Finding the best Steam Deck headset will quickly become a top priority for those who get their hands on the new handheld PC console.
Working out which is the best Steam Deck headset isn't quite as simple as browsing the likes of our own best gaming headset guide and picking the first PC-compatible one. In fact, even the best PC headset for gaming lists might not get you quite what you want. And that's because the Steam Deck offers something different in terms of an in-situ/portable balance, and you may well want a headset that fits nicely into that niche too.
So, if you've just got your new Steam Deck - you lucky thing - are awaiting its imminent arrival, or are getting your Deck's headset squared off in advance, sorting out your audio and ensuring you have one of the best Steam Deck headsets to hand when it gets to you is one of the best jobs to tick off.
And it won't necessarily cost you a whole lot either - there's definitely room to splash the cash to ensure you get the best experience, but there are plenty of budget headsets for Steam Deck on the shelves as well. We test as many headsets as we can here at GamesRadar+ so we're ready to recommend some great cups we already know intimately to be your Stem Deck's audio companion.
We've covered a lot of budget areas, needs, and preferences in this list, so we're confident you'll find the best Steam Deck headset for you here.
Best Steam Deck headsets 2023 - top 10
The Razer Barracuda X is probably the best bang-for-buck wireless Stem Deck headset you're going to find in 2022. It's wireless, it's great value, and it's got great audio quality - what more could you want?
Coming from Razer's newer line of headsets, and sharing a sleek aesthetic with the likes of the Opus headphone range, we found the Barracuda X to be comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for on-the-go play or while attached to a desk and a rig. That design is also subtle enough and non-flashy enough to look at home when you are commuting or travelling with your Steam Deck too. Weighing in at only 250g, the Barracuda X are some of the lightest on the market now. Combine that with the comfort offered by its added headband and plump cushioning on each cup.
In our testing, the sound quality proved to be excellent, too. Even though an 'X' moniker often indicates a budget or entry-level set from Razer, the 40mm TriForce drivers are some of our favourite of this 'generation' and provide a rich soundscape no matter what game you're playing. And they even offer solid performance for music and movies too.
If your ceiling is that magical $100 mark and you're looking for something that's wireless, has excellent audio quality, and is seriously comfortable in long sessions, then the Barracuda X is it - and that's why it's our top choice for best Steam Deck headset.
Read more: Razer Barracuda X review
From our testing and use, these are easily the best earbuds for mobile gaming right now, which means that the EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid wireless earbuds are going to be a top Steam Deck headset choice. Especially for those who prioritise high-end audio.
Imbued with the legacy and DNA of Sennheiser, these earbuds boast the sort of audio quality you’d expect and proved this to us during our testing. There was great directional audio (in earbuds!), deep, full bass, and rich mid-tones to boot - all of which shone through in our testing.
The USB-C dongle will plug into your Steam Deck, but the buds also offer Bluetooth connectivity so you can use that connection to sync with devices where appropriate. Throw in a neat charging case for the buds, and we had the battery life reach the top end of the slated 20-hour estimate too - this makes the feature set really does look great for these buds.
It's worth noting that while they do come with an in-built microphone, we confirmed that this only works when you’re connected through Bluetooth, rather than the USB-C dongle. This might mean that anyone looking to play co-op or competitive games on their Switch might have to look elsewhere for better communication routes.
Read more: EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid review
Our top pick for a wired Steam Deck headset won't break the bank either, you'll be glad to hear. And it comes in the form of the Turtle Beach Recon 500 - one of our very favourite headsets to come out of 2021 and across any platform.
While the Recon 500 foregoes luxurious construction materials and a vast array of features - partly in order to keep that price tag reasonable - it makes up for it, crucially, sound that is so good it will take you aback. From our testing, the Recon 500 will offer a Stem Deck headset experience that is downright brilliant in audio quality, and not too hard on the wallet.
That awesome sound comes from an unusual-sounding place - a combination of 60mm drivers, wood composite injection technology, and dedicated woofers and tweeters per earcup. We found that this results in crisp and precise sound that comes together in a powerful surge of ultra-responsive bass, detailed high end, and a pleasingly flat EQ curve with just a bit of audible kick further down the spectrum.
The mic is a simple, get-the-job-done kind of affair, but it is detachable and there's a handy mute button of course. Only an extra volume wheel is present otherwise to complete the onboard controls. It's a powerful simplicity though, and if you're looking for a Steam Deck Headset that is straight to the point and lets its audio do the talking then this is the one.
