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These are the best gaming headsets for most people Credit: Reviewed.com / Jax Ruckar

The Best Gaming Headsets of 2022

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These are the best gaming headsets for most people Credit: Reviewed.com / Jax Ruckar

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Editor's Choice Product image of Audeze Penrose X
Best Overall

Audeze Penrose X

Audeze’s Penrose headsets deliver outstanding audio and handy features like a detachable microphone. We only wish the battery lasted a little longer. Read More

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Durable materials
  • Intuitive controls

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Short battery life
Editor's Choice Product image of HyperX Cloud II
Best Value

HyperX Cloud II

The HyperX Cloud II is comfortable, durable, and cross compatible. You'll want to watch the volume, though, because it can be destructively loud. Read More

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Cross compatible with multiple platforms

Cons

  • Loud volume could cause hearing damage
Editor's Choice Product image of SteelSeries Arctis Pro

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

Our continued favorite for a few years now, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro are a top-notch choice for PC and PS4 users. Read More

Pros

  • Great for gaming
  • Top-notch sound
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive
Product image of SteelSeries Arctis 9X

SteelSeries Arctis 9X

Gamers can connect this supremely comfortable headset to their Xbox and Bluetooth devices at the same time. Read More

Pros

  • Overwhelmingly comfortable
  • Simultaneous compatibility with Xbox and Bluetooth
  • Intense bass

Cons

  • Microphone can cut out with Bluetooth
Product image of Epos Sennheiser GSP 670

Epos Sennheiser GSP 670

This one's pricy, but the GSP 670 delivers great Epos gaming features and incredible Sennheiser sound, all in a robust wireless package. Read More

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Great sound

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky, heavy

A great gaming headset should be more than a set of top-notch headphones with a microphone tacked on the side. You need crisp, clear voice transference, a snug yet cozy fit for long gaming sessions, and sound that places everything perfectly in space.

After countless hours testing dozens of gaming headsets, we're confident the Audeze Penrose/Penrose X (available at Amazon) is the best you can get right now. While not the cheapest, it offers a great mix of robust features, long-term comfort, and impressive sound fidelity.

But you don't have to drop a bundle of cash to get a solid gaming headset. We tested the best around to find great recommendations for every budget, including our top pick for value, the HyperX Cloud II (available at Amazon). Whatever your price point, it’s time to take your gaming up a notch!

These are the best gaming headsets we tested, ranked in order:

  1. Audeze Penrose/Penrose X
  2. SteelSeries Arctis Pro
  3. SteelSeries Arctis 9X
  4. Epos Sennheiser GSP 670
  5. Razer Nari Ultimate
  6. Xbox Wireless Headset
  7. HyperX Cloud Alpha S
  8. Logitech G635
  9. Razer Kraken Ultimate
  10. HyperX Cloud II
  11. HyperX Cloud Flight S

Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk

Audeze's Penrose and Penrose X gaming headsets are simply excellent, but they don't come cheap.

Best Overall
Audeze Penrose X

Audeze's Penrose and Penrose X gaming headsets have one major advantage: planar magnetic drivers.

This type of headphone construction utilizes a pair of magnets on either side of the audio driver in each cup, so it can move with more force and precision. You can read more about how it works if you want to. But all you really need to know is that planar magnetic headphones tend to deliver excellent audio quality.

That's not the only thing we love about the PS5-compatible Penrose and Xbox-compatible Penrose X, however. These durable wireless headsets may feel a bit heavy at first. But their contoured ear cups are surprisingly plush, while the padded headband and firm clamping force help them stay locked onto your head for hours of gaming.

The hint of blue on the Penrose and green on the Penrose X add a nice pop of color without being garish. The included 3.5mm cable, USB A-to-C charger, and USB-C cables are plenty long and feel sturdy enough to last a while.

An included 2.4Ghz dongle makes it very easy to pair the Penrose with your gaming platform of choice, while the intuitive controls and dual volume/mic wheels make choosing an audio source or fine-tuning your audio experience pleasingly easy.

