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Best PC Gaming Headsets 2022: Budget, Wired and Wireless

Creative SFXI Air Gamer
The best gaming headset can make playing more fun. (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Finding the best gaming headset is arguably as important as choosing the right keyboard, monitor, or even graphics card. The sound of your virtual world and how you communicate with your teammates all depends on the device you wear on your head. 

But choosing the best gaming headset for your ears and head shape isn't easy, due in part to the sheer amount of options that are available. With the ever-rising popularity of esports and the relative simplicity of combining off-the-shelf audio hardware with cushy earcups, a sprinkle of software wizardry and a mic, PC gamers are now offered more choices than ever. 

A quick search of popular online retailers yields hundreds of choices across dozens of companies, ranging from less than $10 (£8) to over $600 (£460). You may already know how much you're willing to spend on your headset, but there are still many other things to consider. 

Luckily, we’ve been testing gaming headsets for years (to see every model we've tested, check out our gaming headset reviews page). We certainly haven't had all of them on our heads. But below you'll find the best gaming headsets we've tested. 

Quick Gaming Headset Shopping Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for the best gaming headset for you: 

  • Wired or wireless? Wired headsets usually cost less and don’t need to be charged. Therefore, if you're typically gaming at your desk, you may want to stick to wired options to keep things cheaper and simpler. A wired headset also won’t die on you mid-game. On the other hand, there’s no denying the convenience of being able to run to the kitchen for a drink without having to remove your cans.
  • Headbands and earcups. Comfort is more subjective than measuring audio output and input, but generally speaking you should avoid plush gaming headsets with thick bulges, cheap foam and cloth covers. When we've tested these types of headsets, we've often found disappointing acoustic performance. Ear-cushion material can make a huge difference in what your ears ultimately perceive.
  • Audio and mic quality. These are very important if you want the best gaming headset, but impossible to evaluate via one or two floor models in a store. We focus on these aspects in detail in our reviews. In short, detailed reproduction and good spatial resolution, specifically when it comes to complex noises and environments with multiple sound sources, are more important than any attempt at simulated surround sound.
  • A key Bluetooth spec: aptX. If you do go wireless and opt for Bluetooth (no USB dongle needed), look for headsets that support Qualcomm’s aptX, a compression tech (codec) that’s been leveraged for decades in TV and movie voice-work, movie theater audio and thousands of radio stations. If you’ve heard Bluetooth audio in years past and hated it (it definitely was bad for a long time), give an aptX-enabled headset a listen. As long as the underlying hardware is good, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the sound output. And it helps assure the lip movements in movies and TV shows match what you're hearing, as well.

The Best Gaming Headsets You Can Buy Today

Exemplary comfort and sound make the HyperX Cloud Alpha is the best gaming headset.  (Image credit: HyperX)

1. HyperX Cloud Alpha

Best Gaming Headset

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 65 Ohms
Frequency response: 13–27,000 Hz
Mic: Unidirectional
Connectivity: 3.5mm
Weight: 0.7 pounds (317.5g)

Reasons to buy

+
Neutral sound quality
+
Solid build quality
+
Good material choice
+
Comfortable fit
 

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat heavy
-
Small dips and peaks in frequency curve 

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is the best gaming headset for most players, offering nearly perfect sound quality and an awesome value, especially if you can find it for under $100. Noise reproduction with these cans sounds natural and the drivers avoid pesky flaws, like overly aggressive bass or highs. This isn't a revolutionary headset, but it delivers the necessary sound quality and top-of-the-line comfort with the rare reasonable price tag. 

In terms of long-term wearability, the headset earns its Cloud branding with a light, comfy fit built comprised of quality materials. This includes thick memory foam padding on the headband and earcups and HyperX's decision to opt for aluminum over plastic in some important areas. The overall look and feel are both quality. 

If you like the Cloud Alpha's design but want something with more features, there's also the HyperX Cloud Alpha S. It's basically the same headset but with 7.1 virtual surround sound, an inline controller and bass sliders on each ear cup. The black-and-blue or all-black color options (instead of the Cloud Alpha's black-and-gold or black-and-red) add more options too.

