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The Best Gaming Headsets of 2020

Lift to mute mics were by far the easiest to use.
Tuesday January 28, 2020
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After carefully researching over 100 different models, we bought the 14 best gaming headsets on the market in 2020 to test head-to-head and find out which headset truly topped them all. We've spent hundreds of hours evaluating and comparing these products, testing them out with a variety of different games and music to compare their audio and microphone fidelity. We also had a panel of judges use each product extensively to score how comfortable and user-friendly they are. Keep reading to find out which headset led the pack, which is the best for audiophiles, and which model is your best bet if you don't want to blow your budget.


Top 14 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 14
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Best Overall Headset


Sennheiser GAME ONE


Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$138.06
(8% off)
at Amazon
See It

75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 7
  • Audio 8
  • Microphone 8
  • Ease of Use 7
Wired/Wireless?: Wired | Ear Cup Fabric: Velvet
Great audio quality
Solidly comfortable
High-quality microphone
Pricey

The GAME ONE by Sennheiser is one of our all-time favorite headsets, meriting it an Editors' Choice award. It has some of the best audio we have seen to date, delivering crystal-clear conversation from other players and making in-game music and sound effects sound phenomenal. It's fantastic for listening to games with rich orchestral soundtracks and accurately conveys the position of in-game sounds. The GAME ONE is very easy and intuitive to use, all while being very comfortable, keeping your ears nice and happy even after marathon gaming sessions. The ear cups are open-back, allowing tons of ventilation and keeping you from getting sweaty even when playing in the warmest room.

However, the open-back design gives it a slightly airier tone that some people may not like and won't block out any background noise in the room you are playing. If that is the case, you can always consider the GAME ZERO — an almost identical gaming headset that has a closed-back, trading some ventilation for more ambient noise cancellation. The GAME ONE is also on the more expensive side, which can put it well out of the budget for a decent number of gamers. Regardless, the GAME ONE is our favorite headset that we have seen so far and we highly recommend it.

Read Full Review: Sennheiser GAME ONE

Best Value


Kingston HyperX Cloud II


Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$78.98
(21% off)
at Amazon
See It

73
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8
  • Audio 7
  • Microphone 7
  • Ease of Use 6
Wired/Wireless?: Wired | Ear Cup Fabric: Leatherette (additional velour set included)
Great mic and sound quality
Extremely comfortable
Hard to mute quickly
No mic sidetone

If the high price of the Sennheiser is giving you sticker shock, then you should consider the HyperX Cloud II by Kingston. This headset is a fantastic value, offering the most bang for the buck, as it finished right behind the GAME ONE and retails for about a decent amount less. It's one of the most comfortable headsets we have seen, with the vast majority of our testers more than happy to wear it for 10+ hours. It has solid sound and microphone quality and definitely won't disappoint.

Our only slight complaint with this headset is the inline controls are slightly harder to use than some of the other products. The switch to mute the mic is on the small side and makes it hard to mute quickly — a handy feature if you don't want your teammates to hear every interruption when you are playing. If you are shopping on a budget and still want one of the best, then the Cloud II is for you!

Read Full Review: HyperX Cloud II

Best on a Tight Budget


Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger


Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$47.64
(5% off)
at Amazon
See It

68
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 6
  • Audio 7
  • Microphone 8
  • Ease of Use 7
Wired/Wireless?: Wired | Ear Cup Fabric: Leatherette
Inexpensive
Phenomenal mic quality
Convenient to use
Not as comfortable as some models

Hoping to save some cash on your quest for a new gaming headset? If that is the case, then the HyperX Cloud Stinger should be the first headset that you consider. This excellent headset kept pace with other products that cost three to four times as much, even claiming one of the top spots overall when it came to microphone quality. Retailing for one of the lowest amounts that we have seen, this headset is fairly comfortable, convenient and easy to use, and has some of the better audio quality out of the entire group.

While it is alright to wear and has solid sound quality, the Cloud Stinger isn't the most comfortable headset to wear for marathon gaming sessions and can't quite match the audio quality of the top headsets, but they are quite a bit more expensive. This headset has solid audio attributes and is fairly comfortable, giving you some of the best bang for the buck for any headset we have seen to date.

