The best wired and wireless gaming headset: Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, and more

In the event you’re looking for a gaming headset, you may have a lot of choices. Whereas there are some nice ones on the market, it’s simple to pay an excessive amount of, to by accident buy a headset that doesn’t work along with your desired console or platform, or to get one which’s simply uncomfortable. Understanding a factor or two about headphones may assist in your search, however gaming headsets have solely gotten extra difficult to buy — particularly the wi-fi ones.

As an illustration, wi-fi headsets made for Xbox function and not using a dongle through Microsoft’s proprietary wi-fi protocol. They’ll solely work on Xbox consoles or a PC that has one in every of Microsoft’s Xbox Wi-fi Adapters plugged in, normally. Conversely, if you happen to get a multiplatform wi-fi headset that features a 2.4GHz wi-fi dongle, it’ll probably work on the likes of the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap (when plugged into the console’s TV dock), and PC — however not Xbox. It’s finest to purchase the headset that mentions help in your most well-liked platform(s) explicitly, or else there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll run into some compatibility points. After all, you may get rid of many of the guesswork by shopping for a wired gaming headset as an alternative.

This information focuses on newer choices that you just’re extra prone to encounter at shops versus older fashions that, whereas presumably nonetheless being worthy of your cash, are sometimes harder to search out affordably and simply on-line. Additionally, simply to say it on the prime, I’ve a large-ish head and that issue clearly performed a serious position in how I choose the consolation of those headsets.

You’ll discover a number of classes beneath, together with the finest multiplatform wi-fi headsets which are suitable with PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Swap through its dock, the finest Xbox wi-fi gaming headsets, and the finest wired gaming headsets that help the widest number of platforms, from console controllers to telephones, tablets, and VR headsets that function a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Finest multiplatform wi-fi gaming headset: HyperX Cloud II Wireless ($150)

Suitable with PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swap (through its dock)

Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

The HyperX Cloud II Wi-fi makes a wonderful first impression earlier than even turning it on for the primary time. Its headband expands to suit a spread of head sizes, and the ear cups relaxation gently round my ears with out nary a pinching feeling round my skull. The cups will be stretched even additional than my head requires, which provides me religion that they’ll be a sturdy decide for years to come back. That is the downfall of many in any other case good gaming headsets. HyperX nailed the match, and it additionally aced a variety of different successful components with the Cloud II.

The Cloud II Wi-fi boasts a balanced sound that delivers simply sufficient gusto for each state of affairs. It’s not the proper alternative if you would like bass to rattle your head, but it surely’s good if you would like your headset to be simply as fulfilling to make use of for gaming as it’s for music and voice chats. I additionally like that the Cloud II Wi-fi has USB-C charging, and its battery life is long-lasting. HyperX claims 30 hours of battery per cost, and the headset lived as much as that mark throughout my testing. The wi-fi vary of the headset and the included 2.4GHz wi-fi receiver are additionally nice, struggling no drops wherever in my house. It even remained secure after I stood on the opposite aspect of a wall or window, every being about 25 ft away from the receiver.

HyperX Cloud II Wireless

Costs taken at time of publishing.

One of the best multiplatform wi-fi gaming headset. It’s suitable with PC, PS4, and Nintendo Swap (when plugged into the dock).

In comparison with opponents on this value vary, the Cloud II performs it easy relating to the buttons, and the result’s that it’s simple to discover ways to grasp the format. And if all of the capabilities you require are a quantity dial, energy button, and a microphone mute button, this may swimsuit you higher than different headsets that attempt to match too many buttons onto ear cups. However, it’s lacking a recreation and chat audio combine dial that simply enables you to fine-tune your recreation audio along with your buddies chatting on Discord or whereas streaming. You are able to do this manually by clicking a number of home windows, however different headsets talked about beneath make this simpler to do. This headset additionally makes it simple to activate mic monitoring to listen to your self discuss (and listen to issues taking place round you) by merely holding the mute button to activate.