Read: HyperX Cloud Alpha review

Corsair's Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is packed with features.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE

Best Wireless Gaming Headset

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz
Mic: Omnidirectional
Connectivity: USB Type-A 2.4 GHz dongle
Weight: 0.8 pounds(360g)

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful Hi-res audio
+
Immaculate presentation
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Wireless range depends on house construction
-
Headband digs in a bit over time
-
Slightly heavy reverb

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is one of the rare headsets that looks as good as it sounds. The best wireless gaming headset for most, it offers premium quality audio that enters audiophile territory and looks pretty and shiny instead of clunky and heavy. The SE version of the Virtuoso RGB boasts gunmetal-colored aluminum stamped with a touch of RGB via the Corsair logo. Overall, it looks as expensive as it is.

The Virtuoso RGB SE delivered strong audio, including Hi-res support, in our testing. Its 50mm drivers also sounded great with gun fights in games like Borderlands 3. The cans’ music reproduction sat in the middle of bass-heavy cans like the Audio-Technica’s ATH-G1 and flatter-sounding ones like the SteelSeris Arctis Pro Wireless listed below.

Topping things off with a 20-hour wireless battery life, Corsair’s Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE is a fine pair of cans that both look and sound premium.

Read: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE review 

Listen to two devices simultaneously for cheaper than competitors.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. Creative SXFI Air Gamer

Best Bluetooth Gaming Headset

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: > 2.2 kohms
Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
Mic: 2x bidirectional, 1x omnidirectional
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C cable, 3.5mm cable
Weight: 0.8 pounds (335g)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent audio quality for gaming, music, movies
+
Simultaneous USB and Bluetooth connections lets you hear both your PC and phone

Reasons to avoid

-
Setup requires a smartphone and is much easier with a second person
-
External sound isolation could be better

The Creative SXFI Air Gamer offers a lot of functionality of the pricier Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT (also on this page) but at a much cheaper price. If you want cans that you can connect to your PC via a reliable cable and switch to or add a Bluetooth connection simultaneously, this is the best gaming headset with Bluetooth for you. 

Creative’s offering differs from the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT in appearance and its lack of a wireless dongle. If you’re okay with that, you get a headset that can use a 3.5mm or USB connection and pair with your phone or other Bluetooth device at the same time. The best part is that the audio quality is on a premium level, including superior bass reproduction, and is fit for your favorite games as well as watching movies or listening to music.

The SXFI Air Gamer also goes a step further by offering not 1, not 2, but 3 microphones. You get a small, detachable, bidrecitonal mic and a larger one, plus the integrated omnidirectional mic on the earcup. This lets you prioritize quality or portability, depending on your situation.

More: Creative SXFI Air Gamer review 

Corsair's fancier cans also let you connect to and listen to two devices at once.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT

Best Bluetooth Gaming Headset Splurge

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz
Mic: Omnidirectional
Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB Type-A cable, USB Type-A dongle, Bluetooth
Weight: 0.8 pounds (362.9g)

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and classy
+
Simultaneous dongle/Bluetooth connectivity lets you hear your phone and PC 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Battery life isn't great when connected to two devices 

Many gamers prefer gaming with a dongle connection rather than Bluetooth for speed and reliability, but if you’re looking for the option to save a port or connect to two devices at once, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT is the best gaming headset for you. A newer version of the Virtuoso Wireless RGB SE and similar to the Creative SFXI Air Gamer (both on this page), the pricier Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT lets you connect via 3.5mm, the included USB Type-A cable, a wireless dongle or Bluetooth with aptX. And like the Creative SFXI Air Gamer above, with these cans you can connect to two different devices simultaneously via dongle and Bluetooth. That proved to be a boon for productivity, letting us game with a dongle and hear music or notifications from our phone, for example, so we never missed a thing. The downside is that the headset is specced to last 20 hours with one device but only 15 hours if connected to two devices.

Out of the box, the headset is geared toward gaming, with sounds like zombie wails and enemy wingbeats standing out. For music, you’ll probably want to download Corsair's software and switch the EQ. Once we found our preferred setting, we enjoyed more natural mids and punchy, but not overpowering, low-ends. 

But with comfort that makes the headset feel lighter than cans with less weight to them and a mature, versatile and stylish design, including 10 headband adjustments, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT is a premium, wireless option for gamers.

