Technology

The Best Gaming Headsets of 2024

The best gaming headset needs to be affordable, comfortable, sound sharp, and have a microphone that won’t make your voice chat companions wince. Our top picks manage to do it all with some extra features on top.


UPDATE: 02/05/2024

We’ve added a new section—the best gaming headset for the Nintendo Switch. We’ve also updated our pick for the best PC gaming headset.

What to Look For in a Gaming Headset in 2024

When your goal is to pack a microphone into a set of headphones and make both sound great, the options become narrow. A gaming headset has a lot to handle in one package, and if any single part of a headset isn’t up to snuff, it becomes hard to recommend.


Gaming headsets need excellent sound quality and the ability to give you accurate response and spatial clarity for sounds like footsteps in a competitive shooter. Audio is vital to the way we play games, so there’s no place for headsets that have a narrow soundstage. Other bells and whistles, such as RGB lighting or how it looks, are secondary to this.


On top of that, you need a microphone that isn’t fuzzy or quiet. Microphones in headsets can be extremely hit or miss because often it’s much easier for manufacturers to include a weak one to keep the price low. The best gaming headsets have crisp microphones and are just sensitive enough to pick up your voice but not everything else in the background.


As such, it can be difficult to find a sweet spot when it comes to the price of gaming headsets. A lot of headsets are either overpriced or deceivingly cheap for how good they are. It takes a careful eye to determine whether or not a headset is solid, especially since there are so many different options out there.


But that’s what we’re here for! Below are the best gaming headsets out there.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

17

5

18

How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product.
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HyperX Cloud Alpha S on person's head
HyperX


Pros

Cons

✓ Great sound

✗ Mostly pointless mixer controls

✓ Clear microphone

✗ Wired

✓ Comfortable

✗ Sound quality isn’t great for music

✓ Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series Consoles


For most people, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is the gaming headset to get. It’s the kind of headset to pick up if you need something to work on everything you have, as it works with PC, PS5, and Xbox Series consoles. It’s the bread and butter for what you need in a headset.


The Cloud Alpha S headset is solid throughout, offering great sound for basic listening activities and an accurate microphone. They’re also comfortable, which is a huge plus since gaming headsets are often worn for hours at a time.


You might not think it, but the way headsets sound can add to user comfort as well. This HyperX headset lacks a bit in the bass department (considering they have unique bass sliders on the cups), but is otherwise solid and even. An even sound is necessary to reduce strain on your ears while listening to very dynamic audio for long periods of time. This also is a boon for keeping sound cues like footsteps clean in the mix, elevating your gaming experience.


Because it connects via USB, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S lacks an in-line mute control for console players. If you need to mute your microphone frequently, that could be a deal-breaker for you. The headset also includes a mixer that you can mess with, but the results are not spectacular.


That said, these small gripes don’t affect how good the Cloud Alpha S actually is. It’s a strong pick if you need a gaming headset that connects to everything and sounds great without any fuss.

hyperx cloud alpha s

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

Best Gaming Headset Overall

$100 $130 Save $30

The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is comfortable, sounds great, and works with the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series consoles. Combine that with the price, and it’s the best of all worlds!


HyperX Cloud Stinger
HyperX


Pros

Cons

✓ Comfortable design

✗ Audio quality is sub-par

✓ Solid microphone

✗ Wired

✓ Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series Consoles

✗ Chunky design


The HyperX Cloud Stinger headset is inexpensive for various reasons, but the price shouldn’t scare you away from it. For the price point, it’s incredible. The design of the headset is comfortable, and its microphone is surprisingly good. It’s not the kind of headset you’ll want to use for any reason other than gaming, but when you’re shopping for a gaming headset, that’s not really much of an issue.


For a fraction of the cost of competitor headsets, you get a wired headset that is solid and performs well in its own right. The Cloud Stinger is not a wireless headset, nor does it have outstanding audio, but it will handle almost anything you throw at it—including platforms you play games on.


The reason it’s the best budget gaming headset is simply because of its capability and its comfort. Comfort is vital to gaming headsets, since you’ll typically be wearing them for hours on end, and that’s something you usually sacrifice as the price drops. However, the HyperX Cloud Stingers are true to the name and float over your ears for hours at a time. For gaming, that’s exactly what you want.

hyperx cloud sting

HyperX Cloud Stinger

Best Budget Gaming Headset

It may not be as stylish as the Cloud Alpha S, but HyperX’s Cloud Stinger is an inexpensive gaming headset that’s solid and comfortable.


SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro on gaming desk
SteelSeries


Pros

Cons

✓ Dual swappable batteries

✗ Expensive for casual users

✓ Impressive audio control level

✓ Retractable noise cancelling mic

✓ Compatible with Xbox, PS5, PC, Mac, Switch, and mobile


It can be pretty hard to justify a price tag of three hundred and fifty bucks for a gaming headset, but the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset makes several good arguments for splashing out.


