Best gaming headset 2024 - the cream of the audio crop

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headset
(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

The best gaming headsets can completely elevate your experience, no matter which platform you use. Yes, even the stereo sound of the Nintendo Switch can be enhanced with the right set of cups and you don't need us to tell you that PS5 and Xbox Series X have plenty of audio features to help a dedicated headset sing. As more and more brands launch more and more products all across the price range, though, it can be difficult to work out where to put your cash for the best experience. 

Right now, the best gaming headset is the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, but with a hefty price tag it's not going to be for everyone. That's why we've put our noggins in as many headsets as we can get our hands on, covering all the latest releases and some older options that still hold their value today. We've tested hundreds of headsets over the years, living with a massive range of releases from Razer, Corsair, SteelSeries, Logitech and more. 

That's why we're rounding up the best gaming headsets we've come across yet. These are devices that have continued to impress throughout our initial and further testing, rising above the competition in audio quality, value for money, features, or durability. You can find out more about how we test gaming headsets further down the page, or head straight to our top picks for a range of use-cases just below. 

The quick list

The best gaming headset overall

The best gaming headset

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth / wired
Drivers: SteelSeries Premium High Fidelity Drivers
Frequency response: 10Hz - 22kHz
Microphone: ClearCast Gen 2 - Fully Retractable Boom; Bidirectional Noise-Canceling
ANC: Yes
Controls: Power, mic mute, Bluetooth
Battery: 22 hours per battery
Weight: 337g
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible SteelSeries audio quality
+
Awesome DAC / hub with great options
+
Superb build quality and design
+
Excellent connectivity options
+
Ingenious battery solution 

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the most expensive premium headsets going

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless has blown the competition out of the water with its all-round excellence, and it's the best gaming headset we've tested so far. That premium look and feel is backed up by unmatched audio quality, a plethora of additional controls at your fingertips, and its unique answer to battery woes. With its latest generation of high-end gaming headsets, SteelSeries has truly outdone itself.

Buy it if

✅ You want to invest: This isn't a cheap headset, but it will go the distance if you're looking to spend big now and reap the rewards for years to come.

✅ You have a split PC and console setup: That dual-connection hub makes the most sense for those splitting their time between PC and console within the same setup.

✅ You don't want to worry about battery: The hot-swappable battery packs in the cup were revolutionary when we first tested them. Simply slot one battery in to charge and slap another in your headset and you'll never have to juice up again.

✅ You play open world games: The Arctis Nova Pros absolutely sing in a detail-heavy open world environment. Larger scenes are this headset's bread and butter.

Don't buy it if

❌ You don't play across multiple platforms: If you're not splitting your setup, the amount you're paying for those dual-connectivity and easy switching features doesn't make sense. We'd recommend checking out some of the more platform-specific options on this list if you fly solo. 

❌ You don't want to tinker with EQ settings: There is a little work going into getting the best audio possible out of the Nova Pro Wireless. Anyone looking for an easy plug and play device might want to consider something more streamlined. 

Design: Sitting at the top of the Nova line, the Pro Wireless carries the same design language as cheaper options through its build. That means you're getting a ski-goggle style headband and those chunky, slightly elongated cups on each side. We found the whole aesthetic to be more inline with an everyday set of headphones than a gaming headset. Everything feels solid and secure with an excellent level of adjustability on each side, and controls are within easy reach as well. 

Features: Straight out the box we were greeted with a whole host of additional kit to truly help the Nova Pro shine. The base station is much more than a DAC, it's a charging, EQ fiddling, multi-platform connecting beast. Not only do you have easy access to a whole host of EQ settings via this small box, but you'll also be able to connect both a PC and PlayStation to easily switch your audio between them. We have a lot of gaming headsets to run through in testing, and none have been so easily slotted into everyday life as the Nova Pro.

However, the true triumph here lies in the charging capabilities. The right earcup opens up to reveal a swappable battery pack that can be lifted right out of the set itself. Simply throw in the additional battery charging in the base station and you'll never find yourself without charge. This was such a simple solution to a problem plaguing many a headset, it's difficult to understand why it hasn't been implemented in more high-end solutions. While the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless can pack a serious battery punch all by itself, this solution offers far greater peace of mind. 

Audio: We'll admit it, we find ourselves naturally favoring the clarity and definition of SteelSeries' soundscapes - even if we've found previous models like the Arctis 7P lacked a little in the bass ranges. SteelSeries has upped the ante for its Nova line, and the Pro Wireless sings because of it. We were impressed with the power of the lower ranges here, but not only was the bass beefier than we've experienced with previous releases - the overall sound definition remained crystal clear in the higher ranges as well. That's a difficult balance to strike, but the result had us picking up on even the smallest of audio cues all while enjoying a rich tapestry of well-rounded sound.

It really is setting a new standard for wireless headsets this generation.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

The Verdict: The price point is going to be prohibitive for some, we'll admit. However, if you're looking to invest in a high-end headset for a PC / PS5 setup it's well worth indulging your ears with the Arctis Nova Pro. Between its slick battery implementation and luxury audio quality, there's plenty to love here - even without considering the hub based EQ settings and easy switching features.

