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Are Premium Gaming Peripherals Worth Your Money?

Old School: The Boring Beige Mic

After using the Razer Megalodons and the Sennheiser PC 350s, I hooked up an old beige analog microphone to my computer and decided to give it a try instead of a dedicated headset to see if I was really dependant on a headset for my multiplayer gaming.

Single-player gaming is naturally a different story. If you primarily play single-player titles and don't need push-to-talk or any other sort of voice communication, a pair of headphones are a better investment than a gaming headset—that is, unless the computer is in your own space and you can hook up some decent speakers.

Predictably, using my desktop mic was easy enough—just plug it in and let Windows handle the audio processing. Unfortunately, because the microphone was low-end, it didn't do any noise reduction. Additionally, because it had to sit on my desk, it was farther away from my mouth than I liked, so my friends had trouble hearing me clearly while we were playing together. If I dared turn up the microphone gain too high, I would pick up feedback from my speakers, also sitting on the desk.

A high-end gaming headset isn't required for your gaming experience by any means, and it won't even make you a better gamer in the strictest sense (though many competitive gamers playing first-person shooters swear by the advantage of headphones). What a premium gaming headset does get you is a well-aimed balance between superior audio quality (and, in some cases, better positioning when someone is trying to sneak up on you) and superior voice quality in multiplayer games.

There's nothing more frustrating than teammates repeatedly asking you to speak up because they can't hear your warnings or instructions, and you don't want to be "that guy," who everyone else has to mute or turn down because their microphone is so poor.

In the end, it may not matter which headset you use for gaming, but if you spend much time listening to music, want to hear in-game sounds at peak clarity, and you want to be understood when speaking, you're likely better off dropping some cash for a premium headset. If you can compromise on audio or voice quality, more affordable headsets can get the job done just as well.

  • liquidsnake718
    Ive been looking at the G19 for some time now, ever since it came out, but I am not sure if I should just go for the Sidewinder x6 or the G15 which is still good and at a reasonable 80-100dollars where Im from....
    Should I get it or wait for my next build..... x6? g15?
    Reply
  • scorc25
    I recently just purchased a Saitek Cyborg keyboard. Very impressed with it, loving it the moment we touched. Ive used the first Saitek Eclipse, and then the Eclipse 2. The Eclipse 3 is out there; the Cyborg is basically just the gamer edition of it.
    Reply
  • Keyboard: SteelSeries MERC Stealth
    Mouse : Roccat Kone
    Mousepad: Roccat Sota
    Headset : Roccat Kave
    Reply
  • volks1470
    bah on fancy gaming peripherals. I'm still using a roller-ball PS2 port mouse and keyboard and they work great. Price? Free, because nobody wants cheap stuff like that!
    Reply
  • fleeb
    I am waiting for Logitech G110. Looks nice and will not cost $200.
    Reply
  • JimmiG
    Since I'm a flight simmer, I own both a CH Yoke+Pedals and a Saitek X52 Pro. I also bought an "A4Tech" laser gaming mouse - a discount brand but the mouse itself compares to any Logitech or Razer rodent...for half the price. For keyboard, I'm using a $10 no name corded keyboard :)
    Reply
  • Fortunex
    I don't need the $100+ keyboards or anything, what REALLY makes a difference in my playing is how smooth the feet of the mouse are, and how comfortable the mouse is.

    I had a $10 cheap ass mouse, was the most comfortable mouse I've ever used, but then the cord wore down and it stopped working, and I lack the skills to fix it. Bought a Microsoft Habu, didn't like it at all. Bought a Logitech G5, love it. Bought a steelseries mousepad, OH MY GORSH. My KDR in games (particularly sniping in TF2, where headshots are near essential) nearly doubled. EVERYTHING is so much smoother when compared to my (what I thought was smooth) desktop. It just glides, no more rugged, scratchy mouse movements, it's amazing.

    For keyboards, I have a Razer Arctosa, which I bought because I LOVE the flat keys, and the low profile. No need for fancy backlighting or macro keys, I just want it to be easy to type with and the keys to not be curved.

    I'd advise ANY gamer who doesn't already have a mousepad to get one.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Are they worth it eh not really

    Are they pretty just about every time.
    Reply
  • cyb34
    I got a G15 v2 and a G9. They are worth every penny.
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    Preiphereals are worth it.
    Full 7.1 sounds, 7000 DPI mouse, 9x 2560x1600 monitors, G(insert number here) keyboard, soft leather chair with fully adjustable tilt, proper desk...
    You could have a boring powerhouse, or a crappy computer but with all the fixings. It's nice having the extras.
    Reply