Want a cheaper wireless gaming headset? Consider the dongle-only SteelSeries Arctis 7

Read: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT review 

Asus' TUF Gaming H3 is the best gaming headset for a cheap price but good build.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

5. Asus TUF Gaming H3

Best Budget Gaming Headset

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
Mic: Unidirectional condenser
Connectivity: 3.5mm
Weight: 0.6 pounds (272.2g)

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive out-of-box sound quality
+
Incredibly comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Questionable build quality
-
Advertised virtual 7.1 surround sound is Windows Sonic, usable by any 3.5mm headset

The Asus TUF Gaming H3 is the best gaming headset for preserving your budget. This can be hard to find, but you can typically spot it selling for about $40. Despite the lower price, you still get a headset that fits well and sounds good right out of the box. That means you can get right to gaming without having to fiddle around in software. When we tested the cans, performance was comparable to pricier rivals, including the Asus TUF Gaming H7. We attribute a lot of that to the H3's comfortable fit with leatherette contact points preventing sound leakage. 

The downside is these aren’t particularly pretty. And if you’re excited about virtual 7.1 surround sound, note that the H3 is a 3.5mm headset that only uses Windows’ Sonic spatial audio, which any 3.5mm headset can use. 

But when it comes to gaming and hearing sound cues like weapon switches, this headset gets the job done without effort on your part or heavy damage to your bank account. 

If you don't need virtual surround sound, the Roccat Elo X Stereo is also a great pair of budget cans. 

Read: Asus TUF Gaming H3 review

3D audio is extra powerful with the Cloud Orbit S' headtracking.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

6. HyperX Cloud Orbit S

Best Gaming Headset for Virtual Surround Sound

Specifications

Driver: 100mm neodymium
Impedance: Not disclosed
Frequency response: 10-50,000 Hz
Mic: Unidirectional condenser
Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB Type-A, USB Type-C
Weight: 0.8 pounds(362.9g)

Reasons to buy

+
Immersive and loud 3D audio
+
Soft, squishy headband and ear cups
+
Good battery life
+
Accurate head tracking 

Reasons to avoid

-
 A little heavy
-
Head tracking’s audio impact varies depending on game

The HyperX Cloud Orbit S is, indeed, expensive, but its premium sound quality and featureset makes it the best gaming headset for splurging. The cans give you a discernible gaming advantage, thanks to its customizable 3D mode with head tracking. When you're gaming with head tracking, the location of your enemies is apparent, and the auditory environment moves with you. 

You can also use head tracking for your game controls, which frees up your hands for more action. (For another head tracking option with premium features, check out the similarly priced JBL Quantum One). 

There are lower-priced headsets with true surround sound (instead of the Orbit S’ virtual surround sound) and wireless capability. But the Orbit S, which bears the same cozy memory foam headband and earpads as other headsets in HyperX's Cloud line, offers a gaming edge you’ll actually notice.

We also love the versatility of this headset. In addition to supporting hi-res, virtual surround and 3D audio, you can use the headset with a 3.5mm jack, USB Type-A port or USB Type-C port.

Read: HyperX Cloud Orbit S review 

A Quad DAC makes the Asus ROG Delta S the best Hi-res gaming headset.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

7. Asus ROG Delta S

Best Gaming Headset for Hi-Res

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz
Mic: Noise-cancelling condenser
Connectivity: USB Type-C or USB-C to USB-A adapter
Weight: 0.7 pounds (320g)

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing audio clarity
+
Solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Short cable
-
Slight sound leakage

Not every gamer also demands the joys of hi-res music, but those who do can graduate to more powerful, immersive jam sessions, especially with the Asus ROG Delta S. These cans sniped the title of Best Hi-res Gaming Headset from the SteelSeries Arctis Pro+ GameDAC, partially by including a more powerful DAC. The Asus opts for ESS’ 9281 Pro Quad DAC for lossless audio processing, which is specced for 140 dB of dynamic range and a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 130 dB, compared to the ESS 9018 on the SteelSeries’ 121 dB and 109 dB, respectively. On the ROG Delta S, hi-res music boasted meaty reverb and also sounded live. 

In terms of gaming, the ROG Delta S is also premium, offering more oomph in the overall soundscape than rivals, from the twang of a bow and arrow to the cracks of an assault rifle. Just beware that those nearby you might start hearing the action if you crank the volume up to 75% or higher. 

Meanwhile, virtual 7.1 surround sound performance varied. We weren’t able to pinpoint enemies better with it in Outriders, but in Horizon Zero Dawn, the featured amplified environmental sounds definitely helped. It’s easy to prefer the popular DTS Headphone:X v2.0 surround scheme that the Arctis Pro+ GameDac employs than the one Asus concocted. 

The Arctis Pro+ GameDac also has other quality-of-life advantages, like a screen-equipped DAC with a ChatMix control. However, the ROG Delta S doesn’t leave you hanging when it comes to extras, instead throwing in reactive RGB to its earcups' 4 RGB zones. 

