Gaming headsets are headphones that have built-in microphones in them. Certain forms of video gaming require communication and if you want to eliminate all distractions, you need to invest in a good pair of gaming headphones.
Gaming headsets are primarily used for online video game communication, hence the name. All multiplayer Esports games require constant communication and real-time decision-making. This is why twitch movements and reaction time matter so much in these types of games. The verbal information you give to your teammates needs to be clear and fast.
Types of Gaming Headsets
Wired gaming headsets usually offer better sound quality than their wireless counterparts. However, they are more expensive and require an external power supply that can make up for this.
Wired headsets usually come in three types:
- USB connection – works better for software-driven audio
- 3.5mm jack – works better when you have a separate audio chip
- Both options – works with both
Do you use your gaming headsets for watching movies? How about playing the latest Resident Evil VR game? You definitely need to consider a wireless gaming headset or get one with a dual option.
Wireless gaming headsets can be used anywhere without any cables. They typically feature a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 10 hours. You’ll find that these types of headsets tend to be less powerful than their wired equivalents.
Wireless headsets utilize software instead of hardware to process audio connections. This method makes it less capable of transmitting data compared to wired options. You want lower sound latency to keep up with your games or applications.
Usually, the more expensive ones offer both wireless and wired options for more flexibility. But as latency goes lower as Bluetooth technology gets better, the need for wired gaming headsets becomes less and less useful.
Reasons to get a gaming headset
Why would you even need a headset for your PC/Laptop? There are so many things you can do with the built-in speakers and mic on your laptop that it’s a shame not to take advantage of them. However, if you don’t want to invest in a pair of headphones, a good quality headset can provide even more conveniences than any cheap, built-in one can.
Gamers go for certain aesthetics and headset manufacturers understand this. This is why most gaming headsets look the way they do – unfortunately, some are better than others. Go all-out with the “professional esports gamer” look or opt for simpler, cleaner designs if you don’t want to look obnoxious when using it for a zoom conference.
Especially when streaming games convenience and comfort is the key for long gaming sessions. Being told to “keep it down” while playing is something gamers have to deal with. Having a gaming headset while gaming allows you to turn the volume up as much as you want without bother.
Headsets with removable mics and wires can be used for your phone to listen to music, podcasts, or simply when at home watching movies on your home theater system. It can be an all-in-one device if you go for the more feature-rich gaming headsets that offer those options.
4. Less Power Consumption
Gaming headsets consume less power than your regular speakers. Some premium ones have their power supply, but these still can’t compete in power draw over regular speakers.
5. Noise Cancellation
Active noise cancellation provides competitive online gaming an advantage since it eliminates unnecessary noises and sounds. It allows you to hear every footstep in fps games, and if you are using 7.1 surround sound, nobody can creep up behind you to get an easy shot.
What to look for in gaming headsets
Do your due diligence when buying a gaming headset to avoid buyer’s remorse. There are just so many brands out there in the market so make sure to check carefully. Most top-of-the-line brands will give you the best features while some mid-tier ones can deliver the best value for money
2. Build Quality
This is mostly a matter of preference for most people. Some want a lighter piece of equipment and are willing to compromise on headsets built mostly out of plastic. However, others would opt for components built with a combination of steel and plastic for a more elegant and durable product. It all depends on what’s important to you so be ready to make some compromises.
Some pricier gaming headsets have “memory foam” which is more comfortable than cheap, regular foam. They also have lesser clamp force which makes it feel snugger without feeling like wearing a vise grip on your head.
You can also choose ones that have an open design which is more breathable to the ears and get less warm. Closed ear cups on the other hand have better noise cancellation which can get really immersive into the game you’re playing.
Good features you should be looking for without breaking the bank would be checking where the controls are located. There are lots of poorly located controls that sometimes even pricier brands are guilty of. Preferably you’d want most (if not all) the controls located on the earphones themselves for easy access. Volume controls should be easily accessible.
5. Sound Quality
Sound quality depends on how you define quality. Some audiophiles will have unbelievably high standards, while the average gamer usually will be fine with the standard surround sound which is present in most mid-tier brands.
It all depends on your budget and sound preference. Stereo will do well in most single-player RPGs but 7.1 virtual surround features is a must in competitive esport games online.
The standard 1-year warranty is a must and you should never accept anything less nowadays. You can also find newer brands trying to compete in the gaming headset space by having extended warranties. Just take advantage of better deals in that regard.
Gaming headsets have come a long way and that benefits the consumer. There are so many cheaper options nowadays that can rival even the expensive brands which dominated the industry back then. Just don’t rush into buying the first thing that fits your criteria because there are tons of options out there.