Read Full Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger

Best Wireless Headset


SteelSeries Arctis 7


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$116.98
(22% off)
at Amazon
See It

55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 6
  • Audio 5
  • Microphone 5
  • Ease of Use 6
Wired/Wireless?: Wireless | Ear Cup Fabric: Microfiber Mesh
Good sound quality
Very comfortable
Pricey
Mic quality is so-so

Ready to cut the cord and make the leap to wireless? Out of all the wireless models that we have tested, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is our absolute favorite. Most of our judges found the Arctis 7 to be quite comfortable overall, though we did find the fit to be geared just a bit towards those with larger heads. It is significantly more convenient and easier to use than many others, due to its cord-free nature.

Regrettably, neither the audio nor the microphone quality is all that impressive, falling quite a bit short of the top wired models. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to music, with the mid-range and higher tones sounding especially muddy and much less clear than we would have wanted. This headset is also a bit on the more expensive side, with less expensive wired models scoring much better, as you pay a bit of a premium for the wireless connectivity. However, the Arctis 7 is the headset we would choose if we had to have a wireless model.

Read Full Review: SteelSeries Arctis 7

Best for Audiophiles


Razer Kraken 7.1 V2


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$63.93
(36% off)
at Amazon
See It

74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8
  • Audio 9
  • Microphone 5
  • Ease of Use 5
Wired/Wireless?: Wired | Ear Cup Fabric: Leatherette
Amazing sound quality
Very comfortable to wear
Less convenient to use
Lackluster mic quality

Just narrowly edged out of winning an Editors' Choice Award, the Razer Kraken 7.1 V2 is an excellent headset. It has booming bass and stellar sound quality. It is also quite comfortable to wear, even for marathon gaming sessions.

Unfortunately, the Kraken couldn't claim one of the top spots due to its so-so performance in our microphone quality evaluations. We also missed the presence of controls on the cable or headset, which made it much less convenient and user-friendly than many of the other products we have tested. We don't necessarily think of these flaws as deal-breakers but we generally would recommend other models over this one unless you place the highest priority on sound quality.

Read Full Review: Razer Kraken 7.1 V2


Some of the best headsets you can get on the market.
Some of the best headsets you can get on the market.

Why You Should Trust Us


We did extensive research, combing through other reviews and user experiences to determine which headsets had the best shot of being crowned the best. Here at TechGearLab, we buy all the products that we review at normal pricing and refuse to accept any free or discounted products from manufacturers, so you can be completely confident that we aren't motivated by financial incentives to pick one product over another. To test gaming headsets, we enlisted the help of Austin Palmer and David Wise. Both have extensive experience testing tech gadgets and products and spend just a little too much time playing video games. Austin is a particularly avid gamer, having extensively played video games for nearly three decades on most, if not all, major consoles and systems. Of all those, PC games are his favorite, with the vast majority of his free time devoted to 100% completion, climbing the leaderboards, or pursuing the most difficult content and challenges each game has to offer. Throughout all that, he has spent an inordinate amount of time with a gaming headset on, coordinating raids, leading dungeons, or even just hanging out on voice chat with his friends, giving him plenty of expertise and insight about what makes a gaming headset great.

We had a panel of diverse users with wildly varying head shapes try out each headset to grade and score the comfort level of each one, then averaged their results to determine scores. We spent hours listening to both music, other players' voices, and in-game sound effects with each headset to judge audio quality, as well as having other players rate the quality and tone of our voice as it was picked up by the microphone of each product. Finally, we also looked at all the different features and capabilities these gaming products have to make them easier and more fun to use.

Related: How We Tested Gaming Headsets


Analysis and Test Results


We spent countless hours testing and comparing the performance of each gaming product, dividing out tests into four weighted testing metrics: Ease of Use, Comfort, Audio, and Microphone. These metrics were each weighted based on their importance to overall performance and scored were determined based on the results of a variety of different head-to-head tests in each metric.

Related: Buying Advice for Gaming Headsets

Value


While the GAME ONE by Sennheiser did claim the top spot overall out of all the headsets we tested, this top-of-the-line performance is also paired with a premium price tag — probably a bit more than most people want to spend for one of these products. Our Best Buy Award winner, the HyperX Cloud II is almost as good as the GAME ONE, actually being more comfortable to wear, but having slightly lower audio and mic quality. However, it has a list price that is much less than the GAME ONE. If this is still out of your budget, then the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a great option, retailing for about half of what the Cloud II goes for and delivering a solid showing across the board in all of our tests, making it our top choice when shopping on a tighter budget. If you aren't looking to spend a ton of cash, you should probably stick with a wired headset, as wireless models tend to be significantly more expensive.

