We know you’re excited to snatch up your new headset and prepare for deployment in the Warzone, but if you don’t consider a few key facets of design first, you may end up spending most of your time in the gulag.
- Lightweight – Too heavy and they’ll cause fatigue and eventually strain.
- Adjustable Headband – Customize size for your head.
- Spacious Earcups – Prevents ear fatigue.
- High Quality Padding – Needs to feel like you’re wearing nothing at all.
- In-Line – Situated on a small module on the wire.
- On-Ear – Situated on the earcup.
- Separate Module – A dedicated device you can place strategically (normally a premium appointment).
Before we even think of broaching the complexities of sound quality, we need to find you something that feels super comfortable on your head and ears.
If a headset doesn’t nail this fundamental requirement, it doesn’t matter how pristine the sound profile is, you’re only going to be able to wear them for a couple of hours at a time. That’s enough, for what…two games? Three if you die early in one of them.
The important aspects of a comfortable headset are as follows…
Now we can talk about how your headset sounds. Ideally, it will be compatible with some sort of company software that allows you to dial in custom sound profiles. Failing that, you need to choose something that suits your preferences and gaming habits.
We’d say a solid low-frequency response is essential for modern gaming, but that’s not to say you should sacrifice too much quality in the mids and trebles. Otherwise, unless all your friends sound like Barry White (which would be dope), you’re not going to hear them with enough clarity.
Next on the agenda is making yourself heard. To accomplish this, you need a high-fidelity mic that delivers your voice to the team in a clear and full-bodied fashion.
Unfortunately, at this level in the market, you can kiss directional mics goodbye, but even among standard designs, there will be a difference in the amount of extraneous noise they allow into the system.
Detachable vs Static Mic
Ideally, you should be able to use your gaming headset as a set of standard headphones without looking like a wally as you bounce your way downtown to your favorite tunes. That means, unless you’re going for a late 90s Britney Spears look, you need a headset with a detachable mic.
If you only ever plan on using your headset indoors, you can forget all about this and focus solely on the sound quality of a mic instead.
Wired vs Wireless
While peripheral wires are steadily becoming a thing of the past, there are a few benefits to sticking to the tangled tradition, namely, low latency. Wired designs offer the fastest signal transfer, ensuring a minimal delay between on-screen action and your ears, and, of course, between you and your friends in the chat.
Wireless designs, on the other hand, are a minimalists dream, no messy cables, no trip-hazards, just cool clean air. Fortunately for you, wireless headsets are almost nonexistent at $50 or less, so that might make your decision for you.
Last but not least, we need to mull over how our headset should be controlled. There are three types, and it all comes down to personal preference. Your options are…
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Gaming Headset Under 50?
In our opinion, it’s the HyperX Cloud Stinger, but it’s not just us that thinks so. It’s widely considered to be the best of the best across gaming communities as a whole.
Are Expensive Gaming Headsets Worth It?
Expensive headsets do have better, more detailed sound quality, and they tend to come with some nifty features too, but the higher up the market you go, the more it costs for minor improvements. In light of this, budget headsets offer the best bang for your buck.
How Long Do Gaming Headsets Last?
Gaming headsets tend to last between 2 and 5 years, but if you treat them nicely, there’s no reason yours won’t last even longer.
What Headset Does Pewdiepie Use?
Pewdipie uses a Razer Nari Ultimate Pewdiepie Limited Edition Headset.
Loaded with surprisingly powerful directional drivers, the Cloud Stinger headset has an exceptional sound profile. The bass is bold and full-bodied, perfect for immersing you in the bullets and booms of an FPS war zone, the mids are tight, ensuring subtle action noises ring out with clarity, and the highs are nice and smooth.
While it’s not a directional design by any stretch, we were pleasantly surprised by the boom mic’s ability to cancel out noise from the environment. No matter what’s going on around you, your team will hear you loud and clear.
Of course, at this price, there are bound to be a couple of issues, one being that sound quality can differ vastly depending on the position of the Cloud Stinger on your head. Furthermore, they don’t have great noise cancellation, so extraneous sound can be distracting. Besides that, Cloud Stinger offers you great audio quality for your buck.
The drivers in the Arctis 1 aren’t quite as well-rounded as the Cloud Stinger, but that’s not to say they don’t grab you by the collar and pull you into the gaming world. They bring more warmth, slightly reduced articulation, and less brightness in the treble.
Offering fantastic audio acuity, the mic ensures you never fall out of touch with your team and split focus. It’s also detachable, so you can seamlessly transition to a more casual look for solo missions.
They have fixed wire, which isn’t too practical, but great for low latency communication. We’d say they could stand to be a little more comfortable for those mammoth gaming or streaming sessions, but Steel Series makes up for it with the awesome on-ear audio mixer.
Not quite as well put together as the Cloud Stinger, you’ll need to treat it with respect if you want it to last, so try and cut down on the rage-quits and you should be fine.
If you really want to pamper those ears of yours, you’ll consider the G432 headset. Featuring soft yet firm foam and voluminous cups, your ears never come in contact with any surface, eliminating fatigue, allowing you to game harder for longer.
More than just a comfy pair of cushions, the G432 offers an insane amount of sound modularity for the price. Hook it up to Logitech’s awesome G Hub software, and you can dial in the perfect audio mix for you. As everyone’s hearing is unique, this can really help optimize your gaming experience.
The G432 mic is probably our favorite on the list, all communications coming and going with great clarity, but unfortunately, it’s non-removable, so this headset’s not suitable for casual wear. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention that the plastic-centric build is very ‘gamery’, which, depending on your tastes, can be a fantastic or terrible thing.
Not only do the stealth vibes of the HS60 make it the coolest looking headset on our list, it’s actually the best put together too. It feels solid in hand, just heavy enough to give them a tactile feel without compromising in-game comfort.
They’re a little bass-heavy out the box, but luckily, you can make revisions to the sound profile and get it just right for your ears. Using the same iCUE software, you can turn on 7.1 surround sound, adding a locational element to the audio response. This is fantastic for games like COD, when hearing the direction of a distant footstep can mean the difference between a devastating loss and glorious victory.
The mic is fully detachable, which is a neat feature, but it’s not the best mic in the game, often leaving you sounding somewhat tinny.
No products found.
At this super budget price point, you simply can’t beat the Recon 50X. It just can’t be done. For less than $30, you’re treated to a wonderfully responsive and clear, detachable mic allowing your team to perform like a well oiled gaming machine. It also does a venerable job of preventing surrounding noise from worming its way into the chat.
What truly shocked us about the 50X is the punchy bass. It really helps transport you into high-action gaming scenarios, adding a very visceral element to the FPS experience.
Volume is controlled via an in-line remote, which is easy to locate and highly responsive, ensuring you can make lightning-fast adjustments without losing focus on gameplay.
Build quality leaves much to be desired, as it feels a little tacky and fragile in hand, and they cancel out very little noise from your immediate environment, but at this price point, you can’t sweat the small stuff.
Did any of these awesome gaming headsets grab your eye? Kind to both your ears and wallet, any one of them would make a marvelous addition to a gaming setup. Now get out there and tip the balance on that W:L ratio!