Best Gaming Headsets 2020

Our pickBest for a budgetBest for wireless gamingBest for audiophilesBest for color options
SteelSeries Arctis 7
(2019 Edition)
Corsair HS50ASTRO A50HyperX Cloud Alpha
with HyperX Amp USB
Sound Card
Razer Kraken
≈ $120≈ $50≈ $215≈ $105≈ $80
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Price at time of writing. Prices are subject to change.

What is the best gaming headset?

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 has it all—comfort, on-ear controls, great audio with punchy bass, Discord-certified mic, and a combination of wired and wireless connection options. It’s a great gaming headset all around, whether you’re looking to get really immersed in The Elder Scrolls Online or just want to mic up and chat with your online friends.

We also love the ASTRO Gaming A50 headset. It’s more than twice as expensive as the Arctis 7, but its specific compatibility makes sure its best features are available across all your gaming stations.

And if you’re looking for a steal, the Corsair HS50 is a budget-friendly pick that gives you decent sound and mic quality for less than $50.

Of course, there are tons of gaming headsets out there. So if none of these are calling to you, keep reading for more top picks and our guide to choosing your perfect gaming headset.

Top gaming headsets

ModelPriceWired or wirelessNotable featureGet it
Our pickSteelSeries Arctis 7 (2019 Edition)≈$120Both24-hour battery lifeView on Amazon
Best for a budgetCorsair HS50≈$50WiredEasy-to-use, on-ear controlsView on Amazon
Best for wireless gamingASTRO A50≈$215WirelessDolby Headphone 7.1 Surround SoundView on Amazon
Best for audiophilesHyperX Cloud Alpha with HyperX Amp USB Sound Card≈$105WiredComes with USB sound cardView on Amazon
Best for color optionsRazer Kraken≈$80WiredNotch in ear cushions for glassesView on Amazon
Our pick
ModelSteelSeries Arctis 7 (2019 Edition)
Price≈$120
Wired or wirelessBoth
Notable feature24-hour battery life
Get itView on Amazon
Best for a budget
ModelCorsair HS50
Price≈$50
Wired or wirelessWired
Notable featureEasy-to-use, on-ear controls
Get itView on Amazon
Best for wireless gaming
ModelASTRO A50
Price≈$215
Wired or wirelessWireless
Notable featureDolby Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound
Get itView on Amazon
Best for audiophiles
ModelHyperX Cloud Alpha with HyperX Amp USB Sound Card
Price≈$105
Wired or wirelessWired
Notable featureComes with USB sound card
Get itView on Amazon
Best for color options
ModelRazer Kraken
Price≈$80
Wired or wirelessWired
Notable featureNotch in ear cushions for glasses
Get itView on Amazon

*Price at time of writing. Prices are subject to change.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 (2019 edition)

Best overall
  • Connection type: Wireless 2.4 GHz and 3.5mm jack
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20,000Hz
  • Wireless range: Up to 40 ft.
  • Compatibility: PS4, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, Xbox One

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a well-rounded headset for gamers who play on multiple platforms. Its wireless option is compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, and Switch. And the included 3.5mm analog option works with mobile and Xbox One (with an adapter).

The only issue with the Arctis 7’s flexibility is that some of its best features don’t work on every platform. You can’t use it wirelessly on Xbox One, and its surround sound works only on PC. But even without the surround sound, you still get stereo audio with excellent bass.

The design of the Arctis 7 really pushes this headset to the top. It’s comfy as heck and has simple but useful on-ear controls. The elastic suspension headband and padded foam ear cushions make the headset feel very light—kind of like it’s just floating on your head. That and its 24-hour wireless battery life make it great for long wear.

The headset’s volume and mute controls are at the bottom of the left ear cup, so it’s easy to thumb the volume wheel up or down. And there’s a ChatMix dial in the same spot on your right, so you can easily adjust the balance of in-game audio vs. chat audio.

Overall, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the best gaming headset because of its spectacular combination of comfort, sound, controls, flexible compatibility, and price. Really, this headset has it all, and it’s a great choice for any gamer.

Pros

  • On-ear chat/game audio mix control
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Wired or wireless options

Cons

  • DTS Headphone: X v2.0 Surround available only on PC
  • Wireless not compatible with Xbox One

Corsair HS50

Best for a budget
  • Connection type: 3.5mm analog
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz–20,000 Hz
  • Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, Switch, Mobile, Xbox One (with adapter)

The Corsair HS50 is a good headset for its budget-friendly price point. It doesn’t have the richest sound quality of the bunch, but for about $50, it’s a solid gaming headset that gets the job done.

There isn’t much to complain about with the Corsair headset. But then again, nothing about it is particularly exciting either. The headset is black and nondescript with a quilted leatherette headband and cushioned ear cups made with the same material. It has the classic gaming headset look—and some models even have bright blue or green accents.

The on-ear volume and mute controls are easy to find and use, and we liked how easy it is to position the detachable mic. The biggest downside to this headset is that its leatherette ear cups trap heat, so it can get a little toasty after a while.

Though not the best overall, the Corsair HS50 is a standout headset for the price. It’s perfect for fledgling gamers or those on a tighter budget who still want clear communication during Call of Duty matches.

Pros

  • Great audio and build quality for the price

Cons

  • Faux leather ear cushions that get warm during extended play

ASTRO A50

Best for wireless gaming
  • Connection type: Wireless 5 GHz
  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20,000Hz
  • Wireless range: Up to 30 ft.
  • Compatibility: PC, Mac, and PS4 or Xbox One

Serious gamers and streamers should consider investing in the ASTRO A50 wireless headset. It’s the most expensive headset on this list, but it proved its worth in our audio tests. Its sound is full and dynamic, and you can customize equalizer modes and audio settings using the included ASTRO Command Center software for finer-tuned input and output.

We love the on-ear audio controls that let you adjust volume, game/chat priority, surround sound, and EQ modes—especially because all the controls are on the right side (and our testers were righties). There was a bit of a learning curve for adjusting the settings mid-game, but it was worth it for the extra level of control.

The main downside to the ASTRO A50 is the price. It’s a pretty expensive headset, and it has more compatibility limitations than any other product on this list. It’s compatible with PC, Mac, and either PS4 or Xbox One unless you drop an additional $100 on a second base station for compatibility with both consoles.

That might be worth it if you divide your time equally between the two consoles and want the same top-tier audio experience, but the price is high compared to every other headset on this list, which all work (though not wirelessly) with both consoles.

The base stations also necessitate an at least semipermanent setup. The required connections and extra accessories aren’t ideal for portability. So it’s not the best option for a gaming laptop setup.

But the A50’s customization options for both audio input and output are excellent, and it’s a great wireless gaming headset if you want that level of control over your sound. It’s an investment, but the high price tag gets you the best wireless sound quality.

Pros

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Dolby Headphone 7.1 surround sound audio
  • ASTRO Command Center software for audio tuning
  • 3 preset EQ modes

Cons

  • Limited compatibility
  • High price

Pro tip: The ASTRO A50’s base station is compatible with PS4 or Xbox One (you have to choose one of the other). But both base stations work with PC. Make sure you get the version that matches your console, or you can purchase both base stations to work with one headset for multi-platform compatibility.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

Best for audiophiles
  • Connection type: 3.5 mm analog
  • Drivers: 50mm dual chamber
  • Frequency response: 13 Hz –27,000Hz
  • Compatibility: PS4, PC, Mac, Switch, Xbox One (with adapter), mobile

The HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset is our top pick for audiophiles. It has a rich and dynamic sound (for better appreciation of the Celeste soundtrack), and it came out on top of our back-to-back audio comparisons.

We tested the Cloud Alpha with the HyperX Amp USB Sound Card. The accessory costs about $25 and adds better in-line controls and virtual surround sound.

