A Sony headset for gaming is going to be top of the pile if you game on PlayStation. Ever since the days of the PS3 - when peripherals really started to come on leaps and bounds and become increasingly wireless - Sony gaming headsets have been some of the finest and best gaming headsets for their own gaming console.
That's because being official means Sony headsets for gaming can unlock some features and compatibility that third-party headsets just can't get into - no matter how good they are in other areas. This mainly comes down to seamless connections with the consoles, the use of onboard audio profiles or on-console headset management apps, and, in the PS5 Pulse 3D headset's case, a close-knit hardware connection that's hardwired into the PS5's Tempest 3D audio engine.
Basically, there's a reason that Sony's own entrants are contenders for best PS5 headset and best PS4 headset. I've used Sony headsets as my primary devices for a long time on both PS4 and PS5, and the audio is truly magnificent. The mix of official integration, genuine audio quality - provided by the makers of the console and developers of the games, no less - and neat on-board controls means that Sony headsets for gaming are really that: for gaming in every sense of the word.
There's also a reason why Sony's WH-100XM series of headphones tops the internet's best headphones lists all the time, too. Especially considering the fact that all of these Sony headsets for gaming can be used on PC. Sure, they aren't built to necessarily be your go-to PC headset for gaming, but they'll do a grand job of filling in or helping you out if you're ever in a pinch.
Sony headsets for gaming
It's no surprise to find the official headset for PS5 at the top of the pile. If you need a headset for your new PS5, or one for your PS4 and PS5, then this is arguably the Sony headset to get right now.
The Pulse 3D maintains Sony's approach to its console headsets in having a pretty slick and premium-looking design that features onboard controls (for chat and game audio balance, volume, mic muting, and more), built-in mics to avoid having an extra bit of headset in the shape of a boom mic flailing around, and solid-but-comfy earcups to complete a snug (ish) fit.
Under the hood, however, the Pulse 3D's tech will immerse you in the PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech. In practice, the headset delivers exquisite, rich, and detailed sound as you traverse Astro's Playroom's noisy platforms, and it gives multi-layered audio detail in the roar of combat in Spider-Man: Miles Morales - to name but two games as test cases. I use this as my go-to headset for PS5 at the moment, and it's great no matter what I'm playing. The built-in and direct chat-to-game balance buttons are a godsend too.
This is a great Sony gaming headset, truly and utterly, and at its sub-three-figure price point, it offers extraordinary value. Tiny criticisms are that the build could be a bit tighter and more robust feeling, and the built-in mics still let in a bit too much exterior noise, but these are nitpicks of the smallest order.
While it shares its name with the PS3 Pulse headset that had an early form of haptic feedback (rumble) on it, such a feature doesn't exist on the 3D model for PS5 - it's all about the immersive audio experience and it has set a very high bar indeed.
- Read more: PS5 Pulse 3D headset review
The Platinum headset is a great Sony headset for gaming - though perhaps more so for those on PS4 or who are waiting to upgrade to PS5 down the line.
It still demands a high-ish price tag, but it goes a long way to justify that in its feature set, design, and build quality. Cutting to the chase straight away, the 50mm drivers deliver an excellent level of audio detail, clarity, surround sound, and richness to everything, meaning the overall audio is exquisite. More single player-focused features - on PS4 at least - are great too with the presence of a game/chat audio balancer, and the ability to have dedicated onboard game audio profiles. These are specifically designed for particular games such as Uncharted and God of War, and they take the in-game audio experience to another level by utilising the Platinum's go at 3D audio.
On the grounds of quality alone, this is absolutely one to consider for someone wanting a Sony headset for gaming that straddles two great console generations. Its bottom end isn't quite as good as the Pulse's, generally speaking, but it's no slouch in any area of the audio spectrum, offering excellent quality and detail no matter the genre you prefer or what games you play.
As an added bonus (and if you needed some more versatility to convince you), it's also worth remembering that both the Platinum and the below Gold headsets have been designed with the current generation of PlayStation VR in mind too. This means they will fit neatly in conjunction with the PSVR headset.
The Gold headset has been around for many years in some form or another. Starting life as a 2.0 Stereo headset for the PS3, the revamped version - that this listing is about - came in 2018 and quickly earned its place as a staple Sony headset for gaming.
Offering a strong audio performance and all the bells and whistles that its official companionship with the consoles and pedigree offers, the Gold headset is a terrific one for the price tag - it's the cheapest of these three main Sony headsets for gaming. While it doesn't feature some of the fancier 3D audio features the above two do, it can still be loaded with game audio profiles, give you that perfect balance between game audio and chat, and ensure you can be wireless for hours at a time and have just a cracking level of audio for your PlayStation experience.
You may find that the traditional, original black variant might be hard to come by, but don't forget refurbished or renewed models (especially those that come with a warranty). Otherwise, there are still some white and rose gold versions in circulation, and the most recent version, the Limited Edition Last of Us Part II design, can still be found too if you're lucky.
For those of you looking to preserve your PS3 libraries and ensure you can still enjoy them, we are almost certain that this headset works with the PS3, too. This means it's one of the few that can span all the generations of PlayStation that support wireless official headsets and be a real jack of all trades.
While not specifically designed for gaming, you may find that going for some headphones in your search for a Sony headset for gaming fits you and your lifestyle better. As the headphones can just be plugged in via audio jack to the DualSense, the below Sony headphones are compatible with PS4 and PS5 - though you may need to buy an audio cable with an in-line mic in it to ensure the headphones have chat functionality if that's what you need.
Note that wireless functionality and pairing with the below headphones doesn't appear to work with the PS4 or PS5.
Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones are some of the premier headphones on the market right now. They build upon the Sony WH-1000XM3 and go a long way to justify their price.
The audio is as exquisite as ever, with an improvement to bass and the lower-end of the range, while maintaining crisp highs and detailed, rich middles to complete the audio spectrum.
If noise-canceling is important for you, then you'll be pleased to know that the XM4's is even better than its predecessor's. It has the ability to adapt to frequently visited locations as well.
Other improvements and modifications include an auto-pause function for when you remove the headphones - great for quick interruptions at home/office and saving your battery too - and you can now connect to two devices at once, enabling you to take calls and then seamlessly go back to media.
Finally, the headset's design will be very familiar to fans of the XM range and that's a plus - the design and build quality have always been excellent. Thus, while not a gaming headset per se, these could still be a good solution for music lovers that want to game every now and then.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones have long been hailed as some of the best in headphone land, and they, like the above XM4s, might offer a terrific Sony headset for gaming solution if you value versatility and music over gaming pedigree. And because of the above XM4's release, you'll often see the XM3s going for ridiculously attractive prices. It's much cheaper by default, and regularly has price cuts and deals added to its listings at retailers.
Proper, market-leading plus points include some fantastic active noise cancellation that is only bettered by its brethren above. Deep bass, excellent clarity and detail across the mid and high ranges combine with excellent battery life for a superb experience.
To get all the audio benefits of this for gaming, simply plug the headset into your DualShock 5 or DualSense controller. Once again, though, if you want to use chat, you may have to buy and use a mic-in-line audio jack cable, as the consoles seem to bypass the headphones mic when in.
However, you do also bag some nifty extra features that Sony headsets for gaming can offer, like functionality for 3D soundscapes through Sony's 360 Reality Audio. You receive Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility as well alongside intuitive touch controls that allow for easy control of your sound. Lovely stuff.