There’s nothing quite like a piece of kit purpose built for the task at hand. Whether it’s a pair of quality running shoes, or a streamlined racing bike, the right equipment can make all the difference. The same goes for gaming headphones. Because while it’s possible to enjoy gaming through a set of speakers or a standard pair of audio headphones, a pair built for gaming will enhance the experience no end.
That’s because they offer features made with gamers in mind. Think on-ear cup controls, low latency, a strong wireless connection and noise cancellation for laser-like focus. Virtual surround sound technologies like DTS Headphone:X and Dolby Atmos can also make the game more immersive, while boom mics ensure your every utterance is heard loud and clear.
A good headset will level up your gaming audio. Here are seven to consider.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700
This wireless headset uses DTS Headphone:X to deliver virtual 7.1 surround sound to the wearer. That means you’ll feel like you’re sat in the middle of a proper surround system, with audio coming from all sides. Not only will that make games more immersive, it will also give you an advantage, as you’ll be able to pinpoint where you opponents are just by where the sound comes from. Active noise cancellation blocks out unwanted noise – think: anyone else in the room – while it also works for listening to music and handsfree phone calls. Download the Turtle Beach Audio Hub app and you can tweak the settings for the optimal gaming experience, too.
Audio Technica ATH-G1 Premium Gaming Headset
The ATH-G1 might not be wireless, but what you lose in convenience you gain in sound quality. Specially tuned, large 45mm drivers are the order of the day, and while the audio is only stereo, not surround sound, it will still pack plenty of punch. The boom mic’s highly directional pickup means your teammates – and opponents – will always hear you. And the breathable headband pad and earpads will keep you comfortable through hours-long gaming sessions.
SteelSeries Arctis 9
This headset is all about balance. Because not only can you listen to game audio and your own music tracks simultaneously, you can also use the earcup dial to find the perfect balance between game audio and chat volume, and without pausing your game. DTS Headphone:X comes as standard, giving you virtual surround sound, while the 20-hour battery life will last even the most marathon of sessions.
Logitech G733 Lightspeed
The G733 Lightspeed lets you stray up to 20m away from your console and still stay connected, thanks to the robust wireless audio connection. So you can nip out without missing out on the conversation. High-performance PRO-G drivers reduce distortion, while DTS Headphone:X delivers virtual surround sound to place you right in the middle of the action. Logitech Blue Vo!ce also uses DTS audio tech to deliver real-time voice filters that reduce noise and make your voice sound richer, cleaner, and more professional. You can customise the front lights too, and even design your own preset animation.
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay Portal
When the audio specialists at Bang and Olufsen turn their hand – and ear – to gaming audio, you know it’s worth paying attention. The Beoplay Portal packs Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound, and you can adjust the noise cancelling and voice balance on the fly. The mic is hidden, with an array of beamforming microphones isolating and amplifying the wearer’s voice while cancelling out background noise, creating a virtual boom arm. They’re not cheap, but they’re packed with tech.
Sony PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset
Some gaming headsets make the mistake of over-egging the bass, but this official Sony PlayStation headset gets the balance just right. Because it doesn’t lean too heavily into the low end, it doesn’t sacrifice other parts of the frequency range, so you’ll still pick up on the more delicate sounds. Certain games convey 3D audio to the headset too, making the experience more immersive. It’s built for wireless use with the PlayStation 4, but can be used wired with other consoles, as well as PC and Mac.
Xbox Wireless Headset
The Xbox Wireless Headset boasts three spatial sound technologies – Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X. Which gives you immersive audio through a greater range of devices and gaming titles. Auto mute and voice isolation reduce background noise so you can chat uninterrupted, while the headband is adjustable for added comfort. Ear cup dials let you adjust audio settings and volume without stopping the game, and they work as standard wireless headphones when paired with your mobile, too.