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The best cheap gaming headsets

Buying a gaming headset can be an expensive proposition, but it doesn't have to be.

Published onFebruary 21, 2024

Logitech G435 Lightspeed
MSRP: $79.99
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Responsibly produced
Decent sound
Microphone does not sound as good as a boom
Cheap feeling
No simultaneous connections
Razer Kraken X
MSRP: $59.00
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7.1 channel surround sound
Eyewear channels alleviate temple pressure
Cross-platform compatibility
Onboard control
Ear cups don’t rotate
Surround sound exclusive to Windows 10
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
MSRP: $49.99
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Fairly comfortable
Surprisingly decent sound
Limited features
Some poor design decisions
Non detachable microphone
Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
MSRP: $39.00
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Mic output
Multi-platform compatibility
Bass output
Mic is quiet
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
MSRP: $59.99
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Excellent value
Solid comfort
Detachable headphone cable
Limited set of features

The gaming headset occupies a somewhat odd position in the audio market. Sure, there are all sorts of great products out there, and many come at completely reasonable prices, but price often isn’t a reliable indicator of quality. Plenty of $150-plus headsets advertise best-in-class features and sharp audio but end up a bass-boosted mess. Sometimes all you want is something straightforward and simple without all the fancy bells and whistles. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable headphones that cover the basics perfectly well. Just because a gaming headset is cheap doesn’t always mean it’s low quality. We’ve rounded up the best options that won’t break the bank.

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The best cheap wireless gaming headset is the Logitech G435 Lightspeed

The Logitech G435 gaming headset lays on its front on a wooden table, with it's controls in view
The headset comes in this blue and pink model, but if that’s too flashy, there’s a standard black model and a lilac one.

The Logitech G435 Lightspeed is our recommendation for gamers on a budget. This headset is lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended gaming sessions. Best of all, it’s responsibly produced, which will make the environmentally conscious consumer happy. Despite its budget-friendly positioning, the G435 does not skimp on features, offering both Bluetooth and USB wireless connectivity, albeit with some limitations, such as the lack of simultaneous connections and the absence of a wired listening option.

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The G435’s performance in sound quality is commendable for its price range, closely following preferred audio curves and providing clear differentiation across lows, mids, and highs. This ensures a solid listening experience across various genres of music and gaming environments. However, the lack of sub-bass emphasis may affect the impact of deep rumble sounds like explosions in games. The beamforming microphone design offers better-than-average performance for embedded mics, although it cannot quite match the clarity of boom alternatives.

While it may not offer the robust build quality or the precise volume control desired for younger users, its unique features and connectivity options present a valuable proposition for eco-conscious gamers and those who value comfort and simplicity in a budget-friendly package.

Logitech G435 LightspeedLogitech G435 Lightspeed
Logitech G435 Lightspeed
Eco-friendly headphones • Accurate audio • Lightweight
MSRP: $79.99
Logitech G435 Lightspeed is a decent gaming headset for kids out there.
The Logitech G435 Lightspeed is one of the more interesting gaming headsets to come out this year. Its focus on sustainability is unique, and the beamforming microphone is an interesting attempt at a low-key solution to big gaudy headset mics. It feels a little cheap, but it's easy to justify buying this one.

The Razer Kraken X has features to spare

The back of the headset with the buttons and controls on display.
The volume dial and microphone mute switch are easy to reach from the left ear cup.

The Razer Kraken X brings a lot of value to the table, with 3.5mm connectivity and 7.1 surround sound, all for around $50. This option really walks the line between “good value” and downright cheap.

The headset has a lightweight design, with a headband made of durable thermoplastic. The headphones’ memory foam pads feature slight gaps to alleviate pressure if you wear glasses. Its attached microphone is flexible and offers clear audio. All in all, this is a comfortable headset, and the volume and mic controls on the left headphone add even more convenience. The 7.1 surround sound only works with Windows 10, but you won’t find a better gaming headset for $49.99. If you want to save a little cash, the Razer Kaken X Lite is available for $10 less, offering a slightly lighter build with no onboard controls.

If you’re willing to shell out some extra cash, take a look at the Razer BlackShark V2 X. For around $20 more than the Kraken X, it features great isolation, 7.1 surround sound, and one of the most neutral-sounding sound profiles we’ve ever tested in a gaming headset. At under $100, the Razer BlackShark V2 has all the same features as the X-variant, in addition to THX Spatial Audio for better in-game spatial awareness, compared to traditional virtual surround sound.

