If you play competitively, you know that sound quality can make or break your overall gaming experience. A gaming headset offers superb sound performance, making your gaming experience more immersive.
Gaming headsets are worth it as you’ll get more detailed information and pick up audio cues better than the opponent. Further, the built-in microphone makes communication smooth and easy with your teammates.
This is precisely what makes them a worthy investment. Here’s what you need to know about gaming headsets and how they can help you make the most of modern gaming:
Table of Contents
- Are Gaming Headsets Really Worth It?
- Advantages of Gaming Headsets
- Disadvantages of Gaming Headsets
- Is It Better To Game With Or Without A Gaming Headset?
- Gaming Headset Alternatives
- What About Wireless Gaming Headsets: Are They Worth It?
Are Gaming Headsets Really Worth It?
Today’s PC and console games rely heavily on sound effects and audio cues. For competitive gaming, sound quality can be the difference between winning and losing. Only a gaming headset can deliver that level of quality, which could help give the competitive edge you need to take your game to the next level.
It goes without saying that a good pair of gaming headphones can be a real game-changer compared to your standard headset.
However, there are issues that some users may experience while using headsets specifically for gaming. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a gaming headset.
Advantages of Gaming Headsets
Built for Superior Comfort
Most gamers use their headsets for long hours, so comfort is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a gaming headset. Without it, you might as well go for regular headphones.
Most gaming headsets are designed to accommodate various head sizes and shapes. Earcups and adjustable headbands are constructed with memory foam or breathable mesh fabric that conforms to your ears and avoids sweat buildup.
Most headbands are made of steel and can even be removable for easy replacement when it gets worn over time. The headband must not be too tight or too loose. It should be cushy and fit snugly enough to ensure maximum comfort for extended gaming sessions.
A built-in mic is a feature that sets gaming headphones apart from regular ones. This is important for playing multiplayer or team-oriented games like Overwatch and Valorant, where you’re required to communicate with your squad or gaming buddies constantly.
Even if you’re not a pro gamer, having a quality microphone built into your headphones is crucial. It keeps voice and recording quality at their peak and ensures you won’t be kicked out from games or lose any gameplay due to poor voice quality.
Gaming headsets are flexible enough for Skype calls or even phone calls. In most gaming headsets, the mic is retractable or detachable, so you can easily remove it when not in use.
Excellent Sound Quality
When it comes to playing your favorite games, you’ll want to be as immersed in the world and story as possible. This is where a headset’s sound performance matters.
A gaming headset with a decent sound profile allows you to hear every sound with crystal-clear precision, from the pounding enemy footsteps and bomb explosions to the subtle chirping of birds and rustling of leaves.
This is particularly important for FPS games like CS:GO, as audio cues help you make decisions faster and more efficiently, thereby giving you a competitive edge.
New-gen headsets have taken a leap by supporting surround sound technology, significantly enhancing your immersive gaming experience.
A surround sound headset comes built with multiple audio drivers integrated into each ear, thus making in-game sounds crisper and clearer. This allows you to hear even the most minute details like footsteps, so you can always be alert and act immediately when there’s an approaching enemy.
An equalizer (or EQ for short) in gaming headsets is built-in software that lets you adjust the sound profile according to your personal preference. There are three main frequencies that you can toggle: bass, mid, and treble. If you’re the type who’s sensitive to sounds, it’s best to pick a gaming headset with EQ settings.
Noise-Canceling and Noise Isolation Features
Gaming headsets are capable of filtering sounds directly into your ears. As a result, you can hear sounds more clearly and accurately, allowing you to focus more on your game.
Regular speakers produce excellent audio output for gaming. However, it can’t provide a fully immersive gaming experience since sound isn’t delivered directly into your ears, unlike headsets.
And with speakers, you’ll hear external noises and therefore be less likely to pinpoint the direction from which your enemies are coming from. Even better, headsets are less disruptive to your surroundings. You can confidently play with the sound at full blast, knowing you’re not disturbing anyone in your household.
Compatible with Most Devices and Platforms
Most gaming headsets are cross-platform compatible, but they often come at a higher price. So, when shopping for a gaming headset, consider the type of device you frequently use.
For instance, if you’re planning to get one for your PC and PlayStation 4, check for the headset’s specifications and see if it’s fully compatible with said platform.
Most headsets come packed with a standard 3.5mm audio jack. In contrast, wireless headsets have a USB dongle that lets you connect them to any device with a matching port.
