Best Gaming Headsets 2018

Product Use case Rating
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Best Overall 9
HyperX Cloud Stinger Best Under $50 9
HyperX Cloud Alpha Best Under $100 8
Razer Thresher Ultimate Best Wireless Headset 8
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Best Switch Headset 8
HyperX Cloud Flight Best PS4 Headset 8
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Best Xbox One Headset 8
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Best High-End Headset 8
Victrix Pro AF ANC Best Esports Headset 8

Whether you're looking to get lost in God of War or want to hear the competition coming in Fortnite: Battle Royale, having a good gaming headset matters.

After testing tons of models from multiple brands in different price ranges, our top pick is the SteelSeries Arctis 7. This headset offers an incredibly comfortable fit, along with rich sound for both games and music and compatibility with every major platform.

If you're looking to spend less than $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is our favorite value pick thanks to its cozy earcups and impressive audio quality for the price. But gaming headsets aren't one-size-fits all; read on to see our top picks for every category.

Latest News and Updates (August 2018)

  • Turtle Beach just unveiled its new Atlas headsets, which are aimed specifically at PC gamers. The Atlas One ($49), Atlas Three ($79) and Elite Atlas ($99), all launch in September, and include such features as swappable faceplates and memory foam ear cushions.
  • Looking for some new music to test your headset on? Check out our roundup of the best video game soundtracks.

Flawless wireless functionality is just the tip of the iceberg for the SteelSeries Arctis 7. This attractive headset boasts excellent sound, deep customization features and an innovative headband that assures a perfect fit every time. You can also hook up the Arctis 7 to mobile devices via a 3.5 mm audio cable. No matter your platform or your genre preferences, the Arctis 7 is one of the best choices for it.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger redefines what you should expect from a $50 gaming headset, offering a sturdy design, incredibly comfortable earcups and convenient on-ear audio controls. The Stinger's 3.5mm connection makes it ideal for consoles and mobile, though there's also an included headphone/microphone splitter if you want to use it on PC. It doesn't hurt that the sound quality is pretty good. If your budget is tight, you won't be cutting many corners by picking up a Stinger.

The HyperX Cloud Alpha feels remarkably premium for a $99 headset, offering a striking and durable aluminum design in addition to a wonderfully cozy set of memory foam earcups that are perfect for marathon sessions. The Alpha delivers crisp highs and rich bass thanks to HyperX's new Dual Chamber technology, and includes a detachable cable and soft carrying pouch for easy travel.

The Razer Thresher Ultimate packs everything you could want in a wireless headset. It's supremely comfortable, it sounds great and it has a 16-hour battery to last through a long day of gaming. The headset's 7.1 surround sound makes it easy to hear enemies coming, while its handy on-ear controls allows you to effortlessly balance game and chat audio. It doesn't hurt that the Thresher is one of the slickest set of wireless cans around, with stylish PS4 and Xbox One variations and an included receiver stand that'll make the peripheral look great sitting next to your console.

The SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth is an elegant solution to the Nintendo Switch's problem of requiring a separate mobile app for online chat. Thanks to the headset's Bluetooth and analog capabilities, you can be wired to your Switch for game audio while getting wireless chat from your phone or PC using apps such as Skype, Discord or Nintendo's own service. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth touts the same great sound and comfort as the standard Arctis 3, and makes for a solid pair of Bluetooth headphones thanks to its unassuming design.

The HyperX Cloud Flight boasts an incredibly lightweight and comfortable frame, which, combined with up to 30 hours of battery life, results in a cozy wireless PS4 headset that you can truly wear all day. The Flight also delivers rich, accurate sound for competitive and immersive games alike, features a crisp microphone, and touts slick LED earcup lighting. The USB-powered Flight offers easy plug-and-play compatibility with any PS4, and doubles as a great PC headset.

There are plenty of quality wireless headsets that work with Xbox One, but few are as fine-tuned for Microsoft's console as the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. This set of cans sports built-in Xbox Wireless technology, meaning it can sync directly to your Xbox One without the need for any dongles or transmitters. It's also simply a great headset, with rich, bassy audio, a clear microphone and a healthy amount of sound customization options.

If you're an audiophile that also loves to game, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC gives you the best of both worlds. This PS4 and PC headset features a premium metal version of the already-superb Arctis design, and includes digital-to-analog converter that supports 96-kHz/24-bit audio and a plethora of customization options. If you want to enjoy the same Arctis Pro design without being tethered to your desk, the $329 Arctis Pro Wireless is also an excellent option.

The Victrix Pro AF ANC lives up to its ridiculous name and then some, offering a truly premium experience that’s tailor-made for competitive gamers. The headset’s supremely comfortable leatherette earcups sport active noise cancelling technology for blotting out a rowdy crowd, and can even be opened up to keep your ears cool in between matches. Factor in a slick black-and-purple design and superb sound quality, and you’ve got a pair of cans perfect for folks aiming to play their Street Fighter or Call of Duty with maximum focus and precision.

How We Test Gaming Headsets

We typically test headsets with a mix of shooting, fighting and action/adventure games. Games such as Fortnite: Battle Royale and Injustice 2 give us a sense of how each headset holds up in a competitive setting, while titles such as God of War and Assassin's Creed: Origins help us evaluate how well each peripheral captures a game's atmosphere.

