1. SteelSeries Arctis 7
The best overall gaming headphones for PC and PS4 players
- Wide operational range
- Long battery life
- Outstanding build quality
- Clean and punchy audio
- Maybe a little small for large heads
- Wired-only Xbox and Switch support
- Volume dials are a little fiddly
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is our favourite gaming headset. Why? Because it’s everything a good headset should be. It’s remarkably comfortable to wear over long periods, thanks to a clever self-adjusting band – and, unlike models from some competitors, it doesn’t present any nasty side effects as a result.
Using a USB transmitter, the Arctis offers excellent battery life and range. Audio quality is sublime, regardless of the application; it’s just as happy with your music library as it is with Battlefield 1. The headset also employs DTS Headphone:X when gaming on a PC, providing an extra sense of space through virtual surround sound.
If you’re a PS4 or PC player and have around £150 to spend on a headset, then look no further. The Arctis 7 is an outstanding piece of audio equipment. Not only is it built to look and feel expensive, but its functional design makes it a joy to use for hours on end.
2. Asus TUF Gaming H3
The best value gaming headset
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Excellent, balanced sound quality
- Clear microphone
- Plasticky build
- Non-removable mic
The Asus TUF Gaming H3 excels at the three most important aspects of a gaming headset: comfort, audio and microphone. It’s genuinely difficult to believe how cheap these headphones are when it does the fundamentals so well.
Of course, there are compromises to be had when purchasing a gaming peripheral on the cheap. In this case it’s the build quality, as it feels distinctively plastic. And while we can’t comment on durability given our limited time with the headphones, it is something we suggest to be wary of.
But if you’re looking for great-sounding gaming cans without spending upwards of £50, then the Asus TUF Gaming H3 is easily our top recommended pick.
3. Corsair HS70
The greatest wireless gaming cans you can buy for under £100
- Tasteful design
- Excellent all-round audio
- Very comfortable to wear
- Fantastic microphone
- Surround sound is PC only
- Perhaps lacking a little clarity
- Earpads not easily replaceable
The Corsair HS70 is the best gaming headset available for less than £100. The headset is a breath of fresh air in the gaming market, which seems hell-bent on adding RGB lighting and sharp corners to everything it can. It features a pleasingly unassuming, refined design and is one of a select few gaming headsets you’d be willing to wear in public.
It also ticks all the right boxes when it comes to functionality, offering robust audio quality, with plenty of power in the low end. The mic is also wonderfully clear and excellent for voice chatting when playing online.
The only downside is that it uses proprietary earpads that can only be purchased direct from Corsair, which is a pain if you plan to use it long-term.
4. Sennheiser GSP 370
Great design, many features generally seen on more expensive headsets and astounding battery life
- Solid audio quality
- Stellar battery life
- Comfortable fit
- More expensive than key rivals
Detailed, clear audio, a wonderfully subtle design and industry-leading battery life mean you’ll struggle to find a better headset than the Sennheiser GSP 370 for less than £200. It stands out from the competition by offering a number of the features seen on its more expensive sibling, the Sennheiser GSP 670, plus a marathon 100hr battery life.
This headset is designed for comfort and simplicity. Setup and interface are also very simple. The Sennheiser GSP 370 comes with a low-latency connection dongle that makes setting it up on a PC a doddle. Pop the dongle into an open USB port, switch the 370 on, then bingo bango, you’re good to pew pew. Controls feature a basic power switch, volume dial and unidirectional microphone that’s muted when you flip it up.
Sennheiser’s pitching the GSP 370’s zero-latency audio connection and robust 100hr battery life as key selling points, and for good reason. The only area the headset didn’t fully deliver on was surround sound. It matches competing sets, but is less accurate than the GSP 670, which supports full-fat 7.1 surround sound. However, while the GSP 670 headset does outperform its newer stablemate, it is a seriously expensive piece of kit.
5. Razer Kraken (2019)
The best-value wired gaming headset
- Comfortable to wear
- Punchy bass response
- Attractive design
- Strong build quality
- Excellent microphone
- Mid tones can get a touch muddy
- Relatively weak head-grip
This edition of the Razer Kraken is essentially a tweaked version of the older Kraken V2 Pro ‘phones from 2017 – this headset is more comfortable, thanks to gel-lined cushions around the cans, and the adjustable mic features improved ambient noise rejection, but in terms of sound quality, it’s the same story, the same custom-tuned 50mm drivers and same great gaming performance at a price that’s excellent value.
Volume can be cranked up to a very high level. Slightly muddy mid-range performance is only really noticeable at high levels or when you’re listening to music.
We had no gripes with the Razer Kraken when gaming, as solid bass response gives the roar of explosions and jetpacks a satisfying boost, while the clunk of weapon reloads clatters pleasantly around your lugholes.
The 1.3m cable is long enough to give you a bit of distance without getting you tied up in knots.
