Finding the best gaming headset is essential for any gamer, whether you're looking to coordinate with your squad in Gears 5 or simply want to get immersed in Pokémon Sword and Shield on the go on your Switch.
We regularly test tons of top models from the biggest peripheral brands in different price ranges, and 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 is compatible with every major platform. We also love the Arctis 1 Wireless, which delivers seamless USB-C wireless performance for just $100.
1. SteelSeries Arctis 7
The best gaming headset overall
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox one, Switch, mobile, PC | Drivers: 40mm | Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz | Wireless: Yes
The $149 SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the complete package, offering great sound, consistent wireless performance and a comfy, attractive design at a reasonable price. The headset’s 2.4-GHz wireless connectivity keeps you glued to your game without any lag or interference, while its S1 speaker drivers pump out crisp directional sound that lets you hear the competition coming.
With a stylish, subdued look in black and white, the Arctis 7 is the rare gaming headset you’ll actually want to use as your daily headphones. The device is incredibly comfortable, too, thanks to an elastic headband that adjusts to your dome and a pair of soft, lightweight earcups. Factor in a clear microphone, a 24-hour battery, compatibility with most major platforms, and lots of customization options, and you’ve got the best gaming headset overall for the money.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review.
2. HyperX Cloud Stinger
Big sound on a budget
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox one, Switch, mobile, PC | Drivers: 50mm | Frequency Response: 18 Hz - 23 kHz | Wireless: No
The $50 HyperX Cloud Stinger proves that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort when you’re on a tight budget. The Stinger’s sturdy, feather-light frame and soft, faux-leather earcups make for one of the pleasant budget headsets we’ve worn yet, and its handy on ear controls and solid microphone certainly don’t hurt either.
The Stinger also offers very solid audio quality for the price – though things can get a bit blown out at max volume. But if you’re looking for good sound within a superbly comfy set of cans for less than $50, the Stinger is one of the best gaming headsets in its price range. And if you want to enjoy the Stinger’s excellent design without wires, the $99 Cloud Stinger Wireless is a good alternative.
Read our full HyperX Cloud Stinger review.
3. Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro
The total package for pros and streamers
Compatibility: PS4/PC or Xbox One/PC | Drivers: 40mm | Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20k Hz | Wireless: No
The Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro is a premium gaming headset package built for serious gamers who want tons of controls at their fingertips. The A40 itself remains one of the best gaming headsets around, thanks to its durable, lightweight frame and soft, plush earcups as well as the excellent positional sound that pumps out of its 40-mm drivers.
But it's really the MixAmp Pro and the headset’s included software that takes things to the next level. The MixAmp makes it easy to adjust game and voice chat levels as well as switch between audio presets, and there are enough ports for serious audiophiles and streamers to connect to their favorite high-end hardware. The Astro Command Center software is incredibly robust, allowing you to tweak all sorts of audio and microphone settings in order to create a great stream or simply communicate clearly with your team.
Read our full Astro A40 + MixAmp review.
4. HyperX Cloud Alpha
Superior style, sound and value
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, mobile | Drivers: 50mm Dual Chamber | Frequency Response: 13 Hz - 27 kHz | Wireless: No
In terms of style and sound for the money, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is hard to beat. This headset’s premium design belies its sub-$100 price, thanks to a sturdy metal frame, a slick red-and-black paint job, and some of the most comfortable leatherette earcups out there.
The Alpha’s proprietary Dual Chamber drivers deliver big on sound, offering thick bass, sharp treble and strong directionality. With its world-class comfort, impressive audio and a suite of cables for use on just about any platform, the Alpha truly lives up to its name by offering the best gaming headset value under $100.
Read our full HyperX Cloud Alpha review.
5. Logitech G Pro X
Built for tournament play
Compatibility: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch | Drivers: Hybrid mesh Pro-G 50mm | Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20K Hz | Wireless: No
The Logitech G Pro X delivers tournament-grade performance for a reasonable $130 price. The headset's distinguished black design sets itself apart from the competition, in no small part thanks to its flexible headband and supremely comfortable foam and leatherette earcup options.
The Go Pro X delivers rich, direction-accurate sound out of the box whether you're playing on PC or console. It's also the first gaming headset to sport a built-in Blue microphone, allowing for extra-crisp voice chat whether you're practicing with your Apex Legends squad or streaming to your online fans.
Read our full Logitech G Pro X review.
