The best PC headset for gaming 2024

The best PC headsets are tailor made for a Windows system. That goes beyond simply offering fantastic sound quality and a sturdy microphone, though. With Windows at your fingertips, these devices can open you up to the world of high-end surround sound audio, fine tuned EQ settings, and per-game presets. That's not something you find in typical console-oriented headsets, so if you're a PC player it's worth investing in a tailor made model.

There's still an enormous amount of PC gaming headsets vying for your attention in this space, though, which is why we've put the biggest names from across the price spectrum to the test. Each of the devices on this list have been put through weeks of rigorous evaluation, and are still part of our everyday work and play rosters being compared with the latest and greatest releases. Whether you're after a competitive PC headset with super low latencies and a broadcast quality mic or a more immersion-focused surround sound set for solo adventures, there's plenty out there to get stuck into. 

Of course, there's also going to be a lot of crossover with the best gaming headsets on the market overall as well. These are the best PC headsets, but they all also work great for consoles to boot. If you split your time between the two, it's best to go PC-first as many console-specific headsets drop premium surround sound and EQ features. 

The Quick List

The best PC headset overall

The best PC headset for gaming overall

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed back; over ear
Cable length: 5.9ft / 1.8m
Battery life: up to 15 hours
Drivers: 50mm
Weight: 0.84lbs / 381g
Compatibility: PC, Mac, PS5, PS4, XSX|S, Xbox One, Switch, Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Looks and feels amazing
+
Audio quality is top-notch
+
Versatile connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Super pricey
-
On the heavy side

Although the price tag is quite lofty, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT punches well within its price range and above, even trading blows with pricier audiophile sets. It's the best PC headset for gaming and truly offers a premium gaming experience. 

Buy it if:

✅ You regularly play competitive shooters with chat: The positional audio and high quality microphone on offer here make the Corsair Virtuoso RGB XT a must-see for anyone looking to hop into some online maps any time soon. 

✅ You want to swap between gaming, movies, and music: With near-lossless audio and an excellent soundstage, the Virtuosos are just as adept at handling streaming and music as they are the finer details of games. 

✅ You keep things PC-focused: The extra customization options and surround sound on PC is where the Virtuoso earns its stripes. If you're after a PC headset to split with consoles, we'd recommend looking at something less specialized. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You prefer a lighter clamp force: This is a slightly heavier clamp force than we've experienced in other headsets and while it's not enough to put many off, those who are more sensitive to this feeling should opt for something lighter. 

❌ You want to split time with a console: If you want to take your customized settings and surround sound to another console, the Virtuoso isn't going to help you out. There are other more general headsets out there to choose from instead. 

Design: The craftsmanship of the Virtuoso XT simply shines through, with a high-quality design and build level, featuring durable machined aluminium and soft leatherette. We did find that, while soft to the touch, this leatherette wasn't especially breathable in our time with the Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT, raising some concerns for those playing for longer sessions in warmer climates.

Features: The ‘broadcast-quality' detachable microphone performs excellently for voice chat with very minor compression - we found that speech was clear with little background fuzz, even across a variety of pitches. Plus, the headset's multi-connectivity means you can use the Virtuoso XT with almost any device. We tested across all connection options and found the Slipstream connection to be particularly impressive in its low-latency reliability. Dolby Atmos provides excellent surround sound, and the battery was good enough for a full day’s constant use in our testing.

Audio: The sound quality is impeccable, with clear mids, loud bass, and unmuddied high notes in games, music, and movies. While most PC headsets tap out at 20KHz in the top range, you're getting everything up to 40KHz here, offering up an excellent feel to certain in-game sounds. 

On top of that, we never experienced any audio distortion in our testing and came to particularly appreciate that AptX HD near-lossless audio as well.

Verdict: It might be expensive, but this headset does plenty to justify its price tag and earn its place as best PC gaming headset.

