Nowadays, headsets are an integral part of every desk. In the office they are used for meetings, conferences, calls and music so that noises from outside do not disturb or distract. It is also more practical than any telephone, as your hands remain free and you can also write down the most important information. But especially on the tables of gamblers of all ages there is at least one headset. It’s the best way to transmit the soundscape and help you get the most out of your gaming experience. What good is the most beautiful music, composed by the London Symphony Orchestra or the coolest dubbing actors, when they are transmitted over loudspeakers? Nothing at all. But the microphone is at least as important – streamers communicate with their community and multiplayer gaming can’t be imagined without them anyway. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to the computer: gaming headsets are also a welcome companion on the console.
The most important information quickly summarized:
- There is no such thing as “The best gaming headset”, – each model has specifications that are usable for different needs.
- A gaming headset is more practical and modern than individual devices.
- It makes a difference whether you want to call with a headset or use it to gamble. Both areas of life have different demands on the headphones.
- In contrast to headphones, there are only few differences and variations in the microphone. They should be clear, without delay and low noise.
- Analog connections directly access the sound card of the end device.
- Digital connectors are connected via USB and have their own sound mix.
- The surround sound is one of the most important aspects to be considered when purchasing. Various options are available. Surround sound in the ear cups versus imitated surround sound thanks to several small loudspeakers. Where the sound and technology quality is somewhat worse, one can guess.
- 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound is a further development of 5.1 and often only a little more expensive – the additional investment of a few Euros is worth it, but with a tight budget 5.1 is quite sufficient.
- If you really want to deal with the technical aspects, you can also take a look at the impedance, the nominal value and the frequency response of the models.
- In contrast to open variants, closed models do not permit any external noises or emit them to the outside. A more open sound, on the other hand, results in open auricles.
- The choice between a wide ear and a supine headset is critical to the right fit and comfort.
- The material is a decisive factor for wearing comfort. The higher the quality of the material, the more fun it will be on long gaming nights.
- Gaming headsets without cables are the dream of every gambler – but they also have disadvantages such as weight and battery life.
- Find out what kind of gamer you are and what games you mainly play – that can be a crucial fact in your choice.
- Pick a headset that looks good on you too. If you don’t find it visually appealing, you will get a new one after a short time anyway.
Which is the very best headset?
Questions such as the above headline are more often read in FAQs or on rating portals, as well as in technical and gaming forums. But there are as many answers to this question as a hedgehog has spines. Just as not all people can be sheared over the same comb, every headset has at least one advantage and one disadvantage. Surely there are Gaming Headsets that are technically better than others or made of a higher quality material, but that doesn’t automatically make a corresponding model the holder of the pole position.
There are many best lists on the Internet, but they seem to answer this question. But don’t be mistaken: Such listings usually only take the technical aspects into consideration and judge them with regard to their general quality – which is also completely okay for a first impression. But in this guide we want to go a little deeper into the subject and see where the individual strengths lie and what needs to be emphasized in the individual aspects if you want to get a new gaming headset.
Gaming Headset versus Normal Headsets
Not every headset is also suitable for gaming in front of the computer screen or console. We have already discussed earlier that it must have certain attributes in order to meet the needs during gaming for gamers. At first it’s just a general differentiation, later we’ll deal with the individual parts in more detail. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two most important aspects of the two variants:
The microphone: There are relatively similar requirements for the microphone on both sides: The voice should be transmitted realistically, without cracking or other noises. As clear and understandable as possible, without having to put the microphone completely in your mouth.
The headphones: If headsets are used for pure telephoning or in the job, it is usually sufficient if the quality is right and no rustle or noise can be heard. The counterpart must be clearly understood. In most cases, no great demands are made.
The situation is completely different with gaming headsets. Here the sound quality is one of the most important points. A clear sound reproduction is by no means sufficient here. Good speech intelligibility, spatial localization of sounds, differentiation and different settings are crucial here.
There is also this variant: microphone and headphones separately. This is often used by streamers because both parts can be selected individually. In addition, the sound quality for recordings is often a little better and can be adjusted directly on the PC with the appropriate program. But more and more often this combination is exchanged for a high-quality headset, because it is more comfortable and can deliver almost identical quality. A popular solution is for example the Antlion Audio ModMic Uni Aufsteckbares Mikrofon mit Rauschunterdrückung und Stummschalter, kompatibel mit Mac, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One und mehr*.
The benefits of a gaming headset
- The price. No question – for a good gaming headset you’ll have to pick up a few Eurons, otherwise you’ll get annoyed after the first match at the latest. Nevertheless, it is usually much cheaper to buy the microphone and headset separately.
