If you want to become the best you can be at pretty much any game you’ll want to take any advantages you can get, and there are plenty of advantages to be found in the sound department by finding the best gaming headset for you. A lot of people are playing with a subpar headset (or even just regular monitor or PC speakers) and that can definitely put you at a disadvantage if you’re playing against people with a good quality headset.
Sound is important in all of our analyzed games, and while it’s a bigger factor in some games than it is in others, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a proper audio setup. Having the ability to precisely pinpoint where your enemy is coming from by their footsteps alone almost feels like cheating from time to time, so a good audio setup can and will win you games.
We’ve gathered our analysts and we came up with a list of the most used headsets in our analyzed games. In this article we’ll briefly go over their features and functions, and in the second part we’ll give you five carefully selected additional picks so that you can find the right product for you, no matter what you’re looking for.
The most used headsets by all players
HyperX Cloud IICheck price20.70% of players (296)
Logitech G Pro X HeadsetCheck price14.20% of players (203)
Razer BlackShark V2 ProCheck price4.34% of players (62)
HyperX Cloud AlphaCheck price3.78% of players (54)
Logitech G Pro X Wireless HeadsetCheck price3.57% of players (51)
The most popular headsets are calculated based on 1430 professional players.
What makes a headset good for gaming?
The advantages of getting a good gaming headset are pretty obvious: you’ll not only get better (positional) audio which will help you decide fights before you’ve even seen the enemy, but it’s also much nicer to be gaming for hours on end with a headset that’s comfortable for you.
There’s also the fact that, if you want to be effective in any game that requires even a modicum of teamwork, you will want to have a microphone. It’s possible to just get a pair of good quality headphones and buy yourself a separate mic to go with it (many streamers do this) but those setups usually aren’t very mobile, and the increase of mic quality that you get with that (these external studio-style mics are normally better than the small mics you find on a headset) isn’t worth the lack of portability and convenience for most people, so the majority of gamers spring for a combo headset.
Something that you often read online is that gaming headsets simply aren’t worth the money because of the ‘gamer premium,’ and while that might be true for some headsets (you can find overpriced products in every product category though) we find that this particular genre of peripherals has been really improving over the past couple of years. The products in this article are all seriously good at what they’re supposed to do, but we’d be amiss if we’d say that you need to get a ‘gaming’ headset for gaming. If you’re someone who is gaming behind their desk for the vast majority of time it’s perfectly possible to go for a headphones + external mic combo. Even IEMs (In Ear Monitors) have been growing in popularity, and as a result we’ve got more and more very valid options in that product category.
Regardless of that: this is an article about gaming headsets, so it’s going to be primarily about those, though we did add a headphones + mic combo further down in the article if you’re interested in that.
In the first part of this article we’ve listed the five headsets that are most popular with our analyzed professionals across all games. We’ll give you a brief rundown of the features of each product, as well as give you some information on the standout features and why it could be the headset for you.
Most of the headsets that are on this list share more than a few similarities: they’re simple, reliable headsets that focus on performance and comfort over dazzling looks and features. That makes perfect sense to us: your headset is going to be resting on top of your dome for the vast majority of the time that you’re using it so it doesn’t really matter how it looks.
What’s notable is the rise of wireless headsets. Logitech and Razer’s wireless offerings are seeing a lot of adoption in the professional scene, meaning that the wireless trend might be moving over to headsets as well. Of course, going wireless isn’t as important with a headset as it is with something like a mouse, but if you’re someone who wants to do away with as many wires as possible it’s good to know that there is a growing list of high quality options.
Another thing we notice here is that all five headsets are closed-back (which means that the ear cup is completely closed off, as opposed to an open-back design where there are openings in the shell of the ear cups) and that might have something to do with the fact that professionals are often gaming in noisy environments. A lot of people like an open-back design better when it comes to sound quality as they produce a wider soundstage, but a commonly known disadvantage of that type of design is that it allows more outside noise to leak in, so this is another factor to consider when buying your next sound upgrade.
HyperX Cloud II
If you visit any random gaming forum asking for recommendations on a good gaming headset you’ll probably get at least some answers that mention the HyperX Cloud II. Despite the fact that this headset is many years old already it’s still very much the industry standard.
The Cloud II is simply a great and extremely reliable gaming headset. It comes with interchangeable earcups, a detachable microphone, Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound, a comfortable memory foam headband, and they even include an airplane adapter.
If you are looking for a no-nonsense headset that does exactly what you need it to do and you don’t want to spend a fortune on the latest and greatest gaming headset then this is definitely one to look out for. It’s industry-proven, and it’s showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.
