If you want to take your gaming to a whole new level, a high quality gaming headset can go a long way! When you’re rocking the best gaming headset you can afford at the moment, you feel completely immersed in the gaming experience. It’s almost like you’re a part of the gaming universe itself!
Below you’ll find the Ultimate Gaming Headset Comparison Chart.
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The Chart Above Has 7 Columns:
- Brand/Model Name And Picture – This column tells you the producer of the gaming headset plus the model (e.g. Astro Gaming – A40). It also includes a picture of the item.
- Sound Quality* – This is based on the general opinion of the majority of Amazon reviewers for a given headset. The ranking from worst to best is “poor”, “decent”, “good”, “excellent”.
- Mic Quality* – This is also based on the general consensus of verified purchase reviewers on Amazon.com. The ranking from worst to best is “poor”, “decent”, “good”, “excellent”.
- Comfort Level* – Based on real consumer reviews and comments about the comfort of various headsets for gaming. The ranking from worst to best is “uncomfortable”, “somewhat comfortable”, “comfortable”, “very comfortable”.
- Somewhat Comfortable
- Very Comfortable
- Approximate Price (on Amazon.com) – This is the current price for a new pair of a given gaming headset on Amazon.com
- $ = $0-$49
- $$ = $50-$99
- $$$ = $100-$199
- $$$$ = $200+
- Average Rating – This is the average rating given by reviewers on Amazon.com on a scale of 0 to 5.
- Gaming Platform – This column tells you which platforms a headset is compatible with (e.g. PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii U).(Please note that you can get most headsets to work on a platform they weren’t originally designed to work on by using fairly cheap gaming connectors and adapters.)
*To rank sound quality, mic quality and comfort level, I went through as many reviews as possible and “averaged” the different feedback people gave for each category. For example, if one person wrote “sounds amazing!” and another person wrote “sounds OK…” I would rank the sound quality as “good”.
I know it isn’t a perfect system but it should give you an overall idea of what actual users think, as opposed to the overly positive and hype-filled claims the manufacturer makes for its own product. I also tried to rely mainly on the feedback from verified purchase reviewers since they actually bought and tried out the item and don’t have any bias.
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I based this scoring system on real user reviews from Amazon.com. Most of the gaming headsets listed have at least 50 reviews and many even have 300+! So by reading the reviews for each headset, I was able to get a pretty good overall idea of how people felt about certain aspects of a given pair. Sometimes reviewers completely disagreed.
For example, one person would say that a headset is more comfortable than a silk bathrobe and another would claim that it feels like a medieval torture device. Whenever the reviews disagreed so strongly, I sort of “averaged” the emotions to wind up with a rating such as “somewhat comfortable”.
The thing to realize is that there’s really no way to objectively measure the perception of sound quality, mic quality or comfort, especially since every gamer’s needs and personal anatomy are so different. So I took a more empirical, “consumer reviews” type approach to finding the best gaming headset.
Please don’t message me telling me that a gaming headset I rated as “very comfortable” feels like a vice around your head. The whole idea is to present a consensus opinion!
I also based the sound quality rating on Amazon reviews. Basically, for any given headset, one person might say the sound (or whatever feature) is the best thing since IGN and another might say it totally blows. So here’s how I scored it:
- Poor – The overwhelming majority of reviewers say the sound sucks
- Decent – Most reviewers are content with the sound but not impressed and definitely not blown away.
- Good – Most people are pleased with the sound quality.
- Excellent – Reviewers are raving about how freakin’ awesome this headset sounds!
What Is A Gaming Headset?
Gaming headsets are just headphones with a mic attached. Sometimes the mic is removable. Most of the time you just raise it up to move it out of the way. Many hardcore gamers and gear heads will tell you that a dedicated gaming headset isn’t worth the money and that you’re better off buying a decent pair of headphones and a high quality mic and hooking them up for a custom gaming headset.
While I agree that going the custom route will probably get you a better overall setup, many gamers find it isn’t worth the inconvenience. Just like most folks are fine with buying a well designed car, and wouldn’t go through the trouble of custom building one from scratch, even though the final product would be much higher quality and better suited to their needs.
In other words, having everything you need to get back in the game sooner is worth the convenience. With a good gaming headset, you’re able to hear the little details in the sound. If the headset features surround sound, you can perceive the direction that sound like footsteps and gunfire and explosions are coming from (with most headsets but not all).
Obviously, this gives you a huge edge over your competition in many different video games, especially FPS (First Person Shooter) games. And with the built-in mic that gaming headsets provide, you can talk with your team members and coordinate vicious assaults on your enemy!
Here at BestGamingHeadsetOnline.com, I help you sort through the information overload and pick the very best gaming headset for you.
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of good gaming headsets on the market, so how do you pick the best gaming headset for your needs? Here are a few of the most important factors you’ll want to look at:
Gaming headphones can vary a lot in just how comfortable they are. Unlike earbuds, which fit snugly inside your ears, you’re going to be wearing your headset for hours at a time ON (or around) your ears! So it’s crucial that you pick a comfortable pair. If you have ever worn an uncomfortable pair of headphones, you know precisely how freakin’ painful they can be (even after just a short 15 minutes of wear!)
