Top Ten Gaming Headsets 2014

Our Top Gaming Headsets

Top Product
Overall Rank: 2
Best Sound Quality
Top Product
Overall Rank: 1
Best Overall Headset
Top Product
Overall Rank: 4
Best Wireless Gaming Headset

All gamers are generally looking for the same thing – total game immersion. To achieve this, you need a great headset with excellent sound quality. Read this list to find the best headset, whether you’re looking for surround sound, stereo sound, wired or wireless headsets, expensive, or low cost.

We found the design of this Logitech to be quite comfortable and it doesn't hurt that it looks cool too. The ear cups didn't become uncomfortable after several hours of online gaming, and they swivel 90 degrees which we think made them more comfortable as time went on. And its sound quality really impressed us. Whether playing a first-shooter game, or in a multi-player setting, we found no problems hearing the smallest of noises, to other characters, and our online teammates - nothing was lost with this headset. Even this headset's noise cancelling boom mic worked surprisingly well and actually did...See more

Unboxing of the Logitech G430

.. cancel out background noises and distant voices, leaving our voice sounding loud and crystal clear. We also like that the mic can easily be folded up and out of the way when not in use.Another cool feature with this Logitech is its theatrical 7.1 Dolby surround-sound capabilities - this further more made our playback sound phenomenal; this is the stuff they use in the movies, so you'd expect it to sound great, and it does. However, there are a couple of down sides to using the 7.1 Dolby surround sound here. One, it can eat up a lot of USB bandwidth that can cause driver issues and computer lag. And two, you have to go to Logitech's website and download the free Logitech Gaming Software in order to even use the 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound - this takes time, but at least its free, and the download only took a few minutes. We should mention that the cable for this headset offers a small box switch that can be clipped to your shirt for easy volume control and muting functions; but at the end of the cable there are two 3.5mm plugs, one for the headphones, one for the mic. This means you can also use this headset with smartphones, consoles, and other headphone jack devices. The headset does come with a USB converter. Bottom line, if you're a serious gamer looking for a complete audio immersive headset this is the one you want.

  • comfortable design
  • noise-cancelling mic that easily folds up and down
  • intense 7.1 Dolby surround sound
  • sound controls on the cable
  • PS4, Windows 7, Windows 8, Vista
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • easy volume and muting controls
  • good sound
  • Not Macintosh compatible
  • available only in blue color
  • high bandwidth usage in surround mode
  • Not the most durable headset
  • requires custom software for surround mode
  • some users report software issues

If you're looking for a PC compatible headset with surround sound and you have some extra money, check out this Razer Megalodon headset. If you're looking for a PC compatible headset with surround sound and you're on a budget, do not check out this headset. The biggest beef we have with this headset is that it costs so much, and there are way better headsets available that cost half the price. And the protruding microphone can easily be folded up when not in use, which also makes it great to use on other....See more

Razer Megalodon Gaming Headset Review Probably the best thing about this headset is its Malestrom Audio Processing Engine Unit that comes in the form of a small box control panel attached to the headset cord. It's nice because no drivers need to be installed with this headset, instead you use this unit. We found it easy to control the volume and microphone settings and we think its cool that you can adjust the fade, which came in handy while playing FPS games when we wanted to boost the background noise and lower immediate noise - it's pretty nice. Though it works great, the overall design and placement of this box is extremely awkward and doesn't have the option to clip to your shirt, so we left it in sitting our lap while testing which isn't the end of the world - but for the price, this design could have been thought out a little more. This headset is okay, but for us it takes too much time to calibrate all the settings. But that's the thing with this headset, it's just okay - nothing ground breaking or earth moving here. If you like modifying setting and have the time to do so, then we don't doubt this headset would be a great match for you. And the surround sound does sound really good and even the bass levels are worth mentioning, which both were great during game play as they pick every little sound made. But like we said before, we think there are better headsets that function just as well as this Razer that do not cost as much. And with a mic that doesn't seem to work properly with every use, we will not be recommending this headset to our friends.