Razer Kraken XRazer Kraken X
Razer Kraken X
7.1 channel surround sound • Eyewear channels alleviate temple pressure • Cross-platform compatibility
MSRP: $59.00
Good gaming headsets don't have to cost a small fortune.
When gaming in the comfort of your own living room, you’ll want to feel relaxed so you can game on your console for hours on end. Enter the Razer Kraken X for Console. Ultra-light at just 250g with superior gaming audio. Sit tight and play for hours—your console gaming marathons are about to be a breeze.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a well-rounded headset for gaming

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 sitting on a wooden tabletop with the microphone in prominent view.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is generally pretty comfortable, and able to be used for several hours at a time.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a budget-oriented gaming headset that doesn’t compromise much on performance. Designed with the everyday gamer in mind, it offers a commendable sound profile characterized by a pronounced bass and some high-end deviations, making it suitable for a variety of music genres and games. The pleather material on the headband and ear cups ensures comfort during extended gaming sessions, while the ear cups’ ninety-degree swivel feature adds a touch of convenience.

One of its standout features is its wide compatibility. The traditional 3.5mm headphone jack connector ensures it works seamlessly with a plethora of devices, from gaming consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X to everyday gadgets like phones and PCs. This versatility extends to its microphone, which, despite being non-detachable, offers a frequency response that rises to around 4kHz, ensuring clear voice capture, especially for online gaming chats.

The boom mic on the Cloud Stinger 2 covers the voice well, with a frequency response that rises to around 4kHz, before a sharp drop off around 7kHz. The rising response provides good speech intelligibility. It’s important to note that unlike on some nicer headsets, the microphone does not detach or hide out of the way when not in use; it can only be flipped up if the user doesn’t need it.

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 microphone demo (Office conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

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Alternatively, you can save yourself $10 by getting the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core instead. The earcups don’t swivel and the isolation isn’t as good, but you go get a great microphone and sound quality.

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
Enjoyable sound • 3.5mm jack • Straightforward
MSRP: $49.99
The Cloud Stinger 2 is a wired headset with a focus on being budget friendly, but does it succeed?
The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 has a frequency response curve that has some foibles, wide compatibility with many different types of device, and a generally solid build quality. The low price point does lead to some trade offs, but overall it's not a bad choice.

The best cheap wired headset is the Turtle Beach Recon 70

The Turtle Beach Recon 70 gaming headset plugged into an Xbox One controller.
This works with any platform that supports a headphone jack.

Turtle Beach makes gaming headsets for all kinds of price ranges and needs, but if any of the company’s products fill the entry-level console niche, it’s the Recon 70. For under $40, you get a straightforward wired audio experience with decent sound, a very accurate microphone, and on-ear controls.

There’s not a whole lot more to say, really—You plug it in, and it works. The microphone flips up to mute, and there’s an audio volume dial on the side of the left ear cup. If you’re playing on Xbox One, this headset also supports Windows Sonic surround sound, which is pretty neat.

Sure, this isn’t the HiFi audio solution for discerning music lovers and competitive gamers, but if you’re in the market for something in this price range, you know what to expect. For such a low price, this is a damn good headset.

Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming HeadsetTurtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset
Multi-platform compatibility • Affordable • Stylish design
MSRP: $39.00
The Turtle Beach Recon 70 offers gaming headset basics at an affordable price point
With a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 is a gaming headset you can use on any device, including consoles like the Nintendo Switch. It features 40mm drivers and a flip-up mic that automatically mutes itself when not in use.

When you want cheap, but not that cheap, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless laying on a Nintendo Switch running Untitled Goose Game.
A lot of the best gaming experiences on the Switch don’t need a mic, so it’s nice you can just remove it.

Cheap can mean a lot of things, and while $100 is still plenty to spend, it’s downright reasonable compared to a lot of options on the market. For the price, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless offers comparable audio quality to headphones twice or even three times its price.

This is the first wireless gaming headset to connect using a USB-C dongle (there’s an adapter for devices with regular USB ports), which means it can connect to a PC, smartphone, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch—even when it’s undocked.

Sure, the Arctis 1 Wireless doesn’t offer the breadth of features found in the premium space, but in the no-frills budget arena, it hardly seems like a no-frills experience. It offers rock-solid audio output and stellar battery life, and it works on almost every platform wirelessly—even an undocked Switch.

The attached microphone is a little wonky, with underemphasized bass that can make deeper voices sound a little tinny. However, it handles voice chat without issue. Like other SteelSeries Arctis headsets, the Arctis 1 Wireless is Discord-certified, so it works very well with the service. It won’t be podcast-ready any time soon, but voice chat is no problem.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless: microphone demo

The headset doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as something like the Cloud Alpha, but it’s plenty comfortable. The headband is made of plastic but clamps down tightly. The ear pads feature cushions in the SteelSeries’ Airweave fabric which is really comfortable and manages heat very well. Basically, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is as close to a premium wireless experience as you can get for under $100.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 WirelessSteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
Price • Sound Quality • Connection options
MSRP: $99.99
The first USB-C wireless gaming headset is here! How does it stack up to the competition?
If the Arctis 1 was twice the price, it would still merit consideration. That it's not only solidifies that this is a headset worth switching too.

