Gaming headsets offer a handy and practical solution to any and all of your gaming audio needs. But, as with any kind of technology, there is a surplus of options on the market, and not all of them are worth buying.
To make sure you get your money well spent, we’ve provided a checklist of the major factors or questions you should have answered. After you complete the checklist, you’ll have a much better idea on what to look for in a gaming headset.
Gaming Headphones vs Gaming Headsets
Gaming headphones are regular headphones that are used traditionally for music enjoyment. However, they possess qualities that are awesome for gaming needs too. Audiophilic characteristics such as great micro-detail retrieval, accurate sound stage and immersive sound experience make them feasible to double up as a pair of gaming headphones.
However, most audiophile headphones do not come with a mic nor do they have any mic attachment slots. You will need to get an external mic like the Blue Yeti X for communication support.
Your gaming platform can influence the choice of gaming headsets.
The most common gaming platforms today include:
- Windows PC
- Xbox One
- PlayStation 4
- Nintendo Switch
In general, headsets with a 3.5mm connection should work across all platforms. However, because of certain software-dependent features, a particular console might not support all of the functions of a specific gaming headset.
A good example of this is the official Sony PlayStation Wireless Gold and Platinum gaming headsets.
Sony’s very own set of official gaming headsets for the PlayStation 4 come with game-specific audio profiles and features once hooked up to the console, including 7.1 virtual surround sound.
But, if you decide to use the Sony PlayStation Wireless Gold and Platinum gaming headsets on the Xbox One, you’ll have to connect the gaming headset manually via the cable included in the original package. Then, you’ll have to connect the jack to a separate headset adapter sold by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox One.
You can bypass the need for the Xbox One headset adapter by connecting the Sony PlayStation Wireless Gold and Platinum gaming headsets directly to the Xbox One, but that’s not exactly an ideal solution now, is it?
Wired vs Wireless Gaming Headsets
You must learn to pick a suitable type of connection. Both wired and wireless connection has its perks and drawbacks. Picking the right connection can hugely affect your gaming lifestyle. So let’s find out the basics of each type of connection.
A wired connection involves using cables to connect your headphone or headset to a compatible audio source. The most common connection options are 3.5mm Jacks or USB ports.
Compared to wireless headsets, wired headsets are relatively inexpensive. They are often packed with more features at a lower price point as well, making them better value purchases for frugal gamers and players who are on a budget.
More options to choose from
From entry-level to high-end offerings, there are plenty more wired headsets to choose from on the market compared to wireless ones.
No need to worry about charging and/or batteries
This is an obvious advantage to using wired headsets instead of their wireless counterparts.
Convenient to use
Because you don’t need to worry about connecting a wired headset to a gaming console or PC via bluetooth or a wireless dongle, they are much more convenient to use and set-up. They are often plug-and-play.
Wired gaming headsets are also usually lighter compared to wireless headsets, not platform-specific, and can come with a USB or 3.5mm connection or even both.
Prone to damage and breakage
The cables of wired gaming headsets, in particular, are liable to tangles, as well as wear and tear over time. This makes them more prone to damage and breakage compared to wireless gaming headsets.
Restriction of movement
Because these headsets have cables or wires, they can prove to be quite the inconvenience when you want to play games on your TV and sit down on your couch, or want to walk to the kitchen in between games without having to put the headset down.
Just like with most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to gaming headsets. But price isn’t everything.
To make sure that you end up choosing the right gaming headset, it’s important that you do your research. Be careful about falling for the numbers when looking at a product’s spec sheet. Most of the time, they are designed to deceive. Instead, think critically and consider the factors mentioned above.
We hope this helped you to know exactly what to look for in a gaming headphone or headset. And when the time comes, you’ll make the right choice!