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Best PC gaming headsets
Ah, the personal computer—if you’re looking for the absolute crème de la crème, premium gaming experience, there’s no better platform. Much like how you can spend a fortune for a 15 or 20% increase in graphical fidelity over the average console, the PC is also the perfect place for expensive gaming headsets with every feature under the sun. Don’t worry; there are plenty of reasonably priced options, too. They just take a little more time to find. Lucky for you, we’ve done that work for you. If you’re looking for the best PC gaming headset for you, read on.
- This list of the best PC gaming headsets was updated on October 11, 2023, to adjust formatting to our current style.
- If you must cut the cord, see our list for the best wireless PC gaming headsets.
Why is the HyperX Cloud Orbit S the best PC gaming headset?
In a world of unlimited budgets, the Audeze Mobius is pretty much flat out the best-wired gaming headset on the market—but if you have even the slightest hesitation about spending $400 for a gaming headset (especially one that’s getting a little long in the tooth these days), the HyperX Cloud Orbit S will do you just fine. Based on the same design as the Audeze Mobius, this headset drops the Bluetooth functionality and drops the price.
The Cloud Orbit S features the same 100mm planar magnetic audio drivers, comfortable memory foam ear pads, and super-flexible band—it’s just as much of a joy to use as Mobius. It has no issue blocking out most at-home sounds you’d run into, and the memory foam molds to your head over time. The lack of Bluetooth is too bad, but the headset still uses USB and 3.5mm connections, which is more than enough for most desktop setups.
Additionally, the Cloud Orbit S also features Waves Nx, bringing the same unique 3D audio as the Mobius. In addition to the 7.1 virtual surround sound that most games support, you can turn on 3D audio to simulate a speaker environment in your headphones. Tap the button to set the anchor point, and it will always sound like things are coming from that direction, regardless of how you turn your head. This isn’t a huge thing for games, but it makes music and movies feel distinct in a really cool way—the planar magnetic drivers make listening to just about everything pretty nice.
Listen below to get an idea of how the microphone sounds in a private room.
HyperX Cloud Orbit S microphone sample (non-standardized):
How does the microphone sound to you?
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro includes unique features
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is a lot like the Arctis Pro + GameDAC, but with this version, you get software support. When you opt to use the second-gen GameDAC module, you get access to a 10-band equalizer and your choice of a few preloaded EQ presets. This is great on its own, but any settings you make in SteelSeries GG automatically override the DAC’s EQ. Fortunately, SteelSeries GG is where you can update the GameDAC’s firmware, so this should be a solvable issue. If you don’t want to game on PC, you can forgo the DAC and use the Arctis Nova Pro directly with your console’s controller of choice, too—it even works with the Steam Deck.
Unlike other popular SteelSeries gaming headsets, the Arctis Nova Pro doesn’t use a ski-goggle headband. Instead, you get a more traditional-looking suspension band that connects to the headset’s frame via pins. This doesn’t look as comfortable or cool, but it’s actually pretty good for hours-long gaming sessions. Another change: SteelSeries drops its famed airwave fabric ear cushions for a more standard leatherette, which offers better isolation but makes for a sweatier experience.
The sound quality is very good here, with ample bass and treble for most gaming situations. Again, if you don’t like how it sounds, you can adjust it through SteelSeries GG or directly on the GameDAC if you don’t want to play with the software. Isolation is quite good, and you shouldn’t hear your noisy roommates or traffic just outside your building.
For a wired PC gaming headset, the Arctis Nova Pro is pretty decked out, and many of its features come from SteelSeries GG, with tabs for “mixer,” “gaming,” “chat,” and “microphone.” We just wished the software played nicer with the DAC.
The microphone sounds quite good, as you can expect for its price. If you’re in need of something that sounds good and makes you sound good, this is it.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro microphone sample (Ideal):
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro microphone sample (Office):
How does the microphone sound to you?
The Razer BlackShark V2 strikes the perfect balance between form and function
Razer has stepped out of its element with the BlackShark V2, introducing a gaming headset that features a level of restraint never before seen by the company. The BlackShark V2 is, by far, one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve ever tested. It features soft foam ear cups and a plush headband, allowing for a comfortable gaming experience during long periods. Instead of RGB accented ear cups, a jet black finish, or sharp corners, this PC gaming headset features a clean, low-profile design that is suited for both work and play.
In regards to sound quality, the Black Shark V2 has a relatively consumer-friendly frequency response, making it ideal for both gaming and general content consumption. Isolation on this headset is unlike any other we’ve tested, letting you fully immerse yourself during gameplay.
