Choosing the best gaming headset while on a limited budget can be a time-consuming and strenuous task. But you’ll want to be on the lookout for good sound performance, compatibility, and comfort that could last you hours of uninterrupted gameplay. At a glance, here are our top picks for gaming headsets under $100:
|Best Gaming Headset Under $100||Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless||Check Price|
|Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100||SteelSeries Arctis 7||Check Price|
|Best Xbox Gaming Headset Under $100||Razer BlackShark V2 Pro White||Check Price|
This guide is a comprehensive breakdown of what I believe are the best headsets that give value for money. I also consider critical features to help you further narrow down your options. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Best Gaming Headset Under $100
- Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100
- Best Xbox Gaming Headset Under $100
- Best Gaming Headsets Under $100 Worth Mentioning
- What To Look For With Budget Gaming Headsets Under $100
Best Gaming Headset Under $100
SteelSeries has proven time and again that you don’t need to break the bank to get a good pair of gaming headphones. At less than $100, the Arctis 5 RGB is a perfect example of premium-grade build, superb comfort, and top-notch audio performance.
Weighing 363 grams, this lightweight gaming headset is designed with PC gaming in mind but is versatile enough to work without a hitch on gaming consoles like the Xbox series and PlayStation 4 and 5.
The Arctis 5 RGB is built with the SteelSeries’s trademark ski-goggle suspension headband. It’s padded with premium woven fabric that perfectly contours around your head and comfortably distributes the weight while eliminating pressure points.
Meanwhile, the earcups are cushioned with breathable air weave fabric that feels as soft as pillows around your ears—allowing you to wear it for long hours of gaming minus the sweating and soreness.
The headset comes packed with a bi-directional mic, which can be both good and bad. For one, it delivers studio-quality voice clarity. Thanks to its noise-canceling features, it does a pretty good job at separating external noises.
On the other hand, it’s highly sensitive. Some users have complained about how it can pick up subtle sounds like when adjusting the headphones or accidentally bumping it with your hand.
The Arctis 5 is built with in-line game and chat controls, as well as RGB lighting that you can customize and fine-tune using the SteelSeries Engine 3 companion software. With it, you can personalize many facets of the headset’s performance for a more immersive gaming experience.
The Arctis 5 features low-distortion speaker drivers combined with cutting-edge DTS v2.0 surround sound for a rich and highly immersive audio experience.
And with the companion software, you can also take advantage of the EQ and presets to further tweak the sound profile according to your personal preferences. This gaming headset is perfect for action-packed FPS games with its boomy soundstage.
This gaming headset comes with a 3-meter-long audio cable and a DAC that could be an issue to some users because of the large button that can get caught on everything.
And because it’s rubberized, the cable tends to stick on glass, which may be an issue for those with glass desks. It’s no big deal, but some might find this inconvenient.
- Comfortable ski-google headband
- Highly sensitive boom mic
- Engine 3 software for enhanced sound performance
- Cable management can be a nuisance
Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100
It may be cheap, but the HS70 Pro is a high-end headset that could easily trump some of its more expensive competition. It’s recognized and officially certified by Discord and is compatible with most devices like smartphones, PCs, Xbox, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Nintendo Switch.
The ear cups are fitted with plush memory foam that feels comfortable on the skin for maximum comfort. It has an adjustable headband that doesn’t grip too tightly, allowing the headphones to sit around your ears comfortably for hours of gameplay.
The HS70 Pro has a fully detachable omnidirectional mic that picks up your voice in all directions and has exceptional clarity. It features a flip-up mute function, and a built-in LED mute indicator. The noise-canceling feature reduces ambient noise and ensures it doesn’t pick up external sounds like your breathing.
This wireless gaming headset is built with 50mm neodymium sound drivers, producing exceptional sound quality. Because of this, the HS70 gives you a wide range to hear everything you need to on the battlefield, even the sound of the rustling leaves and footfalls of nearby enemies.
The HS70 has a rather impressive 40-feet wireless range, with up to 16 hours of battery life. With this, you can play with freedom without worrying about recharging it anytime soon.
