Most people can meet their gaming audio needs with a good pair of headphones. But if you play lots of multiplayer games or frequently use your console/rig to chat with friends, a good gaming headset and its included microphone will make more sense. Unfortunately, the market for gaming headsets remains riddled with junky hardware.
So for Ars Gaming Week, we're getting you some help. We spent the last three months testing 30 gaming headsets to find the ones most worth buying. Below you can find our current favorites, including options for those on a budget, those with cash to burn, and those who want to go wireless. And, like with all of our Guidemasters, you can consider this a living guide—we’ll be sure to update it as new standouts arrive.
One last note: like most audio-related buying guides, there are personal biases at play when talking headsets. Different people have different sound preferences, and that’s fine. I can only speak to what I like, and as someone who’s used hundreds of headphones over the years as a tech reporter, I like to think my opinions can be of use. All of this is to say that, as with most audio reviews, nobody can tell you what you like, and it’s best to treat this guide as part of a wider consensus that helps you find the products that are worth it.