Disadvantages of Gaming Headsets
Bulky Build and Design
Gaming headsets have a lot of components that work together to deliver quality sound and optimum comfort. There are padded earcups and headbands, a built-in mic, cables (for wired headsets), a charging port (for wireless), and many other special features.
Because of these, gaming headsets tend to look and feel bulky. The gamer-inspired aesthetics are just as you’d expect: It’s aimed at gamers. It’s not something you can wear in public without looking like a goof.
However, gaming headsets have lightweight and minimalist designs, and some wireless options are portable enough to be carried around.
Some even have a detachable mic. But suppose you plan to wear them in public or are simply looking for a decent pair of headphones for listening to music. In that case, you’re probably better off sticking to regular headphones.
Gaming headsets are relatively more expensive than your regular pair of headphones. It still boils down to the amount of technology that’s been cramped up into such a small space.
Sure, high-end headsets provide superior sound quality, but they often come with a hefty price tag. It’s common to see the high-end ones at $200 or more.
Again, a gaming headset would always be the best choice for gamers since it offers much more than standard headphones would. But suppose you’re not just a gamer but also someone who enjoys listening to music. In that case, a gaming headset may not completely satisfy your needs (unless you want to splurge and go premium).
Otherwise, you can stick with regular (and more affordable) headphones, especially if you’re on a budget.
Is It Better To Game With Or Without A Gaming Headset?
Gaming is definitely better and more fun with a decent gaming headset. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and it significantly improves your experience no matter the type of game you play.
Unlike external setups like speakers, you get louder, more directional, and more immersive sounds from a gaming headset while blocking background noise.
However, the main selling point with gaming headsets is more significant when you play competitive multiplayer games.
Picking up subtle cues like footsteps and the direction of gunfire and explosion can mean the difference between winning and losing. Sound plays a vital role during gameplay. A good pair of gaming headphones will surely give you an edge over the competition.
Gaming Headset Alternatives
Speakers are perfect for those who have a big room or area to themselves, with walls that are thick enough to isolate noise so as not to disturb others. Likewise, it’s best for gamers seeking a more realistic and natural audio experience in their games.
Gaming speakers are ideal for single-player and open-world, atmospheric-style games. Some speakers can even be upgraded to 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speaker systems, further enhancing the immersive experience.
The problem with speakers lies in their soundstage, which is broader than with a gaming headset.
With speakers, sounds appear further away, thus giving you a less accurate idea of the direction or location of the sound you’re hearing.
Of course, you can overlook this in open-world games. It might even give you a more immersive experience. But it’s an entirely different story with competitive shooters.
Regular or consumer headphones are specially designed for listening to music. Because of this, their speaker drivers produce a full-body mid-range sound, a more defined treble, and a tightly adjusted bass.
Meanwhile, gaming headsets are designed for audio and virtual surround sound, with heavier, more enhanced bass.
Many people opt for a gaming headset mainly because they offer the convenience of a quality built-in microphone. However, regular headphones offer plenty of room for customization—sometimes even more than with a gaming headset.
You can easily mix and match the quality and features with regular headphones. Paired with a decent standalone mic, they can cover a massive breadth of aesthetics and advanced features without the steep price that often comes with gaming headsets.
Most high-quality headphones can reproduce accurate, natural sounds with well-balanced highs, mids, and lows. That’s what makes regular headphones a winner: They pride themselves on balanced sound profiles.
What About Wireless Gaming Headsets: Are They Worth It?
Both wired and wireless headsets offer the same quality and sound performance. But when it comes to gaming, you can get away with a wired option, especially if you only play games at your desk.
One of the significant drawbacks of wireless headsets is the price. Because of the technologies built into them, they tend to be more expensive than their wired counterparts. So, a wired headset gives the best value for your money in terms of price.
On the other hand, if your gaming platform of choice is a console, or if you like hooking up your PC to the television, then a wireless gaming headset is a better option. After all, wired headsets can be a hassle to manage, what with the tangled cables and limited range of movement.
Objectively, neither wired nor wireless is superior to the other. It ultimately comes down to your personal needs, preferences, and budget.
Any seasoned gaming enthusiast will tell you that a quality gaming headset is worth it and will take your gaming experience to an entirely new level. It provides the greatest convenience while delivering top-notch sound performance for your gaming needs.
Overall, a headset is a must-have gaming peripheral that makes a huge difference and is worth your consideration.