Struggling to hear enemies on your TV’s speakers? A headset could transform your gaming experience
With the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S fast approaching, there’s no better time to invest in a great gaming headset.
Choosing the best one for you can be tricky though: is a wireless headset worth the extra investment or should you stick to a wired set? Are noise-cancelling mics just marketing bluff or do they serve a purpose?
There are numerous questions you could ask yourself, but we’re here to help. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive buying guide and a set of hand-picked headsets that we’d recommend – no matter how much you’ve got to spend.
The Razer Blackshark V2 is absolutely the best gaming headset you can buy. With THX Spatial Audio, a wide variety of audio and mic customisation options, and a supremely comfortable design, there’s simply nothing better.Buy Now
This sub-£100 headset delivers impressive sound and microphone quality and a luxurious, comfortable fit to rival pricier competitors.Buy Now
How to choose the best gaming headset for you
Wired vs wireless headsets
This one comes down to your personal preference and your budget. Most wireless headsets cost a premium as the technology costs more to manufacture. The benefit of having a wireless headset is that you can sit on your sofa, without having to worry about being plugged into your headset or console. It’s worth remembering, though, that if you’re using a DualShock 4 or one of the newer Xbox One controllers, these have a headset socket in the controller so you don’t need cables stretching across the room.
The advantage of a wireless headset is that it gives you complete freedom to move around, along with – in some cases – 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. The big downside is that a wireless headset needs to be recharged – be it through the built-in lithium-ion battery or via swappable rechargeable batteries. Some gaming headsets are now capable of being charged wirelessly, though you’ll generally have to fork out for a Qi charger separately.
As for wired headsets, there are advantages over their wireless counterparts. These generally give you clearer audio quality, although the difference nowadays is minimal.
Is it worth investing in 5.1 or 7.1 headsets?
Some gaming headsets offer a virtual surround-sound mode that can be toggled on or off – it’s present in those that have the 5.1, 7.1 or the Dolby logo on it. As for the benefits, they’re dubious. We often find headsets with virtual surround sound crush the sound quality or make it less accurate for positional cues (such as footsteps). In fact, for many competitive games, we find ourselves turning the feature off. Still, it’s at your disposal if you choose to use it.
If I spend more money on a headset, will I have a better experience?
Generally speaking, the more you pay for a gaming headset, the more features you’ll get. Of course, there are some brands that charge a premium simply for having their name on the products – but sometimes this premium is for a good reason. Sound quality and comfort are important traits to all, so if you seek out the most comfortable, best sounding headset with the most features (such as wireless technology or Bluetooth), expect to pay more for it.
That’s not to say a cheaper set is bad – far from it, as some offer exceptional value for money. But, as with anything, setting yourself a budget is important. Once you’ve set your maximum price, go about finding the best headset you can get for what you’re willing to pay. We’re sure you’ll find one in our top picks below.
Does driver size matter?
There are headsets with all sorts of different characteristics, but often you’ll overlook the driver size, the size of the tiny speaker or electronic element that generates the sound. Size doesn’t always matter, but as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the diameter of the driver, the more space it’ll have to reproduce sound. Consequently, you’ll most likely get a better sound quality from a bigger driver or have a wider soundstage – which makes a difference when you’re gaming.
Is a noise-cancelling microphone needed?
Noise-cancelling microphones aren’t a must, but if you play in a noisy environment, you’ll find having a mic that only captures your voice will result in a better experience for those who are listening to you in-game.
Should I buy an officially licensed headset for my Xbox One or PS4?
Ultimately, licensed headsets only provide a few extra functionalities. Examples include a bundled adapter for plugging into one of the first-generation Xbox One controllers or in-game sound optimisations. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend seeking a licensed product, but they’re not without their advantages.
The best gaming headsets for PS4 and Xbox One
1. Venom Sabre: The best budget gaming headset
Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon
Budget gaming headsets are ten-a-penny but few deliver the comfort and performance of the Venom Sabre. Ditching a solid headband in favour of a flexible, self-adjusting suspension headband, the Sabre fits well on heads of all shapes and sizes. The large, circular earcups are well-padded and create a good seal over your ears, cutting out a decent amount of environmental noise to help aid your immersion.
