When playing games, a decent headset can really help. Choosing the best set of headphones for you can be a challenge, depending on whether your goal is to fully immerse yourself in the game through music or sound effects or to hear every enemy footstep. You should consider the general design, comfort, sound quality, and whether the microphone sounds decent. Any wired audiophile headphones would be a fine choice if you don’t need a microphone.
Below are our suggestions for the top gaming headsets based on our testing of more than 710 different models of headphones. Moreover, check out our suggestions for the finest PS4 headsets, Xbox One headsets, PS5 headsets, and Xbox Series X/S headphones.
1. Wireless Sony PlayStation Platinum Headset
Simply put, the best-sounding gaming headset we’ve tested is this genuine, high-end PlayStation 4 headset. It avoids slipping into the overpowering bass trap and instead provides a clear, sharp, and balanced sound that is really exciting.
With details like battery life integrated into the UI of the PlayStation and game-specific sound presets accessible on some games, PS4 owners predictably have the best experience. A few even offer 3D Audio when used in conjunction with the Platinum Headset, which is incredibly effective. The Platinum Wireless Headset will be compatible with PS5, according to Sony, though it is unknown if all functionality will transfer over.
While Xbox and Nintendo Switch gamers can use the Platinum headset as a regular, wired headset, PC and Mac users can also use it wirelessly.
The Virtual Surround Sound (VSS) mode’s poor sound quality (turn it off and use the headset in stereo instead) and the invisible mic’s tendency to pick up a little more background noise than other competing headsets’ stalk-like mics are its sole drawbacks.
2. Wireless SteelSeries Arctis Nova
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset from SteelSeries isn’t cheap, but it’s totally worth it. With so many capabilities in this fashionable headset, it’s difficult to know where to start. But, let’s start with the gaming features: Multi-system communication is provided by the wireless base station of the headset, and other features include a highly-adjustable design that is so light and comfy you won’t even notice it’s on your head. The battery life is also technically “unlimited” thanks to a swappable battery system.
The 40mm speakers on the Nova Pro Wireless are custom-designed and capable of high-fidelity playback, but you’ll need a wired connection and a DAC to experience the headset’s 10–40,000Hz frequency range. This headset does an excellent job with various types of audio, so the immersive and layered sound doesn’t simply apply to game audio. And, there’s more, too: Active noise cancellation (with an optional transparency mode), a completely retractable bidirectional noise-canceling microphone, and simultaneous 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity with music mixing capabilities.
This headset is capable of doing it all and switching between PC and console gaming, video conferencing, and audiophile listening with ease. When you consider that the Nova Pro Wireless may be the only headset or set of headphones you ever need to purchase, it’s a far better value. The Nova Pro Wireless is ambitious, but it delivers. If these are beyond of your price range, the Kingston HyperX Cloud Alpha is a good sub-$100 option with great acoustics and a snug fit.
3. Audeze LCD-GX 3.
Audeze’s LCD-GX has you covered if you’re searching for an audiophile experience that doubles as a gaming headset. This open-back, over-ear planar magnetic gaming headset has a magnesium frame that is lightweight and has a look that matches the rest of the company’s LCD lineup. Yet, it is not inexpensive; in fact, at $899, it more than justifies the moniker “Best Gaming Headset Splurge.”
Particularly in comparison to other gaming headsets, the LCD-GX offers outstanding audio quality. It leans slightly warm overall, but it has excellent dynamics and multi-layered mid-tones that provide for a really pleasurable listening experience. Although the manufacturer does advise using it with a powerful amp/DAC, it is not necessary; if you put it directly into a PC or laptop, you shouldn’t have any issues powering it. While lacking the digital processing and effects you might find in other gaming headsets, it provides a fantastic gaming experience. One of the top headset mics we’ve tested is also included.
Large, circular over-ear earcups and a cozy suspension headband are two highlights of the LCD-GX. It has a boom microphone wire and a regular cord, so you may use it as a pair of headphones or a gaming headset, depending on your needs. Also, it includes a sturdy, lockable travel case that is ideal for safeguarding your $899 investment and holds all of its attachments. It’s undoubtedly not for everyone, and its open-back design makes it particularly unsuitable for anyone who likes to game in public, but it’s a terrific option for gamers who also happen to be audiophiles.
4. Turtle Beach Stealth 600, 4.
Similar to the official PlayStation headset mentioned above, this Turtle Beach headset works by inserting a small dongle into the USB port on your PS4 to enable wireless audio and chat. Of course, the Platinum headset’s UI integration and game-specific sound presets are not available on the Stealth 600. You’re out of luck if the battery dies because you can’t use the headset with anything besides a PS4 because it can’t be used with a cable.
Still, the sound is respectable for the price, with a solid tonal balance, spaciousness, and weight. Although we would prefer a little bit more bass impact and a little less treble zing, this is a nice alternative if you absolutely must have wirelessness and have a limited price.
There is also an Xbox One model of the Stealth 600, which you can identify by its green accents. We tested the PS4 version of the Stealth 600, which ought to function with the PS5 as well.