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Gaming headset - How to buy the best within budget

Updated on January 16, 2016
Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930
Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 | Source

What do you really need?

To help you easily find the best gaming headset, you must first understand your needs as choosing a headset is very much dependent upon your needs and personal preferences.

It is very important to know what you’re looking for so that you can buy the right gaming headset for yourself. What could be the best gaming headset for someone may not be the best for you.

Ok! Before we even begin to look at what could be the best gaming headset for you, you have to first determine whether you really need a gaming headset or just a headphone only.

The difference between the headset and the headphone is the attached microphone
The difference between the headset and the headphone is the attached microphone | Source

Once you have determined that you actually needed a gaming headset, I will highlight to you the different functions and features that will together make a good gaming headset.

So what is a gaming headset? The gaming headset is essentially a combination of a headphone with a microphone attached whereas the headphone does not have a microphone.

This little piece of equipment (the microphone) is what differentiates the headset with the headphone.

As such it is very important to upfront establish if you really need a headset or just a headphone.

Playing Console or PC games?

Assuming that you need a gaming headset, then the next question you will have to determine is whether you are buying that gaming headset to play console games or PC based games.

If it is for a console game, is it for PS4 or the Xbox 360 or older consoles?

Or are you looking to buy a gaming headset that can be used for both or as many platforms as possible?

This is an important point to look at as some gaming headsets that are designed mainly for the PC and may not support the console.

For example many of the earlier the Logitech and Razer gaming headsets are mainly for the PC while some gaming headsets such as the Tritton 720+ can work with PCs, PS3, PS4, Xbox360 and XboxOne.

Do you really need a gaming headset?

To answer that question, you have to ask yourself what kind of video games will you be playing.

If you are just into single player games or even multi-player games without the need to communicate, then what you really need is just a headphone.

On the other hand if you are into multi-player or team games where you need to communicate with your other team mates, then you really need a gaming headset.

The microphone of the headset will be an essential piece of equipment that you will need when you are collaborating with or working against each other in your game.

Games such as the Call of Duty or more popularly referred to as COD will need a gaming headset as you will need to communicate with your team mates.

Do you play even one team game?

Does even one of your games need you to communicate (talk with) your team mates?

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Your answer to the above poll will determine the type of equipment you will need.

Even if only one of the games you play is a team game requiring communicating with other team members, you will need to get a gaming headset.

Some headsets for example the Astro A40 allows you to detach the microphone when you do not need to use it.

OK. Now you have determined that you need a headset, lets look at the features of some of the best gaming headsets.

Features of the best gaming headsets

Logitech G35 headset
Logitech G35 headset | Source

If you only have one choice...

What would be the most important feature for you in deciding the best gaming headset?

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Here are some of the features of some of the best gaming headset:

  • Fantastic sound
  • Crystal clear microphone
  • Noise Cancellation
  • Surround Sound
  • Wireless
  • Comfort
  • Programmable Buttons

I will go into the details of each of these features of a gaming headset but before I do that, how about taking a quick poll on your right?

It would be interesting to see the requirements of different people on what they think is important for them in a good quality gaming headset.

A headset with a good quality sound is very important to the majority of people who voted in the survey above
A headset with a good quality sound is very important to the majority of people who voted in the survey above | Source

Sound

Sound is a very important element for a console or PC gaming.

As such making the right choice in getting a good headset with the most superior sound is a must have for both the casual and serious gamer as sound really completes your gaming experience.

Based on the on going survey, a majority of people chose to have a great sound if they had only one choice.

Crystal sound queues like footsteps, gunfire and other indicators will give you that competitive edge you need to take your game to the next level.

Depending on the types of games you play, you may want to go for simple stereo or immersive 7.1 channel surround sounds.


A microphone is required if you need to communicate with other team member
A microphone is required if you need to communicate with other team member | Source

Microphone

This is an absolute necessity when you play games such as COD whereby you need to communicate with your team members.

You need to have a headset with a microphone that gives you crystal clear reception so that teammates and opponents can hear you loud and clear to avoid any miscommunications.