Gaming sessions can last all day. Ear cup and headband design is key.
Gaming sessions can last all day. Ear cup and headband design is key.

Comfort


By far the most important set of tests of our review, comfort is king when it comes to these products — more than sound or microphone quality, accounting for 40% of the overall score. To rank these headsets, we had a panel of mixed ages and genders wear each headset for as long as it was comfortable, up to a full workday, then note their general opinions and observations. On top of that, we also had them directly compare the ear cups and the headbands of each product side-by-side to see which were the most comfortable and why. Finally, we also noted if any got particularly sweaty while in use and if there were any uncomfortable pressure points created when wearing glasses with each headset. While we have done our best to find the most comfortable headset for most people, nothing can compare to trying on a headset before you buy it or at least purchasing from a retailer with a liberal return policy to give you the option to send it back if it's not comfortable for your head and ears.


Tying for the top spot overall with a score of 8 out of 10, both the HyperX Cloud II and the Razer Kraken 7.1 V2 are our absolute favorites when it comes to comfort. This pair of gaming headsets both routinely scored at the top of the list of each of our judges and both can easily be worn for 8-10 hours without issues, even for those with larger ears.

The Cloud II was one of the most comfortable headsets we tested.
The Cloud II was one of the most comfortable headsets we tested.

The Cloud II has a leatherette padded headband that does a good job of remaining securely on your head without overly squeezing your head. We found it fine to wear the Cloud II with glasses and didn't have any complaints with its weight since it's one of the lighter headsets. The oval-shaped ear cups are plenty roomy, measuring about 1.5" wide and a little over 2.5" tall on the inside — more than enough space for our testers with the largest ears. On top of that, the Cloud II comes with two sets of interchangeable semi-soft memory foam earpads — one set of leatherette and one set of velour, allowing you to customize the fit and style to match your personal preference.

The Kraken's leatherette band has a bit more of a snug fit for most people than the Cloud II but this didn't seem to hurt its scores all that much. The majority of our testers were more than happy to wear this product all day but a few did begin to find it uncomfortable after only three or four hours.

The Kraken was very comfortable.
The Kraken was very comfortable.

The Kraken only includes leatherette ear cups, but they are slightly larger than the Cloud II and have even softer padding. We tested with the circular ear cups and found them to have more than ample space for our judges with the largest ears, but you can purchase oval-shaped ear cups separately if you like to have the largest ear cups possible. We did notice the tighter fit and the leatherette made the Kraken get slightly more sweaty than the Cloud II. It's also about an ounce heavier, but the weight is very evenly distributed, so the increase is barely noticeable.

Following the top duo of exceptionally comfortable headsets, the Sennheiser GAME ONE, the Logitech G332, and the G933 Artemis Spectrum all earned a 7 out of 10 for being almost as comfortable, but not quite on par with the Cloud II or the Kraken.

The GAME ONE got a mixed response from our testing panel, with the majority of judges being more than content to wear them for 8+ hours, but a few testers couldn't get used to the much snugger fit, forcing them to abandon this gaming headset after 30 to 60 minutes. Despite this, everyone agreed that the velvet ear cups felt great with plenty of space. Additionally, the open back design allowed significantly more ventilation and kept you from getting too sweaty, even when the temperature rose well above 80°F.

The GAME ONE's open back design helps with sound and air flow.
The GAME ONE's open back design helps with sound and air flow.

The Artemis Spectrum suffered from the opposite issue of the GAME ONE, having a much looser fit that bordered on wobbly. This wireless headset wouldn't fall off, but it definitely would move around quite a bit and potentially pop off your ears if you turned your head quickly or made any other abrupt movement. Both the headband and ear cups have microfiber mesh fabric over the padding, which is quite a bit firmer than the other top headsets but is surprisingly quite comfortable. However, it is one of the heavier gaming headsets we have seen, but its heft wasn't overly cumbersome.

The G332 differs from the Spectrum and the GAME ONE in that it has leatherette headbands and ear cups compared to either velvet or microfiber mesh but our judges were fine wearing it for a full day, except for one who could only tolerate it for 4 hours or so. The fit is about average, so it can be a little snug if you have a larger head.

Most of the testers thought the G332 was comfortable to wear for longer gaming sessions.
Most of the testers thought the G332 was comfortable to wear for longer gaming sessions.

