Given how easy it is to plug into console controllers, it's a wonder that anyone is still actually using TV speakers for gaming audio. You need pitch perfect sound and you need it pumped directly into your ears from the best gaming headsets. But which to pick? There's an astonishing number of headphones out there from a range of big brands who all promise the world. The truth of the matter is that regardless which set you choose, and whether you're looking for a PS4, Xbox One or PC headset, you're going to get a world of audio that you didn't even know was there. You'll realise that you can hear your scope zooming, NPCs you didn't know actually spoke will suddenly burst to life, and the world will seem that much richer.
There's even the fact that you'll get better at multiplayer as your spacial awareness improves approximately 1000%. Budget wise, there's no need to spend the earth, just focus on what you want to use your headset for and whether you can justify wireless just to make it that little bit easier to walk to the fridge with your friends howling in your ears. So without further ado, from wired offerings with serious comfort and cans made specifically for VR, here's the very best gaming headsets for consoles and PC you can buy in 2017.
Bear in mind that if you've got an original Xbox One controller and not the newer model with a 3.5mm jack, you'll need an Xbox One stereo headset adaptor that you can pick up from Amazon.
1. Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament
Made for esports, this headset feels and sounds incredible
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 498g | Cable length: 5ft | Drivers: 50mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One (Xbox One Stereo Adapter not included), Switch, Mac, mobile
Compatible with PS4, Xbox One (with adaptor) and PC, these cans are in a league of their own when it comes to detailed sound quality and comfort. Developed with esports players in mind, the headset itself has multiple tension options and even a nice feature where you can reduce the pressure of the ear cushions on your glasses. You might scoff now but add that to the tension settings on the headband and you've got a set of headphones that don't feel like they're crushing your skull after a few hours of play.
The included microphone is ultra clear already but you can buy an additional noise cancelling microphone to make sure just your voice is all your teammates get. Also available is the excellent Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller to precision control your audio experience down to a decibel. Regardless of whether you go for the add-ons or not, the headset is a brilliant overall package that's clearly been crafted with long term gaming in mind. Prepare to hear sounds you didn't even know were there.
Best for.... Wired gaming on a high end budget
2. Razer ManO'War - Wireless headset
Ideal for both PC and PS4, these are wire-free wonders
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 376g | Wireless range: 12m/ 40ft | Drivers: 50mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4
If you wanted a reason to convert to the world of wirefree gaming sound, here it is. The ManO' War is the best gaming headset we've found that delivers on audio quality, looks and exceptional comfort. The tiny Bluetooth dongle handily lives inside the headset itself (making it far less possible to lose) and set up is painfully easy. On PS4 you can just plug the dongle straight into one of your USB ports and it automatically connects. On PC it's equally simple and you'll get bonus exceptional simulated 7.1 surround sound via Razer's Synapse app.
Whether you're on PS4 or PC, the audio quality is brilliant - Destiny's weaponry thuds especially satisfyingly on console - and it's all in a surprisingly light package. The buttons and controls are located on each ear and reasonably easy to find once you know what you're looking for. Volumes for both the mic and audio are on there too and a press of the wheel will mute either. The mic too is easily retractable for jumping in and out of chat. Plus, despite the fact that you're never going to see them, both cans light up with Razer's 16.8 million Chroma colours. Nice. Overall, we can't recommend these cans enough.
Best for... Wireless gaming on a high end budget
3. HyperX Cloud
An absolute beast of a gaming headset at a brilliant price
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 350g | Cable length: 3m | Drivers: 53mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One (Xbox One Stereo Adapter not included), Switch, PC
It was no April Fool’s when storage and PC memory manufacturer, Kingston, released a gaming headset back at the start of April 2014. Two years later and it still stands the test of time. Kingston brought in the expertise of Swedish gaming experts, QPAD, to help it with its first set of headphones. And, building on the excellent QH-90 cans, Kingston tweaked the original’s slightly flat bass response just enough to make the HyperX Cloud an astoundingly good gaming headset.
You genuinely won’t find a set of headphones that sound as good for the price of the original Clouds. Kingston created a second gen version with USB 7.1 surround support, but changed little else, which still makes the originals perfect if you just want a standard 3.5mm connection so ideal for plugging into a PS4 controller. Kingston has gone its own way with its new Revolver headset, but it’s twice the price of the stunning HyperX Cloud.