Read more: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review

The best gaming headset for most people

The best gaming headset for most people

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth / Wired
Drivers: Razer TriForce Titanium 50mm
Frequency response: 12Hz - 28kHz
Microphone: Razer HyperClear Super Wideband Unidirectional
ANC: No
Controls: Power, volume, playback, profile / Bluetooth smartswitch, mic mute
Battery: Up to 70 hours
Weight: 280g
Compatibility: PC, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Same audio and mic experience as Pro model
+
Lightweight form factor
+
Handy volume dial size and placement
+
Can plug in for a wired connection

Reasons to avoid

-
Leatherette material is less durable and comfortable
-
Non-detachable microphone

The Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed offers pretty much everything the far more expensive Pro model does (also featured down below), but does so at a price point that won't scare off the everyday player. We previously held the original Razer BlackShark V2 as the best gaming headset for the majority of players, but with a wireless connection and excellent microphone, 2023's Hyperspeed model has taken the cake. 

Buy it if

✅ You prioritize high quality audio: You're dropping some high end build quality to get this level of audio this cheap, but if you're going all in on sound that's a sacrifice well worth making.

✅ You play online multiplayer with chat: The microphone on this Hyperspeed model is the same the Pro featured down below - and that's our favorite headset for online chat overall.

✅ You primarily play on PC but split time with consoles: With a USB-A wired and wireless connection, this is a headset best suited for PC, but you'll still be able to easily connect to consoles and still get great audio to boot.

Don't buy it if

❌ You want a premium finish: If look and feel are particularly important, you'll want to move further up the price scale for a more robust form factor. 

❌ You want a more portable design: If you're taking your headset out on the road with you you might prefer a detachable microphone and a swivel on that headband so that the cups can lie flat or fold up.

Design: The Hyperspeed model doesn't stray too far from the rest of the BlackShark line. You're still getting the oval cups, pilot-style form factor, and steel adjustment sliders running from the main headband. Looking a little closer, it's obvious that Razer has made some cutbacks in the build quality, though. The plastic construction feels considerably cheaper than that of the Pro device, with a hollow plastic feel and leatherette cups. Those cups aren't going to last as long (they're prone to cracking and flaking), and they don't provide the same level of comfort thanks to increased temperatures compared to the breathable mesh used elsewhere. Still, with a low weight and densely cushioned headband this is still a comfortable fit for even the lengthiest session. 

Features: Not only are you getting wireless capabilities in both 2.4GHz and Bluetooth here (features not present on the wired BlackShark V2) but you're also getting something even the Pro doesn't have - the ability to wire directly into your PC. That, plus the 70 hour battery life that far outranks its competition, means you'd be hard pressed to find yourself stuck without audio. 

You'll still find the raised volume dial on the side as well - one of our favorite features of the BlackShark line. This dial provides super quick and easy access to volume controls, with a new textured surface for even greater precision. With Razer's super wideband microphone you're also getting an excellent audio quality to your chat comms as well. 

Audio: The TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers under each side work particularly hard to keep your game audio crystal clear and well defined across the ranges. These are the same drivers featured in the Pro model and they shine just as bright in this cheaper form factor. Game audio was impressively detailed across the mid and lower ranges here - something cheaper wireless headsets tend to struggle with. On top of that, though, there was plenty of space in the scene for directional cues to ring true as well. 

You won't find a microphone or set of drivers of this quality running at this price point too often.

Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed review

Verdict: You won't find audio and mic quality like this in many wireless headsets at this price. In fact, other options in this price range generally struggle to stand out. They're either just shy of the experience you can get for just a little more cash, or they can't offer enough to separate them from much cheaper options. In taking the audio quality of a premium headset and making some due sacrifices to the build materials, Razer has produced the best gaming headset for the majority of players out there. 

Read more: Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed review

The best cheap gaming headset

The best cheap gaming headset

Specifications

Connection: Wired
Drivers: 50mm
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Microphone: Uni-directional
ANC: No
Controls: Mic mute, volume
Battery: NA
Weight: 249g
Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for money
+
Decent sound
+
Nice and clear mic

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks features and extras
-
Just stereo sound

Keeping it simple but maintaining some quality too, the Corsair HS35 is one of the best gaming headsets going when on a budget - and certainly one of the best cheap gaming headsets. The HS35 really bucks the trend of lower price tags usually meaning far less quality. Just because you're saving some cash doesn't mean you should have to forgo all the delicious sound goodness.

Buy it if

✅ You mostly play single player games: The HS35 isn't going to offer the speed to keep up with competitive gameplay, so it's best suited to a single-player Steam library.

✅ You need a multiplatform headset: That no-fuss wired connection means it will work straight out of the box with anything packing a 3.5mm connection. That's perfect for console jugglers. 

✅ You don't mind a wired connection: Wireless headsets are great, but they do add a price premium. If you don't mind a tethered connection there's plenty of cash to save here. 

Don't buy it if

❌ You rely on directional audio: With stereo sound limiting your directional cues, we'd recommend avoiding if you're going to be relying on 360 sound for competitive or immersive benefits.

❌ You value more premium sound: The audio quality on offer here is excellent - for the price. If you're after truly premium sound, we'd recommend moving further up the price bracket to more sophisticated drivers and tuning. 

