No PC gamer worth their kill/death ratio would skimp on a decent headset. Arguably more important than a mechanical gaming keyboard or a weighted mouse, a worthy pair of cans make the difference between guessing where enemies are and hunting them down like a sonically-enhanced ninja.
Pick the right pair and you’ll hear the sound of whizzing bullets envelop your ears while explosions rock your eardrums, and dialogue in games takes on a new level of clarity.
Whether you need a USB or 3.5mm headset, a surround sound or stereo pair, or simply one to communicate with friends online, we’ve picked out the very best PC gaming headsets for your needs.
1. Razer ManO’War
Surround sound without the fuss
Interface: Wireless | Features: Software-based 7.1 surround sound, Ear cup-mounted controls, Chroma RGB multi-color lighting, 14-metre range (using an extender, 12 metres without)
Great surround sound
Easy to set up
No wired option
Quick and easy to setup using an inconspicuous wireless USB receiver that stores inside the headset for transportation, the ManO’War is a user-friendly unit that’s primed for wire-free, surround-sound gaming. Sure, it’s a little chunkier than most other headsets, but soft leatherette ear cups make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. They’re easy on the eye too thanks to customizable Chroma RGB backlighting configured through Razer’s Synapse software. But it’s the ManO’War’s 7.1 channel virtual surround sound that takes centre stage. Delivered through finely-tuned 50mm Neodymium magnet drivers, they do a fine job of bringing you inside of games. Doom’s Imps are no longer somewhere around you – they’re breathing down your neck. ManO’War’s range can reach up to 14 meters using the supplied USB extender, and its battery life is capable of stretching to just as many hours.
Read the full review: Razer ManO’War
2. SteelSeries Siberia 800
A versatile and well-connected luxury headset
Interface: Wireless or wired (3.5mm) | Features: Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, On-ear cup controls, Swappable Lithium-ion batteries, External transmitter, Compatibility with mobile devices and PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4
Immersive surround sound
Costlier than others
Swapping batteries is fiddly
One of the costlier PC gaming headsets, the Siberia 800 is a multi-talented monster. Following on from the impressive SteelSeries H Wireless, this latest entry into SteelSeries’ range works with anything from mobile devices to PCs, laptops and games consoles. Its external transmitter, which lets you chop and change between devices using its dial and LCD display, acts as the brains of the operation. The real draw here is the Siberia 800’s effective Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound mode. Connect up the supplied optical cable to your sound card and you’ll get immersive multi-directional sound that’s the closest you’ll come to positioning speakers around the room. Its stereo sound impresses too, providing booming bass and punchy tones that make it a great for kicking back and listening to music. Not everybody will need the Siberia 800’s multiple connections and advanced features, but if you do then it’s the one to beat.
3. Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum
A command center on your head
Interface: Wireless or wired (3.5mm) | Features: 7.1 Surround Sound, Cup-mounted G-Keys (macro), Programmable RGB mutli-color lighting
Cup mounted macro keys
Average battery life
Logitech’s flagship gaming headset packs in plenty of bells and whistles, the most useful being its cup-mounted G-keys that provide handy shortcuts to performing actions in-game. In terms of design, The G933 is certainly one of the snazziest headsets around and oozes gamer appeal, and if you’re fed up of round ear-cups on headsets then you’ll appreciate its large and comfortable ear-shaped ones. Logitech has ran a multi-colored lighting strip all the way down the cup, rather than placing a flashing logo on the side, which in our eyes is more appealing than the small glowing areas on Corsair’s and Razer’s flagship headsets. On the negative side, this cuts down battery life to around 10 hours. Turning off the flashing goodness will help you eke out a few more,
4. Corsair Void RGB
Lights up the room and your ears
Interface: Wireless or wired (USB) | Features: 7.1 software-based surround sound, 2.4GHz wireless, 40-feet wireless range, 16-hour battery life, Mic on indicator, RGB lighting, Corsair CUE software, 50mm neodymium drivers, Noise-cancelling microphone
Long wireless range
Surround sound works well
Cloth (rather than leather) ear cups
Microphone isn’t great
If you’re looking for a pair of 7.1 surround sound cans with RGB lighting that won’t break the bank, Corsair’s latest entry should be high up your list. Its excellent 40-meter wireless range means you can go for a wander without your team-mates’ chatter cutting off, and the Void is capable of emitting fist-pumping bass that’s powerful without muddying the mix. You can configure its lighting colors using Corsair’s intuitive software and even make it dance in tandem with the company’s K65 or K70 mechanical keyboards. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way for adjusting the fold-down mic so its clarity often suffers, but it doesn’t put us off what is a solid and affordable option for surround sound gaming.
5. Hyper-X Cloud Revolver
Affordable and comfortable with punchy bass
Interface: Wired (dual 3.5mm) | Features: 53mm drivers, Ear cup memory foam, Noise cancellation mic, Audio volume and mute controls, Detachable microphone
Decent build quality
Punchy, bass-driven sound
No surround sound
No headset controls
If you think you’ve seen Kingston’s HyperX Cloud headset before, you probably have. Used by a number of eSports tournament organizers, here we have a no-frills headset that offers build quality that almost matches ones more than twice the price. Best of all, the Cloud is ready to rock. Its 53mm drivers have been tweaked to blast out punchy mid-range tones and pounding bass that’s best described as in-your-face. Subtle they ain’t. Its large over-the-ear memory foam cups, which are interchangeable, help block out unwanted noise. There’s no surround sound support or RGB lighting to be found here, and you’ll have to reach for the Cloud’s braided cable to get to its in-line volume and mic controls. If those factors don’t bother you then this value-focused headset comes highly recommended.
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