The Cloud II Wi-fi doesn’t have an awesome lead over the key gamers within the area, like Logitech, SteelSeries, and Razer. The truth is, it might get the boot if a equally priced and comparably cozy mannequin with wired 3.5mm connectivity and Bluetooth help comes alongside. However since that has but to occur, HyperX’s flagship wi-fi headset is the simple alternative for PC, PlayStation, and Swap avid gamers.

Right here’s what the microphone feels like on the HyperX Cloud II Wi-fi:

Multiplatform however requires an additional $20 adapter to work with each PS and Xbox

Picture: Astro

Astro’s new A20 for the PS5 and Xbox Collection X / S consoles is exclusive in that it’s one of many few cross-platform wi-fi headsets on the market. Shopping for simply one in every of them (in both the PlayStation blue / white colorway or the Xbox inexperienced / white) can allow you to hook up with both system. Nonetheless, there’s a small catch: you’ll want to purchase a further $20 wi-fi adapter to let it hook up with the console reverse of your headset’s coloration styling (every headset contains one adapter). Regardless of the string hooked up, this performance makes it an interesting possibility for individuals who will probably be getting each the PS5 and Xbox Collection X or S consoles.

Whichever platform you’ll use with this headset, Astro’s A20 Gen 2 is full of extra buttons and options than the Cloud II Wi-fi above. On the ear cups, Astro managed to additionally slot in a devoted button for switching the equalizer to your liking so as to add or subtract bass and vocal readability. There’s additionally a recreation and chat audio mixing dial that will help you discover the proper stability of sounds between your apps. I really like this function, and I additionally dig that it has an excellent quantity of mic monitoring, so you may hear a little bit little bit of the skin world. This headset’s microphone doesn’t detach. As a substitute, you’ll simply transfer it as much as mute it, which will get it out of your face.

Astro A20 Gen 2

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The runner-up choice for a multiplatform wireless gaming headset. It’s compatible with PC and Nintendo Switch (when plugged into the dock). Each headset includes a USB wireless receiver for either the PS4 and PS5 or the Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One. You can purchase the other USB receiver here.

Astro’s latest headset checks a lot of boxes considering its $120 price. The A20 Gen 2 doesn’t quite reach the comfort of HyperX’s model above, as it hangs most of its weight at the top of your head. It doesn’t get painful as the ear cups don’t pinch, but it can result in some fatigue after a while (on top of some very bad headset hair). Also, while I appreciated the EQ button that cycles between sound profiles, the sound quality on the whole isn’t as balanced and punchy as the Cloud II Wireless.

But speaking on its features alone, it’s a more affordable runner-up choice if you want better console compatibility (even though it comes at a $20 cost to have both Xbox and PlayStation support), and a headset that has a physical game and chat mixing dial. I found the wireless range of the A20 Gen 2 and its included wireless receiver to be quite good. My studio apartment is about 40 feet long and 15 feet wide, the headset kept a solid connection throughout. I was even able to run some trash outside without a drop. Astro claims up to 15 meters of range.

Here’s what the microphone sounds like on the Astro A20 Gen 2:

The USB-C dongle that ships with the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless makes it an alluring choice for Switch gamers.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Other good options

The amount of wireless gaming headsets is blossoming, and I expect to make an update to this section on a regular basis — perhaps more regularly than the sections below. As such, there are plenty of other options that didn’t quite make the cut as the “best” but are still pretty good in a few ways.

Logitech’s G733 ($130) came very close to being the runner-up headset. It’s comfortable with breathable ear cups, it has good sound for the price, and the vertical strips of LEDs actually look sharp. It misses the mark by not allowing a wired listening mode and for not having a game-chat audio mix dial.

The G Pro X Lightspeed ($200), also from Logitech, nails the basics of having good build quality, USB-C charging, and punchy sound quality. It goes a step beyond the G733 with better noise isolation. However, its heavy build wore uncomfortably on my head after a few hours and I don’t think it offers enough features to justify the cost.