The detachable microphone is a gem, too. For those used to yelling into a headset so your friends can hear you, the Penrose's microphone sensitivity is a breath of fresh air.

The boom mic arm is highly adjustable, and you can use these Penrose models without it as Bluetooth headphones, letting the magnets power your favorite music. They may even be an upgrade for your regular headphones.

A huge array of strengths—durable design, awesome sound quality for many situations, and intuitive controls—balance well against the Penrose's only real weakness: all that power drains battery life pretty quickly.

These take a few hours to charge, and you only get about 15 hours of use from a charge. However, if you can get in the habit of charging them nightly, they're one of the best-sounding gaming headsets around, and worth the high price tag for audiophile gamers.

Pros

  • Excellent sound

  • Durable materials

  • Intuitive controls

Cons

  • A bit heavy

  • Short battery life

Credit: HyperX

Our current pick for Best Value is HyperX's Cloud II gaming headset.

Best Value
HyperX Cloud II

HyperX's Cloud II headset replaces the original Cloud, our previous favorite value pick. It's extremely comfortable, and comes with leatherette or velour ear cups, an audio control box, and a detachable mic. The aluminum body is strong and durable enough to last a good long while even if you take your gaming on the go. It's a wired headset, but we won't hold that against it.

One word of warning: these things are explosively loud. If you're not careful, they could destroy your ears. But once you've dialed in the correct volume, you're left with a headset that delivers the full range of your game audio with beautiful, detailed clarity. We were constantly surprised by new sound effects we heard while playing Overwatch, even after hundreds of hours of familiarity with it.

The detachable mic also left us impressed. One of the best things about this headset, though, is that it's compatible with PC, PS4, and Xbox One. No matter what your gaming system of choice is, the Cloud II will do the job.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable

  • Durable aluminum body

  • Cross compatible with multiple platforms

Cons

  • Loud volume could cause hearing damage

How We Tested Gaming Headsets

The Testers

Nicole Carpenter was a freelance video game and tech reporter from Massachusetts who now works at Polygon. She plays a lot of video games—a perk of the gig that she loves—and has been working in the industry for over five years, both covering the video game industry and reviewing the technology that goes along with it. She's a lifelong competitively-minded gamer who is always looking for a headset that can provide her with the sound I needed and comfort that lasts a long time.

Lee Neikirk is Reviewed's Home Theater Editor, and has been reviewing consumer tech products for almost a decade. He's been playing video games since he was five years old, and holds a degree in music performance. A huge fan of sound design in games with a passion for video game music, he's especially invested in the functionality and audio quality of gaming headsets.

The Tests

Nicole: Primarily, I'm playing Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch, a first-person shooter with an emphasis on team play. I'm a support main. I primarily play Zenyatta, and it's important to me to have a clear view of what's going on around me. I listen for ultimate cues from the enemy team so I know when to protect or fight.

But I also like playing quieter indie gameswith emotional soundtracks. During testing, I played Jo-Mei Games' Sea of Solitudeand a bit of Team Atma's Atma.

In all three games, sound is important in creating an atmosphere. In Overwatch, that atmosphere can mean winning or losing. But in story-based games, that sound is essential in the emotional drive of the game.

Sound is super important, but a big part of competitive video games is communication. One of my biggest gaming pet peeves is being able to hear people breathing into the microphone. It's even worse when it's someone complaining that it's me. During testing, it was important to me to ensure that communication works as well as in-game sound.

Lee: I tested headsets that were compatible with PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. That required a fairly eclectic selection of titles. Sea of Thieves on PC; Gears 5 and GTA Online on Xbox One; and Mario Kart 8 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch are what I played most.

I tend to place a big emphasis on the balance between chat volume and a game's music and sound effects when evaluating gaming headphones. I don't want to be unable to hear or communicate with my teammates, but neither do I want valuable feedback effects or music to be too quiet.