Stellar wireless under $100
Compatibility: PS4, PC, Switch, Mobile (USB-C wireless), Xbox One (wired) | Drivers: 40mm | Frequency Response: 20 - 20K Hz | Wireless: Yes
Getting good wireless performance has never been this seamless -- or affordable. Thanks to its high-speed, discrete USB-C dongle, the SteelSeries 1 Arctis Wireless allows you to instantly enjoy wireless game audio from your Nintendo Switch, Android phone, PS4 or gaming PC, with none of the convoluted pairing or interference that comes with Bluetooth-based headsets.
The headset sports the same sleek, understated design as the standard Arctis 1 complete with a removable mic, making it perfect for playing some Switch games on the go. It also features the same powerful drivers and crisp ClearCast microphone as SteelSeries' higher-end headsets, allowing you to get immersed and play competitively with confidence. If you're looking for a great wireless headset under $100, the Arctis 1 Wireless is the new gold standard.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless review.
7. Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero
Compatibility: PC, PS4 (Wireless); Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (Wired) | Drivers: 50mm Nanoclear | Frequency Response: 12 -20K Hz | Wireless: Yes
If you're looking for a comfortable, highly customizable high-end headset that's especially ideal for PC, the new Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero is one of the best options out there. This premium headset packs an incredibly comfortable pair of gel-infused ear cushions, which are also designed to play well with glasses. The Aero's 50mm speakers sound great out of the box, and it comes with a solid noise-cancelling microphone to boot.
But where the Aero really shines is in its plethora of software and customization features. You can remap the headset's on ear controls, activate immersive 3D audio, and tweak a ton of EQ settings to find the perfect balance for your favorite game. Factor in a long 30-hour battery for PC and PS4 and an included 3.5mm cable for use on any other device you own, and the Aero is one of the most versatile wireless gaming headsets out there.
Read our full Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero review.
8. PDP LVL50 Wireless
Wireless freedom on a budget
Compatibility: PS4 or Xbox One | Drivers: 50mm | Frequency Response: N/A | Wireless: Yes
The PDP LVL50 Wireless proves that you don’t have to pay a ton to game without wires. For just $80, this wireless gaming headset offers a comfortable, lightweight design complete with all-day battery life and a noise-cancelling microphone.
The LVL50’s audio quality for both games and music is very solid for the price, and it comes in both PS4 and Xbox One variations. You won’t get the booming volume or rich customization of more expensive wireless sets, but you will get great overall performance for a great price.
Read our full PDP LVL50 Wireless review.
9. Turtle Beach Stealth 700
Xbox wireless done right
Compatibility: PS4 or Xbox One | Drivers: N/A | Frequency Response: 20 - 20K Hz | Wireless: Yes
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 is great regardless of which platform you get it for, but it especially shines on Xbox One. The Stealth is one of the few headsets with built-in Xbox Wireless, meaning that you can pair it directly to your console without the need for any pesky dongles or hubs.
That makes it especially easy to enjoy the headset’s crisp audio quality, long battery life and rich customization options via a companion app. The Stealth 700 also has Bluetooth support, allowing you to connect your phone to take calls or listen to podcasts while you game.
Read our full Turtle Beach Stealth 700 review.
10. SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
Audiophile sound for gamers
Compatibility: PS4, PC (with GameDAC), Xbox One, Switch, mobile (analog) | Drivers: 40mm | Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 40 kHz | Wireless: No
SteelSeries’ Arctis Pro + GameDAC brings audiophile-grade features to the already excellent Arctis design. As its name suggests, this headset includes a DAC (digital-to-analog converter), which allows it to deliver high-resolution 96-kHz/24-bit audio. The GameDAC also allows for a wealth of customization options, whether you want to fine-tune sound via an equalizer or customize the headset’s subtle RGB lighting.
We found that the Arctis Pro sounds great for hi-res audio files, and is notably louder and crisper than the traditional Arctis line when it comes to games. If you’re willing to pay a premium for high-res sound support and a ton of features, the Arctis Pro + GameDAC is one of the best premium gaming headset combos available.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC review.
How we test Gaming Headsets
In order to find the best gaming headsets out there, we typically test each peripheral with a mix of shooting, fighting and action/adventure games. Games such as Fortnite: Battle Royale and Soul Calibur VI give us a sense of how each headset holds up in a competitive setting, while titles such as Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2 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.
Gaming headset compatibility
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. Certain headsets, such as the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth and HyperX Cloud Mix, feature both Bluetooth and analog connections, allowing you to enjoy game sound on Nintendo Switch while still chatting with friends on Nintendo's separate Switch Online phone app.
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.