In today’s modern gaming landscape, gaming headsets are more important than ever. They were certainly less common in the earlier days of home consoles. However, with the advent of online multiplayer and cinematic scores, a great gaming headset is now at the core of most players’ gaming setup. So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons in determining which gaming headset is right for you.
Why do I need a gaming headset?
Sound design quality in gaming is progressing at a steady and impressive rate. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be said for the classic 8-bit soundtracks that many of us grew up on. However, graphics and gameplay aren’t the only aspects of video games that have vaulted to new heights since those halcyon days of Ganon and Goombas.
Many of today’s biggest games feature cinematic scores that rival the top Hollywood films. Live orchestras, powerful voice performances, and incredible audio effects highlight the audio experience in so many great titles. This is one reason why a great gaming headset can be so beneficial. When your TV speakers just don’t cut it, a great headset can deliver sound that matches or even exceeds some expensive home theatres.
Sound in gaming isn’t just a static experience either. 3D spacial awareness is more important then ever with the competitive nature of multiplayer titles. Gaming headsets compatible with the latest surround and spacial technology can really give players an edge. Imagine hearing the slightest footsteps and knowing that your opponent’s exact location above and to your right.
Finally, gaming headsets are also the best way to communicate. This is probably the best argument for them as a necessary component vs. an optional gaming accessory. The microphone component of gaming headsets enables chat across a multitude of co-operative and competitive multiplayer experiences.
What are some of the key differences in gaming headsets?
The marketplace for gaming headsets is full of a variety of different options. Headsets come not only in many shapes and styles, but also vary in quality and available features. They really run the gamut when it comes to price range as well. Here are a couple of points to consider when choosing the perfect gaming headset.
Wired vs. wireless
This is one of the biggest points of differentiation between most gaming headsets, and each configuration has its own list of pros and cons. For example, the downside to wired headsets is fairly obvious. You have to deal with that pesky wire. It may tangle, it gets in the way, it tethers you to one spot. Frankly it’s potentially an overall nuisance in an increasingly wireless world.
That said, there are actually a large number of benefits to wired headsets. They aren’t as prone to dropping audio signals, they tend to be cheaper, and they usually do not require charging or an additional power source. Wired headsets also tend to be compatible with nearly every gaming platform.
Wireless gaming headsets on the other hand feel like a premium device. They offer all the freedom of wireless connectivity. However they regularly require charging, may cost more, and chat compatibility is often locked to specific platforms.
Entry level audio vs. high end surround sound
Another key factor in gaming headsets is the overall audio quality. This is one feature that ties most closely to cost. Elite headsets tend to come at a higher price, but also deliver incredible audio fidelity.
If you really just need a gaming headset for chat functionality, you may be best off going with something modest. Headsets in this category can make it easy to communicate with friends and teammates without breaking the bank. They are perfect for the type of player who really just wants to play and chat with friends.
Conversely, higher-end headsets are capable of amazing sound, and can even give players an edge in competition. Choosing a headset compatible with features such as 7.1 Surround Sound, Dolby Atmos, and more can really add to the overall experience. From booming effects to swelling scores and spacial 3D audio, high end gaming headsets can transform gaming on a whole new level.
Gaming headset recommendations
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing many gaming headsets, including some of the latest releases available. Here are a couple of my favourite picks and recommendations.
The Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset
First up is the Astro A50, a premium wireless headset with a sleek design and great connectivity. In fact, I will go as far as to say that this is my personal favourite gaming headset. It’s also the one I use at home for PS4, Xbox One, and PC gaming.
Astro is currently on the 4th iteration of its flagship headset. This model incorporates a smaller base station with an easier docking connection. It is also tuned with Astro’s latest software—Astro V2—providing the highest fidelity audio experience.
The Astro A50 wireless headset is one of the pricier headsets available. However, it packs in all the features to justify the cost in comfort, quality, battery life, and more.
PDP Gaming LVL 50 wired headsets
For a more modest option, these PDP Gaming sets are a great choice. They aren’t the absolute most economical headsets available, but they are far from the top. Yet they deliver a fantastic experience among those in the same price range, and are a great value overall.
These headsets are easy to use, compatible across all platforms, and offer a very respectable audio experience. They really are a step above most base entry level headsets, granting increased comfort and audio fidelity without soaring over most thrifty gamers’ budgets.
Which gaming headset is right for you?
There are so many great gaming headsets to choose from. Finding the perfect set for your gaming needs really boils down to personal preference and budget. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to dispute the effect and impact that an amazing headset can have on your favourite games.
What do you look for in a gaming headset? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.