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Best Nintendo Switch gaming headsets
Trying to find the best Nintendo Switch headset is a more complicated proposition than it may initially seem. Your audio needs can vary pretty wildly depending on how you tend to use the console.
On top of that, there are the usual gaming audio questions to answer. Do you need something with a microphone? Is surround sound important to you? Don’t fret! It may seem a little overwhelming, but we have you covered with some of the best Nintendo Switch headsets.
Editor’s note: this list of the best Nintendo Switch gaming headsets was updated on June 1, 2023 to include the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless as a highlight pick and answer submitted FAQs.
For our top five picks, you can find the isolation and frequency response charts at the end of each image gallery. You can learn more about how to read our charts here.
Why is the Razer Barracuda X (2022) the best Nintendo Switch gaming headset?
If you don’t want something especially gamer-y in its aesthetic, Razer’s gaming headset might be one to look out for. (Who’d have thought?) The Barracuda X (2022) is super comfortable, with mesh-covered ear pads, and a light plastic frame that’s 250 grams. This wireless gaming headset uses a USB-C dongle to connect, which makes it compatible with Nintendo Switch (docked or undocked), PlayStation 4 and 5, and PC, as well as smartphones with USB-C ports. This kind of multi-platform support is pretty rare among wireless gaming headsets.
Not only is it easy to use the Barracuda X (2022) in many places, but it’s also just a pleasure to use it. The headset sports an okay frequency response with some noticeable inconsistency in the high end. Unlike the Razer Barracuda before it, the 2022 version’s battery lasts just shy of 60 hours, and you can even use the included 3.5mm cord to keep gaming once it dies.
Below is an example of the Barracuda X (2022) microphone performance in various environments.
Razer Barracuda X (2022) microphone demo (Ideal):
Razer Barracuda X (2022) microphone demo (Office):
How does the microphone sound to you?
For great a sturdy build and great sound quality, get the HyperX Cloud Alpha
The HyperX Cloud Alpha offers best-in-class audio for far less than many of its competitors. This wired headset comes with a detachable 3.5mm mic, a durable frame, and deep headphone pads which make long gaming sessions very comfortable.
This Cloud Alpha is a community favorite — just look to the myriad Twitch streamers who wear it daily — and for good reason. It’s reliable, comfortable, and it nails the basics. Sure, it doesn’t come with the added bells and whistles many other gaming headsets offer, like surround sound or flashy customizable lighting, but most of that doesn’t work on a Switch anyway. Instead, the HyperX Cloud Alpha focuses on covering the basics, and it does so with aplomb.
For under $100 USD, you probably can’t do better than this HyperX headset, regardless of the platform. The fact that this works with the Switch docked or undocked is just icing on the cake.
Below is an example of the HyperX Cloud Alpha microphone performance before we standardized our sample system.
HyperX Cloud Alpha microphone demo (Non-standardized):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Why is the JBL Quantum 50 a great pair of budget Nintendo Switch gaming earbuds?
Having a great gaming headset with surround sound, booming bass, and crystal clear audio is great, but sometimes spending a couple hundred dollars on a headset just isn’t in the cards. The JBL Quantum 50 is a fantastic option if you don’t have much more than the cost of a new game to spend on a pair of gaming earphones. This is a completely wired affair, so all you need is the Quantum 50, a 3.5mm input, and you’re off to the races. JBL separates the controls module from the in-line microphone unit, so you don’t have to hold the wire up to your mouth when you take a phone call.
Angled ear tips and a soft-touch disc ensure a comfortable fit for hours-long gaming or music listening sessions. You may recognize the rubberized discs from JBL’s other popular earbuds like the Endurance Peak 2. Desktop PC gamers may grow frustrated with the fairly short (1.2m) cable, but you can always buy an extension cable for a couple of dollars.
Despite its economical price point, the Quantum 50 sounds quite good and its frequency response tightly hugs our house curve, with bass notes sounding a bit louder than what we posit as the platonic ideal. In short, this is an affordable option that gets the job done, plain and simple.