We also listen to music and watch movies with each headset in order to size up its usefulness for consuming multimedia. For wireless headsets, we keep a log of how long the peripheral lasts before the battery completely drains. We use voice recordings to evaluate each headset's microphone, as well as listen back to any Twitch broadcasts we've conducted with them on.

We generally wear each headset for at least two full days to assess comfort level. We almost always get a second opinion from someone else on staff, as what's comfortable to one gamer could be unbearable to the next.

What Gaming Headsets Cost

A decent wired gaming headset will run you anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the level of quality you're after. Wireless headsets typically start in the $100 to $150 range, though you'll be paying between $250 to $300 for a high-end surround model with all kinds of bells and whistles, such as the Razer Thresher Ultimate or Astro A50.

Compatibility and What to Consider

Any headset with a 3.5mm audio jack can hook up to your PC, PS4 controller, Xbox One controller (newer models have a headphone jack, older ones require an adapter), mobile device or Nintendo Switch. Some PC-based headsets only connect to your computer via USB, while others have optional USB dongles that provide physical volume-control buttons.

If you love to tweak every last setting, you might lean toward USB-based headsets that are powered by software such as Logitech Gaming Software or Razer Synapse. Folks gaming on Xbox One or Windows 10 can utilize features such as Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic for Headphones, which allow you to enjoy virtual surround sound even on a stereo headset.

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  • mario8319
    I just want to commend the author of this article. After scrolling through at least 50 or so articles in the past few months on gaming headsets, none of them are as well written and intuitive as this one. Seriously thank you
  • Jndrabe
    What about best ps3/ps4 headset? I can only trust this site for this type of information, you guys are the best! But you didn't review best ps3/ps4 :(
  • Vlad Rose
    Man, no major headphone brands for the review. I would have loved to see how the Sennheiser or Audio Technica gaming sets compare; especially since they're in the price range of the Astro and Steel Series units reviewed.

    Other than that, a well done article with the units you had to compare with.
  • uglyduckling81
    I've had the Astro A50 for about a year I think. The battery life has diminished substantially. I get maybe 2-3 hours out of them before I need to plug in again. They really need a replaceable battery.
  • UNATCO-PC
    I was actually going to purchase a pair of Siberia Elite Prisms until I read about the numerous problems it has, such as the fualty audio cards and bad mics. Is this true?
  • MikeAndronico
    Quote:
    I was actually going to purchase a pair of Siberia Elite Prisms until I read about the numerous problems it has, such as the fualty audio cards and bad mics. Is this true?


    We've had no such problems with the Prisms so far, but if they pop up we will certainly update the review to reflect that
  • MikeAndronico
    Quote:
    Man, no major headphone brands for the review. I would have loved to see how the Sennheiser or Audio Technica gaming sets compare; especially since they're in the price range of the Astro and Steel Series units reviewed.

    Other than that, a well done article with the units you had to compare with.


    Thanks for the feedback Vlad. Working on getting review units for those brands as we speak.
  • Wima
    What about razer tiamat 7.1 or chimaera 5.1?
  • chanrpnq
    Working on getting review units for those brands as we speak.
  • Ernest_2
    Serious question. What would you recommend for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Gamer? I recently got an Xbox One Headset the XO ONE from Best Buy Black Friday. I've been using the one ear head set that came with the Halo Edition Xbox One and it was alright. But seems like it was better for listening to other people chatting vs the xo one set. I'm not looking to waste money on something that works for hearing. I need a loud set reasonby priced. The highs like whistling I can't hear those pretty much. I wear hearing aides which help, but even with them it's like someone who has a mild hearing loss. I don't want to buy and try it out then end up returning because it's not loud enough for me. I definitely do not want to become familiar with the returns dept at best buy. So any info help would be appreciated. If possible. Email me at thanks
  • Laura_11
    What about best wireless for someone gaming with a Mac who also wants to use it to listen to iTunes music on her Mac and pair with her iPhone?
  • Luis Felipe
    Sennheiser GAME ONE or SENNHEISER GAME ZERO They are excellent too
  • khingkhaz
    I purchased the astro a50 over a year ago and I was impressed. I gave it away recently and am ready to buy a next pair. Wireless is the way to go for me but as I see you didn't include the a50 are you saying that it isn't good? I have been looking at reviews and was leaning towards another pair of a50's. How soon do you think you can review and compare them? PS4 gamer.
  • StopTheNewWorldOrder
    Don't get Tiamats, the earcups wear out in about 1 year and they don't offer any replacements, I hacked mine to make them work but the PCB in the volume controller just died and have no power. They are also fairly flimsy. Thinking of going for a wired set like Sennheiser G1's.
  • Engar
    Personal experience suggests Logitech is very hit or miss. Get a bad set and you may wish you had never heard of them. I used them for almost fifteen years, but my G930 headset is in the garbage right next to their brand name.
  • Codex77
    Khingkhaz - Did you read the article? ;)

    The Astros won the best high-end award! :)
  • Hector_sachiman
    I want to buy some headsets but I do not decide between the G933 and the steelseries arctis 7. I recommend guys.
  • JediJon
    the best hands down is the Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X Audiophile Open-Air Headphones w/ Large 53mm Driver. 100 percent the best if u compare responses this is 36k others are 22k even game one which i have isnt as good for the same price. on ebay new for 130.00. your welcome
  • JediJon
    Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000X Open-air Dynamic Headphones
    These are the best headphones
  • BQ_Satria
    Please make a post about "Best Gaming Speakers 2017" I need some references