Best Gaming Headset 2023: the Top Headsets For PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X

Playing PC games competitively is all about hearing what your opponents are doing, and that’s exactly where the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro, our number one best gaming headset, shines. Steelseries has been at the top of the gaming headset game for a while with some of the best audio hardware and software. But even if this awesome gaming headset isn’t up your alley, there are so many gaming headsets out there, no matter what your style or budget looks like.

A quality gaming headset ensures you won’t be plagued by audio issues that hinder your performance, with some of the best options offering custom equalizers, surround sound, or other features for an edge in your games. So, after extensive testing and research, we’re bringing you ten top-tier headsets – and click here to find them in the UK. Alternatively, if you’re in Oz, see here to skip to the best gaming headsets in Australia.

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The Best Gaming Headsets

1. SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Best Gaming Headset

Arctis Nova Pro Wireless


Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Multiple connectivity options, including simultaneous listening on different devices, a hot-swappable battery, excellent sound, and hybrid active noise canceling make this a hard-to-top headset.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. You still get all the great features of the previous SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with some new technology including active noise cancellation and improved audio all around. Using a hybrid noise-canceling system with four mics, you can drown out the neighbor’s dog yapping or the low hum of an air conditioner. Though the ANC isn’t as good as some of the best noise-canceling headphones, it keeps you focused on the game rather than the distractions around you. There’s also some fantastic spatial audio onboard, so it’s easy to hear enemies lurking in the bushes or helicopters flying overhead. And you can make some next-level customizations to the EQ setting and game chat mix with Sonar and the SteelSeries GG app – good luck going back to your ordinary headphones for anything but listening to podcasts or the news.

With SteelSeries latest, we see the biggest design shift since the start of the Arctis lineup. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless now totes telescoping arms on it’s adjustable headband so it better accommodates larger head sizes. The earcups are also slimmer and sleeker, giving off less of a gaming headset vibe and more of wireless headphones look. And one of our favorite features remains intact with a few upgrades, the hot-swappable rechargeable battery system. This means that when the battery runs low during a heated moment in a game, you just quickly change it out, barely missing a second of the action.

2. Razer Barracuda X

Best Budget Gaming Headset

Razer Barracuda X

Razer Barracuda X

Multi-platform compatibility, comfort, clean audio, and decent battery life make this affordable gaming headset a worthy option.

The Razer Barracuda X makes affordability feel premium. Coming in at just $100, it’s easily worth your money as one of the cheapest gaming headset on this list. It supports a broad range of devices. Better still, it supports a bunch of those devices with a 2.4GHz wireless connection using a USB-C dongle. That’ll gives you get low-latency, wireless audio from a PC, Nintendo Switch, many Android devices, and PS5 or PS4. For everything else, there’s also a backup 3.5mm connection.

The Razer Barracuda X has a lightweight build at just 250g and keeps things discreet with an all-black design, a low-profile headband, and even a removable boom mic. The earcups also have a breathable, FlowKnit material. Razer tops things off with support for virtual 7.1-channel surround sound on PC. It’s even got Tempest 3D Audio, making it one of the best PS5 headsets. You’d think there might be a few cut corners or missing features at this price point, but Razer didn’t even settle for a lackluster battery life, as these headphones can run for over 50 hours.

3. Corsair Virtuoso Pro

Best High-End Gaming Headset

Virtuoso Pro


Virtuoso Pro

Wired, open-back headset with 50mm graphene drivers that delivers rich, impactful audio.

For those willing to spend a little more, the Corsair Virtuoso Pro is one of the best high-end gaming headsets out there. Rather than your typical closed-back headsets, Corsair switches it up with an open-back for a wide soundstage and spacious listening experience. Add in the 50mm graphene drivers that provide improved detail and resolution, and you’re sure to enjoy the rich, impactful audio with punchy bass, forward mids, and stunning highs for full immersion in the action.

The Corsair Virtuoso Pro’s sleek, stylish design allows it to pass as a pair of high-end headphones—and with such stellar sound, you’ll happily use it as an all-in-one listening option. The soft, cloth earcups feature precision-cut aluminum faceplates, revealing the drivers within, while an overall robust yet lightweight build ensures both comfort and longevity. This headset keeps it simple, providing only a wired connection, including three detachable audio cables with purchase, one of which features a flexible unidirectional mic.

4. SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7

Best Wireless Gaming Headset

Arctis Nova 7


Arctis Nova 7

Listen to in-game audio and Bluetooth simultaneously on this comfortable headset with multi-platform connectivity and excellent software for EQ adjustments.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 is the gaming headset to get when you don’t want to be tethered to a wire. It may not offer as much as its bigger brother, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, but it comes at a far more affordable $180 price with plenty of useful features. As far as connectivity goes, there’s Bluetooth 5.0 and a 2.4GHz wireless dongle for a virtually lag-free experience. It doesn’t stop there, though, as you can simultaneously listen to your game’s action on the PS5 or a gaming PC via that dongle while also playing music or chatting over discord with another device through Bluetooth. Trust us, once you try it, you’ll never look back.

Looking past connectivity, the Arctis Nova offers a durable and comfortable design with a height-adjustable headband for a universal fit and breathable AirWeave ear cushions. Housed inside the earcups are 40mm drivers to deliver a strong sound. And though this headset sounds great straight out of the box, SteelSeries Sonar software takes it to the next level with EQ adjustments and 360-degree spatial audio, which puts you right at the center of the action. There are some other convenient extras as well, such as improved 38-hour battery life, a noise-canceling mic, and on headset controls for ChatMix, volume, Bluetooth pairing, and more. All this makes for a one of the best wireless gaming headsets, earning its place at the front of the pack.

5. PDP Airlite Pro

Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset

Airlite Pro


Airlite Pro

A headset that delivers impressive audio performance and a durable yet comfortable design despite the low cost.

You don’t need to throw down a ton of dough to get a wireless headset that can keep up with all the action in your favorite games, as you can snag the PDP Airlite Pro for around $80. It seamlessly connects to your PS4, PS5, or PC via a low-latency wireless dongle—or grab the Xbox version to play on that console. You’ll be good to game for 16 hours without needing to juice up, which isn’t the best we’ve seen, but thankfully, charging is facilitated by a USB-C cable to make life easier.

After you’ve connected, the PDP Airlite Pro is ready to deliver an immersive experience with 50mm drivers that pump out crisp highs and booming bass even though it does lack any type of 3D audio. Beyond its impressive sound, this headset is also durable yet comfortable, toting a lightweight form factor with ample adjustability and well-cushioned memory foam ear cups. There are even on-ear controls for volume and a noise-canceling flip-to-mute mic to keep a clear line of communication between you and your teammates.

6. Corsair HS65 Surround

Best Wired Gaming Headset

HS65 Surround


HS65 Surround

This headset offers 7.1 surround sound for a wide and realistic soundscape at a budget-friendly price.

Rather than focusing on wireless technology that can get costly, Corsair puts the money where it matters in the HS65 Surround; audio experience. For under $80, this plug-and-play wired headset offers a neutral sound with superb directional audio, making it easier to place enemies lurking in your games. It doesn’t stop there, as when you connect via the USB adapter, you can enjoy 7.1 channel surround sound for a wide and realistic soundscape.

Understandably, the Corsair HS65 Surround isn’t full of frills, starting with the simple build featuring soft memory foam earcups alongside a plastic and aluminum headband. However, some may find the headset rests a little too snugly on their head. You also get minimal on-ear controls with only a volume dial and flip-to-mute feature on the non-detachable mic. But don’t worry, audio adjustments can still be made using iCue software.

Best Audiophile-Quality Gaming Headset

Drop x EPOS PC38X

Drop x EPOS PC38X

The Drop x EPOS PC38X is a great gaming headset for anyone that wants Sennheiser’s world class audio while topping the leaderboards.

If you’re in the know, you already know that Sennheiser has spun off its gaming products to its own brand, EPOS. So while the name is new, the expertise in crafting truly superb gaming headsets is absolutely not new. This gaming headset is absolutely strapped, coming with the same drivers as the award-winning PC37X, but tuned to be easier to drive without a seperate amplifier or DAC, with a reduced impedence of 28 ohms.

And because this gaming headset is closer to traditional headphones than many other sets on this list, it’s incredibly light, weighing just 290g. Plus, you don’t even need to keep a USB slot open, as this headset is driven through a single 3.5mm audio cable, with a split adapter for PC. That means it supports literally any device with a headphone jack, making this one of the most adaptable gaming headsets on this list.

8. JBL Quantum One

Best Surround Sound Gaming Headset

JBL Quantum One

JBL Quantum One

Active noise cancellation, several surround sound modes, and a high-res frequency response ensure you catch all the audio cues in your games.

Why settle for just one type of surround sound? The JBL Quantum One may be pricey, but it has a lot to offer in the sound department, including JBL’s QuantumSPHERE 360 technology as well as DTS Headphone X: v2.0 surround sound. The latter is a high-quality digital surround sound that can make your game worlds and movies feel that much more engrossing. QuantumSPHERE 360 is a bit more involved, and actually takes into account the position of your head, so you can turn your head in the real life and all the sounds around you will shift to maintain their relative position.

It’s not just nifty surround sound, but also precise, as the Hi-Res certified 50mm drivers offer excellent sound and a 20Hz-40kHz frequency response range. The JBL Quantum One also offer great flexibility, with options for both a USB and a 3.5mm connection available (though the latter will limit its capabilities). The JBL Quantum One even includes active noise cancelling to help you focus on only the sounds you want to hear. And, to top things off, there’s customizable RGB lighting on each ear cup.

9. SteelSeries Arctis Prime

Best Esports Gaming Headset

Arctis Prime


Arctis Prime

A comfortable, yet durable headset with premium speaker drivers and a ClearCast microphone.

When you’re competing, you need every advantage you can get, and audio clarity is one piece of the puzzle. The SteelSeries Arctis Prime is built to give you clear audio both going in and coming out. Your teammates in esports will hear you loud and clear thanks to the ClearCast microphone, which has consistently delivered on SteelSeries headsets.

On the other end, the SteelSeries Arctis Prime may cheaper, but they’re coming with the more premium speaker drivers from the Arctis Pro side of the family. These drivers deliver an extended frequency response range and hi-fi clarity to ensure you don’t miss anything in game. The Arctis Prime is built with comfort and durability in mind like the other premium Arctis headsets, but it also aims to help block out external distractions by using a leather-like ear cushion instead of the AirWeave cushions on other Arctis headsets, which are more breathable but also let in more outside sound.

10. Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed

Best Gaming Earbuds

Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed


Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed

Wireless earbuds ready to game with ANC, customizable EQ settings, and a 2.4 GHz dongle for a low latency connection to a range of devices.

Don’t like the look and feel of a traditional gaming headset? Razer has you covered with the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed Earbuds, a slightly suped-up version of the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed. These wireless earbuds are compact, lightweight, and secure in-ear but still deliver impactful sound and even active noise cancellation to keep you focused on the action. You also get directional audio, customizable EQ settings, and remappable touch controls—all features of higher-end headsets.

One of the most limiting factors of wireless earbuds is lag, and Razer has you covered, offering a low latency 2.4 GHz dongle that connects seamlessly with your PlayStation 5, PC, Switch and Andrioid phone. If you’re looking to listen on other devices, there’s Bluetooth. Given these headphones are only wireless, battery life is a concern, but you can get up to 6.5 hours of use plus additional 24 hours in the case. However, when you turn on features like RGB lighting—the earbud’s Razer logo lights up—its battery life drops.

Gaming Headset FAQ

What Type of Headset is Best For Gaming?

Similar to other peripherals, like a gaming mouse or gaming keyboard, it’s always up for debate whether you should go for a wired or wireless headset. Wired always seemed to be the most reliable option, given the plug-and-play, direct connection to the device ensures latency isn’t a problem. But wireless headsets have almost conquered this issue in recent years thanks to the easy-to-use 2.4GHz dongle that slots into your console or PC, providing almost completely lossless audio. Though, there’s always the possibility of signal interference.

Battery life should also come into consideration. Of course, it’s a nonissue on wired headsets, while many wireless headsets offer a decent battery life, lasting 25+ hours, making recharging less of a chore.

Extra time and money are often spent on adding wireless functionality to headsets. That means you may sacrifice sound quality and features on cheaper wireless offerings. Budget wired headsets often don’t fall victim to those same problems.

Though that cable seems to give wired headsets a slight advantage over wireless, it does mean you’re tethered to your gaming device. If you like to move around or get overly excited during a match, there’s a chance of yanking it right out of the console. Wireless headsets give you much more freedom to move around and even offer features that let you connect to multiple devices, so you can listen to music while still hearing all the action on screen. Luckily, many headsets these days offer both wired and wireless connection options.

Are Headsets Good for Streaming?

Gaming headsets are a viable option for streaming. You just need to be sure you’ve got one with a quality microphone. Many gaming headsets come with boom mics, which place a microphone just below your mouth, making it easier to pick up your voice for a clear line of communication while keeping your hands free. There’s also often technology that ensures only your voice is picked up and not distracting sounds in your environment. You can even play around with mic sound settings on many headsets using companion apps to get the best sound for your broadcast.

However, the sound quality of a headset’s built-in mic will still pale in comparison to stand-alone streaming microphones with their wide frequency response, high sample rate, bit-depth, and extensive software. But these microphones do require a more involved setup, including finding the proper placement for the best sound during a stream. You may even need to purchase a separate boom arm to hold the mic in an ideal position. Gaming headsets are a much easier-to-use plug-and-stream option that requires a slight sacrifice to audio quality.

