The best gaming headsets in 2022

by John Stapel

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The best gaming headsets
Hear every subtle detail with the best gaming headsets. (Image credit: Future)

There's a lot to look for in the best gaming headset. You need great sound quality, solid connectivity, good comfort, and an affordable price. Gaming headsets offer a lot of gimmicks, but few of them actually impact how you play games. These are the gaming headsets we've tested that perform exceptionally well.

Some of the headsets in this guide excel at one thing—a big reason we like the Kraken X at its price—while others offer a great balance between everything we value. Our top pick, the Razer Blackshark V2, is a sturdy, $100 headset with great sound quality. The wireless version is a little more expansive, and you'll find it in that guide. Alternatively, if you want to go wireless and have the money to spare, we also recommend the HyperX Cloud II Wireless. 

For only the best wireless picks, check out our guide to the best wireless gaming headsets. That's where you'll find a more expansive lineup of cable-free cans. For now, though, onward with the best gaming headset recommendations from your neighbourhood PC Gamer editors.

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Best gaming headset

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Futre

(Image credit: Future)

Future

(Image credit: Future)

FUTURE

(Image credit: Future)

Future

(Image credit: Future)

Future

(Image credit: Razer)

The best wired gaming headset

Specifications

Wireless: No

Drivers: 50mm, Razer TriForce, Titanium

Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB soundcard

Frequency response: 12Hz – 28,000Hz

Features: Detachable noise-cancelling mic, in-line cable controls

Weight: 262g

Reasons to buy

+Restrained styling +Comfortable +Great audio +Only $100

Reasons to avoid

-Cable hardwired into headset

Dethroning the HyperX Cloud Alpha from last year's the top spot was no easy feat. Razer's Blackshark V2 gaming headset manages to do just that by offering killer audio quality, great price, and easy-to-use software. 

The 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers are designed with discrete ports to separate bass, mid, tremble tones from interfering with each other. The result is a richer sound and keeps it on par with HyperX's 50mm dual-chamber neodymium driver headset. 

The $100 price point is not a big financial ask for anyone who wants a quality gaming headset. The Blackshark V2 Pro's recent release gives players a wireless option though, $180 seems a bit steep.

Read our full Razer Blackshark V2 review.

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HyperX

(Image credit: HyperX)

HyperX

(Image credit: HyperX)

HyperX

(Image credit: HyperX)

HyperX

(Image credit: HyperX)

2. HyperX Cloud II Wireless

Best wireless gaming headset

Specifications

Wireless: Yes

Drivers: 53mm, Dynamic, neodymium magnets

Connectivity: USB Dongle

Frequency response: 15Hz – 20,000Hz

Features: Detachable mic

Weight : 300g

Battery Life: 30 hours

Reasons to buy

+Powerful but clear sound +Exceptional build quality +Great mic

Reasons to avoid

-Mediocre bass

Bearing the fruits of HyperX Cloud's long legacy of excellence, the Cloud IIs presents excellent sound and build quality with the essential features done well and no feature-flab inflating the price. This closed-back design's stereo soundscape is punchier in the low end than we'd usually go for. 

Still, the extra bass doesn't interfere with overall clarity—and frankly, in games and music environments, it sounds great. The 53mm with neodymium magnets is intended to give low, medium, and high frequencies space to resonate without interfering with each other, and you do get a sense of that while listening to them. 

Elsewhere it's the usual impressive build quality, generous padding, clear mic, and high comfort levels over longer play sessions that the Cloud II design has always offered.

Read our HyperX Cloud Alpha review for a more modern, wired alternative.

Best gaming keyboard | Best gaming mouse | Best gaming chair Best VR headset | Best wireless gaming mouse | Best graphics cards 

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(Image credit: Razer)

(Image credit: Razer)

(Image credit: Razer)

(Image credit: Razer)

The best cheap gaming headset

Specifications

Wireless: No

Drivers: 40mm, Neodymium magnets

Connectivity: 3.5mm

Frequency response: 12Hz – 8,000Hz

Features: 7.1 surround sound, ultra lightweight

Reasons to buy

+Can find under $40 +Excellent 7.1 virtual surround sound +Comfortable leatherette head cushion

Reasons to avoid

-Non-detachable mic -Base audio is a little clunky

As a cheap alternative to the tricked-out Razer Kraken, the Kraken X is a budget-friendly option that excels on PC for one simple reason—virtual 7.1 surround sound. Available via an app, this elevates the headset's already good audio thanks to superior depth, clarity, and definition. It also makes going back to the X's standard audio mode difficult.

When you throw in enviable comfort and a stylish, understated design, this version of the Kraken offers tremendous value for money. There are niggles to dampen the party, of course (a non-detachable mic being chief among them), but you can't complain when you're getting excellent 7.1 sound for such a low cost.

Read our full Razer Kraken X review.

