When it comes to gaming, some people prefer the use of a mouse and keyboard. Others find joy in sitting back on their couch with a controller in hand, while still others enjoy sitting close up with their headphones and a mic giving commands and calling out targets.
One thing all gamers can agree on: audio is important! A good gaming headset will create an immersive experience that adds to any game. A headset also allows players to talk with teammates or trash-talk enemies through its microphone. Not only that, but they add style points! Many headsets available come in bright colors such as white, pink, or green for those who like colorful accessories to go along with their vivid imaginations during gameplay.
What Options Are Out There?
There are many headsets, from earbuds that rest in the ear to large headsets covering the entire ear.
The most important thing a gamer can do before buying a headset is learned about what they want from their equipment and, from there, compare multiple models from different companies. When trying out headsets, gamers should judge each model on its comfortability during long play sessions and noise cancellation or sound quality for listening to music outside of games.
Headset choice is very subjective, so that this article will introduce readers to popular gaming headsets available with brief descriptions of their pros and cons for players’ reference.
Headsets range in price from around $20 to almost $300, with many options falling between those two numbers depending on features. Earbuds are the cheapest option ranging in price from $10 – $20, while larger headsets can cost much more depending on manufacturer, features, and style.
Headsets connect to a computer by either a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB, or Bluetooth. Most come with an audio/mic splitter, so you can use both simultaneously when plugged into a pc. In addition, many consoles have Bluetooth functionality so they can be paired directly from their system, which requires no wires for audio and mic chat. Finally, some headsets have cables that split off from one another to give users more length if needed for pc usage. In contrast, others come in a single cable that terminates into a 3.5mm plug that plugs into a controller or laptop’s headphone port.
Headsets are designed specifically for specific systems such as Playstation 4, XBOX One, Nintendo Switch, PC, WiiU, or PS Vita. Some headsets are compatible with multiple platforms, but others are only made for one, so checking before buying is important.
Since gaming headsets spend most of their time strapped to a player’s head or in a bag waiting to be used, they need to be strong enough to withstand being dropped, tossed around, and generally handled roughly. As a result, cheaper headsets often break under the slightest pressure (or even no pressure at all!), while more sturdy models can last for years of rough handling.
Though comfort is usually not as important as sound quality, durability, and features that enhance gameplay, it is still important to consider when buying a new headset.
After long gaming sessions, players might start to feel pain in their necks, head, and earlobes. So the most comfortable gaming headsets will be lightweight, have deep ear cups that don’t press on the skull or pin the ears down and have strong headbands with adequate padding.
Headsets come in many styles and colors, ranging from classic black to vibrant hues of pink and green for those who like their accessories to stand out. Sometimes they even feature designs such as animal print, digital camo, or sports team logos for gamers who want their equipment to be more than just a tool for gaming!
Headsets with microphones usually come in 2 varieties: built-in mics located on the headband close to the ear cups (sometimes removable) and detachable boom mics that can be removed when not in use.
Detachable mics placed on the headband without a boom-style microphone tend to suffer from echo and other distortions due to the sound echoing off nearby surfaces such as the player’s face, clothes, and even body. Built-in mics often perform better than detachable mics, but they still aren’t immune to those problems.
Noise cancellation is important for those who want to block out any noise coming from their surroundings or people in the room while playing games online with others like Overwatch or Destiny 2.
Headsets with active noise cancelation (ANC) feature small microphones located on the inside of each ear cup that picks up surrounding sounds then plays white noise through the headset’s speakers to cancel out these sounds. ANC is usually found on more expensive headsets that aren’t just for gaming use, but some cheaper options exist.
Cross mixing is an adjustable setting on some headsets that controls how much game audio can be heard while chat audio is being played through the headphone speakers.
Players might prefer to hear their teammates loud and clear over in-game sounds on some setups, while others may want to completely drown out all noise except for music or other sound effects meant to enhance their gaming experience. This is especially useful for strategy games where hearing enemy footsteps could mean life or death!
Headsets are by far one of the most versatile gaming accessories available. Their main function is to provide an immersive sound experience for gamers through virtual surround sound, deep bass, high treble, and other features that give gamers a competitive edge during multiplayer matches online or competing against their friends with popular titles.
Just remember to always check compatibility before buying, so you don’t have to return your new headset after realizing it won’t work on your system!