Read more: Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT review

The best PC headset under $50

2. Razer Kraken V3 X

The best PC headset under $50/£50

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed Back
Drivers: Razer TriForce 40mm drivers
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant 7.1 surround sound on PC
+
Comfy
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-detachable mic
-
7.1 only on PC
-
Only USB connection

The Razer Kraken V3 X is a more affordable, high value for money entry point to the Kraken range.

Buy it if:

✅ You don't want to break the bank: The Kraken V3 X is perfect for those after a well-respected name (and the audio pedigree it holds) without spending too much in the process.

✅ A wireless connection isn't a necessity: This is a wired headset, which means you won't be worrying about battery life. If you don't need that cord-free connection you might as well save some cash with this budget option. 

✅ You prefer a more subtle design: Unlike the rest of the Kraken line, the V3 X feels a lot more subtle. That's perfect for more professional use as well.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You prioritize high quality audio: You'll get far better audio quality further up the price scale, with the Kraken V3 X sounding a little tinny compared to other more expensive entries. 

❌ You need a 3.5mm connection: The USB only connection method is going to trip up anyone without a spare port, or those looking to double up as a console headset. 

Design: The Kraken X takes on a familiar profile, with the same rounded cup shape as its more expensive siblings. However, things feel more stripped back here - the cups themselves don't jut out quite so far and the overall aesthetic is one of a more subtle experience. That's perfect if you're after an all-in-one device for a range of uses at and away from your gaming setup. 

Features: The headset has been refreshed to include the latest developments and enhancements that Razer has in its bag, but in particular, it's the microphone and the drivers which get the most attention. Both features are upgraded to almost be in line with Razer's top dog headset, the BlackShark V2: the microphone is the now Razer's Hyperclear Cardioid mic, with greater speech pickup and noise cancellation. The mic is also an excellent upgrade, though it being non-detachable will irk some folks. However, for the price, this is an excellent gaming headset, particularly for those looking to get into the pc gaming headset game, and it features all the hallmarks of Razer's audio excellence. Plus, the drivers are now Razer's own excellent TriForce beasts, offering improvements across the sound spectrum.

Audio: In actual, everyday and gaming use, we found the sound excellent still, and the 7.1 still shines on PC - this is a PC-first gaming headset still - though it is a little tinnier than the top tier BlackShark headsets. You're not getting the full bodied, richly detailed soundstages of something with a higher price tag, but considering this is an entry level addition to the range, bargain hunters will be pleased with the result. 

Verdict: The Razer Kraken V3 X enhances its predecessor in every way and takes advantage of some of the latest advancements that Razer can offer - and packages it into a value-busting proposition. 

The best PC headset for most players

The best PC 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 new Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed packs quite the value. You're getting largely the same audio and microphone experience as you would on the V2 Pro but stripping the price down to $129.99 / £129.99. Considering the TriForce Titanium drivers and ultra-wideband microphone on offer here, that sets the Hyperspeeds apart from the vast majority of this lower mid-range market. We previously held the Razer BlackShark V2 as the best PC headset for most players, but with a wireless connection and boosted mic capabilities, the Hyperspeed has taken over. 

Buy it if

✅ You prioritize high quality audio: If you're going all in on audio without raising that price too high, the TriForce Titanium drivers on offer here are going to suit your needs perfectly.

✅ You play online multiplayer with chat: This headset has the same mic as the more premium Pro model (a device we praise as the best for online chat). 

✅ 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: You'd be forgiven for getting this and any other headset in the BlackShark line mixed up at first glance. The overall silhouette and form factor is largely the same here, with a pilot style shape and those signature oval cups. However, Razer has made some tough calls here. In an effort to save space in the price tag for those luxury drivers, the brand has cut the build quality slightly. You're getting a cheaper plastic construction compared to the Pros, with a more hollow feel. On top of that the breathable fabric of the Pro cups has been replaced with a leatherette - that's not quite as durable, and is prone to flaking. However, comfort still remains solid even over longer sessions during our testing. 

Features: Connectivity is a key area of improvement for the Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed. Not only are you getting 2.4GHz and Bluetooth connections (the previous V2 model was wired only), but the Hyperspeeds can also be plugged directly into your PC. That's not something even the Pro model can do. Considering there's a 70 hour battery life here you won't be running out of juice too often, but if you do that USB connection is great to fall back on. 