The ear cups on the G332 are a little softer than the Spectrum and the GAME ONE but are overall smaller than the Artemis Spectrum. The GAME ONE's ear cups are taller than the G332's but the G332's are a bit wider.

Next, the HyperX Cloud Stinger, the Sennheiser GSP 600, the Razer Nari Ultimate, the Cloud Revolver S, the SteelSeries Arctis 7, and the Corsair HS50 all earned a 6 out of 10 for being decently comfortable.

The Cloud Stinger had our testing panel split — half of them were fine wearing it for a full workday while the other half topped out between 4 and 5 hours. The leatherette padded headband and semi-soft ear cups didn't feel tight for any of our judges when they first put the headset on, but after a while, they began to notice some discomfort and felt the need to readjust the headset every so often as they got more and more uncomfortable.

The Cloud Stinger fell into the middle of the pack for comfort. Better suited for gaming sessions on the shorter side.
The Cloud Stinger fell into the middle of the pack for comfort. Better suited for gaming sessions on the shorter side.

The ear cups for the Stinger are decently large with more than enough room for most people but a few of our judges weren't fans of the fit and wouldn't want to wear this headset for extended periods.

The Artemis Spectrum has a lot of space in the ear cups; 2" x 3"
The Artemis Spectrum has a lot of space in the ear cups; 2" x 3"

Initially, we were solidly thrown off by the Cloud Revolver S's unique headband design, thinking that it would be one of the least comfortable headsets out of the entire group. True, the auto-adjusting headband feels like it puts a significant amount of the headset's weight on your jaw, but it isn't all that uncomfortable to wear — even with its higher than average weight. However, this might not apply if you have a smaller head, as our most petite judges didn't find this product comfortable enough to wear for more than four hours.

The Arctis 7 elicited even more of a split response from our judges, with people either totally loving it or finding it unbearable. The headband adjustment is done through an elastic band, making the scope of different heads that it will comfortably fit much narrower. The new edition of this headset redesigned the band, giving it slightly more of a "U" shape, which made it quite a bit more comfortable for users that have larger heads. Unfortunately, some of our testers with smaller heads that liked the older edition of the Arctis aren't fans of the newer models, finding the ear cups to press too far down on their jaw, making it uncomfortable.

The 2019 version of the Arctis 7 (right) has a few updated changes from the previous model (left).
The 2019 version of the Arctis 7 (right) has a few updated changes from the previous model (left).

The ear cups are about average in size, but we found that the elastic band caused most of our testers to abandon this wireless headset after 5 to 6 hours of wearing it, with a few noting that the pressure on the bottom of their ears to be the primary cause of their discomfort.

We weren't huge fans of the strap system on the Arctis.
We weren't huge fans of the strap system on the Arctis.

The updated version features a tiny bit more padding than its predecessor, but it was not enough to make much of a difference in the opinions of our judges. It is also a tiny bit lighter — 12.25 oz. versus 12.5 oz. — hardly noticeable.

The Corsair HS50 fit much looser than the Arctis 7, similar to the Cloud Stinger, but fewer members of our testing group lasted the entire day wearing the HS50. The ear cups have leatherette-covered, semi-firm padding that is plenty wide and tall, but not very deep. A handful of our judges noted their ears contacting the speaker plate, leading to them calling it quits with the Corsair after 2 to 3 hours or so.

The Void Pro RGB felt loose on most of our tester's heads.
The Void Pro RGB felt loose on most of our tester's heads.

The Sennheiser GSP 600 also received relatively mixed results, with a few of our testers finding it to be a bit on the small side, overly constricting their heads and ears. The ear cups have relatively firm padding, covered with a suede-like material that cools and leatherette, and our ear-shaped — an asymmetric oval.

The ear cup padding is shaped similar to an ear!
The ear cup padding is shaped similar to an ear!

The headband is covered with mesh fabric and decently padded, but it fits a bit on the snug side. Overall, our testers either could wear this for a full 8 hours without complaining or could only manage it for an hour or two, with no one really in the middle.

The Nari Ultimate by Razer received a similar response, but for the exact opposite reasons. This headset feels massive compared to the Nari Ultimate. It has giant ear cups that are almost circular, measuring about 2.5" tall and 2.25" across, with soft padding covered in microfiber. They also have cooling gel, which somewhat prevents your ears from heating up after long periods, but it didn't work as well as we would have hoped.

The Nari Ultimate has massive ear cups.
The Nari Ultimate has massive ear cups.