Design: In our eyes, this is a thoughtfully designed piece of kit,  with a sturdy yet comfortable build and some impressive audio qualities. We were impressed by the HS35's first impression straight out of the box. Where we would usually expect to find an overload of hollow plastic and thin padding at this price point, the lightweight form factor and thoughtful coloring details stood out with a more premium feel. Thanks to memory foam ear-cups and a comfy headband, in our testing the Corsair HS35 proved itself to be snug without being uncomfortable after several hours of play, but also tough enough to withstand being pulled on and off your head without too much care, and withstand the odd accidental fall or bump.

Features: Of course, that cheaper price point does come with sacrifices, which means the feature list is lean. This is a wired headset, so there are no dual-connection or platform switching options to speak of. There's also no option to adjust your chat mix, further pushing the Corsair HS35 towards single-player experiences. Still, the detachable microphone comes with some neat features we weren't expecting to see - including active noise cancellation. Not only that, but we were impressed by the quality of that cancellation, with clear audio pushing through despite background noise. 

It’s a budget headset disguised as a more premium product, still managing to focus on the areas of audio that matter.

Corsair HS35 review

Audio: Putting it through our rigorous test, we know the audio won't win awards, but it's on a par with most mid-range headsets, and manages some snappy treble (even if the bass can't match the likes of the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition). There's no 7.1 surround sound at this price point, which is par for the course, and directional audio isn't a strong suit, putting the HS35 further out of the reaches of anyone playing competitive multiplayer. If you are after a better implementation of stereo audio, we'd recommend checking out the slightly pricier HyperX Cloud Alpha below. However, we pricked our ears at the depth of soundtracks and the richness of everything Wolfenstein's artillery booms. The Corsair HS35 can confidently surpass expectations in its range and handling of busier soundscapes, which is more than commendable at such a low price point. 

The Verdict: The Corsair HS35 is the best gaming headset for anyone looking to save money and still get a decent pair of cans. It's a stripped back approach, but one that prioritizes a solid audio quality and comfort over extra features.

Read more: Corsair HS35 review

The best multiplatform gaming headset

The best multiplatform gaming headset

Specifications

Connection: 2.4Ghz / Bluetooth
Drivers: Graphene 40mm
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Microphone: Omnidirectional flip
ANC: No
Controls: Power, HDMI switch, Bluetooth, volume, chat mix
Battery: 24 hours
Weight: 363g
Compatibility: PC, PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch (limited), mobile (limited)

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic compatibility
+
HDMI switcher features
+
Robust, detailed sound quality
+
Powerful microphone
+
Super comfortable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Bluetooth limited to base station
-
Requires an all-in-one setup

After a brief hiatus from new releases, Logitech and Astro brought the A50 X to market right at the end of 2023. While it's still a little difficult to get hold of, the unique HDMI switcher design makes it an incredible multiplatform gaming headset - especially if you're running both a PS5 and Xbox in the same setup. 

Buy it if:

✅ You have an all-in-one setup: The A50 X has been designed to work in a setup with PS5, Xbox and PC all sitting pretty together. If that's how you play this is a massive upgrade.

✅ You don't travel with your headset often: The Bluetooth here is limited to the base station, so you'll get better value here if you only tend to play handhelds at home.

✅ You want extra quality of life features: That HDMI switcher is adding some cash to the final price tag, but it's a lifesaver for those regularly hopping between consoles. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to play on the go with handhelds: If you're after an all-in-one headset for on the go use as well as home play, this isn't it. The headset itself doesn't have Bluetooth functionality so you'll be investing in an extra alternative if you want to take things on the road.

❌ You need ANC: Unlike the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, the Astro A50 X doesn't have active noise cancellation. At this price you can easily factor such a feature into your budget with alternatives, though.

Design: This is the Astro we all know and love and very little has changed from a design perspective. You've still got those clean angular lines and large cylindrical headband sliders, as well as that classic geometric base station. The Astro A50 X is available in either black or white, but the white version we tested offers a particularly crisp aesthetic, without picking up smudges or dirt. 

This is mostly a plastic construction but everything feels solid in the hand. Each cup rotates to sit flat on a surface, which makes for excellent positioning on the head and, combined with well-padded, though slightly warm, cushions, you've got long lasting comfort as well. The soft material pads can be magnetically removed from the main headset and swapped out for cooler leatherette options as well. 

Features: The Astro A50 X offers one feature that no other gaming headsets on the market can - an HDMI switcher baked right into the base station. You'll be matching up a serious number of HDMI 2.1 cables, but once everything is plugged into the back, a simple tap on a headset button swaps both your audio and video between PlayStation and Xbox. Not only that, but your full 4K 120Hz signal is kept intact to boot. That's a seriously handy way of navigating the old difficulties between PlayStation and Xbox wireless compatibility - even if it does leave PC in the dark a little with its USB-A or DisplayPort limitations. 

Elsewhere, you've got all the controls you'll need on each side of the headset, including a chat mix rocker than spreads across the whole right side. Logitech's Lightspeed connection makes for a super reliable experience and widespread coverage, and spatial audio on PC and Xbox, with Dolby Atmos included, is nice to have as well. 

This is the best audio I've personally heard through a gaming headset yet

Astro A50 X review

Performance: Those graphene drivers are pulling some serious weight here, this is fantastic audio quality. With a particularly clean sound across all ranges, but most notably in lower bassy tones, and excellent balancing between heavier effects and lighter soundtracks and dialogue, the Astro A50 X boasts phenomenal sound quality. Not only that, but there's a super clear microphone topping it all off. 

Verdict: The Astro A50 X isn't going to be for everyone, but if it wasn't for the practicality issues in a split setup (say with consoles in one room and a PC in another) or the Bluetooth being limited to the base station only it would be knocking on SteelSeries' door for the top spot. Incredibly well detailed audio, unique additional features, and a slick, comfortable form factor make this a must-see. 

Read more: Astro A50 X review

The best gaming headset for PC

The best gaming headset for PC

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth wireless, USB / 3.5mm wired
Drivers: 50mm Neodymium Dynamic
Frequency response: 20Hz - 40kHz
Microphone: Detachable omni-directional
ANC: No
Controls: Volume, chat mix, connection
Battery: 15 hours
Weight: 381g
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS5, PS4, XSX|S, Xbox One, Switch, Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic build quality
+
APtX HD audio for near-lossless quality
+
Crystal clear omnidirectional microphone
+
Dual connectivity between devices
+
Plenty of wireless and wired connections
+
Up to 40KHz frequency range

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit on the heavy side

Editor's Note October 23: There is a new Corsair headset on the market now, the Corsair Virtuoso Pro. After testing, however, we've found that the open back, wired nature of the newer device means the majority of players will be better off with the noise isolation and wireless features of the older RGB Wireless XT model. However, if you're after a gaming headset for streaming, it's well worth considering the new release.  

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT was released back in 2021, and although that asking price remains at its relatively high $260 / £250 position, the sound quality and tuning makes this the best gaming headset for PC overall. These plush cups trade blows with pricier audiophile sets and offer a truly premium gaming experience to boot.

Buy it if

✅ You primarily play on PC: This is a headset that bases its higher price point on its expansive customization and surround sound options on PC. Those taking advantage of these features will therefore find the best value here. 

✅ You regularly play competitive shooters with chat: That emphasis on detailing and positional audio baked into the 7.1 surround sound means anyone playing competitive shooters will be well served. Throw in a high quality mic and you've got your chat covered as well. 

✅ You want to swap between gaming, movies, and music: We found this excellent audio experience to transition well between gaming, movies and music. This is a solid all-rounder for anyone after an all-in-one device. 

Don't buy it if

❌ You primarily play on console: You won't be able to use the majority of the customization features baked in on console, and considering the price point we'd recommend those who primarily play on console check out a different model. 

❌ You prefer a lighter clamp force: While we don't think the heavier clamp force will be a problem for the majority of players, those particularly sensitive to a higher pressure from the side might want to think twice. 

❌ You play in a warmer climate: The leatherette cushioning on each side is particularly warm, and heats up during use. That's not going to be comfortable if you're playing in a warm room for most of the year. 

Design: The Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT takes over from the previous SE model with more padding in the earcups, making for a greater clamp feel (supported by an extra cushioned headrest to keep things comfortable). We did feel there could have been more breathing room in this leatherette material, though, which might make the Virtuoso unsuitable for those playing on hotter days. 

From an aesthetics perspective, though, the XT doesn't stray too far from its roots. There's a darker finish across the exterior here, but you're still getting that slick black design with a solid metal construction. That means everything feels particularly durable in-hand, but we were surprised by how the XT managed to steer clear of feeling too weighty considering this construction. 

Features: Why pick up the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT for your PC setup specifically? It's the dual-connectivity offered by the 2.4GHz and Bluetooth connections, combined with the heavy attention to 7.1 surround sound detailing and that stellar microphone that do it for us. It might be expensive, but this PC gaming headset does plenty to justify its price tag.

We think the ‘broadcast-quality’ (dubious, but it’s certainly close) detachable microphone performs excellently for voice chat with very minor compression, while the four different connection methods mean you can use the Virtuoso XT with almost any device. Dolby Atmos provides excellent surround sound, and the battery is good enough for a full day’s use.

Audio: In our testing, we found the sound quality to be impeccable, with clear mids, loud bass, and unmuddied high notes in games, music, and movies. You're reaching the dizzying heights of a 40KHz frequency range (most gaming headsets tap out at 20KHz) here. 

While human hearing generally taps out well below this, that ultrasound range can boost the feel of certain in-game sounds, and we experienced it all without any distortion to speak of. That's seriously impressive and, when combined with the near-lossless audio on offer from AptX HD, makes for an excellent listening experience across both games and music.

We had no difficulty using the surround sound to pinpoint enemy locations in shooters, and while the Virtuoso XT is a tad less bassy than many gaming headsets, the clarity of higher-pitched sounds like footsteps rings through.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT review

Verdict: Of course, in 2023, the Virtuoso has some stiff competition from the likes of the wired SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro ($249.99 / £249.99) and some older threats like the Astro A50 ($299.99 / £319.99). In the case of the former, though, you're sacrificing that wireless connection (and the ability to connect to multiple devices at the same time) for a slight boost in audio quality. Meanwhile the A50s still regularly cost more money in sale events, and are more concentrated on serving a wider multi-platform audience - at the cost of more PC pedigree features. 