Speaking of immersion, the BlackShark V2 features THX Spatial Audio, which provides increased spatial awareness—better than traditional 7.1 virtual surround sound. This feature, including EQ and mic controls, can only be accessed when gaming on a PC via Razer Synapse.
The only real caveat to the BlackShark V2 is its microphone, which is serviceable at best. Still, for just under $100, you’d be hard-pressed trying to find a better PC gaming headset.
Razer BlackShark V2 microphone demo (Non-standardized):
How does the microphone sound to you?
The Logitech G735 brings a new look and a boatload of features
It’s not often you see a gaming headset come out with a look that both feels like a big swing and also looks good. However, if that was all there was to the Logitech G735, it wouldn’t have made it on this list. Logitech’s newest gaming headset has a full slate of software features, a premium-feeling build, and good sound, albeit for a rather high price.
Part of the company’s new cloud-themed Aurora collection, the Logitech G735 features thick memory foam ear pads covered in a soft leatherette that, combined with the cushioned headband, makes for a very comfortable experience. The level of comfort is fortunate, as the headset battery lasts over 35 hours in our testing—more than enough for gaming sessions that run as long as you want.
The headset connects primarily using a 2.4GHz USB wireless dongle, but it also supports Bluetooth and wired 3.5mm connections. When you connect it to your PC, Logitech G Hub will be there with a full suite of features like virtual surround sound, headphone and microphone EQ profiles (and the ability to set custom ones), firmware updates, and Logitech’s excellent Blue Vo!ce microphone feature set. Basically, it looks great, sounds great, feels great, and it’s got features to boot.
Logitech has a great microphone; here are a few samples:
Logitech G735 microphone sample (Ideal conditions):
Logitech G735 microphone sample (Office conditions):
Logitech G735 microphone sample (Reverberant conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
The Razer Kraken X is a very solid option for gamers on a budget
On the spectrum of headphones prices, most PC gaming headsets are actually pretty reasonably priced. However, even within that relative space, very few manage to include as many features for as cheap as the Razer Kraken X. This headset is built on the same frame as Razer’s other Kraken headsets, with many of the same features, and just a few limitations.
The Kraken X features 40mm dynamic drivers, a flexible cardioid boom mic, and its headphone pads sport grooves to make listening while wearing glasses more comfortable. For the price, it features some remarkably accurate audio output, with only a slight overemphasis in the bass range.
The headset connects using a 3.5mm jack but still supports surround sound on Windows 10, which is pretty uncommon. It really covers pretty much all the bases, whether you’re a fan of FPS games or RPGs—for $49.99, you could do a lot worse.
Most readers have rated the microphone demo as “good,” but take a listen for yourself!
Razer Kraken X microphone demo (Non-standardized):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Is the Astro A40 TR a good PC gaming headset?
A mighty fine and mighty expensive option, the Astro A40 TR is a great PC gaming headset, but it’s a niche product. Unlike the other headsets listed here, the A40 TR is a semi-open pair of headphones, meaning that you’ll hear a lot of your environment. This is a double-edged sword as it gives you a more “open” representation of sound, but if you share an apartment, you may run into problems with auditory masking. When you do get to use it in a quiet space, the A40 TR frequency response will shine as it follows our consumer target curve closer than many other gaming headsets.
Our main gripe with the A40 TR is that it’s rather expensive for the fairly slim feature set.
Is the Logitech G Pro X worth buying today?
Yes, while the Logitech G Pro X is a few years old, it stands the test of time and continues catering to PC gamers with its powerful control functions accessible through Logitech’s Blue Vo!ce software. Not only does Logitech provide plenty of goodies on the software side of things, but it also designed a comfortable headset that sounds great for gaming. You may find that when you listen to music with this headset, the sub-bass is quieter than normal, but this is something you can quickly EQ away.
The best PC gaming headsets: Notable mentions
- Audeze LCD-GX ($899 at Amazon): If you want excellent headphones that also double as a wired gaming headset, the Audeze LCD-GX is about as good as it gets. Sure, it’s big and heavy, but you can’t argue with the performance. Be prepared to shell out for it, though.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset ($279 at Amazon): If you need a great-sounding gaming headset and a pair of Bluetooth headphones for casual listening, Bose’s first gaming headset may be for you. It features virtually the same design and technologies as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, with an added boom microphone, USB volume knob, and longer cables for console gaming.
- Beyerdynamic MMX 150 ($149 at Amazon): This gaming headset sounds great and has a subdued enough design that it can blend in as a regular pair of headphones. You might not want to do that because it requires you to use the 3.5mm-to-USB-A adapter, however. If you want a great mic and eco-friendly headset (replaceable parts), this is a fine and simple pick.
- Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless ($199 at Amazon): The non-SE variant of Corsair’s Virtuoso headset offers sturdy build quality, reliable wireless gaming performance, RGB lighting, and good microphone quality—all at a sub-$200 price tag.
- Corsair Virtuoso Wireless SE ($254 at Amazon): For gamers willing to spend some serious cash, this wireless gaming headset offers amazing microphone quality and a myriad of connection options—all wrapped in a sleek, gunmetal aluminum build.
- Corsair HS65 SURROUND ($39 at Amazon): PC gamers will appreciate the HS65 SURROUND for the extra features they get through Corsair’s iCue software. The excellent microphone is a big plus for Discord users or for any in-game chat.
- EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid ($143 at Amazon): It’s pretty expensive, and the microphone doesn’t work for gaming, but if you’ve always wanted a pair of true wireless earbuds for gaming on a PC, this is the product for you.
- HyperX Cloud Alpha ($151 at Amazon): With its comfortable design and fantastic sound quality, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is an all-time favorite among gamers looking for a budget PC gaming headset.
- HyperX Cloud Alpha S ($100 at Amazon): If you love the HyperX Cloud Alpha but want features like virtual surround sound and adjustable bass vents, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S might be just the thing. It doesn’t sound any better or improve on the original Cloud Alpha’s poor microphone, but it’s also only around $30 more expensive.
- HyperX Cloud II Wireless ($99 at Amazon): This no-frills gaming headset nails the basics, offering an accurate sound profile, comfortable design, and great battery life. If you need a lean, mean, wireless gaming machine or a headset, HyperX has you covered.
- JBL Quantum ONE ($299 at Amazon): With an exhaustive set of onboard controls and very good noise canceling, the Quantum ONE is a competent pair of over-ears for your PC station.
- Logitech G Pro X Wireless ($179 at Amazon): It’s everything the regular G Pro X is, but wireless and $70 are more expensive. It’s a little bit pricey for such a similar update, but still a fantastic wireless option.
- Logitech G733 Lightspeed ($139 at Amazon): This all-plastic wireless gaming headset keeps the weight off with a suspension band and the heat to a minimum with mesh fabric ear pads. It also sounds great, has a long battery life, and has the same microphone software features as the G Pro X. For a less feature-packed version, look into the G435 Lightspeed instead.
- Razer Barracuda X (2022) ($99 at Amazon): It isn’t as comfortable as the Arctis 7P, but the Razer Barracuda X (2022) has many of the same selling points. It’s super lightweight, it uses a USB-C dongle, and it offers solid mic and headphone audio—for $99, that’s pretty compelling. Oh, and battery life clocks in just below 60 hours. If you want more of a lifestyle gaming headset, check out the Barracuda Pro.
- Razer BlackShark V2 Pro ($119 at Amazon): This headset is at the top of Razer’s BlackShark product line, featuring wireless connection options, a vastly improved microphone over its wired counterparts, and good isolation performance.
- Razer Thresher Ultimate (on the product’s website): This wireless headset is stylish, simple to set up, and equipped with great-sounding drivers for a truly immersive, hassle-free gaming experience for both PC and Xbox One gamers alike.
- SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 ($69 at Amazon): This wired gaming headset costs just $99 USD and features classic RGB lighting and a nice control layout. The headset is comfortable to wear for hours at a time, which is important for those overnight gaming hauls.
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC ($152 at Amazon): If having an app to handle all the additional features you want isn’t attractive, this headset has you covered. The GameDAC unit comes loaded with virtual surround sound, custom EQ options, and lighting controls at the touch of a button.
- Sennheiser GSP 670 ($199 at Amazon): This wireless gaming headset offers a comfortable design, and great sound, as is one of the only gaming headsets that support Bluetooth audio. It even supports high-quality Bluetooth codecs like AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency.
- SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless ($349.99 at Amazon): Let’s say you love everything about the wired Arctis Nova Pro from SteelSeries and want more connectivity options. Well, this is the wireless headset for you. It supports Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connection options, so you can use it from anywhere.
- SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless ($152.99 at Amazon): Gamers looking for something they can wear for hours will appreciate the Arctis Nova 7. People who work from home may enjoy the comfortable build, less overtly gamer aesthetic, and Bluetooth support.
- SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless ($158 at Amazon): Whether you don’t want to miss a phone call while gaming or you just have multiple connection options, the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless brings simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity to the already great Arctis framework. It sounds great and feels great, too, which is always appreciated.
Hold up! Something’s different:
Some of our picks’ and notable mentions’ frequency response and isolation charts were measured with our old testing system. We have since purchased a Bruel & Kjaer 5128 test fixture (and the appropriate support equipment) to update our testing and data collection. It will take a while to update our backlog of old test results, but we will update this article (and many others!) once we’re able with improved sound quality measurements and isolation performance plots. These will be made obvious with our new chart aesthetic (black background instead of white).
We’ve also updated how we demonstrate the microphone performance of products that we review with a standardized test setup. These will be made obvious in each new sample which begins with the phrase, “This is a SoundGuys standardized microphone demonstration …”
Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.
What you should know about PC Gaming headsets
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.
On PC, in particular, there’s a lot of fluff out there. Many apps are slow and awkward, or they don’t bring much functionality in the first place. PC gaming headsets should represent the gold standard of what’s possible in the market, and many of them do, but there are just too many prominent bad offerings to wade through. That’s why we review headsets and why we have lists like this.
How do headsets for PC gaming connect?
There are a few things to consider when you’re shopping around for a PC gaming headset. First of all, you should pay attention to how you want to connect it to your PC. Generally, headsets come with three connection methods—USB, single 3.5mm, and split 3.5mm. You won’t find Bluetooth gaming headsets very often, which is probably good, given the standard’s occasional issues with audio lag.
However, if all you want is something simple, it’s really just down to where on your computer the headphone jack is. If your PC is under your desk and the port is on the back, anything with a shorter cord might not work, so you may be stuck with a wireless headset anyway.
Do all PC gaming headsets come with software?
No, not every PC gaming headset will have software, but those that support surround sound generally do so through additional software. These days, Windows offers a built-in spatial sound option, even if your headset connects via 3.5mm. If something on this list sounds close to what you’re looking for but not quite, check out our headset guides for brands like Razer and Corsair.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
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 SoundGuys ethics policy to receive any compensation or gift for reviews or spots on our lists.
Frequently asked questions about the best PC gaming headsets
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset sports several gamer-focused features. For starters, it comes with a detachable boom microphone for improved audio quality, ensuring vocal reproduction for in-game communication. It also comes with a USB PC desktop controller, which gives you control over volume and microphone monitoring. Additional cables are also included with the headset, which is necessary for use with consoles like the PlayStation 4.
No, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset only supports wired connections via USB or a 3.5mm cable when you’re gaming. It still functions as a regular pair of Bluetooth headphones, though.
Yes! The Logitech G Pro X offers a very accurate sound for a gaming headset, with relatively neutral lows and mids. This means that sounds like kick drums, vocals, and mid-to-low octave synths come through clearly without distortion or auditory masking. Higher frequency sounds, such as cymbals and hi-hats, do sound less prominent. However, this under-emphasizes aids in eliminating unwanted resonances.
If you’re expecting other gaming headsets on this list and don’t see them: sorry, our editorial staff didn’t pick them. That doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve your attention—it just means that our staff picked what you see on the list. It’s entirely possible that the decision was a very close one or that the model you really like just hasn’t kept up in recent years. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad! It just means that we’re constantly updating these lists as new models come out and replace older ones over time.
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time gaming, you want to invest in the right gear that heightens your experience. Gaming headsets can feature design choices that cater specifically to gamers, which you may not find with just any headset. These features include high-quality microphones for clear team communication, increased comfort for long gaming sessions, multiple connectivity options for use with different gaming devices, and a sound signature that often emphasizes the low-end—a popular preference amongst gamers.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 and the Corsair Void RGB Elite Wireless offer very similar experiences on paper. They have roughly the same battery life and roughly the same feature set—it really comes down to what’s important to you in a gaming headset. The Void has a much more accurate microphone, but the Arctis 7 has a more consumer-friendly sound output. They’re both comfortable, but in our experience, the Void was far too loose. Ultimately, this was a big part of why we picked the Arctis 7 for this list—it’s hard to appreciate a headset’s finer points when you’re constantly worried that it’s about to fall off your head.
If you’re looking for a headset just for PC, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is probably the better option for you. Using the SteelSeries Engine app, it supports surround sound, which the Arctis 1 does not. If you’re looking for something compatible with more platforms, the Arctis 1 Wireless is your best bet.
When it comes to our top pick for the best gaming headset, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S steals the spotlight. Not just for its impressive 100mm planar magnetic audio drivers or its snug memory foam ear pads but for its unbeatable value, especially when stacked against competitors like the Audeze Mobius.
Ditching the cords without compromising on quality? That’s the promise of today’s wireless headsets. With champions like the Logitech G Pro X Wireless and the Razer Barracuda X (2022) leading the charge, gamers are in for a treat. From marathon-worthy battery lives to soundscapes that pull you right into the heart of the action, a wireless headset can make all the difference in your PC gaming setup, especially if you need to run to the kitchen for more snacks while staying on the mic.