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10 best gaming headsets to buy this year

If you’re trying to find the right present for Christmas or a birthday, or you’re a keen gamer yourself, buying a gaming headset can be a difficult purchase to make. Let us guide you through the best headsets to buy this year.

By Laura Martin | Last updated Oct 20, 2021

child gaming with headset on

Gamers swear by headsets to add an extra dimension to gameplay, but if you don’t play computer games yourself it can be difficult to know what a headset is all about.

Put simply, a gaming headset turns a straightforward video game into a fully immersive experience, allowing the user to hear peripheral sounds, noises and music which might otherwise be missed, as well as letting them communicate with other gameplayers if the game is played online.

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Like most tech these days, it’s possible to spend everything from 10 to two hundred quid on a gaming headset, but what’s the difference between a cheap version and an expensive one?

We’ve researched the top gaming headsets as recommended by parents on the Mumsnet forums as well as expert gaming review sites, and laid out a simple buyer’s guide to help you make the right pick. 

Here are the best gaming headsets to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall gaming headset: SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset

Steelseries Arctis 7 headset

Price: £149.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“SteelSeries make great headsets.” Goodtimesxd

 Voted the ‘Best Wireless Gaming Headset’ by PC Gamer magazine, the Arctis 7 is one of the most highly recommended gaming headsets on the market today, with over 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon alone. 

The speakers deliver a phenomenal sound and the microphone gives outstanding voice clarity, resulting in a pitch-perfect combination of chat and audio for the ultimate gaming experience.

Pros 

  • The best sound quality 
  • Wireless
  • Comfortable ear cushions and headband
  • Background noise cancellation

Cons 

  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac (Xbox One version is available)
  • Connection: 2.4GHz Bluetooth or Wireless via USB
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-22000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Battery life: 24 hours
  • Weight: 353g

2. Best budget gaming headset: Supsoo G813 Wired Gaming Headset

Supsoo gaming headset

Price: £16.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a starter gaming headset or want to keep your spend low, then we’ve found an option suitable for the absolute tightest of budgets. 

This wired gaming headset from Supsoo is an incredible bargain and compatible with all platforms (except the old Xbox One). It makes a great entry-level headset for a young gamer who is just finding their feet, and has pretty decent sound and microphone quality too. 

Pros

  • One headset compatible with all game platforms 
  • Great value for money
  • Good sound sensitivity and noise cancellation

Cons

  • Short cable
  • Some reviews report low durability

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 251g

3. Best 7.1 gaming headset: HyperX Cloud II Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud II headset

Price: £79.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have the HyperX Cloud headset. It's amazing apparently.” Perfectly1mperfect

Another fantastic all-rounder is the HyperX Cloud II Surround Sound Gaming Headset which generates 7.1 virtual surround sound to perfectly amplify your gaming experience. 

The digitally-enhanced microphone is excellent at producing clear voice quality, as well as reducing background noise when you’re chatting to teammates or opponents. The headset connects with a USB cable to PC or Mac but be warned that you will have to buy a separate adapter if you want to use it with a console.  

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Leatherette cushioning
  • Voice volume automatically increases as game volume gets louder 
  • Comes with a travel bag

Cons

  • Needs a stereo adapter to use with consoles

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PC, Mac (adapter is required for use with PS4, PS5 or Xbox One)
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack for consoles or USB for PC and Mac
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 15-25000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: Yes
  • Wireless: No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 275g

4. Best gaming headset under £100: Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Gen 2

Astro Gaming A20 headset

Price: £99.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We went for an Astro A20 headset. It’s pretty decent.” FixTheBone

Reviewers reckon this stylish gaming headset, which boasts excellent wireless connectivity for under £100, punches well above its weight.  

It features superb sound quality and 15 hours of battery life and, while it only comes with a connector to one specific console, it’s possible to buy further transmitters for use on a different platform.  

Pros 

  • Great sound quality 
  • Can be used on various platforms buy purchasing extra transmitters
  • Wireless with range up to 15 metres
  • Flip-to-mute microphone

Cons 

  • Highest volume is too low for some users

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac (transmitters for Xbox One are available)
  • Connection: 2.4GHz wireless signal via USB
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless Yes
  • Battery life: 15 hours
  • Weight: 318g

5. Best gaming headset under £60: Turtle Beach Recon 70N Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach Recon 500 headset

Price: £59.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“DS swears by Turtle Beach.” AgentProvocateur

“Another vote for Turtle Beach. I'm around a lot of gamers, and they all exclusively use Turtle Beach headsets.” Flutternotsoshy

When we consulted our Mumsnet army to find the best gaming headsets to recommend, one name was mentioned time and time again and that was Turtle Beach. 

Compatible with all the usual platforms, this basic but sturdy headset still packs a punch when it comes to sound quality. It brings remarkably clear audio with a powerful bass but it’s still cheap enough to be easily replaceable if mistreated by bouncy kids. 

Pros

  • One headset compatible with all game platforms
  • 40mm speakers
  • Lots of colour options 
  • Affordable

Cons 

  • Short cable
  • May be uncomfortable with prolonged use

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 449g

7. Best gaming headset for sound quality: Epos H3 Closed Acoustic Gaming Headset

Epos H3 headset

Price: From £86.48 | Buy now from Amazon

For the cleanest and crispest sound, look no further than the Epos H3 which delivers a convincing and detailed gaming experience that leaves no audio unheard. The headphones are noise-cancelling and deliver a deep powerful bass, natural mid tones and the clearest of highs. 

It’s also a versatile and comfortable headset, and it looks pretty good too. In fact, if you’re happy to pay a higher price tag then look no further. 