The JBL Quantum 50 is a great set of cheap wired earbuds

The JBL Quantum 50 lays on a wooden table

JBL’s Quantum line of gaming headsets really covers a wide swath of prices and use cases, but if any one product among them is the most compelling, it’s the JBL Quantum 50. These wired gaming earbuds don’t come with bells and whistles. There’s no virtual surround sound or even an incredible microphone. Instead, you get a comfortable, sturdily built pair of earbuds that sound excellent and work everywhere for $30.

The JBL Quantum 50 features a two-part ear tip design to fit securely in the shape of your ear. It’s got a braided tangle-free cord, and in-line controls for volume and microphone muting, as well as a multifunction button. Its microphone doesn’t sound incredible, but very few in-line earbud mics do—again, this is a $30 option. The Quantum 50 sounds better than options twice or three times the price, and it never needs recharging.

These earbuds are a few years old now, and while they haven’t officially been discontinued, they are not restocked as regularly, so you may have trouble finding them.

JBL Quantum 50JBL Quantum 50
JBL Quantum 50
Decent sound • Affordable wired earbuds • Comfortable grip
Best for budget-conscious gamers and people whose phones still have headphone jacks.
The price, audio, and comfortable design make the JBL Quantum 50 a great deal for anyone looking to save money without sacrificing good sound.

The best cheap gaming headsets: Notable mentions

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core resting against a Nintendo Switch.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core works on lots of consoles, including the Nintendo Switch.
  • Astro A10 ($99 at Amazon): Gamers looking for a unified audio solution for their console gaming needs and people with glasses looking for something reasonably cheaper and comfortable to wear for long periods of time will enjoy this headset.
  • HyperX Cloud Alpha ($69 at Amazon): It’s getting a little long in the tooth, but the Cloud Alpha is still one of the best-wired gaming headsets on the market. It sounds great and feels great, and it’s under $100.
  • HyperX Cloud Stinger Core ($26 at Amazon): The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core is a great gaming headset for gamers on a budget who just want the essentials without any bells and whistles.
  • Logitech G433 ($65 at Amazon): This is a decent headset that does its job well and is enjoyable to use but is best bought on sale.
  • ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air ($84 at Amazon): The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air is a pretty average gaming headset with a good spread of features. Bringing wireless audio to $99 is notable, but if that’s not a feature you’re set on, there are better options.
  • ROCCAT Elo X Stereo ($39 at Amazon): There’s nothing too special going on here, except for that $34 USD promotional pricing. If you want a cheap gaming headset with a pretty good mic, the Elo X Stereo is a fine use of your money.
  • SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 ($55 at Amazon): If you’re a fan of the style of the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, then you might also be interested in the updated, wired version of that same headset. It has the same level of comfort with a slightly updated design and same good build quality.
  • Puro Sound Labs PuroGamer ($79 at Amazon): It’s a couple of years old, but there’s still no better gaming headset for kids on the market. It’s cheap, sounds good, and won’t ruin your child’s hearing—what’s not to love?
  • Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gen 2 ($219 at Amazon): For just $59 USD, you get a solid wired gaming headset with a good microphone and comfortable fit that accommodates most head sizes, small and large. Things get a little wonky with this headset because the bass response is either too quiet or too loud without much in between.
  • Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 ($100 at Amazon): It doesn’t work on as many platforms as the Arctis 1, but this $99 USD wireless gaming headset is a real contender for people moving between PC and either PlayStation or Xbox consoles. It’s got a great microphone, great battery life, and decent sound, plus it’s comfortable.
  • Roccat Syn Buds Core ($34 at Amazon): These gaming earbuds don’t sound quite as good as the JBL Quantum 50, but if you see them when on the hunt for a decent cheap audio solution, know they’re reliable. No extra features and a pretty mediocre microphone, but $25 USD is $25 USD.

What do you need in a cheap gaming headset?

The Razer Kraken cheap gaming headset leaning against a PS4 controller with the headband facing the lens to show the Razer logo.
The Razer Kraken X will work just fine on PC and consoles, but some of its surround sound features are locked to use with Windows 10.

Gaming headsets on the cheaper end of the spectrum tend to have more limited feature sets. It’s hard to find something that really covers every base for under $60—this is also true of more typical headphones, there are just also a few other things to consider for gaming. There are plenty of great options, but you’re going to need to get a little specific.

What kind of games do you play? If you’re really into multiplayer games like Fortnite or Call of Duty, finding something with surround sound and a microphone is probably a good idea. That’ll be easier if you’re looking for a PC peripheral, as features like surround sound often don’t make the leap to the console, even if the rest of the headset works.

Remember, you don't need to break the bank to have a good time.

Pay attention to whether a gaming headset is designed for a platform or merely compatible with it. Plenty of gaming headsets use 3.5mm connections and therefore work with most devices. That doesn’t mean they all work perfectly on those devices. Usually, your best bet is to look for something tailored to the platform you use. Odds are, you’ll have a better time with a gaming headset made specifically for the console you own rather than one made for PC that also works on the PlayStation 4.

It’s also important to pay attention to the physical design of the headset. Does it look like a pair of headphones with a mic attached, or does it look like an LED-riddled UFO? The headsets that add a lot of odd angles and edgy designs often do so using cheap plastic—especially at lower prices. Ones with straightforward metal frames are usually more durable.

I’ve always found that simpler designs often indicate higher quality—there’s less to distract from how a headset will sound. Ultimately, it’s probably better to keep the flashing lights and gaudy futuristic-looking tech in your games rather than on your head.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

A man wearing the Sony INZONE Buds while gaming.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
Our team found these earbuds comfortable while “working”.

The gaming headset space, much like many other parts of the audio industry, is rife with exaggerated language and gimmicky features that often don’t add much of anything to your experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the flashy lights and promises of immersive audio and bass so intense it’ll rupture your eardrums (in a good way, somehow), but most of that stuff flat-out doesn’t matter. That’s why we review gaming headsets and why we have lists like this. After testing and reviewing dozens of options, we know what kind of audio features are important for different kinds of games and, maybe more importantly: which ones aren’t.

Frequently asked questions about cheap gaming headsets

The amount you should spend on a gaming headset varies depending on your specific needs, preferences, and how you prioritize features such as sound quality, comfort, durability, and additional functionalities like wireless connectivity and noise cancelation. Here’s a guideline to help you decide:

  • Budget-friendly Options ($20-$60): If you’re new to gaming, have a tight budget, or need a basic headset without advanced features, there are many affordable options that still offer decent sound quality and comfort. These might lack the durability and the finer audio nuances of higher-end models.
  • Mid-range Headsets ($60-$150): For most gamers, spending between $60 and $150 can provide a significant upgrade in build quality, sound fidelity, and comfort. In this range, you can find headsets with better drivers, wireless connectivity, and compatibility with multiple platforms. Some models may also offer basic noise cancelation and customizable sound profiles.
  • High-end Headsets ($150-$300+): If you’re a serious gamer, streamer, or audiophile looking for the best audio experience, consider investing in a high-end headset. These often include premium features such as superior noise cancelation, high-fidelity sound, robust build quality, excellent comfort for long gaming sessions, and advanced software integration for sound customization. High-end headsets are also more likely to support spatial audio technologies, which can enhance your gaming experience by providing more immersive sound.

The right amount to spend on a gaming headset ultimately depends on how much value you place on the gaming experience and which features are most important to you. It’s also worth considering how often you play games and whether you use the headset for other purposes, such as listening to music or watching movies. Remember, more expensive doesn’t always mean better for your needs, so look for the best balance between price and the features you value most.

For less than $200, we recommend the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 ($152.99 at Amazon). The Corsair Virtuoso Pro is also a good option ($199.99 at Amazon).

Between the two headsets, the Razer BlackShark V2 is arguably a better choice. It boasts great sound quality, best-in-class isolation performance, THX Spatial Audio, and a very comfortable design. However, it costs twice as much as the Kraken X. If you’re willing to stretch your budget to just under $100, the BlackShark V2 (or the cheaper BlackShark V2 X) is definitely worth considering. Otherwise, the Kraken X is still a great value for under $50 USD.

Well, the answer is a bit of a mixed bag. For roughly $20 more than the Recon 70, the Turtle Beach Recon 200 features a better build quality and more accurate frequency response. However, its inclusion of a bass boost and amplified audio means that users will have to charge the headset, which can be inconvenient for some. That’s why we believe that the Recon 70 is a much better value for money since you’re getting good sound for $40 without having to deal with the hassle of recharging your headset.

The Razer Kraken X is the best budget headset for gaming that supports 7.1 surround sound. Alternatively, the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air is another great option that includes wireless audio for less than $100.

The AmazonBasics Pro Gaming headset is the best bang for your buck Amazon gaming headset for just $43.

The best cheap headset for playing C0D: Warzone would have to be the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2. It works with almost any console and has a great microphone for online chats and communication.

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