What to look for in a Gaming Headset
Gaming headsets have gotten very popular ever since the old days of the Xbox and the PlayStation. They add a sense of immersion with a better sound quality over speakers. They cancel out any exterior noise. And they let you trash talk others online. They really make the gaming experience a whole lot better in my opinion.
If you really want to get the most out of your gaming, you’ll definitely want to invest in a good sound system. Most gamers I know use headsets due to the sheer convenience over other pieces of equipment.
Choosing the Best Wireless Gaming Headset
As with any kind of gaming gear ever made, there are a lot of good headsets, and there are a whole lot of bad ones too. There are some that do the bare minimum, and there are some that go above and beyond what is needed to give you a good sound.
The key is to know what you want.
I guess you could say that choosing a headset it’s just like choosing the right bottle of wine to pair with dinner. Nothing like a good food analogy! All joking aside, continue on for my handy tips on picking out the best headset.
Why should you buy wireless over wired?
Let’s start by answering the question of why you should consider buying a wireless headset over a wired one. The simple answer to that is convenience. About a decade ago, wireless gaming accessories weren’t the best things out there.
I remember when I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse thinking this was going to make my gaming easier, but the hardware had a poor signal, drained my batteries, and kept disconnecting. Back then, wired hardware was pretty much the way to go.
These days, a lot of wireless devices run on Bluetooth and on radio frequencies that do not interfere as much as they used to. Technology has moved forward, and is definitely making headway when compared to the old hardware back then. It’s even catching up to the wired gear that is still used today.
Having a wireless headset also means you don’t have to worry about cables getting tangled up. You can wander around and freely move to make yourself comfortable on your couch or chair.
Is it Compatible with your Console or Computer?
Before you start picking out the fanciest headset out there, you need to look at the ones that work on your gaming setup. You don’t want to fall in love with a headset only to find out that it was built for a different console.
The good news is that manufacturers have taken a hint on this main point; after all, they can sell more gear if they make it accessible for everyone, right? Nevertheless, you should make sure to check if the headset in question is compatible with your machine.
I would honestly recommend a wireless gaming headset for anybody who has a laptop, or any portable device for that matter. Computers and technology just keep getting more powerful, yet the hardware has gotten smaller in size. Having a wireless headset helps you enjoy good crisp sound even when you’re gaming on the go.
Is it Comfortable to Wear?
This is perhaps one of the more important things to consider, perhaps even moreso than the sound quality. After all, you will likely be wearing this headset for hours, and it would be a waste of money to get something that doesn’t fit comfortably on your head.
How do you know if it’s comfy? You simply wear them. While this can be tough to do if you shop online, it may be good to try on a set in a store, whenever possible.
If you have no other options besides shopping online, I’d recommend making sure your store has a good return policy. Remember, this is an investment for comfortable gaming to come!
Most gaming headsets are “over the ear” headphones, as in they are cups that fit over your ear, as opposed to earbuds. These earcups are designed to give you the best listening experience, as they block out a lot of exterior noise with would otherwise put a damper on your gaming.
Everyone’s ears come in all shapes and sizes, and I find that over-the-ear headphones fit most people very comfortably. It is for this reason that I would recommend choosing a headset that fits all around the ear.
Is it Sturdy, or Flimsy?
The next thing to check is the build of the gaming headset. Many headsets will be made with different materials, some good, and some are cheap.
As this is a headset that you’ll likely want to use for the long run, you’re gonna want to choose a headset that is made with the best parts. You should expect to keep a headset for at least 5 years before replacing it.
The price of a headset is a good idea of how well built the headset will be. This does not necessarily mean that a poorly built headset will break after a few weeks.
If you’re the kind of gamer who takes care of their equipment, and doesn’t go throwing their controllers, then you can certainly care for a flimsy headset. It’s good to shop around for reviews if you have any doubts. Anyone who can give you firsthand experience with a particular headset is the best one to ask.
You can also check with different manufacturers. Some companies such as Sennheiser boast having headsets that are built to last, so you may want to take the brand into consideration.
Does it have a Good, Crisp, Sound Quality?
This is an obvious thing to consider!
Keep in mind that certain headphones are built for certain kinds of hearing. Some headphones are built strictly for listening to music, while others are made with gamers in mind.
The trick is to understand the frequency curve of sound, and how this factors into your headset. We humans can hear a wide range of sound frequencies.
When listening to music, you will want to have a flat frequency curve, as this allows you to hear all of the notes and sounds that go into music. In the case of shooter games, when gunshots and explosions are all around, you’re going to want to have extra bass.
You may want to consider having a headset that delivers surround sound quality. This delivers a more immersive experience, and it’s good to go for a well known brand name; the cheaper headphones don’t always deliver on sound quality.
The bottom line: choose a headset that gives you a wide frequency of sound, as this will make your games sound far more realistic.
What about a Good Microphone?
If your headset has a mic, you can even use it for Skyping or any means of communication that you can do on the go.
If you play a lot of multiplayer games or if you livestream, you may want to consider a headset with a good quality microphone; that way your voice is clear and crisp. It really does make a difference in the way your voice sounds to others listening on the other line!
If you play single player games, you may not need to worry too much about a mic. Most gaming headsets will come with a mic of sorts. That is where you may want to consider a better sound quality.
Keep in mind that most gaming headsets already have a built in mic, so if you do not want a mic, you’ll have to do some digging to find one.
How much does it Cost?
Just like cars, gaming headsets come in all shapes and sizes, and their price tags are no different! The most expensive headsets can range from $200-400, and they’ll most likely give you a stellar sound experience… but is that much really worth it?
Most decent gaming headsets can be bought for a lot less than 200 bucks, so you shouldn’t be paying more unless you bleed money and can afford it.
As with all of the above points that have been made, you get what you pay for. If you are on a budget, you can easily get a decent quality headset for less than $100, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for reviews on cheap gaming headsets.
The Final Word
All in all, when it comes down to buying a gaming headset, the quality of the product more or less matches the cost to buy it. The priciest headsets will definitely bring the best sound. Just like a car, it’s just a matter of whether you need the bells and whistles. The bottom line is to choose a headset that suits your needs.
I hope this information helps you out. If you have any questions feel free to let me know in the comments below!