Audio is impressive, especially given the Sabre’s very reasonable price tag. Mids and treble are reproduced with detail but there’s no shortage of bass. The 50mm drivers did a convincing job of articulating the impact of gunshots and explosions in The Last of Us Part II while also ensuring that the substantial amount of dialogue was crisp and clear. Subtler sounds like enemy footsteps were positioned accurately in the soundstage, too, which is often not the case with cheaper headsets. The Sabre’s microphone is retractable, meaning it can be tucked away when not in use. It’s a clever design choice that elevates an otherwise unremarkable mic that works well and is easily muted via the headset’s in-line controls.
Cheap headsets rarely sound, look or feel this good. If you’re wanting to improve your gaming experience on a budget, adding the Venom Sabre to your arsenal is a great place to start.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: No; Amp/remote: N/A
£28.93 Buy now
2. Razer Blackshark V2: The best of the best
Price: £100 l Buy now from Razer
Without a doubt, the Razer Blackshark V2 is the very best gaming headset on the market. Supremely comfortable, with a staggering amount of audio and mic output controls through Razer’s Synapse software, the Blackshark V2 is an excellent wired gaming headset which supports PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and any smartphone with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The large 50mm drivers help to create exceptional sound, delivering crystal-clear audio through THX Spatial Audio via the included 7.1 channel sound card for PC. The detachable mic also does a good job at removing pesky background noise, without compromising voice quality. Of course, the only downside (other than the price) is that the Blackshark V2 isn’t wireless. However, the long 1.8m cable should do the job whether you’re plugging it into a controller or into the gaming PC under your desk.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm, USB sound card; Surround sound: THX Spatial Audio; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes
2. Logitech G332: The best gaming headset under £50
Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon
The Logitech G332 is an affordable gaming headset that oozes comfort, excellent recording quality and cross-platform compatibility. The flip-to-mute microphone is intuitive and with a wheel on the left cup, it’s easy to adjust the headphone’s volume. The G332 houses large 50mm drivers and as a result have wide pads that sit around your ears – they’re supremely comfortable. In their very nature, these large drivers offer a wide soundstage. Instrument separation is its greatest asset as you’ll hear enemy footsteps from afar and be able to distinguish positional cues with ease.
Sonically, it has a warm, fun sound signature with ample bass and treble to keep you locked into your game. For under £50, the G332 an excellent choice for gamers. If you want the very same experience, but want to add surround sound and an optional USB soundcard into the mix, get the dearer Logitech G432 headset instead.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: N/A
Logitech G332 Wired Gaming Headset, 50 mm Audio Drivers, Rotating Leatherette Ear Cups, 3.5 mm Audio Jack, Flip-to-Mute Mic, Lightweight for PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch – Black/Red
£39.95 Buy now
$64.99 Buy now
3. EKSA E900 Pro Stereo: The most comfortable headset under £50
Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon
The EKSA E900 Pro is a supremely comfortable gaming headset. The earcup and headband cushions may not be the plushest but they’re extremely soft while still forming a decent seal around your ears.
You’ve got a choice of two connection options – detachable USB-A and 3.5mm cables are supplied and plug into the left earcup of the headset. Rather cleverly, you can lock the 3.5mm jack in the headset port, preventing it from being pulled out should you get over-excited when RNG blesses you with a rare drop. Also housed on the left earcups are an easy-to-access mic-muting button and volume scroll wheel.
The EKSA E900 Pro delivers solid audio but bass can be a little too dominant at maximum volume, causing on-screen action to sound muddy. Things are better when you’re listening at a lower volume and on the whole, the E900 Pro handles most frequencies well. If you enjoy a spot of PC gaming on the side, you’ll be able to utilise the E900 Pro’s 7.1 surround sound, once you’ve downloaded a driver from the company’s website. The detachable mic proved decent, too, picking up my voice clearly and without feedback.
