Best gaming headsets 2023: hear every enemy footstep

If you’re looking for the best gaming headsets, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve used dozens of gaming headsets over the years, so we know what will work best for you. For the most part, we’ve featured wireless headphones here as freedom from wires is always a sweet bonus during those long gaming sessions. However, there is room for some wired picks too, if you prefer the flexibility of connecting them to anything with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

You might be tempted to think that using your TV or gaming monitor‘s built-in sound or a cheap pair of cans will do the job, but a good gaming headset will improve your chances during multiplayer sessions as you can more clearly hear your enemy approach. You’ll feel more immersed in what you’re playing for single-player adventures and lose yourself in the game world.

Let’s look at our top picks of the best gaming headsets to help you find what’s best for your needs and budget.

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What is the best gaming headset?

We think the wireless Razer BlackShark V2 (check price) best gaming headset. Very well priced for what they offer, the Razer BlackShark V2 sounds excellent at all frequencies thanks to THX Spatial Audio, ensuring you can hear things coming from every direction clearly. Similarly clear is how you sound to your friends thanks to a great mic, while there’s an included USB sound card for PC gamers if they prefer to tweak things to their liking. These may not be the newest, but they remain exceptional.

Other gaming headset recommendations

The best gaming headset you can buy today:

Razer BlackShark V2 on white backgroundRazer BlackShark V2 on white background

1. Razer BlackShark V2

Razer BlackShark V2 specs
Battery Up to 24 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 262g
Connectivity 2.4Ghz wireless or 3.5mm
Compatibility PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Razer is a popular name in the gaming accessory world, which translates well to its headphones range. The BlackShark V2 is available in a Pro/wireless version but we’re fans of the wired variety thanks to its flexibility. The cable means you can use its TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers across all your devices and they sound great. Audio is split into three distinct parts so all frequencies sound effectively immersive.

You’ll enjoy hearing steps of enemies creep up behind you in Fortnite with THX Spatial Audio doing an excellent job of providing a wide soundstage. Count on anything creepy feeling even more unsettling than before. For PC players, there’s an included USB sound card so you can make more adjustments while there are pre-tuned profiles too. The ear cups are comfy on your ears while providing good sound isolation without ever clamping down awkwardly on your head.

Corsair HS65 on white backgroundCorsair HS65 on white background

2. Corsair HS65

Corsair HS65 specs
Battery N/A
Driver size 50mm
Weight 282g
Connectivity Wireless or 3.5mm jack
Compatibility PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, Mobile

The Corsair HS65 looks less exciting than some gaming headsets, but they’re understated in how well they work and sound. They’re best suited for PC thanks to Corsair iCUE software that adds on SoundID so you can customise the audio profile according to your hearing and take advantage of virtualised Dolby Audio 7.1 surround sound. It takes a bit of setup, but it’s worth it as we all listen differently.

Numerous presets are available, including a clear chat option to enhance the microphone and one dedicated to competitive FPS gaming. Little details like an extra comfy design and a flip-to-mute mic make these a practical yet high-quality sounding pair of cans. Recent support for Sony Tempest 3D audio makes it particularly tempting for PS5 owners. Both wired and wireless varieties are available depending on your budget, with equal performance from both.

HyperX Cloud III on white backgroundHyperX Cloud III on white background

3. HyperX Cloud III

HyperX Cloud III specs
Battery N/A
Driver size 53mm
Weight 304g
Connectivity 3.5mm jack
Compatibility PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, Nintendo, Mobile

A reasonably affordable option for anyone who wants a gaming headset that will last, the HyperX Cloud III does a good job of building on the success of its predecessor, the HyperX Cloud II.

It’s simple to use with straightforward controls while still offering decent sound quality and a remarkably crisp mic.

A limited app and mediocre spatial audio let the side down a little, but neither is essential depending on your situation.

Instead, the HyperX Cloud III is well-designed for those that want something better than a random cheap headset but that doesn’t want to delve into spending hundreds on a wireless headset. Comfy and pleasant almost everywhere, it’s dependable if not always exciting.

