Table of Contents
The advantage of a wireless headset is that it gives you complete freedom to move around, along with – in some cases – 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. The big downside is that a wireless headset needs to be recharged – be it through the built-in lithium-ion battery or via swappable rechargeable batteries. Some gaming headsets are now capable of being charged wirelessly, though you’ll have to fork out for a Qi charger separately.
As for wired headsets, there are advantages over their wireless counterparts. These generally give you clearer audio quality, although the difference nowadays is minimal.
READ NEXT: The best wireless gaming headsets to buy
Is it worth investing in 5.1 or 7.1 headsets?
Some gaming headsets offer a virtual surround-sound mode that can be toggled on or off – it’s present in those that have the 5.1, 7.1 or Dolby logo on them. As for the benefits, they’re dubious. We often find headsets with virtual surround sound can crush the sound quality or make it less accurate for positional cues (such as footsteps). In fact, many competitive games find themselves turning the feature off. Still, it’s at your disposal if you choose to use it.
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S incorporating 3D and spatial audio respectively, you can now experience some of the benefits of virtual surround sound without needing to buy a headset with 5.1 or 7.1 support. That doesn’t make such headsets entirely redundant but means you shouldn’t worry if you can’t afford a pricier headset packed with fancy audio options.
READ NEXT: The best headsets for PS5
If I spend more money on a headset, will I have a better experience?
Generally speaking, the more you pay for a gaming headset, the more features you’ll get. Of course, there are some brands that charge a premium simply for having their name on the products – but sometimes this premium is for a good reason. Sound quality and comfort are important traits to all, so if you seek out the most comfortable, best sounding headset with the most features (such as wireless technology or Bluetooth), expect to pay more for it.
That’s not to say a cheaper set is bad – far from it, as some offer exceptional value for money. But, as with anything, setting yourself a budget is important. Once you’ve set your maximum price, go about finding the best headset you can get for what you’re willing to pay. We’re sure you’ll find one in our top picks below.
READ NEXT: The best gaming keyboards
Does driver size matter?
There are headsets with all sorts of different characteristics, but often you’ll overlook the driver size, the size of the tiny speaker that generates the sound. Size doesn’t always matter, but as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the diameter of the driver, the more space it’ll have to reproduce sound. Consequently, you’ll most likely get a better sound quality from a bigger driver or have a wider soundstage – which makes a difference when you’re gaming.
Is a noise-cancelling microphone needed?
Noise-cancelling microphones aren’t a must, but if you play in a noisy environment, you’ll find having a mic that only captures your voice will result in a better experience for those who are listening to you in-game.
Should I buy an officially licensed headset?
Ultimately, licensed headsets only provide a few extra functionalities. Examples include a bundled adapter for plugging into one of the first-generation Xbox One controllers or in-game sound optimisations. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend seeking a licensed product, but they’re not without their advantages.
READ NEXT: The best Xbox Series X/S headsets