Whether you are a hardcore PC gamer or a console baby, finally the people whom you live with will possibly get annoyed at different sounds of your video games. Maybe you have got a pair of headphones and a webcam with a mic to cover all your multiplayer needs, but sometimes, it is good to have everything in one place. That is where the gaming headphones come into the picture. These headphones provide an all-in-one and easy solution to your game’s audio requirements, generally packing in a microphone, long cords, and decent sound to suit any type of gaming setup. As with any type of tech, there are quite a few gaming headphones in the market, and many are not that great. Here are a few things to consider while buying gaming headphones.
Things to consider while buying gaming headphones
- A comfortable headset
How the headphone fits on your head is one of the significant things to consider, mainly when it comes to gaming headphones. If you are going to play for a long span of time, a bad fit headphone can physically hurt- meaning you cannot really give all your focus on fragging. It might seem fine at the initial stage, but trapped sweat, friction, and heat can build up with time. After an hour or so, even the smallest discomfort can be awful. So, comfort should one of the first things to consider while buying gaming headphones. Extra weight in the wrong area can cause neck pains. Slight pressure in the band can cause sore ears or full-on headaches.
- Isolation matters
The quality of gaming headphones decides the sound’s quality. Among the various things to consider while buying gaming headphones, quality matters a lot. Poor isolation can change the quality of what you hear, and that is mainly significant for games and headsets that make use of small directional audio cues.
The material and size of a headphone pad can have a lot to do with the quality of the seal. If the foam of a headphone does not create an effective seal instantly, it may just need more time to mold according to the shape of your head. If the pad is not huge enough to fit around your ear, then you should either buy a big pair of headphones or replacement pads that have a large circumference.
If you are among those who wear glasses, you must consider getting velour pads for your headphone, or at least gaming headphones with eyewear channels in the ear pads. Without this, you will certainly miss a lot of basses.
- Wired or wireless
It is the most common dilemma that people face while choosing a gaming headset. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are a gamer, wired headphones would be the right option for you. Wired ones do not need charging. Unless you are plying with a console there is no reason to go wireless.
If you are looking for affordable gaming headphones, it is better to choose wired headphones like for example, Hyper X Cloud II. You can find great wired gaming headsets that come with a lot of features. Quality wireless headphones cost you a large amount of money because of the extra technology involved in it.
On the contrary, wireless headphones need to be charged. This can be a problem if you play a game for long hours. Typically, most of the good wireless headsets take about an hour to charge fully and provide nearly 7 to 8 hours of battery life. While choosing wireless headsets, if you are aware of the quality of sound in the game, consider getting a headphone that has AptX encoding. This helps the sound to be played without effecting the quality while transmitting wirelessly through Bluetooth.
Among the various things to consider while gaming headphones is to check the differences between gaming headsets and gaming headphones. The first thing in the checklist is to decide if you want to buy a pair of gaming headphones or a par of gaming headsets. So, what is the difference between the two?
Gaming headphones are the regular headphones that come with a separate mic. Gaming headphones are regular headphones that are used mainly for enjoying music. However, they possess a few qualities that are great for gaming needs also. Audiophilic characteristics like great micro-detail retrieval, perfect sound stage and immersive sound experience make them feasible to improve as a pair of gaming headphones.
However, most of the audiophile headphones do not have a mic nor do they have any slots to attach the mic. You will require an external mic like the Blue Yeti X for communication assistance.
- Decide what is your gaming platform
One of the important things to consider while buying gaming headphones is to first decide which gaming platform are you going to choose. A gaming platform can influence the choice of gaming headphones. Some of the common gaming platforms are Windows PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and PlayStation 4.
Generally, headphones with a 3.5 mm connection should work across all the platforms. However, due to some software-dependent features, a specific console might not support all the functionalities of a certain gaming headphone.
One of the good examples of this is the official Sony PlayStation Wireless Platinum and Gold gaming headsets. The very own set of official gaming headphones from Sony for the PlayStation 4 include game-specific audio profiles and vital features once hooked up to console, including 7.1 virtual surround sound.
However, if you decide to use the Sony PlayStation Wireless Platinum and Gold gaming headphones on the Xbox One, you need to connect the gaming headphone manually through the cable included in the actual package. Then, you need to connect the jack to a different headset adapter by Microsoft exclusively meant for the Xbox One.
You can avoid the Xbox One headset adapter by connecting the Sony PlayStation Wireless Platinum and Gold gaming headphones to the Xbox One directly, but that is not exactly the right solution now. Is it?
- Mic considerations
Gaming headphones with mic is something that is generally overlooked, but it is important to think about certain things when you are shopping for one. Gaming headphones mic often struggle in the bass range of frequency spectrum, which can make people mainly with deep voices sound rough. These mics do not get enough power, no matter whether it is a USB or 3.5 mm, which signifies you might sound quiet.
If you decide to go with this headset, then look for one that comes with a detachable mic. If you are a homebound gamer, make sure the mic is perfectly maneuverable. Even adjusting a few things by an inch or two can make a big difference in the quality of your call.
Most of the gaming headphones can cost below $200. Never pay anything more than $200 unless you want an extraordinary experience. If your budget is below $100, then better do not go for a wireless headset because as discussed earlier, wireless headphones cost you more than $100. For casual gamers, headsets under $100 are important. One of the best gaming headphones in this range is the HyperX Cloud II.
On the contrary, if you want something above $100 and less than $200, then you may consider HyperX Cloud Revolver Gaming Headphones or the ASTRO Gaming A40 headset. Both are among the best gaming headphones in the market. Some of the popular brands you can choose for headphones are Turtle Beach, Astro, and HyperX.