  • 7.1 surround sound
  • comfortable design
  • comes with carrying case
  • plug and play
  • controls on cable
  • PC compatibility only
  • USB only
  • Expensive
  • Complex software
  • USB only

This is a neat looking headset that comes packaged really well, and unit specifications are listed easily on the packaging - but that's doesn't really give insight to the headsets overall ability, which is pretty solid. Design wise, the headset is okay. It seems sturdy enough and we liked that it stayed firmly on our head throughout testing, but if you're sensitive to headphone pressure, then you might want something that offers a little more room as this can become uncomfortable after prolonged use. The only off putting part for us are the earcups which are made out a velvet...See more

GameCon 380 Headset Review and Mic Test

...feeling material that become warm over extensive use - personally we prefer leather type casings because they stay cooler. At least the earcups themselves can be folded down, and overall the headset is pretty flexible. Like most of the other headsets on our list, this one has a microphone that be folded, but unlike other headsets it actually can be adjust at varying degrees which are nicely printed on the side of the left earcup. On the backside of this ear cup there's a volume control wheel and a mute switch for the mic, which for us worked smoothly and we even prefer it to dangling volume controls - so that's a plus. The biggest selling point for us is the sound quality, which is strong enough to pick up noises we've never heard before when playing games, since the bass and treble levels are superb. So if you're a game aficionado this headset will be a great option for you, and even if you're looking for an everyday use headset we highly recommend this headset, especially considering its friendly price. The only real downside to this Plantronics headset is that it is not USB, nor does it have the option as it is strictly 3.5mm jack only. The verdict is this: the GameCon 380 is a no-nonsense headset that is durable with great sound quality that functions great for gaming other uses. If you're looking for a headset that will get the job done without breaking you at the bank, check this one out. The microphone itself works pretty well, but it is not a noise-cancelling mic and we definitely noticed background and even a little white noise leaking into our recorded audio - which isn't a huge deal unless you're specifically seeking out a noise-cancelling microphone, but for everyday use like with Skype, this headset is fine.

  • low cost
  • high quality surround sound
  • convenient volume controls on earcup
  • plug and play
  • durable
  • among the world's most popular
  • thousands of positive reviews
  • no software to install
  • no USB connectivity
  • PC only
  • not comfortable after long use
  • not the best quality sound reproduction
  • simple usage
  • universally compatible 3.5mm jack

Looking for PC Gaming Headset that is compatible with Playstation 3 and XBox 360? Then look no further, and check out the Sharkoon X-Tatic gaming headset! The headband is cushioned and easily adjustable, and the earcups fit nicely around our ears - even though the earcup covers are made out of a material that was a little itchy for us, but at least they did not get very hot after several hours of testing. We also like the microphone, which is conveniently detachable so it can be removed when don't need it.See more

A look at the Sharkoon X-Tatic

But when in use the mic works really well, even though it does not have noise-cancelling capabilities - white noise and background noise pickup were minimal here. The sound quality is decent and has 5.1 Dolby surround sound, but there are other headsets on our list with far superior sound quality that cost less money. But for us, the surround sound worked best when used in conjunction with a PS3 or XBox since they both have their own optical audio outputs - but when used with a PC the surround sound was gone, and all we got was stereo sound. We took a lot of time trying to fix this issue and after some research, apparently, with some PCs you need a separate sound card in order to benefit from the surround sound - a cost that ranges anywhere from $60-$100. So if you're concerned you're going to have to spend more money on hardware to use with a PC, invest in another headset. If you're just looking for a headset for your gaming console, then this is great.