Look for a microphone attached to your headset that is adjustable to give you the flexibility to position it in the way that is most comfortable to you.

Some gaming headsets allows you to change the position of the microphone from the left to the right and vice versa.

Look for noise cancellation headsets if you don't like too loud noise
Look for noise cancellation headsets if you don't like too loud noise | Source

Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation gaming headsets are more for those gamers who prefer the volume to be not so loud.

The construct of a noise cancellation headset is more towards the blocking out of sounds than quality.

However if you enjoy playing your games at high volumes, then a noise cancellation feature may not be important for you because the loud noise will drown out all the other sounds!

Noise cancellation headsets can sometimes be heavier due to the material need to make the earpiece.

Surround sound systems gives you the "life" effect
Surround sound systems gives you the "life" effect | Source

Surround Sound

If you are looking for that "live" effect when you are playing your games, then a surround sound gaming headset is an absolute must.

Surround sound headsets comes in flavors of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.

The 5.1 surround sound has six audio channels per ear cup while the 7.1 has an additional two for a total of eight. The headphone software positions each channel at the correct locations to reproduce multi-channel content the way developers designed them and this gives you the immersive feeling.

However debates continue as to whether there is much discernible differences between the two types of surround sound system. Again this is another personal preference.

If you have the budget and the difference is not so much, then just go for the 7.1 system; otherwise settle for the 5.1.

Wireless gaming headsets gives you the convenicnce
Wireless gaming headsets gives you the convenicnce | Source

Wireless

As it is there are more than enough wires all over the place.

Hence, a wireless headset is especially helpful because you don't have to worry about connecting the long headset wire all the way to the back of your PC.

Even if you have headset connectors on your gaming keyboard it is always a hassle to have wires dangling down from your head!

As such many gamers prefer wireless headsets. However others still prefer to have their wired headsets connected to their PC or gaming keyboard. As I mentioned before, it is mainly due to personal preferences.

You must seriously look at getting a comfort headset if you intend to game for long periods of time
You must seriously look at getting a comfort headset if you intend to game for long periods of time | Source

Comfort

If you are a serious gamer and you play your games for hours on end, then comfort is very important.

Some headsets can be heavy due to the material it is made from. For example, for noise cancellation etc.

Initially when you put on these headsets you may feel fine. However as the hours drag on, you may feel your head getting heavier and heavier!

Good padding on the headbands and better constructed ear cups will give you a more comfortable wear over a longer period of time.

Programmable buttons on gaming headsets makes it easy for you to make switches
Programmable buttons on gaming headsets makes it easy for you to make switches | Source

Programmable buttons

Some headsets comes with programmable buttons for making adjustments to control chats, built-in voice modulating software, and other gaming functions.

These programmable buttons gives you a one-touch control over in-game elements like music, voice morphing and other functions.

If you are a serious gamer you will never let your guard down no matter in what situation. As such, any feature in your equipment that makes it convenient for you to manage without any distraction is always a plus.

What are the best gaming headsets?

Here is a summary of some of the best gaming headset that are available within their price range in the market today.

Unfortunate not everyone has unlimited budget. As such I have group the best of the gaming headsets within a price range.

This is to enable you to take the appropriate choice to get your best gaming headset that is within the budget; bearing in mind that if budget is no issue, then the choice would be very easy.

Here are some of the best gaming headsets:

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What is your budget for your ideal best gaming headset?

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I have set up a table below to give you some of the best gaming headsets based on the price range that is within your budget.

Summary of the best gaming headset in their respective price range

Criteria
Product
Approx Price*
Best PC gaming headset less than $50
Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 PC Gaming Headset
$40
 
Universal PC/Stereo Gaming Headset - Yapster
Less than $15
Best gaming headset between $51 and $100
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset
Less than $70
 
TRITTON Kunai Stereo Headset
Around $80
Best gaming headset between $101 and $150
Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 with 7.1 Surround Sound
Around $110
 
TRITTON 720+ 7.1 Surround Headset
Less than $150
Best gaming headset between $151 and $200
Tritton Warhead 7.1 Dolby Wireless Surround Headset
Around $150
 
PDP Afterglow Dolby Prismatic Wireless Headset
Around $170
Best gaming headset between $201 and $300
Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510 Premium Wireless Dolby Digital Gaming Headset Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510 Premium Wireless Dolby Digital Gaming Headset
$200
 
ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset
Around $280
*Please note that price ranges are as at the time of writing and may be subjected to change by the merchant anytime without notice. As such you are adviced to check them out.

Best PC gaming headsets less than $50

Don't worry, even if you are on a tight budget. That does not mean that you cannot enjoy great sounds as you will find that these two gaming headsets really gives you value for your money.

Don't underestimate them as they are pretty solid and give you excellent sounds even though they are under $50.

Universal PC/Stereo Gaming Headset - Yapster TM-YB100A8211; Black
Universal PC/Stereo Gaming Headset - Yapster TM-YB100A8211; Black

Even though sound quality cannot stand up to the top end gaming headsets, you will be amazed at the quality of sound this headset produces.

The sound of my teammate in the medal of Honor discharging his weapon near me was so realistic that I nearly jumped off my chair.

If you have a PS3, you could with a little bit of tinkering (by adding adapters etc), easily use this gaming headset on a PS3. An exceptional value for something that is at less than $20.

 

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 PC Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 PC Gaming Headset
Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 PC Gaming Headset

The sound quality of this Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 is amazing and incredibly crisp.

You don't hear background sound or static and music sounds excellent.

If you play FPS games you can even hear each footstep and bump which makes the game even more realistic.

This headset is an exceptional value at less than $50; especially if you are on a budget or you are going to use this as a temp until you get the top end headset that you are saving for.

If you are deciding between the Yapster above or this, go for the Z11 if you can spare a few dollars more.

 

Best gaming headset between $51 and $100

Two of the best gaming headsets that falls within this range are the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22 and the TRITTON Kunai Stereo Headset.

The Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22 at around $70 is an affordable priced solid headset.

At this fantastic price, I was not expecting Dolby surround sound but that does not matter as it has really solid stereo sound quality.

Its bass and tremble sounds are clear and crisp with good volume control and chat quality.

On top of that it has a very long cable to the controls.

TRITTON Kunai Stereo Headset for PS4 and PS3 - Red

The TRITTON Kunai Stereo Headset is also another good headset in this price range. It has crystal clear highs and mids with excellent bass.

When you put the TRITTON Kunai Stereo headset on, you could almost feel like you are in a movie theater.

If you are looking for a multi use headset, you can detach the mic and use the headset as a headphone to listen to your music.

Best gaming headset between $101 and $150

The Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 and the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 are great buys in this $101 to $150 price range.

One thing you will notice about the the Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 is that it is very comfortable. It has a good wireless range and battery life.

Even when the battery finally runs out, you could continue to use it as a corded headset before getting the battery replaced which is a big plus for me.

The sound quality is top notch. You will no difference in the sound quality when plugged in or wireless. The G930 delivers what it promises.

TRITTON 720+ 7.1 Surround Headset for PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360 - Black TRITTON 720+ 7.1 Surround Headset for PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360 - Black

The Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 wired headset has a very good build quality and is easy to put together. With the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4, you will find yourself literally in the middle of the game as the sounds of the games covers your head.

Bullets whizzing by, pistol cocked, hand grenades exploding, bird chirping, waterfall... all these sounds so real with the PX4.

With the COD, you can literally hear anyone from any direction and thus gain a big advantage over the enemy.

You can easily pinpoint their exact location by direction and whatever sound they make.

Best gaming headset between $151 and $200

Right now the Tritton Warhead 7.1 Dolby Wireless Surround Headset is a good buy at Amazon as Amazon is giving away nearly 50% discount on this headset to gain a heads up on the intense competition between similar priced headsets. (Do note that prices are subjected to change without notice).

Due to the discount, it has actually become very cheap for the kind of build quality, overall looks, and the quality of the sound. The sounds are crystal clear and you can pretty much hear everything in your game. An excellent buy especially if you can still get the 50% or more discount!