Read more: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT review

The best gaming headset for Xbox

The best gaming headset for Xbox

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth wireless, wired
Drivers: 40mm Neodymium
Frequency response: 10Hz - 40kHz
Microphone: Retractable bi-directional
ANC: Yes
Controls: Power, mic mute, Bluetooth
Battery: 10 hours per battery
Weight: 450g
Compatibility: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Switch

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding audio quality
+
DAC allows for considerable EQ customisation
+
Comfortable
+
Also works with PC and PlayStation

Reasons to avoid

-
Mic is not retract-to-mute
-
Questionable earphone cup material longevity
-
Expensive compared to other wired sets

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro for Xbox is easily one of the best wired gaming headsets we’ve ever used, with the wireless variant only pipping it to the post via our top pick at the start of the page. Yes, this headset is also compatible with PS5, but we found audio quality to be lacking the same depth and richness when hooked up to a Sony console compared to the Xbox Series X it was designed for. That means this is one for those Xbox die-hards, or anyone looking to swap and change between console and PC (more on that later).

Buy it if

✅ Xbox is your primary device: Xbox players are going to get the best audio out of this version of the Nova Pro Wireless. While that wired connection will open you up to other platforms, those buying for different consoles might be better served by a purpose-built device. 

✅ You still want access to EQ adjustments on console: This is a rarity - most gaming headsets leave EQ customization to PC usage. However, the DAC piece allows for on the fly equalizer settings straight from the hub itself. 

Surround sound is a priority: If you're looking to invest in an immersive surround sound system (under the cover of a headset that is), the Arctis Nova Pro is one of the most sophisticated options on the market. 

Don't buy it if

❌ A wireless connection matters: You're spending a lot of money on a wired headset here - which can be a difficult pill to swallow unless you're completely sold on the audio quality and customization features alone. 

❌ You're in a warmer climate: The leatherette material on the earcups could be prone to splitting in hotter conditions and won't be as comfortable as a more breathable fabric in this environment either. 

Design: The aesthetic here is the same as the wireless Nova Pro model headlining the best gaming headsets around, with its cool greys and slick form factor. Brushed metal and dense, durable plastics abound, all with an excellent air of luxury. The Nova Pro for Xbox's lightweight design and build keep the size and weight down, making it comfortable to wear but still feeling like there’s some sturdiness to it. The overall feel in the hands is almost like a pair of good headphones, rather than the hollow, angular feel we're used to after handling countless gaming headsets.

A minor gripe is the ear cushion material; it’s a form of leatherette - and in our experience, that can split or degrade after a while, especially in hot conditions or very heavy use.

Features: The excellent, small Digital-To-Analogue (DAC) unit that comes with the headset allows for highly customisable EQ adjustment, letting you get the sound just how you like it. In general, though, the audio quality in stereo and surround mode is just superb across the board, whether it’s in action-packed action/shooting games, engaging RPGs, thoughtful adventure titles, or enjoying streaming content from the internet.

While the wired connectivity means it can be multi-platform, it is also built to be connected to multiple devices at once allowing you to flick a switch and swap between console and PC (as mentioned above, this is a little limiting in PS5 audio quality).

The fact the decent microphone isn’t retract-to-mute seems like a missed opportunity, though SteelSeries have previous form on this and it's no major concern at all. 

Audio: We were impressed by the audio across both stereo and surround sound modes, offering up rich clarity across both Xbox and PC. This is a headset that excels in its bass handling, though, with plenty of power packed into each gunshot - but power that doesn't overwhelm the rest of the soundstage. Even in Doom Eternal, where a cacophony of explosions and weapon sounds can easily become muddied in the wrong hands. Quieter ambient sounds were also represented with delicate handling, the ambient rainfall of Ghost of Tsushima, for example, was a particular delight in our testing. 

I can confidently say the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro for Xbox gave an outstanding account of itself during our testing

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Xbox review

Verdict: The Nova Pro has a high price of admission compared to other wired models - the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 comes in at $159.99 / £154.99, for example, but benefits from a more balanced sound profile overall - especially when it comes to switching things over to Spotify. 

By opting for the wired version, though, you're saving yourself some cash, rather than investing in a bunch of wireless connection features designed for multi-platform use. Xbox-only players need look no further - if you’ve got the budget and don’t mind the wired setup, this is the best Xbox Series X headset on the market right now.

Read more: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro for Xbox review

The best gaming headset for PS5

The best gaming headset for PS5

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth wireless, wired
Drivers: Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Microphone: Detachable Razer Hyperclear Supercardioid
ANC: No
Controls: Mic mute, volume, connection, haptic feedback
Battery: 30 hours
Weight: 332g
Compatibility: PS5, PS4, PC, Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent sound quality and range
+
Solid build and comfortable fit
+
Haptics are excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Microphone performance is just OK
-
More expensive than some of the competition

Yes, the Pulse 3D headset is a shoe-in for the best PS5 headset (and, in our opinion, the best for the majority of players out there), but Razer's alternative takes everything one step further for an additional $100 / £100. Of course, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless at the top of our list is still going to be your best bet, but at $199.99 / £199.99, the Razer Kaira Pro for PlayStation is your next port of call.