On top of that, you'll also find the larger volume dial on the side of the cup. This is easily one of our favorite features of the line overall, providing plenty of landing space for quick in-game volume adjustments. The Hyperspeed takes this a little further as well, with a textured surface for additional precision. 

Audio: Razer's putting its TriForce Titanium drivers to work here, and they sound just as strong as they do in their Pro housing. Crystal clear detailing carries the mid and lower ranges, in an impressive display of sophisticated balancing across the entire soundstage. On top of that, there's a satisfying level of precision to directional cues and a wide space to each game we tested in. The microphone is also the same as the Pro model, so its rich textured voice quality shines through in the Hyperspeed as well. 

Verdict: Wireless PC headsets rarely offer this level of audio and mic quality in this price range. However, in dropping some build features Razer has managed to stand out against a packed and often beige market. If you're after an everyday headset that won't let you down on chat or in solo adventures at home, this is your go-to. 

Read more: Razer BlackShark V2 Hyperspeed review

The best wireless PC headset

The best wireless PC gaming headset

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed back; over ear
Connection: Wireless
Cable length: 2m / 6.5ft
Drivers: SteelSeries Premium High Fidelity Drivers
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 is our favorite gaming headset overall, but where it shines brightest is in a split console and PC setup. That's why it's just been pipped to the top of this list by the more focused Corsair Virtuoso, but is still an excellent premium option.

Buy it if:

✅ You want to invest: The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is one of the more expensive options on the market, but if you're after an investment piece it will certainly go the distance. 

✅ You have a split PC and console setup: The ultra-connected hub means you can easily swap between PC and console on the fly without having to faff with physical dongles. That's perfect for anyone with a console on their desk as well as a PC. 

✅ You play open world games: Of course, a range of genres sound excellent through these cups, but we were most impressed by the larger soundstages afforded to open world adventures. If this is your playstyle you're going to be particularly pleased here. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't play across multiple platforms: A lot of that starting price is baked into the multi-connection hub, which means anyone who won't be making the most of it isn't going to be getting the full value. 

❌ You don't want to tinker with EQ settings: The hub is also fantastic for getting your sound balance just right - something we did need to do to get the best audio through these cups. If you're after an easier plug and play device you can head further down the price range. 

Design: While the Nova Pro does speak the same design language as cheaper options in its range, the oblong shaped cups, comfortable ski-style headband, and premium build quality throughout means it feels all the more premium. We noted it looked and felt more like a set of high-end headphones than a PC headset in our initial testing, though you'll still find plenty of controls onboard. Everything feels slick, secure, and subtle though - perfect if you're after an all-in-one headset for work, play, and commuting. 

Features: The Arctis Nova Pro is stunning in this wireless format. That's because of the handy hub in the box. This base station provides all manner of excellent features, but being able to quickly switch between a wireless connection to your console and your PC is an invaluable tool for anyone running both together. No more faffing with dongles and wires, your next system is just one click away. 

We're banging on about the hub, but it really does take this already excellent PC headset even further. There's one more trick up its sleeve, and it comes in the form of battery. You can slot one battery pack into the side of the hub itself to keep it permanently charging - open up the side of the Nova Pro cup and you'll find another to hotswap easily. That's a remarkable feature meaning you'll never run out of juice again. It's so simple, we couldn't believe nobody had done it before. 

Audio: Of course, the Arctis Nova Pro wireless is doing far more than that to achieve its status. Any fan of high-end headsets will know that SteelSeries offers some of the best audio in the business, and they've doubled down for the new generation. We've always loved the SteelSeries sound signature, but have lamented the lack of bass ranges in previous releases. SteelSeries has well and truly delivered with phenomenal sound here - well-rounded, rich audio paired with excellent balancing and attention to even the most precise of details across the board. Not only that, but heading back to that hub, you can adjust all EQ settings without having to load into any complex software. 

