Best Gaming Headset of 2021
$136.99 at Amazon
$177.12 at Amazon
$79.99 at Amazon
$74.95 at Amazon
$149.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Comfortable, great microphone and audio quality||Comfortable, wireless, good sound quality||Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality||Comfortable, good audio qualities, great value||Great audio quality, fantastic microphone|
|Cons||Expensive, doesn't block background noise||Expensive||Harder to mute, no mic sidetone||No detachable mic, easy to accidentally change the volume||Expensive, not the most comfortable|
|Bottom Line||The best of the best when it comes to headsets; this model boasts comfort, a great microphone, and stellar audio quality||If you are looking to cut the cord when it comes to your headset, then we think this is your best bet||An excellent and affordable all-around gaming headset that's extremely comfortable, even for long sessions||If you are looking for a great all-around product that won't break the bank, then this is a good choice||This is an all-around great product but it is a bit too expensive for our taste|
|Rating Categories||EPOS GAME ONE||Razer Black Shark...||Kingston HyperX...||Razer Kraken||EPOS GSP 600|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Specs||EPOS GAME ONE||Razer Black Shark...||Kingston HyperX...||Razer Kraken||EPOS GSP 600|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired||Wireless||Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Measured cable length||9.65 ft||Wireless
charging cable is 5 ft
|10.6 ft||11.1 ft PC
4.5 ft console
|8.23 ft PC
4.55 ft console
|How to mute the mic||Lift mic||Button||Switch||Switch||Lift mic|
|Measured weight||9-5/8 oz||11-3/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||12-1/8 oz||14-1/2 oz|
|Measured ear cushion size||1-5/16" X 2-5/8 "||1-3/4" X 2-1/2"||1-1/2" X 2-9/16"||2-1/4" X 2-1/2"||1-3/4" X 2-7/8"|
|Ear cup shape||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval||Asymmetric oval|
|Ear cup fabric type||Velvet||Flowknit similar to microfiber mesh||Leatherette
|Heat transfer fabric with cooling gel||Cooling suede-like material|
Best Overall Gaming Headset
EPOS GAME ONE
The front-runner of our favorite gaming headsets, by far, is the GAME ONE by EPOS. It has some of the best audio we've ever heard, producing crystal-clear conversations between players and making in-game music and sound effects sound remarkable. Games with rich orchestral soundtracks are highlighted excellently, and the position of in-game sounds is accurately conveyed. Not only is the GAME ONE easy and intuitive to use, but it's also very comfortable. You can keep your marathon gaming session going without having you give your ears a rest from any uncomfortable hotspots. The ear cups are open-back, allowing tons of ventilation and keeping you from getting sweaty even when playing in the stuffiest room.
If you're in a noisy room, the open-back design might cause you to be distracted, as it won't block out background noise. It also has a slightly airier tone that some people aren't fans of. If this sounds like you, consider the close-backed GAME ZERO — an almost identical gaming headset that trades some ventilation for more ambient noise cancellation. The GAME ONE comes at a higher price tag than most, so for most gamers, it might instantly be out of budget. Regardless, the GAME ONE is our favorite headset that we have seen so far, and we highly recommend it.
Read Full Review: EPOS GAME ONE
Best for Comfort
Kingston HyperX Cloud II
The HyperX Cloud II by Kingston is our recommendation if you're experiencing sticker shock from the price of the EPOS. This headset is a fantastic value, offering more bang for your buck than the GAME ONE. From all of the headsets on the market, we found the HyperX Cloud II to be one of the most comfortable, and the majority of our testers had no issue wearing them for 10 or more hours. Its solid sound and microphone quality definitely won't disappoint.
There honestly wasn't too much to complain about with this product. Our main gripe would be that compared to some of the other headsets, the in-line controls are a little harder to use and aren't as intuitive. Because the mute switch is so small, quick activation may be harder to achieve, which could result in your teammates hearing every interruption. Despite these minor drawbacks, we think you can't go wrong with the HyperX Cloud II. You'll save some money while still getting a product that's great across the board.