I'm also a stickler for lightweight sets that boast long-term comfort: I don't want to have to stop playing something because my neck is sore or my ears are overheated.

Things to Consider When Buying Gaming Headsets

Gaming headsets typically have different priorities than headsets made for audiophiles. Even when gaming, you may want different features depending on the type of game you’re playing. Once you've decided that regular headphones are no longer adequate for an hours-long session of Red Dead Redemption 2, here are a few features that can help you make your decision.

Sound Quality—Are you playing games that mainly feature music? Or will hearing audio cues make or break your ability to level up? If you're playing online with friends, can you hear their instructions and comments?

If you're constantly listening for gunshots or footsteps, you may want to invest in a pair of headphones that emphasize bass tones. If you need to hear a wider variety of sounds, it's best to get headphones with a more expansive sound profile.

Microphone—A high-quality mic is key, especially if you're playing with teammates. The best microphones should cut out any electric humming or ambient noise, with vocal clarity similar to a cell phone call with great reception. Ideally, the microphone is also adjustable, so you can position it close enough to your mouth to carry your voice, but not your breathing.

Comfort—You can't really enjoy a good gaming binge if your headset starts squishing your head after only a couple of hours. The headphones should be adjustable enough to fit just right. Thick ear pads, a padded headband, and a relatively light weight are necessities if you're going to be spending a lot of quality time in front of your TV or computer.

Isolation—Gaming can be a form of escapism. To ensure that you're really escaping, your headphones should block out ambient noise. This both helps you hear what's going on in the game, and keeps the outside world from distracting you from your task.

Granted, in an emergency, you want to hear some of the outside world. But gaming headphones should be able to block out humming from air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances.

Cable/Wireless Connection—If your gaming headsets have a cable, it should be a long cable. (Ideally, longer than 10 feet). It may not matter as much on a computer, but when gaming on a TV, you want to be able to sit further back.

If you prefer to be cable-free, you may prefer wireless gaming headphones. Wireless headsets usually have either a USB receiver that you plug in, or connect over Bluetooth. Keep in mind that wireless headphones have a battery life, and you may want to keep an eye on said battery, lest they cut out at a key point in your gaming experience.

Platform—Before you lay down cash for a pair of gaming headphones, make sure they're compatible with your game system. Some brands have different products for different platforms, while others just have a regular headphone jack that can be plugged into any system. Remember too that some features may not work equally well across all platforms.


Other Gaming Headsets We Tested

Product image of SteelSeries Arctis Pro
SteelSeries Arctis Pro

One of the more comfortable gaming headsets on the market, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro uses a flexible suspension band to customize size, with super soft ear cups that stay comfortable for hours—even while wearing glasses. Comfort alone isn't enough reason to buy a wired headset that keeps you tethered to your station. But the Arctis Pro is often on sale, and it offers plenty of reasons to pick it up.

Both music and games sound fantastic using the Arctis Pro. We played both quiet indie games and loud, booming matches of Overwatch with this headset and were pleased with both. The headset balances soft music with in-game sound effects, like the crunching of grass beneath your character's feet, with excellent subtlety.

In Overwatch, we were able to clearly distinguish allies' voices from in-game noise, which can sometimes be a struggle. That's largely thanks to the mixer that comes with the SteelSeries, which makes for a perfectly customizable balance between game and chat.

Customization includes an equalizer that lets you change frequencies without any extra software. Just note that this one doesn't work with Xbox consoles—for that, you'll need to check out the SteelSeries Arctis 9X below.

Pros

  • Great for gaming

  • Top-notch sound

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive

Product image of SteelSeries Arctis 9X
SteelSeries Arctis 9X

The SteelSeries Arctis 9X is probably the best wireless Xbox One headset we've tried. It's unique for a few reasons, the first of which is its ease of use. The headset has a built-in Xbox wireless adapter, which means it connects seamlessly to your XBox like a controller.

