Best Gaming Headphone 2021 • 10 Gaming Headphones Reviews
Gaming headphones can take your gaming experience to the next level with a comfortable fit and immersive sound. Here are some of the best.
Gaming Headphone Leaderboard 2021
What is a gaming headphone?
As the name suggests, a gaming headphone is a headphone device that’s designed specifically for playing and enjoying video games. It differs from regular headphones as gaming headphones are made with a focus on game-enhancing experiences, such as comfort, microphone quality, and audio quality. Gaming headphones can either be wired or wireless, depending on what kind of device the user wants to buy.
How do gaming headphones work?
Gaming headphones work just like any headset you can buy on the market today. For wired headphones, the sound (and sometimes, electric current) transfers through the wire to produce the audio.
Advantages and Applications
Gaming headphones are a must-have for hardcore gamers and PC enthusiasts. They come with plenty of benefits for the gamer. One such benefit is being able to listen to music directly and immediately. Playing audio from your PC through external speakers can do the job, but having the sound travel directly to your ears gives a more precise and detailed audio quality. This is especially useful for gaming, as games’ sound cues and auditory elements are very important, especially in competitive titles such as League of Legends and Fortnite.
As another advantage, gaming headphones are designed for long-term use. While conventional headsets can definitely be used for long periods of time, they can start to hurt your head or ears after a while. Gaming headphones work around this by adding extra comfort to the headphones, whether it be through higher-quality padding, cooling gel, or adjustable fitting. Gaming headphones allow gamers to enjoy their favorite games without getting distracted by discomfort.
Another practical use for gaming headphones is their integrated microphone. These days, most, if not all gaming headphones come with their own microphone. This is because many online games have built-in voice chat features. Gamers also often communicate using voice chat through applications such as Discord. That’s why, if you want to improve your communication with your teammates and friends while playing, a gaming headphone is your best bet.
What types of gaming headphones are there?
Here are some of the main categories of gaming headphones:
Wired gaming headphones
These are the standard gaming headphones that you can buy at an affordable price on the market. They come with all the features of your average gaming headphone, with many of them featuring a built-in microphone. Some headphones also have built-in surround sound features for a more immersive experience.
Wireless gaming headphones
Wireless gaming headphones sacrifice a bit of performance for additional convenience. You can connect your wireless gaming headphones to your PC either with a dongle or through Bluetooth. The only real drawbacks of wireless gaming headphones are that you’ll have to charge them every now and then to use them, and the audio may not be as great compared to their wired counterparts.
Console gaming headphones
As the name suggests, console gaming headphones offer support for console devices, such as Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo consoles.
Red, green, blue (RGB) gaming headphones
While not necessarily a practical feature, there are gaming headphones that come with their own RGB lighting. Some can even synchronize their lighting with other RGB gaming products, such as those made by Razer and Logitech. RGB gaming headphones are more expensive than the usual gaming headphones, though, so you’ll have to shell out a bit more cash to get them.
How Gaming Headphones Are Tested
To find the best headphones out there, reviews and tests typically cover specific criteria that help separate great headphones from poor ones. Here are some of the most important features that reviews looked out for:
- Surround sound
- Noise-canceling features
- Comfort and weight
- Luxury features (such as haptic feedback)
What to Look for When Buying Gaming Headphones
Of course, this is the main reason why you’d want a gaming headphone. Any other feature that a headphone may have can be deemed as less important, too, as the sound quality of the gaming headphones is what helps you win games. For first-person shooter (FPS) games that rely on spatial sound and subtle audio cues, sound quality is incredibly important. Even in non-competitive games, the audio quality can help tremendously with immersion—it helps you get lost into the world of the game that you’re playing.
This is another important feature that all gaming headphones must pass. In truth, gaming headphone microphones are generally not that good, as audio quality is often much worse than many smartphone microphones.
Gaming headphones are made to feel comfortable for long periods of time, but some are better at doing this than others. You may find that certain headphones are either too big or small for your head, or maybe they apply too much pressure to your skull no matter how you adjust them. You don’t want any distractions while gaming, so a proper fit is essential.
