What To Look For In a Gaming Headset? Complete Buyer’s Guide 2020

What to look for in a gaming headset

Whether you are a casual gamer or an aspiring professional, choosing the right gaming headset is vital to not only your in-game performance, but overall experience while gaming. With so many gaming headsets available on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which gaming headset is right for you.

This is why we are going to breakdown exactly what you should look for in your next gaming headset, piece by piece.

Budget

First, you need to determine your budget. Gaming headsets can range anywhere from roughly $30 on the low end to $400 on the high end. If you are a casual gamer or this is your first gaming headset, a lower end budget gaming headset should suffice. However, there a few things you need to look for to find the best budget gaming headsets.

A lot of budget friendly gaming headsets are average in their quality all around. From the build, look, comfort, and features – don’t expect any budget friendly headsets to blow your expectations. These gaming headsets are stripped down barebones headsets that will be better than no headset at all, but not at the level of some of the high-end options.

In most cases manufacturers produce a series of gaming headsets with an entry level, base level, and high-end models. This gives consumers the option to pick the gaming headset that most fits their play style and budget.

When arriving at your budget, be sure to not limit yourself just on dollars spent. For example, if your budget is $75 and for $90 you can get a much better gaming headset, you might want to reconsider your budget.

As showed earlier, there are plenty of budget headsets under $50 but if you are willing to spend a little more you will get a much better headset, and ultimately enjoy a much more engaging gaming experience.

Comfort

Talk to any true gamer, and one of the most important qualities they look for in a gaming headset is comfort. Comfort is so crucial to a good gaming headset, and can be the difference between a bad gaming headset and a good one.

So why is comfort so important? Have you ever worn an uncomfortable gaming headset while logging hours in a gaming session? It is one of the most annoying and obnoxious things and will instantly have you looking for a new gaming headset replacement. This is why you want to make sure your future gaming headset is comfortable.

So, what do you look for to make sure it’s comfortable?

You want to make sure the gaming headset has plenty of comfort features. The headset should have lots of padding on the headband, and the ear pieces should be heavily padded as well. A good rule of thumb is that if it looks comfortable, it probably is.

It’s important to check out these comfort features because it is something that is commonly overlooked and leads to a poor gaming headset experience. Also, be sure that the gaming headset has plenty of adjustable settings so you can find the perfect fit for your head.

If you wear glasses you need to be extra cautious when purchasing your next gaming headset. A lot of headsets are not made for people who wear glasses and can be almost impossible to game with. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of the best gaming headsets for glasses wearers. If you wear glasses, be sure to check this list out before making your next purchase.

A final factor in comfort is the weight of the gaming headset. A heavy gaming headset can lead to a lot of discomfort and neck pain, especially during long gaming sessions. However, you need to be careful when looking at weight on a gaming headset. Often times if the gaming headset is too light, it can be poorly constructed and will break easily.

This is why you need to do your research and find the best and lightest gaming headsets. Finding a light, durable, and comfortable gaming headset will greatly enhance your gaming experience and ensure the next headset you buy is one you will have for many gaming sessions.

Design & Aesthetics

If you are a true gamer, looks matter. Whether you are customizing your PC, keyboard, mouse or gaming headset, you want your gear look and feel awesome. Nothing is better than putting on a super sleek, stylish, and bold looking gaming headset. The preferred look of your gaming headset depends entirely upon you, and you get to choose which gaming headset is the perfect look for you.

Gaming headsets come in all different colors with the most popular being black or white. White headsets give off a really pronounced look and if you’re interested in a white headset, be sure to check out our list of the best white gaming headsets.

One of the leaders in gaming headsets, and gaming peripherals is Razer. Razer’s gaming headsets are incredibly stylish, and from an aesthetic look standpoint, they are some of the best-looking gaming headsets you can buy. Most of their products are on the high-end, but they do have some cheaper lower end models that are worth checking out.

Ultimately, the preferred look of the headset is entirely up to you and you get to choose which headset looks the coolest. Just be sure not to get too consumed with the look of the headset that you start to overlook the performance and quality of it.

Audio

Audio is one of the most important qualities in a good gaming headset. With so many games today reliant on quality audio, it is more important than ever to find a great gaming headset with fantastic quality.

One of the key factors in good audio quality is isolation. Isolation is referring to the seal of the headphones around your ears. This cancels any outside noise and prevents in-game audio from escaping. Some headsets include noise cancelling which can really add to the performance of the audio.

These types of features can be the difference between hearing an enemy in COD Warzone, or getting eliminated from behind. Be sure to look for a gaming headset with with high reviews in this category.

Microphone

Mic quality is another factor you need to take into consideration. Mic’s come in a variety of different types. There are detachable mics and attached mics. If you plan on using your gaming headset as a normal pair of headphones, you might want to consider a detachable microphone. If you plan on just using your gaming headset just to game, then a detachable microphone might not be necessary.

Most gaming headsets are hyper-cardioid mics. This means they pick up sound directly in front of them. These are great for most gamers and give you the ability to reposition the mic and talk to people in real life while gaming without everyone in-game hearing you.

Some of the mics are omni-directional mics which allows them to pick up sound from multiple directions. Both types are great in their own ways, and the best option really just depends on what you are looking for.

Be sure to look at the power level of the microphone. Typically, the lower the power level the quieter the recording sound will be. To ensure your gaming headset has a high recording volume, be sure to find a gaming headset with plenty of power. Remember, you can always turn down the recording level, but you can’t always make it record at a higher level.

