Let’s not sugarcoat things. Finding an excellent pair of gaming headset may not be as involved as choosing a PC build, a gaming laptop, or even a display. But with all the options you have to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming. And, it doesn’t help that different buying guides can complicate things because people have varying opinions on what’s best.
Also, some of those lists — with the exception of our guide, of course, whose entries have been carefully chosen (and personally tested) by yours truly — were written by folks who haven’t so much as handled their choices, let alone used them. So, it’s kind of hard to take their word for it.
So, let’s simplify things, shall we?
Though I’ve tested many impressive gaming headsets, from analog ones that keep their price tags low to wireless gaming headsets that prioritize convenience, I have my personal favorites. And, I’ve chosen the best one for every budget — cheap, mid-range, and premium — below so you can spend less time deciding and more time gaming.
Bear in mind that these are my personal picks, based on sound quality, comfort, design, and features, and some people won’t agree with them. For example, a handful of folks in the gaming community might recommend a certain budget gaming headset from a certain brand that will remain nameless, but I’d rather pay a little more for better sound quality with well-represented frequencies. Some purists might also tell you not to pick a wireless option due to latency, but I love their convenience. Besides, latency is practically a non-issue these days with the advances in wireless tech.
But hey, to each their own. In any case, let me share with you my top picks because I guarantee you’ll love every single one of them. Not that you’re obligated to listen to me, but you really should.
Budget pick: Corsair HS65 Surround
- Price: $69.99 / £79.99 / AU$119
Yes, it’s over $50/£50, but hear me out. Not to bash a certain gamer favorite that sits right at that $50 mark, because it does offer a decent fit and equally decent, slightly bass-heavy sound quality. However, for $20/£30 more, you can get far superior sound quality from the Corsair HS65 Surround, making it a better value for your money.
But first, let’s talk about its design. While it sticks with mostly plastic materials – understandable given its price point, the Corsair HS65 Surround still feels solid and of great quality. Where it really trims down is on the frills, keeping things simple and sensible yet also stylish. I love Corsair’s new signature look, keeping things fresh and that obnoxious, old-school gaming headset aesthetic where it belongs – in the past.
Its wired connectivity also looks to the now by including a USB adapter that turns its 3.5mm audio connectivity into a USB connection with 7.1 surround sound for a more immersive gaming experience. Or should I say, more immersive since even in stereo mode, the headset already delivers great sound imaging. As far as the sound itself, all frequencies are well-represented, with rumbling bass, detailed highs, and full mids. That’s not something you’ll find in most gaming headsets.
Mid-range pick: Logitech G Pro X
- Price: $129.99 / £119.99 / $299.95
The Logitech G Pro X may be a bit of an oldie, hitting the shelves back in 2019 – so a prolonged pandemic ago, but this (as well as its wireless version) remains to be one of my favorite gaming headsets. Now, usually, I dislike those that look unmistakably like a gaming peripheral, but Logitech has managed to make this one have that gaming aesthetic without looking gaudy.
This is one gorgeous-looking headset, in fact, finding that sweet spot between clunky and elegant, which I didn’t think even existed until now. It’s also sturdy yet lightweight, thanks in large part to its premium steel and aluminum build. The addition of plush leatherette ear pads and headband just sweetens the deal, especially since while it may be over $100/£100, it still keeps that price tag grounded.
There’s a slight bump in the mids and the high end rolls off a little in an effort to give it a warmer sound profile, but its overall sound is still pretty balanced with a good bass response that gives you lots of rumble during movies and games. It’s also got DTS HEADPHONE:X 2.0, a USB-only object-based surround sound that will give you that 3D audio experience. Finally, the mic is also very balanced so you know you’ll sound good when trash-talking your opponents during games.
Premium pick: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
- Price: $349 / £329 / AU$649
Yes, my top pick for the premium range is a wireless one – though if you’d rather be tethered to your device or gaming PC, there’s also the wired SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro. And, why the heck not? The elegant and versatile SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless doesn’t deal with latency issues, and it truly sounds glorious with its hi-resolution audio.
While it is above what most people would pay for a gaming headset, it’s basically two audio devices in one (a headset and headphones) so you’re also getting a lot of value here. What do I mean by that? Well, it comes with a base station that allows it to wirelessly connect to two audio sources simultaneously. But, because it has Bluetooth and 3.5mm wired connectivity as well, you can use it on your mobile devices as well. And, because it has a somewhat similar look to Master and Dynamic headphones – only more elegant – you won’t hesitate to put it on as your headphones for your daily commutes and long-haul flights. Bonus points: it’s luxuriously comfortable, and it comes with two swappable batteries that you can charge simultaneously.
Back to its hi-res sound, its treble is stunningly represented with a heck ton of detail, fully immersing you in your games, especially when combined with its already great soundstage. Though if you want to be transported inside the game, its 360° Spatial Audio feature is the way to go. I also appreciate the well-represented mids and the deep bass that scratches that rumble itch.
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Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.