The Quantum 50 earbuds have a decent microphone built into the cable. Still, it won’t fool anyone into thinking you have a professional setup, or even a boom mic.
JBL Quantum 50 microphone demo (Ideal):
JBL Quantum 50 microphone demo (Office):
How does the mic sound to you?
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is easy to connect to your Switch and has a long battery life
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is another great wireless headset for the Nintendo Switch and works whether the console is docked or not. Much like the Razer Barracuda X, this headset uses a USB-C dongle to connect. Just plug it into the USB port on the bottom of the Switch and you’re all set for wireless, undocked listening. When you want to dock, the headset also comes with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, so you can plug the receiver in and stay wireless.
Outside of that, the Arctis Nova 7 features the same design updates as the rest of the Arctis Nova line. There’s a new look, a microphone that retracts to sit flush within the left headphone, and redesigned suspension band. Oh yeah, and in addition to the wired connection option, the headset supports Bluetooth now, too.
Battery performance isn’t quite up to par with the Arctis + variants, but it’s a big step up from the Arctis 7, coming in at over 41 hours in our testing. The headset also sounds closer to our in-house curve than than older Arctis 7 models. Basically this is the updated version of SteelSeries’ most versatile gaming headset.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless has a good microphone, and it’s easy to position the boom mic thanks to its flexible arm.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless microphone wireless demo (Ideal):
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless microphone demo (Office):
How does the microphone sound to you?
The Logitech G435 Lightspeed is a great pick for kids or environmentally conscious buyers
Rounding out this list, the Logitech G435 Lightspeed wireless gaming headset is an excellent option for consumers who value environmentally friendly products, as well as a great option for kids. This wireless headset can connect to your Nintendo Switch both through the console’s Bluetooth menu as well as through a low latency USB dongle when the console is docked. In our testing, the battery lasted over 24 hours, even longer than the advertised 18 hours.
The audio quality of the G435 is reasonably solid for the price range, only dropping off slightly in the high frequencies. Although the G435 doesn’t block outside noise too well, it makes up for it with its lightweight construction and comfort; it’s lighter than almost any other gaming headset on the market, even the related G733 Lightspeed.
Additionally, Logitech touts the G435 Lightspeed as an eco-friendly headset, and Natural Capital Partners has certified it as carbon neutral. Logitech has made use of recycled plastic in the construction of the headset, as well as responsibly sourced wood products for its packaging. Logitech offers a global recycling program to responsibly handle products at the end of their lifecycle. If you want to game in good conscience and know that you’re supporting a company that’s trying to offset its environmental effect, the Logitech G435 is a great option, as are any of Logitech’s gaming headsets. You’re stuck with Bluetooth if you want to play undocked, but for TV use, this is a great pick.
The G435 Lightspeed microphone sounds pretty good, but if you’re gaming in a noisy environment, your friends will hear what’s going on around you.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed microphone demo (Ideal):
Logitech G435 Lightspeed microphone demo (Office):
How does the microphone sound to you?
What about the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless?
The HyperX Cloud Alpha has been on this list basically since we published it, but what about its excellent wireless counterpart? The Cloud Alpha Wireless connects using a USB-A dongle, which means it only works with a Nintendo Switch when it’s docked, and that’s what keeps it out of the top picks. However, if you only play your Switch connected to a TV, the 327 hour battery performance, fantastic comfort, and sound quality will no doubt make for a compelling proposition. If you’re looking for something nails the gaming headset basics, it’s hard to imagine one doing it better than this.
The best Nintendo Switch gaming headsets: Notable mentions
- Astro A10: If you absolutely must have a headset that uses Nintendo’s app-based voice chat system, the Astro A10 is definitely one of your better options. It dramatically boosts mid-range sound, but it’s got a great sounding microphone and an included 3.5mm splitter for linking up to your Switch and your smartphone at the same time.
- Beyerdynamic MMX 100: This wired gaming headset is pretty portable for a set of over-ears and offers great sound quality that’s almost more studio-like than consumer-friendly.
- EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid: This is a decent option for users looking for wireless Bluetooth audio on their Switch. The only real negative with the GTW 270 Hybrid is the lack of microphone support when gaming (the mic works when listening to music) and the price.
- HyperX Cloud II Wireless: Like the Stealth 600 Gen 2, this only works when the Switch is docked, but it’s one of the most comfortable and reliable wireless gaming headsets out there. Featuring great sound and battery life, and that classic HyperX look, the Cloud II won’t disappoint.
- Razer BlackShark V2: This is one of the best budget gaming headsets we’ve tested, featuring plush ear cups, great isolation, a neutral-leaning frequency response, and THX spatial audio — all for around $100.
- Razer BlackShark V2 Pro: For double the cost of the BlackShark V2, you’re getting a vastly improved microphone, added bass-emphasis in its sound profile, and wireless connectivity.
- Razer Kraken X: The Razer Kraken X offers clear decent audio from both its headphones and mic, and its volume and mic controls are easy to reach in the left earcup — plus it lacks the obnoxious LEDs of many Razer devices. In short, it’s an affordable option that gets the job done, plain and simple.
- SteelSeries Arctis 3 (wired): While its sound quality won’t blow you away, it’s one of the most comfortable gaming headsets you’ll find for under $60 USD.
- SteelSeries Arctis 7P+: It’s a little more affordable than the regular Arctis 7+, and this is a great pick for Nintendo Switch gamers who also play on the PlayStation 5. It brings the same USB-C dongle as the Arctis 7+, but the battery life isn’t quite as impressive and falls just shy of 66 hours. To be clear, this is still better than a majority of gaming headsets.
- Turtle Beach Recon 70: This is a solid option for those who want a very inexpensive headset, delivering decent sound quality and comfort for less than $50.
- Turtle Beach Recon 500: A reasonably priced 3.5mm gaming headset, the Recon 500 sounds good and feels nice, though its mic can pick up some headphone audio if the volume is too loud.
- Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX: It’s only going to work when your Switch is docked, but this is a solid and reasonably priced wireless gaming headset with a 78-hour battery life and a great microphone.
What you should know about Nintendo Switch headsets
Before we get into our main recommendations, it’s important to clear a few things up first. For starters, the Switch is a hybrid console — it works at home, plugged into your TV, and while out and about. What this means for audio considerations is that the Switch can actually work with a Bluetooth connection, 3.5mm hardwire connection, and USB input, at least to a point. There are plenty of ways to connect your gaming headset, and it can get a bit confusing as you expand to multiple consoles.
With the Nintendo Switch firmware version 13.0.0, gamers can use Bluetooth to stream audio directly from the Switch to a pair of Bluetooth earbuds or headphones like the Apple AirPods and Sony WH-1000XM5 or XM4. Still, you cannot use a Bluetooth microphone with the Switch, and while Bluetooth audio is accessible, you’re bound to notice some latency. Prior to version 13.0.0, you had to use a USB-C adapter to transmit wireless audio. You can still use a wired 3.5mm audio connection if you so choose (except in the case of the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless).
Surround sound is also a less prominent concern, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t support it. Even games like Fortnite, one of the most popular games to use the feature, only offer stereo sound on Switch, regardless of your audio hardware.
Why should your Nintendo Switch gaming headset block out noise?
Anytime you take your Switch out to game during your commute, you’ll want to consider how well your headphones isolate you from your environment. The better a headset is able to block out background noise, the clearer your game audio will sound. This depends on how well headphones fit around your ears and on your head. When wearing over ears, you want to make sure there are no gaps between the padding and your skull. When wearing earbuds, it’s important that the ear tips seal to your ear canal entrances for optimal isolation and noise canceling if applicable.
Do gaming headsets sound different from regular headphones?
Gaming headsets function just like general consumer headphones, but the former is designed specifically for, well, gaming. You’ll often find that gaming headsets have a bass-heavy frequency response to make explosions sound boomier and give the gamer a more immersive experience.
