Best gaming headsets 2018: PC gaming, PS4, and Xbox One

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Best gaming headsets 2018: PC gaming, PS4, and Xbox One

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Find the right headset to make your gaming experience complete.

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2018%2f06%2f12%2f08%2f20182f062f112f5a2fphoto.16a36.779efBy Kevin Billings

Gaming can be an immersive experience as is, but the right headset can truly push it over the edge. So many games today have incredible sound and music, whether it’s the booming beats in 2018’s God of War or whizzing laser bolts in Star Wars: Battlefront II, the right headset can suck you deeper into the worlds you’re exploring on the screen. But what is the best headset for you?

SEE ALSO: Up your game: 7 of the best gaming laptops to make you ‘PC Master Race’

There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to gaming headsets. If you’re on a budget or are looking for the best audio experience you can get no matter the cost, there’s a headset that can provide that extra oomph for your gaming sessions.

Here are some of the best:


Clear • precise audio • Can work as wireless and wired • Comfortable design • Headband and ear pads can be replaced

From crisp audio, wired or wireless performance, and a comfortable design, SteelSeries provides an excellent headset for the price.

While there are plenty of brands producing gaming headsets, only a handful stand out from the crowd. SteelSeries, founded in 2014, has quickly established itself among that small group of premiere names with a varied selection of headsets. And while they offer plenty that are worth the price, the

Arctis 7

might stand out as one of the best.

The biggest thing the Arctis 7 provides is flexibility. It works as a wired or wireless headset, depending on the platform of choice. If you play on PS4, Mac, or PC, you can connect it wirelessly thanks to the USB puck that has a range of 40 feet. Everything else, like Switch and Xbox, use a wired connection through the standard 3.5mm audio port.

That flexibility also includes the general headset design, too. The headband and ear pads sit well and feel comfortable on the head, but you can swap those out if you want. 

These headphones do well in the sound department, too. The overall audio is crisp and clean, and you’ll be able to make out most individual sounds in-game. The bass could be a bit deeper, but it’s not a dealbreaker.


J. Lee

voiced their pleasure with the Arctis 7, saying:


“I love these headphones. I’m so glad I bought it. Although I have a ton of other headphones, these are perfect for gaming. Not only do you have a mute button on the headset, you have options to switch between Gaming and Chat.”


Good quality for the price • Works on all major platforms

Don’t expect booming audio

It’s not going to blow you away, but the HyperX Cloud Stinger is perfect for anyone who needs to stay on a budget.

While any gamer would like to have a $300 gaming headset, it isn’t always practical or affordable. Typically, it’s the latter that is the issue, since most premium headsets cost almost as much as a new console. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a decent pair of headphones on a budget, though it might make finding some just a little harder. Thankfully,

HyperX

is here with a headset perfect for the conscious gamers out there.

The HyperX has a history of delivering reliable gaming headsets across the board, and the

Cloud Stinger

is no different. Admittedly, the build quality of the headset isn’t going to be anything special. It’s an unassuming headset that, while all-plastic, doesn’t feel cheaply made. The Stinger is also fairly comfortable for the price, though the ear pads could be a bit thicker.

The Cloud Stinger will also deliver reliable audio across the board, with most sound effects coming through clearly enough. In fairness, it won’t be booming into the ear the way more expensive headsets do, though that’s to be expected from a $50 headset. One major advantage it does have though is cross-platform compatibility. 

More expensive headsets tend to be locked to one or two platforms, so you have to be careful with which headset you purchase. If you were to get the Cloud Stinger, that’s one concern that can be crossed off the list.


Jeremy P. Snow

expressed his happiness with the Cloud Stinger, saying:


“Fantastic headset for the price! The earpieces are very comfortable and can definitely drown out the surrounding noise when you’ve got them cranked at full volume. The intuitive microphone design is great too. Before this I had the PS4 wireless headset and sometimes my wife would come in and not know whether I was in a chat or just listening to my game, and now she knows if the mic is up, I’m good to talk, and if it’s down…it’s game time!”