Verdict: Yes, this is a luxury headset, so the price point is going to put some off. However, if you are mixing it up between console and PC it's well worth investing in a headset that will serve each. 

Read more: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless review

The best budget wireless PC headset

The best budget wireless PC gaming headset

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed back, over ear
Drivers: 40mm
Connection: Wireless
Weight: 254g
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch

Reasons to buy

+
Comfy during long gaming sessions
+
Lengthy battery life at 20 hours
+
SteelSeries Engine compatible on PC
+
Compatible with most systems

Reasons to avoid

-
Stereo audio means it's not great for competitive shooters

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless has long been our go-to for a budget headset without a cable. Not only does it offer excellent value for money at MSRP, but with the new Nova generation on the shelves, discounts are plentiful as well. 

Buy it if:

✅ You have a limited budget: We regularly see the Arctis 1 Wireless on sale, so if you're prioritizing a wireless connection while keeping that price low you could be in for a surprise here. 

You play single player games: The lack of directional audio means this isn't going to cut it for more competitive players. If you're a solo adventurer, though, there's solid value in this audio. 

You prefer a subtle aesthetic: With an all-black design, the Arctis 1 can fly under the radar in work and commuting environments - no glaring RGBs and no chunky cups here. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You play competitively: The stereo sound and lack of directional positioning means this cheaper headset is geared more towards the casual player than the competitor. 

❌ You want the best audio quality possible: You're still paying far less for this wireless headset than others and SteelSeries isn't miraculous. The audio quality inside won't match up to those in the upper price ranges, even if it impresses at under $100. 

Design: The design is minimalist, with a relatively thin padding across the headband and within each earcup, but we stayed comfortable during even the longest of sessions. Plus it's far lighter in weight than other options, perfect for those who tend to get heavy headed at the end of a marathon.

Features: The Arctis 1 Wireless is an incredibly versatile set of cups, and PC players get the best treatment of all. That's because, despite being available for under $100 / £100 (well under these days thanks to regular discounts), you're still getting access to SteelSeries Engine for EQ adjustments and that excellent plug and play wireless connectivity via the USB-C dongle.We found the 20 hour battery life to be more than serviceable while keeping an eye on its status and remembering to throw it on to charge overnight. However, should you get caught without any juice you can also quickly plug in via a 3.5mm connection as well. 

Audio: It's rare to find a headset with this level of audio quality and a wireless connection for this low price point. While the stereo sound is going to hold some PC players back, though, it's still more than serviceable for more casual endeavors. You're not going to get the directional accuracy you might need for competitive gameplay, but everyday players will definitely find excellent value here. 

Verdict: If you're after a no-fuss wireless connection with a price that won't break the bank, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is poised to jump into your setup. It's comfortable, streamlined, and subtle, making for a fantastic bargain buy. 

Read more: SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless review

The best PC headset for haptics

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review

(Image credit: Razer)
The best PC gaming headset for haptic feedback

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed back; over ear
Audio drivers: 50mm TriForce Titanium
Cable length: 2 m / 6.74 ft
Wireless: No
Weight: 344 g / 0.75 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible haptic feedback 
+
Stellar audio quality 
+
Comfortable over time 

Reasons to avoid

-
The cable doesn't detach 

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense marries incredible sound quality with immersive haptic feedback for a gaming and music experience that few other PC headsets for gaming can match. Through a combination of THX Spatial and the TriForce Titanium 50mm drivers, you're getting rich and authentic audio that sounds stellar for just about any media you through its way. 

It's not going to do as much for the console crowd, but if you've been after an incredible sounding, all-encompassing headset with a few tricks up its sleeve then it's a very easy recommendation.

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review

With that said, the standout feature of the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is the haptic feedback technology itself, which was found in some earlier models, such as the Nari Ultimate. In this latest iteration, though, we were particularly impressed by the dedicated toggle button for intensity built onto the cup as opposed to just being in the Synapse software. This on-the-fly nature meant we were actively switching between strengths to suit each situation in our testing, which came in particularly handy during competitive gaming. 

