Gaming headsets have evolved in recent years from little more than throwaway pack-in devices to full-fledged PC audio solutions. In fact, many gamers don’t even bother with traditional speaker solutions for their PC anymore since a decent quality wireless headset is going to trump all but the most robust audio solution.
When shopping for a wireless gaming headset your most important considerations outside of general audio and mic performance are going to be build quality and microphone detachability. While a fixed mic might be fine for something like working as a telemarketer, most of you will likely want the option to move it out of the way for casual gaming and listening.
Razer makes a wide array of PC accessories catered exclusively to gamers, and the Blackshark is certainly no exception. It comes in a variety of skins and colors, and offers memory foam ear cushions and headband. The detachable 9.9mm mic comes with a much welcome wind guard as well as tuning to provide a high level of accuracy. The drivers are 50mm titanium with support for THX special audio technology, and offer several different profiles to increase your spatial awareness while gaming.
The large, tactile volume knob is easy to find and adjust while wearing the headset and it’s outfitted with 2.4GHz wireless or wired modes. Despite its impressive hardware specs, the Blackshark weighs in at 320g, which means it will be comfortable for even marathon gaming sessions.
Corsair doesn’t just make memory; they also offer a wide array of PC accessories. Their HS70 Pro wireless headset uses 50mm neodymium drivers with 7.1 surround sound support and memory foam ear pads for a comfortable-yet-sealed sound stage. The microphone is fully detachable and it uses 2.4GHz wireless. While the HS70 doesn’t offer alternate connectivity modes, it does sport a 16-hour battery and comes in some more professional looking colorways for those wanting a headset that will pull double duty for gaming as well as work.
The G Pro X Wireless from Logitech may conjure images of a pair of stereo headphones from the ‘80s, but it’s decked out with high quality hardware from top to bottom. It has DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound functionality, 50mm drivers, a steel headband, and a detachable microphone from the audio wizards at BLUE. With Logitech’s software suite you can also customize compression, noise, and de-essing effects to further improve your microphone quality.
In the box Logitech also brings both leatherette and cloth memory foam ear pads, and the G Pro X Wireless boasts a respectable 20-hour battery on a full charge.
HyperX headsets have a bit of a dated visual aesthetic going on with lots of early aughts red-and-black design, but they put out a very serious high-quality gaming headset. The Cloud II Wireless, unveiled recently at CES, comes with impressive 53mm neodymium drivers, leatherette ear pads, a detachable noise-cancelling microphone, and a whopping 30-hour battery on a full charge.
Despite all this tech, they’re deceptively light, due in part to their durable-yet-lightweight aluminum headband. Like many other gaming headsets it also features 7.1 surround sound for heightened spatial awareness, but offsets the audio controls to a separate USB remote for those who dislike on-ear controls. These ones are a bit smaller, so those of you with larger heads or ears might want to double check the dimensions before taking the plunge.
ASTRO headsets might look a bit over-designed, but they’re packing some solid features in that off-the-wall aesthetic. The charging base station functions as both a convenient place to store and charge and a mixer with multiple audio inputs for mixing on the fly.
The microphone is attached, flip-to-mute, and it’s fitted with 40mm neodymium drivers. EQ modes can be adjusted on the headset itself which also sports a very thick headband pad for maximum comfort during longer gaming sessions. ASTRO heavily touts their custom tunings and EQ profiles, and the rechargeable battery hits 15 hours on a full charge.
SteelSeries has crawled to the top of the headset market in recent years by releasing solid product after solid product with nearly zero duds in the bunch. At the top of their product line is the Arctis 9, which is the perfect storm of comfort, high-quality audio, and a wide feature set. It features 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, and wired modes, but the real connectivity draw is the transmitter. Instead of a standard wireless dongle the Arctis Pro features a multi-input transmitter with 3.5mm in/out, USB input, and dual optical so you can connect all your audio sources at once and mix them right on the transmitter without software volume mixers.
Like so many other Arctis headsets, the transmitter also includes chatmix for quickly adjusting in-game voice in relation to game volume. This Arctis also comes with two batteries, charged in the transmitter, that can quickly be swapped when the 20-hour battery starts to run low, which means you’re never tethered to your PC or charging port.
The Arctis Pro uses the ski-band suspension style headband that SteelSeries employs in several other headsets, and they offer replacement ear pads and ski bands on their site. The microphone retracts into the headset so you don’t have to worry about losing it, and it features a mute indicator on the microphone itself. Arctis also offers many of these features in affordable packages with their Arctis 7+ headset, but the Arctis Pro still stands as their most functional headset to date.
The headset is comfortable, light, features extended battery life, and controls are conveniently placed for ease of accessibility—each earcup rotates, adjusting volume or game/chat mix depending on the side.
Bluetooth certified means the Xbox Wireless Headset connects to your smartphone in an instant, so it’s not just tied to your console. The acoustics are bass-heavy, EQ-adjustable, and features three surround sound modes, so finding your perfect audio proves easy.
One main thing to consider is you cannot pair a Bluetooth headset to consoles without a dongle. This Xbox headset has no dongle, so it cannot be used with PS4, PS5, or the Nintendo Switch. It also lacks a 3.5mm connection, so you can’t physically connect it.
At a $100 price point, the official Xbox Wireless Headset is a solid consideration for Xbox users.
Investing in a nice gaming headset isn’t just about making your gaming time more convenient. In addition to doubling up as a great work-from-home accessory, a solid gaming headset is also great for watching TV late at night or even just enjoying some tunes while cleaning the house. For those of you wanting to use your headset for console gaming be sure to check compatibility before diving in, since Xbox and PlayStation generally need to be specifically compatible for a wireless headset to work.
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