As an occasional PC Gamer, I find that having a really good gaming headset can really make the whole experience a lot better. While doing simple things like allowing you to communicate with your teams better and giving you a much more inclusive audio experience over your speakers, a headset with a mic might even change the way you play a game. Take Sega’s 2014 survival horror game Alien: Isolation for example. When the game was released, gamers were trying all sort of tricks with their gaming headsets in order to do things like hear noises around the ship better or add to the ambience of the game by having the Alien hear more background noise in order to find you.
While willingly scaring the heck out of yourself isn’t really the best reason to buy a gaming headset, here are some better ones along with a few choices.
Blocking out external noise while hearing everything of your own
One of the things that I always feel bad about when I start gaming is the amount of noise that I make. I’m sure that at this point, my wife is tired of hearing the endless wall of sports video games I play, so when I don’t retreat downstairs to our home office, I reach for a gaming headset. My wife will do the same when she’s playing through any of her games too.
I’d say it’s a pretty true fact of life that not everybody around you wants to hear every explosion, gunshot or line of dialogue. You may also have trouble following along with your game if you can’t hear everything around you. Whether it’s somebody with the TV on 20 feet away, construction going on outside or noisy next door neighbours, there’s definitely always a good reason to have a headset around if you want to enclose all of your gaming sounds, whether for your benefit or others.
Enjoy the atmosphere with clear surround sound
I play a lot of sports games, and one of the things I’ve always liked about playing them with a gaming headset is experiencing the game in full surround sound. 20 years ago, I started playing NHL 99 on my PC with headphones on and have never turned back. While everything sounds much better nowadays than it did it back then, there’s nothing quite like listening to the crowd, the skate blades scraping the ice and even the announcers on a really good headset.
A weaker headset or your speakers may not give you that full level of immersion you want (or may even need) for what you’re playing. My personal go to right now is an old durable Sennheiser set (while I don’t have the Game One, it’s a really good headset on its own,) but I’ve always been a bit partial to what Logitech offers up. I’ve experienced a Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset before and it is on my list of top contenders for the next set I pick up when I need to upgrade. This one has Dolby 7.1 surround and really tunes you into everything around you to ensure that you pick up every last rustling footstep, every breaking tree branch and of course, every pitter patter of an alien on a dark ship.
Better Communication with your Teammates
With teammate communication being so crucial in your online gaming experiences, having a solid gaming headset with a good mic is so important to ensure that you’re an asset instead of a liability to your team. When I think about a good communicative headset, I’m looking at something like the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Gaming Headset. While featuring a pretty expansive audio range, it also has a couple of really neat features for communicating with your teammates. First, it has a USB chatmix feature which allows you cycle through your in-game chat and sound volumes separately, and then the microphone itself has noise cancellation and voice clarity features so that you come through to your teammates crystal clear.
Do I get a wired or wireless headset?
One of the things that I would always be worried about when gaming with a wireless headset is battery life. Thankfully, many companies have thought of that for me already. The majority of wireless headsets out there have very good battery life. On the average end, you’ll find headsets with about 15 hours of gaming time, but some headsets like the HyperX Cloud Flight Over-Ear Sound Isolating RF Wireless Gaming Headset have a staggering 30 hours of battery life! That’s more than enough for that all-nighter or even that Extra Life marathon you might be thinking of doing. HyperX headsets also feature some of the most comfortable fits (definitely for my head anyway) so you don’t have to worry about the discomfort your ears or head get from wearing the headset for too long.
That’s just a small handful of reasons why a gaming headset is a must for your PC. What’s your go-to gaming headset? Tell us in the comments below!