Where to Get the Best Gaming Headset in the UK

You definitely need a quality gaming headset if you’re looking to take your favourite hobby even remotely seriously. Thankfully, every headset we’ve picked out on this list is also available across the pond in the UK, so take your pick.

Best PS5 2023 Gaming Headsets in Australia

Collected below for your convenience are Down Under prices that are (in a few cases) down under recommended retail. Better yet, they can all be acquired locally, so you don’t have to pay through the nose on the Aussie consumer’s most hated enemy—international shipping charges.

What to look for in a Gaming Headset

We often focus on improving our gaming experience with visuals by grabbing a better gaming TV or a beefier graphics card, but your game’s sound is just as important. So, when you’re shopping for a gaming headset there are a few key specs you should look out for.

The first is the size of the drivers, which follows the rule of bigger is better. Drivers are the internal mechanism inside headsets and headphones (or really any speaker) that ultimately create the soundwaves you hear by vibrating back and forth in response to an electrical current.

The larger the driver, the more air they can move to not only to make louder sounds, but it also allows them to produce a wider, more nuanced range of frequencies—which happens to take us to our next specification.

Frequency response is another important spec, and it’s the range of frequencies the headset can reproduce. On the low-end, most gaming headsets hit a minimum of 20Hz and a maximum of 20,000Hz. As you go from the bottom of the range to the top, sounds go from a low thud to a warm, steady hum and finally a piercing screech.

While on the hunt for a gaming headset, you’ll likely find more than a few promising 5.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound, which are both designed to give users a more immersive audio experience. 5.1 surround places speakers directly in front of you, front right, front left, back right, back left and adds a subwoofer to relay bass. 7.1 surround gives you the same setup as 5.1 surrounds, but it adds two more speakers to your immediate right and left.

Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X (2.0) are two specially branded types of surround sound you’ll also likely encounter. They both essentially do the same thing of adding positional audio for effects for objects like say a plane flying over or a bomb falling from the sky above you.

Now while surround sound on a headset is cool, it’s not exactly the same as having a real multi-speaker system, like some of the best soundbars offer. In fact, the majority of gaming headsets employ virtual surround sound—which is to say they’re faking it with mathematical algorithms.

But just because the surround sound you hear on a gaming headset is fake, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it or doubt its ability to create an immersive environment.

The fact that surround sound can be virtualized also means you can get it on any gaming headset even if it only has two channels. On Windows 10 you can download the Windows Sonic for Headphones app and get 3D spatial audio from even the most basic set of stereo headphones.

Gaming Headsets vs. Headphones

The line between gaming headsets and headphones has blurred significantly in recent years. There are still distinct differences between the peripherals that make one better for gaming and the other ideal for listening to audio. We discuss those below.

Connectivity: The best wireless gaming headsets offer a 2.4GHz dongle that’ll slot into your PC or gaming console, delivering a latency-free connection to ensure you never miss audio cues in a game. Beyond the dongle, you’ll also often get Bluetooth to listen on other devices, and many offer a wired lag-free connection, too. As for wireless headphones, you’re usually just limited to Bluetooth, and there’s always a bit of latency that comes with it, which could make or break you in a gaming setting. However, some higher-end headphones do offer a wired connection to devices, making lag less of an issue, but you’ll be tethered to the device.

Audio: Headphones, for the most part, deliver a neutral, well-balanced sound, so a high-end pair of headphones is what most audiophiles will grab for listening to music or movies. Gaming headsets often offer a punchy, brighter listening experience, but with cheaper headsets, this can lead to a muddy sound, which isn’t as much of a problem on budget headphones. Where gaming headsets take the cake is spatial audio support, often having some form of it baked in, making it easier to place enemies in a game based on sound cues for an edge over the competition.

Microphones: Many gaming headsets come with boom mics that help keep a clear line of communication between you and your teammates, thanks to an arm placed just below your mouth. This extension is often removable or can at least fold out of the way when not in use. Headphones typically use beamforming mics, which hide the microphones away in the earcups and use processing technology to pick up your voice over the sounds in your environment. Gaming headsets have a leg up in this category, but neither compare to a standalone microphone.

Design: If you want audio controls on your earcups, gaming headsets are the way to go. You’ll often find buttons for mute, game-chat mix, audio presets, and a volume dial on higher-end sets for easy adjustments in the heat of the action. However, they are often bulky and give off major gamer vibes, especially with a boom mic attached, making them less practical for use outside the battle station. Headphones, on the other hand, look sleeker and have more simplified controls. A premium pair of headphones will also last longer than most gaming headsets, as headsets are usually less expensive with more features that can fail over time.

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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