Although games seem to be on an eternal quest for the highest visual fidelity (what are we up to, like 8K now? 10K?) there’s no overstating how important audio is to our favourite gaming experiences too. Whether it’s something as grand as a powerful and awe-inspiring score we want to envelop us, or a need to detect a much smallest detail such as footsteps creeping around the corner, a good gaming headset is vital. From big-budget options to those of you looking to get the best value for your money, we’ve gathered together five of the best available this year.
SteelSeries Arctis 3
Sometimes you want the convenience of one product to do everything. Easily one of the main advantages of the Arctis 3 is its compatibility with every device you would ever want to play a game on. So, if you want to hop from the PC to your PS4 or Xbox One, or maybe take them on the road with your Switch in handheld mode, you can. Mobile devices are supported too!
The Arctis 3 doesn’t skimp on useful features either, offering a ClearCast bidirectional microphone, 7.1 surround sound on PC and on-ear controls that allow you to adjust the volume or mute the microphone with ease. Designed for comfort and detailed audio quality too, this is an excellent all-rounder gaming headset for the price. A wireless version, Arctis 7, is also available.
Razer ManO’War Wireless 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
Speaking of wireless headsets, wires are, in today’s crazy modern world, just a nuisance. Fortunately, you can forgo all the frustrating knots and tangles when gaming with this wireless headset from Razer. The ManO’War is definitely not cheap but does offer up a comprehensive list of features.
Mostly, you’re buying this headset for the freedom of wireless tech. The Razer ManO’War boasts lag-free 2.4 GHz wireless technology, which promises to deliver high fidelity 7.1 surround sound audio at a range of 12+2 metres. That should settle any fears of its capability for picking out enemy players in the most intense online games.
A single charge will last for up to 14 hours of continuous play, which isn’t exactly something we would recommend, but that’s more than enough battery life to last multiple gaming sessions on your PC or PS4. Oh, and it lights up, too! There are 16.8 million colour combinations, to be exact, so you’ll never run out of options there.
Tritton Kunai Stereo Headset
As we’ve just seen, gaming headsets can be an expensive piece of kit. At the end of the day, though, if you’re not crazy about 7.1 surround sound or wireless tech and are just after something to pipe the noise from your console into your ears then the Tritton Kunai is a decent option.
Taking a no-frills approach, the Kunai series offers stereo audio with a comfortable build quality. The microphone is also detachable, so you can remove it if you just want to use the headset to watch movies or listen to music. One important thing to consider is that, depending on how you intend to use them, there are a number of versions available. Each comes with small to significant tweaks to better support different Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo consoles, as well as generic PC or mobile use.
HyperX Cloud Stinger
Again with a slightly more affordable option, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is an excellent mid-range gaming headset that supports PC, PS4, Xbox One and more. It prioritises comfort over everything else, offering 90-degree rotating ear cups for a better fit around your neck, an adjustable steel slider for added durability and extra cushioning on your ears from HyperX’s signature memory foam. With all that it still comes in at just 275 grams, making it one of the lightest gaming headsets too.
The good news is that doesn’t mean it has to sacrifice too heavily on sound quality. You won’t be getting 7.1 surround sound but the 50mm directional drivers deliver precise audio at a reasonable quality. A noise-cancelling microphone that can be muted with a simple flick upwards rounds a solid headset that offers great value for money.
Corsair Void Pro 7.1 Gaming Headset
For another option that sits perfectly in the range between high-spec and affordability, the Corsair Void Pro mixes together features from all our previous picks. First up, it’s a well-built headset with mesh fabric and memory foam on the pads to keep comfort at a maximum. You get Dolby 7.1 surround sound and a unidirectional noise-cancelling microphone, so you’ll be well-prepared for your next round of CS:GO or PUBG. Plus, the Corsair Utility Engine software allows you to tweak a vast number of settings to create your perfect audio balance – whether you’re gaming, watching a movie or listening to music.
It’s important to point out that this version features USB connectivity for use on PC, though versions are available that also support consoles via a 3.5mm jack.
That’s our list of top picks for the best gaming headset 2018. Think we’ve missed anything out? Feel free to give us a shout on Twitter and we’ll look into it.