The Audeze Penrose ($299) has incredible sound quality, along with a plethora of features, like Bluetooth support for connecting a phone and console simultaneously, USB-C for charging, and a 3.5mm port for wired listening. However, considering its high price, it’s not nearly comfortable enough for my head size — it is heavy and too tight — and I think it is likely to wear heavily on other heads, too.

If you’re mostly into playing games on the Nintendo Switch, SteelSeries’ Arctis 1 Wireless is one of the best choices out there when it comes to ease of use. It isn’t a super comfortable headset, as it lacks the company’s ski band-style headband that distributes weight gently on your head. But it ships with a USB-C wireless receiver that can plug directly into the Switch or Switch Lite. Connectivity is strong, and audio quality is quite good given the headset’s $100 price tag.

Best Xbox-specific wireless gaming headset: Razer Kaira Pro ($150)

Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, Bluetooth-ready devices, and PC if you have an adapter

Razer Kaira Pro

Image: Razer

Razer’s new Kaira Pro for Xbox consoles and PC is one of the company’s most impressive headsets yet. It narrowly loses the matchup to the HS75 XB listed below when it comes to sound quality, but it leaps ahead with more features. It includes the option to connect to devices via Bluetooth so you can listen to music, podcasts, or take calls while you game on Xbox or PC. The Kaira Pro also has other features I expect to have in a wireless gaming headset, like USB-C charging and a handy game and chat dial for a customized audio mix.

A particularly cool feature here are the built-in microphones that kick in when you’re connected to a device over Bluetooth. While the Kaira Pro includes a detachable boom mic for use with gaming on your console, these additional microphones are useful for on-the-go voice calls when you don’t want to be seen using the bigger microphone.

Razer Kaira Pro

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The best Xbox-specific wireless gaming headset. It’s compatible natively with Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One. Its Bluetooth function makes it easy to connect to your phone, tablet, or PC.

As I mentioned before, the Kaira Pro sounds great, but it’s not quite as robust when put up against the Corsair model below. If you’re a stickler for crisp sound quality and better positional audio, opt for the runner-up since they’re open-back and not closed like Razer’s headset.

Razer’s headset looks and fits mostly like your average set of over-ear headphones, which is ideal since you can easily use it in that fashion with its Bluetooth function. The Kaira Pro’s build quality is better than I expected, particularly when it comes to comfort. It places equal pressure on the top of your head and around your ears, feeling just tight enough to keep the sound in.

As I’ve found with most headsets made to take advantage of the Xbox wireless protocol, range can be an issue. In my studio apartment, I started hearing audio crackling when I was just 15 feet away from the wireless adapter plugged into my PC, but your mileage may vary. Despite the convenience of not having to use a dongle with your Xbox console, I think I’d prefer to have one if it means better wireless range.

Here’s what the microphone on the Razer Kaira Pro sounds like:

Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, and PC if you have an adapter

Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

If you’re locked to team Xbox, or find yourself switching between PC (with Microsoft’s Xbox wireless adapter) and your console, Corsair’s HS75 XB Wireless is currently the headset that I recommend if you want superb audio quality. It’s a $150 model that surprised me with impressive sound and a styling that looks like a set of premium open-back headphones. In addition to a bombastic sound that, at least for a moment, made me forget that I wasn’t using my Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones, it’s comfortable to wear for hours. These look far heavier in images than they feel on my head, and I was delighted that they didn’t give off much of a pinching sensation.

It’s usually the small details that win me over in a headset, and in the HS75 XB, it’s the symmetrical button layout. Thus, the learning curve for mastering the buttons is low, and this model has everything I need in a pinch, including a game and chat audio dial, volume dial, and an easy way to mute the microphone.

Corsair HS75 XB Wireless

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The runner-up for the best Xbox-specific wireless gaming headset.

Corsair’s 20-hour battery life claims for the HS75 XB are a tad lower than competing models. But its USB-C charging at least makes recharging faster and more simple to do than plugging in via Micro USB.