Pure audio quality • Surprisingly lightweight • Comfortable

If you can get over the price tag, Beyerdynamic delivers the most pure game audio you could hope for.

Don’t underestimate the importance of audio when it comes to gaming. With the right headset, you’ll know where someone is sniping from in

PUBG

or you’ll be able to better immerse yourself in the world of

The Witcher

. And if you consider yourself an audiophile for games, then the

Beyerdynamix MMX 300

may be the headset for you.

If you’re not familiar with the Beyerdynamic name, it’s because it doesn’t have much of a history in gaming accessories — but don’t let that dissuade you. Beyerdynamic is a name closely associated with premium audio, delivering high quality headphones for the audiophiles out there. Apply that history to a gaming headset, and you get the

MMX 300.

In-game audio comes through as crisp and clear as you might think. On one end, the insanity of a

Battlefield 5

match will percolate perfectly, with explosions and gunshots ringing all around you. On the other, the epic music of 2018’s

God of War

will be even more booming and entrancing thanks to the MMX 300. That clarity even translates to the microphone, so you won’t have to worry about how clear you’re coming in on your end.

And while it may not look it, the MMX is a deceptively comfortable headset. Between the surprisingly lightweight design and plush padding, it won’t be a nuisance for those long game sessions.


Gerardo Garcia

praised the headset in his Amazon review, saying:


“I’ve had this headset for five months now and I couldn’t be happier. Comfort is a major influence in my purchases and I was at first worried about the circular earcups, as they tend to press against my ears and cause cartilage cramps. But these are hefty, big enough that they surround my ears no problem. They are also incredibly light, so no having to worry about them tiring your head out.

And of course the sound is amazing. I have them paired with an Astro mix amp and it’s great, but they can perform very well without an amp. I’m no audiophile but after using a bunch of headsets these have sounded the best, and the mic is fantastic to boot, people can hear me nice and clear with no problems.”


Works wired and wirelessly • depending on platform • Long battery life

Comfort can be questionable at times • Audio can be hit or miss

SteelSeries delivers a headset that provides flexibility for any situation that may arise.

If you find yourself working on a budget, then it’s worth finding a headset with plenty of bang for your buck. You’ll want a pair of headphones that’s multi-platform compatible, at least. SteelSeries delivers that type of headset with the

Arctis 3 Bluetooth

, and so much more.

The key thing about the Arctis 3 is flexibility. On one hand, it will work on most platforms with a wired connections, able to jump from Xbox One to Switch to PS4 easily. If you want to go wireless, the Arctis 3 can connect to PC or mobile by Bluetooth with a 28-hour battery life that will last for the whole day.

Given the flexibility and price, the audio and build quality falls right where you’d expect it. It delivers reliable and clear sound, though it won’t be anything to write home about. Same can be said of the physical build, which uses more plastic than other more premium offerings. Just be aware that comfort could end up being a slight issue.


Stephen B.

expressed his pleasure with the Arctis 3 Bluetooth, saying:


“Pretty amazing audio for a wireless headset in a super comfortable design. I work at my computer all day long, and there is nothing worse than throwing good money down on a pair of ‘high-end’ headphones and wanting to take them off your head because your ears are being pinched. This ski-goggle suspension strap carries the weight of the (already pretty light) headphones. And the ear pads are very comfortable. I also wear glasses, so I need to have pads that mold themselves around the frames without continuing to knock them off course.”


Good sound for the price • Comfortable fit • Durable build

From the sound to durability, the A10 proves you can get quality for an affordable price.

The

ASTRO A10

serves as the company’s entry into more “budget” headsets, but still lives up to the brand’s name. This is evident in the sound quality. It comes through crisp and clear, supported with bass performance that wouldn’t be expected from a $60 headset. Keep in mind, there is no surround sound feature in the A10, but that’s somewhat expected given the price.

The build is also something worthy of praise with the A10. ASTRO’s design is very ergonomic and comfortable, so it shouldn’t weigh down on the head at all. The ear cups use plush padding, instead of wrapped “leather” like most other headsets at this price, which helps with the comfort immensely. And since the A10 works on every platform, you’ll be prepared for any and all gaming needs.


