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The best wired or wireless gaming headsets to buy

A few options for each platform

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Best gaming headset
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you’re shopping for a gaming headset in 2022, you have a lot of options. While there are some great headsets out there, it’s easy to pay too much, to accidentally purchase a headset that doesn’t work with your desired console or platform, or to get one that’s uncomfortable after a few hours of use. Knowing a thing or two about headphones might aid in your search, but gaming headsets have only gotten more complicated to shop for — especially the wireless ones.

For instance, wireless headsets made for Xbox operate via Microsoft’s proprietary wireless protocol. They’ll only work on Xbox consoles or a PC that has one of Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Adapters plugged in, in most cases. Conversely, if you get a multiplatform wireless headset that includes a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle, it’ll likely work on the likes of the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (when plugged into the console’s TV dock), and PC — but not Xbox. In short, it’s best to buy the headset that mentions support for your preferred platform(s) explicitly (or just buy a wired gaming headset instead).

This guide focuses mostly on newer options that you’re likely to encounter at stores as opposed to older models that, while possibly still being worthy of your money, are often tougher to find affordably and easily online. Also, just to mention it at the top, I have a large-ish head, and that factor obviously played a major role in how I judge the comfort of these headsets.

You’ll find a few categories below, including the best multiplatform wireless headsets that are compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch via its dock (and likely more products than that), the best Xbox wireless gaming headsets, the best PlayStation wireless gaming headsets, and the best wired gaming headsets that support the widest variety of platforms, from console controllers to phones, tablets, and VR headsets that feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Models added in this update: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Models that I’m currently testing: Razer Barracuda Pro, HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless, Sony InZone H9, Corsair HS65, Astro A10.


Best multiplatform wireless gaming headset: Logitech G435 Lightspeed ($79)

Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch (via its dock)

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

For some time now, Logitech has been on the cusp of making a gaming headset that’s good enough for console gamers, mobile gamers, and PC gamers alike. It has finally nailed the balancing act with its new $79.99 (typically cheaper) G435 wireless gaming headset. While this headset likely won’t satisfy most enthusiasts because of its lack of a boom microphone (it utilizes beamforming microphones) and its minimal noise isolation, that doesn’t take away from the G435 being a lightweight and comfortable delight to use.

The G435 ships with a USB-A audio transmitter and is compatible with most platforms that have that port, including PCs, PlayStation consoles, and the Nintendo Switch’s dock. It isn’t compatible with Xbox, though. I’ve also had success using a USB-A to USB-C adapter to plug the receiver into my Oculus Quest 2, MacBook Pro, and other devices. 

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The G435’s killer feature (aside from its broad compatibility and comfort) is its Bluetooth mode, which lets you connect to a phone so you can remain available to accept calls while you use the headset for something else via the 2.4GHz transmitter. You can also just use them as standard headphones via Bluetooth. It’s far from the first device to combine Bluetooth with 2.4GHz wireless, but the G435’s lightweight design makes it an easier companion to carry around and use for work and play.

$30

Logitech’s G435 Lightspeed is a lightweight and comfortable wireless gaming headset that won’t break the bank. It’s compatible with PlayStation consoles, as well as the Nintendo Switch and PC. It also supports Bluetooth, so you can listen to music or pick up calls while you game.

The G435 headset is an evolution of the made-for-PC G733’s design but without the futuristic LEDs. Like the G733, it utilizes breathable ear pads, though its plastic headband is wrapped in a layer of fabric. Speaking of plastic, that’s mostly what you’ll find here. This isn’t a robust headset with steel-reinforced arms, like many of our other options below. Yet, when it’s on your head, it’s comfortable enough that you might just forget about that little detail.

The ear cups are mounted to rails that extend from the headband, letting you easily move them around until you find the right fit. And even though one look at its advertising should tell you that these were built for a younger generation, my large head fits comfortably within the range of the G435’s sizing. There’s no annoying clamping, and these are extremely lightweight, so fatigue wasn’t something that I encountered.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Sound quality is better than I expected for the price, and I often found myself picking these up just to listen to music. They’re also fine for gaming, though they lack the hearty low-end sound and noise isolation you might be looking for (especially if you game competitively). Generally, if you’re in the market for a lightweight wireless gaming headset that costs no more than $80 (again, it’s often cheaper than this) and has a good number of features and broad compatibility, check out the G435.