  • comfortable
  • PS3 and XBox compatibility
  • superior sound quality
  • detachable microphone
  • durable
  • easy to use
  • uncluttered controls
  • no surround sound with PC
  • microphone is not noise-cancelling
  • pricey
  • ear padding too thin for some users
  • microphone only on left side, cannot be flipped
  • optical connection required for surround sound

Creative has a pretty decent track record with producing top-notch gaming headsets, and this HS-800 doesn't disappoint too badly, but there is one flaw - the microphone. It seems great to the eye - it is detachable and claims to be noise-cancelling, and is fairly flexible and stays in securely, but we had an issue with our audio staying consistent. Sometimes it would record normally, and the next time the audio would be muffled with background noise leaking into the recording. But when the mic worked, it worked great, but again we found it to be unreliable.See more

Fatal1ty Gaming Headset Review

We suggest if you're looking for microphone reliability to look elsewhere. The good things about this HS-800: its a comfortable design even with extended use, though the velvet ear pads are a total turn off for us. The cord is really long and also sports volume control buttons with a mic mute switch, and the headset has an in-line sound card, so you don't have worry about putting out money for extra hardware in order to enjoy its surround sound capabilities - which is quite an awesome experience. Sure, the mic could be better for us, but the sound quality totally makes up for that downfall. Well, let's backtrack a bit - the sound is great for gaming, but not so great for listening to music because it just isn't designed for that purpose. When we used this headset for gaming, the first thing we noticed was the bass, which seems to have an extended response, which we really love about this headset - in fact, it's probably our favorite thing about it. It easily picked up the smallest of noises like footsteps, and really amped up louder noises like flying helicopters, which is probably due to its X-Fi Crystallizer which just adds detail into compressed audio. If the microphone worked better we would recommend this headset with much more gusto, but unfortunately its the weakest link here.

  • good sound quality
  • comfortable for extended use
  • volume controls on cord
  • good bass response
  • flexible and secure microphone
  • low price
  • lightweight
  • velvet ear pads get hot
  • microphone is sub par
  • no USB connection
  • not the most durable

We think we've found the perfect gaming headset for those of you on a serious budget. For its low price it looks great and performs, well, averagely - but for a budget piece, you definitely want to check out the Turtle Beach Z11. Turtle Beach is pretty legit too, as they have been in the game since 1975 - for kids these days, that might as well be the same era as the Egyptian Pyramids. The first thing we noticed about this headset is its design quality. To the eye, it's really sleek and we love that the headband is faux leather and the earcups fit nicely on our ears as opposed to covering them...See more

A look at the DS-510

... which we prefer but everyone has their own preferences. However, it does feel a little on the cheaper side, meaning if you really wanted to you could easily snap it in half, but you could also do that to lots of high quality headsets, so that doesn't bother us - mostly because we take care of our nice things. Performance wise the Z11 is good, as it offers 50 millimeter speakers that are acoustically angled for "crisp, realistic directional audio" - which it is, to a point. But if you are looking to hear flies farting in the wind, you just won't with this headset. That being said, it does offer decent sound ranges and the bass was pretty competent when we tested it through gaming online. And just to compare, it's about ten dollars cheaper than the Creative HS-800 headset reviewed above, and the sound is much better here with the Z11, but it's not as good as the Logitech G430 which costs thirty dollars more. Wait, the Logitech G430 sounds better than the Z11? Then why is the Z11 ranked better than the G430? Because sound quality aside, it functions just as well as the G430, and it costs less too. Other notable features about the Z11: it has a 3.5mm connector, which means you can use it pretty much on any device with a 3.5mm jack - but we only tested it with our PC and smartphone which both sounded good. It also has an in-line controller with volume and mic mute controls, and the microphone itself is really flexible and super easy to adjust, though it does make a loud clicking noise every time you try to move the mic up and down, which our audio picked up immediately. But the mic itself is unidirectional so it did a great job at picking up our voice and cancelling out background noises - there was a little background noise, but nothing to write home about. The Z11 sound quality is still very decent, and perfect for nearly all types of games - but if you're a serious, refuse to come out of my room until I have defeated everyone, gamer, then you probably don't want an average headset. So, if you're downgrading from a much more expensive headset, you are going to notice the sound quality difference. But if you're purchasing a headset for the first time, then the Z11 headset is more than perfect for you. Got it? Cool.