It is a wired headset, and the cable provided is long enough for comfortable use when sat at your setup, as intended, though it does not detach as the microphone does. It's something to keep in mind when considering the unit as an addition to your battle station. 

Read more: Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review

The best PC headset for battery life

The best PC headset for battery life

Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed back; over ear
Cable length: N/A
Drivers: TriForce Titanium 50mm
Weight: 11.8oz / 337g
Compatibility: PC, PS5, PS4

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
*Really* disappointing microphone
-
Much more expensive than a lot of wireless competitors that do have good mics

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is an extraordinary PC headset for gaming headset and does earn a place on this guide - but it is also a frustrating set; stumbling with one feature that could have really made it a world-beater.

It really is excellent, and if battery life is of paramount importance for you then seriously take note of the Cloud Alpha Wireless.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review

However, all that is good in this headset is very good. The sound quality is incredibly good, no matter you throw at it. From game's to music, to TV, the Cloud Alpha Wireless's audio shone and excelled. It will have your back whatever you play from the busiest of chaotic shooters to the quietest meanders through open-world landscapes, and everything in between. I was particularly impressed with the clarity of each and every detail of the audio too, from booming weapons to the tweeting of birds. The headset even proved to be excellent for music and TV and film in our testing too which is a great bonus.

The battery life is the main feature here though, and the thing that all the marketing around this headset banged on about - claiming up to 300 hours of battery life, no less. And, I have to say that I have come to believe that claim wholeheartedly: after 110 hours I have had to give up counting just to move on with my life, while the chap in the earcups tells me it has gone down to only 70%. It really is remarkable and a big selling point for the set. Elsewhere the design and build are classic, quality HyperX too: a simple black and red design with sturdy arching frames for each cup, and a solid and comfortable headband between the two. And the buttons are simple and restrained too - just a volume wheel on one cup, and the mic port, mic mute, power button, and charging port on the other.

However, the big caveat with this headset is that I found the mic to be really quite bad. Covering all of what you don't want from a microphone - muffled audio to my friends, crackling, inconsistent volume, and indistinct clarity - at times I was having to basically put it in my mouth to be heard. 

If you don't play much, or any, online games that require communication, then you might just find an unbelievable headset for your needs here.

Read more: HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

The best microphone on a PC headset

The best microphone on a PC 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

The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro leads the pack when it comes to a PC gaming headset with online play chops. That's largely down to the incredible microphone lurking on that left cup - we've never experienced a better boom. 

However, between long-lasting comfort in the design to onboard profiles to save settings directly to headset itself this is still a winner across the board. The reinvention of the 2023 classic has stormed onto the shelves, offering up one of the best PC gaming headsets we've seen so far.

From looks alone, it would be easy to confuse this latest release with any other in the BlackShark line. You're still getting that helicoper pilot form factor that's come to define the series, with Razer's all-black matte paintjob to finish it off. That makes for a luxurious finish, complimented by the steel headband and memory foam cushions. We did notice that headband slipping slightly when put on, but it never got in the way of a match and stayed tight during our tester sessions. All in, though, this is a particularly comfortable headset worthy of staying on the noggin for hours at a time.

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

The microphone is the star of this show - and the reason the BlackShark V2 Pro is held in such a high regard for online play. Razer has doubled the sampler rate from 16kHz in the previous model to 32kHz here. That makes for an incredibly clear, but still velvety rich voice profile. Our teammates were astounded at the quality here - not only does our chat stand out, but it's podcast quality to boot.

Throw in a 70 hour battery life and a wealth of EQ settings and you've got yourself a long-lasting, endlessly competitive PC headset. It's a good job the audio quality is so impressive. Between locating enemy gunfire and simply enjoying the breeze in Red Dead Redemption 2, we were impressed by the detail and clarity coming out of these drivers. 

At $199.99 / £199.99, the BlackShark V2 Pros aren't for everyone. However, there are vastly more expensive PC headsets out there - and if you're buying for online sessions you can't do much better than this. 