The auto-adjustment mechanism on the headband is alright, though it is a looser fit, making the Razer Nari prone to falling off if you moved suddenly or lean over.

The haptic feedback is really something and unique.
The haptic feedback is really something and unique.

Following this group, the Corsair Void Pro RGB, the Logitech G635, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 both merited a 5 out of 10 for their mediocre comfort levels. The Void Pro RGB has an excessively large headband — to the point of practically precluding it from anyone who has a more petite head. Testers who had other headsets on larger settings had the Void Pro on its tightest setting and the headset still felt loose, to the point of easily falling off with moderate motion. However, the ear cups are decently spacious, though there was a tiny bit of a pressure point towards the top of the ear.

We liked look of the sewn in pattern on the HS50; It didn't seem to effect comfort at all.
We liked look of the sewn in pattern on the HS50; It didn't seem to effect comfort at all.

The MMX 300 squeezes your head so tightly that you hardly notice the headband, but this also prevented a significant number of our testers from wearing it for an extended period. The velvet ear cups feel quite nice in contrast to the leatherette, but most of us were done with the beyerdynamic after 3 hours at the most.

The MMX 300 fit very tight against the cranium.
The MMX 300 fit very tight against the cranium.

Our judges weren't overly enamored with the G635 with none wanting to wear it for more than 4-5 hours. This microfiber mesh headset has a fit that is a bit on the tighter side — though not quite as the beyerdynamic MMX 300 — but the ear cups are plenty large with firm padding. This would be a good option if you usually wear smaller hats but those with a larger head should consider some other options.

Poor sounding headsets can take away from your in game experience.
Poor sounding headsets can take away from your in game experience.

Audio


Next, we moved on to assessing the sound quality of each headset, which is responsible for 30% of the total score for each headset. In addition to rating how well we could hear our teammates talking, in-game sound effects, and how music sounded, we also did a handful of audio benchmark tests that assessed everything from the quality of the bass to how well we could identify the position of noise with each headset. Additionally, we also judged how well each gaming headset blocked out ambient noise. After all our tests, there was one headset that stood above the rest.


Earning the top score of the entire group, the Razer Kraken delivered an unmatched performance when it came to sound quality, earning a 9 out of 10 for its top-notch performance. This headset does do a great job with voice, with other players' voices coming across exceptionally clear and understandable, it just isn't quite as crisp as the Sennheiser GAME ONE or the HyperX Cloud II.

The Kraken had bumpin bass.
The Kraken had bumpin bass.

However, while the Kraken's performance with voice is admirable in its own right, it's this headset's unmatched audio quality with music, excellent positional sound, and a stellar showing in our benchmarking test that carried it to the top of this metric. This headset has incredibly deep bass without any distortion, providing an incredibly immersive experience. The overall sound is quite well-balanced, with only a slight emphasis on the lower end over the mid-range and the treble. Our testers were accurately able to identify the position of various noises almost every time, whether it was quiet footsteps in a forest or enemy gunfire. On top of that, it does a great job cutting down ambient noise levels, such as a fan or other music.

Following the Kraken's top-of-the-line performance, the Sennheiser GAME ONE, the Sennheiser GSP 600, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 all came next, each earning an 8 out of 10 for their excellent audio qualities. These headsets both distinguished themselves by doing exceptionally well at portraying our teammates' voices, with the conversation coming across clear, crisp, and full sounding — almost to the point where it was indistinguishable from having a face-to-face conversation, though the GAME ONE and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 do have a slight edge on the GSP 600 when it comes to voice. The GSP 600 is just a fractionally less clear and full sounding than the other two.

The GAME ONE let sound in as well as out with its open back design.
The GAME ONE let sound in as well as out with its open back design.

While this trio didn't quite have the booming bass of the Kraken, all three provided an incredibly immersive experience when listening to music or the soundtrack of a game. All of these are very well balanced, with a slight emphasis on the mid-range sounds, particularly with the Sennheiser GSP 600. We particularly liked that the GAME ONE had a lighter, more airy sound due to its open-back ear cup design. However, this also meant that the GAME ONE let in significantly more ambient noise than the MMX 300 or the closed-back GSP 600.

This headset has great positional audio.
This headset has great positional audio.

