Gaming headsets bring a lot of value to the table. They’re simple solutions a problem often more complicated than it should be: the need to talk and hear clearly in a video game. Many of them come with all sorts of doodads and perks, like surround sound, customizable LEDs, and multiple input options. However, oddly enough, something many of them often just can’t quite nail is the microphone. Truly great gaming headset microphones are genuinely pretty hard to find, and there aren’t really any good indicators of quality for them—outside of, you know, using them, at least.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve reviewed a lot of great gaming headsets, and more than a few of them have excellent microphones. Read on for our picks of the best gaming headsets with good microphones.
Editor’s note: this post was updated on April 13, 2021 to include the Turtle Beach Recon 70 in the notable mentions.
What you should know about gaming headset microphones
There are some things to bear in mind when you’re shopping for a gaming headset with good microphone. The first is mic type. Different kinds of mics have different recording patterns and, especially important with gaming headsets, different power needs. The important thing to remember about microphones is that typically power equals volume—if a microphone gets less power than it’s designed to need, it’s going to sound quieter overall than it should.
Most gaming headsets use cardioid and hyper-cardioid microphones, which primarily pick up sound coming from in front of the microphone. Gaming headset microphones are pretty much all meant to pick up one source of audio (you) from about three inches away, so this makes sense—picking up sound from the room you’re sitting in can negatively impact call quality.
Some headsets come with an omni-directional microphone, which probably isn’t ideal if you’re just looking for something to wear sitting on your couch or at your computer. No gaming headset has a particularly powerful microphone, so you don’t want to worry about additional background noise coming through over a call.
Additionally, most gaming headsets use a 3.5mm connection, which doesn’t draw as much power. That can be an issue for ones that sport a condenser microphone, which are typically on the quieter side. There are ways to boost your mic audio on every platform, and they’re all pretty easy, but know you’ll probably need some kind of additional gain if you pick up a condenser.
For the best mic audio on a gaming headset, look to the Fnatic React Headset
The Fnatic React Headset is a relatively new offering on the market—it’s the first gaming headset released by esports organization Fnatic. There aren’t any bells and whistles on this one, but for the price it’s a very solid stereo gaming headset. It’s comfortable, isolates well, outputs very accurate audio, and yes, the mic is great.
Fnatic React HeadsetFull Review
This headset features a detachable boom mic that’s arguably the most accurate available in the gaming headset market. It’s easy to position, and it sounds great—though it is a little on the quiet side. The Fnatic React also features inline controls for muting the microphone and adjusting volume.
There’s not much more to say about this headset, really. It’s comfortable, it sounds great, and it’s easy to use. We added it to the list because the Beyerdynamic Custom Game is currently pretty hard to find, given what’s going on in the world, and that headset will probably occupy the top spot again once it’s available again. However, don’t expect the Fnatic React to get bumped off the list if and when the Custom Game comes back—it comfortably competes with the best gaming headsets with good microphones on the market.
If you want a great mic without stretching a cord across the room, look to the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE
The Virtuoso Wireless SE is the most premium gaming headset Corsair has ever released. Featuring an aluminum construction, comfortable ear pads, RGB lighting, and a generous selection of included accessories, the product aims to deliver a high-end gaming experience for people willing to spend nearly $200 on a headset.
Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SEFull Review
As its name implies, this gaming headset supports wireless connections via its included 2.4GHz USB dongle, which is compatible with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs. Plus, it has a 20-hour battery life which means that you’ll never have to worry about this headset dying out on you mid-game.
In regards to sound quality, the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE won’t please everyone. The headset de-emphasizes low-end sounds like kick drums and bass synth lines, which fans of EDM and hip-hop won’t appreciate. However, it handles sound effects, dialogue, and musical scores with ease, delivering a listening experience that is ideal for gaming.
Of course, the main attraction of this headset is its microphone. Our tests showed that the microphone has a relatively neutral frequency response, meaning that all voices—high or low pitched—are reproduced loud and clear. While higher frequencies sound slightly under-emphasized, there’s no denying that the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE has one of the best microphones in a gaming headset. If you don’t believe us, listen for yourself:
Looking for something you can just plug in and play with? Consider the Audio Technica ATH G1
The Audio Technica ATH G1 gaming headset brings the straightforward build and stellar sound this company’s become known for to the gaming space. It lacks the bells and whistles of a lot of the other headsets on this lists, but that’s a small price to pay for raw audio quality.
