Best daily deals

All products featured are independently chosen by us. However, SoundGuys may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links. See our ethics statement.

Best wired gaming headsets

Keep it simple and connected with a top wired gaming headset.
By

Published onApril 24, 2024

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
MSRP: $49.99
7.4
Check price
Positives
Simplicity
Fairly comfortable
Surprisingly decent sound
Price
Negatives
Limited features
Some poor design decisions
Non detachable microphone
Logitech G Pro X Wired Gaming Headset
MSRP: $129.99
7.8
Check price
Positives
Comfortable
Good sound
Blue Vo!ce software is actually good
Multiple wired connectivity options
Negatives
Mic still underemphasizes bass
Over reliance on app means console experience suffers
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro
MSRP: $249.99
7.9
Check price
Positives
Comfortable
Fast charging
Crossplatform compatibility
Good software
Negatives
Strange sound profile
Razer Kraken V3
MSRP: $99.99
7.6
Check price
Positives
Comfortable design
Great sound quality
Clear microphone
Negatives
Spatial sound only compatible with some games, only Windows
Ear cups don't move left and right
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
MSRP: $59.99
7.7
Check price
Positives
Excellent value
Solid comfort
Detachable headphone cable
Negatives
Limited set of features

Wireless gaming headsets may be the hot new trend, but wired gaming headsets remain popular for their reliability — no batteries needed and no dropped connections or latency issues. They’re also typically more affordable than their wireless counterparts, providing great value for budget-conscious gamers. Whether you’re gaming on a PC or console, we’ve rounded up the best wired gaming headsets to suit your needs.

Editor’s note: this list was published on April 24, 2024, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

Best wired gaming headset for most people: HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

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-friendly wired headset designed to offer good quality sound and comfort, targeting gamers who need a reliable headset without a high price tag.

The headset works seamlessly with consoles, PCs, and mobile devices that have a headphone jack. It has a solid construction with a mostly plastic build and pleather materials, providing a balance of durability and comfort. As for sound quality, the headset features a frequency response curve that emphasizes the mid-bass, making it suitable for gaming and general media consumption.

The lack of premium features and the non-detachable microphone may deter users looking for more versatility and higher-end specifications. Still, this headset is best for those who prioritize simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

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.

Loading chart ...

Overall, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 has a frequency response with traits we often see in other gaming headsets. It has a noticeable bump to the bass around 100-200Hz compared to our ideal curve. It also has some deviation in the high end, with a questionable peak around 7kHz, which has the largest impact on the overall sound of the headset.

Best wired gaming headset for calls: Logitech G Pro X

The Logitech G Pro X sits on a table next too all the different attachments it comes with.
This headset comes with all sorts of bits and bobs.

The Logitech G Pro X stands out in the realm of PC gaming headsets, offering robust reliability and extensive sound customization through its G Hub software. It features a sturdy build with a metal frame and thick cushioning, making it suitable for long gaming sessions. It also includes velour ear pads, an excellent option for gamers with glasses.

As for sound quality, it has a neutral bass response that avoids overpowering other frequencies, which is crucial for in-game audio cues. The microphone incorporates Blue Vo!ce software. This is particularly beneficial for clear communication in games and virtual meetings.

Overall, the Logitech G Pro X is a solid choice for PC gamers seeking a reliable, well-priced headset with excellent sound customization.

Logitech G Pro X Wired Gaming HeadsetLogitech G Pro X Wired Gaming Headset
Logitech G Pro X Wired Gaming Headset
Included USB sound card • Durable build quality • Detachable mic
MSRP: $129.99
A premium gaming headset with endless customization
The Logitech G Pro X is a premium gaming headset with an included USB external sound card for crystal-clear audio quality. It features a steel and aluminum frame and plush memory foam padding. The headset also features a detachable mic for in-game communication and supports 7.1 surround audio.
a frequency response chart for the Logitech G Pro X
The dip in the highs is common, but still not ideal

Best high-end wired gaming headset: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro lays on a wooden surface near the GameDAC unit.
If you feel like it, you could get a lot of wires involved here.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is a high-end wired gaming headset that offers notable sound quality and features, especially with its second-generation GameDAC, which has the ability to output Hi-Res certified 96kHz/24-bit audio and includes a built-in equalizer with customizable presets.

The headset features a comfortable suspension band and leatherette-covered ear pads. It offers flexible connection options, including USB and a 3.5mm jack through the GameDAC, making it compatible with nearly all gaming platforms. The microphone also provides clear audio, suitable even for extended voice and video calls.