But it also has Bluetooth integration, so you can simultaneously connect it to your phone and to the Xbox One with the wireless Xbox adapter. You can listen to music or take a call while doing mundane tasks in an expansive, open-world game like Red Dead Redemption. ("Old Town Road," anyone?)

It works wirelessly on PC, too. SteelSeries suggests using a USB Xbox wireless adapter for that, but we didn’t have any problems with Bluetooth. The microphone quality may have decreased, but beyond that it was fine.

On XBox, any difference in sound quality between and wireless was negligible. Bass, in particular, stood out: in really intense matches, rich booms rang clear over most other sounds.

We were also impressed by the comfort. In fact, we wouldn’t hesitate to say this is the most comfortable console headset you can get. It uses a flexible suspension band like in the Arctis Pro, and feels light on the head. It doesn't squeeze your glasses to your face but still feels secure, like it won't shake loose.

The band for the Arctis 9X is only slightly different than the Arctis Pro, and that's in the color. For the Xbox One-optimized 9X, the headset takes on the console's signature green details on the band. It's understated, though, and not garish.

Pros

  • Overwhelmingly comfortable

  • Simultaneous compatibility with Xbox and Bluetooth

  • Intense bass

Cons

  • Microphone can cut out with Bluetooth

Product image of Epos Sennheiser GSP 670
Epos Sennheiser GSP 670

The wireless Epos | Sennheiser GSP 670 is one of the most premium products we've tested, and its price frankly may put it out of reach for the average gamers. This one is as geared towards eSports professionals as it is deep-pocket audiophiles.

But for the price you're getting one heck of a package: a highly durable, angular design aesthetic; customizable 7.1 surround sound via Epos' Gaming Suite software; Sennheiser's storied audio quality; and compatibility with pretty much any mobile device (phone/tablet), PC, or PS4. (Sorry, Xboxers—this is yet another one that doesn't work with Microsoft's home consoles.)

We'd be remiss if we didn't start with the quality of the audio. While the GSP 670s aren't head and shoulders above everything on the list (they're not our favorites, actually), they do sound a lot better than the average gaming headphones. On the downside, they're bulky and heavy—it's almost impossible to forget they're on your head. If you're partial to lighter, more minimalist gaming headphones, these might not be your top choice.

On the other hand, the considerable size and build quality allows for a robust set of on-set controls, making it easy to adjust game/chat volume during use. We also greatly enjoyed the microphone's sensitivity and voice transference. The mic isn’t noise canceling like some newer gaming headsets, but no one we chatted with had any complaints about voice quality.

As for surround sound, Epos' Gaming Suite software is simple enough once you get the hang of it, but does require a learning curve—and we recommend using it if you want to extract the maximum value from these headphones. Overall, while these are a bit on the pricey side, Epos/Sennheiser pack in enough quality and features that the GSP 670 feels like a real step up from the average gaming headset.

Pros

  • Very durable

  • Great sound

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Bulky, heavy

Product image of Razer Nari Ultimate
Razer Nari Ultimate

The first thing you'll notice about the Razer Nari Ultimate headset is the size of the headset: these things are massive. The cups are almost comically oversized, and you can feel it when you wear it. They're heavy, and it was hard to ignore the sheer weight. Even with the freedom of wirelessness, they may leave you feeling weighted down.

However, the reason they're so big is because there's a lot going on in there. The Nari Ultimate uses THX spatial audio to create a "360° sphere" of sound, and it works great. Sound always felt crisp and precise. We were impressed by the accuracy of sound in Overwatch, where we could place enemies in the area by sound.

But we were most impressed when playing Sea of Solitude. It's a quieter game that emphasizes its emotional soundtrack. With the Nari Ultimate headphones, we felt immersed in the swell of the music — it was almost good enough to make you forget the heft of the headset.

Razer also stuffed a system called "HyperSense" into the Nari Ultimate headset. This feature uses haptic technology to let players "feel" the sound with vibrations. It feels like an unnecessary feature, and was more distraction than immersion. Unfortunately, this is yet another headset that's compatible with PC and PS4, but not Xbox.