If you’re truly about the hi-res, the ROG Delta S stands out above other gaming headsets.

Read: Asus ROG Delta S review

Make sure your teammates hear you loud and clear. (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

8. Corsair Void RGB Elite USB

Best Gaming Headset Mic

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-30,000 Hz
Mic: Omnidirectional condenser
Connectivity: USB Type-A
Weight: 0.9 pounds(390g)

Reasons to buy

+
You could land planes with this mic
+
Exceptionally soft foam padding
+
Very breathable

Reasons to avoid

-
Some fitting issues on smaller heads
-
Sound leakage affects bass tightness
-
Awkward mic mute button

If you do a lot of chatting on your headset, be it with your Overwatch teammates, work colleagues or Mom, the Corsair Void RGB Elite USB will make sure you sound just like you to whoever’s listening. For this price, we were pleased at the microphone’s quality, plus its ability to handily fold up when you need to take a sip of water or sneeze. It’s also Discord-certified and showed better low-end response than rivals. It’s not quite as warm as what you can get with the best gaming microphones or any USB mic, but it’s close. 

On the other hand, when we tested the headset with a smaller head, bass was lacking due to sound leakage. Your head size may change things. The Void RGB Elite USB also has virtual 7.1 surround sound, but it didn’t prove to be anything extraordinary. 

For chatterboxes, this is the best gaming headset with its mid-range price, cozy padding and splash of RGB. Note there’s also a wireless version of the Void RGB Elite USB. For more mic options, consider the expensive JBL Quantum One, which comes with a unidirectional and detachable boom microphone and a separate calibration microphone. 

Read: Corsair Void RGB Elite USB review 

If you're willing to pay, SteelSeries' Arctis Pro Wireless is hard to beat.  (Image credit: SteelSeries)

9. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

Best Gaming Headset Splurge

Specifications

Driver: 40mm neodymium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz
Mic: Bidirectional condenser
Connectivity: USB Type-A wireless dongle or Bluetooth 4.1
Weight: 0.8 pounds(357g)

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable headband design
+
Peerless swappable battery system
+
Crisp hi-res audio
+
Feature-laden base station

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs base station to charge
-
Headband durability concerns

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro kicks things up a notch or two over other SteelSeries cans, including the Arctis 7 wireless ones listed above. It’s very pricey, even for a wireless headset. But you get your choice of wireless dongle or Bluetooth connectivity, which means you could use the Arctis Pro Wireless without it occupying a USB port. 

The cans offer a large frequency response range and hi-res audio. Lossless titles, like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, sounded noticeably crisper with a lot of depth on the Arctis Pro. Ultimately, the game sounded more immersive, particularly in the high end, where we could hear the different layers of sound. You also get DTS Headphones:X virtual surround sound via a transmitter base station boasting other helpful features, like ChatMix and general volume control.

Despite its higher price, the Arctis Pro Wireless isn’t vastly more comfortable than the cheaper Arctis 7 wireless cans and don’t offer twice as detailed audio. But the Arctis Pro Wireless has the advantage in its smart design, Bluetooth capability and swappable batteries that keep the party going while traveling. 

For a cheaper Bluetooth option, consider the Sennheiser GSP 670.

Read: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless review 

Best Headset for Multiple Use Cases: EPOS H3 Hybrid (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

10. Epos H3 Hybrid

Best Headset for Multiple Use Cases

Specifications

Driver: 40mm neodymium magnet
Impedance: (Unlisted)
Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
Mic: Bidirectional boom mic, omnidirectional on-cup mic
Connectivity: 2.4 GHz USB-C Dongle, USB-A via adapter, 3.5mm cable
Weight: 0.65 pounds (298g)

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely comfortable during extensive use
+
Attractive design
+
Wired, wireless, mixed modes
+
Superb battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Music needs EQ tweaking for best sound
-
Mic picks up background noise
-
Must be powered on in 3.5mm mode

Sometimes, you just want one device that can do everything. If that sounds like you, then the Epos H3 Hybrid Gaming Headset is your speed. This is a combination wired and wireless headset that comes with a removable bidirectional boom mic plus an omnidirectional mic built into the cups. Combine that with its ability to connect via a wireless USB-C dongle (which can also connect to USB-A via an adapter) or a 3.5mm audio jack, and it can do pretty much anything other mics can except bluetooth.