- Good overall sound quality with a great wireless range
- High-quality memory foam that feels comfy on the ears
- Detachable, noise-canceling mic with flip-up mute function
- Limited customization
Best Xbox Gaming Headset Under $100
Microsoft’s very own Xbox wireless headset fully supports the console’s wireless technology. For a price below $100, this headset has a well-balanced sound profile that’s fine-tuned for wireless gaming on Xbox One and the Xbox Series S|X next-gen consoles.
The Microsoft Xbox Wireless Headset has an extraordinarily flexible and lightweight design that allows for a more comfortable gaming experience for hours on end. It sports an adjustable padded headband and earcups with rotating dials that provide a quick and easy way to tweak volume and game/chat balance.
This wireless headset comes with a built-in mic that delivers superb recording quality, ensuring that the sound is crisp, clear, and natural. It’s worth noting that while it has noise-canceling features, some users have reported it struggles to completely separate voice from ambient noise. This could be a minor problem for gamers who live in areas with a lot of noise, like traffic.
The official Xbox wireless headset has an enhanced bass-heavy audio profile, so expect to feel intense rumble, thump, and boom in your games. To top it off, it’s built with spatial sound tech such as Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, and DTS Headphone: X.
It’s ideal for playing RPG, open-world, and simulation games. But if you find the sound a bit muddy, the companion software gives you access to a graphic EQ and presets so you can tune the sound according to your taste.
This gaming headset has a battery life that lasts up to 19 hours tops, allowing for a continuous and uninterrupted playback time. It’s Bluetooth-capable, which means you can pair it directly with your Xbox, mobile device, or Bluetooth-enabled PC without the need for a dongle or base station.
- Lightweight and comfy design
- Robust and well-defined sound profile
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Bass-heavy may require EQ adjustments
Best Gaming Headsets Under $100 Worth Mentioning
Turtle Beach is a popular and well-respected brand in the gaming world, best known for its high-end headsets. With their Stealth 600 Gen 2, you can enjoy top-notch quality and features without the heaping price.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 has earpads covered with quality mesh fabric, making it one of the most comfortable headsets on this list. It’s designed with Turtle Beach’s trademark ProSpecs technology, making the headset highly ergonomic for gamers wearing glasses as it effectively removes the pressure.
The flippable boom mic has a decent recording quality, so your voice sounds understandable. But since it doesn’t have noise-canceling features, the headset struggles to separate your voice from external noises, especially in loud environments.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a wireless headset built with Turtle Beach’s virtual surround sound technology. With significant 50mm sound drivers that deliver crisp highs and thundering lows.
Meanwhile, the exclusive SuperHuman Hearing technology allows you to hear even minute details and cues like approaching enemy footsteps, and distant weapon reload. With that, it’s a perfect choice for those who are into competitive gaming.
The 600 Gen 2 has a better and sturdier build, with longer 15-hour battery life than its predecessors. It has a well-balanced sound profile that’s perfect for playing FPS games.
It also comes with EQ presets to customize the sound according to your taste. It’s a budget-friendly wireless option available in Xbox and PlayStation variants.
Razer’s Kraken series remains to be a best-seller among gamers. The Kraken Chroma V2 is one of their more budget-friendly wired options. Its main difference with the older 7.1 Chroma edition is that the V2 now adopts the Kraken Pro form. It offers virtual 7.1 surround sound and an upgraded, fully retractable microphone with active noise-canceling features.
The Chroma V2 is considerably lighter and more durable than the older versions. It’s made of Bauxite aluminum. The oval-shaped ear cups are outfitted with faux leather, which looks sleek but may be somewhat uncomfortable with long periods of use.
Considering its price, the Chroma V2 delivers exceptional sound quality, with enough in-line sound controls to customize your gaming experience. With its 50mm drivers, you can custom-tune sounds for balanced and crystal-clear in-game sound and communication.
It’s perfect for playing RPG and FPS games where you need to pinpoint accuracy in detecting and locating audio cues like enemy footsteps and gunfire.
