In more ways than one, gaming accessories can be as essential as your gaming laptop or desktop. Having the best keyboard, mouse or even headphone can go a long way in improving your gameplay sessions.
If you want the best possible sound, you should not settle for just any headphone. Every gamer will tell you that not all headphones are created equal, and with most gaming headphones breaking the sub-100 dollar price point, there has never been a better time to find a good gaming headphone than now.
Wired Vs Wireless
As you might know, headphones can be wired or wireless with each of these options offering their own advantages over the other. For example, wireless headphones are compatible with most devices without needing any extra connections, just a Bluetooth connection. Most wired headphones are specific to the port you have, some of them using a 3.5mm jack, others using the larger jack and still others, although rare, being plugged in directly into a USB port.
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Wireless headphones are usually compatible with most physical amplifiers and equalisers. This is because these types of equipment need a physical connection to offer the best sound replication. That said, some might view the convenience provided by the portability of wireless headphones as being more important than the better sound quality afforded by connecting a wired headphone into an amplifier or equaliser.
In this discussion, we will look at some of the best wireless gaming headphones you can get right now.
Our choice for the best wireless headphone
SteelSeries – Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset
(Works with PS4/PC/Switch)
The Arctis Pro wireless headphone is widely regarded as one of the best wireless headphones you can get right now. For starters, this headphone is gorgeous. It has recently been updated to follow the design pattern of other SteelSeries headphones.
The cups are fitted with breathable airwave cushions which ensure that these headphones remain comfortable and sweat-free even during long gaming sessions. The headband is also very comfortable, applying just enough pressure to keep this wireless headphone in place without hurting your ears.
For the internals and controls, you get a prominent mute switch or when you need the silence. The right side features a magnetic battery cover, making it easier to swap the power cells out with a single hand.
Speaking of power, you get 10 hours of play time with a 1 hour charging time which ensures you can keep playing if you have more than one battery pack.
The wireless transmitter that comes with the Arctis Pro Wireless has a slightly more pronounced dial, with a clear OLED screen with a very simple UI. This transmitter also offers the facilities to charge your spare headphone battery.
For the connections, you get both optical audio and USB connections. You can also connect to a PC and PS4 pro at the same time through these two different connectors. That said, if you want to use the voice chat feature, you have to connect both connections to one device.
One of the biggest downsides of the Arctis Pro Wireless headphone is that it does not connect to the XBox One.
Our second choice of the best wireless gaming headphone
Astro – A50 Wireless Gaming Headset
(Works with PS4/Xbox/PC)
The Astro A50 wireless headphone checks a lot of boxes when it comes to finding the best wireless gaming headphone. The design of this headphone is a bit space-agey, but this does not take away from how comfortable it actually is.
The Astro A50 comes as a package including the headphone itself and a dock station. The base station is the one that connects to your PC or console and has the wireless transmitter that the headphone then connects to.
There are two main variants with one being able to connect to the XBox One so be sure to check that when buying from an online retailer. To make it easier, the PS4 version is black and blue, the colours of the PlayStation, and the XBox One variant is Green and Gray.
The headphone is constructed from matte plastic with the top being flexible to allow for raising and lowering as well as fitting on different head sizes.
The reported battery time of the Astro A50 wireless headphone is 15 hours, and despite this, it remains very light, mainly due to the foam construction that this headphone uses. If you are up for it, you can switch out the ear cups to customise this headphone although that will cost you extra.
When it comes to the sound, the Astro A50 headphone impresses, a lot. The sounds, even the tiniest ones, are very clear and this makes gaming and also watching movies using this wireless headphone that much more enjoyable. Although the sound is very well balanced, the soundstage can sometimes feel a bit narrower than you would expect.
The Astro A50 stands out as a gaming headphone mainly due to is virtual surround sound capabilities. The surround sound feels authentic and realistic, which makes gaming with this wireless gaming headphone a joy. The bass is also well balanced.
The only downside to this headphone is that the microphone is not that exceptional. It does not stand out among other headphones around its $250 price point.
Astro A50 PS4 version
Astro A50 XBox version
Our Choice for the best PS4 wireless headphone
Hamilton Beach – Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Gaming Headset
Although the Ear Force Stealth 600 gaming headphone might not be the best gaming headphone out there, it is hard to find a better gaming headphone at the $100 price point.
The Ear Force Stealth 600 headphone pairs seamlessly with your PS4, following in the footsteps of other gaming headphones approved by Sony for the PS4. It delivers outstanding surround sound, amplified human sounds and an impressive 15 hours of battery life.
