The gaming headset is an essential part of your gaming setup and all pro gamers have one. However, it is a fairly technical element and it is not necessarily easy to fully understand all the specificities that make a good gaming headset, but it is necessary to choose it well. That’s why we’ve written this comprehensive guide to help you make your final choice from the shortlist of helmets available on maxesport.gg
The headset can be used to listen to music or watch a movie, but for a gamer it will mainly be used for gaming . It can also become a real asset in the game and even sometimes make the difference, especially in FPS. This is why we have selected helmets intended primarily for this purpose, even if most remain very versatile. The purpose of this guide is to help you find the gaming headset that will best meet your expectations, obviously taking your budget into account!
How to choose a gaming headset?
To choose the best gaming headset, you must take into account many characteristics such as sound quality but also comfort , the immersion it provides or the options it has. To do this, you must understand each of the attributes of your helmet.
You will also have to make basic choices such as opting for a wired or wireless headset, or the type of microphone. Then, depending on the importance you give to each element and your budget, you will be able to make an informed choice. You will also certainly have more affinity with certain brands.
How much to invest in a gaming headset?
There are very large disparities in price between helmets, you can find helmets at 20$ (we strongly advise against them) and helmets at more than 350$. To have a decent helmet, you have to count at least 40-50$ , this is the price of an entry-level from Corsair with the HS35 or even from Cooler Master with the CH321 which are very good helmets, at this price.
To gain in sound quality and comfort, you will have to count between 70$ and 110$ at this price for many excellent headsets, it is also the budget that we recommend for most gamers .
Then we come to high-end headphones with a perfect finish, with 7.1 surround sound and sometimes on-board sound cards, but you have to have the budget.
What are the best gaming headset brands?
There are specialists as with everything, each brand of peripherals offers at least one model of headset. But some brands have proven themselves and offer complete ranges that meet all expectations and all budgets. This is the case of brands like Corsair , Razer , EPOS or Logitech . Note that brands like Fnatic Gear have released excellent headsets recently!
Features to know:
The sound standard of a gaming headset
The audio standard will have a great impact on the sound of your helmet, there are several sound standards to sort the helmets with each their characteristics:
- Stereo: The stereo standard is the most common standard on gaming headsets . This type of sound is created with an earpiece in each earbud of the headset. It is therefore with two channels (left and right) that the sound is broadcast in your ears. We find this standard on entry and mid-range headphones , they can have very good sound but the surround will be more immersive and precise.
- Surround: 5.1 surround or 7.1 surround is basically a standard for “home cinema”, these figures correspond to the number of speakers present in the room to provide the best possible immersion . As for gaming headphones, it’s the same thing but in the form of a virtual representation of this sound spatialization. This is what offers a real advantage in game because with surround sound you can hear exactly where the enemy is coming from!
- DTS:X : This standard is essentially the same as the Dolby standard. If you’re a pro, you’ll see a slight difference in DTS:X sound that purists say is “slightly better” than Dolby. In both cases, these standards are often a guarantee that the helmet is a high-end helmet.
A helmet has a sound spectrum, this spectrum corresponds to the range of sounds that the helmet can reproduce . To simplify, tell yourself that for a good sound with good bass you need a wide spectrum that will cover most of the sound that can be heard by the human ear. Some headphones even go beyond the human spectrum (20 to 20,000 Hz) to offer better treble and better bass without any saturation.
The impedance of a gaming headset is the resistance it will have to current. Basically, the higher the headphone impedance, the more power it requires to send similar sounds. It is therefore necessary to favor headphones with low impedance , but as this aspect is generally well managed by the manufacturers, it is not necessary to dwell on it too much.
The diameter of the neodymiums of a gaming headset
The diameter of the loudspeakers or the “neodymium”, for connoisseurs, plays on the overall quality of the sound and especially on the bass. So the larger the diameter, the better.
The microphone of a gaming headset
Knowing how to position your opponent thanks to sounds alone is already a great advantage, but communicating the information to your teammates, or being able to request an assist is even better. For this you need a microphone, fortunately all recent gamer headsets are equipped with it, but they are not all the same.
There are different types of gaming headsets with built-in microphone, these microphones can be:
- Retractable: The microphone goes inside the helmet, you can use it like that or pull it up to put it at your mouth.
- Adjustable: The stem of the microphone is flexible so the head of the microphone can be positioned perfectly.
- Detachable: It is possible to detach the microphone, practical for playing solo or watching a video for example.