I mentioned this with the Razer Kaira Pro, but wireless range is an issue here. Your living arrangement might yield different results, but breaking line of sight with the Xbox Wireless Adapter plugged into my PC or straying more than 15 or so feet away made the audio begin to crackle. I think I’d prefer if Corsair simply made its own dongle that was compatible with Xbox than going this route. Still, this is a great headset.

Here’s what the microphone on the Corsair HS75 XB Wireless sounds like:

Other good options

The options above deliver the best experience for the money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other solid options out there. We tested other wireless gaming headsets from manufacturers like Turtle Beach and LucidSound. Though, there was usually one or more deal-breakers about each model.

For instance, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 ($150) sounds great and has USB-C charging, but its fit is tight and it’s uncomfortable to wear after a while. Your experience may vary depending on your head size.

The LucidSound LS15X ($99) and SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless ($150) are also good in some ways, but not good enough that I suggest you seek them out over the others above. Both offer better comfort than the Stealth 700 Gen 2, but they’re relatively light on extra features and they charge via Micro USB, which is just inconvenient.

Best PlayStation-specific wireless gaming headset: Sony Pulse 3D ($100)

Compatible with PS5, PS4

Sony Pulse 3D headset

The Sony Pulse 3D gaming headset

Sony’s $99 Pulse 3D wireless headset for the PS4 and PS5 is a surprisingly feature-packed headset that’s also one of the most comfortable options on this list. I’m a sucker for well-fitting headsets, and the bungie-style headband Sony supplies is fantastic. Instead of having a hard plastic band pulling down on the top of your head, this headset hangs its weight on a silicone band. It gives the headset a near-weightless feel when it’s on my head. Just a note: the ear cups are on the smaller side, and while mine fit just fine, folks with larger ears might not find them all that comfortable.

The Pulse 3D’s headline feature, though, is its ability to serve up 3D audio from the PS5’s Tempest sound engine. Actually, Sony says most headphones can push out the 3D effect, but this headset was made to really show it off. Support for 3D audio varies from game to game, but I found the PS5’s Demon’s Souls to be a great showcase for it. In that game, everything from the highs that ring out from swords clashing to daunting fire-breathing dragons that push out medium- and low-frequency sounds were a delight to hear. For a more relaxing experience, Astro’s Playroom sounds great, too. There are little sounds coming from everywhere, it seems. Games that don’t support 3D audio still sound good but are not quite as enthralling.

For a $99 headset, the positional audio quality is better than I expected, as is the sound balance. There’s not an overwhelming amount of bass or tinny highs — everything is delivered delicately. I like that because it helps prevent fatigue during long play sessions.

Almost everything else about this headset is impressive for the price as well. The controls are a little more intuitively laid-out than Sony’s previous model for the PS4. The Pulse 3D features a tactile rocker that lets you balance game audio with your chat, and there are separate buttons just for adjusting volume. I like that there’s a dedicated switch for turning on mic monitoring, which helps to funnel in just a little bit of outside sound (including your own voice) through its built-in pinhole microphones, so you’re not totally isolated while wearing them.

Speaking of mic quality, these kinds of mics are certainly not as good as what you’d get with most boom microphones. For instance, some “s” and “f” sounds are often muddled. But on the whole, it’s serviceable.

The Pulse 3D supports listening via an included 3.5mm cable or wirelessly when paired up to the 2.4GHz receiver. What’s new here is support for USB-C charging. Sony is by no means the only company putting USB-C in headsets these days, but it’s nevertheless nice to use the same cord that charges your DualSense to recharge this headset.

Sony claims 13 hours of wireless performance per charge. The headset actually landed between about 10 and 12 hours during my testing, which is an underwhelming result. Of course, this is less of an issue if you’re connecting it to a power source each time you stop gaming for the day.

Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack

Bose quiet comfort 35 II gaming headset

Image: Bose

Bose’s QC 35 II gaming headset offers the most features, but at the highest cost of any other headset featured in this guide. Despite costing more than an Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch, this set delivers on value. It comes with the QC 35 II wireless noise-canceling headphones that can be used on the go with Bluetooth and wired 3.5mm connectivity. There are no other options I’ve listed that have a noise cancellation feature and support for voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also among the most comfortable, lightweight options on this list. You’ll know when the QC 35 II is on your head, but it doesn’t pinch or press hard against your ears.

