You don't always have to pay a premium price for a good gaming headset. Even budget headphones can come with features to suit your needs. You want to be on the lookout for good sound quality and great comfort, especially if you may be gaming for hours every day. If you play multiplayer games, a good microphone can be very important for communicating with your friends and teammates online. Any good pair of gaming headphones should also accurately locate objects like footsteps in the stereo image.
When you're looking to spend $ 100 or less on a gaming headset, it's best to keep it simple. At this price, you can find a very basic headset with decent speakers and a solid microphone, but the quality isn't a given. Most of the budget headphones we really like tend to rely on a simple wired connection via a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is universal on PCs, phones, and every game console. There are some wireless options in the mix as well, but don't expect best-in-class audio processing or battery life. Even on a tight budget of $ 100, you can find excellent gaming headsets for everything from competitive gaming to streaming to simple video calling. The best gaming headsets under $ 100 offer reliable bases for a lower price.
When it comes to gaming, you need a comfortable headset with great sound quality. A good microphone is also important for communicating with teammates in online multiplayer games. Check out the list of the best gaming headsets under $100 below, along with related reviews and opinions.
If you want wireless gaming headsets, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is the best option at under $ 100 that we tested. These headphones come with a wireless dongle that is compatible with PCs, PlayStation consoles and Android phones. They have low latency compared to non-Bluetooth wireless, so you shouldn't notice any audio sync issues while gaming.
Out of the box, they have a well-balanced audio profile that adds extra power and boom to your audio while voices are present and clear. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app includes a graphic equalizer and presets that you can use to customize it. They also have a decently comfortable fit and a detachable boom microphone that makes your voice clear and does a decent job separating it from ambient sound.
A tough point is that they have a predominantly plastic build and their hinges don't feel very sturdy. Furthermore, they take nearly four hours to charge and cannot be used while charging. On the plus side, their battery provides around 25 hours of continuous use, and if you're looking for the best PC gaming headset under $ 100, they're worth considering.
There is something to be said for getting a headset that works. Regardless of what it's connected to, HyperX Cloud Alpha offers long-lasting comfort, clear audio, and excellent communication.
While it doesn't have a special standout feature, its sturdy construction ensures that comfort and sound quality won't fade for many years. The adjustable aluminum frame is solid and durable and, together with the comfortable leatherette padding, makes you feel comfortable during long gaming sessions or virtual meetings.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha also features an excellent detachable noise-canceling microphone, especially for this price range. Microphone quality is often overlooked in headphones in this price range, so even the small improvements really stand out.
For PC gamers who like HyperX Cloud Alpha sound, we recommend spending a little more to purchase USB-enabled HyperX Cloud Alpha S, which opens the doors to virtual 7.1 surround sound and an inline controller to the mix. It costs a little over $ 100, but it's worth the extra expense.
The Xbox Wireless Headset is the best under $ 100 Xbox gaming headset we tested. Unlike the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, these earpieces support proprietary Xbox wireless technology, making them easy to connect to Xbox consoles. They also have Bluetooth, which means you can receive audio from your smartphone and console simultaneously.
Out of the box, they have very rumbling, heavy bass that adds extra rumble, rumble, and punch to mixes. While this can help accentuate audio effects such as footsteps, intense bass can muddy and clutter dialogue and lead instruments. Fortunately, the accompanying software offers an equalizer and presets, so you can tweak the sound to your liking. If you enjoy chatting with others while gaming, their boom mic provides excellent recording quality, keeping speech clear and natural.
In Popular Science's Logitech G435 review, we said the headset might not have premium sound, but it exceeds expectations everywhere else. It is one of the lightest helmets on the market, often weighing 100 grams less than its competitors. (That's a lot; many of our picks weigh between 200 and 300 grams.)
Light and colorful, the Logitech G435 is a simple and airy option for casual gaming. It offers dongle-based Wi-Fi for both console and PC players. The ability to switch between the two gives players the freedom to play where they want, when they want. A little caveat: the G435 relies on a multi-mic beamforming array, like you'll find in many wireless Bluetooth headsets, rather than a boom mic. It works well enough, but doesn't isolate your voice as well as the other headset mics.
At just $50, it can't get any better than the HyperX Cloud Stinger. It's a bit bulky and the plastic doesn't feel very nice, but you get a quality-sounding headset for less than the cost of a new AAA game.
Like its mid-range and high-end counterparts from HyperX, the Cloud Stinger provides a comfortable fit with a top band and ample padding on the earcups. Its bass-focused sound matches the classic pairing of gaming headsets. It's not the pinnacle of audio fidelity, but it gets the job done given its price.