Read Full Review: HyperX Cloud II
Best Bang for the Buck
Another great choice if you want to save a bit of cash while still getting a good, all-around gaming headset is the Razer Kraken. We love how comfortable this headset is to wear and had no issues with it, even for the longest gaming sessions. It did well in our audio and microphone tests and has a decent number of the convenient features that you would find in a top-tier headset.
Despite their closed-back design, some background noise still made its way through. It also showed a bit of a parasitic buzz in our audio benchmark tests. This headset also can't quite compete with the top-tier models regarding audio quality — something particularly noticeable when listening to music. However, we still think it's a great affordable headset and would happily recommend it to anyone shopping on a budget.
Read Full Review: Razer Kraken
Best on a Tight Budget
Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger
If you're on the hunt for a new headset with a conservative budget, consider the HyperX Cloud Stinger. This headset proved to be premium even when compared side by side with other products that were more than triple its price tag. Its microphone quality was especially impressive, earning some of the top overall marks in that test metric. This headset offers some of the better audio quality out of all the products in our test fleet, is fairly comfortable to wear, and retails for less than the majority of quality products on the market.
However, if you are in an intense marathon gaming session, the Cloud Stinger might start to cause you some discomfort after some time. The audio quality also doesn't compare to some of the top competitors; however, those headsets will cost you a bit more. This model has many great qualities and is relatively comfortable to wear, giving you some of the best bang for the buck for any headset we have tried to date.
Read Full Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger
Best Wireless Headset
Razer Black Shark V2 Pro
If you are looking for the convenience of a wireless headset, then we highly recommend the Razer Black Shark V2 Pro. This headset is exceptionally comfortable to wear — one of the few that we would happily wear for 8+ hours. It has great sound and even better microphone quality, all while having plenty of convenience features for hassle-free operation.
However, this wireless headset is a bit more expensive than some of the comparable wired ones, making it hard to recommend to those shopping on a budget. It also has a fairly short charging cable, so you will be on a short leash if you need to plug in to keep using it when the batteries are depleted. Though we don't think it's the best overall gaming headset you can get, the Black Shark V2 Pro is definitely our top recommendation when it comes to wireless models.
Read Full Review: Razer Black Shark V2 Pro
Why You Should Trust Us
We did extensive research, combing through other reviews and customer experiences to determine which headsets had the best shot of being crowned king. 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. This all gives him plenty of expertise and insight into 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. Their responses were then averaged 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. Other players were enlisted to 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. Our tests were divided into four weighted testing metrics: Ease of Use, Comfort, Audio, and Microphone. These metrics were then weighted based on their importance to overall performance, and scores were determined based on the results of various head-to-head tests in each metric.
Related: Buying Advice for Gaming Headsets
Claiming the overall top spot of all the headsets we tested was the GAME ONE by EPOS. Top-of-the-line performance is usually paired with a premium price tag, and this is the case here. It costs more than many people might want to spend. The HyperX Cloud II is almost as good as the GAME ONE, and we found it to be more comfortable to wear, but it has slightly lower audio and mic quality. Fortunately, it also costs a bit less.
If our top two recommendations cost more than you want to spend, then the Razer Kraken or the HyperX Cloud Stinger should be the next in line you consider. The Kraken and the Cloud II are about equal in terms of comfort. The Kraken is typically a bit more economical, though its microphone doesn't perform as well. The Cloud Stinger is our top recommendation if you are shopping on the tightest of budgets, costing a fraction of the top model and still delivering respectable results.
By far the most important set of tests of our review, comfort is king when it comes to these products — accounting for 40% of the overall score, it has a larger effect on product rankings than sound or microphone quality. To test these products, we had a panel of mixed ages and genders wear each headset for as long as it was comfortable, up to a full workday, and 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 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 uncomfortable for your head and ears.
Tying for the top spot overall, the HyperX Cloud II, the Razer Kraken, and the Razer Black Shark V2 Pro are our absolute favorites when it comes to comfort. These gaming headsets routinely scored at the top of the list for each of our judges and can easily be worn for 8-10 hours without issues, even for those with larger ears.