As with any Chroma product, this gaming headset is fashioned with LED backlight colors that you can customize. By that, we mean you have over 16 million different colors and hues to choose from. Not overwhelming at all!
Suppose you’re on a tight budget and you need a good, comfy headset that gives you enough customization options. In that case, the Chroma V2 is definitely one to consider.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is a wired-only gaming headset that delivers decent, neutral sound. Its audio profile is balanced enough that it can pack an extra punch and boom in the bass range, making them a suitable choice for playing competitive shooters and sim games.
The Stinger S has a comfortable fit, but the bulky over-ear design isn’t very portable. It may even cause some strain and sweating with prolonged use.
Meanwhile, the flippable boom mic makes your voice sound crisp and well-defined. Still, because it doesn’t have noise isolation capabilities, it doesn’t fully isolate background noises.
Unlike the older version, the Cloud Stinger S now comes with a USB dongle and 7.1 virtual surround sound support. And by downloading the NGENUITY companion software, you can further enhance and fine-tune audio settings according to your personal preference.
All things considered, the Cloud Stinger S’s overall sound performance isn’t very consistent. Still, suppose you’re looking for an affordable wire gaming headset with just the right amount of customization features. In that case, this one’s a solid choice.
Sennheiser is known for producing some of the best audiophile headphones. Recently, they’ve made an entrance into designing gaming headsets and have since made waves, particularly with their GSP 300 series.
The GSP 302 costs as low as $45, but with advanced features and capabilities akin to high-end gaming headsets, in part because it’s built with 50mm audio drivers. The comfort level it brings depends on your personal preference.
It has a closed-back design, with XL memory foam pads that create a tight acoustic seal that allows for a more immersive sound experience. The headset is designed for durability, with a ball-jointed hinge that will enable adjustments for all head sizes and shapes.
However, it can be somewhat bulky and a bit on the heavy side, but it’s cushy and fit enough to wear for long hours of competitive gaming.
The GSP 302 is built with an adjustable mic with a lift-to-mute boom arm to adjust for optimum voice pickup positioning easily.
Sennheiser is sought after for its top-quality sound peripherals. They’ve engineered it with the exclusive EPOS audio technology. This particular headset delivers the audio cues needed for faster in-game reactions that boost your gaming experience and performance.
This wired headset is incredibly versatile. With the PCV 05 adapter included in the package, the GSP 302 can easily be connected with devices with a 3.5mm audio jack input such as smartphones, PCs, Macs, and gaming consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
What To Look For With Budget Gaming Headsets Under $100
When looking for a budget gaming headset, you need to be assured you’re not wasting your hard-earned money. Below are some things you need to consider before making that purchase:
You don’t even have to sacrifice comfort with a good pair of headphones. Take into account the softness and the material used for the pads on the earcups.
The headband should be adjustable enough to accommodate various head sizes and shapes. If it isn’t comfy and fit enough, you’ll begin to feel the strain in just minutes, which could prevent prolonged headset use.
Sweat is also a factor to consider. If the material used for the earpads isn’t breathable (i.e., cotton or mesh fabric), the more sweat you’ll build up with extended wear. The last thing you’ll want is a feeling of hotness and sweat dripping off your headphones.
What’s worse, sweat soaking up the earpads and speakers themselves can rupture and damage the audio quality.
Sadly, many gaming headsets are made of cheap plastic (and this isn’t just limited to budget headsets!). It’s crucial to find one that looks and feels sturdy.
If possible, go for a headset that’s built with a metal or steel frame. Some headsets even use an all-metal frame, which can take a pretty good beating yet still keep on ticking.
If you’re stuck with plastic, make sure it has enough range of movement for whatever head size and shape. With plastic, even the tiniest bit of tension can add up.
Moreover, flimsy plastic tends to creak loudly when applied with continuous pressure. Make sure to keep these things in mind, especially if you’re looking to use the headset for the long term.
This is a no-brainer, and if you’re looking for quality sound performance, it’s essential to look into clarity and bass.