Pros

  • Full, immersive sound

  • Vibrations let users feel the sound

Cons

  • Comically oversized and heavy

  • Vibration feature can be distraction

  • Not Xbox compatible

Product image of Microsoft Xbox Wireless Headset
Microsoft Xbox Wireless Headset

If you've got an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S, there's almost no better choice for you than Microsoft's new Xbox Wireless Headset. Not only is this wireless headset comfortable and equipped with an excellent microphone, it integrates so seamlessly with the Xbox software that it may as well be an in-the-box accessory.

We're especially big fans of the control scheme, which allocates game/chat balance and volume controls to swiveling caps on the left and right ear cups respectively. You can also connect to a Windows PC at the same time as your Xbox console, making it easy to multi-task. You can also tweak numerous aspects of this headset's functionality right in the Xbox Accessories menu, meaning the controls on the headset itself are refreshingly minimalistic for a gaming headset.

First-party products tend to boast implicit advantages in functionality and integration, and the Xbox Wireless Headset is no exception, bringing ease and intuitiveness to the Xbox experience.

Pros

  • Perfect for Xbox

  • Great microphone

  • Intuitive controls

Cons

  • Sound is a bit bass heavy

Product image of HyperX Cloud Alpha S
HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is a top-notch choice from HyperX, a brand that produces an almost impossible-to-keep-track-of array of gaming headsets. Take it from us: the Alpha S is one of the good ones (for PC and PS4—this is another no-Xbox option).

Available in blue, black, or red, the Alpha S is durable, with a comfortable fit, great sound, and a reliable microphone. Perhaps best of all, there’s a software-based virtual 7.1 surround sound function that lends serious atmosphere to whatever game you're playing.

We found ourselves legitimately impressed after booting up the 7.1-channel mode, even without doing any tweaking. The rolling, stormy ocean in Sea of Thieves suddenly seemed to be crashing and breaking all around, just with the push of a button.

Is this "modeled" virtual surround sound perfect? No—it almost never is. But for what you're paying for these, it's a rock-solid addition to gaming headphones that already offer a healthy combination of design, comfort, and audio quality.

The one thing you're not getting with the Cloud Alpha S headset is wirelessness. These are USB/wired only, so you'll have to look elsewhere (perhaps the Cloud Flight S?) if you're hoping to ditch cables. However, the USB connection means you don't have to worry about battery life, and the in-line control device (a rectangle with buttons for adjusting volume and more) is much easier to learn than the usual wireless headset controls.

Unless you really need a wireless model, this headset is excellent for the price, and it’s sleek, compact, durable, and comfortable enough to wear all day (or all night, if that's your style).

Pros

  • Great sound

  • Virtual 7.1 is very effective

Cons

  • Wired only

  • PC, PS4 only

Product image of Logitech G635
Logitech G635

The Logitech G635 is a PC gamer's headset. While others on this list have a more subtle appearance, this headset really leans into the design details of stereotypical gaming products. There’s LED lights, bold maximal design, and tons of buttons. You're not getting wireless functionality here, but it nails things otherwise.

This sturdy headset is absolutely eye-catching, though maybe not in the way some would prefer. Paired with Logitech's line of gamer stuff, all chock full of RGB lighting, it creates a cohesive environment.

Alongside the strips of LED lighting, the Logitech G635 has three programmable buttons, a wireless on/off switch, a quick-mute button, and a volume wheel. The buttons feel great, with a distinct tactile click, and they're all easily accessible. However, it's unclear whether there's a real, practical use for the extra buttons.

Also tucked away on the left cup is a flip microphone. On paper, it's pretty cool, but in practice, it's awkward. A retractable piece adds some length and flexibility, but we had a hard time keeping that part where we wanted it.

Also on the left cup is the wireless USB adapter, hidden under a magnetic cover. It's neat that all these details are all embedded in the headset itself to ensure you've always got what you need handy.