The Cloud II has a leatherette padded headband that does a good job of remaining secure on your head without overly squeezing. 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 Razer Kraken has a mesh fabric on the headband and sits lightly on most heads. The ear cups are quite large, measuring 2.25" x 2.5" (57mm x 64mm) and have soft padding. Each ear cup is also covered in heat transfer fabric with cooling gel that should keep you from getting overly sweaty, even on the hottest of summer days.
The Razer Black Shark V2 Pro's ear cups and headband are both covered in a microfiber mesh-like material. The padding is very comfortable, and the ear cups have ample room for most people.
We also like that the headband on this headset feels like it accommodates a wider range of head sizes than some of the other options.
Following the top trio of exceptionally comfortable headsets, the Logitech G332, the EPOS GAME ONE, 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 bit of a mixed response, with the bulk of our judges more than happy to wear this headset for an extended gaming session. There were a few testers, however, that hated the tighter fit of the GAME ONE, finding them too uncomfortable to continue wearing after only 30 to 60 minutes. Aside from the differing opinions on the fit, everyone agreed that the velvet ear cups felt awesome and provided ample 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 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 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 still surprisingly comfortable. It is one of the heavier gaming headsets we have seen, but its heft wasn't overly cumbersome.
The Logitech 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. Our judges were fine wearing the Logitech 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.
The ear cups on the Logitech 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 Logitech G332's, but the Logitech G332's are a bit wider.
Next, the HyperX Cloud Stinger, the EPOS GSP 600, the Razer Nari Ultimate, the Cloud Revolver S, the SteelSeries Arctis 7, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless, and the Corsair HS50 Pro all earned an above-average score 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 too 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 it grew more and more uncomfortable.
The Stinger's ear cups 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.
Initially, we were 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's going to put a significant amount of the headset's weight on your jaw, but it isn't all that uncomfortable to wear—even with its above-average weight. This might not apply, however, if you have a smaller head. Our most petite judges didn't find this product comfortable 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, which makes the range of different heads that it can comfortably fit much lower. 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, with a few noting that the pressure on the bottom of their ears was the primary cause of their discomfort.
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, at 12.25 oz. versus 12.5 oz., but this difference is practically imperceptible.
The Corsair HS50 Pro fits 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 EPOS GSP 600 also received relatively mixed results, with a few of our testers finding it to be a bit on the small side and overly constrictive on their heads and ears. The ear cups have an asymmetric oval shape, relatively firm padding, and are covered with leatherette and a suede-like material to keep things cool.
The headband is covered with mesh fabric and decent padding, 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 manage only an hour or two. There was no one 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 a cooling gel, which prevents your ears from heating up after long periods to some degree, but it didn't work as well as we would have hoped.
The auto-adjustment mechanism on the headband is alright, though it gives a looser fit, which makes the Razer Nari prone to falling off if you move suddenly or lean over.
The Logitech G Pro X Wireless has leatherette covering the headband and the ear cups, which both have padding that is a bit on the firmer side. This headset also fits more snugly than some of the other options, making it secure but less comfortable.
In our opinion, the Corsair Void Pro RGB, the Logitech G635, the Mpow EG3 Pro, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 are all so-so when it comes to comfort. 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 it would still feel loose, to the point of easily falling off with moderate motion. The ear cups, however, are decently spacious, but there is a tiny bit of a pressure point towards the top of the ear.
The beyerdynamic MMX 300 squeezes your head so tightly that you can hardly notice the headband resting on top. This pressure, however, 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 MMX 300 after 3 hours at most.
The Logitech G635 received a generally lackluster response from our testers, with none wanting to wear it more than four or five hours at a time. This headset fits a little on the snugger side — though looser than the beyerdynamic MMX 300. The microfiber mesh ear cups have decent amounts of room, and the padding is on the firmer side. Overall, we found anyone with a larger head or who prefers their headset to fit a bit looser probably won't be a fan of the Logitech G635.