Buy it if

✅ Immersion is a top priority: This is one of the most impressive examples of haptic feedback done right. Combining precision and power to create a truly immersive experience, the Kaira Pros are a must-see for anyone looking to leave the real world behind as much as possible.

✅ Wireless connection is a must: Being at the top of the range, the Pros are wireless. However, if you can drop that wireless connection there are cheaper alternatives further down the Kaira line. 

✅ You need to reinvigorate a PS4 setup: The Kaira Pro's haptic features play nicely with PS4 as well, so if you're yet to dive into the world of PS5 you can still rejuvenate your library with an extra layer of immersion. 

Don't buy it if

❌ You primarily play online with chat: You won't be able to reliably use the haptic features when playing online with chat, which means you're not getting the best value for money if you do opt for the Kaira Pro. On top of that, the microphone is far behind that of other gaming headsets on this list. 

❌ Haptics aren't important: Of course, if that haptic feedback isn't important to you, you'd be better served by a cheaper headset or something that adds value in other areas - customization, microphone quality, or battery life, for example. 

Design: Razer has once again opted for its slimline build with rotational cups and a slick form factor. You're picking up the classic PS5 aesthetic with the bright white headband, black cups, and blue accents on each Razer logo, all supported by a robust build quality that never buckled during our testing. That's thanks to the metallic brackets keeping everything securely in place and offering a particularly sturdy swivel for a portability boost as well. 

Features: It's the haptics that truly set the Kaira Pro apart from the rest of the competition (and which may make it a better choice than the SteelSeries if you're buying a for-PS5 headset). 

We noticed an incredible immersion in every game we tested. Not only was every rumble and explosion felt with solid power, but we were surprised by the level of accuracy here. This all builds on the success of the Razer Nari Ultimate - not only is every detail more precise and every jolt more powerful, but there's now four levels of feedback to choose from, ranging in intensity, as well as that all-important off button. 

Online co-op, however, is unusable with haptics switched on due to the fact that the tech under the hood can't discern the difference between in-game and chat sounds. That means an innocent question from a friend hits you with the full force of a gunshot.

The onboard microphone is more than serviceable, but won't hold a candle to the more hardcore focused options on the market. Elsewhere, you've also got a wealth of volume and muting controls across the two cups, as well as a multi-function button. Connectivity is also split between 2.4GHz and Bluetooth, which allows for a quick phone call in the middle of play. 

Audio: Razer's new TriForce Titanium drivers are powering this PlayStation edition of the popular Kaira Pro. That, combined with their larger 50mm size (the Pulse 3D's drivers are 40mm), mean we noticed a far richer sound overall with additional detailing in the surround sound as well. 

In practice, this meant plenty of detailing across Assassin's Creed Valhalla and excellent balancing in even the most chaotic of Far Cry 6 gunfights. Reliable surround sound, punchy bass tones, and careful attention to wider soundstages makes this an excellent companion for a range of genres. 

No matter what you're playing, every detail is clear and crisp, rich, and with great depth.

Razer Kaira Pro review

Verdict: This isn't the only Kaira on the market. Razer also launched the budget Kaira X ($59.99 / £59.99) and the standard Kaira for PlayStation ($99.99 / £99.99). The former is your stock standard wired headset, dropping haptic features and using an older version of Razer's TriForce drivers. There are options out there to save cash, then, but if you're going for the best of the bunch you can't beat the haptic power of the Pro.

Read more: Razer Kaira Pro review

The best gaming headset for Nintendo Switch

The best gaming headset for Nintendo Switch

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth wireless, wired
Drivers: 40mm Razer Triforce
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Microphone: Detachable boom mic
ANC: None
Controls: Volume wheel / power / connection Smart Switch
Battery: 50 hours
Weight: 250g
Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Android mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Subtle non-gamer aesthetic
+
Comfortable memory form cushioning 
+
Breathable material
+
Low-latency Bluetooth mode
+
Virtual 7.1 surround sound on PC
+
Impressive sound quality
+
50+ hour battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No Synapse support
-
Wired performance drops quality
-
No wireless connection on Xbox

At $99.99 / £99.99, the Razer Barracuda X is a rare beast; a wireless headset with an excellent sound quality and plenty of extra features for under $100. Anyone on the hunt for a cost effective set of cups for their cheaper console will be well served here. However, the simple plug and play system will see PC and PlayStation players through as well.

Buy it if:

✅ You play in handheld mode on the go: This is where the Razer Barracuda X is most at home. With its comfort, ease of wireless connection, and excellent battery life, it's the perfect headset to take on the road. 

✅ Portability is a big factor for your commute: That Bluetooth connection, subtle form factor, and swivel design (as well as the audio's performance in music and podcasts) means the Barracuda X can easily double up as a pair of commuter headphones. 

✅ EQ settings don't interest you: If you don't want all the faff of setting up the perfect equalizer balance, the plug and play nature of the Barracuda X is perfect. Of course, you can still quickly tweak in the mobile app - but there's no intimidating dials and levels to concern yourself with here.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Software support is important: If you do want to tinker with your audio balance, the Razer Audio app is restricted compared to Synapse. The Barracuda X doesn't support Synapse 3, so you are stuck with a watered down set of controls. 