Despite their affordable price, the Cloud Stingers manage to squeeze in one luxury feature: a retractable boom mic that automatically mutes when you lift it from your mouth (not uncommon, but very useful when you can't detach the mic). microphone). Many companies have a similar no-frills headset at this price, but HyperX's overall quality as a brand makes it a safe bet for any gamer.
The PlayStation Pulse 3D Wireless Headset is a very solid headset for the price. Designed to pair with PlayStation 5's Tempest 3D audio technology, which adds 3D audio to any headset, it enhances the immersive soundscapes of impressive PlayStation exclusives such as Horizon Forbidden West and Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Design-wise, the Pulse 3D looks sleek and curved, in keeping with the PS5's aesthetic. Despite the PS5-focused feature set, this headset supports ample connectivity with a wireless USB dongle and a 3.5mm cable.
The Pulse 3D is one of the best PS5 headsets, thanks in large part to the immersive sound of Tempest 3D. But be warned: its rounded ear cups are not suitable for people with large ears.
Choosing the perfect graphics card, RAM, processor and monitor in pursuit of graphics, it is very easy to forget about the sound. As a result, such important things as speakers and headphones are chosen according to the residual principle. At the same time, progress does not stand still, and even headsets today have become a specialized device for gamers, allowing almost blindly to determine where the shooting is coming from. What are these devices and what other bonuses can they provide to the player?
So, in games, sounds are as important as video. They allow you to understand where the sound comes from, and approximately determine the distance to it, hear the slightest rustles, creaks and steps so that the enemy does not sneak up unnoticed.
For games, the ability of headset to create a sound stage is important. In audiophilia, this concept refers to the accuracy with which they can reproduce the acoustic environment formed by the sound engineer. For music, this is usually a stage in a concert hall (hence the term), for a game, it is a room or space in which the action takes place. How accurately the headphones can locate sound sources in this space is, without exaggeration, vital for the player. Hence the popularity of the novelty of recent years - gaming headphones with surround sound.
Typically, the best gaming headsets under 100 are not only equipped with a microphone for communicating with other players, but also provide additional features such as settings presets, Bluetooth control, active noise reduction, etc. Do not forget about aesthetics - many people buy it for the bright "gaming" design of such devices. Some models have not only an aggressive appearance, but are also equipped with the ubiquitous LED backlight.
In addition, gaming headset should be comfortable. Often they have a lightweight body made of composite materials, soft ear cushions with memory effect and anatomical inserts. Most gaming headphones have a wraparound form factor, or, to put it simply, they are "burdocks". This is due to convenience - in-ear "plugs" are difficult to use for 10 hours in a row, they put a lot of pressure on the ears, and the ear will not say thank you, and the location of the microphone on the cable is not always convenient.
The long cable included is another characteristic feature of gaming headsets. Manufacturers try to supply their devices with a cable, the length of which is at least 2-3 meters, or even a set of cables of different lengths. Often the cord can be disconnected from the headphones and replaced in case of breakage. Wireless headphones are also gaining popularity among gamers.
The demand for gaming headphones is so high that recently even eminent studio equipment companies are adding items for gamers to their product lines.
Today, the main trend of gaming headsets is surround sound. Most often, these are 5.1 and 7.1 formats - most modern games can play multi-channel audio, so this feature is most welcome. This helps to very accurately determine the location of the enemy even before visual contact. The player will not be able to sneak up unnoticed from behind a corner or from behind. Some even manage to score frags with their eyes closed.
Many gamer headsets under 100 $ connect via USB instead of the standard analog port (3.5mm). They have their own sound card built in, allowing you to process sound, bypassing the limitations of the sound card built into the motherboard. And some models can be connected both ways, and so, which is very convenient.
If the gamer already has a high-quality external audio card or headphone amplifier in their arsenal, then there is no point in buying gaming headphones with a USB input. However, for those who do not want to understand sound cards and calculate the appropriate impedance, these headphones will be the ideal all-in-one solution. Their characteristics are quite enough to get high-quality and detailed sound without noise and hiss - both during playback and when talking into a microphone.
True, due to the built-in battery and electronic filling in wireless headsets, they weigh more than wired models, which means that it will be more difficult to sit in them for 12 hours in a row. In addition, they require regular recharging, may lose signal due to nearby routers and smartphones, and are more expensive than wired ones. On the other hand, it all depends on the preferences of the player.
Communication is an important part of the gameplay in team games. Therefore, gaming headset models under $100 are most often equipped with a better microphone than typical headsets. Some models are even equipped with noise reduction systems that cut off quiet unnecessary sounds like the creak of a chair or the breath of the streamer itself.