Here’s the sitch, you’ve been gaming for a couple of years now and your trust in the old headset is getting a little tired. Sounds like a perfect time to upgrade to a wireless gaming headset. So today, we’re taking a deep dive into five popular gaming headsets to see which one’s worth your hard-earned greenbacks.
1. SteelSeriesand The Arctis 7
Let’s start with SteelSeriesand the Arctis 7. For about 120 bucks on Amazon, this is one of the more affordable headsets in the lineup today. Out of the box, it comes with your required charging and audio input cables, as well as a remote receiver pod to increase your wireless range, this thing. The range on these things is the best of any of the headphones we tested in our lineup. It made it way outside the building and nearly across the whole parking lot before dropping the signal. Not bad. On the back of this receiver, there is both a line in and a line out.
You can use it for audio from a second source like your phone and out for your computer speakers, which will automatically turn off when you turn on your wireless headphones. So, no more messing with the playback device’s menu. Huge win! Moving onto the listening experience, Arctis 7’s perform very okay. Although there’s a noticeable drop-off at the upper and lower ends of the frequency range. Something that’s easy enough to account for with the SteelSeries Engine Software EQ.
For gaming, the 7.1 virtualization is very good, with clear directionality to enemy movements in-game, but as far chat is concerned, well, the microphone exists, but it’s not gonna win any awards. It does feature a nifty retraction mechanism though. So that’s nice I guess. The headband offers a lot of adjustment, but the pressure around the ears is a bit strong, particularly for longer sessions. Overall, the Arctis 7’s didn’t impress us too much, a hot take. But they’re definitely passable.
2. Corsair Virtuoso Wireless RGB
Feast your eyes on this, the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless RGB. RGB. They’re pretty expensive but they got the looks to match. Check out the subtle RGB in the machine aluminum accents. The big ear cuffs are comfy and actually didn’t end up getting too hot during use which is something that occasionally can be a problem with leatherette cups. There’s also a fully removable microphone. A nice touch if you have a stand-mounted microphone for streaming, for example. The range is reported to be 60 feet but our tests put it closer to 20-25 feet, which actually is the worst of the bunch but I am happy to see USB-C Making an appearance here.
Okay, as for gaming, the VirtuosoRGB’s have great imaging. This makes it super easy to focus in on targets you hear. However, the sound profile is all over the place. The bass drops off toward the end of the range but is weirdly jacked up in the low mid-range. So it’s really boomy out of the box. However, the Clear Chat EQ preset in the companion IQ software actually does a remarkable job of remedying this. And with some additional tweaking, we ended up really pleased with the headset as a whole. Good job Corsair. Maybe just throw abetter tune on this thing out the box and yeah, happiness.
3. Astro A50
Next up we have the most expensive headset in the lineup. The Astro A50. The big appeal with the A50’s is the fancy wireless charging cradle/dock ordeal. Not only does it charging snap, literally, there’s also a huge array of IO on the back, including optical. But watch out because other than the micro-b charging port, there’s no IO on the headset at all. So you cannot connect it to any other devices unless you use the dock. That applies to wireless or wired. Our A50s are PC and PS4 compatible and there’s also a PC/Xbox version if that’s your console of choice.
As for how they sound though, well look, they sound good, okay? Quite good actually. They have a nice, clear response through the entire range, particularly up top but they aren’t actually the best sounding headset in this list in our opinion. And for the price this command, that’s a major sin in my eyes anyway. This is really comfortable though. I really, really want to love them. They are really comfortable. They’re easy to use day today and the fact that there’s an Xbox version is awesome. You don’t always see that. By the way, we’re working on a video where we check out all the different game streaming services that are coming out now, like GeForce Now, Project xCloud, and PS Now, so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss out. But for gaming specifically,
4. The Logitech G935
The G935’s from Logitech is not perfect. The creak a little on the twist and they’re relatively big design may not be for everybody. So why is this our favorite headset of the bunch? Well, they’re priced incredibly well. They’re comfortable with these big plush ear cups and they just sound fantastic. The 50 mm drivers make their presence known with a full and deep low range while still doing pretty well up top, with only a mild drop off in the very high end of the range and with a mild EQ tune-up, they sound just stellar with music.
When it comes to gaming, however, make sure to use the profile switching feature to enable surround sound. The DTS codec and surround sound emulation do an incredible job imaging in-games. Just be aware the processing affects music to a degree that is noticeable but as long as you’re actually using the automatic switching, you’re good to go.
The G-hub software gives you a ton of options for programming the three G buttons on the back of the headset for lighting, sound or IO presets, and of course there’s RGB. Even though it’s all on the back of the headset where it’s not visible to your stream viewers or audience and if no one can see your RGB, does it really exist? Features like the tip-up microphone mute are great to see as are the hidden dongle cowdy and user-replaceable battery.
5. HyperX Cloud Flight
Finally, we have the HyperX Cloud Flight. Wow, are these headphones over-amplified. The highs are way over modulated and so is the upper bass range with the noticeable dip in the mids and since the 270-megabyte software actually contains nothing useful, the only way to make these sound better was to install Equalizer APO, a free equalizer that actually got them to a totally reasonable level. Very listenable, that doesn’t mean ill forgive the lack of effort HyperX put into the overall user and listening experience here though.