With all that the Ear Force Stealth 600 has going for it regarding sound quality, it fails in the comfort department. The cups might be hard to fit, with the headphone feeling awkward all around. It does not have the contouring employed by other gaming headphones geared towards comfort.
The flexible headband does shift, but it makes the cups feel too tight in some settings.
The left cup houses the mic, which mutes when flipped up and comes on when flipped down. On here, you will also find the power and mode buttons. The mode button is responsible for the fantastic surround sound as well as changing between different EQ presets(Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass and Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost).
The connectivity is where we have major gripes with the Ear Force Stealth 600 gaming headphone. Don’t get us wrong; this gaming headphone connects seamlessly with the PS4 with a small USD dongle that plugs right into the console.
Where we have an issue is that this edition of the Ear Force Stealth 600 does not connect to other devices. Yes, there is no 3.5mm cable for use with your phone, laptop or tablet. This is a real limitation for those looking for an all-round gaming headphone.
Our choice for the best XBox wireless headphone
Razer Thresher Ultimate Gaming Headset
(works with XBox/PC)
The Razer Thresher Ultimate continues to impress as one of the best Dolby Surround headphones of 2018. It pairs this with comfortable cups, and adjustable stand and impressive battery life to stand out as our choice for the best XBox gaming headphone.
The dual-band set up on this headphone allows for support with the cushioned strap sitting on your head for an ideal setup. Due to its construction, the Razer Thresher Ultimate can distribute its weight between your ears and the top of your head.
Although the Razer Thresher Ultimate headphone is meant as an XBox gaming headphone certified by Microsoft, it does come in a PlayStation or PC version as well. This particular model is certified to be compatible with Xbox One, Xbox One S, and the forthcoming Xbox One X as well as Windows 10.
For connections, the Razer Thresher Ultimate headphone connects to the XBox one using the USB port, that provides power, as well as the optical audio cable, that provides the sound. One of the most impressive things about this gaming headphones is that it has an optical out port. This means you can connect it to an external audio output.
When it comes to using this gaming headphone with a PC, it relies on the micro USB running from the PC to provide both power and sound.
To switch between the XBox and PC modes, you can use a switch on the back o the base station.
Due to its Dolby headphone technology, the Razer Thresher Ultimate can output 5.1 or 1.1 audio mixes. Due to this, the sound is rich, and the bass feels fantastic and not too punchy. The Dolby technology allows for sound direction which can hugely enhance your gameplay.
Our Choice for the best PC/multi-purpose wireless headphone
SteelSeries – Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset
(Works with PC/Mac/PS4)
If you are looking for a comfortable pair of all-round headphones, you ought to look at the SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headphone.
The upper section of the headphone uses a self-adjusting headband which you can swap out if you are not feeling the colour of the default one. One of the best things about this headband is that it does not transfer any noise to the cups during use which further helps improve its comfort levels.
The frame of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headphone is made of an aluminium piece that connects to the earcups via a hinge that allows the cups to rotate 90 degrees. The ear pads are made out of cloth with just enough from to keep the cups comfortable while fitting correctly.
Connections to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headphone are made via an included USB transmitter. This connector gives better range than most of the other headphone receivers we have seen in the past.
One of the most exciting features of this connector is that you can connect it to a speaker. After doing that, it will output to the speaker any time the headphone gets disconnected. Pretty neat, huh?
Controlling this gaming headphone is achieved via the dials and buttons on each ear cup. The options include volume and microphone levels.
On here, you will also find the charging ports(micro USB), a connection for a 3.5mm wired connection as well as options for audio sharing.
Although we all agree that the SteelSeries Arctis 7 headphone is gorgeous, it is much more impressive when it is performing. The vocals on this headphone stand out, and you can tell the voices and instruments from one another.
Although this headphone does not deliver the thumping bass that other headphones can achieve, it handles the lows and mid tones remarkably well.
Gamers will also love how this headphone sounds; the soundtracks stand out, the dialogues are crisp, the explosions ate chest-thumping, and the immersiveness is to die for! These headphones are equipped with DTS surround, so directions like where footsteps or bullets are coming from are easy to discern.
The microphone is decent enough. The sound is picked up cleanly with the noise-cancelling tech working hard to ensure you sound crisp and clear.
Battery life stands at around 12-15 hours, which is impressive for such small headphones.