Review The Best Gaming Headsets In 2023 From A To Z
Even though audio is one of the most overlooked parts of PC gaming, the best gaming headset can make a big difference in your gaming experience. If you want to feel like you’re really in a game world, the sounds have almost as much to do with it as the graphics.
In competitive games, too, good sound can be a real help. But it’s up to your headset’s drivers to make everything sound great, whether you’re trying to track an enemy’s footsteps as they run by or just want to listen to music while you work. Some aren’t up to par, which is why we put as many gaming headsets as we can get our ears into through rigorous testing. The headsets on this list were chosen after the PC Gamer hardware team and I tested dozens of them.
The sound quality of these headsets is the best for gamers at both ends of the price range. You’ll get the best sound if the drivers are good, and we don’t like gaming headphones that overdo low frequencies because they usually have terrible bass. The best gaming headsets have more balanced drivers and don’t cost hundreds of dollars. Some of the best gaming headsets, like the Razer Blackshark V2 and the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless, cost less than $100. (opens in new tab). Obviously, the premium options sound great if you want to spend more.
Check out our guide to the best wireless gaming headsets(opens in new tab) for more options that don’t tie you down. For now, look at the list below to see what the best gaming headsets will be in 2023.
1. Razer BlackShark V2
Taking the top spot away from the HyperX Cloud Alpha was not an easy task. Razer’s BlackShark V2 gaming headset does just that by having great sound, a low price, and software that is easy to use. From the first time Razer talked about the BlackShark V2, it was clear that this was the headset’s main focus, and the way the drivers are made is basically the same as what the impressive Cloud Alphas do.
The 50mm TriForce Titanium drivers are made with separate ports to keep the bass, midrange, and treble tones from mixing. This gives it a fuller sound than a standard set and keeps it on par with HyperX’s 50mm dual-chamber neodymium driver headset. They look like an homage to HyperX’s own design, but that doesn’t make them any worse.
And it gives the BlackShark V2 a level of sound clarity that makes me even more surprised to hear it from a $100 headset. If I were being very picky, I might say that the HyperX Cloud Alpha has a little more separation between the higher frequencies, especially when the THX software is turned on. However, the BlackShark V2 has a fuller midrange and some velvety bass notes that the HyperX Cloud Alpha doesn’t have.
2. HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
The HyperX Cloud Alpha might be the most highly rated thing on this site. We all love it on the team, and HyperX just unplugged its best pair of headphones. The new big battery is the best thing about this headset. You’re looking at up to 300 hours of battery life in wireless mode while still keeping the headset relatively light and comfortable. I think HyperX has done it. It’s a pretty big thing to do.
Right out of the box, this unit said it had about 80% charge, so I left it at that level to see how well it held up. I listened to music at work for a whole day and then checked the battery again. I’m sure it still said 80%. I have been using this thing for gaming and music listening pretty consistently for the past week and we aren’t even at 50% battery yet.
This impressive battery life is, of course, the best-case scenario. A lot of that depends on how loud you have the headset turned up, which is probably my only real complaint. It’s plenty loud, but I can still listen to it at full volume without being too bothered.
3. Corsair HS55 Sound System
The HS55 is much more comfortable than Corsair’s previous low-cost headsets. The HS55’s soft earcups are a big difference from the HS50’s hard foam that doesn’t move. The HS55 is also 284g lighter, which makes it much more comfortable to wear for long periods. I wore this pair for about 8 hours a day for the better part of a week, and I never wanted to take them off. Because they’re made of leatherette, they can get a little sweaty on hot days, but that’s a problem with a lot of gaming headsets in this price range.
The microphone arm has changed the most. It is now permanently attached to the left earcup of the HS55 and can be flipped up and out of the way when not in use. This is a big improvement over the HS50, which had a 3.5mm jack mic that you could take off.
Don’t judge me, but I’ve lost my fair share of headset microphones over the course of my career. I also don’t like leaving the mic in front of my face all day when it’s not in use. A flip-up mic is a much better choice, so I’m glad that the HS55 has one.
4. Beyerdynamic MMX 100
Beyerdynamic has made other gaming headsets before, but the MMX 100 is by far the most well-rounded one so far. When you can buy these impressively made cans for less than $100, it’s easy to see why they’re on our list of the best headsets. They have great sound and a good microphone, and they’re comfortable and well-designed.
Even though they have a closed-back design, the MMX 100s have a sound stage that is surprisingly wide. They also don’t have any of the muddiness or too much bass that is common in gaming headsets. The bass is so well-tuned that it doesn’t distort or sound boomy like it does on most gaming headsets. The mids and highs are very clear, so you can hear every little sound and detail, like footsteps or reloads.
This really comes down to personal taste, but if you want to go wireless, you should look for a good battery life (20 hours or higher). The last thing you want is a headset whose battery dies quickly and needs to be plugged in all the time. It kind of takes away from the idea of being wireless. For wired headsets, make sure the cable is long enough to reach your PC without pulling on your head.