A frequency response like the Quantum 600 from JBL deviates a bit from our house curve due to the 10dB boost around 100Hz. We typically score the sound quality of gaming headsets lower when they boost bass more than our curve recommends; too much bass can make it hard to hear important musical and in-game detail, like hi-hat sounds or enemy footsteps. Since the Nintendo Switch is a portable gaming headset, the boosted bass response may be an advantage. Loud bass can make sure that external (real life) sounds don’t mask in-game battle sounds.
Does microphone quality matter on a gaming headset for the Nintendo Switch?
Other, more typical gaming headset considerations are a little bit less important with the Switch. Having a microphone is important if you’re into Fortnite, but a lot of games don’t have voice chat enabled. Most games, including the ones made by Nintendo and big names like Monster Hunter Rise, use a mobile app that requires splitting audio between a Switch and a smartphone. To be frank, it’s routinely such a terrible experience that it’s hard to recommend any headset that uses this method.
How we chose the best Nintendo Switch headsets
The gaming headset space, much like many other parts of the audio industry, is rife with exaggerated language and gimmicky sounding 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 (but in a good way), but most of that stuff flat out doesn’t matter. That’s why we review headsets, and why we have lists like this. We reviewed each headset listed as a top five pick, so we could collect as much data on it as possible. Then, we made sure that every headset worked with the Nintendo Switch and took into account factors like portability, comfort, sound quality, and isolation.
This list is a living article that we update regularly as new and worthy candidates come along. Many SoundGuys writers are Switch owners too, so we know what you need from a headset — and what you don’t.
Why you should trust SoundGuys on the best Nintendo Switch gaming headsets
The team at SoundGuys is deeply invested in helping you find the best audio products for your needs and budget. We want to share our passion with our readers and minimize the legwork you need to put in. Whether we’re interviewing experts on hearing loss or submerging waterproof speakers, we do what it takes to get to the truth of the matter.
Our team has years of experience reviewing products, conducting lab tests, working in studios, and in the field of journalism. If you’ve wondered if we get paid to favorably review certain products: we don’t. In fact, it’s against the SoundGuys ethics policy to receive any compensation or gift for reviews or spots on our lists.
Frequently asked questions about Nintendo Switch gaming headsets
If you’re on a tight budget, the Razer Kraken X is a great value for under $50. It features 7.1 surround sound, good sound quality, and a fairly comfortable design. However, if you’re willing to spend double the price, the Razer BlackShark V2 improves upon the Kraken X in every regard. The BlackShark V2 sports very comfortable ear cups, THX Spatial Audio support for PC gaming, and a more accurate sound signature — all wrapped up in a sleek, matte black enclosure.
Generally speaking, gaming headsets are tuned primarily for… well… gaming, meaning that its sound profile tends to emphasize mid and low frequencies. This helps gamers with their spatial awareness, though at the cost of de-emphasizing higher frequencies. For a truly enjoyable music listening experience, invest in a pair of good-quality headphones or earbuds that cater to your sonic preferences.
Yes, these headphones will work with pretty much any other gaming device you plan on using. However, we do have a more comprehensive list of the best gaming headsets for all-around use, rather than just for the Switch. If you’re looking for a gaming headset with a good microphone, we’ve got you covered there, too!
If you’re playing a game on Nintendo Switch like Fortnite, Warframe, or Dauntless, it really shouldn’t be any more complicated than plugging a headset into the console’s 3.5mm headphone jack. If it’s still not working, it may be an issue in your game settings — is voice chat turned on? What about push to talk? If everything in-game is set correctly, your headset may have a hardware issue.
Unfortunately, Nintendo locks voice chat to its own tethered smartphone solution for most of its games. However, cross-platform games like Fortnite, Warframe, and Dauntless support native voice chat through the headphone jack.
Fortnite is one of those interesting games that breaks all the rules of compatibility. Xbox, PC, Switch, and PlayStation gamers all play with each other, and on the Switch, it doesn’t abide by Nintendo’s draconian voice chat system.
Any gaming headset with a microphone that uses a USB-C dongle or a TRRS 3.5mm plug — which is pretty every gaming headset — will work great for playing Fortnite.