Aren’t your ears (and games) worth it?
Updated: April 2018
Headsets are like any other PC accessory in that you can get by with a $50 option, but when you fork over a bit more cash you are really treated to a luxury experience. Though the sound quality might not be perceptibly better between a $50 headset and a $150 headset, we can guarantee the more expensive model will be in an entirely different league of comfort, will offer more features, and generally be easier to use and more robust as well. When you get into the $100+ range headsets go from cheap plastic stereo units to velvety-soft, sophisticated equipment with impressively engineered features, cross-platform compatibility, surround sound functionality, wireless operation, and more.
We’ve tested wired as well as wireless bluetooth headsets from Logitech, Sennheiser, Turtle Beach, Razer, SteelSeries, HyperX and Asus in our quest to determine which is indeed the perfect blend of features, performance, and price. Given our testing criteria, we arrived at a no-contest decision, but it was a well-fought battle and we were surprised at how many excellent choices for headsets and headphones are available these days. Therefore, in addition to naming a winner, we’ll also show you some of the runner ups, as they offer a little something for everyone, from diehard PC gamer to console gamer, to both.
TL;DR: These are the best high end gaming headsets:
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
- SteelSeries Arctis 7
- Logitech G533
- HyperX Cloud Revolver S
- Sennheiser PC 373D
SteelSeries’ newest flagship headset is pretty unique in that it includes a small USB “GameDAC” that sits on your desk, and offloads the sound processing from your host system to a chip inside it. The small control center features an OLED display, and lets you tweak everything about the headset with simple, intuitive controls. It’s a slick way to handle making adjustments, and the audio output is stellar as well. On top of that you have a super premium design that’s exceedingly comfortable, customizable, and just feels perfect. The fit and finish are top notch, and it even has RGB lighting.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the complete package; a well-made, super comfy wireless headset with 7.1 surround sound that lets you attach a 3.5mm cable so you can use it with other devices as well. You don’t get the surround sound unless you’re using a PC, but we all know it’s the superior gaming platform anyway **sniff**. It fits on your head with a unique “ski goggle” band, and you can even buy replacements with different colors and patterns to customize things a bit.
The microphone is also excellent, and slides into the earcup when not in use. the icing on the cake is excellent software that lets you customize the sound and even assign profiles to games. All in all the Arctis 7 have practically every feature we could wish for in a headset, and they all come wrapped in an understated package that’s both sophisticated and all-day comfortable. When it comes to gaming headsets, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
More Great Options
Logitech’s newest headset is to be applauded for ditching things like silly-sounding names and RGB lighting, and instead focusing on audio quality and high-quality construction with useful features. The G533 are wireless and offer 7.1 surround sound via DTS Headphone:X, and offer a no-frills design that is sophisticated instead of “gamer-y,” which we appreciate. The noise cancelling microphone has a micro pop filter, and swings up and out of the way when you don’t need it, so you’ll never lose it or have it be in the way. Throw in Logitech’s slick software and the headset’s programmable G-key and you have an excellent overall package.
HyperX has upgraded its Cloud Revolver headset with its new S model, which brings Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound to the table and cross-platform compatibility. The main knock against this headset is that it’s not wireless, but in exchange for that drawback you can plug it into pretty much anything including your console or phone. A handy inline control pod lets you easily toggle surround sound on and off, and its steel frame is built to last. There’s no confusing software to deal with and the massive earcups are all-day comfy as well.
The Sennheiser PC373D is the company’s top-shelf gaming headset, and at $250 it’s the most expensive stand-alone headset in this group. It’s a very straightforward package with super comfy earcups that are as soft and fuzzy as a puppy, a crystal clear noise cancelling microphone, and handy inline controls for surround sound along with easy to use software. Of course the star of the show is the absolutely superb audio quality that Sennheiser is known for, and having the ability to switch between surround and stereo easily is a welcome feature.
Razer’s flagship headset has a lot going for it, including wireless operation, surround sound, RGB lighting, and a slick retractable microphone. The extra-comfy earcups are wrapped around large 50mm drivers that deliver a sonic pummeling to your ears, and Razer’s polished software lets you customize the audio with fine precision.