Most gaming headsets have heavy bass. Without it, there will be “tearing” and distortion when something loud comes up, like gunfire and explosions or the loud clanging of swords.
It’s important to have good bass support in a gaming headset. However, some people prefer their sounds to have enhanced bass, while others want less. A good headset delivers just the right amount of bass—not too much and not too little.
Clarity is important because you’ll want to hear every sound as if you’re right in the game. The last thing you’ll want is to hear muffled or distorted audio while trying to pinpoint a nearby enemy or listening to your favorite Final Fantasy song.
Remember, clearer sound makes for a better and more immersive gaming experience. This lets you hear everything while exploring worlds, from NPCs chatting together to the rustling of leaves and birds chirping on trees.
Make sure your new headset works perfectly with whatever device or platform you want to connect it to. A USB adapter will let you use it on devices like smartphones or PCs.
Some gaming headsets have different versions that you can exclusively use for a specific device or gaming console. However, this won’t be hard to find out because the specs are clearly listed right on the product’s package or selling page.
Under the $100 pricing spectrum, it’s more common to find gaming headsets with detachable and retractable mics, which allows for more flexibility in your usage.
With gaming, communication is vital, especially if you’re into live streaming or playing competitive or multiplayer games. The quality of mics in budget headsets vary.
Still, over the years, we’ve seen an improvement in the overall quality and recording performance. Some manufacturers have even added exciting features like noise cancellation.
Gaming headsets must constantly sample and monitor ambient noise through their built-in microphone to cancel out noise. It “listens” to the ambient noise around the user, and then the built-in electronics will handle the rest from there.
Just like your music, the headset reproduces sound that’s the complete opposite of the soundwave. It cancels out so that you’ll only hear the music coming from the headset and not any external noises.
Noise cancellation in headsets is complicated, and it’s far from perfect. Loud, constant noises like the hum of jet engines and nearby traffic are easier to recognize and isolate than sudden, random sounds like people chatting.
However, some manufacturers are better at active noise canceling than others.
Wireless Or Wired
Both wired and wireless gaming headsets have their strengths and weaknesses. With a wireless headset, you’re free to move around since there’s no cable to limit your movements. Some even come with built-in sound features.
However, wireless functionality means you’ll be handling a USB dongle, and you’ll have to keep checking the battery life. Additionally, wireless headsets are comparatively more expensive than their wired counterparts. The price range for premium wireless options doesn’t go as low as $100.
This is because materials and technology like Bluetooth, lithium-ion batteries, and the wireless dongle increases production cost.
On the other hand, wired gaming headsets are always connected with either a 3.5mm audio jack or USB port (or both). They’re a more reliable plug-and-play solution, plus you don’t have to worry about the battery life interrupting your gameplay.
The only issue with wired headsets is that they tend to get tangled easily, and they have a limited range depending on the length of the cable.
Open Or Closed Back
Generally, headsets with an open-back design sound better. This is because they produce an airy, expansive soundstage where sounds seem more realistic and less forced into your ears compared to the closed-back design.
Many gamers prefer open-back headsets for playing massive, open-world RPG games that rely a lot on environmental effects. This type of headset also has superb stereo imaging, which is a massive plus for games that require pinpoint accuracy.
On the other hand, if you’re a fan of large, booming sounds and ear-shattering gunfire and explosions, then you’re probably better off with a closed-back headset. Generally, a closed-back style has a better bass response, making all the thuds and rumbles feel more natural.
The soundstage varies a lot and depends on the quality of the headset’s audio drivers and (sometimes) the companion software built into it.
Each of the headsets in our list offers a slightly different set of pros and cons, so choosing the best should be fairly easy. However, we know it’s not always that simple, so you need to consider the features that come with them.
It doesn’t matter which platform you’re playing, but if you want the best value out of your hundred bucks, then you can’t go wrong with the SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB. With this, you can take your immersive gaming experience to a whole new level, thanks to its comfortable ergonomics and superb sound performance.