Put simply, the 2019 Razer Kraken, like the V2 Pros, is an excellent choice if you want value for money.
6. Audeze Mobius
The only choice for audiophile gamers
- Great audio quality
- The most immersive gaming experience on the market
- Comfortable fit
- Mic issues when used wirelessly on Windows
We won’t lie, £400 for a gaming headset is pretty extortionate. But, if you can afford it, the Audeze Mobius more than justifies its upfront cost. The Mobius features a wealth of custom hardware you won’t find on any other gaming headset.
For starters, it’s the first mainstream headset to use planar magnetic drivers. These are different to the dynamic drivers you’ll find on most other gaming headsets and let the Mobius offer more detailed, immersive audio. It also features head-tracking tech that lets it detect and optimise its audio settings for over 1000 different head movements. The tech works a treat and makes the Mobius the best sounding, most immersive gaming headset we’ve ever tested.
Add to this a premium, mature design that’s blissfully free of the “l33t” colourings and RGB lighting seen on competing headsets and the Mobius easily earns its place on our list.
7. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
Best wireless gaming headset for Nintendo Switch
- Wireless use on Switch and other platforms is flawless
- Audio is surprisingly punchy and clear for the asking price
- Mic is detachable with decent speech quality
- Aesthetic is bland and lifeless for the brand
- No surround sound
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless have one special skill, which is fairly unique in the gaming headset world: wireless Nintendo Switch support. While Nintendo has refused to enable Bluetooth support for its portable console, SteelSeries has come up with a workaround thanks to a USB-C dongle that can be plugged into the bottom.
This isn’t just a one trick pony either, with the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless boasting terrific audio and microphone quality, making it a solid option for multiple platforms.
However, the lack of surround sound and a bland design are noteworthy niggling issues for a headset at this price point, as the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless do cost an extra premium for that special Switch support.
8. SteelSeries Arctis 9X
The best gaming headset for Xbox fans
- Slick, attractive design
- Excellent audio that’s easy to customise
- Works seamlessly across Xbox One and PC
- One of the most comfortable headsets out there
- Design’s reliance on plastic can be a distraction
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X is very similar to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 which sits atop of this best gaming headset ranking, but it costs a little more and is optimised for the Xbox One instead of PlayStation.
SteelSeries hits the high notes in every key area for gaming headsets, including audio quality, comfort and the microphone. If there’s any criticism to be made here, it’s that the extensive use of plastic undermines the otherwise premium design.
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones for the Xbox, this headset is certainly one of our top recommended choices – though have a look at the SteelSeries Arctis 7 if you’ve got a PC or PlayStation instead.
These are our top picks of the best gaming headsets. If you want to know more about the different types of gaming headset and what to look for when buying one then read on.
How we pick the best gaming headsets
As with all of our gamer peripherals, we rigorously test each headset before fully reviewing it. If a device is compatible with different platforms, consoles as well as PC, then we’ll be sure to try it out on the lot. Wired or wireless, we check that the audio quality is good enough and that features such as surround-sound support work as expected. We also make sure the mic clearly picks up your voice, even in a noisy environment, so your online pals can hear every zinger and sick burn.
To make sure our testing is thorough enough, we use each headset for extended periods. How comfortable is it during all-night fragfests? If the headset is wireless, does the battery unexpectedly give out halfway through a match?
What type of headset should you buy?
Analogue headsets: These use one or more 3.5mm headphone jacks to transmit audio to and from the headset, and are often universally compatible with PCs, consoles and mobile devices. The sound quality will rely on your individual device, however, and they won’t support surround sound out of the box. Keep in mind that on PCs with separate mic and headphone jacks, you’ll need a splitter. Some headsets come with one, but not all. Check before you buy and pop one in your basket if you need one.
Digital headsets: Featuring an integrated DAC (digital-to-analogue converter), digital headsets offer cleaner sound, higher volumes and software integration. USB-connected headsets will work on PC/Macs and PlayStation consoles, while optical-based headsets will work with Xbox and PlayStation consoles, plus PCs with optical ports either on the motherboard, internal sound card or USB sound card.
Wireless headsets: Using a transmitter that’s connected to your PC or console, wireless headsets offer hassle-free gaming audio. However, they do require charging, are often heavier, and cost more than their wired counterparts. Check compatibility with your console of choice, since not all wireless headsets support all consoles.
Virtual Surround Audio: Headsets using stereo drivers can recreate multi-positional audio to deliver a surround sound effect into your ears. The advantage is that the headset remains cheaper and lighter than those using multiple drivers, but the effect is usually less accurate than a true surround headset.
True Surround Audio: For the most authentic surround sound you’ll be after a headset with multiple drivers in each earcup. Each speaker fires sound from different placements, with the user in the centre of the action. Such headsets are often quite pricey, though, and the extra speakers require a larger and heavier design.