  • best value
  • comfortable
  • decent sound quality
  • mic with flexible boom
  • cable length is 4ft
  • universally compatible 3.5mm connector
  • good quality microphone
  • great first gaming headset
  • feels a little cheap
  • not for serious gamers
  • clicking noise when moving microphone

The greatest thing about this headset is also the worst thing about this headset: its wireless capabilities. It sounds great in theory; you're not tethered to your desk with a long adapter cord, and it has a forty foot range. But what happens when after seven days, five hours, and thirty seconds of playing whatever intense game you're into, and your internet connection craps out and so does the headset?... Face, palm. Okay, we take that back - the wireless capability is not the worst thing about this headset, in fact it's awesome, but just understand that random disconnections...See more

A look at the DS-510

.. Can and probably will happen to you with this headset. It's basically the same thing as dealing with dropped calls; sometimes they happen, sometimes they don't. For us, we didn't have any issues with losing the connection, but do some research yourself and see how common of an issue it really is. Moving on now... The G930 also has a USB transceiver that connects just like a flash drive, and the headset itself offers a noise-cancelling boom mic, which for us worked great - audio came in loud and clear with no noticeable static as we tested it through Skype, and our receiver had no problems with hearing us and even mentioned how good the audio was. The coolest feature we liked about the mic is that when it is rotated up, it automatically mutes - cool! So if you're looking to buy a headset with more use for a microphone, this is a great headset for you. We especially liked the easy to use volume control positioned on the left ear cup. Also positioned on the left cup are three programmable G-keys, which we unfortunately did not test because though we do like playing games, we certainly do not claim to be gamers, and trying to configure gaming keys is a foreign land to us. But all the power to you if you know how to use this function! Sound wise, this headset meets the mark. You can either use the 7.1 virtual surround sound which does make a bigger difference in quality than just using it in stereo - but, good news, they sound great in normal stereo mode if you're not into surround sound. That being said, serious gamers should take note of the G930 wireless headset. Though we do understand many people have countless issues using this headset and maintaining a wireless connection, when it is connected and working, it works like a dream. And a reason it has made our top 10 list is because of its reliability and overall sound quality.

  • wireless
  • noise-cancelling microphone
  • comfortable
  • great sound quality
  • holds charge for 10 hours
  • programmable G-Keys
  • looks cool
  • microphone automatically mutes
  • possible wireless disconnections
  • high price
  • complicated on-headset controls
  • usb transceiver required

If you're looking for a high quality, multiple use headset but don't want to spend a fortune, then check out this Yapster Universal Gaming Headset. A huge reason we like this headset, besides the fact that it looks cool and makes us feel like a USS Enterprise employee, is that you can use it with several different platforms and not strictly gaming - its also great for just watching movies, listening to music, or online chatting. The design is extremely comfortable because it is so lightweight, and the ear cups offer just the right amount of plush - and faux leather covering mean our ears stayed relatively cool after prolonged testing.See more

A look at the DS-510

After playing a few PC games we have concluded that the sound quality is really strong and loud. We actually find it hard to believe for such a low cost headset to produce such good bass levels, which for some might even be too much bass. And when used in conjunction with Skype, call quality is nearly perfect. We also like the drop-down mic that is really flexible and easy to adjust next to or around your mouth, and it can be easily swung up and out of the way when not in use. But we can definitely see the mic being the first thing to go with this headset - great design, but we are concerned how it will hold up after time. We know some people who like to have devices for all different reasons; a headset for gaming, a microphone strictly for audio, an extra headset just for listening to MP3s - costs that can accumulate quickly. But with the Yapster, you really can have it all with this one piece, and at an awesomely low price. This is probably the number one reason this headset even made our list, and that's because anyone can use. Of course, it is geared towards gamers and we thinks gamers will be very pleased with this low costing headset, but even if you're not a gamer you can seriously benefit from what this headset has to offer.