Let’s start with the audio. The Nova Pro headset offers 360-degree spatial audio and is compatible with Microsoft Spatial Sound for Xbox and Tempest 3D Audio for PS5. Spatial audio is perfect for gaming because it allows different types of sound to exist in their own space in the soundscape. This results in a more realistic and immersive audio experience.


This is further enhanced by a Parametric Equalizer, which gives you granular control over sounds through the Sonar Audio Software Suite. You could, for example, increase the volume of footsteps while reducing the volume of explosions and gunfire. Combined with ANC, this gives you impressive control over the sounds reaching your ears.


Another important factor to look for in a wireless headset is battery life. SteelSeries’s solution to the problem of running out of charge mid-game is a hot-swappable battery system. You get two batteries, each providing 18-22 hours of use. You can charge one in the base station while using the other, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of a gaming session.


The base station, which also has two USB ports, has a detailed LED panel that displays information on volume level, frequency, and, of course, battery level. The beauty of those two USB ports is that they let you connect two devices and switch between them at the touch of a button. And as the headset works with Xbox, PlayStation, PC, Mac, Switch, and mobile devices, dual device support can come in very handy.


Wireless headsets are almost always heavier than their wired counterparts, but the combination of metal and light-yet-strong plastic in the Nova Pro keeps the weight at a comfortable level. The adjustable floating headband and soft leather-effect ear pads further help to make these headphones great for extended use.

steelseries arctis nova pro

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Headset

Best Wireless Gaming Headset

$329 $350 Save $21

A very impressive audio experience combined with lots of control over the sounds that reach your ears. And the dual battery system means you won’t lose power mid-game.


Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset 2023 Edition



Pros

Cons

✓ Improved sound quality over the original BlackShark V2

✗ No 3.5mm wired option limits compatibility

✓ Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless connectivity

✓ Impressive 70-hour battery life

✓ Great-sounding microphone


PC used to mean “personal computer,” and it still does, but these days it means a lot more to many more people than it used to. A gaming headset for a PC has to be similarly flexible, and that is precisely what makes the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset 2023 Edition such a good buy.


First, let’s look at connectivity. The BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless is—as the name implies—a wireless headset, but it has two different ways of connecting. Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity is great if you want to quickly pair with your phone or laptop to listen to a few songs. On the other hand, if your gaming and latency matters, the 2.4GHz wireless dongle will virtually feel as smooth as a wired connection.


Razer is a company that pays careful attention to branding, as with its Triforce titanium drivers. In this case, they’re 50mm drivers, but with a proprietary design that divides them into lows, mediums, and highs, similar to a traditional stereo or home theater setup. Like most gaming headsets, the BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless doesn’t feature active noise cancellation (ANC), but it does feature passive isolation via its memory foam ear cups.


If you’ve ever watched an eSports tournament and wondered exactly what the pros were hearing, the BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless gives you the chance to find out. The headset has multiple onboard profiles specifically tuned for FPS games that let you hear everything you need to hear to stay competitive.


How everything sounds is one of the most important aspects of a gaming headset, and the BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless sounds great, but how you sound to your team is just as important. The detachable microphone on this headset will make sure your team hears every word clearly, and the 70-hour battery life means you won’t drop out of the game at a crucial moment.


At around 11oz or 0.75lbs, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless is heavier than some gaming headsets, but far from weighty. The headset is available in black and white color options.

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Headset 2023 Edition

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro 2023 Edition

Best Gaming Headset for PC

The 2023 edition of the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro takes everything that was great about the original wired model, ups the sound quality, and adds both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity.

Best Gaming Headset for PS5: Sony Pulse 3D



Pros

Cons

✓ Great price

✗ Slightly cheap feeling

✓ Excellent sound for gaming, especially 3D audio

✗ Requires an (included) USB dongle to work with PS5

✓ Comfortable over-ear design

✓ No mic boom

✓ PS4 compatible


Sony’s Pulse 3D headset offers incredible value for money. It’s a large over-ear headset with integrated noise-canceling microphones, long battery life, and fantastic 3D audio. Of course, Sony has made it so that any headset connected to a DualSense controller benefits from their 3D audio processing, but the Pulse 3D is specifically designed and tuned for it, so the technology really shines here.


The Pulse 3D doesn’t have a mic boom that sticks out from the headset and chat quality doesn’t seem to suffer for it. The overall design of the headset, especially the white and black model, is also suitable modern, and attractive. It’s more towards the Apple end of the design spectrum than the stereotypical “gamer” peripheral design. Whether that’s a pro or a con depends on your tastes.


Overall sound quality is quite good—certainly better than most integrated TV speakers and better than any $100 headset we’ve heard for gaming audio. Of course, you can attach a more expensive set of cans to your DualSense and blow the Pulse 3D away, but that’s hardly a fair fight.


While it’s easy to recommend the Pulse 3D for PS5 owners, some things aren’t so good. While it looks nice, the actual build quality is a little on the flimsy side, though that has the benefit of making for a lighter headset.


