Best Headset for CS:GO – The Ultimate Guide
It’s a known fact that the positional audio in CS:GO isn’t the best out there, but that does not mean that you should settle for a subpar audio solution. Having a good audio solution is of vital importance in any competitive game, and that goes double for a game where getting hit in the head means that you’ll be sitting out the remainder of the round more often than not.
In this list we have compiled the five most popular headsets among our analyzed CS:GO professionals, and we’ll give you the rundown on why these particular models are so popular. So whether you’re shopping for a new set of cans or you’re just curious: let’s dive in.
What makes a headset good for CS:GO?
A headset, by definition, has a mic attached to it but that doesn’t mean that you have to get a headset in order to play CS:GO. Lots of players (both professionals and casuals) opt to go for a regular set of headphones in combination with an external mic, for example.
Whatever you decide on: you will want something that’s going to offer at least decent audio quality (you don’t need super expensive high tier audiophile headphones for CS:GO) so that you can clearly distinguish the important stuff in the game. You’ll want to be able to hear what you need to hear: what kind of weapons the enemy team is using, how many people are running through tunnels, where that grenade bounced first, and so on. So even though the positional audio in the game can sometimes be confusing (Vertigo can be a real mess, for instance) it does pay off to get a decent quality set for your ears.
Aside from that you’ll definitely need a mic. Whether that’s an external one or not depends on your preferences, but if you want to be even moderately serious at CS:GO you will need a microphone to communicate with your teammates.
And last, but certainly not least, you’ll want something that’s comfortable for you. Different people have different preferences and if you’re going to be gaming for hours on end you want to make sure that your headsets remains comfortable and doesn’t pressure your noggin too much.
Ask any gaming forum about great gaming headsets and you’ll no doubt be getting tons of responses saying that you should check out HyperX’s products. Their headsets are undoubtedly among the most popular ones out there, and stuff like that doesn’t happen for no reason. HyperX’s main headsets offer a simple yet effective and robust design with great audio quality and a surprisingly decent mic, and the kicker is that they come in at a more than reasonable price point.
All of that has lead the company to an extraordinarily convincing first place when it comes to CS:GO headsets. Following HyperX we have Sennheiser taking up the lion’s share of ‘the rest’ with their high fidelity gaming headsets. The usual suspects round out the top five of the most used manufacturers, with Turtle Beach being perhaps a bit of an outlier.
Most used manufacturer
Number One: HyperX Cloud II
With the Cloud II the people over at HyperX seem to have found the perfect gaming headset recipe. What’s in that recipe, you ask? A sturdy no BS design, comfortable fit, more than decent audio quality, and a solid and detachable mic.
At first glance the Cloud II might not seem like anything super special and in many ways it isn’t, but its main draw doesn’t come from any special features or crazy cutting edge technology. The Cloud II thanks its popularity to the fact that it does everything it sets out to do in a reliable and more than decent manner.
The build quality is great, first off. It’s got an aluminum frame and a detachable mic which make it a very durable piece of kit. You won’t have to worry about anything breaking if you’re on the road to some sort of LAN party, for example.
The rather subdued and subtle design (if you go for the plain black/grey version, that is) also won’t turn any heads in case you decide to take off the mic and use the headset for your daily commute, and couple that with the comfortable headband and interchangeable ear cups and you’ve got a headset that’s going to be very comfortable for a wide variety of people. The cherry on top is that it can be used on all platforms thanks to the included connectors.
The Cloud II also boasts virtual 7.1 surround sound (only on PC though) but the headset sounds great with or without 7.1. It’s not the absolute best out there when it comes to sound quality (though the sound is fantastic for the price) and people who like to fiddle around with various EQ settings (or even have their headset change settings depending on which program they’re in) will find this plug-and-play headset lacking a bit but as far as gaming headsets go the sound quality that the Cloud II offers is definitely up there.
To round it off the mic is more than decent as well. It’s clear and not overly quiet and while it’s obviously not broadcast quality material it’ll do the job (making sure your teammates clearly understand you) without any issues whatsoever.
Summarizing: the Cloud II is an excellent ‘jack of all trades’ (don’t take this negatively) headset that’ll you’ll be able to rely on for years and years.