- 3, 2, 1, go! You don’t have a big cable spaghetti and thousands of installations or merges on the PC: Once plugged in, the next match can actually start right away. This also works on consoles.
- If you use a floor-standing microphone, you must always sit neatly at the PC and not move too far away from – or towards – the microphone. With a gaming headset you can sit back and relax, gamble on the couch or even in bed. The microphone is always in the same place because it is attached to the headset, the headphones are quickly plugged in and put on.
Analog or Digital
Also the type of connection is not uninteresting when choosing the headset. Usually there is a choice between analogue and digital connection. Both versions are common and offer their own advantages.
With an analog connection, the headphones are connected directly to the audio location on the end device. The headset has a 3.5 mm jack connection. This allows it to be connected to the PC, console, smartphone or even tablet. Since the end device takes over the sound refinement, it is especially advisable to use this option if a high-quality audio solution is available. The advantage of this is that your gaming headset directly accesses the sound card of the end device and no own card is needed.
With the digital connection, the headset is connected to the terminal device via a USB cable. The selected gaming headset has its own sound workmanship and exchanges the corresponding data with the system. The advantage: DSP* often offers very good sound quality and different sound profiles. The latter can then be set analogously, depending on what the headset is currently used for: Music, movies or gaming. For different games further configuration can be done.
Many gaming headsets now have both connectivity options, so you don’t have to decide before you buy. Every player can try it out for himself and find the right variant for himself and his own use.
*DSP stands for Digital Sound Processor. This refers to digital sound workmanship, which in some cases provides better sound quality than normal onboard sound chips.
Wireless through the night – or rather not?
Apart from the many technical aspects, from the frequency response to the shape of the auricle and the built-in loudspeakers, the question of the cable is also essential. The idea of not having another cable dangling from the PC sounds tempting. You don’t really want to see anything plugged into the controller either – after all, this restricts your freedom of movement enormously.
Who does not know it: The opponent shoots skillfully first against the foot and then ends your virtual life with a headshot. Excitement is pre-programmed, isn’t it? In such cases, many players jump up angrily and have to calm down again when going up and down. Hardly a single sentence is made to the back, but it already happens: Snip! Either it tears the connector out of the socket, which then flies in a high arc against the arm, or the headset is torn from the head. Both super annoying and certainly not good for the technique.
A wireless headset offers a lot of freedom of movement, easy can be used anywhere and can be quickly stowed away without tangled cables. However, the models without cables have some disadvantages: Mostly they are a bit more expensive than their tied competitors and have more weight due to their built-in battery, which often lasts several hours on the head. And while we’re on the subject of battery: Gaming headsets without cables need to be recharged before they can be used. If you forget, you’ll be on a leash when you gamble.
Those who don’t mind these factors can enjoy a lot of freedom when gaming. In most cases, the headset is connected to the end device via Bluetooth. A dongle is usually used on the PC. This is a counterpart to the headset, which is plugged into a USB port on the computer and thus connects both systems with each other at the touch of a button.
Some headsets, such as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless*, offer a complete transmitter station that is not only connected via USB, but also offers extensive connectivity options.
There are several ways to talk about the sound of gaming headphones. But to say that something sounds good or not is a bit too general. Decisive for gamblers is above all the surround sound, i.e. the feeling of being right in the middle of the action. If you sit in front of your PC or console and gamble in multiplayer against other players, you sometimes have to rely on your hearing. This way, the steps of the opponent hiding behind the left corner can be heard and assigned more precisely.
It’s probably not necessary to say that external speakers and hi-fi systems can never do this as accurately as a headset that sits directly on the user’s ears.
Many gaming headsets have stereo speakers that create a surround sound thanks to the virtual surround sound. Often the packaging is advertised with 3D, 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. Sound waves hit the auditory canal differently and help the brain to perceive the situation differently.
Another variant in some gaming headsets is to use surround sound instead of the virtual room sound to build different speakers into the auricle. The arrangement and angle of the individual loudspeakers play a role here, and together they should also create a kind of surround sound. The quality of the loudspeakers often suffers a lot with this type of construction, as many small individual parts are used instead of one large loudspeaker on each side.
The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Gaming-Headset* stands for a really good sound in premium quality.
5.1 vs 7.1.
Gaming headsets with 7.1 Surround Sound technology have the ability to reproduce sound events many times more accurately. In contrast to a system with Surround Sound 5.1, there are no sound holes and the overall sound level is significantly higher. As you can imagine, 7.1 is a further development of 5.1, but both versions are still sold and are not as far apart in price as you might think. If you have planned to pay meticulous attention to the money, a gaming headset with 5.1 is not a bad thing.