The GSP 600 was the best at cluing our testers into the location of an in-game sound, doing slightly better with quieter sounds, like footsteps, than louder sounds, like gunfire. The GSP 600 just barely beat out the GAME ONE in our positional sound tests, but both did quite a bit better than the beyerdynamic MMX 300. Our testers only had about a 50-60% accuracy rate at correctly identifying the origin of a sound when wearing the MMX 300.

Next, the HyperX Cloud II, the Cloud Stinger, the Logitech G332, and the G635 both earned a 7 out of 10 in our audio tests. The Cloud II did slightly better with voice transmission, matching the quality of the Sennheiser when it came to being understandable and crisp, but the sound wasn't quite as full-bodied or as close to real life. The Cloud Stinger did a little worse — the conversation was understandable but was much less full-bodied and realistic.

Our judges found the voice quality of the G332 and the G635 to be slightly inferior to the Cloud II or the Stinger. Other players' voices came across as clear and comprehensible but they sounded even more hollow and empty than the Cloud Stinger.

Moving on to our music and soundtrack tests, the Cloud Stinger is our favorite out of this group, delivering high-fidelity, balanced sound, but it was still less immersive than the Sennheiser or the Kraken. The Cloud II, the G332, and the 635 are all just a bit behind the Stinger in terms of music quality. The Cloud II is hindered by the fact that the bass and treble tend to wash out mid-range tones a bit, usually causing a voice to get a little lost, but still providing a highly immersive experience.

The G332 and the G635 both sound remarkably similar, with the mid and treble tones coming through loud and clear but the bass was disappointingly weak.

Both the Cloud Stinger and the Cloud II do a solid job at blocking at ambient noise — on par with the Kraken. We would estimate these headsets cut down external noise by about 40-45%.

The G332 and the G635 both are closed-back headsets, like the Stinger and the Cloud II but didn't prove quite as effective at cutting down external noise, only reducing it by 20-25%.

The Razer Nari Ultimate, the Corsair HS50, and the Cloud Revolver S came next, all three meriting a 6 out of 10 for their solid performance in our sound quality test. All three did fine in our voice test, with the Nari Ultimate doing just a tad bit better than the Corsair and the Cloud Revolver. The player on the other end of the line was always very understandable, with their voice coming in loud and clear, but there was a small amount of distortion, with the voice sounding quite a bit flatter than it would when talking face-to-face.

The positional audio wasn't as good as we had hoped in the Void Pro RGB.
The positional audio wasn't as good as we had hoped in the Void Pro RGB.

This HS50 and the Cloud Revolver S did relatively better in our music test, with the HS50 scoring better than the Cloud Revolver S. The mid-range on the Corsair HS50 is a little on the weaker side and can get slightly washed out by the bass and treble. The Revolver S had the opposite issue, with its bass and treble being on the weaker side. The Razer Nari is a bit worse than both, having subpar treble and bass. We found the bass of the Nari to be particularly deficient but its haptic feedback does do a bit to conceal this weakness.

These gaming headsets didn't do an amazing job at blocking external noise. The Cloud Revolver is the best, followed by the Nari Ultimate and then the HS50. The HS50 also did particularly poorly in our directional sound tests, whereas both the Cloud Revolver and the Nari Ultimate did exceptionally well — the Nari even matched the Razer Kraken, tying for the best results of the entire group in this tests.

Delivering a mediocre performance, the Arctis 7, the Corsair Void Pro RGB and the Logitech Artemis Spectrum all merited a 5 out of 10 for their uninspiring results.

Overall, we weren't particularly impressed with the performance of the Arctis 7 in our audio tests. We were even concerned that we got a defective model and exchanged it but the results remained the same. Our teammates' voice sounded substantially less clear and much less realistic, with their voices now sounding quite hollow on the new version. We noticed that there is also quite a bit more parasitic buzz and a bit more external noise is let in.

However, it was when we listened to music that we found the starkest contrast between the old and new versions. Unfortunately, the mid-range and treble tones sound significantly less sharp, though the bass seems alright.

Some of our testers had no problems wearing this for marathon gaming sessions.
Some of our testers had no problems wearing this for marathon gaming sessions.

We weren't impressed with the voice quality of either the Artemis Spectrum or the Void Pro, with our teammates' voices coming across very empty and echoey and the Void Pro adding in a gravelly undertone that made their voices sound far different than what they did in real life.

We think more time should have been spent on sound rather than the cool lighting on the Artemis Spectrum.
We think more time should have been spent on sound rather than the cool lighting on the Artemis Spectrum.