HyperX Cloud IIUsed by 297 players (Jun, 2023)
The HyperX Cloud II has been the ‘industry standard’ headset for many, many years now. It has earned that reputation thanks to its reliable build quality, comfortable design, and friendly price.
- Sturdy design
- Two choices of earcup material
- Rather barebones when it comes to functionality
- Not the best mic
- Sound quality isn’t the best these days
Logitech G Pro X
Logitech G’s Pro line of peripherals has been made with and for pros, and while lots of brands say that in their marketing materials it seems to ring true for these products as they pop up in all of our ‘most used’ lists.
The G Pro X is the successor the the G Pro headset, and it’s an improvement on all fronts. As a consequence, it’s also seen much bigger adoption numbers than its predecessor in the professional scene.
With the G Pro X you get Logitech’s approach to a straightforward headset that’s focused on gaming performance. It looks subtle, is comfortable to wear, boasts a fantastic microphone, and delivers a nice sound as well as accurate spatial audio cues.
The G Pro X is an interesting headset on its own, but with Logitech’s software it really shines. You get an EQ to tweak the sound profile to your liking (or create different profiles for different applications) and there’s also Blue VO!CE technology that really enhances the sound that the microphone puts out.
If you’re looking for a comfortable and relatively straightforward gaming headset with some customization options at a mid tier price, then the G Pro X headset is the one to look out for.
Note: there is also the G Pro X Wireless headset. This is almost the exact same as the wired version, though the microphone is a lot worse on the wireless version. If you have no immediate need for a wireless headset, we recommend the wired version.
Logitech G Pro X HeadsetUsed by 202 players (Jun, 2023)
❝The wired G Pro X is a great piece of equipment, delivering great audio, supreme comfort, and one of the best mics in the business, all packed into a stylish and attractive design.❞
- Great microphone
- Good audio quality
- Comfortable fit
- Blue VO!CE technology improves mic quality even further
- Good build quality
- Relies on software for most of its functionality and is therefore not as suited for console use
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro
Razer headsets had been absent from our pro lists for a while, but that changed with the release of the BlackShark V2 (Pro). This headset looks a bit like the noise-canceling headsets that pros have to wear at LAN tournaments, immediately giving away that it’s designed for competitive play, and this headset focuses on exactly that.
This closed-back headset has very decent (passive) noise cancelation, great positional audio that’s tuned for gaming, and a good microphone. That’s pretty much all you need for competitive gaming, and you can further customize the sound via Razer’s Synapse program.
If you want to go wireless and get yourself a fantastic gaming-oriented headset then the BlackShark V2 Pro is one of the best options out there at this point in time.
Razer BlackShark V2 ProUsed by 62 players (Jun, 2023)
The BlackShark V2 Pro is an esports-focused gaming headset by Razer with a sturdy build quality, good sound quality, and great microphone for a wireless headset. It’s also wireless, making it a good option to consider for people who want a cordless no-nonsense headset for gaming.
- Good sound quality
- Good mic
- Sturdy build quality
- Good (passive) noise isolation
- Experience suffers on consoles
- Price tag is on the higher side
Bose QuietComfort 20
As we said in the intro: you don’t need a dedicated gaming headset to game. The Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds (often abbreviated as QC20) are proof of that. If you’re looking to game with earbuds and you want minimal distractions then these could be an interesting option for you, because the active noise cancelation (ANC) that this headset offers works great.
Earbuds are without a doubt a lot more portable than headsets or headphones, so if you’re someone who is often gaming on the go or you want an all-in-one solution, these could be it. They’re comfortable to wear, and Bose is a brand that’s a the forefront of ANC headsets and earbuds, so you know you’re going for quality with these.
If you don’t absolutely want ANC earbuds there are a lot of other options to look for in this price range, though, so we’d only really recommend these if you’re sure you want the earbuds + ANC combo.
Bose QuietComfort 20Used by 51 players (Jun, 2023)
The Bose QuietComfort 20 have been among the most popular ANC earbuds for years. They offer excellent noise cancellation, and that combined with a decent sound quality makes them a good option to consider for people who want to game with earbuds and who are often gaming in a noisy environment.
- Great (active) noise cancelation
- A lot more compact than a full-sized headset
- Very decent microphone for earbuds
- Sound isn’t amazing for the price
EPOS (Sennheiser) GAME ZERO
Sennheiser is a brand that has been making audio products for decades, so it’s no surprise that they know how to make a gaming headset as well. The brand’s gaming products have recently been moved to the EPOS brand, but it’s still very much Sennheiser’s expertise behind the headsets.