Skullcandy PLYR on white backgroundSkullcandy PLYR on white background

4. Skullcandy PLYR

Skullcandy PLYR specs
Battery Up to 24 hours
Driver size 50mm dynamic
Weight 315g
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2 and 3.5mm jack
Compatibility PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, Nintendo, Mobile

However you feel about its out-there design, the Skullcandy PLYR is a surprisingly well-equipped headset for the money. PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo gamers are all catered for with cables, and Bluetooth makes it that much more multi-purpose than the gamer-specific rivals that cost a similar amount.

Skullcandy has a reputation for head-smacking bass, but the PLYR’s 50mm dynamic drivers are refreshingly balanced out of the box. As a pair of gaming headphones, there’s still plenty of low-end rumble when you want it, but they don’t drown out the rest of the frequency range.

It’s worth noting that Skullcandy will also sell you a dedicated wireless receiver for PC and PS5 that promises to slash latency.

Astro A50 on white backgroundAstro A50 on white background

5. Astro A50

Astro A50 specs
Battery Up to 15 hours
Driver size 40mm
Weight 380g
Connectivity Wireless
Compatibility PC, Mac, Xbox

The Astro A50 is keen to make an impression. Instead of simply having a cable to plug in to recharge them, they have a base station that will look pretty good on your desk or by your TV. Good looks wouldn’t matter if they didn’t perform well, but they offer very crisp highs, and even at the highest volume, there’s no bass distortion. It comes at a price that makes them a harder recommendation than other clear headsets, but if you need headphones that make cutscenes sound like a cinematic experience, these are the ones.

A 15-hour battery life means they’ll need that docking station frequently, but they’re worth the maintenance. The flip-to-mute mic sounds reassuringly crisp too, while features like USB sound card support and mod kit customisations are a neat bonus for anyone keen to tweak things.

SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ on white backgroundSteelSeries Arctis 7P+ on white background

6. SteelSeries Arctis 7P+

SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ specs
Battery Up to 30 hours
Driver size 40mm
Weight 453g
Connectivity Wireless and 3.5mm
Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile

The SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ are robust all-rounders with the whole Arctis range worth considering. These headphones offer a strong battery life of over 30 hours, and while they’ll only work wired with an Xbox, that does mean they work in some form with pretty much anything going. Switching between wireless devices is also easy, which is ideal for an avid player.

The highlight is the PS5 compatibility thanks to support for 3D audio. The 40mm drivers offer excellent sound quality across the board, while there’s a noise-cancelling microphone so your mates can hear you clearly. Said microphone is a little divisive as it’s retractable, which won’t suit everyone like a flip-to-mute one might, but you get used to it. Quick charging supports so you get 3 hours of play from a 15-minute charge, plus a comfy build rounds off a neatly designed package.

Logitech-G-Pro-X on white backgroundLogitech-G-Pro-X on white background

7. Logitech G Pro X 2

Logitech G Pro X 2 specs
Battery Up to 50 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 345g
Connectivity 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth
Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Plenty of gaming headsets go big on bass, or ramp up the high-end in search of detail – and not always to good effect. The Logitech G Pro X 2 doesn’t need to do that, but still delivers a wonderfully crisp and detailed sound that’s ideal for competitive gaming. Even casual players will appreciate the nuanced audio, and the extra connectivity gives it a comfortable lead over the previous-gen model.

It has a modest edge over gaming headsets that use traditional speaker drivers, and the boom microphone isn’t going to replace a dedicated desktop mic. It’s not cheap, either. But as multi-platform wireless headsets go, it’s comfortably up there with the very best. These cans will enrich your gaming time and serve a purpose while you work from home. If you’re looking for a typical gamer aesthetic though, you may need to go elsewhere as these are pretty understated.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro on white backgroundTurtle Beach Stealth Pro on white background

8. Turtle Beach Stealth Pro

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro specs
Battery 10-12 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 413g
Connectivity 2.4GHz, Bluetooth
Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

With crisp sound and every option anyone could ever want, the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro is an exceptional headset. As it should be at a premium price. It’ll work well with all your devices and even double up as a great pair of cans for listening to music. For someone who wants to know they have the ultimate in gaming headsets, the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro is undoubtedly near the top of the pile.

