Until I started playing Starfield, I was convinced that splashing out on one of the [best gaming headsets] wasn’t worth it. This was until I found myself in possession of the Victrix Gambit PS5 headset. From the moment I first donned this comfortable piece of hardware, I couldn’t believe the difference. The headset’s premium 50mm drivers provided a level of audio quality that I simply wasn’t used to, inviting me to experience a soundscape I didn’t even know was there.
As my starship took off from Akila spaceport, I could hear the full texture of the gorgeous bassy engine roar that underscored the take-off sequence. Once among the stars, the ambient sounds of the cockpit were brought to life, ship systems whirring in the background as the gentle noise of the engine reverberated through the ship.
Thanks to this relatively simple change in my hardware setup, I was able to enjoy the game on a whole new level. Even some of Starfield’s shortcomings were easier to overlook thanks to my new headset. Lackluster gunplay was elevated through robust sound design. Despite some of the weapons feeling clunky, the percussive sound of my revolver spitting hot lead at an unfortunate bandit never got old.
My new headset also made me better at the game, too. The wider dynamic range provided by the Victrix Gambit gave me more of a sense of where my enemies were hiding, allowing me to sneak past enemies with a responsiveness that I lacked in the before times. I could hear projectiles whizzing past, and listen for cessations in enemy fire, giving me opportunities to safely advance during combat.
Though I was used to using sound cues with my previous setup, the higher overall quality provided by the headset made this process far easier. No longer did I have to strain my ears to pick up on vital auditory information. The Victrix Gambit was doing the hard work for me.
A realm revisited
In light of this revelation, I began to plumb my back catalog, keen to see how else this new hardware might improve my gaming experience. I soon returned to Final Fantasy 16, one of the best JRPGs out there, not to mention one of my favorite titles this year. Once again, I was astounded.
Final Fantasy 16 features one of the most impressive scores I’ve ever heard. From the brain of Final Fantasy 14’s Masayoshi Soken, Final Fantasy 16 has everything from soaring orchestral scores to full-on mumble rap. However, it wasn’t immediately obvious to me how much of the sound I was missing until I revisited the title with my new gaming headphones.
Now, I could hear the distinctive basslines that underscore the soundtrack. The rhythmic combination of drums, timpani, and double bass got my blood pumping as protagonist Clive strode into battle. By contrast, the game’s impressive array of ambient sounds felt so much easier to appreciate during quieter moments. Thanks to this new and improved depth of sound, the scenic Greatwood felt so much more alive and vibrant than it did on my first playthrough.
Sounds like change
The Victrix Gambit PS5 headset elevated my gaming experience across the board, and it isn’t even one of the best options out there. Those looking for a more premium sound experience could splash out for the Beyerdynamic Tygr 300 R or maybe even the SteelSeries Arctis 9 if you’re looking for something with wireless functionality.
That said, even if you go for something more affordable like the Epos H3 or the standard Xbox Wireless Headset, you’ll still be getting a much stronger soundscape than if you were just relying on your TV’s speakers.
Though times are tough and budgets are tight, I’d highly recommend learning from my error and investing in a dedicated gaming headset whenever you’re able. Even at the cheaper end of the spectrum, a gaming headset will give you a lease on the games you love, while also improving your experience with newer titles.
Given the highly visual nature of video games, it can be easy to discount the contributions made by our other senses. However, given the quality and production value of modern game soundscapes, it seems silly to count yourself out. Don’t make my mistake; do your ears a favor and invest in a proper headset.