The GAME ZERO is an older product at this point in time, but it’s still very much loved within the community. It’s a closed-back (look for the GAME ONE if you want an open-backed headset) headset with a volume dial, an integrated mic, and that’s it. No EQ, no special features: just a focus on sound. If that’s what you’re looking for, then the GAME ZERO might just be the headset for you.
When it comes to the overall sound, the GAME ZERO is well-tuned for competitive gaming. This means that the bass response is a bit underemphasized (which is necessary for comp gaming, since loud bass sounds can drown out important sounds such as reloads and footsteps) making it perhaps less suited as a content consumption device, but if you want a light, comfortable headset from one of the most well-known audio brands in the world then this could be it.
Sennheiser GAME ZEROUsed by 35 players (Jun, 2023)
The Sennheiser GAME ZERO is a perfect choice for people who want a no-nonsense type of headset without compromising on the sound quality. Sennheiser has been doing audio for many years at this point, and the GAME ZERO proves that they also know how to handle ingame audio.
- Great, neutral sound
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Tweaked for gaming audio
- Good microphone
- The bass isn’t as pronounced, making it less suitable for content consumption
- Not very versatile due to a non-detachable mic and lack of customization options
Best Gaming Headset – Staff Picks
Since most of the gaming headsets in the pro list are rather similar, we thought it was a good idea to offer five more staff picks so that we have a wide range of recommendations for you to choose from. These staff picks are in no necessary order, but have rather been picked to be as varied as possible. Our goal is to offer something in this list for everyone, regardless of budget and preferences.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless – Best Premium Gaming Headset
The people over at SteelSeries have always been pretty good at making gaming headsets, but this effort from them really raises the bar tremendously. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless comes at a very high price (at least when it comes to gaming headsets; audiophiles will know how expensive headphones and IEMs can get) but you get a lot in return.
For starters, the sound quality is pretty darn good, and the same can be said for the mic. If you’re dissatisfied with either of these you can also tweak them in SteelSeries’ GG app. The customization options there are vast, giving you plenty of ways to tweak the sound to your liking.
The headset also comes with a base station. That’s used for customizing your headset’s sound and features on the fly (and it also displays information such as the battery level and so on) but it also doubles as a charging dock for the battery of the headset. Speaking of doubling: you get two batteries with this headset, meaning that you’ll have one charging inside the dock at all times. If you headset battery is running low, simply swap it out with the fully juiced battery inside the dock and you’re good to go. This way you’ve got virtually endless battery life.
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless also comes with ANC, and can be connected to your PC and a Bluetooth connection at once so that you can take calls while gaming or just leave your desk and get going without having to manually switch connections.
There’s a ton to say about this headset, but in short: this makes a strong case to be the best gaming headset out there at this point in time if you’re looking for a premium audio solution. It comes at a high price though, so if you’re on a budget you’re better off looking elsewhere.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro WirelessUsed by 8 players (Jun, 2023)
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is the best gaming headset I’ve ever used. It’s not the absolute best sounding pair of headphones that I’ve ever tried, but as a package that’s aimed at (competitive) gamers it’s hard to imagine how this could be made a lot better.
- Great sound quality
- Interchangeable batteries (two included) means basically unlimited battery life
- Comes with ANC
- Sturdy design
- Bluetooth 5.0 + USB dual connectivity
- Comes with base station
- Lots of ways to customize the audio, ranging from the mic to the overall sound
- Good microphone
beyerdynamic DT990 Pro – Best Gaming Headphones
If you want to get yourself a pair of haedphoens instead of a dedicated gaming headset, the beyerdynamic DT990 Pro is where you should start looking. This headset can be worn for days on end due to the fantastic comfort that it provides, and the sound quality is amazing, in part thanks to the open-backed design.
Of course this isn’t a gaming product, so there’s nothing here that’s aimed at gamers. There’s no software to tweak the EQ or features, and no mic. If you can get past all that then this is a great choice, and we would also recommend this to more casual gamers who like to listen to music or even produce some of their own music due to its sound quality.
The open-backed design does mean that sound leaks out easily, and as a consequence it’s also not good at isolating you from outside noises, so if you’re often gaming in a noisy environment or traveling to LAN tournaments we’d recommend something else.
beyerdynamic DT 990 ProUsed by 24 players (Jun, 2023)
The beyerdynamic DT990 Pro is an industry standard in the music scene, and its open-back design and extremely comfortable frame have been sitting on the heads of tons of music professionals over the years. It’s one of the best ways to buy yourself an entry ticket into the world of audiophile headphones, and if you’re looking to expand beyond regular gaming headsets this is a fantastic starting point.