Overall, this wired gaming headset will appeal to those who frequently switch audio inputs across different platforms and who don’t mind investing in high-quality gaming audio equipment.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova ProSteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro
Great sound • Good microphone • Software features
MSRP: $249.99
For gamers who want a premium headset
If you want great sound quality, a good microphone for in-game chat, and all-around enjoyable features, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro has all of that for you. Available for PC/PlayStation, or Xbox.

Loading chart ...

There are some hills and troughs all over, but the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro has a frequency response that sticks pretty close to our target curve up through 1kHz. High range output looks pretty wonky, with a notch at 4kHz (likely to help with directional cues) and some added emphasis from 6-9kHz.

Best wired gaming headset for PC: Razer Kraken V3

A person wearing a Razer Kraken V3 headset, looking at a computer stream with Steam open.
The Razer Kraken V3 is a great headset for PC gaming.

The Razer Kraken V3 is a robust gaming headset designed primarily for PC gamers. It offers a comfortable design, good sound quality, and impressive software customization, including THX Spatial Audio exclusively for Windows.

The headset features plush memory foam ear pads and a leatherette-covered headband, providing comfort even during extended gaming sessions. As for audio quality, the 50mm dynamic drivers deliver a sound profile with boosted bass frequencies, ensuring an immersive gaming and music-listening experience.

Through Razer Synapse 3, users can customize the LED lights on the ear cups, adjust EQ settings, and enable THX Spatial Audio for a more immersive audio experience. Still, this headset is ideal for users who prioritize customization and play mainly at a desk rather than those seeking versatility across different gaming systems.

Razer Kraken V3Razer Kraken V3
Razer Kraken V3
Comfortable design • Great sound quality • Clear microphone
MSRP: $99.99
A solid headset for PC gamers who want customization options, comfort, and cool RGB lights.
This Razer Kraken V3 is a great headset for gamers who want comfort, surround sound, and software customization for a reasonable price. THX Spatial audio makes games much more immersive, and they perform well out of game, too.

Loading chart ...

The frequency response chart shows that the headset’s bass frequencies are boosted compared to our house curve (pink), which is common for gaming headsets, and higher frequencies are a bit less pronounced than we prefer. All around, the headset has a pretty accurate sound, making both gaming and music enjoyable. By going into the Synapse software, you can change the EQ, and there’s even a bass boost option if you just need more oomph.

Best wired gaming headset on a budget: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 being worn by a user with their hand to one of the earcups.
Although it’s not the most impressive sounding headset, it’s quite solid considering the price.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 is a budget-friendly gaming headset that prioritizes comfort and simplicity without compromising significantly on sound quality. The headset features a lightweight design with an adjustable stretchy headband and AirWeave memory foam ear pads designed for long gaming sessions. In terms of sound quality, it offers a decent frequency response for its price, with some deviations in the low end and above 3kHz, but generally provides a satisfying audio experience. It also includes a retractable microphone that is discreet yet effective and suitable for gaming and voice calls.

It does lack some of the higher-end features, such as sound customization, as expected at this price point, and the headset does not excel in blocking external noise, which might not be suitable for noisy environments. Still, it’s a solid choice for anyone who values simplicity and effectiveness in a gaming headset.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
Parametric EQ • 360 Audio • Comfortable ear pads
MSRP: $59.99
The Arctis Nova 1 is a lightweight, comfortable headset for most consoles.
If you want a wired gaming headset that plugs into anything, the Arctis Nova 1 is a great option for far less than $100 USD. The retractable microphone design makes this a fine option for daily use and gaming. We also like the company's AirWeave memory foam ear cushions that keep SteelSeries headsets comfortabe for hours at a time.

Loading chart ...

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 has a surprisingly good frequency response, considering its low price. It’s certainly not the best-sounding headset we’ve ever tested, but combined with its affordable price point and excellent comfort, it puts it in serious contention to be one of the best budget wired gaming headsets. It features a slight deviation from our ideal curve in the low end and above 3kHz, which does affect the sound noticeably but not in a way that is distracting like some other budget headsets.

Best open-back wired gaming headset: Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO

Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO on person.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The detachable microphone works well for gaming and taking calls.

The Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO is designed with a unique open-back configuration aimed at gamers, streamers, and creative professionals who prefer a more natural sound environment. This design choice is great for quiet spaces but not ideal for noisy environments or where sound leakage might be an issue.