Pros 

  • One headset compatible with all game platforms 
  • Crisp audio - great for immersive play
  • Quick-adjust volume control
  • Noise-cancelling microphone
  • Comes with a portable charger case

Cons 

  • Not wireless
  • Microphone is rather large

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 650g

8. Best comfy gaming headset: Razer BlackShark V2 X Wired Gaming Headset

Razer Blackshark headset

Price: £47.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Long sessions of gaming can really start to take their toll on your ears, stuck between two pressurised clamps for hours on end. 

The Razer BlackShark is a quality headset that has paid special attention to comfort without scrimping on other features. It’s a super lightweight 240g and has noticeably thicker padding combined with memory foam cushioning to provide a much more bearable wearing experience. 

Pros 

  • Extremely comfortable 
  • Noise-cancelling tech
  • Superb sound quality and hyper-clear voice clarity
  • One headset compatible with all platforms

Cons 

  • Not wireless

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 240g

9. Best USB gaming headset: Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Gaming Headset

Razer Kraken headset

Price: £59.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Another great headset from Razer makes it onto our list. This cross-platform-compatible gaming headset brings a little bit more than the average headset, thanks to its USB audio controller which allows full personalisation of your audio.

Adjustments are available for bass, volume and game/chat balance, making this one of the most versatile headsets we have seen.

Pros 

  • One headset compatible with all platforms
  • USB audio controller
  • Immersive sound
  • Soft ear cushioning
  • Retractable microphone

Cons 

  • Not wireless

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: 20-20000 Hz
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless No
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 410g

10. Best VR headset for gaming: Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset

Price: £299 | Buy now from Amazon

“Oculus Quest 2. Absolutely brilliant.” Walkersarenottheonlycrisps

“I have an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. It was perfect for lockdown - I use it for fitness, going to a virtual movie theatre, museum visits, traveling, playing games, socialising, etc. It's saved my sanity honestly.” Notjustacigar

For a totally unique and futuristic gaming experience, many gamers are moving towards the world of virtual reality, which is a fascinating way to play as if you’re literally in a whole new realm, without leaving the comfort of your living room. 

The Oculus devices have taken the gaming world by storm and the Oculus 2 has proved a huge hit with kids and adults alike. No additional console is required, although it can be connected to a PC, so you can play PC games which are enabled for VR, or one from the vast library of Oculus games available. 

Pros

  • Totally unique gaming experience
  • Wireless
  • Excellent image quality
  • Ergonomic controllers

Cons

  • Can only play Oculus games or PC games which are enabled for VR
  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Compatibility: PC
  • Connection: n/a
  • Speaker drivers frequency response: n/a
  • 7.1 surround sound: No
  • Wireless Yes
  • Battery life: n/a
  • Weight: 1.7kg

How do I choose the best gaming headset?

There are hundreds of gaming headsets to choose from, so before you make your purchase you should consider how much you want to pay, what gaming platform your headset will be used with (and how long your gaming sessions will likely be), and whether you want a wired or wireless headset.

  • Cost: Unless you’re a pro gamer, you’re unlikely to be able to tell much difference between a gaming headset worth £100 and one worth a lot more, and we think most amateur gamers will be happy with a headset worth around £100 or less. We feature headsets here starting at just £16.99, which is our entry-level Supsoo G813 Wired Gaming Headset. As a general rule, the more expensive the gaming headset, the better the sound quality. Also note that cheaper headsets tend to work across all platforms whereas more expensive headsets are optimised for use with just one platform, so as to fully enable the audio experience attached to a specific game. Wireless headsets will usually cost more than wired headsets, and the more expensive the headset, the longer the battery life.
  • Platform: The main gaming platforms are Xbox, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, PC, Mac and Nintendo Switch. Some cheaper gaming headsets are compatible with all platforms, while some are optimised for a specific platform. If a headset is only compatible with one platform then you’ll need to use a different headset if you choose to play on a different type of console. However, the Astro Gaming A20 Wireless Headset, for example, is a top-quality gaming headset that can be cheaply adapted to use with any platform by purchasing extra transmitters.
  • Wireless or wired: Decide whether or not you need the gaming headset to be wireless, which allows the user to move around while playing (usually within around a 10m radius of the console). The alternative is that the headset is attached by a wire to the headset (usually a 3.5mm audio jack). 
  • Comfort: If the headset will be used for extended periods then consider headphones with extra padding. Lighter headsets will also cause less discomfort over time than heavier ones. We recommend the Razer BlackShark V2 as the most comfortable gaming headset due to additional padding and its extremely light weight.
  • 7.1 surround sound: This is an additional feature available on some gaming headsets which provides an even more immersive experience for gaming.

Are wired headphones better for gaming? 

Nowadays, a good wireless gaming headset will offer an experience as good as that of a wired headset, but for this reason they’re usually more expensive too. If you choose a wireless headset then you’ll need to check how frequently the headset will need to be charged and if it can be used while it’s charging.

Wireless gaming headsets usually last around 10 to15 hours on one charge. If you’re planning to use the headset for even longer then you may be better off with a wired one. If you’re planning for the headset to be used for long periods then you should consider purchasing a headset with additional padding on the ears. 

What headset do pro gamers use?

The best headset for pro gamers is the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset which delivers a pitch-perfect combination of chat and audio and comes recommended by thousands of happy gamers.

What is the best headset for gaming? 

The best headset for recreational gamers is the cheaper HyperX Cloud II Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset which is a great alternative to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 at half the price and boasts 7.1 surround sound.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which gaming headsets discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their families. 

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which gaming headsets had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers' reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we picked the gaming headsets we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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