If you like a comfortable and cool headset with afterglows, then PDP Afterglow Dolby Prismatic Wireless Headset is a good one to get. The sound is good as well.

PDP Afterglow Dolby Prismatic Wireless Headset - PS4/PS3/Xbox 360 PDP Afterglow Dolby Prismatic Wireless Headset - PS4/PS3/Xbox 360

Best gaming headset between $201 and $300

Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510 Premium Wireless Dolby Digital Gaming Headset's eight different sound presets - from footsteps, bass and treble boost, surround sound makes it very convenient to achieve the sound effect for the situation. The use of the footstep preset in Black Ops 2 was extremely useful as I can hear the footsteps that are hard to hear from a perfectly good distance. Overall the sound on this headset is very good.

The mic is also very loud and clear with no problems of other players hearing my voice. It has also 8 presets for individual chat volumes. Batteries last quite long on this headset. Depending on your use, it can last for about 12-15 hours.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510 Premium Wireless Dolby Digital Gaming Headset

Many gamers who have used many other headsets before seems to like the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset very much; with some claiming that it was the best headset that they have owned in this price range.

If you are an avid gamer and truly enjoy your games, then the Astro A50 may be a good investment to make.

ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset

The Astro A50 is an excellent headset. However if you prefer to have a wired headset, you may want to check out its older sibling, the Astro A40 which is a wired headset.

If you are unsure whether to buy the Astro A40 or A50, check out the link to find out the difference between Astro A40 Vs A50 in this easy to understand comparison review.

What else do you need?

In order to ensure that you get to fully enjoy your games, make sure you have the right equipment as a weak link in a chain will make the whole chain as weak as that link.

Here are some of the things that you might want to look into in order to get that user experience and satisfaction you are looking for:

If you are playing online games...

then there are additional factors that you need to look at. Two important ones are your cable modem and router.

By now you would have got your best gaming headset and also ensured that you do not have any weak links in your "gaming chain". Enjoy!

Trying to find the best gaming headset can sometimes be very confusing...
Trying to find the best gaming headset can sometimes be very confusing... | Source

But... you are sill trying to make up your mind?

Still trying to figure out what could be the best gaming headset to buy?

That is bad news but don't worry. The good news is that you are not alone.

This is because nowadays trying to buy even something simple like a headset can be so ridiculously confusing. I understand where you are coming from as I was once like that too. So I am going to help you out.

The first thing to do is to make that decision that you are going to buy that gaming headset NOW! You have gone through the points and you know what is good for you. If you procrastinate, you will forget.

The next thing you have to do is to decide how much you want to shell out for that headset. As I mentioned in the beginning, if you have unlimited budget, then the decision is very easy. Unfortunately not many of us has that luxury!

So I am going to give you a shortlist of shortlist based on price range. Decide on your budget and take your pick now!

If your budget is less than $50, then click on the link below to go for:

between $51 to $100, get

between $101 to $150, at the time of writing, Amazon has discounted this to around $110. Click on the link below to get

between $151 and $200. The Triton Warhead 7.1's original price was around $300. However due to intense competition, it has even gone below $150 at the point of writing.

However I am placing this headset in this price bracket as I felt its place is in this $151 to $200 price bracket.

As such, this is a fantastic deal. Click on the link below to get it:

ASTRO Gaming - A50 Wireless Headset [2013 model]
ASTRO Gaming - A50 Wireless Headset [2013 model]

This interference free wireless headset is a dream come true for gamers who wants surround sound without clutter. You get clear and well balanced highs in the mix which makes a huge difference when gaming as it enables you to hear enemy foot steps and equipment rattles with robust lows to provide with some serious vibration when desired. Excellent!

 

Oh...if you are one dude who has plenty of money to spend and is looking for something more than $300 to spend?

Well, I would advise that you use the extra money for something else because the difference will not be significant enough for our human ear to differentiate.

I hope you will find this hub on how to select the best gaming headset helpful.

Did you managed to make up your mind on the best headset?

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If your answer is yes to the above

Which price range is your gaming headset?

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Share with us your ideal gaming headset and why?

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