Equipped with 50mm graphene drivers, the headset offers a sound profile with boosted bass and subtle high-frequency enhancements, ideal for immersive gaming experiences. The detachable microphone provides excellent clarity for gaming communications and virtual meetings, suitable for professional use. There is no Bluetooth connectivity or onboard controls, however, limiting its functionality in certain scenarios.

Overall, the Corsair VITRUOSO Pro is ideal for home use where you can control the acoustic setting, particularly for those who split their time between gaming and professional audio work.

Corsair VIRTUOSO PROCorsair VIRTUOSO PRO
Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO
Open-back design • Premium materials • Detachable microphone
MSRP: $199.99
An open-back headset with a detachable microphone for gaming, streaming, and creating.
The open-back design of the Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO provides breathability and great sound localization for gaming. A microphone makes this headset great for virtual meetings or streaming.

Loading chart ...

The Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO has a sound that doesn’t stray far from what you would expect from a gaming headset. Like many other gaming headsets, this headset boosts bass frequencies. This frequency response deviates from our in-house headphone preference curve, which is noticeable when listening to music with a lot going on in the low-mid range.

Best wired gaming headset for small heads: Astro A10 (Gen 2)

Astro A10 Gen 2 with box
The Astro A10 (Gen 2) is a decent low-frills option for a first gaming headset.

The Astro A10 (Gen 2) is a budget-friendly wired headset. It offers a basic, no-frills experience but delivers surprisingly decent sound quality and a solid build for its price.

The headset is lightweight, with thick cloth padding on the headband and breathable ear cups designed to prevent heat buildup. However, the fit may be tight for larger heads. As for sound quality, it emphasizes the low and mid-bass regions, enhancing in-game sound effects and bass-heavy music.

Overall, the Astro A10 (Gen 2) is a straightforward, durable option perfect for those new to gaming or looking for an affordable, basic headset. This headset is particularly suited for young gamers or those who don’t require high-end features but still want a reliable product for everyday gaming.

Astro A10 (Gen 2)Astro A10 (Gen 2)
Astro A10 (Gen 2)
Comfortable fit • Solid sound quality • Good value
MSRP: $59.99

Loading chart ...

As you can see from the chart above, the Astro A10 (Gen 2)’s frequency response only lines up closely with our preference curve above 1kHz but deviates below. The primary deviation is the lack of sub-bass, which starts to rise around 50Hz and then is strongly emphasized through the mids up to 500Hz. Unfortunately, there are no customization features to modify the sound to suit your tastes.

Should you buy the HyperX Cloud III?

The HyperX Cloud III sitting on a table, with the included accessories placed to the right of it.
The HyperX Cloud III includes several different connectivity options in the box to let you pick and choose which one works best with your setup.

The HyperX Cloud III is a very popular mid-range wired headset. Overall, it provides a straightforward gaming experience, prioritizing basic functionality and comfort without introducing groundbreaking features. However, it falls short in delivering high-quality audio, with noticeable deficiencies in sub-bass and inconsistent highs, making it less recommendable compared to our other top picks. In short, the HyperX Cloud III is serviceable for casual gaming but doesn’t stand out in a crowded market of mid-range gaming headsets.

HyperX Cloud IIIHyperX Cloud III
HyperX Cloud III
Connectivity options • Comfort
MSRP: $99.99
3.5mm, USB-A, or USB Type-C connection
With a focus on comfort, the HyperX Cloud III gaming headset offers spatial audio and multiple wired connectivity options.

Loading chart ...

The frequency response we measured plugging the headset in directly using the 3.5mm headset connection deviates a lot from our headphone preference curve. There’s a noticeable lack of sub-bass, as well as a few peaks and troughs in the high end that negatively color the sound of the playback.