SteelSeries is one of the brands that always offers good value for money and is one of the big players on the market. The prices are reasonable and affordable for most. As already mentioned in a section earlier: Just try it out.
Which gambler are you
Which kind of sound you choose depends either on personal experiences and preferences, your own taste, trying it out or on the genres you prefer to spend your time in. At this point we can recommend a 7.1 surround sound especially for noisy games such as shooters or racing games.
In Call of Duty and Battlefield it makes sense to be one second ahead of your opponent in order not to get hit. And that’s exactly the small advantage you can get by listening to your opponent with a matching gaming headset before he attacks. Racing games are also very popular with Surround Sound users. The buzzing of the engines, the ratcheting of the tyres on the asphalt while drifting: Those who are fond of cars will get their money’s worth here.
The Frequency Response
Most people know what a frequency is. But what is a frequency response? Basically, this designation indicates a certain range in which the headset can deliver a clear, high-quality and uniform sound. This range is measured in Hertz. We humans hear in a range of 20 and about 22,000 Hertz. This of course varies depending on the person. In this spin are also the frequency responses of most gaming headsets. The larger the range, the more possibilities the headset offers. In a few exceptional cases, gaming headsets also exceed the range audible to humans – this should not be audible, but noticeable.
SteelSeries has launched Arctis Pro + GameDAC*, a gaming headset with a Hi-Res certified audio system. It is extremely powerful and offers the players an undistorted sound. At up to 40,000 Hertz, the Arctis Pro + GameDAC achieves almost twice as much as its competitors on the market. The headset of the SteelSeries stands out especially in terms of sound. However, most people can no longer really hear the tones between 20 and 40 kHz.
Each gaming headset has a certain nominal resistance measured in ohms. If the ohm value is low, very little power is needed to make the headphones sound. But the quality is not very good either. The higher the impedance value, the louder the loudspeakers will sound with more nuances. This works with the usual PC equipment to a certain extent – depending on the device, additional headphone amplification may be necessary. This is rather rare, however, and is then usually directly included in the technical details of the gaming headsets.
The design and comfort
At the first glance on the shelf or the online listing it becomes clear: the selection is huge. The optics of the headsets for gamers are particularly eye-catching. They are available open or closed, as a surface-mounted variant or enclosing the ear. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, you should also take a moment longer to weigh the pros and cons carefully.
We recommend that you unpack and put the headsets on before making your final purchase decision. So you can quickly see if the seat and shape are right for you. With online orders you often get a lower price and have the possibility to return the whole thing if you don’t like it. So you can click your way through our guide and look for the right gaming headset.
Choosing the right headset isn’t just about convenience for the next LAN party: if the gaming headset doesn’t fit perfectly, different sounds aren’t reproduced perfectly and the sound quality suffers greatly. Most headsets have different size settings to fit your head shape.
With a rough subdivision into large/heavy headsets and small lightweights, it can be said that large ear cups are advantageous for a better weight distribution. Lighter headsets can also easily be used with small ear pads.
Most gamblers prefer a large headset. It often has large auricles that completely enclose the ear and are not an open system. With the Razer Ifrit Headset we have tested a small, lightweight variant, which is supposed to be practical especially for streamers.
Ear-enclosing headsets are ideal for sound quality and a tight fit that won’t slip even when you move. Disturbing noises from outside are shielded, they do not slip and emit the entire sound waves to the ears. So you always have an even sound and a good fit – also very suitable for spectacle wearers. The disadvantage: Under the comprehensive ear-cups, it often becomes warm, above all in the summer and during hot fights. Very warm.
Despite the heat, enclosing headphones are extremely popular with a gaming headset. The material is also decisive for a comfortable fit and good wearing comfort. Often cheaper models with ear cups made of polyester or even hard plastic are produced – sweating pre-programmed! Ear cups with a leather cover are particularly comfortable and of high quality. They are not so heat-promoting and pleasant to wear. Also for longer gaming sessions such a good companion.
Some gaming headsets are made in part with Velcro to fit the size of the head. In itself, this solution is a good idea, but people with a particularly large head should take a close look here to see if the Velcro is sufficient.
Open or closed system
In addition to the distinction between overlying and comprehensive, it is also interesting whether a listener lies closed or open on the head of the gamers. Theoretically, the closed variants offer better reproduction and higher precision. A closed system reproduces low tones well and acts, as the name suggests, closed.