The Mpow EG3 Pro also has a suspended-style headband like the Cloud Revolver S and received similarly mixed results. Our judges didn't find it to be all that comfortable to wear after more than a few hours.
The suspended headband also tends to put pressure on the top of your ears, as it causes the ear cups to angle inwards at the top. However, we did like that the ear cups are plenty large and covered in soft, leatherette-clad padding that doesn't get too sweaty.
Next, we moved on to assessing the sound quality of each headset, which is responsible for 30% of the total score. 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 noises with each headset. Additionally, we also judged how well they blocked out ambient noise. After all our tests, there was one headset that stood above the rest.
The EPOS GAME ONE, the EPOS GSP 600, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 are all tied for the top spot with their excellent audio qualities. These headsets distinguished themselves by portraying our teammates' voices exceptionally well, with the conversation coming across clear, crisp, and full-sounding — nearly to the point that it was indistinguishable from having a face-to-face conversation, though the EPOS GSP 600 is just a fraction less clear and full sounding than the other two.
All three provided an incredibly immersive experience when listening to music or the soundtrack of a game. They are all very well balanced, with a slight emphasis on the mid-range sounds, particularly with the EPOS 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 means that the GAME ONE lets in significantly more ambient noise than the beyerdynamic MMX 300 or the closed-back EPOS GSP 600.
The EPOS 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 EPOS 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 a roughly 50-60% accuracy rate at identifying the origin of a sound correctly when wearing the beyerdynamic MMX 300.
Next, the HyperX Cloud II, the HyperXCloud Stinger, the Razer Kraken, the Logitech G332, Razer Black Shark V2 Pro, and the Logitech G635 all followed the top-tier models in our audio tests. Of this group, the Razer Kraken impressed us the most with how well it made other players' voices sound — performing just a small amount worse than the best overall headsets, with the Black Shark V2 Pro coming in just a bit behind it.
The Cloud II matched the quality of the EPOS 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 than the Cloud II — the conversation was understandable but was much less full-bodied and realistic.
We found the voice quality of the Logitech G332 and the Logitech G635 to be just a bit lower than the other products in this group. Other player's voices came across fairly clear and easy to understand with all of these headsets, but the pair of Logitech models made voices sound emptier and hollow.
Moving on to our music and soundtrack tests, the Cloud Stinger is our favorite out of this group. It delivers high-fidelity, balanced sound, but it's still less immersive than the EPOS or the Kraken. The Cloud II, the Logitech G332, the Razer Kraken, and the Logitech 635 are all just a bit behind the Stinger in terms of music quality. The Cloud II and the Razer Kraken are both 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. Unfortunately, we weren't huge fans of listening to music on the Black Shark V2 Pro's default setting, as the bass seemed quite weak, though this did improve a bit when we adjusted the equalizer.
The Logitech G332 and the Logitech G635 both sound remarkably similar, with the mid and treble tones coming through loud and clear but with bass that is disappointingly weak. Both the Cloud Stinger and the Cloud II do a solid job at blocking ambient noise — on par with the Kraken. We would estimate these headsets cut down external noise by about 40-45%.
The Logitech G332, the Razer Kraken, Black Shark V2 Pro, and the Logitech G635 are closed-back headsets, like the Stinger and the Cloud II, but they didn't prove quite as effective at cutting down external noise, only reducing it by 20-25%.
The Razer Nari Ultimate, the Cloud Revolver S, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless, and the Corsair HS50 Pro each a slightly above-average score for their solid performance in our sound quality test. All of these did fine in our voice test, with the Nari Ultimate and the G Pro X Wireless doing just a tad bit better than the others.
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 a bit flatter than it would when talking face-to-face.
The HS50 Pro and the Cloud Revolver S did relatively better in our music test, with the HS50 Pro scoring better than the Cloud Revolver S. The mid-range on the Corsair HS50 Pro 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 Nari's bass to be particularly deficient, but its haptic feedback does a bit to conceal this weakness. The G Pro X Wireless is about average, doing a little bit worse than the HS50 Pro but sounding better than the Nari.
