After Testing Gaming Headsets for 400 Hours, We Found the 8 Best

young people wearing gaming headsets
We Tested All of Today’s Best Gaming HeadsetsKayla Ramsey


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Editor's Note: We reviewed our current picks and still believe they're the best gaming headsets on the market as of October 2022. We'll be evaluating our list on a monthly basis to make sure we're bringing you the most up-to-date products and industry information.

Whether you're playing a solo campaign and want a premium sonic experience without disturbing those around you or just want to trash-talk other players online, a quality gaming headset improves your spatial awareness and makes the experience feel even more realistic. Given that the right pair of gaming headphones can make all the difference in online play, I tested the latest options to find out which ones are worth your hard-earned dollars.

Best Gaming Headsets of 2022

What to Consider

Not all gaming headphones are created equal, and choosing the best gaming headset can be highly personal. But for the most part, finding the best one comes down to the same criteria.

Compatibility

Most important is that you find a headset that is compatible with your gaming computer or video game console. You may think that finding a gaming headset with excellent audio and microphone quality is the next most important thing, but trust me, you’ll want something that’s comfortable. If a headset is uncomfortable, you’ll want to take it off after no more than 20 minutes of gaming.

Wired or Wireless

You should also decide whether you want a wired or wireless headset. If you shop for the latter, again, make sure that it’s compatible with your console! You won’t find a wireless headset that works seamlessly on both the PlayStation and Xbox, since the two consoles use different wireless protocols.

Feature Sets

You should also pay attention to the headset’s feature sets. Very few offer active noise canceling, but many support 7.1 surround sound, and many have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use them with your phone.

How We Tested

I spent more than 400 hours testing 40 different gaming headsets to identify the best ones out there. In order to narrow down our selections, I factored in comfort, sound quality, microphone quality, build quality and design, connection, and controls. You can learn more about each of these categories below:

  1. Comfort: How does the headset feel? Can you wear it for marathon gaming sessions? Does it feel too heavy? Are the materials irritating or itchy? Are the ear cups large enough to cover your entire ear? Is the headset uncomfortable with glasses? Is it adjustable to accommodate both large and smaller-shaped heads?

  2. Sound Quality: Is the sound rich and detailed enough to help you really get into the game? Is the in-game dialogue clear? Are the drivers overpowering? Can you identify the direction of sounds? Does the audio sound good for listening to music, too?

  3. Microphone Quality: Does the microphone successfully cancel out background noise? Is your voice clear and easily heard by other gamers?

  4. Build Quality and Design: How does the headset look? Does it feel cheap? Does it have a premium, sturdy build that can withstand drops? Is the headband durable? Is the cable long enough and braided enough to withstand wear over time?

  5. Connection: What type of connection does the headset have? Does it come with the proper adapters for connecting it to other devices? If it's wireless, does it stay connected without audio cutting in and out?

  6. Controls: What onboard controls does the headset have? Are they easily accessible and identifiable? Are there volume controls and a mute microphone function?

In addition to the above testing criteria, I also took into account price and included accessories, plus ease of use for the headsets and their included software.

After gaming across five different consoles for many hours, listening to weeks' worth of music, and countless deaths to conquer Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Control, Metroid Dread, Resident Evil Village, and Returnal, here are the best gaming headsets of 2022.

Best Overall

The Blackshark V2 is a premium headset without the premium price. The Blackshark V2 provides highly detailed sound quality for both games and music. Its detachable microphone did a fine job at cleanly picking up my voice, and it comes with a USB sound card that lets you enable a THX Spatial Audio surround system for a more theater-like effect.

The headset is lightweight and comfortable, it has plush earcups, a padded headband, and an easily accessible volume dial on the left earcup. Compared to other headsets in its price range, the Razer Blackshark V2 stood out for its clear and balanced audio quality, its intuitive and powerful software, and its comfortable fit.

Believe it or not, I liked the Blackshark V2 more than Razer’s Kraken V3 Pro, which is twice as expensive. The biggest difference between the two is that the Kraken V3 Pro has haptic feedback. In case you’re unfamiliar, this means that the headset converts sound signals into touch-sensory feedback.

Best Budget Headset

If you've shopped for gaming headsets before, you’ve probably realized just how many ridiculously expensive options there are out there. This entry-level headset from SteelSeries gets all the basics rights and proves you don’t need to drop several hundred dollars for a quality headset.

The Arctis Nova 1 packs the same 40-millimeter drivers as its pricier siblings — the $100 Arctis Nova 3 and the $180 Arctis Nova 7, but it’s priced at a much easier-to-swallow price of just $60. The headset delivers stellar audio performance with punchy bass and a good amount of treble that makes it great for listening to music when you’re not gaming.

I appreciate that it packs a fully retractable mic, but found that it didn’t do as strong a job at blocking ambient room noise as other headsets. The headset has a ski google-inspired elastic band that helps it provide a snug, comfortable fit (even if you wear glasses), and features soft and cool-to-the-touch “AirWeave” fabric ear pads so your ears won’t get overheated.

It's also worth mentioning that SteelSeries sells multiple variants of the Arctis Nova: There’s the Nova 1P for PlayStation owners, the Nova 1X for Xbox gamers, and the Nova 1 for PC users.