Read more: Turtle Beach Recon 500 review
The Razer Kraken X is another solid option if you're looking for simplicity and a no-frills Steam Deck headset. In our view, the main selling point here is that Razer Kraken DNA running through each cup. Yes, it might be a lightweight and simple, having cut some fat here and there, and slimmed the whole beast down, but when we put it on and started using it, we really felt and heard that Kraken pedigree. And clearly. It's not bothering those at the top of any Razer headset lists, but in our view it still offers good performance across the board from clear and sharp high-ends to rumble, growly lows.
Where some budget-end headsets might compromise is in build quality and comfort too - often trimming back areas of padding for example. However, we noticed that the Razer Kraken X does do this but remains pleasant to wear even after hours of play. The padding is far more effective than its appearance would suggest, and the lightweight nature of this design helps execute this, even in our longest session.
The Kraken X's compatibility with almost everything is another plus in our eyes; just plug it in and go - it can be used with almost everything, and teaming it with a PC or a Steam Deck is where you'll get the most out of it. This is where it can offer you that sweet, sweet 7.1 surround sound.
Read more: Razer Kraken X review
If you're in a real pinch budget-wise then the Turtle Beach Recon 70 could be a Steam Deck headset solution for you. While it didn't blow our socks off for its game audio, or wow us with a spinny feature set, or comfort us with a robust build, it does do is package everything you need into a solid, budget-friendly proposition.
We were a bit disappointed in the microphone - it's just OK - but this is a budget headset we're dealing with here, and the Recon 70 does genuinely have a good sound range and depth despite the budgetary limitations, and it's pretty comfortable!
When we tested the headset, it covered games pretty well - budget or not, it is tuned for gaming - but we were also surprised that it held its own with most kinds of music too thanks to some bassy drivers. But, purely from a gaming perspective, if you're on a budget, we'd be hard pushed to find a better cheap alternative - you'll be well set, and the game audio here is impressive for such a value-busting set.
Read more: Turtle Beach Recon 70 review
These wired buds do punch above their weight when it comes to audio quality, while also offering a decent set of features that will serve you well on your Steam Deck.
First off, there's some solid noise-canceling functionality, an easy connection through the USB-C port, and a snazzy design, given they are tiny earbuds. In said tiny buds, are housed 10mm ASUS Essence drivers that do pack an audio punch; offering plenty of depth, range, and richness, there's absolutely more than enough to satisfy you when you're on the move with Steam Deck playing in handheld mode. Plus you are supported by a surprisingly good mic! It's omnidirectional and will serve you well for any mobile multiplayer-ing you might get up to.
A cool feature of the Cetra - probably the top one, to be honest - is the onboard button panel. Including the obvious volume or pause functions, it also enables you to activate the device's different modes - namely Active Noise Cancelling, normal, or Ambient. Throw in some RGB lighting on the earbuds, and you have a nice fulsome package for a set of earbuds that can become a go-to Steam Deck headset.
If voice chat and communication is going to be high up the priority list for you and your Steam Deck headset then we present the Corsair HS70 Bluetooth headset.
A wireless headset that balances excellent audio, good comfort, a cracking microphone, and a reasonable price tag, the HS70 Bluetooth encompasses all that we love to see when testing headsets, and this makes it one of our top picks for a do-it-all Steam Deck headset. And that sound quality really wowed us in testing and sells itself. There's well-rounded rich performance across all ranges and nicely balanced bass that means everything from bombastic gunplay in Doom, or quieter open-world exploration and weather noises sound superb.
We enjoyed the dual connection (3.5mm and Bluetooth) in testing and can recommend the ability to use both of these with different devices to ensure you can stay connected to your phone while on the go. The build is solid too and one you can have confidence in, as it is both weighty and comfortable. On our reviewer's head, this set fitted beautifully over the ears and the premium padding along the top of the headband kept that pressure off the top of the head.
Read more: Corsair HS70 Bluetooth review
In the case of the HyperX Cloud Alpha, the old ones really are the best. And while it has been on the market a while, its quality has meant it's stayed relevant, brilliant, and largely untouched since then. We know and have seen colleagues in the industry still using their Cloud Alphas after years and years.
And that's because this beauty sits brilliantly in the middle of the Venn diagram that covers audio quality, price, comfort, and design and build. As a result, it's likely to be the best Steam Deck headset for a lot of folks who are happy with a wired headset, and one that many will naturally gravitate toward. The audio quality is king here, and it's one that delivers no matter what the media, or what you're playing. In our testing, we found that there was a bit more a bass present than we'd usually go for, but it doesn't come at the cost of high-end definition or mid-level richness.