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 Pro. The HS50 Pro also did particularly poorly in our directional sound tests, whereas both the Cloud Revolver and the Nari Ultimate did exceptionally well. The G Pro X Wireless also did very well in the positional tests, but we had a few more errors when it came to identifying the origin of a sound than the Revolver or Nari Ultimate.
Delivering a mediocre performance, the Arctis 7, the Logitech Artemis Spectrum, and the Corsair Void Pro RGB all merited a so-so score 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 decided to exchange it, but the results remained the same. Our teammates' voices were substantially less clear and much less realistic, with their voices 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 that gets 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.
We weren't impressed with the voice quality of either the Artemis Spectrum or the Void Pro, with our teammates' voices coming across as very empty and echoey. The Void Pro adds in a gravelly undertone that makes their voices sound far different than what they did in real life.
Both of these have relatively weak bass and don'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.
The Mpow finished at the back of the group, severely hindered by its poor performance in our positional test. Our judges frequently misidentified the origin of various in-game sounds. It also lets in tons of external noises and—in our opinion—makes the music sound very poor.
For the next round of tests, we evaluated how well each gaming 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 more concentrated than the audio quality tests.
Four headsets tied for the top score in this metric, with the EPOS GAME ONE, the EPOS GSP 600, the beyerdynamic MMX 300, and the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Out of this group, the beyerdynamic MMX 300, the EPOS GSP 600, and the GAME ONE are the best in terms of microphone quality, with only a tiny bit of buzz. The recording audio sounds almost identical to our tester's voice in real life. However, these models 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 beyerdynamic MMX 300. It also 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 MMX 300 did the best job 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 okay at this, but people on the other end of the line would usually notice if we were eating something or running a fan, even on low.
The story changed dramatically, however, if someone else was talking in the background. The beyerdynamic MMX 300 would transmit the entirety of the background conversation, even if it was 10-15 ft away. In contrast, people on the other end could only hear a side conversation if it was happening right next to you when using the EPOS GSP 600, Cloud Stinger, or the GAME ONE.
The HyperX Cloud II, the Logitech G332, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless, the Logitech G635, and the Razer Black Shark V2 Pro all followed the top headsets. Although we think the Cloud II does the best job of the entire group at transmitting realistic voices with no additional buzzing, this gaming headset is dragged down by the fact that it performs the job a little too well, picking up the noise of anyone talking within about 25' of you. The transmission is so clear that the person on the other end of the line could make out the words of the side chatter even if they were 20' away. The Cloud II does a decent job of filtering out other background noises from being transmitted, but this might be a bit too problematic if there are often people nearby talking while you are playing.
Neither the Logitech G332 nor the Logitech G635 picked up our voices as well as the Cloud II. The Logitech G635 and the G Pro X Wireless and the Black Shark V2 Pro both have a small amount more buzzing and static than the Cloud II, and the Logitech G332 has even more. None of these three headsets are particularly sibilant, but the Logitech models do exaggerate a "t" sound just a little compared to the Cloud II.
We thought the Logitech G635 and the Logitech G332 were better than the HyperX Cloud II at cutting down distracting external noises, almost eliminating things like a fan or mechanical keyboard clicking. However, all three of these struggle to block external conversations.
In our experience, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless and the Black Shark V2 Pro both tended to pick up quite a bit more background noise, but they were better at filtering our side conversations, with the G Pro X doing slightly better than the Black Shark V2 Pro in both cases.
Next, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, the Razer Kraken, the Corsair HS50 Pro, and the Mpow EG3 Pro all earned a score just above average for their solid microphone quality. The voice transmission from the Cloud Revolver S 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. This headset, however, did just as poorly as the Cloud II at picking up every side conversation going on in the room and transmitting it loud and clear to the people you are playing with.
We found the Razer Kraken to do a reasonably good job of transmitting our voices to other players, though it would make them sound a little less realistic and sometimes had a bit of feedback. It also does an alright job of filtering out background noises but will usually pick up side conversations if they are happening within 10' of you.