Best for... Great sound on a budget
4. SteelSeries Siberia 800
The ultimate in wireless luxury
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 318g | Wireless range: 10m | Drivers: 40mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Mac, mobile, Xbox One (Xbox One Stereo Adapter not included), Switch
If you're looking to invest in a monster set of luxury gaming headphones for all your devices and not have the worry of pesky wires, the Siberia 800s should be top of your shopping list. These cans run through an included external transmitter and it's easy to switch between devices without any hassle. You've got multiple options when it comes to sound too. Wire up your optical cable and the 800s deliver exemplary surround sound that means you're not going to want to take your new favourite headphones off any time soon.
We've no complaints with the stereo offering either and the bass is booming enough to plug into your mobile device for music when you've not got your head in the game. Another nice thing is the supplying of an additional lithium ion battery so no running out of sound when you need it most. The extra battery charges inside the transmitter so it's ready when you need to swap them out. If you want a multipurpose - not to mention comfortable - wireless gaming headset option for PC or console, this is definitely worth the investment.
Best for... Luxury wireless gaming
5. SteelSeries Arctis 3
A great combination of price and exceptional sound quality
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 272g | Cable length: 3m | Drivers: 40mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One (Xbox One Stereo Adapter not included), Switch, PC
If you're looking for a headset that isn't going to break the bank but doesn't look too much like something you'd have to hide from people while wearing, then the Arctis 3 makes a perfect choice. Ultra-comfortable around the ears and head and with a great sound range, this headset works with everything that's got a 3.5mm jack - oh hello, Switch - and is really easy easy on the eyes. You can even switch out that ski goggle-style band for something brighter. The clear highlight though is the microphone. Helpfully retractable (so no risk of losing it on the day you decide you don't want to speak to anyone), it's excellent for background noise cancelling, leaving your squadmates with just the voice that matters. Yours. Obviously. If you've got a bit more money to spend though, head up to the Arctis 5 for a bit more literal bang for your buck.
Best for... Great sound and good looks on a budget
6. Sony Platinum Wireless headset
Pitch-perfect 3D wire free sound for PS4 owners
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Weight: 272g | Drivers: 50mm | Compatibility: PS4
Ok, a PS4-only offering here but Sony's latest exclusive headset deserves a spot on this list. Not only a brilliant price for wireless headphones, PlayStation's Platinum headset offers up Sony's proprietary 3D audio set up which truly has to be heard to be believed. Want to feel like you are Nathan Drake? Load up 3D audio compatible Uncharted 4 and take in the aural bullet-whizzing scenery with glee. Even in standard games, the 7.1 surround is excellent. 50mm drivers offer up a nice even aural offering and everything sounds crystal clear with a rich depth.
The Platinum headset also manages to be one of the easiest on the eyes options on the list with a metal headband and brushed effect cans. Don't let that solid looking outer fool you though, the earcups are beautifully cushioned and brilliant for long periods of play. The only downside is that the mics are positioned on the earcups and while the sound isn't bad by any means, it feels off not to have a directional mic in the mix. There's a cable with a 3.5mm jack if you run out of battery but the charge holds for an impressive length of time. Throw in the easy to use buttons on the cans themselves and this is a brilliant wireless headset for a solid price.
Best for... Wireless hungry PS4 users with an ear for quality sound
7. Plantronics RIG 4VR
Perfect for VR gaming
Acoustic design: Open Back | Weight: 240.g | Cable length: 0.4m & 1.2m | Drivers: 40 mm | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One (Xbox One Stereo Adapter not included), Switch
Specifically designed to work with PlayStation VR, the officially licensed RIG 4VR headset is incredibly light and made so it sits away from the PS VR headband when you wear it. This basically means nothing is pressing uncomfortably against your head when you’re wearing both bits of kit so no squeezed skull for you. While you don't need one as there's one built into the VR headset, these cans also include a mic for shouting at your Destiny fireteam as they fail, yet again, to defend the zones. Helpfully this can easily be removed or ‘flipped up’ to mute it when your obscenities get too much.
Sound-wise these do a great job of picking up little sound details and enhancing the 3D audio from the VR headset but even with the volume up you can still be left wishing they were a little louder. The interchangeable cables also handily mean you won’t get too tangled up in a mess of wires while gaming in VR or have to hunch over your pad when you go back to the normal (boring) sofa and TV set-up.
Best for... VR gaming in comfort