PC Gaming Headsets
Top 3 Things to Consider when Buying PC Gaming Headsets:
1. Sound Quality: There's lots of factors to consider. Is it surround sound or stereo sound? Is it true surround sound (meaning two or more speakers in each earcup) or merely 'virtual surround sound', which is a manipulation of the sound that some headsets pull off well and others do horribly. True surround sound headsets will be priced around $150 and up, where virtual surround sound headsets tend to be $70 and up. Almost all headsets below those price points are stereo only.
2. Comfort: You'll likely be wearing these gaming headsets for hours on end, so the material of the ear cups as well as clamping pressure should be critical factors in your decision. Generally fabric ear-pads will breathe more, and over-ear (circumaural) are easier to wear for extended periods than on-ear (supra-aural) headsets.
3. Ease of Use: Sometimes gaming headsets can be a headache to set up. There can be separate cords for your headphones and your mic. There can be drivers to download, sound-cards to calibrate, and if you have wireless headphones, there's even more factors. Being able to set up your headset and have it work without headaches factors into our rankings.
1. Astro A40 Gaming Headset
The Astro A40 has been the king of the hill in terms of gaming headsets for quite some time. That's why Astro continually updates the A40 model: to keep it there. The headset itself is very lightweight and comfortable to wear. The boom mic can be adjusted to fit on either your left or right ear cup, depending on preference. Sound is controlled via the Mixamp, which allows you to calibrate the game/chat volume to your personal preference. The sound quality is fantastic: it truly is the best use of Dolby's virtual surround sound in any pair of headphones. Although keep in mind that you need digital optical cables in order for Dolby's virtual surround sound to work.
Overall the best PC gaming headset you can buy. It's a bit pricey, but you get a headset that will also work with all of your consoles, including chat function on PS3 and XBox 360.
Astro A40 Gaming Headset Reviews
"While a bit pricey, the Astro A40 Wireless System is easily one of the best virtual surround-sound gaming headset systems we've ever tested."
" Although it is designed for the pros, nearly everyone in the intermediate or hardcore range can stand to benefit from its features, design, and construction."
Customize your Astrogaming A40 Headset
On Astro's website you can configure your A40 Headset to look just the way you want it. They even have custom headsets designed to work with certain high-profile games, like Assassin's Creed 3. Check them out here:
2. Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset
If Dolby's 7.1 Virtual surround got it's best representation on the Astro A40, then the Logitech G930 comes in a very close second. It's also about half the price! The headset's left Ear-cup has a number of volume controls that enable you to calibrate the sound exactly as you want it (including voice morphing). The battery life is great (about 10 hours between charges). The padded top and over-ear design means you can comfort for hours on end in pure comfort. The boom mic can be turned on and off by flipping it up. The natural noise-cancellation is also very good. The headset does not have surround sound on a Mac, so it truly is a "PC" gaming headset.
Logitech G930 Gaming Headset
This is a great review of the G930 that goes over the sound quality, as well as letting you know what the 'voice morphing' voices sound like when you turn it on. It's worth the viewing just for that!
Tritton AX Pro Gaming Headset Reviews:
"Tritton is great at creating truly immersive audio. The 8 speaker set up in this headset...will get you accused of cheating during online gaming sessions."
"If you can get past its tedious setup, the AX Pro 5.1 Gaming Headset performs extremely well and is compatible with pretty much every gaming PC and game console except the Wii."
4. Sennheiser PC 360 Gaming Headset
Sennheiser knows how to do two things extremely well: build great sounding headphones and great sounding microphones. Out of all the gaming headsets we've tested, nothing has matched or surpassed the PC 360 in terms of sound-stage and giving you that feeling of 'being there'. The downside is that, because these are open-backed headphones, there is a lot of sound bleed. It's not ideal if you play games while other people are trying to sleep. The soft ear-pads also felt luxurious, and the headset itself was nice and light, so gaming for hours on end was not a problem with this headset on.
Sennheiser PC360 Gaming Headset Reviews:
"The open-backed design creates an audiophile-quality sound experience that has to be heard to be really appreciated. "
"They're costly, compared to other gaming headsets, but not overly priced given the sound quality, which boasts strong bass and clear high tones. The lightweight design and funky volume and mic controls set off a good overall package too."
5. Sharkoon X-Tatic SR Gaming Headset
This is a gaming headset that's designed to work with all of your gaming devices: PS3, XBox 360, and PC/Mac. It has support for Dolby Surround, as well as Dolby Prologic. The mic itself is fully detachable, which is a nice feature. It supports chat function for all consoles (except for Wii). It has a great feature called "3-D sound expander", which enhances your sense of positional audio and gives you a great advantage for games like Call of Duty. All in all a diverse gaming headset with lots of features that is surprisingly easy to set up and connect.
Sharkoon X-Tatic SR Gaming Headset Video Review:
This is a very informative (and exhaustive) overview of the Sharkoon gaming headset from Chris Voss. If you want to get a sense of everything the Sharkoon gaming headset has to offer then it is definitely worth a watch.
6. Razer Megalodon Gaming Headset
The Razer Megalodon (Razer names their gaming headsets after predatory fish) offers 7.1 surround sound that gives you a true immersive experience. It comes the maelstrom audio engine, which acts as its own dedicated sound card for your headset. The benefit is that it gives you great detail as well as separation, so if there's two sets of footsteps coming towards you, you could close your eyes and be able to tell where each set is coming from. You need games that support surround sound to full realize this feature, however. It also doesn't support Mac, so for now it's a PC only gaming headset.
Razer Megalodon Gaming Headset Reviews:
While it may not be ideal for the casual PC gamer, the Megalodon is an incredible sounding and comfortable PC gaming headset that lets you fully customize your sound.
"The soft velvet ear pads with memory foam cushions makes this headset one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve ever worn."
PC Gaming Headset Poll
What's most important to you in your PC Gaming Headset?
PC Gaming Headsets under $100
Features like Dolby Virtual Surround and Dedicated Mixamps are great, but sometimes you just need a good sounding headset on a budget. No problem. These are the best gaming headsets that strip out the expensive extras and focus on three things: comfort, sound quality and usability.
Light as a feather and velour ear pads feel great on the ears. The noise-cancelling mic works well and the stereo sound quality is crystal clear. Great for gaming, teleconferencing, or working from home.
Comes with eight speakers (four in each ear-cup) and they're all angled to make you sense a 3-d environment. Turtle Beach's headsets are all light as a feather.
Essentially the same headset as the Razer Megalodon but without the Maelstrom Audio Engine. The best thing about that? If you have a 7.1 capable sound-card, you can have similar sound quality at about half the price!