In contrast, there are the open listeners, which weaken the bass strength and the low tones somewhat, but give off a more open sound image in the room. This means that the location of sounds, such as the cracking of the branches under the boots of the enemy, are easier and better to classify. Since air can get directly to the ear, these headphones are usually a little more comfortable to wear in the long run, especially if you have saved on material quality. Conversely, an open headphone system also means that sounds can penetrate to the outside, just as they can be heard inside. So while closed listeners attenuate significantly more noise in both directions, the open versions are much more susceptible to noise.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Since new gaming headsets are constantly coming onto the market, it is difficult to draw a clear line between the two. New technology = new possibilities. Often it also depends on the personal feeling.
In order to decide what you should ultimately choose, it is helpful to ask six questions:
- On which platform do I mainly play?
- Do I sometimes change the platform?
- I change the place where I gamble frequently?
- What kind of games do I gamble most?
- How much and how long do I actually play?
- What is particularly important to me?
Of course, these are very general questions, which can be interpreted in different ways. But that’s where the information value lies: If you’ve read about the most important factors and are about to decide which gaming headset is right for you, think back to these six questions. All you have to do is compare the answers with the headsets that come into question for you after a first selection. By the way: the appearance also plays an important role. What’s the use of the technically best Gaming Headset if you don’t like the style at all and are reluctant to put it on? This already causes a bad feeling when starting the next session – and that rarely helps to win.
Our recommendations – The best gaming headsets 2019
If you’re still not sure which headset might be right for you and are looking for a headset recommendation, we’ve put together some headsets for you below. Please note that these are subjective decisions. If you can recommend another headset, we are looking forward to your comment. If you have any questions, they are also welcome – we will be happy to help you find the perfect headset for you.
The best gaming headsets up to 50 Euro
- Leichtes Headset mit um 90 Grad drehbaren Kopfhörermuscheln
- Richtungsselektive 50-mm-Treiber für präzise Audiowiedergabe
- Einzigartiger HyperX Memoryschaum; Schalldruckpegel: 102 3 dB SPL/mW bei 1 kHz. Frequenzgang: 18Hz-23.000Hz , Impedanz: 30 Ω
- Einstellbarer Schiebemechanismus aus Stahl
- Intuitive Lautstärkeregelung an der Kopfhörermuschel
- Für Konsolen-Gaming designt
- Für Komfort optimiert
- Ingame-Audio, dass dich in seinen Bann zieht
- Zwei Jahre Garantie und kostenloser technischer Support
The best gaming headsets up to 100 Euro
- Komplette Audio-Kontrolle: THX Spatial Audio sorgt für noch mehr Immersion, und Lautstärke, Bass-Stufen und sogar die Spiel/Chat-Balance lassen sich präzise nach den eigenen Vorlieben anpassen. Optimaler, individueller Gaming-Sound und totale Kontrolle über jeden Aspekt des Klang-Erlebnisses.
- Spiel/Chat-Balance: Nie wieder übertönt der Sound im Spiel die Kommunikation innerhalb des Teams. Mithilfe der Spiel/Chat-Balance lässt sich ganz leicht feinabstimmen, was wann zu hören sein soll. Oder mit dem Regler in der Mitte bleibt dank Standard-Mix alles beim Alten.
- Individuell eingestellte 50-mm-Treiber: Mit seinen 50 mm großen, individuell abgestimmten Treibern bietet das Razer Kraken Tournament Edition ein noch breiteres Klangspektrum, von fast unhörbaren Schritten, die sich von hinten anschleichen, bis hin zu unglaublichen Explosionen, die alles mit sich reißen.
- Ergonomisches Design: Die mit kühlendem Gel gefüllten Ohrpolster verringern die Wärmeentwicklung und die Kombination aus weichem Stoff und Kunstleder sorgt sowohl für Tragekomfort als auch für Schallisolierung.
- Plattformübergreifende Kompatibilität: Dank seinem 3,5-mm-Audio-Anschluss ist das Razer Kraken Tournament Edition plattformübergreifend kompatibles funktioniert mit PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch und sogar mobilen Geräten.
The best gaming headsets up to 200 Euro
The best gaming headsets over 200 Euro
Adtran T3SU 300 (2nd Gen), -20 - 70 °C, 0 - 50 °C, 431,8 x 295,27 x 43,18 mm, 3,18 kg, 10BaseT, 120V & 9W (AC) / 24 - 48V & 8W (DC) 19" 1U RJ45 DS3 Aux DTE
Adtran T3SU 300 (2nd Gen). Abmessungen (BxTxH): 431,8 x 295,27 x 43,18 mm, Gewicht: 3,18 kg. Netzwerkfunktionen: 10BaseT. Mindestsystemvoraussetzungen: 120V & 9W (AC) / 24 - 48V & 8W (DC) 19" 1U RJ45 DS3 Aux DTE. Verkabelungs...