The design inspired by aviation headsets means the Cloud Alpha is great to wear for long periods of time and is pretty good at blocking exterior noise out just from its design. This makes it excellent for playing the Steam Deck when out and about. On top of those, the mic is also detachable, which means the headset further appeals from a mobile, out-and-about-play perspective too.
In short, the Alpha is still a go-to headset for PC players due to it being an amazing all-rounder - and we know it'll do just the job for Steam Deck users and play too.
Read more: HyperX Cloud Alpha review
If you're chasing a quality noise-cancelling Steam Deck headset, then the Asus ROG Strix Go 2.4 could very well be for you. This headset is a wireless affair, which is convenient and removes the need for cords but also maintains an attractive, sleek design that is only matched in quality by the audio experience.
However, a big feature is that noise-canceling - as it's very good at doing that job; we've used it to shut ourselves off from the world while working or gaming during testing and there was nothing quite like it. This can really heighten your immersion in games on your Steam Deck, particularly so when you add in a level of comfort offered by generous padding and a subtle, slightly curved design.
To round out a full experience, the GO 2.4's microphone is also great: it has excellent AI-assisted noise-cancelling features, and will keep your voice clear even with background interference.
If you're happy to wire up a headset into the USB-C port when out and about particularly, then the ASUS ROG Delta S is a cracking one to consider.
Its default settings straight out of the box did seem to be geared towards the higher ranges when we tested the headset; However, that can be managed by some neat EQ software that allows for incredibly in-depth control over audio levels and balances across the entire spectrum. This makes it particularly at home on Switch, or in conjunction with a PC, as altering the Delta S via its software is one of the best things to do with it, and ensures all settings are retained - even if you plug it into a totally separate device or console.
We found the ASUS ROG Delta S to be a solid unit, coming in a sturdy yet lightweight shell, with durable plastic cups. These are edged with tasteful (and easily personalized) RGB lighting, and also heavy memory foam cushioning which provided us with great comfort, even over longer sessions.
Read more: ASUS ROG Delta S review
The Razer Kraken has been around for ages, but we're big fans of the iconic Razer headset. And the great news is that it's perfect as a Steam Deck headset too. This headset always provides great sound and game audio, and at its price point, and given it can be used across a wide variety of devices - due to a simple 3.5mm audio jack connection - it's a terrific all-in-one solution as a Deck headset.
The latest version of the Kraken is lightweight and, despite the large earcups, comfortable for long gaming sessions. Sound-wise, we found it to be broadly rich and detailed, but the mid-range is a bit muddy, while the bass packs a punch. The fully retractable, unidirectional microphone gave us clear voice chat, and you can even choose between oval or circular ear cushions. If you're looking for a quality Razer headset for your Steam Deck that's well under £100/ $100, this is it.
Read more: Razer Kraken review
Does Steam Deck have a 3.5mm audio jack?
Yes! Praise be, the handheld PC console does have a good old 3.5mm audio jack so if you've got a wired headset already you are good to go.
In fact, the Steam Deck should have you well covered for ports as its USB-C connection can also be used for headsets and audio.
Should you buy earbuds for Steam Deck?
Well, we'd recommend a Steam Deck headset of any kind - not just earbuds. And that's because as good as the Deck's own audio and speakers will be for a handheld PC console, headsets' audio will surpass that. Modern headsets and earbuds are just so good now that we recommend you definitely get something rather than nothing.
Earbuds in particular will offer a neat and tidy approach to Steam Deck audio, and also make it super convenient when out and about. Often small enough to throw in a pocket, earbuds will be at home in a large Steam Deck case or backpack and can make for an inexpensive audio solution too. And now you can get wireless ones as well, there are lots of possibilities in gaming earbuds.
Can you use Bluetooth headphones with Steam Deck?
Oh yes! Yes you can. There's no blocked off Bluetooth corridor here, the connection is wide open for accessories, controllers, and audio. This means that you should be able to just pair up any pair of Bluetooth headphones you have and you're ready to go.
Naturally, if you do want to go the wireless route, we'd recommend going for one of the best wireless Steam Deck headsets that will not only ensure you're cutting the cord but also provide excellent game-focused audio to give you the best experience.
If you're looking for the top headsets for the other platforms, then check out our guides to the best PS5 headsets, best Xbox Series X headsets, and best Nintendo Switch headsets to round out your research. Or for something more music-focused, try the best headphones.
We're also rounding up all the best cheap gaming headsets on the market right now if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful hit.