Gaming today is a lot more than just aiming with your mouse and having great movement with your keyboard. In addition to you needing to have a powerful rig that will let you play the best games and a monitor with the right specs to make you see everything you need to see; you’ll need a set of gaming headphones.
What makes a set of headphones into gaming headphones? Usually, gaming headsets are from reputable gaming brands and will have microphones attached to them. It’s an important feature and something we’ll touch on later, but you’ll need to be able to hear gunfire and footsteps, but equally communicate with your teammates as well as possible.
So, you’ve decided you’d like to buy a gaming headset. Where do you start? You can look at some of the most popular brands around. HyperX, CoolerMaster, SteelSeries and Razer are all well-known in the gaming industry for their peripherals, headphones included. You could also go for the audiophile headset range which consists of sound from Sennheiser and Audio Technica.
Once you’ve decided, you’ll need to make sure that it ticks a lot of your boxes. It needs to be durable, comfortable, have a reasonable long cable and ensure that the sound quality is there. Truth be told, there isn’t a lot of difference between sound quality when you get to the higher range of gaming headphones, but audiophile headphones can make a big difference if you’re prepared to put up the money.
Comfort is key for gaming headphones. You’re going to be wearing them for long stints at a time, so make sure you get something that’s comfortable. Headsets that rest on your ears aren’t conducive to long sessions, so you’ll want ones that have cushions that sit around or over your ears.
In addition to that, you should want a comfortable headband where the bulk of the headset weight distribution will be. Any kind of re-adjustable band that is sturdy and has comfortable padding will be good for you.
Open or Closed
Open headsets will keep your ears cool and will allow you to hear the outside world surrounding you even when you’re playing games. Sometimes, sound can bleed through these as well, so they aren’t really good for open offices or public spaces.
Closed headsets will isolate the sound to you alone, it will block out the noises from outside your gaming and you’ll be able to hear the slightest of noise that will give you a competitive edge. They are also quite hot on your head and your ears.
Headset or Headphones
The difference between the two is that technically, a headset will consist of a built-in microphone that you’ll be able to communicate with your team through. Headphones are just stand-alone headphones without any mic. Meaning that if you want to discuss strats with your team, you’ll need a microphone.
Finding Our Five
When deciding on picking our recommended five headsets, we decided that we’d go for affordability as well as comfort. We only included headsets, with a microphone included to ensure that users get the ultimate gaming experience.
The Cloud S has a fantastic premium sound and is well-known for its comfort. They offer 7.1 surround sound with 50mm drivers with a noise-cancelling microphone that is detachable.
The Arctic Pro Wireless set is awesome. It has a 40ft wireless range, with Bluetooth too, but also has Hi-Res capable speaker drivers. The 40mm neodymium drivers offer an impressive range of round and the microphone on the headset is built-in and can be retracted.
A brand that may not be as well known as others, the Audio Technica range is something that has slowly waltzed into the gaming scene and is stick around. The ATH-ADG1X has superb sound and comfort and offers 53mm drivers in each ear and a 3D Wing support system to help mitigate the weight on the headset. The look of these may not appeal to everyone though…
If you’re willing to spend a little bit extra on your sound, then you should consider Sennheiser. They are the start to a true audiophile experience, and these come in at the very beginning of the range. These offer superb sound quality reproduction and have a loud boom to them. If anything, the medium range of sound could use a bit of work. It also has a microphone stalk with noise-cancelling and an auto-off switch when you lift it.
An old-school player in the sound market, Turtle Beach offers a comfortable set of high-quality headphones. They aren’t the best-looking set on the market, but for the price, they are an affordable way to get into the top tier of sound. The 50mm drivers do well to mimic the sound need when gaming.
"Gaming today is a lot more than just aiming with your mouse and having great movement with your keyboard. In addition to you needing to have a powerful rig that will let you play the best games and a monitor with the right specs to make you see everything you need to see; you’ll need a set of gaming headphones."
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