❌ You want to fall back on a wired connection: The wired connection isn't powered, so we noticed a significant drop in quality when bringing a cable in to play. 

Design: The Barracuda X is contained in a subtle form factor. The oval shaped cups and relatively unbranded aesthetic means this could easily pass for your everyday set of headphones. That's excellent news for anyone after a gaming headset to double up for their commute. 

We also found the plush cushioning and longer cup shape to be particularly comfortable - even over long sessions. A breathable mesh fabric keeps things cool on the top, while the metal running along the headband ensures even the swivel hinges feel secure and durable. That all combines to create just the right level of clamp - enough to block out external noise while still leaving plenty of room to breathe. 

Features: The latest 2022 Razer Barracuda X improves on the previous 2021 generation in a number of ways. Perhaps the largest draw is the new low-latency Bluetooth connection, allowing for use across a massive range of mobile devices. That, and the fact that it retains its impressive sound quality, long-lasting comfort, and adds an excellent 80 hour battery life, makes it the best gaming headset for Nintendo Switch. 

You don't have to rely on the 2.4GHz dongle if you're out and about, and you'll also be able to switch between your phone and console if commuting. That's perfect for the casual Switcher - but the price tag makes things all the more compelling. Razer suggests a 50 hour battery life, and we found that the 2022 Barracuda X not only met these estimates but exceeded them. Of course, this is straight out of the box and with battery degradation that juice is going to start running out faster.

Audio: We found that excellent sound quality of the original model was retained across all platforms. There's an impressive amount of power behind these 40mm drivers, offering a well-balanced sound across everything from Doom Eternal to The Last of Us Part 2. The twinkly melodies of Super Mario Galaxy were given particularly strong attention, with detailing across larger, booming sounds matching those of smaller sound effects well. 

You'll find a passable virtual 7.1 surround sound on PC (available only by a separate program, the Barracuda X isn't compatible with Synapse 3 software), offering a basic sense of direction. It's not going to compete with that of the Corsair Virtuoso or Audeze Maxwell, but it's there if you do fancy tinkering on a keyboard. Nintendo Switch players, though, are always going to be limited by the system's stereo sound, which makes the lack of extra tuning features less impactful. Plus, you've always got EQ customization options on the Razer Audio app.

A low price, impressive sound signature, wide compatibility, and excellent battery life make this plug-and-play device all the more compelling.

Razer Barracuda X (2022) review

Verdict: You're getting incredible value for money with the Razer Barracuda X. Its plush, breathable materials, long battery life, excellent performance for the money, and flexible wireless connections make it the best Nintendo Switch headset for the majority of users. Most Switch players really don't need all the fancy features of the high-end devices above, and the Barracuda X concentrates its strengths exactly where these players need them to be.

Read more: Razer Barracuda X (2022) review

The best microphone on a gaming headset

The best microphone on a gaming headset

Specifications

Connection: 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth 5.2
Drivers: 50mm Razer TriForce Titanium
Frequency response: 12hz - 28kHz
Microphone: Unidrectional Razer HyperClear Super Wideband with 32kHz sampling rate
ANC: None
Controls: Volume, mic mute power, profile/Bluetooth
Battery: Up to 70 hours
Weight: 320g
Compatibility: PC, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Truly excellent audio
+
Extraordinary microphone
+
Great design and lightweight build
+
Long battery life
+
Onboard profiles

Reasons to avoid

-
Some tiny slippage from the earcup / headband
-
No Xbox compatibility
-
No built in mic

Looking for a headset to see you through online matches with a crystal clear mic and excellent directional audio? The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is our top pick for PS5 and PC players. This is a 2023 reinvention of a classic, but there's more going on here than a new release date. With plenty of upgrades all baked into that classic chassis, this is easily one of the best gaming headsets of the year so far. 

Buy it if:

✅ You regularly play online with chat: This mic is the best we've had our hands on so far - our teammates said it sounded like we were in the room with them. Whether you're playing online or dabbling in streaming, it doesn't get much better than this.

✅ You play PS5 / PC: For all its benefits, this isn't a multi-platform headset, so it's only for those looking to play on PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, or mobile. 

You play competitively: Not only is there excellent directional audio and super low latencies on offer here, but the lightweight design of the BlackShark V2 Pro means it will withstand longer sessions as well. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ A wireless connection isn't necessary: The Black Shark V2 Pro is so good because of that wireless connection feature. If you don't mind picking up a corded set you can do better for your money.

❌ You need headphones for commuting: With no active noise cancellation, we wouldn't recommend the BlackShark V2 Pro for those looking to double up their gaming headset as a pair of headphones. Still, if you're in a pinch that Bluetooth connectivity and long battery life will see you through. 

Design: The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro carries a near identical form factor and aesthetic to previous iterations, but we loved the helicopter pilot build back then as we still do today. From the all-black paintjob to the classic Razer matte finish this is a slick looking piece of kit. The steel headband keeps everything together, and while we did notice some slipping of the sliders when putting the headphones on it was never a concern in-game. With memory foam cushions and a lightweight footprint, the BlackShark V2 Pro manages to blend into the background nicely during longer sessions, with no discomfort. 

