Logitech G Pro X is a great all-in-one solution with a microphone designed for broadcasting and booming surround sound to boot.
The Logitech G Pro X incorporates some of Blue legendary microphone technology to capture a clear, natural, and isolated recorded voice. Additionally, you can use the Blue VO!CE software to auto-tune your voice with presets making it a great option as a microphone for streaming and podcasting. As just a plain gaming headset, the Logitech G Pro X is no slouch either. It generates huge, concussive audio, but doesn’t sacrifice higher frequency sounds to achieve this.