Read more: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro review

The best PC headset for audiophiles

The best PC headset for audiophiles

Specifications

Connection: 2.4GHz / Bluetooth / Wired
Drivers: 90mm Planar Neodymium
Frequency response: 10Hz - 50kHz
Microphone: Detachable boom / onboard beamforming
ANC: None
Controls: Volume, mic mute, mic volume, noise reduction, power, media playback
Battery: 80 hours
Weight: 490g
Compatibility: PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, mobile (Xbox variant available)

Reasons to buy

+
Premium luxury build materials and design
+
Impressive 80 hour battery life
+
Massive soundstage makes for excellent immersion
+
Crisp AI noise isolation on mic
+
Incredible detail and balance across a range of genres

Reasons to avoid

-
Volume and chat mix dials are too close together

The Audeze Maxwell takes over from its predecessors with a far more luxurious build, boosted audio quality, and longer battery life to make for a truly exceptional PC gaming headset. Packed with spacious 90mm planar drivers and plenty of onboard controls, the Maxwells have the audio grunt and everyday ease of use to make for one of the best PC headsets going. 

The Audeze Maxwell offers the best audio I've personally heard from a gaming headset, and it doesn't top the price charts.

Audeze Maxwell review

Those drivers are really doing the heavy lifting. Shaped in a flat design rather than the coned dynamic drivers found in the majority of headsets, there's a much wider soundstage to enjoy here. In single player adventures, this translates into environmental audio that absolutely sings. We could hear every echo in The Last of Us, tracking clickers through abandoned buildings with eerily immersive sound. Competitively, it's a game changer. 

We were not only instinctively finding the location of footsteps or gunfire, but in many instances we were able to discern the distance between the cue and ourselves. Every now and then, we could even make out which obstacles stood between us. That's an incredible feeling, unlike any other gaming headset we've had on our noggins. 

It does mean the traditionally bassey response of everyday headsets is lost. Anyone looking for the pump and power of a gravelly Doom Eternal session might want to seek out a different set of cups. However, the detailing and attention to balance here is astounding, making the Audeze Maxwell the perfect device for audiophiles after a rich, faithful representation. You're also picking up an impressive 80 hour battery life and comfortable heavy duty design to see you through longer sessions. 

Read more: Audeze Maxwell review

The best open back PC headset

The best open back PC headset

Specifications

Connection: Wired
Drivers: 50mm graphene
Frequency response: 20Hz - 40kHz
Microphone: Omnidirectional
ANC: No
Controls: None
Battery: N/A
Weight: 338g
Compatibility: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Unique yet subtle design
+
Lightweight and comfortable
+
Massive soundstage
+
Natural, realistic sound quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Separate cables for mic use
-
No extra features or customization options
-
Mids are slightly flattened

Open back devices haven't graced the ranks of the best PC headsets in a long time, but the Corsair Virtuoso Pro has a solid premise. This is one for streamers or those with a quiet gaming space, but if you're after a super natural audio quality and no stuffy sidetone it's a winner. 

Buy it if

You're a streamer: The open back design means streamers won't have to worry about annoying sidetone or mic monitoring sounds during gameplay. 

You prioritize audio quality over features: The Virtuoso Pro is limited in its extra features, but it prioritizes supreme audio quality instead - if you do too you're onto a winner here. 

You have a dedicated gaming space: That open back design means sound leaks in both directions - you'll need a secluded gaming spot for full immersion.

Don't buy it if

A wireless connection is a priority: Not only is this a wired connection but it's a particularly fiddly one if you're swapping a mic in and out of your session. 

You play in a busier environment: We'd recommend a headset with noise isolation (or at least a closed back design) if you're playing in a louder space.

Design: The Corsair Virtuoso Pro has a particularly eye-catching design. The flatter cups are adorned with super slick grill areas (hiding a neat little logo easter egg in the center). This is a departure from the chunkier form factor we're used to seeing with the RGB Wireless XTs at the top of our list, but it's still an aesthetic that could certainly be mistaken for a high end set of headphones. The build quality is also solid - as it has to be for such a lightweight device. Aluminum runs throughout the construction, with firm cushioning supporting each cup. 