The biggest negative in our opinion is the need for a USB dongle, that you have to plug into the PS5 to use the headset. Why Sony couldn’t simply make the headset use the same protocol the DualSense does to transmit and receive audio, we don’t know, but it’s a jarringly inelegant aspect of an otherwise seamless experience.

ps5 pulse headset

Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset

Best Gaming Headset for PS5

Sony’s in-house PS5 headset is the best choice for most PS5 users, offer great sound, comfort, and style at a reasonable price.


Xbox Series X Remote and Headset
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek


Pros

Cons

✓ Comfortable

✗ Mic boom

✓ Compatible with current and previous generation Xbox

✗ Middling audio

✓ Simple operation and pairing


The official Xbox Wireless Headset is an understated product that you won’t automatically tell apart from non-gaming headsets. With just a slight green accent and a black-on-black Xbox logo on the earcup, it doesn’t have the gamer aesthetic many accessories have.


The headset looks premium to the eye and is significantly more expensive than Sony’s equivalent for the PS5, which makes it a little disappointing that it still relies on a mic boom rather than integrated mics. Nonetheless, you do get voice isolation technology and a fantastic 15-hour battery life rating.


The headset is also comfortable and great for extended multiplayer sessions. We’re also happy to see that there is no base station or dongle needed to pair this headset with an Xbox Series console, something we wish Sony would copy on the PS5 side of the fence.


Sadly, while you do get access to a number of 3D audio technologies, the overall sound quality is middling based on user feedback. That’s not a big deal for a gaming headset that otherwise fits into the Xbox ecosystem perfectly, and you’d have to spend a lot more money to get worthwhile audio quality improvements. We’re still happy to recommend this as the best overall choice for Xbox gamers.

xbox wireless headset

Xbox Wireless Headset for Xbox Series X|S

Best Gaming Headset for Xbox Series X|S

$90 $100 Save $10

While it doesn’t have the best audio quality in the world of Xbox headsets, Microsoft has done almost everything else right and their official headset is the slickest way to get into the game at a fantastic price.


Razer Barracuda X Wireless

Razer



Pros

Cons

✓ Solid 50-hour battery life

✗ Noise isolation isn’t very effective

✓ 40mm drivers make for impactful sound

✓ Available in a choice of fun colors


Even with products like Valve’s Steam Deck available, there is something about the combination of standard game console and handheld portable that makes the Nintendo Switch a near-perfect gaming machine. Finding the right headset for it isn’t easy, but the Razer Barracuda X Wireless ticks all the boxes.


The Razer Barracuda X Wireless weighs in at just over half a pound, which is notably lighter than many other gaming headsets. It also uses breathable memory foam ear pads, meaning you won’t find yourself overheating during longer gaming sessions.


The Barracuda X Wireless supports Bluetooth, which the Switch features native support for, but it’s not particularly great support. Fortunately, the included dongle plugs right into the Switch and gives you a nearly latency-free connection. That said, Bluetooth is handy if you want to pair it with your phone to listen to some music.


More and more headphones and even headsets these days offload the controls to a mobile app, which means you always need your phone within reach. On the Barracuda W Wireless, you can control music, videos, and calls with the onboard controls, which means less reaching for your phone.


Razer has gained a reputation for the quality of the microphones in its gaming headsets, and the company hasn’t slipped with the Barracuda X Wireless. The mic features a relatively forgiving pickup pattern, focusing on your voice and keeping out background noise. The mic is also removable for those cases when you don’t need it.


Unlike many gaming headsets, the Razer Barracuda X Wireless is available in a fairly wide range of colors. You can choose from black, white, and pink, as well as special PUBG and Roblox editions.

Barracuda X

Razer Barracuda X Wireless

Best Gaming Headset for Nintendo Switch

A lightweight design, powerful drivers, and affordable price tag make it hard to beat the Razer Barracuda X.

FAQ

Are wireless headsets good for gaming?

Wireless headphones provide several advantages when gaming, including not being restricted to sitting close to your TV or monitor. There are downsides to consider, such as battery life, but wireless headsets are often just as good for gaming as wired ones.

Do gaming headsets work with multiple systems?

Any wireless headset that uses a standard Bluetooth connection should work with multiple gaming systems. But not all wired headsets work with all gaming systems, due to different connection methods, so it is important to choose carefully.

Can I use a gaming headset with a VR headset?

In most cases, a gaming headset could be used with a VR headset, as long as the VR headset doesn’t obstruct your ears. Some VR headsets have headphones built in, so using a separate headset would be difficult.

Do gaming headsets work with phones?

As long as the connection method of the headset is compatible with the phone, it probably could be used. However, most wired gaming headsets will use a USB connector, which won’t fit into a phone headphone port.

How do you clean ear pads on a gaming headset?

The ear pads on most gaming headsets can be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth. You can also use isopropyl alcohol to clean the pads of a very dirty or greasy headset. Work carefully, being careful not to rub off the ear pad coating.

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