Features: When we tested the BlackShark V2 Pro, the biggest feature to stand out was the microphone. Razer has put some serious grunt into this HyperClear pickup, boosting the sampler rate from 16kHz to 32. In practice, that gave us incredibly clear chat with super rich voice quality. 

It's so impressive, teammates remarked on the high quality mixing and even called it podcast worthy. That's why this is such a good headset for online play, but the mic isn't everything. You're also getting 70 hours of battery life (up by over half from the 24 hours in the previous model) as well as onboard audio profiles sitting directly on the headset itself. That means you can use Synapse-generation EQ settings across both PC and PlayStation - a rarity in this space. 

Audio: The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro even managed to excel in the audio category, while already offering excellent design and a fantastic set of features. Dawn of War III's combat was well articulated throughout, and even Stalker's older audio was elevated to a 2023 level. That spooky atmosphere was excellently represented, all while being cut through with punchy gunfire. Locating enemies in Apex Legends was crisp and easy as well. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 was a joy. It might be the best audio experience in that world I’ve ever had.

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review

Verdict: The mic clarity and precise audio quality make the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro the best gaming headset for online play in our books. At $199.99 / £199.99 it's not a cheap device, and if you're not concerned about a wireless connection or a high quality microphone that price tag isn't going to make much sense. However, PC and PS5 players looking for a gaming headset that actually feels like a next generation device will be well positioned here. 

The best gaming headset for battery

The best gaming headset for battery life

Specifications

Connection: 2.4Ghz wireless
Drivers: Neodymium 50mm
Frequency response: 15Hz - 21kHz
Microphone: Bi-directional
ANC: No
Controls: Power, mic mute, volume
Battery: 300 hours
Weight: 322g
Compatibility: PlayStation, PC

Reasons to buy

+
Battery life power by witchcraft
+
Excellent audio quality
+
HyperX quality design and build
+
Great for all media

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing microphone
-
Much more expensive than a lot of competitors with good mics

If you're after a workhorse of a single player experience, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is the best gaming headset going in terms of battery life. That's because there's a massive 300 hour power pack inside these cups - offering three times the battery life of our previous top pick for juice, the EPOS Sennheiser GSP 370. That only sounds more impressive once you realize the majority of wireless headsets can only report around 30 or 40 hours.

Buy it if:

✅ Battery is everything: If you don't want to think about plugging in your headset a few hours before a session, this massive 300 hour charge is going to see you right. Considering HyperX hasn't sacrificed weight or audio quality to bring such a massive battery to its wireless headset, this is a seriously impressive piece of kit.

✅ You mostly play single player: The reduced mic quality means the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is best serving solo players. If your library is more story / adventure based, you're going to have a great time here. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You play online with chat: We found the microphone on this headset to be particularly disappointing. Between crackly and muffled audio and poor pickup, the boom has to be pretty much in your mouth for any semblance of useable audio. This is definitely not one for online multiplayer. 

❌ Charging isn't a hassle: If you don't mind plugging in every now and then you can find better headsets on the market that won't reach the same battery mileage. The Sennheiser GSP 370, for example, still manages to pack 100 hours while also nailing the microphone. 

Design: HyperX headsets don't fall far from the tree, so the Cloud Alpha Wireless could easily be mistaken for the standard Cloud model. That said, we're big fans of those sturdy red arches, as well as the exquisite stitching running across the chunky headband. The red and black aesthetic pops color into your setup while still managing to look slick and suave - and the cherry on the cake is that comfort. With a goldilocks weight, we were able to keep these cups on the noggin for hours at a time. 

Features: The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is not going to cut it if you play a lot of online multiplayer. While we've always been impressed by HyperX's boom mics, this particular implementation does a severe disservice to the brand. Audio was both crackly and muffled in chat and on work calls, with the only resolution being to move the mic directly next to the mouth and upping the sensitivity levels.

Onto that 300 hour battery, though. When we first heard of such a revolution we were sceptical. How much does this thing weigh? Is it actually alive for 300 hours of gameplay, or is this a theoretical number based on simplistic battery tests? Once we got it in our hands, though, it was obvious this is the real deal.

We took it out of the box, charged it all the way up and just played... and played... and played. We counted up to 110 hours of total battery life at the start of our testing and then gave up scratching tallies in the wall - we were still at 70% capacity at that time. HyperX isn't lying to you here, this is a game-changer. And yet this thing weighs only 322g - well within the reasonable range for a comfortable headset.

Audio: Sacrifices haven't been made in the audio quality department to achieve such a battery feat either. The wireless edition is every bit as punchy as its cabled companion - the HyperX Cloud Alpha featured further up the page. Everything from the expansive open worlds of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla to the densely populated street sounds of Spider-Man: Miles Morales was represented beautifully, with careful attention to detail at all ranges. What's more, music and TV were equally impactful.

The big USP of the headset here is the battery life. And I can confirm that it is powered by magic, witchcraft, and the mysteries of the universe.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review

Verdict: The only gaming headset that comes close to the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless's battery life in the Sennheiser GSP 370 - and you're dropping 200 hours. This is the absolute best option for those playing single player for multiple sessions without charging in between. However, it's worth noting that Sennheiser's option does bolster your mic performance while still offering plenty of juice - so should be considered if you play with chat.

Read more: HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review

The best open back gaming headset