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The Best Gaming Headsets to Buy in 2018 — Hear Every Move of Your Enemy

By Novak Bozovic / November 29, 2018

By now, you must have read our articles on gaming PCs, gaming laptops, and gaming monitors. While you're busy assembling your new gaming arsenal based on our recommendations, there is one missing piece of the puzzle to complete the experience — gaming headsets. Great sound is equally important as are great visuals for an immersive gaming experience. This is where gaming headsets come in. Of course, you have standalone speakers for the job but gaming headsets offer the convenience of portability and privacy while still offering a great aural experience.

While most gaming headsets offer good surround sound, ultimately everyone's sound preferences are different. Nevertheless, the following factors must be kept in mind before splurging in on a gaming headset.

Firstly, decide on the type of sound output you need. This largely depends on the games you play. While stereo sound works for most RTS and RPG games, you would want a surround sound headset for FPS or role-playing games. More often than not, the factory tuning might not suit everyone's taste so pick a headset that offers additional customization options via software. Multiplayer gaming often involves voice chatting with other players so it helps if the gaming headset offers a capable microphone as well. However, the microphone volume should not eclipse the game volume or at least, the headset should be able to dynamically adjust both microphone and speaker volume on the fly.

Taking these factors into consideration, at TechNadu, we have narrowed down on some of the best gaming headsets that we feel deserve a place beside your gaming rig. So, here are the 8 best gaming headsets to buy in 2018.

1. HyperX Cloud Revolver S

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is one of the best gaming headsets for console and PC gaming. It offers a studio-grade soundstage that delivers Dolby Digital 7.1 surround audio. The cans rest comfortably on the ears thanks to the HyperX memory foam. Build quality is great and the steel frame is extremely durable. The Cloud Revolver S is certified for popular game VoIP apps such as TeamSpeak and Discord along with Skype and Mumble. The 50 mm drivers offer deep bass and an overall well-balanced sound.

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S also offers an audio control box for use with the PC's onboard sound. The microphone is detachable but the placement is a bit odd. They don't get very loud but they can pump out just enough sound to immerse you in the action.

2. Astro A50 Wireless

The Astro A50 is one of the best wireless gaming headsets for PC and console gaming and it offers a good mix of quality sound and comfortable wearing along with the freedom to go wireless. The A50 offers double the battery life of the previous generation and the base supports wireless charging. The A50 is also one of the best comfortable gaming headsets you can buy. You can also buy the optional A50 Mod kit to upgrade to synthetic leather noise-canceling ear cushions and a padded headband.

The Astro A50 can be controlled using the ASTRO command center software that allows changing EQ presets and input-output levels. While the software offers a good amount of features, it is not very user-friendly. The Dolby 7.1 surround sounds great but is not really the best in its class. When you buy the Astro A50, you are paying for a jack of all trades wireless gaming headset and not necessarily the best sounding one.

3. SteelSeries Arctis 7

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 offers great wireless and wired performance and is compatible with most game consoles, Macs, PCs, and smartphones. The Arctis 7 offers a Clearcast Mic that offers background noise cancellation while the S1 audio driver offers balanced sound across lows, mids, and highs. DTS Headphone:X 7.1 offers directional audio on a PC running Windows 7 or higher. The Arctis 7 sports on- headset controls for easily adjusting chat volume, game volume, and microphone mute. The SteelSeries Engine 3 software allows in-depth personalization of most headset controls and is very easy to use.

While the Arctis 7 works with just about any device, its real performance is seen on the PC when paired with the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. The experience is vastly different when used with consoles such as the Xbox One or PS4. The mic can be retracted when not in use but some might find it overly sensitive. Overall, if you're looking for the best gaming headset under $150 for PC gaming, the Arctis 7 might be the one to go for.

4. Razer Thresher Ultimate

The Razer Thresher Ultimate is one of the best gaming headsets for Xbox One. The Thresher is very comfortable to wear for long periods and it's 50 mm directional drivers offer a great directional soundstage. The Thresher Ultimate also features a retractable microphone that can balance both game and voice audio. This gaming headset delivers lag-free Dolby Headphone 7.1 surround audio over wireless connections up to 40 feet.

Since the Thresher is primarily designed for use with a console, it does not come with the popular Razer Synapse software for customizing EQ or Chroma LED lighting. You can nevertheless use it with a PC, just fine. There is also a version for the PS4 if you game on that console.

5. HyperX Cloud Alpha

The HyperX Cloud Alpha makes for a good gaming headset under $100 and at this price, you get a pretty capable headset that offers immersive audio for PC, Xbox One, or PS4 gaming. The Cloud Alpha comes with HyperX's signature memory foam, which makes wearing them for long periods less of a hassle. The Cloud Alpha is a wired gaming headset and HyperX has ensured that the wire is of a great quality. It is braided and offers in-line audio controls.

Unlike some of the more expensive alternatives, the Cloud Alpha offers a stereo output and not a multi-channel directional audio. This makes it good not just for games but also for music as well. While performance on the PC is on par with many other headsets, you might want to invest in an external amplifier if you want to use it with a console as most consoles cannot drive the high impedance of the Cloud Alpha.

6. Turtle Beach Stealth 700

There is no dearth of quality Xbox One headsets but the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 was built exclusively for the Xbox One. The Stealth 700 supports the Xbox Wireless protocol and Windows Sonic Surround Sound for spatial audio. The 50 mm drivers are powerful enough to offer a wide soundstage and the omnidirectional microphone can be retracted when not needed or flipped-up to mute. The Stealth 700 offers something called as Superhuman hearing — that amplifies even the tiniest of sounds such as footsteps and weapon reloads to give you an edge over enemies.

The Stealth 700 can also work with Dolby Audio if you install the necessary codecs from the Microsoft Store for a price. We recommend connecting this headset to the PC and updating the firmware first before setting it up for gaming. If you're primarily an Xbox One gamer, it is hard not to recommend the Turtle Beach Stealth 700.

7. Corsair Void Pro RGB

If you've already got a load of other Corsair peripherals, the Void Pro RGB makes a good companion to them. The Void Pro RGB is built with ergonomics and comfort in mind and offers a memory foam that adjusts to your ears so that you can game longer. The custom-tuned 50 mm Neodymium drivers can output Dolby Headphone 7.1 audio for an immersive experience in both games and movies.

Like most other Corsair peripherals, the Void Pro RGB can be controlled via the CUE software to change the lighting effects or adjust other aspects of the headset. The lighting is only limited to the Corsair logo, though. The mic can flip-up to mute but the distance of the mic from the mouth cannot be adjusted so it might not suit everyone. Also, the CUE software does not offer some of the advanced customization options found in other gaming headsets. However, for the price, the Corsair Void Pro RGB offers little compromise and makes for a good aural experience.

8. SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB (2019 Edition)

SteelSeries has upgraded the Arctis 5 model for 2019 and has managed to receive quite a number of awards for this. You get the traditional SteelSeries features such as a Ski-Goggle suspension band, AirWeave ear cushions, ClearCast bidirectional microphone and more. The 2019 Arctis 5 offers DTS Headphone:X v2.0 sound output, which is great for gamers but not really of much value for audiophiles. The cord from the headset has a USB ChatMix dial in the middle that can balance the game and chat audio easily when connected to PC or Mac computers. The external earcups also feature RGB illumination that can be controlled from the feature-rich SteelSeries Engine software.

While the Arctis 5 offers a great gaming experience, the ChatMix dial is very smooth, which means that it can disrupt you in the heat of the action. Also, while the S1 audio drivers are pretty powerful, the true power can only be realized when coupled with a powerful DAC. The onboard DAC is fine for most tasks but if you want the best audiophile quality sound, you'd do best with an external DAC solution.

Final Thoughts

Dear readers, that would be all for our list of the best gaming headsets to consider buying today. We hope that this article will ease your decision making and has addressed your needs. If you have additional questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post them in the comments below and we will do our best to provide a timely response.

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