Without the sound card, the headset still has great audio quality and in-line controls for audio volume and mute. But the extra option is nice if you want more control over your mic sound, a slightly more immersive listening experience, or simply want to connect to your PC via USB instead of dual input and output 3.5mm jacks.

Our testers had a hard time agreeing on how comfortable the headset was over long periods of time. One person wore it for hours without issue, but another tester found that it put too much pressure on their glasses, which caused pretty immediate discomfort.

The headset’s sturdy aluminum frame should survive daily gaming and the occasional rage quit. But the ear cups and headband are covered in a soft, padded leatherette (to protect your head from that sturdy aluminum frame).

We like that its mic and braided cable are both detachable, which help maintain the durability of the headset over time because they’re not getting bent at weird angles during storage. And it makes them easily replaceable if they break.

Overall, the HyperX Cloud Alpha headset is a sturdy headset with beautiful sound, perfect for gamers who don’t want to skimp on sound quality.

Pros

  • Crisp sound with full dynamic range
  • Durable build

Cons

  • No HyperX Amp USB Sound Card compatibility for Xbox One

Razer Kraken

Best for color options
  • Connection type: 3.5mm analog
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • Frequency response: 12Hz–28,000 Hz
  • Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One (with adapter), Switch, mobile

This headset has a neutral sound quality, retractable mic, leatherette ear cushions with cooling gel to prevent overheating, and optional kitty ear accessories for when you want to annihilate your enemies and look kawaii while doing it.

We found this headset to be the most fun, partially because it comes in bright colors like pink and bright green. It’s a refreshing break from the headsets that follow the usual gamer aesthetic (black with a pop of red, blue, or neon green).

But besides its quirky style options, the Razer Kraken headset is a good gaming headset. It has a neutral sound profile, and while it doesn’t have the audio depth or specialized controls that some of the other headsets on this list achieve, it’s great for less than $100.

The one thing that bugs us about this headset is that its in-line audio controls are a little loose, which makes it very easy to bump with your arm and drastically change the volume. We fixed this by looping the cord to tie the controls up a little higher.

Other than that, it’s a great headset. We love the ear cushion design. It’s leatherette but doesn’t trap heat, thanks to the cooling gel inside the cushions. And the front of the cushions have indents specifically designed to relieve pressure on glasses (this doesn’t interfere with people who don’t wear glasses at all).

So if you’re looking for something that breaks from the usual gamer style without sacrificing too much quality or cash, the Razer Kraken is a great option.

Pros

  • Comfortable for long gaming sessions
  • Bright color options and cat ear accessories

Cons

  • Slippery in-line audio controls

What to look for in a gaming headset

Personal preference is a huge part of finding the perfect gaming headset. But we’ll guide you through a few key things you should look out for.

Compatibility

Some gaming headsets—especially wireless ones—work only with specific platforms. So make sure you pick a headset that will work with your gaming setup.

Any wired, wireless, or USB headset should work with PC, but console gaming gets a little more complicated. We tested all our recommended headsets on PS4. So our listed headsets have you covered there. But if your platform of choice is the Xbox One, you might need to buy extra accessories to get everything to work correctly.

Pro tip: If you want to connect a 3.5mm jack headset to an older Xbox One controller, you might need to buy a stereo headset adapter.

Price

You can snag a serviceable gaming headset for as little as $30. Or you can treat yo’ self to tricked-out gear that costs upwards of $300. We covered a wide price range in this review to highlight products that fit every budget.

While all these products work well for gaming, we did notice an increase in audio quality at higher price points. And most of the more expensive headsets also have audio control software to help you customize your sound experience.

Audio quality

Most people don’t need studio-quality headphones, especially if you primarily use your headset for party chat. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the audio quality when looking for a gaming headset.

Great stereo sound can really immerse you in gameplay, while distorted audio can pull you out of the experience or cause confusion during team-ups. And you’ll want something with a good representation of highs, mids, and bass if you plan to listen to music on your headset.

In terms of pure audio quality, the HyperX and ASTRO headsets won our back-to-back audio comparison. But all of these headsets are more than capable of making sure you hear when a creeper’s nearby in Minecraft.

Of course, the type of games you regularly play also factor into your audio quality needs. Playing Stardew Valley doesn’t necessarily require the same quality of audio that a horror game like Dead by Daylight does. And if you’re looking for a headset for VR, you probably want to invest in a headset with simulated surround sound.

Comfort

Comfort is subjective, so it’s hard to tell whether you’ll like the fit of any gaming headset without trying it on. But it’s also one of the most important features. You don’t want a headset that’ll hurt your ears or put pressure on your head after an hour or two.

All the headsets we tested are circumaural, which means they sit around your ears instead of on top of them. If you’ll be wearing your headset for a long period of time and want really immersive audio, this is the style you should be looking for.

If you wear glasses, you need to take special care when making your selection. The Razer Kraken headset specifically addresses this issue by making an indent in the foam ear cushion so that area doesn’t put extra pressure on the sides of your head.

Both can be very comfortable, but the fabric headsets are more breathable and don’t trap heat like leatherette options. On the flip side, leatherette is better for noise cancellation, and many leatherette headsets combat the heat with cooling gel in the ear cushions, which gives you the best of both worlds.

Wired vs. wireless

There are advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless gaming headsets. For example, wired headsets with a 3.5mm analog jack are compatible with pretty much any platform, and they’re usually less expensive than wireless headsets with similar specs.

Wireless headsets usually have more restrictions, whether they connect via Bluetooth or a dedicated USB receiver. But going wireless imposes fewer physical boundaries during gameplay, so you don’t have to worry about getting your wires crossed.

Neither option is inherently better than the other. It’s just a matter of preference.

Controls and ease of use

In the middle of a battle royale, you need to be able to adjust your volume on the fly. We took special note of how intuitive each headset’s volume, mute, and other controls were during out tests.

Generally, we preferred on-ear controls over in-line controls. You always know exactly where they are, and it’s much harder to accidentally bump them and drastically change your volume.

Beyond volume and mute, our testers also appreciated chat and game audio balance controls, which were present on both the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and the ASTRO A50. These make it possible to adjust your sound priorities, which is useful for switching between chatting with friends to actually playing and paying attention to a round of Overwatch.

Our final take

You can’t really go wrong with any of these gaming headsets, but our pick is the SteelSeries Arctis 7. It’s a flexible headset that transitions well between gameplay, chat, and listening to music on any platform. Plus, it’s comfy enough to get you through marathon gaming sessions. If you’ve got the cash, go ahead and grab it and start gaming like never before.

How we tested

Each headset in this review went through at least six hours of testing across PC, Mac, and PS4 platforms. Tests included one three-hour gaming sesh, a back-to-back audio performance comparison, and a lot of asking party members, “Do I sound better now, [pause while tester switched headsets] or now?”

FAQ

How do I connect a gaming headset to my PC?

There are basically three ways you could connect a gaming headset to a PC, depending on the headset:

  • Wireless
  • 5mm jack
  • USB

With a 3.5mm analog connection, you may need a splitter so you can plug in to your PC’s audio input (mic) and audio output (headphones) ports. All the wired headsets we tested came with a splitter for PC compatibility.

USB connections are just a matter of plugging in the USB cable. And wireless headsets use Bluetooth or pair with a USB receiver. You may need to adjust your PC’s audio settings to select the right input and output, but it should pretty much be plug and play.

What is the best console gaming headset?

When it comes to console gaming, we prefer wireless headsets for the freedom of movement. For the best audio and gaming experience for Xbox and PS4, we recommend the ASTRO A50 wireless gaming headset. Just make sure you get the right version for your console.

Author -

Rebecca is a natural techie and the friend you turn to when your Wi-Fi randomly stops working. Since graduating from the University of Evansville with a degree in creative writing, Rebecca has leveraged her tech savvy to write hundreds of data-driven tech product and service reviews. In addition to HighSpeedInternet.com, her work has been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ and iMore.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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