The best PC gaming headsets can give you more clarity while gaming, so you can pick up sounds and pinpoint where they’re coming from. A good headset should also come with a high-quality microphone so that you can speak to your friends and teammates clearly, and most importantly, a good headset should be comfortable to be able to withstand long gaming sessions without too uncomfortable.
We’re about to go deeper by sharing details about the best gaming headsets. All of these options are great picks, but you’ll notice each option can win in a particular category.
Razer Kraken X – Affordable amenities ($30-$40)
The toughest challenge for gaming peripheral manufacturers is building a range of low-cost gaming headsets. Usually, manufacturers have to pick out cheaper components for earphones, microphones, and overall build quality to achieve a lower price point.
For this reason, we’re going to cut out the very cheap options ($1-$25) because we believe the overall experience isn’t worth the investment. Instead, you should try to invest another $10 to $15 to get to the $30-40 range. For this price, you can get the affordable yet reliable Razer Kraken X.
The Razer Kraken X is designed to be lightweight and comfortable. In fact, it’s so comfortable that we rank the Razer Kraken X as one of the most comfortable gaming headsets in the world.
This is Razer’s lightest headset, weighing 250 grams. For comparison, one of the world’s most popular headsets, the HyperX Cloud II, weighs 320 grams. The earphones are very soft and cushioned and even fit snugly over the glasses, which is something you might have a hard time finding.
Of course, there are some compromises at this price point. The sound quality is actually quite good for gaming, but the music experience is very poor. The Razer Kraken X focuses on treble and very little bass, which is great for sounds like footsteps and small in-game actions that you might miss, but that sound design makes it difficult. bear for most songs. Bass-heavy songs feel lifeless, and vocal-heavy songs are annoying to the ears. In short, perfectly usable for gaming, but not so much for music.
Razer’s design choices here are obvious – they wanted a headset that could play well with gaming audio without tiring your ears. Sure, you’ll miss that during the quiet moments of gaming, but it’s designed for marathoners and perhaps not those looking for shorter, more immersive gaming sessions.
Microphone quality is ok, but not perfect. It picks up a lot of background noise even though the ad says otherwise. Thankfully, there’s very little movement and your voice is heard clearly. You can’t remove the microphone, so it’s definitely going to be an issue that spurs the conversation with the Razer Kraken X.
HyperX Cloud II – Most Popular PC Gaming Headset ($75-$100)
The HyperX Cloud II is undeniably one of the best PC gaming headsets in the world based on popularity alone. Makes sense, Cloud II is the perfect balance between quality and price. The retail price is $100, but you’ll rarely find it over $80 new on Amazon.
So what makes HyperX Cloud II so popular? Perhaps the first thing to mention is comfort and design. The standard memory foam earpads hug your ears with a warm embrace, but you can also switch to the included plush earpads.
The microphone can be adjusted for your convenience – it has a large, bendable cable inside that you can completely disassemble if needed. Of course, comfort isn’t everything, and that’s why it’s often chosen over an equally smooth machine, but the Razer Kraken X is lighter.
The sound design you’ll find familiar on many gaming headsets can be heard in HyperX Cloud II. You get an emphasis on treble, reasonable mids and lack of bass. Perfect for competitive gaming where attention is paid to every sound, but a bit less dramatic for high-impact explosions, violence or vrooms.
There’s also a detachable sound card that plugs into the Cloud HyperX II’s 3.5mm jack on one side and a USB slot on the other. It has 7.1 digital surround sound and separate volume controls for both microphone and speaker.
The treble isn’t quite as high as some of the cheaper options, so hearing vocals in music is pleasant, but not perfect. However, that lack of bass definitely slams the deal as the HyperX Cloud II is a gaming-focused headset.
Microphone quality on HyperX Cloud II is excellent, it can reduce background noise and focus only on your voice. If your teammates complain, you have the freedom to adjust both the volume and the distance of the microphone to your mouth with ease.
If you want the best possible experience with a wireless gaming headset, we recommend the Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Wireless’s biggest concern is battery life, especially for headphones. It turns out that large drivers take a lot of juice. Thankfully, the Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless has two batteries. You can charge one battery at the base station during a game so you can swap it out when the other is running low. Yes, you’re forced to use the base station to charge, but later on you’ll understand why you wouldn’t want to go without it.
The average battery life for a full charge is 10 hours. If you somehow run out of power on both batteries, you can use the standard 3.5mm jack and don’t need a power source, at a cost that matches your audio experience.
The 2.4GHz wireless connection between the headset and the base station is strong, and you won’t drop connections within a reasonable range. If you want even more security, you can even connect Arctis Pro Wireless via Bluetooth. This also opens up usability on your typical Bluetooth enabled devices like smartphones.
Again, this is a gaming headset, so there will be more focus on treble, reasonable mids, and less focus on bass. That’s great for gaming, and if you enable 7.1 digital surround sound, you’ll have no problem picking up directional audio. The built-in EQ settings, which can be adjusted using the base station, can alleviate some bass cravings. It’s better than software EQ, but it’s still not always as effective.
The Arctis Pro Wireless has a reasonable size of 357 grams and it uses a unique design that relies on an elongated strap to fit your head snugly. The rest of the weight is held up by a curved steel aluminum alloy frame floating above the strap. Overall, it’s comfortable, but it takes a bit of getting used to.
Like most headsets, the Arctis Pro wireless microphone can extend or hide in the left driver’s bezel. The sound quality is superb, clear voice recording but effectively cancels out most of the background noise, and the included foam filter reduces the shrill noises in your voice.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro – Best Sound Quality PC Gaming Headset ($128)
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is absolutely the best choice to get high-quality sound for gaming and listening to music at a great price. The point is, it’s really a pair of studio headphones, which means going this route you’d have to buy a standalone microphone and you should also buy a DAC/Amp for your PC to power the DT 990 Pro more energy.
The $75 Fiio E10K is a reasonably powerful choice for the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro. When choosing a microphone, be sure to read about The best microphone is here.
However, it is well worth the investment of both time and money to get the DT 990 Pro and the necessary accessories. In a word, some of the biggest names in gaming have deliberately chosen to use the DT 990.
These gamers have the option to buy any headset at a worry-free price, and they’ve eliminated potentially lucrative peripheral sponsors in favor of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro instead. You’ll see Ninja using a DT 990 and YouTube star Lazarbeam using an upgraded DT 1990 Pro.
The DT 990 Pro has an open back design, which means the sound stage feels much larger. Not only does this add to the immersion, but it also makes it easier to identify directional sounds without the need for any digital surround software. The sound design on the DT 990 Pro is surprisingly perfect for gaming, despite being a studio headset.
You will find it strange that is the characteristic emphasis on treble, usually only found in gaming headsets. Thankfully, the bass and mids are much more enhanced than standard gaming headphones, making them a great choice for listening to music.
With all this investment, you’re looking at $200-$300 and a lot of mess in the setup. The comfort is great but the earpads wear out after long time using and lose some of that cushion. Not quite as comfortable at Cloud 2 or Kraken X levels, but good enough.
That concludes our look at the best PC gaming headsets in 2020. We’ve focused on four main categories and hope that these picks work for you. If you have any suggestions yourself, why not leave them in the comments section?