Audio-Technica ATH-G1Full Review
This 3.5mm gaming headset works well with anything that supports TRRS plugs, which is basically everything in the gaming space. You’ll need use its included splitter if you want to use the microphone for games other than Fortnite and Warframe on Nintendo Switch, though. The headset’s 45mm dynamic drivers output very good sound, though they’re definitely tuned to match an Olive-Welti curve, rather the neutral frequency response you’d find with Audio Technica’s studio headphones.
The Audio Technica ATH G1’s microphone puts out very accurate sound, with only a slight de-emphasis in sound around 2,500Hz. However, this is definitely a headset where it’s worth increasing the gain, as the mic can be awfully quiet. It’s an easy fix, and it shouldn’t detract from the appeal of the headset, but it’s something you’ll need to deal with. Listen for yourself:
The Razer Kaira Pro is an excellent wireless gaming headset for Xbox
If you want a sleek design for your gaming headset along with great mic quality, the Razer Kaira Pro is the way to go. This wireless gaming headset connects to Xbox via Xbox Wireless, specifically designed for Xbox Series S/X, but if you want to use it on PC you can by using an adapter. The Kaira Pro is also compatible with Bluetooth devices, like your smartphone, so you can use them on the go as regular headphones if you don’t mind their look. With the Chroma light on streaming 75dB of volume over XBox Wireless, the Kaira Pro lasts 21 hours, 25 minutes on a single charge, which greatly outdoes Razer’s claim of 15 hours.
Razer Kaira ProFull Review
The frequency response of this wireless headset emphasizes bass frequencies quite a bit, meaning gunfire and other booming sounds in your game will sound even more cinematic. They are not so emphasized to the point that you won’t be able to hear your opponent’s footsteps coming around the corner unless you’re in the middle of a loud battle. Additionally, while listening to music, you’ll probably find that the bass frequencies of any song are very loud, which may lead to some slight auditory masking. The isolation on the Razer Kaira Pro isn’t the best ever, but while you’re gaming at home, it should do a decent job of lowering the volume of any noisy roommates.
The Razer Kaira Pro has two microphones; the internal one, which isn’t so great, and the detachable boom mic, which sounds very good. You can’t use the boom mic while connected via Bluetooth, unfortunately. The boom mic has a more accurate response than most gaming headsets out there, and even gamers with very deep voices will find that they come across pretty accurately. Listen for yourself:
For a great-sounding no-frills headset, check out the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a comfortable, straightforward wireless gaming headset that connects to PC and consoles alike via a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle. You can buy versions of the Stealth 600 Gen 2 for PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch, or for Xbox One and Xbox Series X. It’s got rock solid audio output, mesh ear pads with grooves to make gaming with glasses more comfortable, and a great mic that can fold into the headset. The battery life of the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is also very good, lasting over 21 hours on a single charge.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2Full Review
The sound signature of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is very accurate except for a deemphasis around 4kHz. You can also EQ the sound a bit via the controls built into the headset. While the isolation isn’t very great, its rare to find a gaming headset with such accurate sound. And the microphone’s response is just as accurate as you could hope to get from a gaming headset. Listen for yourself:
- Astro A10: This headset supports the draconian Nintendo Switch voice chat system. Plus it’s reasonably priced, has a decent sounding mic, and comes with velour ear pads—bespectacled gamers, rejoice.
- Audeze Mobius: This premium gaming headset is quite expensive, but it offers features such as 3D audio, 7.1, and stereo audio settings, and its sound quality is unmatched. The microphone accurately relays vocals all along the frequency spectrum.
- Beyerdynamic Team Tygr 300 R: Though this is one of the pricier gaming headsets out there, its mic quality bridges the gap between gaming and podcasting because it’s just that darn good. It also has great sound quality, is easy to use, and has comfortable velour padding on its ear pads.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset: Not only does this headset have a great microphone, but it is a truly luxury pair of headphones equipped with active noise cancelling and a super comfortable fit. If you have money to spare, this is a great choice.
- Corsair Void RGB Elite: If something wireless is what you’re after, but the Thresher Ultimate is just too steep, have a look at the Corsair Void RGB Elite. It’s a little bit looser than I’d like and it over-emphasizes the bass like nobody’s business, but this headset is a very solid choice for anyone aiming for under $100.