Casey Marie

talked about the quality of the A10 in her review, saying:


“Feel worth far more than $60. My first Astro headset. Great quality, easy to use and get hooked up, everything and more that I paid for. Very durable. Astro did a great job. Feels like I spent over $100. Affordable and fantastic!”


Durable design • Good sound quality • MixAmp Pro TR offers that extra control

Expensive • Setup can be a bit overwhelming at first

Great quality and advanced features, but not ideal for the entry-level gamer.

When it comes to premium gaming headsets, ASTRO is obviously a top name. (A quick glance at this list will show you that.) The company made its mark producing high quality headsets that have become commonplace among streamers and gaming tournaments. And no other headset from ASTRO highlights the company’s quality better than the

ASTRO A40

.

The A40 is a premium headset that delivers excellent sound quality. Effects and music come through clear and crisp on your games and you’ll catch everything in the multiplayer chat. This is thanks, in part, to the MixAmp Pro TR that helps customize sound the way you like it. 

With the MixAmp, you can set audio preferences for game or chat depending on what you’re doing, whether that’s enjoying the world of

God of War

thanks to the Dolby button or creating a private network with other ASTRO A40 owners while you make a raid in

Destiny 2

. The ability to daisy chain MixAmps to create a private voice network is a serious bonus with this headset. And if you game on PC or Mac, the ASTRO Command Center will allow you to get into the nitty gritty audio quality and really allow for deeper sound customization.

The one thing to be aware of is the overall setup. Unlike other wired headsets, the A40 headset plugs through the MixAmp instead of a controller. From there, you have to run a USB and optical cable to the system you’re playing on so it can pull the audio. Pulling directly from the system helps produce that clear quality, but then you’ll have at least three cables running around.


Cornelius Bell

spoke to the A40’s quality on Amazon, saying:


“These are the best headsets you can get for the PS4. They are not wireless but you will be trading sound quality over that aspect and trust me its worth it. Who moves around while gaming anyway? The Command Center lets me connect them to my laptop for custom audio setting and the quality of the build on these are excellent.”


Immersive sound quality • Comfortable design

Only works on PS4 • Could have had deeper bass

The Platinum headset is perfect for the PS4 loyalists out there who want a quality wireless headset.

Sony has developed one of the best libraries of exclusive games on any platform, specifically catering to the PlayStation in a way competitors can’t.

Now take that design philosophy, apply it headsets, and the end result is the

Platinum Wireless Headset.

The Platinum was the second wireless headset Sony produced for the PS4 after the Gold headset. It’s quite clear that Sony stepped up the quality when it came to the Platinum. 

The best examples are the 7.1 surround sound and 3D audio. The surround sound will provide a rich audio experience to help immerse you in whatever game you’re playing. The 3D audio will bump up the quality on select PS4 games by providing directional differences in sound. The best example of this is on PSVR, where the sound adjusts with your head movement.

Sony also stepped up the comfort factor with the Platinum, improving on the frame of the Gold. The earcups here are bigger than the Gold, so it will sit more comfortably while you dive into a marathon

Fortnite

session. The general frame is also larger on the Platinum, so it shouldn’t squeeze on the head either.


Paul T

voiced his approval of the Platinum on Amazon, saying:


“Impressive quality – both construction and sound. The 3D sound in games like Destiny 2 is excellent. You can clearly hear sounds coming from behind or on either side and pinpoint exactly where they are.

The headset fits comfortably over my ears and doesn’t completely block out ambient noise which personally I like. Chat audio is good and most people say I sound clear though one person said I sounded muffled. You can tweak mic settings through Playstation settings and the headset has it’s own PSN app that can be used to further customize your audio.”


Clear audio • Comfortable fit • Long battery life

No internal surround sound • No universal option

The A20 lives up to ASTRO’s brand quality without paying premium wireless prices.

When looking at ASTRO’s history in this space, the name has been closely tied with premium headsets. These are headsets, wired or wireless, that usually start at $250 and only go up from there. Thankfully though, ASTRO began branching out with more affordable options and thus the

A20

was born.