Everybody’s ear shape and size is different. And some hardcore gamers wear their gaming headphones way longer than more casual gamers. So the best way to figure out how comfortable a given headset might be is to try it on yourself! But …it’s not always possible or convenient to spend 4 hours in your local Best Buy, going on a headphone hunt while the staff gives you dirty looks.
So the next best thing is to read up on as many reviews as you can find. You can generally get a pretty good feel for how comfortable a given pair of gaming headphones is if enough different people review it. Based on what gamers with similar needs and head shapes as you say, you’ll be able to sort of ‘predict’ how it might feel on your own ears.
One big indicator of comfort to look for without having to actually try a pair on yourself, is whether or not the headset is “on ear” (supra-aural) or “around the ear” (circumaural). Generally, around-the-ear style headsets are more comfortable because instead of pressing down on your ear, they sit around it. The shape and size of the earphones also comes into player here. Because if they’re too small, they’ll clip the edge of your ear and cause discomfort. Same thing if the shape is too round. But even on-ear gaming headsets can be pretty comfortable if they’re made from soft, comfortable material both on the actual headphones and on the headband.
One issue that a lot of gamers bring up in the reviews is how tight a given headset is. Or how inflexible it is. It’s important to be able to adjust your headset because the shape of your head and ears is unique so unless EVERYBODY claims that this is a super comfortable headset, you’ll want to have the option to make some adjustments to the length and tightness of your headset.
Mediocre sounding headphone make you feel like you’re playing a video game. Excellent sounding headphones, on the other hand, make you feel like you’re in the game! So regardless of your budget, sound quality is one of the most important factors to consider.
Many (but not all) gaming headsets offer what is called Digital Surround Sound which basically just means you can hear the direction that certain sounds on your map are coming from. Obviously, there’s only one speaker on each ear, so the technology behind tricking your auditory senses is pretty cool. But I won’t geek out on it in this article. Despite this pretty common feature, actual sound quality varies widely from headset to headset.
This is where your personal preferences really come into play. If, for example, you really love to hear the bassy rumble of a well-planned explosion, or the gritty juggernaut of a rolling tank, then you’ll probably want to look for a headset with a powerful bass response. And since you wouldn’t be nearly as concerned about hearing the delicate violins in your video game’s soundtrack, you won’t be quite as focused on finding a gaming headset with great mid and high frequencies.
Luckily, gamers are generally a pretty smart, savvy and helpful community of peeps. And many of the reviews you’ll read online are almost too detailed! There is no shortage of information when trying to pick a pair and make a decision – quite the opposite!
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for comments about microphone quality. I’ve read some reviews (and have tried some of the best gaming headsets myself) only to find that a crappy mic totally ruins an otherwise awesome product.
Do you need your gaming headset for playing games on just one platform like Xbox 360? Or do you want to be able to use it on your PC and PS3 as well? Many gaming headsets are compatible across several different platforms. But many are not. The good news is, if you have your heart set on a particular model that just doesn’t support the mix of platforms you want, you can usually find super cheap connectors and adapters that will let you hook up to all of your devices (after a little bit of finagling of course).
A big question to ask yourself is how often do you plan on listening to music on your gaming headset? Even the best gaming headset may fall short of the sound quality you want if you’re a serious music listener (even though that same headset sounds kick ass in video games). Audiophile type headphones that really make music shine on another level tend to cost a LOT more ($300+) than your run of the mill gaming headphones. So if you want truly stunning sound quality across the board, be prepared to pay at least $200!
With many electronics, you get what you pay for. That applies to gaming headsets as well of course. But fortunately, there is such a staggering variety of different headsets on the market. So even if you’re on a tight budget you can still grab a really nice pair.
On the comparison chart above, I tried to equally represent headsets at each of the four price categories, which are:
- $ = $0-$49
- $$ = $50-$99
- $$$ = $100-$199
- $$$$ = $200+
Generally, the items under $40 are USB gaming headsets. Many gamers and audiophiles consider USB models to be inferior in quality to other input types. They have a point, but there are actually plenty of positive reviews on Amazon for USB headsets in the $ and $$ categories, so you still have some good choices considering the price.
But the quality of your gaming headset definitely goes up once you move into the $$$+ range. The most noticeable improvements are in comfort and sound quality. $$$ gaming headsets can get pretty fancy compared to the first 2 price categories. You’ll notice an upgrade in the quality of the headsets components (better plastic, sturdier parts, nicer headphone lining and mesh, etc.)
Once you start dabbling in the $200+ price range, you see some really top notch gear. Generally, if you want a really heavy duty, beautiful-sounding and über comfortable gaming headset, this is the price category where you’ll find it (but not always!)
If you think I can improve this article or the comparison chart somehow, please don’t be shy to leave a comment! My goal is to make this the absolute best resource for finding gaming headsets and also to build a cool community of gamers here. So chime in!