Noise-canceling headphones are a lifesaver for gamers who play their games in busy households or loud environments. Noise-canceling headphones provide essential peace and quiet in the noisiest of rooms.
Although noise-canceling headphones have some great benefits, there are also some disadvantages to noise-canceling technology to keep in mind. Active noise cancelation works by using microphones to actively monitor your environment and play counter tones into your headphones to cancel out ambient noise. This technology is great for giving you some peace and quiet, but it has some negative effects. It reduces the headphone soundscape quality by eliminating certain frequencies in the highs and the mids, which over boosts the bass and lessens clarity in the middle and upper frequencies.
For gamers, noise cancelation can have a negative effect on the in-game directional sound. Noise-canceling headphones can make it more difficult to pinpoint in-game sounds compared to headsets that don’t feature noise cancelation. The difference is probably not enough to matter for the average gamer, but it is something to keep in mind.
Here are the best noise canceling headphones for gaming.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 ll gaming headset is a high-quality gaming headset with active noise cancelation and a removable microphone. These headphones feature a wired microphone that you can plug into a computer and a Bluetooth connection for when you want to go wireless. This is the perfect headset for gamers who want a comfortable pair of noise-canceling headphones that keep up at home or on the go.
The QC35 lls are very comfortable. They contour the ears and head tightly without applying uncomfortable levels of pressure. The soft ear pads provide an excellent sound seal, shielding your ears from the external environment. The ear pads also remain comfortable for hours at a time, which is probably the biggest selling point for any Bose headset.
This headset comes with a detachable module that adds a bidirectional mic through the 2.5-millimeter jack on the side of the headphones. The microphone can then plug directly into your PC for use with your games and chat applications like Team Speak and Discord. The noise rejecting microphone does a decent job of isolating your voice from any background noise. When you take these headphones on the go, there is a separate built-in Bluetooth microphone for calls.
When you plug this headset in for a gaming session, you can use the USB powered PC desktop controller to raise or lower your volume and monitor your microphone with a zero-latency signal. These external controls are very convenient for switching up your settings without having to minimize your gaming window.
The QC35 ll headphones also feature built-in support for voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The price is steep, but these headphones do bring a lot of versatility and value to the table.
The Victrix Pro AF headset features full active noise-cancelation technology inside a top tier gaming headset. This headset comes in both a universal version and a specific Xbox version. The Victrix Pro AF’s are reasonably comfortable with a soft head pad and cushioned ear pads. It also comes with a convenient set of in-line external controls.
The active noise cancelation in these headphones is clearly a priority for Vitrix. The headset features four dedicated microphones designed to listen to your environment and eliminate up to 70 percent of background noise using counter tones. Combining Victrix’s noise-canceling technology with the tight seal of the earcups, the Pro AF headset provides a great listening experience in noisy rooms. The ear cups also feature a unique set of vents that open to cool your ears off during long gaming sessions.
This headset features a bidirectional boom microphone that provides reasonable audio quality. It is a noise-isolating microphone that fits well with the noise-canceling headphones. The microphone comes with a removable pop and hiss filter.
Victrix Pro AF is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and lightweight polycarbonate materials so it can be both light and durable.
The Victrix Pro AF typically runs a bit less than the Bose option and is one of the best active noise-canceling gaming headsets. Its heavy-duty build quality should hold up for many years to come.
The JBL Quantum ONE gaming headset is specifically built for competitive gaming. This headset features true active noise cancelation to block out the noise from your environment. It is reasonably well built and features memory foam ear pads to ensure the headphones remain comfortable for hours of gaming. This headset connects to your PC or console using a wired USB connection.
In addition to featuring active noise cancelation, this headset also features JBL’s proprietary QuantumSPHERE 360 technology, a head-tracking sensor that is supposed to help you pinpoint in-game sound more accurately. This feature will help counteract the fact that the directional soundstage is harmed by counter tones from the active noise cancelation. While it won’t give you those tones back, this head-tracking feature will help improve the accuracy of directional sound.
This headset comes with a detachable boom microphone. The microphone features echo-canceling technology to prevent feedback loops, but beyond that, it is a standard bidirectional microphone that you might expect on a high-quality gaming headset.
As a bonus, the JBL Quantum ONE headset comes with integrated RGB lighting on the earcups.
These fully featured headphones are usually cheaper than the Bose headphones but are more expensive than the Victrix headset.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper option from JBL, consider the JBL Quanton 800 headset. This wireless headset features Bluetooth 5.0 and a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter and receiver. Other than its wireless technology and a few different features, the JBL Quantum 800’s will do a very similar job to the JBL Quantum ONE’s for significantly less.
The Quantum 800s have a built-in boom microphone, so you can’t remove it like you can on the Quantum One model. Beyond the fact that it isn’t removable, this microphone offers a very similar performance to the Quantum ONE mic.
This headset doesn’t feature the unique head tracking technology from its more expensive counterpart. However, JBL still included unique surround sound technology that helps make the game audio more immersive and accurate.
Like the Quantum ONE’s, the Quantum 800’s are RGB enabled.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced noise-canceling gaming headset, this is a pretty solid option.
The Astro A50 wireless gaming headset is one of the most iconic headsets in all of gaming. This wireless headset has been a mainstay in the console and PC headset market for nearly a decade now, offering both a high-quality sound and a high-quality build.
Although this headset does not feature active noise cancelation, you can purchase a mod kit for the A50. This mod is designed to enhance the sound isolation of this headset. Once this mod is installed, you can enjoy sound isolation without having to sacrifice any audio performance, though the noise cancelation will be lesser overall.
The sound quality on the A50 headset is excellent. They are tuned to provide a balanced audio experience, providing clear highs, a full mid-range, and a balanced bass response. These headphones also come with Astro Command Center software that gives you complete control over your audio levels, filters, and presets for your headphones. This feature alone sets the Astro A50s apart from the rest of the list.
The unidirectional microphone provides decent quality audio and can be flipped up to quickly mute it. Beyond that, the microphone isn’t particularly special.
The A50 headset comes with a base station that can recharge the headphones when not in use. The base station also acts as a receiver for the wireless headphones, connecting to your PC or console via USB. It features a soundcard, optical pass-through switch, USB charging port, and an AUX-in/Mic out Tip Ring Ring Sleeve (TTRS) 3.5-millimeter connection.
The combined cost of the A50 headset and the noise isolation mod kit make this the most expensive option on the list. However, the Astro A50 headset has stood the test of time and remains one of the most celebrated gaming headsets available, especially for console gamers.
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