  • low cost
  • great sound quality
  • good quality boom mic
  • comfortable
  • volume control on mic
  • universally compatible 3.5mm jack
  • mute button
  • bass might be too much for some people
  • long cable can get tangled
  • flexible boom might deteriorate over time
  • 3.5mm jack only
  • no noise cancellation

A for comfort. A for versatility. A for sound quality. F for color options - black with green and white camouflage - really? Not that color options even hinder our review, because what really matters is what you get out of a headset, and with the Turtle Beach X12 headset you get lots of goodness. The flexible boom mic seems sturdy enough, granted you don't abuse it, the headband fits great, and the ear cups pair nicely with their breathable mesh covers. It doesn't offer surround sound, but instead has amplified stereo sound, which we think sounds just as great as surround sound, with subtle differences.See more

A look at the DS-510

There are two 50mm speakers that captures amazing game sounds, and communication is loud and clear when using the microphone. We should mention though that while the microphone works great, as we had no issues with the receiving end hearing us or complaining of static, it is not a noise-cancelling mic, so you're definitely going to get background noise in your audio as we did. If you prefer a noise-cancelling mic, then look elsewhere. This headset has some great features we think gamers will enjoy. For starters, this headset offers Bass Boost, which is supposed to kick up the audio to add depth and realism to in-game sounds. We honestly couldn't tell the difference between using the bass boost or regular stereo, but the bass is still there, so we can't complain about it. With the microphone, users can choose to hear their voice in the headset as to avoid shouting without realizing it. Where we see some people benefiting from this feature, we just get too distracted by hearing our own voice. But for us, the greatest gaming features is the sound control dongle. With this dongle, you can control the volume settings, but you can also control what you want to hear. Wish you could turn down the background noise to hear your friends better? No problem. Wish you could turn down the chat and turn the game sound up? No problem! This function is really easy to use and works great, but the only slight annoyance is how close to the headset it is. The dongle dangles next to your face. If it were positioned lower on the cord, or even onto the left ear cup it would be more appealing. With every slight turn of our head the dongle moved with it to where we were noticing the dongle all the time - a little irritating after prolonged use.

  • microphone monitor lets you hear your own voice
  • extra sound control dongle
  • cost friendly
  • comfortable
  • that dongle is right up in your grill
  • no clips for the dongle

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The reason the Plactronics GameCon headset is number one on our list is because its sound quality rivals even the most expensive counterparts, without being expensive. It also looks really high-tech which doesn't hurt our review, and seems durable enough for people looking for a long term headset commitment. Design wise, there's lot less plastic here, and the ear cups glide easily on wire rails for size adjustment. Also on the ear cups are exposed wires that meet the headband, and we can definitely see some people not being into that. But it does offer easily accessible volume controls and a mic mute switch on the left ear cup. The sound quality itself is really notable here, as two 40mm drivers do well at retaining clarity and producing clean realistic bass levels.See more

Plantronics GameCon 780 Review

Vocals are a little low while gaming, but if you're a serious gamer you probably have a favorite equalizer that will fix this midrange problem quickly. With this headset, audio is transformed into 7.1 Dolby surround sound, which made watching Jurassic Park more enjoyable than we can remember. Here, there's plenty of bass and sharp noises which impressed us considering that this headset is surround sound, and only has two drivers. Usually, surround sound headsets have smaller drivers, like 20mm-30mm in order to fit more of them inside to reproduce that surround sound, but the Plantronics only uses two 40mm speakers. That means less hardware, which means there are fewer potential failure rates, and it doesn't weigh as much, so it reduces strain on your head and neck. And we swear it sounds just as great as a multiple driver headset. Let us mention though that this surround sound is available via software download that comes included with the box, which is an easy download, but without out you're just going to get stereo sound, which doesn't sound bad either. So whether you're into surround sound or not, this headset is still great for you to use.The only downside we found with this headset is its "noise-cancelling" boom mic. For us, it certainly was not noise-cancelling. Don't get us wrong, the microphone works great and levels are high and clear, but there was noticeable ambient noise bleeding into our recording. Not a huge deal, but please don't claim to be noise-cancelling when it's really not. But the surround sound totally makes up for the mic as its highly directional range has great sound reproduction and will offer in-game immersion to the most hardcore gamers out there. The GameCon 780 easily rivals headsets that cost double what this one does, and is absolutely worth checking out.