The best wired gaming headsets: Notable mentions

A photo of the HyperX Cloud Alpha on a desk, flanked by a gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard.
At home in front of a PC or console, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is the no-frills champion of the sub-$100 bracket.
  • Beyerdynamic MMX 100 ($99 at Amazon): The Beyerdynamic MMX 100 is a simple, well-made gaming headset. It’s a little on the boring side for the price, but reliability definitely counts for something here. Some listeners may not like the quiet bass output, but it shouldn’t affect in-game sounds too much and might even make it easier to hear other sounds like footsteps.
  • HyperX Cloud Alpha ($69 at Amazon): If you’re looking for a gaming headset, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is a community favorite—for good reason. The combination of great sound and excellent durability makes for a killer combination.
  • JBL Quantum 100P ($39 at Amazon): The JBL Quantum 100P is a super-simple budget gaming headset, marketed towards PlayStation gamers but compatible with every major gaming platform. It doesn’t sound great, but for $40, it’ll definitely get you from A to B.
  • JBL Quantum 400 ($81 at Amazon): The JBL Quantum 400 headset is a great choice for PC gamers looking for comfort, spatial sound capabilities, good sound, and a solid microphone. This headset does a lot without breaking the bank.
  • Razer BlackShark V2 ($79 at Amazon): Even a few years old now, this wired headset has better isolation than some noise canceling headphones, more accurate sound most gaming headsets, and it’s comfortable enough to wear for hours without overheating—what more could you want?
  • SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 ($69 at Amazon): For $99, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 is a versatile headset that’s ultimately best for PC gamers. The SteelSeries GG software makes the headset much better with all the options in Sonar. With that and a capable microphone to boot, this headset is worth it to anyone who is primarily a PC gamer but wants multiplatform options, too.
  • Turtle Beach Recon 500 ($79 at Amazon): The Turtle Beach Recon 500 is a pretty barebones product, but it hands the basics well, and it’s reasonably priced. If you need something simple and comfortable, or you just want it to work everywhere, you could do a whole lot worse.

What you should know about wired gaming headsets

The Audio-Technica ATH-GL3 gaming headset adorns an wooden Iron Man head.
The ATH-GL3 is a simple closed-back gaming headset that focuses on sound quality over features.

When selecting a wired gaming headset, several technical and design aspects significantly impact their performance and suitability for gaming and general use. Understanding these can help you make a more informed choice.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a headset determines how well it can reproduce low, mid, and high frequencies. Gaming headsets often emphasize lower frequencies (bass) to enhance the impact of explosions and other sound effects in games. However, a well-balanced frequency response ensures clear vocals and sharp high-frequency sounds, which are crucial for accurately detecting footsteps and other subtle in-game sounds.

Isolation/ANC

Sound isolation in wired headsets is achieved through the physical design of the ear cups. Some headsets also include Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology to electronically counteract ambient noise, although this is less common in wired models. Good isolation improves the gaming experience by blocking out external noises, making it easier to immerse yourself in the game.

Durability

The build quality and materials used in a headset affect its durability. Gaming headsets often feature robust designs to withstand frequent use and the occasional mishap, such as being dropped or mishandled during intense gaming sessions.

Software

Many gaming headsets come with proprietary software that allows users to customize sound profiles, set up surround sound, or adjust microphone settings. This software can greatly enhance the headset’s functionality and adaptability to different types of games and media. Be sure to check the compatibility, and some software may be limited to a PC or a specific console.

Console Compatibility

For gamers using consoles, compatibility is key. Most wired headsets with a 3.5mm jack are compatible with modern consoles via the controller, but USB headsets may require specific support. It’s important to check whether a headset is compatible with your gaming system(s), including whether it supports all features like microphone and audio controls.

How we test wired gaming headsets

Sony INZONE H5 on testing head.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The Sony INZONE H5 headset on our Bruel & Kjaer 5128 testing head.

At SoundGuys, our testing process is comprehensive, ensuring that every headset is evaluated under controlled conditions to provide reliable and consistent results. We use standardized tests to measure sound quality, isolation, microphone quality, and durability. For a detailed explanation of our testing methodology, please visit our pages on how we test and why our headphone reviews are trustworthy.

How we choose the best wired gaming headsets

Selecting the best wired gaming headsets involves extensive testing and comparison. We consider a variety of factors, including audio quality, comfort, durability, price, and extra features like software customization and ease of use. Our recommendations are based on objective testing results combined with real-world usage to ensure that we suggest products that offer the best balance of performance, quality, and value.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

At SoundGuys, we pride ourselves on our rigorous, unbiased testing process. Our team consists of seasoned audio professionals who bring years of expertise in audio technology and consumer electronics. We commit to providing honest, in-depth reviews and advice. We adhere to a strict ethics policy, ensuring our reviews remain impartial and focused solely on helping consumers make informed decisions.

Frequently asked questions

Wired headsets are often preferred for gaming due to their reliable, low-latency audio connection, which is crucial for real-time reactions in gameplay. They don’t require batteries, making them ideal for extended gaming sessions without the need to recharge.

Yes, many pro gamers use wired headsets because they offer stability and eliminate the risk of audio lag or connection drops during competitions, where even a slight delay can affect performance.

Streamers typically use wired headphones to ensure consistent audio quality and to avoid any interference or latency issues that can occur with wireless options. Wired headphones also provide a more reliable setup for long streaming sessions, as you don’t have to worry about battery life.

You might like