Ultra-comfortable and versatile to boot, the EKSA E900 Pro is an impressive, affordable headset for gaming.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm/USB-A; Surround sound: PC only; Noise-cancelling mic: No; Amp/remote: N/A
EKSA 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset Xbox One Headset with Noise Cancelling Mic, LED Light, Headphones for PS4/Xbox One/PC/Switch with Detachable Mic& 3.5mm, USB Cables
£39.98 Buy now
4. Sandberg Dizruptor: The best entry-level surround sound headset
Price: £41 | Buy now from Sandberg
Sandberg’s Dizruptor headset is a great budget wired USB headset offering surround sound that doesn’t affect overall sound quality, unlike some 7.1 headsets we’ve tested. While playing Nioh 2 during testing, we were always able to pick up directional audio cues as enemies closed in on us or lurked in the shadows preparing an ambush.
The Dizruptor’s large, padded earcups are pleasantly soft and its headband stretches automatically to fit your head, which is a nice touch. Microphone quality for such an affordable headset is top-notch, too. We were heard clearly and accurately at all times and the flexible mic can be moved out of the way when not in use, though there is no way to mute it. The Dizruptor’s only other minor issue is that it needs to be plugged in via the USB Type-A connector attached to its nylon-braided cable. The cable is 2.2m long so you don’t have to sit too close to your console, but the option to plug it directly into your controller via a 3.5mm jack would have been nice.
The Dizruptor is an excellent budget buy, on top of the aforementioned pros, it also has RGB lights on the earcups to add a bit of colour to your gaming time.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: USB Type-A; Surround sound: Yes; Noise-cancelling mic: No; Amp/remote: No
5. Trust GXT 488 Forze-B: Best budget headset for PlayStation lovers
Price: £30 | Buy now from Game
If you love the PlayStation ecosystem, the Trust GXT 488 Forze-B is the budget gaming headset for you. It’s officially licensed and specifically designed for PlayStation 4, with the instantly recognisable logo adorning both earcups.
The headset is comfortable to wear for long periods, with generous padding on the earcups and soft foam lining the adjustable headband. Sonically, it offers a solid stereo audio experience, though there’s perhaps a tad too much bass, as the on-screen action can sound slightly muffled at times.
The omnidirectional microphone is easily folded up out of your way when not in use and can be muted via the in-cable control box, which also allows you to change your volume. Call clarity is impressive but the mic does pick up a fair bit of background noise when compared with some cardioid mics we’ve tested.
For the price, you can’t go wrong with the Trust GXT 488 Forze-B. It’s comfy, sounds decent and its aesthetic perfectly fits the PlayStation brand. The basic version comes in black but there are eye-catching, albeit slightly more expensive, blue and grey camouflage options available.
Key specs – Platforms: PS4; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: No; Amp/remote: Yes
Trust Gaming GXT 488 Forze-B [ Officially Licensed for PS4 ] Gaming Headset for Playstation 4 with Flexible Microphone and Inline Remote Control – Blue
£29.99 Buy now
6. PuroGamer Gaming Headset: The best volume-limiting headset
Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon
If you want great gaming audio without compromising your aural health, the PuroGamer is just the ticket. This wired headset makes a point of limiting volume to a maximum of 85 decibels, which is where sounds become harmful to your eardrums if listened to for prolonged periods. The sound quality is impressive and, unlike many gaming headsets, doesn’t overemphasise the bass, making for a nicely balanced audio experience. The mids and vocals are particularly crisp, so you’ll hear every word of your favourite dialogue-heavy RPGs with clarity.
The 1.4m long cable features a splitter leading to 3.5mm and USB Type-A connections, giving you flexibility in how you connect, and also houses an in-cable control box, which lets you mute your mic and control volume. The mic picks up and isolates your voice very well, filtering out a decent amount of ambient sound and if you’re playing solo, it’s easily removed.