Here’s what the microphone on the Logitech G435 Lightspeed headset sounds like:


A pricier runner-up: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless ($349)

Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (via its dock), and Xbox (requires specific model)

At $349, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless costs nearly as much as a console, but it’s worth looking past the initial sticker shock if you want a headset that’s loaded with clever features that, for the most part, don’t get in the way of its form or function.

I’d run out of breath if I tried to speak to all of its features in one go. Its design builds off of the beloved Arctis Pro Wireless with better sound and build quality. As for comfort, it’s among the best out there, but my colleague Sean Hollister preferred the long-term comfort of the Arctis Pro Wireless more, partially due to SteelSeries switching the type of bungee-style headband in the new model. It’s similar, but just different enough that long-time SteelSeries fans may not take to it.

The Nova Pro Wireless boasts active noise cancellation (ANC), which is great to have if you want to be completely isolated with your game. Though, it’s not quite as effective as high-end headphones, like the similarly priced Sony 1000XM5. One feature you won’t find elsewhere is swappable batteries. The Nova Pro Wireless includes two of them, making it easy to keep the game session going when one of them runs out of juice. (In our testing, it took around 28 hours without ANC to deplete and 24 hours with ANC.) The headset ships with a wireless base station to handle its 2.4GHz connection, charge that additional battery, and serve as controls for various features of the headset. From the station, you can control sidetone, adjust volume, and more.

$350

The Nova Pro Wireless aims to be the one headset to rule them all. It features multiple ways to connect wirelessly, active noise cancellation, great sound quality, and swappable batteries.

In addition to connecting wirelessly via 2.4GHz to PC, PS4, Switch, or Xbox (there’s an Xbox-specific model, so don’t buy the wrong one), you can simultaneously listen to music or podcasts via Bluetooth. If you want to take the Nova Pro Wireless outdoors, it offers easy controls to adjust volume, skip tracks, and pick up or hang up phone calls. You can use its extendable microphone for calls or rely on the ones that sit within the ear cups.

In our review, we called the Nova Pro Wireless “the rare no-devices-left-behind headset that helps you get even more enjoyment out of PC gaming and console use.” If you have the budget for a $349 headset, you should try it out. If you want to read more about it, we wrote a massive review that goes into detail about how it holds up with its various use cases.

Here’s what the microphone on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset sounds like:


Best wireless gaming headset for Xbox: Microsoft Xbox Wireless headset ($99.99)

Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, Bluetooth-ready devices, and PC if you have an adapter

Xbox Wireless headset
Photo by Cameron Faulkner

Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless headset is surprisingly good for $100. It has all of the same features as our previous top pick, Razer’s Kaira Pro, but knocks $50 off the price and has a better design. Like the Surface Headphones, this headset features twistable dials on the outside of its earcups, and it simplifies making quick adjustments, like turning up the volume on the right side or tweaking the game / chat audio mix on the left.

This headset operates on the Xbox Wireless protocol, letting it connect effortlessly to a modern Xbox console with a push of its pairing button (it pairs just like a controller). It supports a concurrent Bluetooth connection, too, so you can be paired to your phone and console at the same time.

$100

You don’t have to miss a call while you game thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset. In our review, we found it to be a comfortable, intuitively designed headset that’s well worth the price. In addition to working well with Xbox consoles, it can connect to another device simultaneously via Bluetooth.

Battery life is fine but not spectacular at around 15 hours per charge. While I really like the Bluetooth feature, this headset lacks a multifunction button for controlling, say, phone calls or playing / pausing music or podcasts coming from your phone or tablet that might be connected. Another fault is that this model lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, but that might not be a big deal for you.

Microsoft’s headset doesn’t break new ground — it just does a lot right for a reasonable price. There are other options that offer noise cancellation and more hearty sound quality than this model. But if you don’t want to spend more than $100, most people should be very happy with what the Xbox Wireless headset offers.

Here’s what the microphone on the Xbox Wireless headset sounds like:


A runner-up: Victrix Gambit ($129.99)

Compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, and PC

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

I’m willing to bet that you may not have heard of Victrix, a brand owned by PDP Gaming that’s focused on making peripherals suited for e-sports pros and aspiring gamers. Either way, it made a killer wireless headset in the Gambit that I think many people will enjoy. It’s a $129.99 device that comes in two versions: one that’s compatible with the Xbox family of consoles and with PCs and a PlayStation version that operates with a different dongle than the one included with the Xbox version. I tested the Xbox version, which has a different chipset.

$82

The Victrix Gambit is a wireless gaming headset that nails the fundamentals, with good sound quality and controls that are intuitive to use. Unlike many of the headsets in this guide, the Gambit recharges via Micro USB, which is a drag.