- Extremely comfortable
- Great sound
- Affordable way into audiophile headphones
- Open-back design makes for a wide sound
- Not a lot of noise isolation due to the open-back design
- No customization options
- No built-in microphone
SteelSeries Arctis 1 – Best Budget Gaming Headset
Listing a bunch of top performing audio products with state-of-the-art technology powering them is all well and good, but not every gamer can or wants to spend the top bucks for a gaming headset. Luckily, there are a bunch of options out there for the budget conscious gamer, including the SteelSeries Arctis 1.
This headset takes the spot as the best budget gaming headset due to its low price and the fact that it can often be found on sale these days, making it a fantastic bang for your buck option. Of course there are some drawbacks that you will have to live with. You’re not getting top tier audio quality out of this one, and the build quality also won’t match the more premium offerings in this list, but if you’re looking for a budget gaming headset then this is one that should be at or near the top of your list.
SteelSeries Arctis 1Used by 1 player (Jun, 2023)
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 can be found for an incredibly low price these days, and if you’re looking for a budget gaming headset, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 is probably one of your best options. It delivers good sound, is decently comfortable to wear for longer periods of time, and its no-frills design works with any console or setup.
- Great bang for one’s buck
- Good sound profile for gaming
- Plasticky build quality
- No customization options
- Microphone isn’t very good
Moondrop Aria – Best IEMs for Gaming
IEMs (in-ear monitors) are becoming more and more popular in the gaming world, and as such it’s no surprise to see that many companies are putting out their own IEMs. These products aren’t usually aimed at gamers though, so it’s probably not a good idea to pick up just any pair of earbuds if your main usage for them is going to be gaming, so we recommend the Moondrop Aria as an ideal starting point.
In the world of IEM enthousiasts, it’s an often recommend pair due to the neutral sound profile, and that’s also what makes it very suited to gaming. There’s no thundering bass to overpower important sound cues or anything like that, and the imaging is also pretty darn good. The Aria doesn’t come with a microphone, so take note of the fact that you will need to purchase a separate microphone if you want to use these for gaming (no one likes a mute teammate in competitive shooters) but other than that the Aria should serve your perfectly if you want to game with IEMs.
If you want to dive into the world of IEMs, the Moondrop Aria is often considered to be a great starting point. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and it provides a fantastic sound for the price, with a neutral sound profile. It is an often recommended pair of IEMs for a reason.
- Balanced and neutral sound profile makes it good for gaming and content consumption
- Comes with a variety of tips to ensure a comfy fit
- Detachable cable
- No microphone
- Included cable can be a little flimsy and finnicky
Sennheiser HD800 S – Best Audiophile Gaming Headphones
If you’re someone who is in pursuit of the best audio quality that money can buy you’ll already know that this comes at a price. The Sennheiser HD800 S certainly isn’t for everyone due to its extremely high price tag, but if you’re looking at that ultra high-end section of headphones it’s hard to look past this pair. The sound quality that this pair of headphones delivers is utterly fantastic, giving you a rich and well-balanced audio experience that’s completely unmatched when compared to any other option in this list. The comfortable fit and great build quality make this an extremely premium product.
All of this comes at a cost, though, and we’re not just talking about the price. The sound imaging is stellar, with a wide soundstage that’ll allow you to pick out exactly where enemies are coming from, but that’s also because of the very open design. Passive noise isolation is practically non-existent here, and the headset is also pretty leaky. Couple that with the fact that you need a dedicated amplifier to get the best out of this product and a microphone (since it naturally doesn’t come with one) if you want to game with it and you’ve got one very expensive package.
This is only worth it for people with deep pockets who are in pursuit of the very best audio experience out there, but if you are that person you should consider this product.
Sennheiser HD800 SUsed by 3 players (Jun, 2023)
If you’re looking for an audiophile-grade pair of headphones then the Sennheiser HD 800 S might be right up your alley. If you’re focused on getting the best sound quality possible then this might be one to consider.
- Fantastic sound quality
- Great build quality
- Very comfortable
- Wide soundstage due to the open-back design
- Extremely expensive
- Open-back design means that outside sounds can leak in and that the headset sounds leak out as well
- Requires a separate amplifier to get the best out of the headset
- Not very portable
- No microphone
Best Gaming Headset – Conclusion
The world of (gaming) audio is absolutely massive, and if you move towards the audiophile side of things you’ve found yourself a very deep (and expensive) rabbit hole to dive into. Luckily, things don’t have to be expensive if you just want a good and reliable gaming headset. A lot of the options in this list land somewhere in that mid-tier section, which is where we would recommend most users to shop if they’re buying a dedicated gaming headset. You’ve got some truly fantastic options in this list, and we’re confident that everyone will at the very least find something to base themselves off of in their search for their next gaming headset.
If you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help!