Both of these had relatively weak bass and didn't do a particularly good job of blocking out ambient noise. However, it was very easy to determine the origin of noise with the Artemis Spectrum — not so much with the Void Pro RGB.

Coming in loud and clear!
Coming in loud and clear!

Microphone


For the next round of tests, we evaluated how well each headset picked up our voice, as well as how well it filtered out background noises or conversations. Altogether, this trio of tests accounts for 20% of the total score for each product, with the scores being much more concentrated than the audio quality tests.


Four headsets tied for the top score in this metric, with the Sennheiser GAME ONE, the Sennheiser GSP 600, the beyerdynamic MMX 300, and the HyperX Cloud Stinger all earning an 8 out of 10. Out of this group, the beyerdynamic, the GSP 600, and the GAME ONE are the best in terms of microphone quality, with only a tiny bit of buzz and the recording sounding almost identical to our tester in real life. However, this pair wasn't quite perfect and both were upstaged by the HyperX Cloud II, which created a recording that was essentially indistinguishable from talking to the person in real life.

The Cloud Stinger had a little bit more buzzing present compared to the GAME ONE or the MMX 300. Additionally, it tended to overemphasize B's and P's and made the recordings of our testers' voices sound a tiny bit flatter than they did in person. However, the Cloud Stinger and the beyerdynamic did the best at filtering out non-speech noises, like eating crackers, typing loudly, or a fan or A/C running in the background. The GAME ONE and the GSP 600 both did alright at this, but people on the other end of the line would usually notice if we were running a fan — even on low — or eating something.

On hot days sometimes you need a fan to keep cool  but it isn't cool for your fellow teammates to hear it.
On hot days sometimes you need a fan to keep cool, but it isn't cool for your fellow teammates to hear it.

However, the story changed dramatically if someone else was talking in the background. The MMX 300 would transmit the entirety of the background conversation, even if they were 10-15 ft. away, while people on the other end could only hear the side conversation if it was happening right next to you when using the Cloud Stinger, GSP 600, or the GAME ONE.

The HyperX Cloud II, the Logitech G332, and the G635 all came next, right on the heels of the top group with each earning a score of 7 out of 10. While we found the Cloud II to do the best job of the entire group at transmitting voice that sounded the most realistic with no additional buzzing, this gaming headset was dragged down by the fact that it performed its job a little too well, picking up the noise of anyone talking within about 25' of you, with the person on the other end of the line being able to make out the words of the side chatter even if they were 20' or so from you. The Cloud II does a decent job of filtering out other background noises from being transmitted, but this headset might be a bit problematic to use if there are always other people talking at the same time that you are playing.

Neither the G332 nor the G635 picked up our voices as well as the Cloud II, though the G635 is a tiny bit better than the G332. The G635 just has a tiny bit more buzzing and static than the Cloud II, with the G332 having even more. None of these three headsets are particularly sibilant but the G332 and the G635 do exaggerate a "t" sound just a bit compared to the Cloud II.

We thought the G635 and the G332 were a little better than the HyperX Cloud II at cutting down distracting external noises, almost completely blocking out things like a fan or mechanical keyboard. However, all three of these struggle to block external conversations.

You can raise the mic to mute on this model.
You can raise the mic to mute on this model.

Next, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S earned a 6 out of 10 for its solid microphone quality. The voice transmitted from this headset came in quite well, just about matching the quality of its fellow HyperX model, the Cloud Stinger. There isn't any buzzing or hugely noticeable distortion, but it doesn't quite sound like you are having a face-to-face conversation with the person on the other end of the line. However, this headset did just as poorly as the Cloud II as picking up every side conversation going on in the room and transmitting it loud and clear to the people you are playing with.

A group of headsets all came next, with the Corsair HS50, the Artemis Spectrum, the Razer Kraken, the Razer Nari Ultimate, and the Arctis 7 all earned a 5 out of 10 for their middle-of-the-road microphone quality. We found the Artemis to do the best job at transmitting clear and understandable voice to the people on the other end of voice chats, followed by the Kraken, Nari Ultimate, and the Arctis 7. The Artemis makes you sound quite normal with only minimal buzzing, while the Kraken and the Arctis have a bit more buzzing and make your voice sound slightly less natural. The Razer Nari doesn't have the buzzing but makes your voice a bit more echoey than normal and a bit lower in pitch.

Our favorite way to mute the mic was to lift it up; It is quick  easy  and effective.
Our favorite way to mute the mic was to lift it up; It is quick, easy, and effective.