It’s also superbly comfortable and looks pretty swanky, plus has long battery life. Unfortunately, the headsets do need to be powered on even when connected via a 3.5mm connection, which is a bummer. Plus, you’ll need to adjust the EQ in the Epos Gaming Suite software to get the best sound out of your music. But this mic’s sheer amount of customization options still makes it a powerful addition to any gaming arsenal.

Read: Epos H3 Hybrid review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

8. Razer Kraken V3 Pro

Best Wireless Gaming Features Headset

Specifications

Driver: Razer TriForce Titanium 50 mm
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 KHz
Mic: Detachable Detachable HyperClear SuperCardioid
Connectivity: USB Type-A dongle, headphone jack
Weight: 0.82 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight materials
+
Comfortable ear cup design
+
Detachable supercardioid mic
+
THX Spatial
+
Wide range of compatibility
 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey for the addition of wireless and haptic feedback Hypersense feature
-
Left ear cup is cluttered
-
Can’t charge and use at the same time

The Razer Kraken V3 Pro is the best headset within the Kraken range, including all the incremental updates from its predecessors while cutting the cord at the same time. In addition to the inclusion of THX spatial audio, the headset further immerses audiences with its haptic feedback technology. The wireless headset can also be used on Xbox consoles and the Nintendo Switch via its 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to PC and PlayStation via its 2.4Ghz adapter. 

Plush materials like its hybrid fabric and memory foam keep the headset feeling comfy for extended periods of use. Razer’s 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers also produce dynamic sounds for music and film in addition to gaming. Its Razer Synapse software also elevates mic and sound quality with its EQ and various presets. The software also allows you to customize its two RGB zones to match your setup. Unfortunately, you may get finger tied trying to press the right button on the left earcup, and you won’t be able to charge and use it at the same time, so make sure to take advantage of its up to 44-hour battery life. 

Read: Razer Kraken V3 Pro review

Discounts on the Best Gaming Headets

Whether you're shopping for one of the best gaming headsets that we listed above or a similar model, you may find savings by checking out our lists of best Razer promo codes, best Corsair coupon codes and best Newegg promo codes.

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.

  • abryant
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3668647/gaming-headsets.html
    Reply
  • floppyedonkey
    probably not a good idea to publish an article about a headset model that is no longer in production and has been replaced.
    Siberia 800 is no longer in production and has a new replacement model

    Doing so really eats up credibility.
    Reply
  • SkyBill40
    Or, as an alternative, you could get a far superior sounding set of dedicated headphones and get a clip on or base stand mic. I suppose it all depends on what the user prefers based on the primary focus. To each their own.
    Reply
  • ElectrO_90
    What happened to - Tech Tom's Relies On: SteelSeries Arctis 5 Gaming Headset

    Strange it wasn't mentioned at all..... and/or tested in the article like this one....

    Proof that it was a paid advert after all.
    But Tom's just won't admit it. News websites have to now say that this "fake news" is an advert...
    Reply
  • lun471k
    No mention of the Arctis 7 with its GameDAC ? it's mentioned of almost every other side.
    Reply
  • KD_Gaming
    You people need to realize when it comes to testing something like audio, 1) there is a very small selection actually tested. It's not like toms is a audio site that tests thousands. Also 2) audio is subjective, what sounds good to one person can be bad to another person, usually do to the type of cone materials used.
    Personally if your going wired you might as well get a true dedicated mic and a good normal headset (non gaming) obviously prices can jump very quickly so you have to pick better audio vs not sounding like crap sometimes depending on your budget
    Reply
  • giovanni86
    Siberia ones only lasted me 3 months. After that headset wouldnt turn on. I'd get warranty with those if i ever bought them again. Great when they worked though no argue there, Music and games. Was too good to be true.
    Reply
  • sebastien.gaggini
    The Siberia 800 is a nice headset but it can be really uncomfortable to wear for a long time.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    20977676 said:
    Or, as an alternative, you could get a far superior sounding set of dedicated headphones and get a clip on or base stand mic. I suppose it all depends on what the user prefers based on the primary focus. To each their own.

    This is the strategy I go with. My new motherboard has a built-in headphone amp (Asus Prime Z370-A) and the sound has never been better. I just use my webcam mic. It's been a great setup.
    Reply
  • ph.homer
    Old model and if your looking for a complete wireless experience, look at Turtle Beach 800x/Stealth 700 series.

    They have a headset for every device and I find these the perfect choise, still in 2018!!!
    Reply