It’s easy to recommend this headset to people who want to do the least amount of fiddling. I’m no designer, but it’s tough to imagine how Victrix could have made the built-in controls any more intuitive. On the left ear cup, there’s a mic that turns on when you lower it and mutes when you raise it back upward. That cup also has a button that adjusts between three levels of mic monitoring sensitivity and a rubberized dial for finding the perfect balance of game and chat audio. Over on the right cup, a fantastic volume knob sits alone as the only control. 

I enjoyed the sound quality as much, if not slightly more, than the Xbox Wireless Headset above. The Victrix Gambit doesn’t try too hard to woo with bass or with an overly crisp sound that forgoes warmth. It just sounds good out of the box, and I have no complaints about its performance while tethered to the included USB audio transmitter (alternatively, it can be used wired via 3.5mm). Its mic quality is also better than I expected.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Its build quality leans heavily on plastic and leatherette. This alone doesn’t negatively impact its comfort, but it didn’t feel like it seamlessly fit my head like a glove the way Microsoft’s option did.

For me, this headset’s lack of a USB-C charging port would be a deal-breaker — it uses a Micro USB port for recharging. That aside, there’s very little that the Victrix Gambit does wrong, and unlike with Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset, the included audio transmitter lets it work with a PC out of the box using the Xbox Wireless protocol (normally, you’d have to purchase Microsoft’s own transmitter that doubles as a wireless controller hub). But unless you prefer it aesthetically, it’s tough to recommend it over the cheaper Xbox Wireless Headset if you’re just gaming on Xbox.

Here’s what the microphone on the Victrix Gambit headset sounds like:


Best wireless gaming headset for PlayStation: SteelSeries Arctis 7P Plus ($169.99)

Compatible with PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, mobile, and Oculus Quest 2

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The SteelSeries’ Arctis 7P Plus has dethroned Sony’s own Pulse 3D headset as the best option out there for PlayStation gamers, despite costing $69 more. It’s one of the company’s most complete headsets yet in terms of features, connectivity, and comfort. Really, the previous version nailed the comfort already, but this year, it added on more battery life, a game and chat audio dial, and USB-C charging (good riddance, Micro USB).

SteelSeries Arctis 7P Plus
$149

The new Arctis 7P Plus has the same design and comfort as previous SteelSeries headsets, but the newer model boasts improved battery life and USB-C charging, making it easy to use the same charging cable that your DualSense uses.

If you’ve read anything about the older Arctis 7P, that’s probably still true about this newer one. It has SteelSeries’ signature ski goggle headband that suspends its weight without pressing down. The ear cups rotate to be stored more easily or lay on your chest. It still includes a USB-C audio transmitter (and a USB-A converter), making it compatible with a wide range of devices, including the Oculus Quest 2, Switch, and much more. It’s these small additions that elevate this year’s model higher in our rankings than before. Also, it comes in black if you prefer that color over white.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

SteelSeries boosted the advertised battery life from 24 to 30 hours per charge — a claim that it meets. I won’t shut up about USB-C charging, and in this case, it really just makes a lot of sense to have since it’s the same charging port as the DualSense controller. This is the first of many (I hope) SteelSeries headsets to ditch Micro USB for the reversible USB standard.

The $169.99 price might be steep if you were hoping to spend less, but compared directly to the Pulse 3D headset, the Arctis 7P Plus’s comfort, microphone quality, button layout, and ease of use make it a far better choice for gamers who want to get the best bang for their buck.

Here’s what the microphone on the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Plus headset sounds like:


A runner-up: Sony Pulse 3D ($100)

Compatible with PS5 and PS4

Sony Pulse 3D headset
The Sony Pulse 3D gaming headset
Sony

Sony’s $99 Pulse 3D wireless headset for the PS4 and PS5 is a surprisingly feature-packed headset that’s also one of the most comfortable options on this list. I’m a sucker for well-fitting headsets, and the bungie-style headband Sony supplies is fantastic. Instead of having a hard plastic band pulling down on the top of your head, this headset hangs its weight on a silicone band. It gives the headset a near-weightless feel when it’s on my head. Just a note: the ear cups are on the smaller side, and while mine fit just fine, folks with larger ears might not find them all that comfortable.