We weren't fans of the performance of the HS50, giving it the lowest score out of this group. It added plenty of background fuzz to conversations and made voices seem one-dimensional and distant — far from how a face-to-face conversation should sound. It does do a better job at blocking background noise than the Arctis 7 or the Razer Nari, performing comparably to the Artemis or Kraken.

The mic can be stored inside the headset.
The mic can be stored inside the headset.

Finishing out the back of the group, the Corsair Void Pro RGB earned a 4 out of 10 for its lackluster microphone quality. The Corsair Void Pro doesn't buzz at all but makes your voice sound quite alien and distorted. We also weren't impressed with this headset when it comes to filtering out background noises or conversations, as it let tons of extra noise through.

Quick adjustments were preferred while deep into a game. You don't always have time to futz with programs to get the sound right.
Quick adjustments were preferred while deep into a game. You don't always have time to futz with programs to get the sound right.

Ease of Use


For our final assessment of these products, we rated and score how convenient it is to operate each of these headsets, which accounted for 10% of the total score for these products. While there weren't a ton of difference between many of these products, there are a few that stand out from the rest when it comes to hassle-free operation.


Claiming the top spot of the entire pack, the Artemis Spectrum earned an 8 out of 10 and is our absolute favorite when it comes to ease of use. This wireless capable product has controls right on the headset itself, as well as in-line controls on the 3.5mm audio cable you have the option of using as well. It is really easy to mute by lifting the microphone to its fully upright position or by hitting the mute button. Additionally, it has the option to enable a mic sidetone and to adjust it, though we did wish it had a detachable microphone. We also really liked that there is onboard storage for the wireless adapter.

The Artemis Spectrum has convenient built in storage for its wireless receiver.
The Artemis Spectrum has convenient built in storage for its wireless receiver.

Following this top-notch headset, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, the Cloud Stinger, the Logitech G635 and the Sennheiser GAME ONE all merited a 7 out of 10 for their solid ease of use performance. The GAME ONE, the G635, and the Stinger have controls right on the headset, while the Revolver has in-line controls on the audio cable, but all four are very easy to use. These wired headsets have more than adequate cord lengths, with the G635 having the shortest cord at 9.35'.

The GAME ONE and the Cloud Stinger are very easy to mute rapidly by lifting the mic, while the Revolver requires you to tap a button on the in-line controls. The G635 is even better, allowing you to mute either by hitting the button or by lifting the mic.

All four have a detachable cable, while the Cloud II and Cloud Revolver S also have a detachable mic. None of these except for the G635 have the option to enable a mic sidetone, but the open back design of the ear cups of the GAME ONE render one unnecessary.

Next, the Razer Nari Ultimate, the Sennheiser GSP 600, the Corsair Void Pro, the HyperX Cloud II, the Logitech G332, and the SteelSeries Arctis 7 all earned a 6 out of 10 for being easy enough to use, but lacking any exceptionally convenient features. These all have onboard controls to mute the mic and adjust the volume, with the Nari, the GSP 600, the Corsair, the G332, and the Arctis 7 having controls on the headphones and the Cloud II having them on the cord. The Razer Nari Ultimate, the Corsair, and the Arctis 7 are all wireless, having a 5.05', 6.95', and 10' charging cables, respectively.

The Cloud II, the GSP 600, and the 332 all are wired models with long enough cables that we never felt constrained and allowed us ample room to move around while playing. The cable is detachable on this trio as well, with the Cloud II also having a detachable mic.

Detachable microphones are nice  especially because you can replace them without investing in a new headset.
Detachable microphones are nice, especially because you can replace them without investing in a new headset.

Delivering an overall average performance, the Razer Kraken, the Corsair HS50, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 all earned a 5 out of 10. The Kraken lacks onboard volume controls, though it is quite easy to mute. It also has a surprisingly short cord — less than half the length of some of the other models. The cable doesn't detach, but it does have a mic sidetone. The beyerdynamic has in-line controls, a slide to mute switch, and an 8.6' cord. Whereas the Corsair HS50 has controls on the headset and a raise the mic to mute (or button press), but a shorter cable at 6.8'. Neither has the ability for a mic sidetone.

Some of our favorite headsets.
Some of our favorite headsets.

Conclusion


At this point, you should — hopefully — feel quite prepared to find the perfect gaming headset for your needs and your budget.


Austin Palmer and David Wise