Limited volume may not be for everyone, but if you want to take care of your ears while gaming, the PuroGamer will help you do that without sacrificing audio quality.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: USB Type-A, 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: No
PuroGamer Gaming Headset – Safer, Volume Limiting Wired Headphones for Kids and Adults with Dynamic Sound and Noise-Canceling Gaming Mic for PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox 1, iPad, Mobile Phone by Puro Sound Labs
£59.99 Buy now
7. Fnatic React: Far more than an esports cash-in
Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon
Despite what you may think, the Fnatic React is no mere cash grab from one of the world’s most recognisable esports brands. It’s an excellent all-round gaming headset that’s comfortable, sounds great and features an extremely high-quality detachable microphone.
Its large and super-soft faux-leather earcups make even the longest sessions a pleasure and overbearing bass takes a backseat in a soundstage expertly balanced with competitive gaming in mind. It’s not got any special features to speak of and you don’t get any additional accessories, but what you do get is a superb-sounding headset that you can wear happily for hours.
Read our full Fnatic React review for details
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 53mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: No; Amp/remote: Yes
£69.99 Buy now
8. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox: Comfy cross-platform connectivity
Price: £99 | Buy now from SteelSeries
Ignore the name: the mid-range Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox works just as well for the PS4, PC and Switch, as well as Android devices. Once the Xbox Series X launches, it’ll work for that too. Plug the headset’s nifty USB-C transmitter into your console of choice (via a provided USB-A adapter, in some cases) and the Arctis 1 Wireless connects instantly. The sound quality is superb, delivering immersive and accurate sound staging, and the 2.4GHz lossless connectivity ensures ultra-low latency playback.
The Arctis 1 Wireless is more than just a great-sounding headset. Its ‘Discord-certified’ detachable boom microphone relays your voice loudly and clearly while also cutting out white background noise thanks to its bidirectional noise-cancelling capabilities.
This headset’s comfort might actually be its biggest selling point, however. The steel-reinforced headband makes for a snug fit but it remains comfy thanks to a layer of foam padding, and the earcups themselves have a soft, plush interior that gives the ears plenty of room to breathe.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox review for more details
Key specs – Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Android; Driver size: 40mm; Connection: USB-C 2.4GHz (wireless), 3.5mm (wired); Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: No
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless For Xbox – Wireless Gaming Headset – USB-C Wireless – Detachable Clearcast Microphone – For Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android (Xbox One)
£99.99 Buy now
9. Turtle Beach Atlas Three: Hear yourself
Price: £62 | Buy now from Amazon
The Atlas Three offers a unique feature: you can hear yourself. This can be toned down or entirely disabled if you prefer, but by having this feature will prevent you from raging. As for sound quality, it has a prominent mid-bass slam, good treble extension and instrument separation, though it does sound a little congested when on-screen action ramps up.
Design-wise, the headset has a flip-up mic, soft ear pads and adequate padding at the top of the headband, making it an ideal choice for those of us who wear reading glasses. The only caveat: it needs to be recharged due to the built-in amp integration, although it does boast an impressive 40-hour battery life.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: Yes; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: N/A
£48.99 Buy now
10. Audio-Technica ATH-G1: The best all-rounder
Price: £149 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re looking for serious audio prowess, an excellent microphone and a supremely comfortable design that’ll let you game for hours, the Audio-Technica ATH-G1 is a great choice.
Sound quality is in Audio-Technica’s DNA and it comes through the G1’s 45mm drivers – instrument separation is fantastic, the warm-sound signature comes across gracefully and the bass extends into the nether regions of the low frequencies. Despite not having all the bells and whistles of other gaming headsets, you shouldn’t overlook this fantastic gaming headset. There’s also a wireless option available too – the ATH-G1WL – though it’s a quite a bit more expensive.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One; Driver size: 45mm; Connection: 3.5mm; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/Remote: No
£149.00 Buy now
11. HyperX Cloud Mix: The best dual-purpose headset
Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon
The HyperX Cloud Mix is a versatile headset that’s compatible with every gaming platform and successfully doubles up as a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Audio quality is impressive regardless of whether you’re using the Cloud Mix wired or wirelessly. We’re not talking audiophile levels of sound but there’s weight to the bass, detail in the mid-range and decent instrument separation. When wired you can reap the benefits of hi-res audio; game soundtracks and dialogue are reproduced vividly and with real clarity. When listening in Bluetooth mode there’s support for the aptX codec in addition to AAC and SBC, which is a big plus.