Those who wear glasses may find the headset uncomfortable. It clamps to your head pretty tightly, which can be painful. That’s a shame, because the headset sounds lovely. We were able to hear all the distinct sounds while playing Overwatch, from the voice lines to the small, atmospheric sounds of a character's body moving through the world.

Pros

  • Sounds are rich and full

  • Programmable buttons

  • LED light strips

Cons

  • Almost too many buttons

  • Retractable mic has a hard time staying in place

  • Fits uncomfortably over glasses

Product image of Razer Kraken Ultimate
Razer Kraken Ultimate

This simple wired USB headset from Razer seems like it could be a great choice for a lot of gamers. The pricing is quite reasonable, and you’re getting a lot of flash for what you’re paying.

Of course, flash comes standard with a lot of Razer products. If the company tends to make you think of multi-color RGB LEDs first and foremost, you’ll be pleased to know that the Kraken Ultimate doesn’t break tradition. The rears of both ear cups are emblazoned with Razer’s green snake logo, and they glow in a rainbow of colors that’s programmable with Razer’s RGB LED-controlling Synapse software.

Of course, that’s all fine and dandy, but what really makes the Kraken Ultimate worth its salt is the audio and microphone fidelity. This headset didn’t blow me away in any one area performance-wise, but it’s definitely not lacking in anything, either. Game sound effects register well within the surround sound environment (powered by THX Spatial and 7.1-channel emulation), and music sounds very warm and robust in the mids and low end.

The Kraken Ultimate isn’t the best-sounding headset we’ve ever used, but they definitely get the job done. You may be paying a little more here for the flashy design, but we're also big fans of the ANC (active noise canceling) equipped microphone, which did (according to the folks we chatted with, anyway) effectively transmit my voice—and not much else. This is yet another great headset that's not available for Xbox—it's PC or PS4 here yet again.

Pros

  • Classic Razer design

  • Comfortable

  • ANC mic works well

Cons

  • Sound is decent, not great

Product image of HyperX Cloud Flight S
HyperX Cloud Flight S

If you love the aesthetic of the HyperX Cloud Alpha S but hate the idea of being tethered by wires, the HyperX Cloud Flight S might be just what you're looking for. It's a bit more expensive than its wired counterpart, but you're getting the same great features as HyperX's wired models—cushy padding, solid sound, and a reliable microphone—without the wires.

This one's a little different from the usual wireless gaming headset, however. It isn't technically a Bluetooth device, which threw us for a loop when we were first setting it up. Instead, it uses 2.4GHz wireless adapting a la a wireless mouse or keyboard.

While this isn't that outlandish in the realm of gaming headsets, it does mean these won't double as a pair of Bluetooth headphones to be used with any old mobile device. You'll have to plug a USB dongle into your PC or PS4 (again, sorry Xbox fans, this one doesn't work for you).

But once you've got the Cloud Flight S properly up and running, most people will really enjoy using it. There's no latency or stuttering to speak of (and you would hope not at this price point), and music and sound effects sound balanced and clear.

You're also getting a plenty of upgrades compared to the original Cloud Flight: Qi wireless charging, 7.1 surround sound, fairly intuitive on-cup controls, and so on. You just don’t get the LED lighting of the other Cloud Flight variants.

We gave this model a CES Editor's Choice award for a reason—it's a very solid, comfortable wireless headset. While it's not the best-value wireless option on the list, it's still pretty darn good, especially if you're after convenience features like Qi charging.

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Good sound

  • Qi-compatible

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Meet the testers

Lee Neikirk

Lee Neikirk

Editor, Home Theater

@Koanshark

Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.

See all of Lee Neikirk's reviews
Nicole Carpenter

Nicole Carpenter

Contributing Writer

Nicole Carpenter is a reporter and reviewer based out of Massachusetts. For the past few years, she’s specialized in the technology and gaming sectors, reviewing a number of different headphones with a specialty in gaming gear.

See all of Nicole Carpenter's reviews

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