Overall, we weren't huge fans of how the Mpow EG3 Pro made our voices sound to teammates. It reduced them to flat monotones—something you would expect out of a cheap pair of walkie-talkies. However, it did redeem itself a bit by filtering out tons of background noise, like a fan or a loud mechanical keyboard.
The Corsair HS50 Pro does much better than the Mpow and the Kraken at transmitting our voice, with other players commenting that it sounded significantly better. It also does a great job of filtering out background sounds but only about average at removing side conversations.
The Artemis Spectrum, Razer Nari Ultimate, and the Arctis 7 all earn a 5 out of 10 for their middle-of-the-road microphone quality. We found the Artemis to do the best job at transmitting a clear and understandable voice to the people on the other end of voice chats, followed by the Nari Ultimate and the Arctis 7. The Artemis makes you sound quite normal with only minimal buzzing, while the Arctis has a bit more buzzing and makes your voice sound slightly less natural. The Razer Nari doesn't have the buzzing, but it renders your voice a bit more echoey than normal and lower in pitch.
Finishing out the back of the group, the Corsair Void Pro RGB earned a 4 out of 10 for its lackluster microphone quality. This model doesn't buzz at all, but it 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. It lets tons of extra noise through.
Ease of Use
For our final assessment of these products, we rated and scored how convenient it is to operate each headset. This contributed to 10% of the total score for these products. While there weren't a ton of differences 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 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 optional 3.5mm audio cable. It is really easy to mute by either 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. However, we wish it also had a detachable microphone. One of our favorite features is the onboard storage for the wireless adapter.
Following that top-notch headset, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S, the Cloud Stinger, the Logitech G635, and the EPOS GAME ONE all are exceptionally easy to use. The majority of these models have controls right on the headset, while the Cloud Revolver S 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 shortest being the Logitech G635 at 9.35'.
Muting the mic is easy on the GAME ONE and the Cloud Stinger, accomplished by simply rapidly lifting the mic. The Revolver requires you to tap a button on the in-line controls. The Logitech G635 offers both options, allowing you to mute the mic 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 Logitech 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 EPOS GSP 600, the Corsair Void Pro, the HyperX Cloud II, the Logitech G332, the Razer Kraken, Black Shark V2 Pro, Logitech G Pro X Wireless, and the SteelSeries Arctis 7 all are just a bit above-average when it comes to ease of use. These all have onboard controls to mute the mic and adjust the volume. Most of these have their controls on the headphones, except for the Cloud II and Razer Kraken, where they are found on the cord. The Razer Black Shark V2 Pro, the Razer Nari Ultimate, the G Pro X Wireless, the Corsair Void Pro, and the Arctis 7 are all wireless, with 5', 5.05', 6', 6.95', and 10' charging cables, respectively.
The Cloud II, the Razer Kraken, the EPOS GSP 600, and the Logitech 332 are all wired models with long enough cables that we never felt constrained. Each gave us ample room to move around while playing. The HyperX Cloud II, the EPOS GSP 600, and the Logitech 332 all have fully detachable cables, and the Cloud II even has a detachable mic.
However, the cable is only partially detachable on the Razer Kraken, split in the middle with a 3.5mm connector. The microphone doesn't detach, but it can retract up into the headset for storage. Additionally, you also can enable an adjustable mic sidetone through the software for this headset.
Delivering an overall average performance, the Corsair HS50 Pro, the Mpow EG3 Pro, and the beyerdynamic MMX 300 all earned a 5 out of 10. The beyerdynamic MMX 300 has in-line controls, a slide to mute switch, and an 8.6' cord. The Corsair HS50 Pro's controls are on the headset, and you can raise the mic or press a button to mute, but its cable is shorter at 6.8'. The Mpow EG3 Pro doesn't have a detachable cable or mic but does have the basic in-line controls to change the volume or mute the mic. None of these have the option to enable a mic sidetone.
Regardless of whether you are a professional streamer or a casual gamer, we hope that you found this review to be a helpful and informative resource for selecting your next gaming headset. Although we know it can be frustrating trying to sort through the many possibilities, the comfort and audio quality benefits will be well worth it.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise