It doesn't matter whether you're a Dota pro who commands million-dollar prizes or an average dude who just enjoys wrapping up a night with some casual Call of Duty, you're gonna want totally immersive sound that won't wake up the neighbors. Solution: A kickass pair of headphones, which will provide surround sound and a microphone to shout in—without also giving your landlord an excuse to call the police.
Fortunately, we've got you covered with these eight next-level gaming headsets. Pick the set that speaks to you, and game on.
Just because you don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on a pair of headphones doesn't mean you should be left with a crappy hunk of plastic that'll just break in a month (because then you actually do end up spending a fortune). With the Cloud Stinger, HyperX has valiantly risen to the challenge of creating a solid pair of headphones for under $50. Since it's lightweight and equipped with memory foam ear pads that rotate 90 degrees, you can wear these things without getting hot or irritated. They also boast built-in passive noise cancellation, so you can focus on battling your opponents instead of your roommate. Another clever feature: To mute the microphone, simply flip it up to rest vertically against your head. Doesn't get any simpler than that.
Compatible with PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, and mobile devices; it has 3.5mm stereo plug and PC extension cable with dual 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs.
Play wirelessly or wired—either way, you'll enjoy next-level audio quality. Logitech's patent-pending audio driver (the imortant part of your 'phones that creates sound) is made from a hybrid mesh material that simulates the top-tier tech favored by audiophiles. Essentially, you're getting premium headphones that go beyond gaming. You can use to listen to music, movies, podcasts—anything, really—since the USB-powered wireless adapter lets you connect to your phone and home entertainment. More impressively, you have the option to tap into 7.1 surround sound with Dolbyreg or DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound to give your gaming that added boost of awareness and lifelike realism. One caveat: DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound isn't available on game consoles; you need a 3.5mm wired connection for Xbox One, for example, and possibly an Xbox One headset adapter, which is sold separately.
Compatible with PC, mobile, home theater devices, and game consoles, including PS4 and Xbox One.
This professional-quality headset offers two audio profiles: analog and digital USB mode. Analog mode is meant to reproduce the "original signature of your audio" (how developers intended it to sound), whereas the USB mode lets you choose from one of BlasterX's immersive Acoustic Engine profiles. This X-Plus Mode1 has specially-tuned audio profiles for popular games, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, that amplifies crucial audio cues to give you a bit of a leg up on competitors. The Sound BlasterX H7 even saves your X-Plus settings and preferences in the headset, so it automatically registers if you connect to a different gaming setup.
Compatible with PC, Mac, Android, iOS, ps4, and Xbox One.
SteelSeries' gaming staple is inspired by athletic gear. The wireless headphone has a ski goggle headband with adjustable elastic fabric that makes pressure points obsolete. Its ear cushions borrow some athleticwear ingenuity, too; they're made from performance fabrics that keep you cool and dry. The headset has DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound specially made for Arctis. It delivers 360° sound so clear and perceptive you'll be abe to detect the subtlest environmental cues and enemy movements.
Compatible with PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Mobile, and VR.
Want something a bit more luxe? It doesn't get more extravagant than extra-large velvet ear cushions. We know what you're thinking—hot, sweaty ears after 20 minutes of play?—but fear not: The ear cups' open design lets air channel through to your head. Team that up with a cushioned headband, a noise-cancelling microphone, and exchangeable cables to adapt to tablets, consoles, and mobile devices, and you'll be one comfy dude—so comfy, in fact that you won't even notice the asshole who joined your Overwatch team as Hanzo and then complained about team composition on all-talk.
Compatible with PC, Mac, consoles, mobiles and tablets that feature a 3.5mm jack input.
If you don't mind dropping some cash, this gaming headset is worth the investment. You get everything you want: solid audio drivers, supremely soft ear cushions, an open-air system for high-quality sound, a sharp look, and a cool, comfy fit. The microphone features an ambient noise rejecter and a windscreen you can attach to reduce even more unwanted sound (block out the mouth breathers, bro!) so everyone can hear your trash talk. It also has a 2-meter (6.6-foot) extension cable, so you can connect practically anywhere.
Compatible with PS4, iPad, iPhone, laptops, PC, and Xbox One using the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter.
Can't seem to find a headset that feels custom-made? Turtle Beach's Elite Pro headset—the brainchild of techies, designers, and pro gamers—feature an adjustment system that lets you take total control over things like headband tension and ear cup position. Even guys with pin- and melon-sized heads can find a personalized fit. What's more, its pressure-release technology is specially designed for gamers who wear glasses—there's a little adjustable channel in the ear cushion you can open with a switch, so your specs don't feel like they're cutting into your cranium. You'll enjoy ear cushions made from a spandex-like fabric boosted with gel-infused foam to keep you cool, plus leather sidewalls that isolate the headphones' acoustic chamber, delivering next-level sound. Pair it with the Tactical Audio Controller ($200) to enable DTS Headphone:X Technology’s 360 surround sound.
For the Guy Who's Never Plugged In—and Wants Superior Battery Power
Bingeing on the latest FIFA? Having a throwback Gears of War II marathon? The Razer ManO’War 7.1 can hold up for an outstanding 14 hours of play on a single charge, or seven days of wireless gameplay (based on an average play time of 2 hours per day). So, yeah, go ahead and get lost in your game. And if you get a little restless and feel like you need to walk around or do some bodyweight squats to negate the endless hours of sitting, that's cool, too—the included extension dock expands on the wireless USB adapter's range, letting you wander and play up to 14 meters away.