Most used headset
HyperX Cloud II
Sennheiser Game Zero
HyperX Cloud Alpha
Sennheiser GSP 600
SteelSeries Arctis Pro
Number Two: Sennheiser GAME ZERO
Masters of audio
The name Sennheiser might not immediately ring any bells for some gamers out there, but this brand has been working with audio ever since it was founded back in 1945 so it’s safe to say that they’ve got some experience with this kind of thing.
The GAME ZERO is a testament to what Sennheiser can do when it comes to audio. The sound quality is pretty much unrivaled by any gaming headset on the market, delivering clear and precise mids and highs while not succumbing to the bombastic bass levels that most gaming headsets seem to trend towards.
The mic is among the best in the business as well. It offers great noise cancellation and transmits your voice with remarkable precision without adding any white noise or crackling.
It’s a bit barren in the feature department though, if that’s something that you care about. The only controls on the headset itself come in the form of a general volume wheel and a mic mute, and it doesn’t offer virtual surround or anything of the sorts.
Aside from that it’s a supremely comfortable and lightweight headset, and the audio (and mic) quality that it delivers are absolutely top tier.
Number Three: HyperX Cloud Alpha
Everything that you’ve read about the Cloud II goes for the Cloud Alpha, except for the 7.1 virtual surround sound.
The Cloud Alpha does improve on the Cloud II by offering a slightly better microphone (and ditto sound, thanks to some changes in the chambering) but it does so by leaving out the 7.1 surround and additional velours ear pads that you get with the Cloud II, so depending on what you’re expecting from your headset this’ll either be an upgrade or a downgrade.
If you like to play games on your console as well then this could be a good all-round option, as the 7.1 surround won’t work on consoles anyway.
Number Four: Sennheiser GSP 600
The top end
We said that Sennheiser’s GAME ZERO has ‘best in business’ audio performance, but Sennheisers new headsets do even better.
The GSP 600 is Sennheisers top end gaming headset, featuring an adjustable headband for more comfort while gaming, as well as a new and improved set of speakers which deliver a wider frequency response. The mic has been improved when compared to the GAME ZERO (and the closely related GAME ONE) as well, making this one of the best gaming headsets money can buy at the moment.
It’s still not the most feature-rich headset on the market (look towards the GSP 550 if you prefer to have virtual surround sound, that one has 7.1 Dolby surround) but the comfortable design along with the excellent sound quality and mic make this one of the best options on the market if you really want to make the most of your sound.
Number Five: SteelSeries Arctis Pro
More high fidelity action
The usage of SteelSeries mice might have been falling off a bit in recent years, but with the Arctis Pro the Danish company proves that they still very much know how to make peripherals.
The Arctis Pro is SteelSeries’ way of saying ‘this is what a high tier gaming headset should be.’ When it comes to sound quality it can certainly play with the best out there, and with its lightweight and comfortable design (their marketing for this headset is rather thick with typical marketing speak, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver) as well as a chat mix dial and DTS Headphone:X v2.0 (that’s a mouthful) it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. SteelSeries also says that it has what’s ‘widely regarded as the best mic in gaming’ and while that might not be completely true (there are better ones out there) it’s certainly a great mic in its own right.
The Arctis Pro is compatible with all platforms and is packed with features. It’s also the only headset on this list with RGB illumination, which is cool if you care about that sort of stuff.
Conclusion: the best headset for CS:GO
CS:GO is a very ‘basic’ game by itself. It runs on a toaster, as they say, and the core gameplay has been around since what might as well be described as ‘forever,’ so you’d expect the most used headsets to be pretty basic as well, but they’re anything but.
Most headsets on this list don’t feature endless tuning options and extra dials and knobs, but they all have one thing in common and that is that they all have great sound quality. It should come as no surprise that professional gamers go for headsets with a great sound, but all of the models on this list are at least somewhat known for their great and accurate portrayal of sounds as opposed to going for a more ‘cinematic’ bass-heavy sound that some gaming headsets tend to do.
As we mentioned in the intro: having clear and precise sound is of vital importance in a game such as CS:GO, and this list seems to indicate that the pros agree with that. It makes sense as well; CS:GO isn’t a game that thrives on cinematic experiences or anything of the sort. It’s a basic (at least on the surface it is) and to the point shooter game, so you’ll want your sound to be as straight and to the point as possible.
We hope this list has been informative for you.
Thanks for reading!