The Turtle Beach Audio Hub app, available for phone or computer, is ideal for someone who likes to adjust every little fine detail. You can choose from EQ presets, opt to boost the bass or treble, or it’s possible to adjust things measure by measure to your specific likings.

However, it is expensive, even for a high-end gaming headset, and, to be picky, 10 hours per battery isn’t great either (although it wasn’t too inconvenient in actual use thanks to the transmitter dock).

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal on white backgroundBang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal on white background

9. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal specs
Battery Up to 19 hours 
Driver size 40mm
Weight 279g
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1
Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Are Bang & Olufsen’s new headphones the very best headphones you can buy? No they’re not, even if at $450/£450 they’ll leave a bigger dent in your bank balance than most of their obvious rivals. But none of those headphones also double as an Xbox headset, and you certainly won’t find a more enjoyable one of those than the Beoplay Portal. They sound brilliant, especially with an Atmos mix, they look great, and are just extremely comfortable.

If money is no option, you’re a big Xbox or PC gamer, and you find the idea of do-it-all headphones appealing, then the Beoplay Portal get two emphatic thumbs up. But the fact is you can pick up Sony’s WH-1000XM4 and the Xbox Wireless Headset for less than the Portal, which actually kind of sounds like the deal of the century when we put it that way.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless on white backgroundHyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless on white background

10. HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless specs
Battery Up to 300 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 317g
Connectivity Wireless
Compatibility PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

Looking on at 20-30 hour battery life and still wishing things didn’t need charging? The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless may suit you if so. HyperX promises 300 hours of battery life, and it mostly delivers too, so you’ll be gaming for a long time before you need to dig out the charging cable. The gaming headset sounds good too, with HyperX Dual Chamber Drivers sounding gimmicky yet offering crisp sound.

The cans come with DTS Headphone:X Spatial Audio for two years so you can hear where things are coming from on PC. As always, it’s a substantial upgrade for anyone keen to have the edge while playing or that simply likes to lose themselves in the moment. They’re also comfortable, thanks to memory foam cups and leatherette that stay reasonably cool. The noise-cancelling mic can be detached as needed while there’s an LED indicator to let you know if you’re muted or not.

Razer Kaira Pro on white backgroundRazer Kaira Pro on white background

11. Razer Kaira Pro

Razer Kaira Pro specs
Battery Up to 30 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 365g
Connectivity 2.4GHz, USB-C, Bluetooth
Compatibility  PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, mobile

The Razer Kaira Pro is a terrific wireless headset that doesn’t just look a fine match for the PS5 it’s been designed for, but is one of the most comfortable headsets you can wear for long gaming sessions. It works just as well on other platforms, though ironically, by requiring a USB-C port for its wireless dongle, means PSVR2 owners would need another audio option.

However, the haptics that are evidently a factor in its high price doesn’t always hit the mark. While it can enhance the experience in some games, in others it can be too much of a distracting gimmick that also leaches battery life. You can always just turn it off, but then it’s hard to see why you bother to shell out extra for the privilege when you could opt for the standard Kaira (though that comes with a mic you can’t detach) or the wired-only Kaira X.

The comfort and quality audio still make it a fine pick for PS5 owners, however.

Corsair HS80 on white backgroundCorsair HS80 on white background

12. Corsair HS80

Corsair HS80 specs
Battery Up to 20 hours
Driver size 50mm
Weight 367g
Connectivity Wireless or USB
Compatibility PS4, PS5, PC, Mac

50mm Neodymium drivers are a good start for the Corsair HS80. They sound great. Leap into an older classic like Skyrim and you’ll notice things you missed the first time around. Best of all is the Dolby Atmos support if you play on PC. Immersive is the word here, so it’s lucky that the Corsair HS80 also feels great on your head. There are the usual memory foam ear pads and breathable fabric, but it all comes together to be extra, well, comfy. A floating headband design also reduces the risk of feeling squashed by them.

