A decent gaming headset is a necessary accessory for all gamers, whether you like playing solo with story-driven, single-player games, or with your friends in fast-paced, online multiplayer matches. You should be going for one of the best gaming headsets, instead of trying to save a few dollars and ending up with a product that doesn’t live up to your expectations. If you’re wearing a gaming headset, you can better appreciate the details provided by in-game audio, from the soundtrack to the environmental audio, and a built-in mic is required for clear communication with your teammates. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good one, though; here, we’ve rounded up a heaping truckload of the best gaming headset deals available right now for as little as $20 to $25.
Choosing the right gaming headset isn’t as big of a decision as buying your next PC or console, but as with a mechanical keyboard or gaming mouse, you naturally don’t want to end up spending your hard-earned cash on one that isn’t a good fit. That’s why after setting your budget, it’s a good idea to spend a little time figuring out exactly what headset features you want and which ones you can live without (or maybe even ones you definitely do not want).
The first consideration after the price is what platform you’re gaming on. The vast majority of gaming headsets are universal in their basic functions, typically using a 3.5mm wired or Bluetooth wireless connection that allows them to interface with most devices (be they computers or consoles). Certain gaming headsets, however, are built with a specific system in mind and may have additional features that only function with that platform. For instance, a PlayStation 4 headset’s in-line remote or other onboard controls might not work properly with on your Xbox or PC even if the audio and basic in-game chat capabilities do, to name one common example. Just be sure to look over the specs and read customer reviews to make sure the headset you’re eyeing will operate fully with your chosen gaming setup. This is especially important if, like many gamers, you play on more than one platform.
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Choosing between a wired or wireless headset boils down to sound fidelity and convenience. Audiophiles generally agree that wired connections produce the best sound (which is not to say that a wired gaming headset will sound better than a high-end wireless headset), so if you don’t absolutely need a wireless headset at your battle station, then it might not be worth paying the premiums that come with Bluetooth-enabled cans. That said, many if not most wireless headsets also include a 3.5mm audio jack and detachable cable, giving you the option for a wired connection when you want it. Along with possibly providing better audio, this also prevents you from draining your wireless headset’s battery all the time.
A final note before you buy: As with most electronics, you tend to get what you pay for, but you also get diminishing returns on your dollar after you cross a certain budget threshold — for gaming headsets, that’s typically around the $80-$100 mark. Nicer gaming headsets will naturally have better sound quality, sturdier construction (usually), nicer materials (namely metal instead of plastic), and clearer microphones, and even nicer ones will feature things like detailed EQ settings you can tweak to fine-tune your experience as well as 7.1 virtual surround sound. Don’t get too caught up with those additional features, however; while nice to have if you’re willing to pay for them, these are not essential and jack up the price. Know what you need, stick to your budget, adjust your expectations to your chosen price point, and you won’t end up with buyer’s remorse.
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