Best PlayStation Headset

PlayStation owners, the SteelSeries Arctis 7P should be on your shortlist if you’re in the market for a new gaming headset. This stylish headset delivers stellar sound quality, a premium design, and an extremely comfortable fit. Most importantly, it provides gamers with long-lasting, all-day battery life.

What separates it from the wide realm of other gaming headsets is its unique ski-band-inspired suspension headband. The band is completely adjustable and stretches to fit any head shape. Plus, it’s machine-washable.

The headset is lightweight and conforms to your head without squeezing too much or ever feeling loose. Its ear cushions are breathable and soft, and they don't get too hot, even during the longest of gaming sessions.

The SteelSeries’ Sonar software takes your sonic experience to the next level and supports immersive 360-degree spatial audio for the PC, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5 consoles. Of course, you can use the software for adjusting the microphone’s noise reduction, setting EQ profiles, and balancing game/chat audio.

By and large, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 is a super comfortable and durable wireless headset that’s versatile and works with most consoles, including the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. It packs impressive battery life and provides gamers with a better-than-average onboard microphone and solid sound quality.

Best Xbox Gaming Headset

I’ve tested more than 10 wireless Xbox headsets over the last 4 years, and I've always found myself going back to wired headsets because of audio lag or skips. But that was until I got my hands on Microsoft’s very own gaming headset: It sounds as good as other headsets that cost $200 or more.

It's both comfortable and extremely easy to use since it only has two buttons. Rather than relying on a wireless dongle like numerous other options, this one instantly pairs directly with your console without an adapter.

Throughout my testing, I was impressed by how strong its range is. The connection is so reliable that my game’s music didn’t cut out when I walked 25 feet away to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. You can expect around 15 hours of juice before needing to recharge it with the included USB-C cable.

Conveniently enough, this option can connect to a second device simultaneously with your Xbox console using Bluetooth, meaning you can take a phone call or listen to music while wearing the headset.

Best Nintendo Switch Headset

Budget gaming headsets — especially wireless ones — oftentimes cut corners and omit features in the name of a lower price point. Not the Razer Barracuda X. Despite its tempting $100 price tag, this gaming headset delivers top-tier audio quality, a comfortable form factor, and an impressive battery that should get you through 3 days’ worth of gaming.

The Barracuda X comes with a tiny USB-C transmitter that you can plug right into the bottom of your Nintendo Switch for reliable and completely wireless audio. It also includes a USB-A adapter for using the headset with your PlayStation, Nintendo Switch dock, or PC. If you’re a PC gamer, you’ll be happy to hear it supports virtual 7.1-channel surround sound for highly immersive audio. Of course, you can connect it to anything with a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, too!

If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight, multiplatform headset that has a long-lasting battery, you won’t be disappointed.

Best Wireless Gaming Headset

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless combines outstanding comfort, impeccable sound quality, and an outstanding microphone, making it ideal for users who game for hours on end. If you've been in search of a comfortable gaming headset, look no further.

What separates this headset from the dozens of other ones on the market is its large battery. It packs a whopping 300-hour battery life, while most other options can last no longer than a day and a half.

The Cloud Alpha Wireless has a more attractive design than the competition, too, thanks to its sleek finish. The headset flaunts an aluminum frame that slightly resembles the Golden Gate Bridge. It sports extra breathable memory-foam ear cushions with leather-like padding, an adjustable design, and a detachable microphone that won't get in the way.

It didn’t clamp down too hard around my head, and it never felt too hot to wear. Just like the name suggests, it truly is cloud-like. You won't be disappointed with the headset sound-wise, either. It does a fantastic job of isolating external noise and the audio is powerful but clear. It has a deep, punchy, and well-balanced bass that doesn't drown out the midrange. Plus, its microphone excels at picking up voices.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless provides a sleek-looking design, outstanding comfort, and good sound quality for a reasonable price.

Best Wired Gaming Headset

What I love most about the G Pro X from Logitech is that it doesn’t look like a gaming headset. Its design appears more polished and sophisticated than other headsets, thanks to its high-end metal components and durable build quality.

The headset comes with a wide range of accessories, including a travel bag, USB DAC, and two sets of earpads. Buyers have the choice of leatherette or cloth earpads, and both are filled with memory foam to offer a cozy fit. The headband is well-padded, too, but this G Pro X feels a tad snugger than other options, so it may not be the best option for folks who wear glasses.

I was impressed with the headset’s sound reproduction ability and found that they deliver a thunderous bass that makes explosions in games sound epic. Scores to my favorite games were well-balanced, the bass didn’t ever feel overpowering, and the soundscape was very detailed, making it a great all-around wired headset.

Best Sound Quality

The Nova Pro is the be-all, end-all wireless headset. It comes with two long-lasting swappable batteries, a base station that delivers an outstanding wireless range and lets you mix multiple audio sources, and a retractable microphone that's clearer in quality than practically every microphone I've tested.

Unlike any other gaming headset on this list, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has active noise cancellation on board, so you can drown out your surroundings and fully immerse yourself in your video games — so you won’t get distracted by what’s happening around you.

The headset works with all major consoles, has Bluetooth connectivity and audio mixing capabilities onboard, and sports plush ear cups that are equally cozy and good at shutting out background sound.

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