Best Gaming Headphones Brands
- Turtle Beach
Internet Versus Retail Trade: From where should I buy my gaming headphones?
Generally, it’s better to buy gaming headphones online if possible. There are plenty of discounts available through popular sites, and they deliver the devices straight to your doorstep. Buying through retail is fine too, but expect the slightly higher prices that are used to keep the store running.
Advantages and Disadvantages Based on Customer Reviews
- Cheap material quality – When gaming headphones are made from either low-grade plastic or thin metal, many negative reviews criticize the terrible build quality of some gaming headphones
- Poor connectivity – Headphones sometimes have terrible connectivity when connected through Bluetooth, or even their own dongle; this can result in choppy connections
- No USB-C support – USB-C is a powerful and fast way to charge headphones, and newer devices are expected to have this feature by now
- Slow charging – Without USB-C, charging can be very slow, which results in gamers having to wait for them to be usable again—and waiting even longer if they want the battery to fully charge
- Bluetooth headphones can’t be used as wired connections – Some Bluetooth gaming headphones don’t offer the option to connect them directly to a PC using either a USB or 3.5mm audio jack connector, so you’re stuck with a wireless connection
- Delayed feedback – Wireless connections sometimes lead to delays in sounds, which can severely affect gameplay
- Annoying “luxury” features – Special features such as the haptic feedback found in the Razer Nari Ultimate can be annoying to some users
- Poor microphone quality – Some gaming headphones have microphones that are so terrible that it’s difficult to make out what someone is saying
- Painful ear cups – Ear cups that press too firmly against your ear or are too small for your ear to fit under can end up ruining your gaming experience
- Hard-to-reach controls – Some gaming headphones place their controls in strange locations, which can result in players having to adjust their position each time they use the controls
- Comfortable – Gaming headphones are usually very comfortable because they are designed with the feature in mind
- Sound quality – The sound quality of gaming headphones has improved in recent years, and you can find even budget headphones with decent sound quality these days
- Noise cancelation – Many gaming headphones come with their own noise-canceling feature
- Built-in microphone – The convenience of having a microphone in front of your mouth at all times makes playing games with friends and teammates much easier
- Adjustable fit – Gaming headphones allow users to adjust the length of the headphones so that most head size can use them with no problems at all
- Premium build quality – Gaming headphones made by popular brands such as Logitech feature some of the best quality materials available
- Affordable – Some gaming headphones offer many features at a low price, which makes them great budget options
- Handy controls – Positive reviews of gaming headphones praise their intuitive and easy-to-use controls, such as a simple, yet useful, volume wheel
- Bright RGB – RGB headphones that are made by companies such as Logitech and Razer have bright and colorful RGB features that sync with their products
- Long battery life – Users praise Bluetooth gaming headphones that are able to hold a charge for long periods of time without interrupting a gaming session
Interesting Facts and Advice
The History of Gaming Headphones
Gaming headphones didn’t really exist until online gaming became popular. Back in 1995, a game known as Rise of the Triad: Dark War was released, and it featured the first instance of network-based play. This led to the eventual birth of the first gaming headset, which was thought up in 1997 by four people playing a game of poker.
During the poker game, a group of friends talked about how great it would be to be able to talk to each other while playing Quake II, a multiplayer shooting game. This prompted Isabella Carniato, Paul Newson, and their other friends, to come up with the idea of a gaming headset. This idea was supported greatly by Microsoft, who worked with the team to create the product.
In 2000, Microsoft was finally able to release Microsoft SideWinder Game Voice. This device was no ordinary headset—it was the first headset of its kind to come with a built-in mic; it gave users a way to talk to each other in real-time while playing games. This was a groundbreaking innovation that changed the way players viewed online games and gaming in general.
After this, the gaming headphones industry took off. More and more companies started investing in the creation of their own version of the headset. This was mainly fueled by the growing passion for online gaming and their accompanying voice chat features. Companies also began to focus more on the sound quality of the headphones as games became increasingly immersive.
