For total immersion in your gaming, there's nothing better than a high quality headset. Hearing that magazine reload behind you or your teammates shouting out the next play puts you right in the game. Our customers have told us which headsets they will be treating themselves to this year, and we've listed them here. First, let's discuss something that often comes up regarding headsets...
Why Do Headsets Break Easily?
Durability is absolutely paramount when choosing a headset, as anyone who has ever owned a pair will tell you. Buying a cheaper quality or generic brand headset is never recommended, as the cables and small connections have a tendency to wear down over time, affecting both your sound quality and mic performance.
Also, anyone who has ever had a long gaming session and stood up from their desk can tell you that the whiplash you receive is less than fun. It doesn't do much good for your headset either.
So, yes, durability and reliability is key. You can avoid tension on the headset cord/cable by choosing a headset that has a long cable, thus avoiding any mishaps. It is also wise to ensure the cable is off the floor when you're gaming, which is often just a case of using a cable clip or mouse bungee.
What To Look For In A PC Gaming Headset
When you are playing games on your PC, you use a headset for more than just in-game audio. You could be recording audio for a gameplay video, talking to teammates or friends on Discord, listening to music or a podcast or watching a movie/TV show - so having flexibility for all of these things, along with excellent mic performance is important.
We have looked at all of the important features our customers wanted, and used them as a guide for our recommended gaming headsets.
Noise cancelling headsets are important for those who have a lot of background noise where they play games. Noisy roommates, street noise or other sounds can be distracting when you're trying to save the world, or attempting a speedrun record. Most of the over-ear headsets we're featuring below have noise cancelling and sound isolation for this very purpose.
Another factor to consider is if you need the headset to feature high quality surround sound for use with sound applications such as Windows Sonic, for example. When you're gaming, surround sound capability will mean you'll know exactly which direction sounds came from, and when you're streaming movies or TV shows, you will hear everything with much higher clarity.
Our customers tell us that the headsets they choose must be comfortable for long gaming sessions, soft enough that they won't make your ears hurt after a few hours and also comfortable for those who wear glasses. Even foam ear cups can hurt after a long period, so it's vital that there is an adjustable tension on the headband, and the ear cups themselves are very soft.
Mic Flexibility & Performance
Not everybody's head is the same size, and not everybody has the same voice volume, so a mic that has a flexible stem means you can position it perfectly to get the best audio when you're in chat or recording your voice. Durability comes in again here, because mic stems are one of the first moving parts to wear down over time.
Cross Platform Use
Gamers don't always exclusively play games on their PC, so the ability to use your headset across PC, Xbox, PlayStation and other consoles is a good option. Headsets with USB Type A, USB 2.0 and regular audio and mic jacks all have different compatibility, so it's important to find out if you can use them
Top 5 Most Wanted Gaming Headsets For PC
GameMax Razor RGB Gaming Headset
December Price: £13.85
An excellent entry level gaming headset - currently priced under £15 - the GameMax Razor RGB offers excellent sound and audio quality whether you are playing games on PC or console. You can also add some illumination to your gaming session with the RGB lighting on each ear cup.
- Sound Quality: 40mm neodymium drivers for powerful and clear sound
- Surround Sound: 5.1 surround sound
- Comfort: Soft ear cups and foam/steel adjustable headband
- Mic Flexibility & Performance: Omni-directional, swivelling mic
- Cross Platform Use: USB2.0 connector - PC and console compatibility, with two jacks audio and mic
Cooler Master CH321 RGB Gaming Headset
December Price: £25:00
Cooler Master are synonymous with durability and high performance, with excellent pedigree in the IT market. The CH321 headset is described as being a "daily driver", flexible and sturdy enough for prolonged use, and comfortable enough for those extended game nights. Comes complete with RGB, with 7 colors and cycle effects.
- Noise Cancelling: Excellent sound isolation performance
- Sound Quality: 50mm neodymium driver, and built in sound card for excellent sound performance
- Surround Sound: Virtual 7.1 surround sound
- Comfort: Flexible suspension headband and plush PU leather ear cups
- Mic Flexibility & Performance: High-quality mic amplifies voice audio and reduces background noise for improved clarity
- Cross Platform Use: PC and Console use; USB Type A connection for multiple devices including PC/NB, Xbox One S and PS4 and PS4 Pro
Tecware Q5 USB Premium Gaming Headset
December Price: £34.99
The reason the Tecware Q5 have "Premium" in the name is not just for marketing. The features on this headset belie its very affordable price, and it is not difficult to see why this is both a CCL best seller and a most wanted headset this year. Besides the excellent feature-set below, the Tecware Q5 includes RGB illumination which you can control through software.
- Noise Cancelling: Passive noise isolation & closed back design
- Sound Quality: 40mm neodymium driver, 5-Band Custom Equalizer Settings
- Surround Sound: 7.1 surround sound for spatial sound & immersion
- Comfort: Soft Memory Foam Leatherette Ear Cups and adjustable headband
- Mic Flexibility & Performance: Omnidirectional, detachable & flexible wide bandwidth mic with crystal clear voice reproduction, gain control and foam windshield to minimise background noise
- Cross Platform Use: Compatible with consoles with USB input
ASUS TUF Gaming H3 Gaming Headset
December Price: £49.99
The ASUS TUF Gaming H3 headset has been designed to provide both comfort and durability, allowing gamers who play or stream for marathon sessions to do so without any distractions. The engineering in the TUF Gaming H3 headset is as you would expect from ASUS, featuring ASUS Essence drivers for a rich and immersive gaming experience. Lightweight and designed with 20% less clamping force than the previous version, with ear cups covered in a fast-cooling material, you will feel much less pressure on your ears, and enjoy a much more comfortable gaming session.
- Noise Cancelling: Excellent noise cancelling. Filters out external sounds when you are listening to audio.
- Sound Quality: 50mm driver. Exclusive airtight chamber & ASUS Essence drivers for clearer, natural-sounding audio and strong bass
- Surround Sound: Virtual 7.1 surround sound
- Comfort: ASUS fast-cooling ear cushions (100% protein-leather) and fast-cooling memory foam, lightweight construction, adjustable stainless steel headband
- Mic Flexibility & Performance: Unidirectional boom microphone, tuned especially for clear voice communication.
- Cross Platform Use: Multiple platforms (PC, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch, mobile phones and Xbox One etc.)
Gigabyte AORUS H1 Gaming Headset
December Price: £99.98
For the gamer who wants no compromise, the Aorus H1 gaming headset offers a raft of features that range from spatial surround sound to a microphone that offers Environmental Noise Cancellation. With in-line RGB, sound and audio controls you have complete control over your experience, and RGB lighting surrounding a cool Neopunk aesthetic.
- Noise Cancelling: Oval shape covers ears and provides passive noise cancellation
- Sound Quality: Deeper base and rich, spatial sound
- Surround Sound: Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound
- Comfort: Soft, breathable ear cups, lightweight design with zero-loading for longer sessions, and face contouring for a comfort fit
- Mic Flexibility & Performance: ENC - Environmental Noise Cancellation - and durable design. Filters out background noise and enhances voice.
- Cross Platform Use: Compatible with all kinds of platforms such as PC, laptops, and console games, etc.