The detachable mic works well for in-game communication and there’s also an in-built mic for when you’re using the headset wirelessly. It’s not quite as clear as its detachable counterpart but is good enough for phone conversations.
There are undoubtedly better Bluetooth headphones and gaming headsets out there, but as a dual-purpose product, the Cloud Mix is hard to beat.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 40mm; Connection: 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth; Surround sound: No; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: No
£139.99 Buy now
12. Asus ROG Strix Fusion 700: Multi-platform gaming
Price: £220 | Buy now from Amazon
Asus’ ROG Strix Fusion 700 is a versatile, multi-platform gaming headset that boasts excellent comfort, looks, and impressive sound quality. Its key selling point is the ability to simultaneously use a Bluetooth and wired source – so you can answer an incoming call from your smartphone while being immersed in your game.
Sonically, these have a fun sound signature: the mid-bass is pronounced, the mids are soft and there’s plenty of treble energy; and with the impressive ESS 9018 DAC built-in, they deliver an engaging sound. The recording quality isn’t bad, either.
Elsewhere, the headset features customisable RGB lights, which synchronise with other Aura Sync-enabled products. The Fusion 700 is aesthetically pleasing and its flip-to-mute mic makes it easy to talk in private. On the negative side, its build quality – namely its loose micro-USB connector – does create a cause for concern.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, mobile; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: USB, Bluetooth; Surround sound: Bongiovi Acoustics 7.1; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/remote: No
ASUS ROG Strix Fusion 700 Gaming Headset with Hi-Fi-Grade ESS DAC and Amp and 7.1 Surround on the go for PC, Console and Mobile Gaming with Bluetooth 4.2
£189.99 Buy now
13. Astro A40TR: The best headset for competitive gamers
Price: £250 | Buy now from Astro
Astro offers three versions of the A40TR – one designed for PC/Mac, one for use on PlayStation and the other for use on Xbox.
Regardless of whether you game on PlayStation or Xbox, the fourth-generation A40TR is among the best-sounding headsets. Its open-back design means it has an incredibly wide soundstage, which is excellent for listening to footsteps or even enjoying the scenery in open-world games. It’s comfortable too: the soft leather cushioned pads make it comfortable for hours of gaming, and its detachable noise-cancelling mic prolongs the life of the headset.
As for the MixAmp Pro that comes included, it provides excellent, noise-free sound quality. Note, if you want the wireless variant of the A40TR, you’ll have to get the A50 instead.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One; Driver size: 50mm; Connection: 3.5mm, optical, USB; Surround sound: Dolby 7.1; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes; Amp/Remote: MixAmp Pro
14. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless: The best premium wireless headset for PC and PS4
Price: £300 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re a PC or PS4 gamer, headsets don’t get much better than the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. This headset allows you to play your favourite games in truly immersive style with its drivers reproducing high-resolution audio to 40,000Hz. It features lossless wireless audio for PC and PS4, courtesy of a wireless transmitter, while offering Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices. A dual battery system allows you to charge one battery in the transmitter dock while using another in the headset, with each lasting up to 20 hours, so you’ll never be caught short on battery. Luxurious build quality, a bidirectional microphone and the ability to customise your audio experience via the transmitter make this headset the standout choice for elite players who take their gaming seriously.
Key specs – Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One (via 3.5mm only), mobile; Driver size: 40mm; Connection: 2.4GHz/Bluetooth (headset), 3.5mm, USB; Surround sound: DTS Headphone: X v2.0; Noise-cancelling mic: No
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless – Gaming Headset – Hi-Res Speaker Drivers – Dual Wireless (2.4G & Bluetooth) – Dual Battery System
£289.99 Buy now