Finding the best Steam Deck headset will quickly become a top priority for those who get their hands on the new handheld PC console.
Working out which is the best Steam Deck headset isn’t quite as simple as browsing the likes of our own best gaming headset guide and picking the first PC-compatible one. In fact, even the best PC headset for gaming lists might not get you quite what you want. And that’s because the Steam Deck offers something different in terms of an in-situ/portable balance, and you may well want a headset that fits nicely into that niche too.
So, if you’ve just got your new Steam Deck – you lucky thing – are awaiting its imminent arrival, or are getting your Deck’s headset squared off in advance, sorting out your audio and ensuring you have one of the best Steam Deck headsets to hand when it gets to you is one of the best jobs to tick off.
And it won’t necessarily cost you a whole lot either – there’s definitely room to splash the cash to ensure you get the best experience, but there are plenty of budget headsets for Steam Deck on the shelves as well. We test as many headsets as we can here at GamesRadar+ so we’re ready to recommend some great cups we already know intimately to be your Stem Deck’s audio companion.
We’ve covered a lot of budget areas, needs, and preferences in this list, so we’re confident you’ll find the best Steam Deck headset for you here.
Best Steam Deck headsets 2023 – top 10
The Razer Barracuda X is probably the best bang-for-buck wireless Stem Deck headset you’re going to find in 2022. It’s wireless, it’s great value, and it’s got great audio quality – what more could you want?
Coming from Razer’s newer line of headsets, and sharing a sleek aesthetic with the likes of the Opus headphone range, we found the Barracuda X to be comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for on-the-go play or while attached to a desk and a rig. That design is also subtle enough and non-flashy enough to look at home when you are commuting or travelling with your Steam Deck too. Weighing in at only 250g, the Barracuda X are some of the lightest on the market now. Combine that with the comfort offered by its added headband and plump cushioning on each cup.
In our testing, the sound quality proved to be excellent, too. Even though an ‘X’ moniker often indicates a budget or entry-level set from Razer, the 40mm TriForce drivers are some of our favourite of this ‘generation’ and provide a rich soundscape no matter what game you’re playing. And they even offer solid performance for music and movies too.
If your ceiling is that magical $100 mark and you’re looking for something that’s wireless, has excellent audio quality, and is seriously comfortable in long sessions, then the Barracuda X is it – and that’s why it’s our top choice for best Steam Deck headset.
Read more: Razer Barracuda X review
The Razer Kraken X is another solid option if you’re looking for simplicity and a no-frills Steam Deck headset. In our view, the main selling point here is that Razer Kraken DNA running through each cup. Yes, it might be a lightweight and simple, having cut some fat here and there, and slimmed the whole beast down, but when we put it on and started using it, we really felt and heard that Kraken pedigree. And clearly. It’s not bothering those at the top of any Razer headset lists, but in our view it still offers good performance across the board from clear and sharp high-ends to rumble, growly lows.
Where some budget-end headsets might compromise is in build quality and comfort too – often trimming back areas of padding for example. However, we noticed that the Razer Kraken X does do this but remains pleasant to wear even after hours of play. The padding is far more effective than its appearance would suggest, and the lightweight nature of this design helps execute this, even in our longest session.
The Kraken X’s compatibility with almost everything is another plus in our eyes; just plug it in and go – it can be used with almost everything, and teaming it with a PC or a Steam Deck is where you’ll get the most out of it. This is where it can offer you that sweet, sweet 7.1 surround sound.
Read more: Razer Kraken X review
From our testing and use, these are easily the best earbuds for mobile gaming right now, which means that the EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid wireless earbuds are going to be a top Steam Deck headset choice. Especially for those who prioritise high-end audio.
Imbued with the legacy and DNA of Sennheiser, these earbuds boast the sort of audio quality you’d expect and proved this to us during our testing. There was great directional audio (in earbuds!), deep, full bass, and rich mid-tones to boot – all of which shone through in our testing.
The USB-C dongle will plug into your Steam Deck, but the buds also offer Bluetooth connectivity so you can use that connection to sync with devices where appropriate. Throw in a neat charging case for the buds, and we had the battery life reach the top end of the slated 20-hour estimate too – this makes the feature set really does look great for these buds.
It’s worth noting that while they do come with an in-built microphone, we confirmed that this only works when you’re connected through Bluetooth, rather than the USB-C dongle. This might mean that anyone looking to play co-op or competitive games on their Switch might have to look elsewhere for better communication routes.
Read more: EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid review