With the holidays just around the corner it means the holiday shopping season has arrived, and for many it’ll be time for you to start thinking about what to get for your loved ones. Whether it’s gifts for friends, family or a significant other, we have you covered and are here to help you find the best gifts for those you plan to get gifts for. We’ll have a range of different guides up across a number of different product categories, and this one will be focusing on the best gaming headsets for PC, console, and mobile devices.
Gaming takes many forms these days and that includes what platforms and devices people play on. For some it’s PS5. For others it’s strictly mobile devices. Or if you’re like me then you play on just about any platform. The headsets we’ve picked for this guide are what we feel are the very best for each platform. Though most if not all will be multi-platform headsets. Our aim with these picks is to help you narrow down your choices. With that said, we’ve rounded up five of the best gaming headsets available along with some honorable mentions.
Best Budget Headset: HyperX Cloud Stinger
HyperX pushes the limit on how much quality you can fit into an affordable headset
There’s a few reasons why we chose this headset and right off the bat we’re going to hone in on the price first. Price is always generally a factor when buying new products and that doesn’t stop with gifts. Normally the HyperX Cloud Stinger is priced at around $50. And at that price we’d have still included it here because it has incredible value for that cost. Right now though it’s an even better value because it’s on sale for $19.99. And for an entry level gaming headset of this quality that’s something you do not want to pass up.
Outside of price, the HyperX Cloud Stinger has a great set of features for its price point. What I personally really liked was how comfortable it is. Which honestly isn’t always something you see when a headset is priced at $50 or below. In fact in my experience headsets around this price range are usually a lot less comfortable, and noticeably so. But that is definitely not the case here with the Cloud Stinger. The large cushioned ear pads are made from memory foam so they never felt too firm or abrasive on my ears.
The headset also comes with a nice stainless steel headband which helps with durability. I like this kind of rigidity in gaming headsets because I don’t have to worry about them breaking. And yet because it’s stainless steel it’s still flexible and easy to stretch a bit when you need to put it on your head or take it off. Worth noting of course is that the inside frame of the headband is what’s stainless steel while the outside is plastic with a cushy leatherette portion that rests against the top of your head.
Another thing I really love about this headset is that it’s compatible with basically all platforms. It’s a wired headset so you do have to plug it in. And that’s a big reason why it’s as inexpensive as it is. That being said, this also makes it really easy to fit with just about any platform. I have a PC, a Nintendo Switch, a PS5, a Steam Deck, and mobile devices that I play games on. And the Cloud Stinger is a headset that works with all of them. The only catch here is that whatever your device you’re trying to use it with needs to have a 3.5mm audio port to plug in the headset. Luckily, all of the platforms I mentioned do support 3.5mm audio.
The last reason I want to focus on this headset as one of our picks is the mic audio quality and the actual sound audio quality coming from the earcups. First things first, the audio quality is great. It’s not going to be top of the line premium sound. But that’s not what you expect when you buy a headset that costs around $50. You do however want it to be good and it definitely is good. The mic is also good when it comes to audio quality and I had no issues with people hearing me in voice chat. And my absolute favorite part about the mic is that it uses a flip-to-mute system. No tiny buttons to press.
Just flip up the mic and it’s automatically muted. This also makes it really easy to shove a few snacks in your mouth quickly as you can flip it up and flip it back down when ready. All-in-all the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a standout gaming headset and a perfect gift for gamers. It’s an awesome value and great quality and works with basically anything.
Honorable Mention: Logitech G432
The great thing about less expensive wired headsets is that there are a TON of options available for consumers. Most brands will have more than one budget option and this makes for a great selection. However, that many options can make it easy for the best ones to be drowned out. While the HyperX Cloud Stinger is our pick for best budget headset, the Logitech G432 is our honorable mention. It’s about the same cost when they’re both available at normal price and can be picked up for $49.99. The reason we think this is a great budget pick is because above all else the sound quality is great for its price and it’s incredibly comfortable. We also love the flip-to-mute mic.
Best Budget Wireless Headset: Razer Barracuda X
The Barracuda X gives you the best bang for your buck in entry-level wireless options
Razer’s Barracuda X has a lot going for it and if you’re looking for something that’s still entry-level but has the added benefit of wireless, it’s hard to beat the Barracuda X. Normally coming in at $99, it’s currently on sale at Amazon for $79.99. Now the Barracuda X is not alone in its category for headsets that offer wireless with similar features at this price point. SteelSeries actually makes a really good headset in the Arctis Nova 4 that sits at $120. However, the Arctis Nova 4 doesn’t have Bluetooth and is 2.4GHz only. So you need to have the USB-C adapter plugged in for it to be usable in a wireless state. And that’s a shame. Because sometimes the adapter is just cumbersome to use.
This is where the Barracuda X has the advantage as it offers both the 2.4GHz low-latency audio and the Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it perfect for using the headset on the PS5 and PC with the adapter. But then you can easily use it via Bluetooth for the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Even the Steam Deck. In my own experiences it was overall better having the Barracuda X connected to mobile devices and handhelds via Bluetooth since there was no fiddly USB-C adapter to deal with. On the go the adapter is just one more thing to lose. And if you want a little more peace of mind then Bluetooth as an option is a nice addition.
The Barracuda X is made primarily of plastic so it isn’t necessarily built for durability. But the use of plastic does help keep the headset pretty lightweight at just 250 grams. And that lightweight build is going to be perfect for longer gaming sessions and bringing the headset with you from place to place. From my experience the breathable memory foam ear cushions also help to keep your ears comfortable while you game but they don’t cause too much heat buildup. So your ears stay cooler for longer periods of time and that adds to the overall comfort factor.
Also worth noting is that the mic is flexible so you can move it back and forth to be closer or further to your mouth. Which makes it easy to move it away if you want to take a bite of something or have a sip of water without it getting in the way. It’s also detachable on the Barracuda X so you can also just remove it entirely if you prefer.
When it comes to audio quality the Barracuda X is pretty good and delivers a good amount of bass. And this is great if you like really bass heavy audio from your gaming headsets. If you prefer something more precise with directional audio, the Barracuda might not fit your needs. It’s not bad but I have used headsets that are noticeably better both in and above this price point. So that is something to keep in mind if you want a headset that will work well for more competitive types of games like first-person and third-person shooters. Where I feel like the Barracuda X really does shine is with battery life. Razer says it lasts for up to 50 hours and I found this to be mostly accurate Getting about 47 on average.
Overall this is a solid headset in the upper entry-level spectrum of gaming headsets and for around the $80 to $100 range, this will be hard to beat due to the Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity alongside good audio and good comfort.
Honorable mention: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4 is another really solid gaming headset for around this price as it sits at $119.99. There are lots of things to love about this option. It has the ComfortMax system that debuted on the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless which is excellent for adjustability and comfort, and it offers 360-degree spatial audio which is better for directional awareness if you’re playing shooters. I also really love that it has a retractable mic instead of a detachable one because with this style of headsets for SteelSeries the mic goes flush into the left earcup. And this is great to ensure you never misplace it yet it’s almost as if it’s not there when not in use.
Additionally the Arctis Nova 4 comes with the Nova acoustic system which I feel is a tad bit better than what you get on Razer’s Barracuda X. However, it only connects via 2.4GHz and does not have Bluetooth. And while it does work with multiple platforms, the loss of that Bluetooth just makes it a little less convenient. If you don’t care about the Bluetooth connectivity then this is an excellent option around this price. But if you want the Bluetooth go with Razer’s Barracuda X.
Best Headset for Competitive Games: Logitech G Pro X 2 Lightspeed
Logitech set out to build a headset that helps you win and it succeeded
The original G Pro X Lightspeed has been one of my favorite gaming headsets that I’ve ever tested and while a tad pricey it was well worth it. The G Pro X 2 Lightspeed ups the ante with improved features and better materials that make up the components. Specifically the use of graphene drivers that provide a much more rigid consistency of the driver as it moves up and down. And that results in a more precise audio output so your sounds are as accurate as they can be when playing.
This isn’t going to matter for every single game but, if you play a lot of competitive shooters, like Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Battlefield 2042 or any other shooter out there, then this is a big deal. This is one of the best headsets I’ve tried when it comes to the output of directional audio. And if you like to play off audio cues in games, such as footsteps and enemy gunfire, these definitely make a big difference.
Outside of the audio quality, which you can enhance through the G Hub PC software by the way (and there are TONS of different settings and things to tweak), the G Pro X 2 Lightspeed has great battery life and range. These would last me upwards of 50 hours on a single charge. Which meant I could usually game with them for close to a week before needing to plug them in. Your mileage may vary based on how much you play every day or if you play every day. So that’s worth keeping in mind. The short of it is though these last a while.
These are also incredibly comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions. Logitech packs two sets of ear cushions in the box. There’s the leatherette ear cushions which are a little better for comfort in my opinion, but they can get a bit warmer after a few hours. There’s also a pair of velour cushions which are more breathable and will be the option you want to use if your ears tend to get hot. Both however are memory foam and are very comfortable in general.
These are 345 grams so when it comes to weight, this is a pretty heavy headset. And for some that might translate to fatigue during longer gaming sessions. I will say though from my experience the weight wasn’t too much of a factor and didn’t really cause them to be uncomfortable for me. The reason these are heavier though is because of the durable metal construction. The headband and ear cup hinges that make up the main frame of the headset are metal. It’s a very sturdy headset and you won’t have to worry about it accidentally snapping in half if you tend to yank your headsets off. Speaking of the hinges they’re rotatable so the earcups can lay flat when the headset is around your neck. And this makes a big difference for comfort if you slide the headset off your head for a quick break.
As with all of the other headsets these are also multi-platform so they’ll work with PC, PS4, and PS5. They unfortunately don’t work for Nintendo Switch or Xbox. So there’s one downside to these. But don’t worry as we have other options in this guide for those two platforms.
Honorable Mention: Sony INZONE Buds
Gaming earbuds aren’t for everyone but they’ve gotten better and better over the past couple of years. And the $199 INZONE Buds from Sony are probably the newest pair out there. I’ve used these quite a bit over the past couple of weeks for gaming on my PS5 and on PC, and a little bit here and there with the Switch and mobile. They work great across all of those platforms but it is worth noting that if you’re using these via Bluetooth, the device needs to support Bluetooth LE, which the iPhone does not support. So unfortunately you can only use these on iPhone with the USB-C adapter.
When it comes to battery life it’ll vary based on your connection method. You get about 24 hours on Bluetooth or 48 hours with the included charging case. Or if you’re using the USB-C adapter that gets cut in half to 12 hours and 24 hours respectively. Comfort-wise these are pretty darn comfortable and I was able to wear them for hours without any discomfort. That being said the reason to want these really are the audio quality. The use the same drivers as Sony’s 1000-XM5 earbuds which are very good quality for sound.
They also feature spatial audio when you’re using them on PC and they support the 3D audio on PS5. So either way you get directional audio for games where that matters. And it really adds to the immersiveness of the experience. The last thing worth mentioning is that these also feature Active Noise cancellation and an ambient noise mode. So you can block everything out or let a little bit of sound in when needed. In short, they’re comfortable, sound great, and really deliver on comfort and audio on supported platforms. However, if you need something that is a little more versatile there are better options in this guide.
Best Overall Headset: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless outshines the competition in just about every way
If you’re looking for the best overall gaming headset, then stop reading after you’ve finished reading about the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless because this is the best gaming headset on the market across the board. That isn’t to say it couldn’t be improved. But all of the good stuff outweighs the bad and it still comes out on top.
For starters, this headset is the most comfortable gaming headset I have ever worn. The super plush leatherette memory foam ear pads and the ComfortMax system SteelSeries uses on this headset make it possible for me to wear this thing all day and never get tired of it being on my head. I have worn this through multiple day-long gaming sessions with friends in Destiny 2 without breaking a sweat. And I never feel like I have had to take the headset off. It also uses a very convenient extendable adjustment system for tightness around your noggin.
Going beyond the comfort, battery life is one of the best things about this headset. Now, on a single charge the headset would only last about 20-22 hours for me. Which is ok, but not excellent. Where this headset shines is that it actually runs off of a removable, rechargeable battery. So when one dies, you can simply plug it into the base station that comes with the headset to charge the dead battery, and then pop in the charged one and get back to your audio.
The batteries are also hot swappable. And if you swap them out within about 8 seconds or less the headset won’t power down. There is a slight connection delay of a second or so to bring the audio back. But the headset stays on which is the important thing. It’s this method of charging that makes the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless unrivaled when it comes to gaming headsets. It’s neat, it’s convenient, and you literally never have to plug the headset itself into a USB-C cable.
You simply swap batteries until the end of time. When you’re done playing, just turn off the headset and hang it wherever you put your headset. Then power it up again and use it till the battery needs to be swapped and then repeat.
Now let’s talk about the base station (the DAC) that comes with the headset. This serves multiple functions. It acts as a charging station for the batteries, yes, but it also acts as your hub for all the adjustable audio settings. There’s a small touch control button and an adjustable dial for interacting with moving through the menus and settings. And the dial also controls volume. The base station is also what allows you to connect to your PC and console wirelessly with low-latency audio. I have it plugged into my PC and my PS5. But SteelSeries also makes a version that works for PC and Xbox.
Additionally, the headset has Bluetooth audio which means it can connect to your smartphone or tablet, and your Nintendo Switch. Where it gets even better is the simultaneous audio mixing from both sources. So you can hear the audio from your PS5 or Xbox and the audio from your phone at the same time. This is extremely useful for getting the game audio and having Discord or something else from your phone while you play.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the audio on the Arctis Nova Pro is really very good. And it gets much better on PC where you can use the SteelSeries GG software and tune the sound to your liking with the SteelSeries Sonar features. You can adjust all kinds of stuff on both the earcups and the with the mic. And it all leads to just an overall exceptional gaming audio experience. If you’d like to read more about the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless you can check out our full review.
Honorable Mention: Master & Dynamic MG20
Master & Dynamic isn’t your typical gaming headset company. They specialize in high-end luxury headphones. But back in 2021 the company released a gaming headset. The MG20. These are just as high-end as some of the company’s best headphones. And with that comes a luxury price tag as these are set at $449.
In most cases I wouldn’t say these are the best fit for the majority of gamers. Even those looking to spend hundreds are better off with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. But, the MG20 is still a great gaming headset. It’s one of the most comfortable pairs I’ve worn and that’s in large part due to the premium materials used in building it. The nice thing too is that these double as a really stylish high-end pair of headphones when you aren’t gaming. Which are great for travel and general day-to-day use. If you’re in the market for something high-end that can be for stuff other than gaming, these are a solid pick.
Best Mid-Range Multi-Platform Headset: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X
A high-end headset masquerading as a mid-range headset
To round out this guide we’re picking the Arctis Nova 7X from SteelSeries. Two headsets from SteelSeries in one guide and an honorable mention on top of those? Yep. And that’s because SteelSeries makes a phenomenal gaming headset. It’s currently at the top of its game with what’s released this past year. There are a lot of really good headsets out there for gaming but out of the ones we’ve tested, we felt we picked the best ones for multiple price ranges. And for around $160 (normally $180) the Arctis Nova 7X is really just too good to pass on.
Now the Arctis Nova 7X model in particular is meant for the Xbox. But SteelSeries does make a version for PlayStation called the Arctis Nova 7P, and then there’s just the regular Arctis Nova 7. So you can choose which one fits your situation. There’s a lot of really great features in this headset that trickle down from the Arctis Nova Pro wireless and that’s one of the reasons why we think it deserves to be in this guide.
While it doesn’t have the hot swappable batteries it does have a pretty long battery life at up to 38 hours on a single charge. It also has the SteelSeries Sonar software features built-in. So when you use it on PC and load up the SteelSeries GG software, you can click over to the Sonar tab and adjust all kinds of sound settings for both the ear audio and the mic audio. Things like mic monitoring are present too so you can make sure you sound your best for voice chat.
Additionally, the Arctis Nova 7X and the other two headsets in the series use the ComfortMax system. This stretchy band on the inside of the headband can notch into three different positions based on your preferred level of tension. And then you can still extend or shorten the headband length. Depending on how big or small your head is and how much you need to make the headset fit just right. Then to top it all of the ear cups will swivel and lay flat if you need them too. And this is perfect for both when you hang them up since they look nicer, and for when you slide them off your head to wear around your neck during short breaks.
The other really awesome feature that carries over is the simultaneous connection with the 2.4GHz low-latency and Bluetooth. So you can mix audio from both your game and your phone. As noted with the Arctis Nova Pro this is excellent if you want to connect the headset to your phone for voice calls or voice chat with Discord or other apps while you also hear the game audio from your console or PC. And believe me this is extremely useful.
Worth noting is that if you have an Xbox and a PlayStation console, this is the model you want to get. As this will work with Xbox and PlayStation. Whereas the PlayStation model will not work with Xbox because of the proprietary tech. All-in-all this is an excellent gaming headset for the mid-tier range. And a nice alternative to the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless if you don’t want to spend $329 but still get most of its best features.
Honorable Mention: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023)
The BlackShark V2 Pro has a lot going for it in its latest iteration. Its standout features though are definitely the really clear mic audio and the comfort. It might be a tad pricey at $199 when compared to our main pick. But it’s an excellent option if you want to spend between $20 and $40 more. Not only is it comfortable, it also has compatibility with PS4 and PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Mobile. This is one you definitely won’t be dissatisfied with.