Today, gaming headphones come with more than just playback and recording features. RGB, sleek designs and comfortable ear cups have been added to further enhance gamers’ experience. With different options that suit almost any budget, talking with friends and teammates online has never been easier.
When it comes to competition, the gaming headphone market doesn’t really have any clear winners. Sure, there are popular brands that stand out from the rest, such as Razer, Logitech, and SteelSeries. However, there are plenty of other brands that are nearly or just as famous, like HyperX and Astro. That makes the market fairly fragmented in nature, which is great for customers as it pushes companies to make better and better gaming headphones each year.
And while gaming headphones are definitely popular in the West, the Asia-Pacific region is where most of the market’s growth will come from for the next few years. As the region with the largest population, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of gamers from China to Malaysia looking to buy a pair of gaming headphones.
We mentioned that gaming is what contributed to the increasing popularity of gaming headphones, but that’s not the only cause. E-sports has become an incredibly large industry and is also responsible for the demand for gaming headphones today. Many esports athletes and organizations across various video games use and advertise gaming headphones, which entices gamers to do the same.
Finally, let’s talk about wired and wireless gaming headphones. Currently, wired gaming headphones are more popular, as they occupy the majority of the market’s share. However, it is expected that by 2022, wireless gaming headphones will take over as the more popular alternative. As more responsive and efficient wireless technology is implemented in these headphones, more people will want to opt for that true wireless experience.
Install Gaming Headphones Correctly in Five Steps
10 Tips for Care
Wired gaming headphones aren’t the only devices that connect to your PC. Your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other devices each have their own dedicated wires. With so many to manage, it’s easy to end up with a bundle of messy cables. To fix this, it’s recommended that you acquire a cable bundler. Not only does it manage and arrange your wires properly, but it also makes your PC setup look much cleaner.
Simply laying your headphones on the desk isn’t convenient at all, nor does it look neat. So, if your headphones don’t come with one, be sure to buy a headphone stand or rack to keep your device in place when not in use. There are even gaming headphone stands available on the market, such as the Razer Base Station Chroma, which comes with RGB.
A separate microphone
We mentioned earlier that gaming headphones don’t have the best microphones. So, if you want to take your microphone quality to the next level, you’ll have to rely on an external microphone to do the job. Keep in mind, though, that external microphones can be expensive, and you may need more than one accessory to have your microphone working optimally. We recommend USB microphones as they don’t require any fancy devices or complicated setups to work.
If you’re running out of USB ports in your device or want a more convenient place to charge your gaming headphones, a USB hub is a great choice. It lets you move your USB ports to a more convenient spot, which is great if your wireless gaming headphones use a USB dongle to connect to the PC. There are also USB hubs that are fast-charging, so if your headphones support it, you can resume gaming in no time.
Are gaming headphones different from regular headphones?
In the sense that they offer a better gaming experience than regular headphones, they are.
Which gaming headphones are best?
It can be hard to pinpoint a single “best” headphone, as there are plenty of headphones available with their own unique features.
Are gaming headphones worth it?
Gaming headphones offer better gaming performance than regular headphones, which makes them a worthy buy for any serious gamer.
Are gaming headphones noise-canceling?
Other than perhaps budget headphones, most gaming headphones come with their own noise-canceling features for immersive experiences.
What is a good gaming headphone?
Good gaming headphones are headphones that have a combination of high-quality sound, a good microphone, a comfortable fit, and other additional features.
Are gaming headphones cheap?
Where can I buy gaming headphones?
You can buy gaming headphones from storefronts or purchase them online.
Can gaming headphones be used for music?
Gaming headphones are built with sound quality in mind, so listening to music can be very enjoyable with them.
Are gaming headphones good for music production?
Yes, gaming headphones are just as good as conventional headphones for music production, as they are built for the ultimate sound quality. You may find certain features that are better for music production from other headphones, though.
Can gaming headphones cause hearing loss?
As long as the volume is set to a reasonable and safe level, gaming headphones shouldn’t cause any hearing problems.
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