These wireless headphones cut down on compatibility, but the dongle is easy to set up with 20 hours of battery life and a decent 60 feet range. The mic can be easily flipped up to mute while there’s a built-in LED mute indicator too. Conveniently, you can connect three devices with one receiver, switching as needed.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless on white backgroundSteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless on white background

13. SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless specs
Battery Up to 44 hours 
Driver size 40mm 
Weight 337g
Connectivity Wireless, wired
Compatibility PC, Mac, mobile, PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless are excessively expensive for many people. However, these are a good option if you want the best and can afford to spend more. There are plenty of buzzwords here, like spatial audio, Tempest 3D audio support, and active noise cancellation, but it does all these things well. It adds on extra details too like a transparency mode so you can still hear what’s going on at home if needed, while there are multi-system connections so you can easily connect multiple devices simultaneously.

The mic is retractable, which won’t suit everyone, but it sounds great being able to block out background sound and even keyboard noises. Appreciating you’re serious about this whole thing, you also get two hot-swap batteries to extend battery life. We’re not saying everyone will need it, but if your eyes lit up at the thought, you’ve got it.

Razer Barracuda X on white backgroundRazer Barracuda X on white background

14. Razer Barracuda X

Razer Barracuda X specs
Battery Up to 59 hours
Driver size 40mm
Weight 250g
Connectivity Wireless, wired
Compatibility PC, Mac, PS4/PS5, Mobile

At first glance, the Razer Barracuda X offers everything you could want at a great price. They’re wireless yet relatively cheap but still provide a battery life of 50 hours. You can connect them to two devices at once and easily switch between them, proving ideal for varied gaming tastes or if you need to take a call from your phone. They’re also pretty comfy with a thick headband and the almost essential memory foam ear cushions.

The downside? In reality, the battery life is more like half that depending on how you use them. Also, the 40mm drivers aren’t perfect. Turn the volume down too far and things turn less crisp. Go too high and the sound can be distorted. The sweet spot is predictably sweet but if you’re a perfectionist with this budget, stick with wired.

JBL Quantum One on white backgroundJBL Quantum One on white background

15. JBL Quantum One

JBL Quantum One specs
Battery N/A
Driver size 50mm
Weight 369g
Connectivity Wired
Compatibility PS4/PS5, Xbox, PC, Mobile

We’re not fans of the JBL Quantum One’s looks. The gaming headset looks strange and a little too garish, but it packs in some quality features. Most notably, its integrated head-tracking sensor helps provide you with better sound according to the position of your head. We don’t understand the algorithm behind it but it sounds good, giving you a strong sense of aural direction. You’ll need a PC to enjoy such features, but the JBL Quantum One sounds good even with other devices.

A wide soundstage helps you lose yourself in the game world you’re exploring, with active noise cancellation ruling out the real world for a time. They’re lightweight given the design too with a detachable boom mic for when you’re going solo. Now a couple of years old, they’re great value compared to the competition.

How to choose the best gaming headset

Okay, so you’ve decided to buy a dedicated gaming headset but don’t know where to start? There are several important factors you’ll need to consider to ensure you get one that suits your needs and preferences. Below we’ve included some key points to keep in mind.

The first thing you’ll want to think about is sound quality. Sound is absolutely crucial for an immersive gaming experience so we’ve tested the audio chops of all of the headsets in this list. You’ll want to get a headset with clear and balanced sound, and good bass response.

Many gaming headsets have surround sound or virtual surround sound, and we think this is critical for better positional audio when you’re playing games.

Of course, comfort is also a major consideration during long gaming sessions. You’ll want a headset with well-padded ear cups and an adjustable headband. The headset’s weight and clamping force should also be considered to avoid discomfort and headaches during extended use.

One thing you’ll have to think about (that you wouldn’t usually do when buying a pair of normal headphones) is microphone quality. If you plan on multiplayer gaming, a good microphone is essential for teamwork (or trash-talking).

You have to take connectivity and compatibility into consideration. Gaming headsets come in a number of different connectivity options, including wired via either USB or 3.5mm audio jack, or wireless, usually via Bluetooth. Wireless headsets offer more freedom of movement, but wired options might have slightly lower latency.

In terms of compatibility, you’ll want to make sure the gaming headset you choose is compatible with your gaming platform, console or device.

Finally, some gaming headsets come with additional features like customizable RGB lighting, programmable buttons, and software that allows you to tweak audio settings. If you like to fully customise your gaming experience, then look out for these.

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