Used as a gaming headset, either connected via USB through its included desktop controller or via 3.5mm, the QC 35 II makes for a lightweight, comfortable option with a microphone attachment that’s easy to use. This model offers the best noise isolation (even without the battery-draining noise cancellation feature switched on) in any headset I’ve tested. Noise isolation is usually something most headsets fumble, but with this one you’ll be able to better hear footsteps and other crucial noises that might decide the match. With noise cancellation switched on, it really does make everything around you very quiet — perfect for boosting the immersion in your games. The desktop controller I mentioned above adds more features, including a nice volume dial and button that adjusts the intensity of mic monitoring.

Bose QC 35 II gaming headset

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The best wired gaming headset. An included USB volume controller is compatible with PC, and the headset can be plugged into any console or controller that has a 3.5mm headphone jack or via Bluetooth if your platform supports it.

The $329 price is high, but if you value noise cancellation and want to have a headset you can easily take on the road (and that has ear cups that can swivel and fold into a compact size), check this out. It’s worth noting that current owners of the QC 35 II headphones unfortunately won’t be able to easily acquire the microphone attachment, as Bose isn’t selling it separately.

Here’s what the microphone on the Bose QC 35 II gaming headset sounds like:

Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack

Razer BlackShark V2

Image: Razer

Razer’s updated BlackShark headset is my runner-up choice for a wired headset you can buy. It’s $100, yet it features a similar design and general feature set to Razer’s $200 wireless V2 Pro model. That also means it’s just as comfortable, with a plush headband and breathable ear cups that don’t apply too much pressure.

This model’s build materials are a step above the $59 BlackShark V2 X when it comes to being breathable, and it includes a USB sound card, into which the headset’s 3.5mm end plugs. With it, you’ll get slightly better sound quality. Also, using the sound card allows you to use THX spatial sound in Razer’s Synapse 3 software, which I found to be a nice value add but not particularly alluring in practice. Razer says it’s adding spatial audio profiles for popular games moving forward, so you’ll have plenty of ways to utilize the sound card, if this feature strikes your interest. Regardless of your interest, you’ll also be able to plug the headset’s 3.5mm end into a variety of controllers and the Nintendo Switch.

Razer BlackShark V2

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The best runner-up wired gaming headset. It’s compatible with PC via 3.5mm or the included USB sound card, as well as consoles and controllers that feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Something that stood out to me during testing is that finding a comfortable fit took almost no effort. And while many headsets are comfortable enough to wear for hours, I didn’t want to take the BlackShark V2 off my head. Another nice touch is its volume knob, which affords fine-tune adjustments that dials don’t usually provide.

Here’s what the microphone on the BlackShark V2 sounds like:

Other good options

If you’re committed to getting a wired headset, there are some really interesting options out there. I got to test a few other headsets that, while not as good as the models above, might be better for your needs or budget.

For something less expensive than Bose’s headset that still sounds good, HyperX’s Cloud Revolver 7.1 wired headset for a PC ($150) might be worth checking out, particularly if you’re looking for something comfortable. This model is just as comfy to wear as the Cloud II Wireless, my top wireless pick at the top of this article. Sound quality isn’t at the same level, though, and I’d recommend holding off on any purchases until the price drops, as the package here is fairly light on features.

Creative Audio’s SXFI Gamer ($130) is a USB-C wired headset that has a simple design and a sound profile that’s pleasant to listen to for games, voice chat, or music. My complaints with this one are on the minor side, with its sizing adjustments not holding very well and its voice prompts sometimes being confusing.

The Sennheiser EPOS 601 ($220) nails the fundamentals, with great sound and a quality microphone. But the ear cups are too darn big, and that excess spills into its overall design. It’s also too expensive for a relatively basic wired headset that doesn’t offer but a couple of special features, like replaceable sidearm plates and a twist-to-adjust volume knob.

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