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Epos H6PRO gaming headset in two colours

(Image credit: Epos)

Epos H6PRO gaming headset in two colours

(Image credit: Epos)

Epos H6PRO gaming headset in two colours

(Image credit: Epos)

Epos H6PRO gaming headset in two colours

(Image credit: Epos)

The best sounding gaming headset

Specifications

Wireless: No

Drivers: 42mm, Dynamic

Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz

Features: Removable mic, open/closed-back options

Weight: 322g

Reasons to buy

+Excellent sound quality +Removeable and flip-to-mute mic +Closed- and open-back designs +Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-Braided cable can be a little loud -Earcup coverage might be small for some

Epos is gradually shifting away from its Sennheiser past and beginning to collect its own lineup of great gaming headsets. The H6PRO is a big part of that, as the company's first go at a true flagship product without Sennheiser's stamp all over it.

The H6PRO offers a really high-grade headset experience. There are fancy new 42mm drivers to keep them sounding great, which have been tune to offer a more balanced and easy on the bass profile than your usual gaming headset. It also offers a great sounding microphone that delivers the benefits of both flip-to-mute and removeable designs.

Overall, we're pretty impressed by the Epos H6PRO, so if you're in the market for something a little more fine-tuned by way of audio, these are our recommendation. 

Read our full Epos H6PRO review.

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SteelSeries

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

SteelSeries

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

SteelSeries

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

SteelSeries

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

The best multi platform gaming headset

Specifications

Wireless: Yes

Drivers: 40mm, Neodymium drivers

Connectivity: Wireless USB dongle, 3.5mm wired, Bluetooth

Frequency response: 20Hz – 22,000Hz

Features: Retractable noise cancelling mic, DTS Headphone:X, 7.1 surround

Battery life: 20 hours

Reasons to buy

+Solid gaming sound +Comfortable 'ski goggle' headband +Great Mic  +Bluetooth 

Reasons to avoid

-Just under $200 is a lot -Weak Bass

We like best about the Arctis 9X because you can easily forget it’s a wireless model while you’re using it. There’s none of the muddiness or audio artifacts that have historically ruined the party for wireless headsets. The added Bluetooth compatibility means that you can use this headset on your mobile devices, too, perfect is you plan on gaming on your phone or tablet. 

The great battery life clocks in at over 20 hours out of the box; you can keep playing while you charge, too, simply by connecting the headset to your PC with a USB cable.

The distinctive ski goggle headband is really effective at keeping the weight of the headset away from your head, and even after playing for hours, we’ve never felt it digging in.

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Creative

(Image credit: CREATIVE)

creative

(Image credit: CREATive)

creative

(Image credit: Future)

future

(Image credit: Future)

Best headset with surround sound

Specifications

Wireless: No

Drivers: 50 mm Neodymium magnet

Connectivity: USB-C, 3.5 mm Stereo Input

Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz

Features: Positional Audio

Weight: 336g

Reasons to buy

+Great price +Pretty good virtual surround sound +Low-key and comfy design design

Reasons to avoid

-Cumbersome software -Lack of wireless support -That red microphone light

The Creative SFXI Gamer headset is a good headset with a hilariously bad name. That being said, it shouldn't deter anyone looking for a great overall listening experience. The positional audio, aka Battle Mode, is perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves into their favorite Battle Royales like Call of Duty: Warzone for less than $150. 

The 50mm neodymium drivers provide some good bass between both stereo and with surround sound modes. The microphone works well for competitive gaming (though that red light at the tip is infuriating) if you want to be heard loud and clear. 

Read our full Creative SXFI Gamer review.

Best gaming headset FAQ

What does a gaming headset need?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a gaming headset. A good price and sound quality are foremost, but comfort is up there, too. Also, noise-cancelling mics are crucial for coms, so most of the headsets we've listed here include this feature. You want decent voice quality and a microphone that won't pick up every single keypress on your mechanical keyboard.

How do we test gaming headsets?

Each headset that we test we use daily for at least a week. We record a sample of our voice in Audacity and compare it to previous recordings from other models, then head to Discord to get some feedback from our friends on how we're sounding. 

During that week, we aim to test each headset in a number of different game genres—shooters, battle royales, and racing games make for particularly good testing scenarios since the former tends to test the low-end and reveal muddiness and distortion, while PUBG et al are great for positional audio tracking. Finally, good racing sims feature a very particular mix designed to help you hear brake lock-up and tires losing traction. It's often in Project CARS 2 (seriously!)  where great headsets are separated from merely good. Oh, and we listen to a lot of music, obviously. 

Are wired or wireless headsets better for gaming?

This really comes to down to preference, but if you're going the wireless route what you want to look for is for decent battery life (20 hours or higher). The last thing you want to have a headset that's constantly needing to be plugged in because the battery life is bad. It kind of defeats the purpose of being wireless. For wired headsets you want to make sure you the cable is long enough to reach your PC without feeling like it's tugging on your head.

Jorge Jimenez

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware from headsets to game pads. He's been covering games and tech for nearly ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, and Tom's Guide.