Most gaming headsets utilize a 3.5mm connection which provides a small amount of power. Headsets that use a condenser microphone, tend to run into issues with this type of connection and will have low levels of volume. Be sure to consider this if you are evaluating a headset utilizing a condenser microphone.

Also, keep in mind that most gaming headsets on the market don’t have super high-power microphones, which is a good thing because otherwise lots of background noise would be picked up. Bear in mind that the microphone quality of any gaming headset won’t be studio quality – and there is a reason for that.

Wired or Wireless?

Choosing between a wireless and a wired gaming headset depends on how you plan to game.

Wired headsets provide a lot more value to those who plan to game at their desk. Whereas wireless headsets provide a lot more value to those who play on console or plan to hook up their PC to a TV. From a sound perspective, there is very little difference between wired and wireless – so don’t let wired or wireless deter you from a performance perspective.

There are two types of wireless gaming headsets. Gaming headsets either use Bluetooth or 2.4GHz radio signals. Both have their positives and negatives.

The benefits of Bluetooth are that they are compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device and typically more affordable. The downsides to Bluetooth are lower sound quality and a shorter wireless range. Bluetooth gaming headsets are great if you a planning on using the headset on multiple devices.

In contrast, the benefits to Wireless are better sound quality and longer range. The downsides are that it needs its own dongle to connect to your PC, and it has limited compatibility. If you are planning on just gaming on your home PC, then this option might be best for you due to the enhanced performance and audio.

Wired gaming headsets are still a great option. Due to technological restrictions, wired headsets are able to support much higher bitrates than wireless gaming headsets. What this ultimately means is that the audio quality is capable of being better on a wired headset than a wireless one. However, the human ear will most likely not be able to tell the difference between these bitrates – rendering the performance boost on wired not a big deal.

Range of motion is going to be the greatest factor in determining wired vs. wireless. If you are someone who likes to walk to the kitchen with your headset on while still talking to your party in-game, then you definitely want to find a headset with plenty of wireless range.

If you are someone who sits at their computer and doesn’t move, then a wired gaming headset would be a better fit. Wired headsets can be a hassle when it comes to managing the cable, but wireless gaming headsets can be a pain keeping charged.

It ultimately comes down to how you want to game. Do you see yourself wandering around the house while gaming or are you hunkered down over your desk for hours without movement? Once you figure out how you want to game, you can then decide if you want a wireless or wired gaming headset.

Different Uses

I spoke earlier about how you can use a detachable microphone to turn your headset into headphones, but what else can you use your gaming headset for?

To game.

Gaming headsets were made to be used while gaming – which is part of the reason they are so enriching to the gaming experience. Without a gaming headset, much of the audio is lost. When it comes to first person shooters like Call of Duty and PUBG, sound is crucial to the in-game experience and ultimately your in-game performance.

First person shooters are some of the most popular games on the market. If you are a gamer who plays a lot of first person shooters, then you need to check out our list of the best gaming headsets for FPS.

Perks like “Dead Silence” in Call of Duty silence the players in game footsteps. With a proper gaming headset, footsteps can be picked up easily to detect enemy movement. This can be the difference between getting a kill and being killed. Dead Silence is one of those in-game features that requires a gaming headset to be useful, and more and more games are moving in this direction.

The sound is much more immersive while using a gaming headset. If you are into playing role playing games or massively multiplayer online games, immersing yourself into the experience is half the fun. Playing with quality audio you can actually hear is much more entertaining.

Plus, gaming headsets have audio that is interactive to the game. This means that when someone or something is making noise to your left, the audio will play out of the left headphone. This makes it much easier to spot enemies in-game and adds a lot to the overall experience.

Construction Quality

Most gaming headsets are made of plastic, but some are made with metal or wires. If you find a gaming headset with metal or wires those are much sturdier and will last much longer than plastic ones.

If you are looking at budget gaming headsets, then you need to look for specific types of plastic. Not all plastic is created equally and you can usually figure out the construction of the gaming headset by playing around with it a bit.

If you move the headset around and it starts squeaking, this is probably cheaper plastic and you want to avoid these types of models. If the plastic is hardened and has solid construction then it is probably a better build. Just use your best judgement when it comes to evaluating plastic.

Some headsets are entirely metal and this might be an option for gamers who accidently throw their headset to the ground in frustration. Instead of going through multiple plastic ones, paying up for a metal gaming headset might be a better option.

Whether you choose a metal headset or a plastic one, just be sure not to be too rough with your headset. All models are delicate pieces of technology and should be treated as such.

Features

Gaming headsets have a multitude of different features. Some of the most common features are a mute button, microphone volume up and down, audio volume up and down, and power function.

Some high-end gaming headsets feature LED light systems that light up the headset. These are really cool and if you are into aesthetics, definitely worth checking out.

Another feature just coming onto the market is haptic effects. The gaming headsets pick up on in game audio cues and transforms them into haptic like vibrations within the gaming headset. This can be really helpful in first person shooters where knowing the enemy’s location is essential to winning a gun fight.

Conclusion

There are numerous types of gaming headsets out on the market and finding the right one ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you utilize this guide and look for the right features that are important to you, you should end up with the right gaming headset.

Even if you choose a low-end budget gaming headset you will still have a much better experience than if you didn’t have a headset at all. Take in all the factors and features into consideration before making your purchase and don’t hesitate to use our website as a resource.

Lastly, if you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Cheers!

Richard

About Richard Gamin 77 Articles
My name's Richard and over the years, I have personally built many PCs for myself and my friends. I love gaming, programming, graphics designing and basically anything that has to do with computers and technology. If you ever need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.

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