Features: This being a standard wired open back PC headset, there's no power functions to speak of. That means onboard controls are non-existent (you'll be relying on your PC or gaming keyboard's volume controls here) and there's no customization or preset options either. The Pros are set up to work alongside Corsair's Wave XLR microphone control pad, though, so streamers are sorted for mixing. 

Everyday players might struggle with this feature set, though. Going from the control-packed PC headsets we usually test to this more barebones approach was tough during testing, and the need to swap cables when going from a mic session to a solo adventure was frustrating as well. 

Audio: An open back PC headset like this lives and dies by its audio, and while the Virtuoso Pro keeps things minimal elsewhere it absolutely shines in its soundstage. Across Starfield and even more competitive titles we noticed a particularly natural sound quality here, with exquisite detailing and a robust sense of direction. Graphene drivers are pushing this audio quality forward, but in combination with the open back design this is a particularly pleasing experience. 

Verdict: The Corsair Virtuoso Pro suits a more niche market - namely streamers, or those who have the sound proofing and space to go all in on a natural, breezy soundstage. Audio quality is the main draw here, so if you can forego the usual additional extras this is a fantastic pick. 

Read more: Corsair Virtuoso Pro review


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How we test the best PC headsets for gaming

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

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We test gaming headsets almost every day, constantly thinking about what it takes for them to be considered one of the best PC headsets for gaming out there - the lucky few make this list. Each member of this esteemed club has good sound quality and is comfortable for those longer playing sessions. Some offer more features and better audio than others, but usually, that bump in quality comes with a bump in price too. 

It's easy to get hung up on stats like frequency response, range, and the size of the drivers inside each headset, but there's no real substitute for putting the headset on and seeing how it performs with actual games. That's what we do. We test headsets in online shooters, to see how the surround sound performs, and we test in epic single-player games to see how the music comes through. We test with shooters for the depth of the bass, and RPGs to see how rich the dialogue is. Finally, we look at the price and decide whether or not you're getting actual value (and not just buying an overpriced headset). 

You can find out more about how we test gaming headsets on the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.

Best PC gaming headset: FAQ

Razer BlackShark V2 gaming headset no mic

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What is the best headset for gaming on a PC?

Everyone will have their favourite PC gaming headset but there really isn't one that can be pointed to for 100% of users and needs. The best headset for PC we've tested so far is the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT, but it's not going to fit all uses. 

However, it's best to think about what you need from a headset, and the pieces will start to fall into place. For example, when you start drawing lines in terms of price tag, you'll start to get closer to the best headset for you, and then you can make calls like going wireless or staying wired, which features are must-haves, and so on. This is the way to find the best headset for gaming on a PC, for you.

Which PC headset brand is the best?

The PC gaming headset market is a rich and diverse, and very full, one. As a result, and because a lot of brands have been going at this for a while, there really isn't just one brand that sits above the rest for everyone.

However, plenty of brands are perennially reliable and excellent, and you can barely go wrong with anything from them. The likes of Razer, Astro, SteelSeries, Corsair, Sennheiser (now EPOS), and HyperX are all favourites with lots of gamers for good reasons. And while each will be slightly different, and offer slightly different features and audio executions, they will all fit differently due to build and comfort, price, and flexibility. Be aware of exactly what you need when you start off and you'll soon whittle it down.

What headsets do pro gamers use?

Most of the biggest brands and manufacturers are represented at the top of the esports table - Logitech, Razer, EPOS, and more are all present among the top teams. But such is the accessibility and sometimes downright affordability of the top sets, looking at what the pros use and aiming to replicate that has actually never been easier; the gap between everyday gamers and the pros is not as wide as some might think.

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And remember, the headset market covers a lot of ground: check out the best PS5 headsets, the best Xbox Series X headsets, and the best Nintendo Switch headsets to cover your bases and round out your research throrouhgly.