The Pulse 3D’s headline feature, though, is its ability to serve up 3D audio from the PS5’s Tempest sound engine. Actually, Sony says most headphones can push out the 3D effect, but this headset was made to really show it off. Support for 3D audio varies from game to game, but I found the PS5’s Demon’s Souls to be a great showcase for it. In that game, everything from the highs that ring out from swords clashing to daunting fire-breathing dragons that push out medium- and low-frequency sounds were a delight to hear. For a more relaxing experience, Astro’s Playroom and Returnal sound great, too. There are little sounds coming from everywhere, it seems. Games that don’t support 3D audio still sound good but are not quite as enthralling. 

For a $99 headset, the positional audio quality is better than I expected, as is the sound balance. There’s not an overwhelming amount of bass or tinny highs — everything is delivered delicately. I like that because it helps prevent fatigue during long play sessions.

$69

Sony’s own wireless gaming headset is made to showcase the PS5’s 3D audio effect and also works on the PS4.

Sony claims 13 hours of wireless performance per charge. The headset actually landed between about 10 and 12 hours during my testing, which is an underwhelming result. Of course, this is less of an issue if you’re connecting it to a power source each time you stop gaming for the day.

Here’s what the microphone on the Sony Pulse 3D sounds like:


Best wired gaming headset: Bose QC 35 II gaming headset ($329)

Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack or via Bluetooth

Bose quiet comfort 35 II gaming headset
Image: Bose

Bose’s QC 35 II gaming headset offers the most features but at the highest cost of any other headset featured in this guide. Despite usually costing more than an Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch, this set delivers on value. It comes with the QC 35 II wireless noise-canceling headphones that can be used on the go with Bluetooth and wired 3.5mm connectivity. There are no other options I’ve listed that have a noise cancellation feature and support for voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also among the most comfortable, lightweight options on this list. You’ll know when the QC 35 II is on your head, but it doesn’t pinch or press hard against your ears.

Used as a gaming headset, either connected via USB through its included desktop controller or via 3.5mm, the QC 35 II makes for a lightweight, comfortable option with a microphone attachment that’s easy to use. This model offers the best noise isolation (even without the battery-draining noise cancellation feature switched on) in any headset I’ve tested. Noise isolation is usually something most headsets fumble, but with this one, you’ll be able to better hear footsteps and other crucial noises that might decide the match. With noise cancellation switched on, it really does make everything around you very quiet — perfect for boosting the immersion in your games. The desktop controller I mentioned above adds more features, including a nice volume dial and button that adjusts the intensity of mic monitoring.

$329

The best wired gaming headset. An included USB volume controller is compatible with PC, and the headset can be plugged into any console or controller that has a 3.5mm headphone jack or via Bluetooth if your platform supports it.

The $329 price is high, but if you value noise cancellation and want to have a headset you can easily take on the road (and that has ear cups that can swivel and fold into a compact size), check this out. It’s worth noting that current owners of the QC 35 II headphones, unfortunately, won’t be able to easily acquire the microphone attachment, as Bose isn’t selling it separately.

Here’s what the microphone on the Bose QC 35 II gaming headset sounds like:


The runner-up: Razer BlackShark V2 + sound card ($100)

Compatible with any device with an available 3.5mm jack

Razer BlackShark V2
Image: Razer

Razer’s updated BlackShark headset is my runner-up choice for a wired headset you can buy. It’s $100 (often available for less), yet it features a similar design and general feature set to Razer’s $200 wireless V2 Pro model. That also means it’s just as comfortable, with a plush headband and breathable ear cups that don’t apply too much pressure.

This model’s build materials are a step above the $59 BlackShark V2 X when it comes to being breathable, and it includes a USB sound card, into which the headset’s 3.5mm end plugs. With it, you’ll get slightly better sound quality. Also, using the sound card allows you to use THX spatial sound in Razer’s Synapse 3 software, which I found to be a nice value add but not particularly alluring in practice. Razer says it’s adding spatial audio profiles for popular games moving forward, so you’ll have plenty of ways to utilize the sound card if this feature strikes your interest. Regardless of your interest, you’ll also be able to plug the headset’s 3.5mm end into a variety of controllers and the Nintendo Switch.

Razer BlackShark V2

$10020% off
$80

The Razer BlackShark V2 is a runner-up in our guide to the best gaming headsets. It’s compatible with PCs outfitted with a 3.5mm port, or using the included USB sound card, as well as consoles and controllers that feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Something that stood out to me during testing is that finding a comfortable fit took almost no effort. And while many headsets are comfortable enough to wear for hours, I didn’t want to take the BlackShark V2 off my head. Another nice touch is its volume knob, which affords fine-tune adjustments that dials don’t usually provide.

Here’s what the microphone on the BlackShark V2 sounds like:

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