In our opinion, the microphones that offer the best reproduction of the voice are the unidirectional microphones , because they pick up the voice better.
Also opt for those with active noise reduction . This active noise reduction will create a filter that will stop all the extraneous noise behind your voice.
Your teammates will thank you if you get this type of microphone.
The sound card
To start, you should know that nowadays all motherboards include a basic sound card often of fairly good quality. In our opinion, two reasons can justify the addition of a sound card:
- Want to enjoy 100% of a high-end helmet (Over 150$)
- Have a high-end dedicated mic for streaming
Sound cards can be dedicated and installed in the central unit, but some high-end headsets include a sound card, in particular to manage 7.1 surround.
The criteria to take into account for a comfortable helmet:
The sound quality is a very important element for a gaming headset, however the comfort of it should not be neglected. Indeed, it is not uncommon to feel discomfort after playing for a while… which is very annoying. Comfort must therefore be a main element and with a good gaming headset you must be able to play for hours without asking questions. Here are the main elements that will be taken into account.
A wireless headset
We put the notion of wireless in the comfort part because today wireless gaming headsets offer the same sound quality as wired headsets without any latency . The advantages of a wireless headset are obvious, the wire won’t get in your way and a wireless setup is always cleaner.
On the other hand, it will be necessary to recharge the helmet regularly and they are often heavier and also more expensive.
So, if you play a lot and have a limited budget, it may be better to opt for a good wired headset.
The headband of the helmet
The headband of the helmet is the part that comes to rest on top of the head. This is very important because it greatly contributes to playing comfort.
We advise, above all, to choose a helmet with adjustable arches , it may seem strange but some helmets are not suitable for all body types. In our opinion, the best is to equip yourself with a helmet with double arches , one flexible which will fit your morphology and the other rigid to support the rest of the helmet. If possible, the arches should be favored with a wide and generous foam to best fit the shape of the head and evenly distribute the weight of the helmet.
In terms of weight, the lighter the helmet, the more it will be forgotten. A headset that is too heavy can cause a feeling of fatigue during long gaming sessions.
Supra-aural vs circum-aural :
- Supra-aural: this is the type of headset with which the earbuds will rest on your ears . You will find these helmets rather at the entry level because the comfort is often less for a majority of people and you will hear the surrounding noises. On the other hand, if you prefer to hear what is happening around you, it can be a good choice.
- The circum-aural: these helmets entirely encompass the ears , they come to rest around them. This feature is often found on high-end and mid-range gaming headsets. They offer unparalleled comfort, especially when the padding is generous. In addition, the noise isolation will be optimal to allow you to fully concentrate on your game. Pro players all use headsets of this type.
The covering at the level of the padding of the ear cups can be made of several materials. In leather , which will give better insulation and lifespan , in imitation leather or even in perforated fabric to avoid the feeling of heat and sweating. It’s up to you to see what seems most important to you, knowing that the material of the covering is more a question of comfort than performance .
The best options on a gaming headset:
RGB gaming headsets
For lovers of light effects, there are of course RGB gaming headsets . So of course, you don’t see it while playing because it’s on your ears, but on a setup it’s still impressive! Anyway, most high-end headsets today offer RGB.
Remember to check the software compatibility if you want to create effects with your other RGB devices.
The majority of gaming headsets have buttons directly integrated into the headset to be able to adjust the volume without having to “alt+tab” or activate or deactivate the microphone . Small features that we like to have for conversions with parents in the middle of a game, for example.
Sometimes all or part of the controls are located on a remote control attached to the wire which can be practical.
It is essential that you check the compatibility of your gaming headset, especially if you play cross-platform. Some helmets are only compatible with a PC, others only with certain consoles… to overcome this problem, some helmets offer adapters in their box . To be checked especially for use on several platforms.
The software is much more than a simple management of leds. It allows you to adjust the sound parameters like the smallest detail . Find out before buying so you can select the brand whose software will seem the most simple and intuitive to you. If you already have devices of the same brand, it may be the same software.
What support for my gaming headset?
Surprisingly, there are quite a few gaming headset stands on the market and only a few brands offer them. However, in our opinion, it is a must have for any helmet holder, it allows it to be stored neatly and showcased .
There are basic supports such as the Corsair ST100, but also supports that provide additional functionality such as the Razer Base Station V2 Chroma with front USB ports and RGB backlighting or the Cooler Master GS 750 which includes a sound card and even an IQ induction charging station.