Like other ASTRO headsets, the

A20

delivers very good sound quality across the board. It doesn’t use design tricks or have any additional features, like surround sound, but you’ll still be able to identify different sound effects quite clearly. And compared to some other headsets at the price, the bass is more noticeable on the A20, though it’s still not anything too crazy.

The headband and ear pads are comfortable and the whole headset sits nicely without feeling like it’s weighing down on your head. This is important, especially since the battery could last up to 15 hours, so you might have the headset on for a while.


Curtis L.

expressed his joy with the ASTRO A20, saying:


“They hit everything I look for in a headset exceptionally well. They are super comfortable, sound great and have one of the best microphones I have used in a wireless headset. They are fairly light weight yet seem very durable. I like having 3 equalizer modes and the ability to customize them using the Astro Command Center.”


Simple • reliable design • Includes adapter for easy controls • Clear • loud audio

Bass is softer than what “stereo” headsets offer • Sound effects can blend together

The Xbox Stereo Headset offers a reliable headset for the devoted Xbox fan.

If you consider yourself a console loyalist, you’ll want to represent that clearly and stick to your devoted brands. This doesn’t just apply to the system and games, but even extends to accessories like headsets. Where the PS4 has the Gold headset, Xbox One has the

Xbox One Stereo Headset.

The Xbox One Stereo Headset is perfect for the Xbox One owners who want to rep Xbox pride in every aspect of their gaming life. Thankfully, it’s also a reliable headset for Xbox gamers who may also be on a budget. It still delivers solid audio for the gamers who need some extra boom out of their headset. Given the $59 price point, it won’t deliver the insane quality of premium ASTRO headsets, but it still outperforms most headsets around the same price.

A nice extra you get with it is the stereo headset adapter. While it’s a carryover because of early Xbox One controllers not having a 3.5mm audio jack, it’s still a useful piece. When plugged into the controller, it offers easy volume controls and prioritization without having to go through the system itself. And it doesn’t hurt that the headset is fairly comfortable, too.


Brendon M.

expressed his pleasure with the headset, saying:


“Works great for communicating over xbox live. Comes with the stereo headset adapter for controlling audio between game audio and party audio, as well as volume and muting controls. The separate adapter allows older xbox one controllers without the 3.5 audio jack to use headsets. The headset itself will work without the adapter if the controller is newer. Audio quality is good, and haven’t had any complaints about my voice quality through the microphone.”


Good sound quality • Comfortable design • Charging cradle

Price tag • Cradle only works with specified system

ASTRO delivers a wireless, platform-specific headset worth the price.

While wired headsets are usually the most reliable, there’s something nice about the flexibility and freedom a wireless set can provide. And in the case of premium headsets, some wireless pairs are now on par with their wired counterparts. If you’re looking for both, the

ASTRO A50

could be the perfect headset for you.

As with other ASTRO headsets, the A50 lives up to the company’s history with premium products. The sound quality is extremely clear, whether it’s gun shots in

Call of Duty

or the rev of an engine in

Forza Horizon 4

. It even delivers solid bass, which can be one of the more questionable aspects of most gaming headsets.

If you’re familiar with the ASTRO A40, specifically the MixAmp, the charging cradle sports a similar setup. Connect to your system with the USB and optical cable to feed out the audio to the cradle which, in turn, sends it out to the headset. There’s also a spare USB input that acts as the charging port for when the headset is sitting in the cradle. Just be aware that each headset will only work with the specified system, so the Xbox One edition will not work on PS4. While not the biggest thing, it’s something to keep in mind since more and more headsets are becoming platform agnostic.


Mercy

praised the A50 on Amazon, saying:


“These have amazing sound on Xbox one! You can hear foot steps in Battlefield 1 and all the guns sound amazing. When playing it has different settings so you can set it up for FPS or RPG’s. You can hook them up to the computer and adjust so many different settings. They are very comfortable and fit great. The battery life is pretty good too. Usually last a couple days before we have to put them on the charger. They are completely wireless too. I’d definitely recommend them.”

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