  • surround sound
  • comfortable for extended use
  • cost friendly
  • volume adjustment wheel
  • background noise in audio, though it is "noise-cancelling"

  • Krantzstone

    I wouldn’t mind trying out the Plantronics GameCom 780: Plantronics isn’t exactly a household name, but even as far back as the Microsoft Sidewinder Game Voice headset (made by Plantronics), I was astonished at how good the sound was on what I thought would be a bargain basement experience (on clearance from Futureshop for $19.99), and to this day, I still have it hooked up to my gaming PC, even though one channel has cut out due to my friend’s child playing with it as a kid (over 14 years ago), and I hope to one day fix them so that they’re working again. They must use really good drivers because the stereo sound is surprisingly crystal clear for what looks and feels like a flimsy cheap plastic headset.

    For a while I was using the Turtle Beach Call of Duty: MW3 Charlie wired 5.1 headset with my Xbox 360 (unfortunately, since they weren’t designed for the 360, I had to purchase a separate optical-to-RCA 5.1 converter, as well as a 1/4″ cable to the Xbox 360 controller for voice chat, which leads to a somewhat heavy and tangled mess of wires), and for all that the headset itself is a large, ungainly and somewhat cheap-looking/feeling headset, the sound from it was pure heaven, and I could hear sounds from my games that I’d never heard before, and worked just as well for music. It’s really a pity that Turtle Beach skimp on the actual construction of the headset, because their audio drivers are excellent (I noticed this even on their cheapest models they had available to try out at the local EB Games). I don’t know that I would ever have purchased them if they hadn’t been on sale ($69.99 from EB Games, on clearance I think), considering how steep their full MSRP is (I had to trade in my first pair for a replacement because the headset’s plastic was starting to crack where it joins the earcups to the headset, despite my taking extremely good care of them; thankfully I’d read reviews which had pointed out this problem so I had shelled out for the extended warranty from EB Games). I hope one day Turtle Beach design and build a nice solid headset with their excellent drivers, because I can’t imagine most gamers are as gentle with their game equipment as I am so it must lead to a lot of broken headsets and disappointed gamers. I still use my CoD: MW3 Charlie headset at my parents’ place, but my current favourite is…

    … the Tritton Warhead 7.1 wireless headset for Xbox 360 (MadCatz). I’d heard bad things about MadCatz’ build quality for some of their other peripherals, but because these had gone on sale at Best Buy for a price point I was willing to pay ($125ish I think?) I got them on a whim, and while I do think the design is a little cheesy and cheap in certain places (the silvery plastic buttons for changing audio presets/modes look and feel chintzy and I already had part of the Tritton metallic logo stickers fall off one of the earcups and I had to go around hunting for it on my floor and stick it back on), it was quite literally plug and play with my Xbox 360 Slim, with no fussing about with messy wires. The sound, while perhaps not quite on par with the Turtle Beach headset in terms of clarity, it is decent enough for music, movies or gaming (strangely, I preferred the game mode preset even for music and watching _House of Cards_ on Netflix, even though it comes with a music preset and a movie preset as well). Again, I’m not sure if I would have paid full MSRP for it, but for the sale price I am quite pleased with the purchase. I do hope MadCatz will similarly improve their design and construction, because I think most serious gamers would be willing to shell out the extra cash on peripherals that are designed and built well, particularly at the $150 and below price point. Anything higher and they, as well as Turtle Beach, will have serious competition from higher end audiophile headphone manufacturers who actually build quality headsets to last, and have much more experience in the hi-fi industry.

    One thing I would add which has nothing to do with the headsets themselves, but in terms of packaging, the Turtle Beach packaging leaves much to be desired: it looks and feels cheap, and comes with almost nothing extra, whereas the Trittons came in a very solid, heavy duty box with plenty of extras and looked very nice. Presentation definitely matters when it comes to trying to sell a product, and I was duly impressed by Tritton’s packaging.

    Oh yeah, one more thing: ergonomically, the Turtle Beach are way more comfortable for long gaming sessions than the Trittons, the latter which start to make my ears/sides of my head hot and hurt from the pressure after a long stretch, whereas the Turtle Beach are a bit more of a looser fit.

  • ANdres

    Astro a50?