- HyperX Cloud Flight S: This wireless headset is compatible with PC and PS4. Its microphone quality is pretty good, but only for people with relatively high voices. It offers surround sound technology, has a great battery life, and the sound quality is very good.
- Logitech G Pro X: If you don’t mind software doing most of the heavy lifting, this is a great choice. Its microphone actually severely deemphasizes the bass frequencies, but if you utilize the Blue VO!CE app, the mic quality becomes very good.
- Logitech G733 Lightspeed: Just like the Logitech G Pro X, the microphone’s hardware by itself on this headset is only average, but it comes with the Blue VO!CE app which can dramatically improve the sound quality. You can listen as Sam switches the software on midway through this microphone sample:
- Razer BlackShark V2 Pro: This wireless headset is comfortable and has excellent audio along with its great mic. The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is compatible with Razer Synapse 3, which enables features such as THX virtual surround sound and EQ settings for the mic and headphones.
- Razer Thresher Ultimate: This headset has it all: great sound quality, lag-free wireless connectivity, good battery life, and an amazing microphone that will ensure your teammates will hear you loud and clear, even in-game.
- Sennheiser Game One: If you need an open back headset, and the pricey detached mic of the Team Tygr bundle just isn’t doing it for you, consider the Sennheiser Game One. It’s microphone has a pretty steep de-emphasis in the bass range and it’s a little on the quiet side, but it’ll get the job done for anyone with a medium or high-pitched voice. It also just happens to be a great PC gaming headset in every other way.
- Turtle Beach Recon 70: Turtle Beach has made something of a habit of putting accurate microphones in just about all its gaming headsets. The Recon 70 sports a microphone that sounds great, plus it’s comfortable and runs for about $40—pretty much any Recon headset will scratch this itch just as well, but this one’s the cheapest.
Why you should trust Sam
When it comes down to it, I don’t just review gaming headsets because I’m passionate about good audio. Pretty much everything I do here at SoundGuys focuses on gaming content, and that’s because I’ve been a gamer my whole life. You name it, I’ve probably played it. I know what kind of audio features are important for different kinds of games, and maybe more importantly: which ones aren’t.
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. When we’re talking about gaming headset mics in particular, there’s a lot of fluff out there. Too many gaming headsets run into the same problems and pitfalls, all while boasting clear, undistorted audio. That’s why we review headsets, and why we have lists like this.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you're serious about recording high quality audio, a detached microphone will probably suit your needs a little bit better. However, if only a gaming headset will do, the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE offers the raw mic quality you need, and the Logitech G Pro X (and its wireless option) offers the best software improvements you'll find.
If your keyboard is anywhere near as loud as the average desktop keyboard, there's only so much gaming headset mic hardware can do to filter it out. However, this is the kind of thing you can help with software by adjusting your mic sensitivity in programs like Discord. The Logitech G Pro X has enough software options to kill some additional noise, but getting a quieter keyboard is always going to be the best solution. Keep in mind that if you want to use a gaming headset for your conference calls, you should get one with a 3.5mm wired connection because wireless gaming headsets typically require a USB connection to operate over the 2.4GHz radio frequency band rather than use Bluetooth.
If you choose a wired gaming headset with a 3.5mm cable, it will be compatible with your smartphone, given your smartphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, a wireless gaming headset will not be compatible with a smartphone because smartphones connect wirelessly to headphones through Bluetooth, whereas gaming headsets typically use 2.4GHz radio frequency connections.
If you're looking to produce a gaming voiceover, or just really want your voice to come out crystal clear when talking to your teammates, you might want to consider one of our best gaming microphones, or even one of our best podcasting mics. An external mic will almost always give you a better sound simply because they're designed to produce high quality audio and reproduce a natural frequency response. Depending on the type of microphone you buy, you may need to purchase additional equipment in order to power it. If you just need the mic to do the job for administering communication between you and your teammates and don't want to spend too much, a headset with a mic will do the trick. Additionally, because a headset mic is often physically closer to your mouth than an external mic, it can be better for cancelling out keyboard clicking sounds.
The Puro Sound Labs PuroGamer headset is probably your best bet. This gaming headset is designed to prevent hearing loss in children by limiting volume to 85dB, and it also happens to have a very accurate microphone—though a detached mic will always sound better for recording. YouTube's terms of service don't allow content creators younger than 13 without parental permission, so nine is quite young to start putting videos on the internet, but this is a solid and affordable option for starting out.